top of page

Romantic Era


The first railway bridge across the Mississippi River is completed – from Rock Island, Illinois, to three miles away at Davenport, Iowa
  •  Tsar Nicholas I of Russia dies. His son, Alexander II,  makes peace with Britain and France. The Crimean War ends. Russia's humiliation inspires Alexander's desire for reform  •  A ship owned by a Chinese, registered with the British in Hong Kong, and docked at Guangzhou (Canton), is searched by Manchu government agents looking for a notorious pirate. The British send an expedition of ships seeking redress and are joined by the French, who want to avenge the Manchu execution of a French missionary. There is also dissatisfaction with Chinese compliance to agreements made at the end of the first Opium War. The Second Opium War begins

Elisha Graves Otis installs the first passenger-safe elevator in a department store in New York City
  •  Giuseppe Garibaldi has been in New York for five years. He founds the Italian National Association to fight for the unification of Italy  •  In France, the novel Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert is partially published. It is about a woman who has adulterous affairs and it creates a scandal. Flaubert has to go to court to have the entire novel published  •  The Supreme Court of the United States, in the Dred Scott case, rules that African Americans, free or slave, are not citizens and have no recourse in federal courts  •  Gustave Flaubert (France) - Madame Bovary

The Second Opium War ends. China is forced to pay Britain and France indemnities and to open more ports. The opium trade is legalized. Christians are to be allowed to proselytize and guaranteed protection, and Westerners are to be allowed to hold property in China. Russia and the United States rush in to gain benefit from the British and French victory
  •  In Vietnam, a French and Spanish expedition seizes the port city of Tourane (today Da Nang). The French are interested in ending Vietnamese persecution of Christian missionaries and interested in trade

In Vietnam, the French take over Saigon
  •  John Brown wants to begin a war for the liberation of all slaves in the United States. An armed rising by him and his eighteen supporters is crushed. Brown is tried, convicted and hanged  •  Charles Darwin has been sitting on his Origin of the Species for 21 years. He has it published  •  British scientist John Tyndall describes carbon dioxide (CO2) and water vapor trapping heat in the atmosphere. And he suggests that change in the concentration of gases could bring climate change  •  The first successful oil well in the United States is drilled, in northern Pennsylvania  •  Rabbits are brought to Australia, which will produce an ecology disaster

Taiping rebels fail to take Shanghai, repelled by a force led by an Englishman, Frederick Townsend Ward
  •  In the United States, George Crum has created what is to be known as the potato chip. He opens his own restaurant, featuring potato chips in a basket placed on every table  •  J.J.E. Lenoir of France develops an internal, non-compression, combustion engine  •  Jews in Britain are allowed to vote  • 

International trade has been increasing. World exports are 4.53 times what they were in 1800  •  A network of abolitionist Quakers, Unitarians, Transcendentalists and Underground Railroad organizers have been practicing nonviolent civil disobedience for about ten years (many decades before Gandhi's non-violent civil disobendience). They have been working against the capture of fugitive slaves. Prominent among them has been the Unitarian Theodore Parker   William Holman Hunt - The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple


Gustave Flaubert (12 December 1821 – 8 May 1880) was a French novelist. Highly influential, he has been considered the leading exponent of literary realism in his country. He is known especially for his debut novel Madame Bovary (1857), his Correspondence, and his scrupulous devotion to his style and aesthetics. 



Camille Saint-Saëns – Symphony in F major "Urbs Roma"

Symphony in F major ''Urbs Roma'' - Camille Saint-Saëns

Orchestre National de l'ORTF conducted by Jean Martinon.

I - Largo - Allegro - Largo - Allegro
II - Scherzo. Molto vivace - Coda. Più presto - Prestissimo
III - Moderato assai serioso
IV - Poco allegretto - Andante con moto

Mily Balakirev – Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp minor, Op. 1 

Mily Balakirev - Piano Concerto No. 1 Op. 1

Anastasia Seifetdinova, piano
Russian Philharmonic Orchestra
conducted by Dmitry Yablonsky, 2006

Louis GottschalkMusic for Piano

Gottschalk: Music for Piano

00:00 Deuxième Banjo, for piano, Op. 82, D. 16 (RO 24)
04:49 Solitude, for piano, Op. 65, D. 139 (RO 239)
09:00 La Brise, valse de concert for piano ("The Breeze"), D. 23 (RO 30) 
13:05 Souvenir de la Havane, caprice de concert for piano, Op. 39, D. 145 (RO 246)
19:06 Le Chant du martyr, grand caprice religieux for piano, D. 30 (RO 49)
25:20 Manchega, étude de concert for piano, Op. 38, D. 86 (RO 143) 
29:05 La Savane, ballade créole for piano, Op. 3, D. 135 (RO 232) 
35:23 L' Union, paraphrase de concert for piano, Op. 48, D. 156 (RO 269)
Lambert Orkis 1982

3 May  
Adolphe Adam, French composer, dies.


4 May​ 
Alexander DargomyzhskyRusalka

Rusalka (Русалка)
is an opera in four acts, six tableaux, by Alexander Dargomyzhsky, composed during 1848-1855. The Russian libretto was adapted by the composer from Pushkin's incomplete dramatic poem of the same name. It premiered on 4 May 1856 (Old Style) at the Theatre-circus, conducted by Konstantin Lyadov.

Dargomyzhsky - Rusalka

The Miller- Alexander Vedernikov, bs
Natasha- Natalia Mikhailova, s
The Prince- Konstantin Pluzhnikov, t
The Princess- Nina Terentieva, ms
Olga- Galina Pisarenko, s
Matchmaker- Oleg Klenov, b
Hunter- Oleg Klenov, b
Rusalochka- Vasilisa Byelova, child actor
Lead Peasant- Unspecified, t
Grand Chorus of All-Russian Radio and Television Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio Vladimir Fedoseyev, c.

The action takes place by the Dnieper River

The plot tells of a maiden who, after being jilted by a prince, drowns herself (hence the designation "rusalka," or "drowned maiden"). The last act of the opera, which features a ballet, is somewhat unusual in that a 12-year-old rusalka speaks her lines over the music.

Act 1
The bank of the Dnieper River. A mill near an oak tree.

Act 2
A rich mansion. A princely wedding.

Act 3
Scene 1: A tower chamber. A drawing room.

Scene 2: The bank of the Dnieper River. The ruined mill. Evening.

Act 4
Scene 1: The bottom of the Dnieper. The underwater palace of the Rusalki.

Scene 2: The bank of the Dnieper River. The ruined mill.

20 May
Giuseppe Verdi - Le trouvereOpera in 4 acts, La Monnaie, Brussels,20 May 1856.    Revised version of Il trovatore, although written for the Paris Opéra with a ballet added, was given in Brussels, then performed at the Salle Le Peletier on 12 January 1857.

6 January  
Giuseppe Martucci
, composer, born.

25 February 
Giovanni PaciniMargherita Pusterla
First Performance 1856-02-25, Naples

29 July  
Robert Schumann, composer, dies.

Giuseppe Martucci

Giuseppe Martucci


Giuseppe Martucci (Capua, 6 January 1856 – Naples, 1 June 1909) was an Italian composer, conductor, pianist and teacher. As a composer and teacher he was influential in reviving Italian interest in non-operatic music. As a conductor he helped to introduce Wagner's operas to Italy and also gave important early concerts of English music there.

Martucci was born at Capua, in Campania. He learned the basics of music from his father, Gaetano, who played the trumpet. A child prodigy, he played in public on the piano when only eight years old. From the age of 11, he was a student at the Naples Conservatory, on the recommendation of professor Beniamino Cesi, the latter being a former student of Sigismond Thalberg. From Paolo Serrao, Martucci acquired his initial training in composition; his own composition students later on, when he worked and taught at Bologna, included Ottorino Respighi.

He died in Naples in 1909. 

Martucci's career as an international pianist commenced with a tour through Germany, France and England in 1875, at the age of 19. He was appointed piano professor at the Naples Conservatory in 1880, and moved to Bologna in 1886, replacing Luigi Mancinelli at the Bologna Conservatory; in 1902 he returned for the last time to Naples, as director of the Royal Conservatory of Music.

It was in 1881 that Martucci made his first conducting appearance. One of the earliest Italian musicians to admire Wagner, Martucci introduced some of Wagner's output to Italy. He led, for example, the first Italian performance of Tristan und Isolde in 1888 in Bologna. Nor did his enthusiasm for foreign composers end with Wagner's work. As well as performing Charles Villiers Stanford's 3rd ("Irish") Symphony in Bologna in 1898, he conducted one of the rare concerts of all-British orchestral music on the European continent in the later nineteenth century. What is more, he included music by Brahms, Lalo, Goldmark and others in his programmes.

Martucci began as a composer at the age of 16, with short piano works. He wrote no operas, which was unusual among Italian composers of his generation, but instead concentrated on instrumental music and songs, producing also an oratorio, Samuel.


Giuseppe Martucci - Piano Concerto No. 1 Op. 40 (1878)

Giuseppe Martucci - Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 66 (1885)
Carlo Bruno, piano and the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, Milano, conducted by Riccardo Muti. 1996.

Martucci - Symphony No. 1 in D minor, op. 75

1. Andante
2. Andante (cello solo)
3. Allegretto
4. Mosso – Allegro risoluto

George Ives, cello
Philharmonia Orchestra - Francesco D’Avalos, conductor

Martucci - Symphony No.2 in F-major, Op.81

Mov.I: Allegro moderato 00:00
Mov.II: Scherzo: Allegro vivace 14:31
Mov.III: Adagio ma non troppo 21:07
Mov.IV: Finale: Allegro 33:45

Philharmonic Orchestra - Francesco D'Avalos

Martucci - La canzone dei ricordi, (Song of Memories) (Text: R. E. Pagliara)

1. Andantino. "No, svaniti non sono i sogni" 
2. Allegretto con moto. "Cantava'l ruscello la gaia canzone" 
3. Andantino - Allegro giusto. "Fior di ginestra" 
4. Allegretto con moto. "Sul mar la navicella" 
5. Andante. "Un vago riormorio mi giunge" 
6. Andantino con moto. "Al folto bosco, placida ombria" 
7. Andantino. "No, svaniti non sono i sogni" 

Mirella Freni, Soprano 
Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala Riccardo Muti



Georges BizetClovis et Clotilde - cantata

Bizet - Clovis et Clotilde - cantata
Montserrat Caballé
Gérard Garino
Boris Martinovic
Orchestre Nationale de Lille
Jean-Claude Casadesus
Septembre 17, 1988

7 January 
Franz Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 2 receives its first public performance. Hans von Bronsart is the pianist with Liszt conducting, in Weimar.

Liszt - Piano Concerto N. 2 

Georgii Cherkin - piano

Simphony Orchestra of Classic FM
Conducted by Luciano di Martino

Live Recording, Bulgaria Hall, 2006,  Sofia

Johannes Brahms:
Serenade No 1, Op. 11;
Eleven Variations on an Original Theme, in D major Opus 21 No.1

Johannes Brahms - Serenade No.1 in D-major, Op.11 

Mov.I: Allegro molto 00:00
Mov.II: Scherzo: Allegro non troppo 10:27
Mov.III: Adagio non troppo 17:55
Mov.IV: Menuetto I & II 33:35
Mov.V: Scherzo: Allegro 37:13
Mov.VI: Rondo: Allegro 39:47

Orchestra: Capella Agustina

Conductor: Andreas Spering

Johannes Brahms - Variations on an Original Theme in D Major, op.21 no.1 

Thema: poco larghetto 0:00
Var.1: 01:44
Var. 2: più moto 03:24 
Var. 3: 04:15
Var. 4: 06:01
Var. 5: tempo di tema 07:02
Var. 6: più moto 08:57
Var. 7: andante con moto 09:54
Var. 8: allegro ma non troppo 11:56
Var. 9: 12:49
Var. 10: 14:02
Var. 11: tempo di tema, poco più lento 14:55
Jared Redmond, piano

17 January
Wilhelm Kienzl, Austrian composer, born.

15 February  
Mikhail Glinka, composer, dies.


8 March
Ruggiero Leoncavallo, Italian opera composer, born.

12 March 
Giuseppe VerdiSimon Boccanegra

Simon Boccanegra is an opera with a prologue and three acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, based on the play Simón Bocanegra (1843) by Antonio García Gutiérrez, whose play El trovador had been the basis for Verdi's 1853 opera, Il trovatore.

Franz Liszt: Dante Symphony;
Die Ideale

Liszt - Dante Symphony S. 109

I. Inferno (Lento) (00:32)
II. Purgatorio (Andante con moto) Magnificat (21:53)

Coro de la OSG  -  Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia
Dima Slobodeniouk, director   -  2016

Liszt - Hunnenschlacht
London Philharmonic Orchestra,
Bernard Haitink conductor

Liszt - Symphonic poem - Die Ideale (1/2)
Budapesti Szimfonikus Zenekar, Joó Árpád

Liszt - Symphonic poem - Die Ideale (2/2)
Budapesti Szimfonikus Zenekar, Joó Árpád

Charles-Valentin Alkan – Sonate de Concert in E, Op. 47 for cello and piano

Charles-Valentin Alkan - Sonate de concert op. 47 pour piano et violoncelle en Mi majeur/Cello Sonata in E major, op.47

00:00 1. I. Allegro molto      10'29
10:29 2. II. Allegrettino      7"06 
3. III. Adagio  Écouter       9:52
4. IV. Finale alla saltarella. prestissimo     5:59

Emmanuelle Bertrand, violoncelle
Pascal Amoye, piano, 2001

Modest MussorgskySouvenir d'Enfance

Modest Mussorgsky - Pieces for piano
1. Memories of childhood. Kids Games 00:00-02:40
2. Passionate impromptu    02:40-06:28
3. In the village     06:29-10:29
4. On the southern coast of Crimea   10:31-15:10
5. Seamstress          15:11-17:21
6. Minx      17:22-20:33
7. Near the southern coast of Crimea.Kayaks 20:34-24:10
8. Polka         24:12-26:27
9. Thought             26:29-30:55
10.Memories of childhood.Nanny and I  30:56-32:31        
11. Thinking      32:32-37:30
12. Memories of childhood.The first sentence.  37:31-38:50
13. Tear     38:51-42:46   
Viktoria Postnikova

Joachim Raff:
Ode to Spring: Concert Piece in G major, Op. 76, for piano and orchestra;
String Quartet No. 2 in A major; Op. 90

Joachim Raff - "ODE AU PRINTEMPS", for piano and orchestra, Op.76
Peter Aronsky, piano

Joachim Raff - String Quartet No. 2

I. Rasch, jedoch ruhig
II. Rash 
III. Langsam, doch nicht schleppend
IV. Rasch 

Milano Quartet

Bedřich Smetana – Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 15 (revised version – original finished 1855)

Bedřich Smetana: Piano Trio g minor, op.15
1. Moderato assai - Più animato – 0:00
2. Allegro, ma non agitato – 11:25
3. Finale. Presto – 20:01

Terezie Fialová, piano
Roman Patočka, violin
Jiří Bárta, violoncello

29 April
František Ondříček, Czech violinist and composer, born.

2 June 
Edward Elgar
, English composer, born.

15 July  
Carl Czerny, pianist and composer, dies.


16 August 
Giuseppe VerdiAroldo

is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave, based on and adapted from their earlier 1850 collaboration, Stiffelio. The first performance was given in the Teatro Nuovo Comunale in Rimini on 16 August 1857.

Giuseppe Verdi - Aroldo

Aroldo - Gustavo Porta
Mina - Adriana Damato
Egberto - Franco Vassallo
Briano - Enrico Giuseppe Iori
Godvino - Valter Borin
Elena - Miriam Artiaco
Enrico - Antonio Feltracco

Piacenza Municipal Theater Chorus
Toscanini Foundation Symphony Orchestra
Pier Giorgio Morandi, conductor, 

Time: Around 1200 A.D.
Place: Kent, England and near Loch Lomond, Scotland

Act 1
Scene 1: A hall in Egberto's castle in Kent

The people of Aroldo's castle welcome him home from the Crusades. Then Mina enters distraught and remorseful, confessing her adultery (ciel, ch'io respiri / "Heavens, let me breathe"). She prays as Briano and Aroldo enter, the latter concerned about his wife's state of mind given that she had been his inspiration during the long period that he was away fighting the Saracens. He explains that Briano, now his faithful companion, had saved his life. Taking her hand, he is surprised to see that she is not wearing his mother's ring, which she had received upon his mother's death. He demands to know where it is, and tries to get to the bottom of her state of mind but they are interrupted by the return of Briano with news of the arrival of guests. Both men leave.

Mina's father, Egberto, enters and observes her writing a letter. Already suspicious of what he believes has been going on between Godvino and Mina, he demands to know if she is writing to Godvino. Snatching away the unfinished letter, he reads the words addressed not to Godvino but to Aroldo - "I am no longer worthy of you" - and realizes that he was not mistaken. He begins to demand that Mina keep silent and ensure Aroldo's continued love (Duet: Dite che il fallo a tergere / "You mean that your heart lacks the strength to wipe away your guilt?") while she further resists. Again, demanding that she obey him, he continues to make his demands: (Duet: Ed io pure in faccia agl'uomini / "And must I smother my rage....Must I conquer my shame?"). Finally, Egberto repeats his demands that she relent: it is his will, it is her duty as a wife, she must stop crying, and no one must suspect anything. She appears to relent (Duet: Or meco venite, il pianto non vale / "Come with me now, weeping will not help you").

Scene 2: A suite of rooms in the castle

Furtively, Godvino enters the room while a party is progressing in interior rooms. He laments that Mina has not contacted him in any way and, in a pre-arranged plan, leaves a letter within the pages of a book to which he has a key. However, unseen by Godvino, Briano has entered and observes Godvino's actions. He grows suspicious: "a friend of Aroldo?", he wonders. The guests flow into the room and Godvino is absorbed within the group. They all express their joy at Aroldo's return. Briano approaches Aroldo and explains what he has seen, pointing across the room to Enrico, Mina's cousin, as the one who planted the letter and who then picked up the book. But he is amongst the group and is dressed in the same way as Godvino, so there is some confusion. Suspicion falls on Enrico as Aroldo reveals that his honour has been betrayed. He tells of a similar situation in Palestine: Aria: Vi fu in Palestina / "In Palestine there was once a certain man....", and confronts Mina, since he knows that she has a key to the book and he believes that it too contains a secret letter. Mina's attempts to stall fail, and Aroldo breaks open the locked book and a letter drops from it to the floor. Quickly stepping forward, Egberto picks it up stating that no one shall see it. Aroldo is angry and Mina defends her father. Knowing the real culprit, Egberto confronts Godvino and demands that they meet in the churchyard.

Act 2
The castle cemetery

Mina is alone in the churchyard; she despairs of her situation (Aria: (Oh Cielo, dove son'io? / "O Heaven. Where am I?"). When Godvino enters, she demands to be left alone and her ring be returned. He declares his love and insists upon staying to defend her while she proclaims that she hears her mother's voice coming from her tomb (Aria: Ah, dal sen di quella tomba / "Ah, from the depths of that tomb there echoes a sinister trembling"). Egberto comes across the couple, sends Mina away, and then confronts Godvino, offering him the choice of two proffered swords. Godvino refuses to take one. The older man continues to press him ("Are you dead to any sense of honour?"), accusing him of cowardice and stating that he will reveal him to be a bastard. At that remark, Godvino accepts the challenge and the two men fight until interrupted by the arrival of Aroldo. Stating that "I speak in the name of God", Aroldo tries to force the two men to stop their fighting. In disarming him, he takes Godvino's hand only to have Egberto question how Aroldo can take the hand of the very man who has betrayed him. With Mina's return, Aroldo finally realizes the truth (Aria: Ah no! è impossibile / "Ah no! It is impossible. Tell me at least that I have been mistaken"). Finally, Egberto insists that Aroldo must punish the right person and not Mina, and Aroldo attempts to return Godvino's sword and commence fighting him. Godvino refuses. With Briano's arrival and his attempts to calm his friend ("my heart has lost everything", Aroldo cries, while the chorus of praying parishioners can be heard coming from the church), all join in a plea for forgiveness. Aroldo collapses.

Act 3
An anteroom in Egberto's castle

Egberto feels dishonoured and he regrets not being able to take his revenge, since Godvino has fled from the cemetery, taking Mina with him. He puts up his sword: O spada dell'onor / "O sword of honour...begone from me". Regretting that he has lost a daughter (Mina, pensai che un angelo / "Mina, I thought, through you, heaven had sent me an angle, a ray of pure love"), he writes a brief farewell note to Aroldo, and is about to take poison when Briano enters looking for Aroldo. He tells Egberto that Godvino has been apprehended and will be brought to the castle. Taking up his sword again, Egberto expresses his joy that one of the two of them will soon die: Oh gioia inesprimibile / "Oh inexpressible joy..." He leaves.

Aroldo enters with Godvino. The two men sit down to talk and Aroldo asks his rival what he would do if Mina were free. Mina is then summoned and Godvino is instructed to conceal himself and listen to the couple's conversation. Aroldo explains to Mina that they need to talk since he will be leaving that evening and that they must part (Opposto è il calle che in avvenire / "In the future, our lives must follow opposite paths"). He adds that she can redeem herself from dishonour by marrying the man who has captured her heart, and he presents her with a divorce paper to sign. She does so, declaring that they are free of each other. But she states that, in spite of everything, she could not be another man's wife and that she will always love Aroldo. Questioning her, he asks if she had been tricked into entering into the relationship by Godvino. When the answer is "yes", Aroldo swears that Godvino must die, indicating that her seducer is in the next room. Just then, Egberto bursts in, his sword covered in blood, and he declares that Godvino is dead. Briano leads Aroldo off to church while Mina cries out there has been no forgiveness for her sin.

Act 4
A valley close to Loch Lomond

At sunset, a group of shepherds, huntsman and reapers have gathered on the banks of the Loch. As they leave, Aroldo and Briano appear, Aroldo confessing that he still loves Mina. The men pray as a storm begins and it drives the countryfolk back to the lake. A boat barely survives the storm and it arrives on land carrying Mina and Egberto, now shipwrecked. Seeking shelter, Egberto knocks on a stranger's door and, to his surprise, Aroldo appears, but Aroldo is angry, since he and Briano have fled to this remote place with no expectation of ever meeting Mina or her father again. In spite of Aroldo's objections, Egberto pleads with him to accept Mina as his daughter, if not as her husband. Mina tries to calm her father (Taci, mio padre, calmati / "Be silent, father, calm yourself"). In the hope of obtaining forgiveness (in a trio involving Egberto, Mina and Aroldo) she begs for a "last word" with Aroldo (Allora che gl'anni / "When the weight of years..."). Then Briano steps forward. He proclaims the often-quoted words from the Bible: "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone". Aroldo is reduced to tears and, with the pleadings of both Briano and Egberto, he forgives his wife. As all exclaim "Let the divine will triumph", the couple embraces, and Mina and Aroldo are reunited.

9 December 
Ambroise ThomasLe Carnaval de Venise

Le carnaval de Venise  is an opera in 3 acts by Ambroise Thomas, libretto by Thomas Marie François Sauvage. The first performance was given Opéra-Comique, Salle Favart II on 9 December 1857.

Wilhelm Kienzl

Wilhelm Kienzl

Wilhelm Kienzl (17 January 1857 – 3 October 1941[1]) was an Austrian composer.


Kienzl was born in the small, picturesque Upper Austrian town of Waizenkirchen. His family moved to the Styrian capital of Graz in 1860, where he studied the violin under Ignaz Uhl, piano under Johann Buwa, and composition from 1872 under the Chopin scholar Louis Stanislaus Mortier de Fontaine. From 1874, he studied composition under Wilhelm Mayer (also known as W.A. Rémy), music aesthetics under Eduard Hanslick and music history under Friedrich von Hausegger. He was subsequently sent to the music conservatorium at Prague University to study under Josef Krejci, the director of the conservatorium. After that he went to Leipzig Conservatory in 1877, then to Weimar to study under Liszt, before completing doctoral studies at the University of Vienna.
In 1879 Kienzl departed on a tour of Europe as a pianist and conductor. He became the Director of the Deutsche Oper in Amsterdam during 1883.
In 1894, he wrote his third and most famous opera, Der Evangelimann, but was unable to match its success with Don Quixote (1897). Only Der Kuhreigen (1911) reached a similar level of popularity, and that very briefly. 
After World War I, he composed the melody to a poem written by Karl Renner, Deutschösterreich, du herrliches Land (German Austria, you wonderful country), which became the unofficial national anthem of the first Austrian Republic until 1929. Aware of changes in the dynamics of modern music, he ceased to write large works after 1926, and abandoned composition altogether in 1936 due to bad health. As of 1933, Kienzl openly supported Hitler’s regime.



Kienzl's first love was opera, then vocal music, and it was in these two genres that he made his name. For a while he was considered, along with Hugo Wolf, one of the finest composers of Lieder (art songs) since Schubert. His most famous work, Der Evangelimann, best known for its aria Selig sind, die Verfolgung leiden (Blessed are the persecuted), continues to be revived occasionally. It is a folk opera which has been compared to Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, and contains elements of verismo. After Humperdinck and Siegfried Wagner, the composers of fairy-tale operas, Kienzl is the most important opera composer of the romantic post-Wagner era. However, Kienzl's strengths actually lie in the depiction of everyday scenes. In his last years, his ample corpus of songs achieved prominence, though it has largely been neglected since then.
Despite the fact that opera came first in his life, Kienzl by no means ignored instrumental music. He wrote three string quartets and a piano trio.

"Der Kuhreigen"  by Wilhelm Kienzl
Alfons Herwig, bariton
Richard Kraus, conductor

Ruggiero Leoncavallo

Ruggiero Leoncavallo

(b. Naples, March 8, 1857; d. Montecatini, August 9, 1919)

Italian composer. With Pietro Mascagni, A he was the leading early exponent of opera’s verismo style, in which subjects are taken from the darker side of life and treated in a realistic manner. Not only did he share the same fate as Mascagni—as a composer of a single-hit, single-act opera, but their famous works are often inseparable as the “Cav and Pag” double bill.


Leoncavallo graduated from the Naples Conservatory at the age of 18. His first opera was Chatterton (ca. 1876), based on Alfred de Vigny’s life of the English poet. The impresario who had agreed to produce it disappeared at the last moment, leaving the project in a shambles and the composer in debt. After that fiasco, Leoncavallo spent some time in Egypt before moving to Paris, where he supported himself by teaching and playing the piano at cafe concerts. Upon his return to Italy, he received a contract from the publishing house Ricordi and started to write an opera based on the Medici family, the first installment of a trilogy he hoped would bear comparison with Wagner’s Ring cycle. While in the midst of that project he was inspired by the recent success of Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana to write an opera in a similar style, based on a true story he remembered from his childhood told by his father, a police magistrate. He wrote his own libretto (later adding the famous prologue, “Si puo?” that is delivered in front of the curtain). The first performance of Pagliacci was given in Milan in 1893 at the Teatro dal Verme, conducted by Arturo Toscanini. It created an immediate sensation, and within two years Pagliacci had been produced all over Italy, as well as at the Vienna Staatsoper, Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera, and in Prague, Budapest, Buenos Aires, Stockholm, Dublin, and Moscow. Leoncavallo’s next opera, based on Henri Miirger’s Scenes de la vie de boheme (Scenes from the Bohemian Life) and finished in 1897, had the extraordinary bad luck of appearing 15 months after Puccini’s La boheme, based on the same novel. The public, enamored of Puccini’s stunning operatic rendering of the story, paid little attention to Leoncavallo’s worthy but lesser effort. It was a bitter moment for Leoncavallo, who accused
Puccini of stealing his idea. In 1900 Leoncavallo’s Zaza enjoyed only a modest success; Der Roland von Berlin (1904), an opera commissioned by Kaiser Wilhelm II to celebrate the House of Hohenzollern, did well in Berlin thanks to its royal theme and patronage, but was a bust at its Italian premiere in 1905. Try as he might, Leoncavallo could not duplicate the passionate dramatic flow of Pagliacci or the emotional paroxysm of its famous aria ‘Vesti la giubba,” which has become a showpiece for hot-blooded tenors the world over. He spent the final years of his career writing operettas.



Pagliacci is an Italian opera in a prologue and two acts, with music and libretto by Ruggero Leoncavallo. It is the only Leoncavallo opera that is still widely performed. Opera companies have frequently staged Pagliacci with Cavalleria rusticana by Mascagni, a double bill known colloquially as 'Cav and Pag'.

La bohème is an Italian opera in four acts, with music and libretto by Ruggero Leoncavallo, based on Scènes de la vie de bohème by Henri Murger. The opera received a successful premiere at the Teatro la Fenice, Venice on 6 May 1897.

Ruggero Leoncavallo - "La bohème"

Conductor.....................Heinz Wallberg

Marcello........................Franco Bonisolli
Rodolfo.........................Bernd Weikl
Schaunard.....................Alan Titus
Musette..........................Alexandrina Milcheva
Mimi...............................Lucia Popp
Eufemia..........................Sofia Lis
Barbemuche....................Alexander Malta
Visconte Paolo................Jörn W. Wilsing
Gustavo Colline...............Raimund Grumbach
Gaudenzio........................Friedrich Lenz
Durand.............................Norbert Orth
Il Signore..........................Albert Gassner

Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks 
Münchner Rundfunkorchester
, 1981

Place: Paris.
Time: one year from Christmas, 1837 to Christmas, 1838.

Act 1
Café Momus

The innkeeper Gaudenzio tries in vain to eject the Bohemians, who never pay and are continually up to no good. During the conversation another piece of horseplay on their part is discovered. They sit down to dine, while Musette gaily sings. (Canzonette: "Mimì is the name of my sweet blonde.") Naturally when they are asked to pay the bill, they have no money. A comic fight ensues between them and the innkeeper, who has called his servants to assist him. It is ended by Barbemuche, who offers to pay the bill.

Act 2
The courtyard of Musette's house

Musette's lover has left her, refusing any longer to pay her debts. In consequence, her furniture has been confiscated and is carried down to the courtyard. When this has been done, she returns home. She expects guests but cannot entertain them in any other way than by receiving them in the courtyard. Here the Bohemians, who arrive in large numbers, celebrate joyously. The neighbours, awakened from sleep, protest in vain and the scene ends in a general fight between the two factions.

Act 3
Marcello's garret room

Musette, who can no longer bear the sufferings of hunger and want, determines to leave Marcello. During the festivities in the courtyard, Mimì has allowed herself to be carried off by Count Paul, but she returns, motivated by love for Rodolfo. Musette begs her to go with her, but she refuses. Angrily, Marcello and Rodolfo force both women to leave the apartment.

Act 4
Rodolfo's garret room

Mimì returns to Rodolfo, at the brink of death. Musette, who accidentally meets her there, sacrifices her jewels to procure fuel to warm the room for Mimì. As the Christmas chimes are heard, Mimì dies.

Zazà  is an opera by Ruggero Leoncavallo, with the libretto by the composer. Its première at the Teatro Lirico di Milano on 10 November 1900.
The story of the opera concerns the French music hall singer, Zazà and her affair and subsequent decision to leave her lover, Milio, when she discovers that he is married. 

Ruggero Leoncavallo - ZAZA'
Zazà : Lynne Strow Piccolo,
Milio : Luciano Saldari
Cascart : Angelo Romero,
Anaide : Silvana Mazzieri
Floriana : Mariella Adani,
Natalia : Sofia Mezzetti
Claretta/Signora Dufresne : Maria Grazia Piolatto
Simona : Maria Luisa Actis Perino,
Malardot : Ermanno Lorenzi
Michelin :Nino Carta,
Bossy :Vinicio Cocchieri ,
Duclos :Giovanni Gusmeroli, Courtois: Angelo Nosotti, Augusto :Saverio Porzano
Lartigon :Vito Susca,
Marco : Pietro Tarantino,
Totò : Guido Rimonda
Orchestra Sinfonica e coro della Rai di Torino
Direttore Maurizio Arena
Registrazione del 25 agosto 1978

Der Roland von Berlin is an opera in four acts by composer Ruggero Leoncavallo. The work uses a German-language libretto by Leoncavallo which is based on Willibald Alexis's 1840 historical novel of the same name. The opera premiered at the Berlin State Opera on 13 December 1904. Its premiere in Italy was given at the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples the following month where it was sung in Italian with the title Rolando.

LEONCAVALLO "Der Roland von Berlin" 
Berlino 24-05-1987

František Ondříček

František Ondříček

František Ondříček (29 April 1857 – 12 April 1922) was a Czech violinist and composer. He gave the first performance of the Violin Concerto by Antonín Dvořák, and his achievements were recognised by the rare award of honorary membership of the Philharmonic Society of London (now the Royal Philharmonic Society) in 1891.


František Ondříček was born in Prague, the son of the violinist and conductor Jan Ondříček. He studied at the Prague Conservatory under Antonín Bennewitz, and was then supported by Henryk Wieniawski through two years studying at the Paris Conservatoire with Lambert Massart. He shared a first prize with Achille Rivarde.

He was the soloist in the first performance of Dvořák's Violin Concerto, Op. 53 in Prague on 14 October 1883, and performed it again in Vienna on 2 December. In the late 1880s he settled in Vienna, where he taught. He also published a technical treatise on violin technique in 1909.

After World War I, Ondříček returned to Prague, where he directed the violin masterclass at the Prague Conservatory. Notable students include composer Karel Navrátil. See: List of music students by teacher: N to Q#František Ondříček. He died in Milan.



As well as being a highly regarded violinist, Ondříček was also a composer, his works including a set of Bohemian Dances Op. 3 for violin and piano composed in 1883, a Bohemian Rhapsody Op. 21 for violin and piano from 1906, and a String Quartet Op. 22 from 1907. He also left cadenzas for several violin concertos, including those of Mozart and Brahms.

Frantisek Ondricek - Scherzo Capriccioso op.18
Kristina Marusic - violin
Mina Ristic - piano

Franz Ondricek - Barcarole
Charles Castleman--violin
Claudia Hoca--piano

Edward Elgar

Edward Elgar

Sir Edward Elgar, in full Sir Edward William Elgar, (born June 2, 1857, Broadheath, Worcestershire, England—died February 23, 1934, Worcester, Worcestershire), English composer whose works in the orchestral idiom of late 19th-century Romanticism—characterized by bold tunes, striking colour effects, and mastery of large forms—stimulated a renaissance of English music.

The son of an organist and music dealer, Elgar left school at age 15 and worked briefly in a lawyer’s office. He was an excellent violinist, played the bassoon, and spent periods as a bandmaster and church organist. He had no formal training in composition. After working in London (1889–91), he went to Malvern, Worcestershire, and began to establish a reputation as a composer. He produced several large choral works, notably the oratorio Lux Christi (1896; The Light of Life), before composing in 1898–99 the popular Enigma Variations for orchestra. The variations are based on the countermelody to an unheard theme, which Elgar said was a well-known tune he would not identify—hence the enigma. Repeated attempts to discover it have been unsuccessful. All but the last of the 14 variations refer cryptically to friends of Elgar, the exception being his own musical self-portrait. This work, highly esteemed by Hans Richter, who conducted the first performance in 1899, brought Elgar recognition as a leading composer and became his most frequently performed composition. In 1900 there followed another major work, the oratorio The Dream of Gerontius, which many consider his masterpiece. Based on a poem by John Henry Cardinal Newman, it dispensed with the traditional admixture of recitatives, arias, and choruses, using instead a continuous musical texture as in the musical dramas of Richard Wagner. The work was not well received at its first performance in Birmingham, but after it was acclaimed in Germany, it won British favour.

Elgar, a Roman Catholic, planned to continue with a trilogy of religious oratorios, but he completed only two: The Apostles (1903) and The Kingdom (1906). In these less successful works, representative themes are interwoven in the manner of the leitmotivs of Wagner. Other vocal works include the choral cantata, Caractacus (1898), and the song cycle for contralto, Sea Pictures (1900).

In 1904 Elgar was knighted, and from 1905 to 1908 he was the University of Birmingham’s first professor of music. During World War I he wrote occasional patriotic pieces. After the death of his wife in 1920, he curtailed his music writing severely, and in 1929 he returned to Worcestershire. Friendship with George Bernard Shaw eventually stimulated Elgar to further composition, and at his death he left unfinished a third symphony, a piano concerto, and an opera.
Elgar’s principal works of a programmatic nature are the overture Cockaigne, or In London Town (1901), and the “symphonic study” Falstaff (1913). Of his five Pomp and Circumstance marches (1901–07; 1930), the first became particularly famous. Also highly esteemed are his two symphonies (1908 and 1911), the Introduction and Allegro for strings (1905), and his Violin Concerto (1910) and Cello Concerto (1919).

The first English composer of international stature since Henry Purcell (1659–95), Elgar liberated his country’s music from its insularity. He left to younger composers the rich harmonic resources of late Romanticism and stimulated the subsequent national school of English music. His own idiom was cosmopolitan, yet his interest in the oratorio is grounded in the English musical tradition. Especially in England, Elgar is esteemed both for his own music and for his role in heralding the 20th-century English musical renascence.


Elgar  - Symphony No.1
London Philharmonic Orchestra
conducted by Vernon Handley, 1979

I. Andante. Nobilmente e semplice
II. Allegro molto
III. Adagio
IV. Lento — Allegro

Edward Elgar:
Tema e Variações Para Orquestra, enigma, Opus 36
1. Introdução de Variação 1: C.A.E.
2. Variação 2- H.D.S.-P
3. Variação 3- R.B.T
4. Variação 4- W.M.B
5. Variação 5- R.P.A
6. Variação 6- Ysobel
7. Variação 7- Troyte
8. Variação 8- W.N
9. Variação 9- Nimrod
10. Variação 10: Intermezo: Dorabella
11. Variação 11- G.R.S
12. Variação 12- B.G.N
13. Variação 13- Romanza
14. Variação 14: Finale: E.D.U
Concerto Para Violoncelo e Orquestra em Mi Menor, Opus 85
15. Adagio - Moderato
16. Lento - Allegro Molto
17. Adagio
18. Allegro, Ma Non Troppo
Marcha Militar #1 Em Ré Maior, Opus 39, Pompa e Circunstância

Edward Elgar - The Dream of Gerontius,Op. 38

Peter Pears (Gerontius), tenor
Yvonne Minton (The Angel), mezzo-soprano
John Shirley-Quirk (Priest, Angel of Agony), bass-baritone

London Symphony Chorus - Arthur Oldham
The Choir of King's College, Cambridge, dir. David Willcocks
London Symphony Orchestra - Conducetd by Benjamin Britten, 1972

Elgar:Cello Concerto in E minor Op.85
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Cello:Yo-Yo Ma
Live in Japan(1994)



Piano Concerto No.1;
Violin Concerto No. 2

Camille Saint-Saëns - Piano concerto No. 1 in D Major, Op. 17
Gabriel Tacchino (piano), Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg, Louis de Froment (conductor)

Saint-Saëns - Violin Concerto No. 2 in C Major
Fanny Clamagirand, violin 
Sinfonia Finlandia Jyväskylä, Patrick Gallois conductor

Johann Strauss IITritsch-Tratsch-Polka

Johann Strauss II — Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Conductor Zubin Mehta from Heldenplatz, Vienna.

15 January
Charles Gounod - Le médecin malgré lui

Le médecin malgré lui (The Doctor in spite of himself)
is an opéra comique in three acts by Charles Gounod to a French libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré after Molière's play, also entitled Le Médecin malgré lui.

Hidden treasures - Charles Gounod - Le médecin malgré lui 
Sganarelle - Jean-Christophe Benoit,
Leandre - Michel Hamel,
Martine - Janine Capderou,
Jacqueline, Lucinde's nurse - Lina Dachary,
Lucinde - Monique Stiot,
Geronte - Jean-Louis Soumagnas,
Valere (baritone), Geronte's valet - Jean Martin,
Lucas (tenor), Geronte's servant - Joseph Peyron.


Place: Rural France
Time: the 17th century


Act 1
In a forest

Sganarelle is a drunken wood-cutter who ill-treats his wife (Duo "Non, je te dis que je n'en veux rien faire"). She is waiting for a chance for revenge (Couplets "Toute femme tient"), when Valère and Lucas, servants of wealthy Géronte, present themselves in search of a doctor for Géronte's daughter, Lucinde who is feigning dumbness in order to avoid an unpalatable marriage. Martine, Sganarelle's wife tells Valère and Lucas that her husband is a learned doctor, but will refuse to practise his art unless he is given a thrashing. They find the oblivious wood-cutter drinking (Couplets "Qu'ils sont doux"), and force him (Trio "Monsieur n'est ce pas"), by blows to admit his imputed profession and go with them. (Chorus "Nous faisons tous")

Act 2
A room in Géronte's house

In the "Entr'acte", Léandre sings a serenade for Lucinde (Sérénade "Est-on sage"). Géronte complains to Lucinde's nurse Jacqueline's that he has got a rich husband in line for Lucinde as Léandre is too poor (Couplets "D'un bout du monde"). Sganarelle puts on an act as a doctor with nonsense words and false treatments (Sextuor "Eh bien, charmante demoiselle"; Finale "Sans nous").

Act 3
Entr'acte: Géronte's house

(Air "Vive la médicine") After Sganarelle has been introduced to the 'patient' Lucinde, her lover Léandre obtains an interview with him, and under the disguise of an apothecary, arranges an elopement with Lucinde while the mock doctor distracts the father. (Scene et Choeur "Sarviteur Monsieur le Docteur")

("Changement à vue") Sganarelle and Jacqueline flirt (Duo "Ah! que j'en suis, belle nourrice"). When the mock doctor and his apothecary return, Lucinde sees her lover and instantly regains the power of speech. (Quintette "Rien n'est capable") Géronte's fury is so great he is about to call for justice and to have Sganarelle hanged, when Léandre announces his father-in-law that he has just inherited a large property from an uncle. Géronte's objection to Léandre (his poverty) is thus overcome, Sganarelle is saved from punishment, Martine claims the credit for her husband's social elevation – and Sganarelle forgives her (Finale).

17 March
Fromental Halevy - La Magicienne

La magicienne (The Sorceress)
is a grand opera in five acts composed by Fromental Halévy. The libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges is based on stories surrounding the European folk figure Melusine, especially Coudrette's 15th-century Roman de Mélusine. The opera premiered on 17 March 1858 at the Théâtre de l'Académie Impériale de Musique in Paris.


Fromental Halévy - LA MAGICIENNE

Mélusine (mezzo-soprano) : Marianne Crebassa
Blanche (soprano) : Norah Amsellem
Aloïs (deuxième soprano) : Jennifer Michel
René de Thouars (tenor) : Florian Laconi
Stello de Nici (baritone) : Marc Barrard
Le Comte de Poitou (bass) : Nicolas Cavallier
Chœur de Radio France

Conductor : Lawrence Foster
Orchestre National de Montpellier Languedoc-Roussillon - Montpellier, July 2011

Setting: Poitou, France in the High Middle Ages

Act 1

Blanche, the young Countess of Poitou, is in her father's château eagerly awaiting the return of her fiancé René from the Crusades. A mysterious pilgrim returning from the Holy Land (the sorcerer Stello di Nici in disguise) appears to say that René's return is imminent and that he has arrived at the forest near the château of the Countess of Lusignan (Mélusine).

The scene shifts to the forest outside the Lusignan château. Mélusine, who had been seduced by Stello di Nici and given supernatural powers by him in exchange for her soul, is surrounded by numerous dancing fairies and genies. On seeing the handsome René asleep in his tent, Mélusine falls in love with him and contrives for him to have a dream in which she appears. René awakens, troubled by the dream and fearful that the beautiful unknown woman in the dream could replace Blanche in his affections. Mélusine and her fairies disappear into the depths of the forest.

Act 2
Mélusine is alone in an underground chamber in her château where she practices her magic and consults various books of the occult. Besotted with René, she longs to be free of her bondage to Stello. She casts a spell which she believes will kill him and rejoices at being freed from his power. At that moment one of the walls in her chamber collapses and Stello appears very much alive to remind her that she cannot escape from their pact.

The scene shifts to the Count of Poitou's château where René has arrived to great rejoicing. In celebration of the impending marriage, a ballet in the form of a human chess game is performed. After the ballet the Sibyl of Samos appears accompanied by a chorus of Greek maidens, priests, and augurs. To the consternation of the Count of Poitou, the Sibyl predicts future unhappiness. René is also worried and observes to himself that the Sibyl's voice is strangely familiar. She then takes him aside and slowly lifts her veil to reveal that she is actually Mélusine. She tells him that Blanche has been unfaithful to him while he was away and asks him join her in the gardens later that night where she will provide proof.

Act 3

In the gardens of the Count of Poitou's château, Mélusine conjures up ghostly apparitions which convince René that Blanche has accepted the advances of her page Aloïs.

As dawn breaks, villagers descend from the hills dancing and singing. They perform a Maypole dance watched by Blanche and her attendants. René joins them, but when they are alone, he angrily confronts Blanche for her infidelity and refuses to marry her. Finding his daughter distraught at René's feet, the Count of Poitou is outraged by the false accusations and threatens René. To protect him from her father's fury, Blanche tells the Count that the accusations are true and that she will now become a nun in the nearby convent. Fearful that René might relent, Mélusine causes a violent thunderstorm and spirits him away in the rain.

Act 4

René and Mélusine, now lovers, are in a richly decorated pavilion in the château Lusignan. They are surrounded by fairies, ondines, nymphs, gnomes and other mythical creatures who dance and sing for their entertainment. Suddenly the castle walls part and Stello de Nici appears. René demands to know who he is and Stello tells him that he is Mélusine's lover. René draws his sword, but Stello's powers make it fall apart in his hands. Stello then reveals Mélusine's trickery to René and tells him about her diabolic nature and pagan practices. René is overcome with remorse and vows to seek Blanche's forgiveness. He curses Mélusine as do a large chorus of demons whom Stello has summoned. As daylight breaks, Mélusine's face takes on a horrible expression and she is bathed in a lurid green light.

Act 5
In a picturesque valley, Blanche and attendants are on their way to the convent which can be seen in the distance. Mélusine, now deeply remorseful, approaches her. She begs Blanche's forgiveness and tells her that René now knows the truth and awaits her in the convent church. At first Blanche refuses to pardon her and leaves for the church to join René. As Mélusine looks longingly towards the convent, trumpets sound, the earth opens up, and Stello appears accompanied by demons and the spirits of the damned. They attempt to drag Mélusine down to hell. Then Blanche, René, and the Count of Poitou are heard in the church praying for her soul. The demons roar in agony. Mélusine holds a rosary up to them and cries out, "I believe in God! I am a Christian!". Blanche, René, and the Count of Poitou come down from the church. Stello and the demons disappear into the earth amidst flames and the sound of thunder. The valley fills with processions of villagers, members of the Count of Poitou's court, and nuns from the convent led by their abbess. As Mélusine dies in Blanche's arms, a large luminous cross appears in the sky.

24 May 
Giovanni PaciniIl saltimbancoIl saltimbanco

Il saltimbanco
Il saltimbanco dramma lirico in 3 acts Libretto by Giuseppe Checchetelli. The opera premiered on 24 May 1858 at the Rome, Teatro Argentina.

16 July  
Eugène Ysaÿe
, composer, born.


21 October
Jacques Offenbach- Orphée Aux Enfers

Orphée Aux Enfers (Orpheus in the Underworld), operetta by Jacques Offenbach, Paris production opened at the Théâtre des Bouffes Parisiens on October 21 and ran for 228 performances

22 December  
Giacomo Puccini
, composer, born.


Eugène Ysaÿe

(b. Liege, July 16, 1858; d. Brussels, May 12, 1931)

Belgian violinist and composer. After receiving instruction from his father he attended the Liege Conservatory, taking a silver medal in 1874 and winning a scholarship that supported further study, first with Henryk Wieniawski in Brussels and subsequently with Henry Vieuxtemps in Paris.

After serving in Berlin as concertmaster of the Bilsesche Kapelle (later re-formed as the Berlin Philharmonic) from 1879 to 1882, he returned to Paris in 1883 and quickly established himself as one of the most prominent musicians in the French capital. In 1886 he was appointed instructor of violin at the Brussels Conservatory, where, with fellow faculty members, he formed the Quatuor Ysaye. Passionately committed to contemporary music, Ysaye and the quartet gave the first performances of works by Franck, d’Indy, Debussy, and Faure. As a soloist, Ysaye premiered Franck’s Sonata in A (1886), sent to him as a wedding gift, and Chausson’s Poeme (1896).

In the years following the outbreak of World War I, complications resulting from diabetes began to take their toll on Ysaye’s playing, forcing him to turn his attention increasingly to conducting, teaching, and composition. From 1918 to 1922 he served as music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and in 1924, following his return from America, he produced what is regarded as his greatest work, the Six Sonatas, Op. 27, for unaccompanied violin. Each of the six is dedicated to a violinist of the younger generation—in order, the dedicatees are Joseph Szigeti, Jacques Thibaud, George Enescu, Fritz Kreisler, Mathieu Crickboom (second violin in the Quatuor Ysaye), and Manuel Quiroga. All
are filled with rich and incredibly challenging writing, especially the flamboyant one-movement Sonata No. 3, subtitled Ballade. In 1929 Ysaye’s right foot was amputated. He gave his last concert in 1930, and in the final year of his life completed an opera, Piere li houieu (Peter the Miner), which received its premiere in Liege a few weeks before his death.


Eugène Ysaÿe

Eugène Ysaÿe - 6 Sonates opus 27 No. 5 (end) à Mathieu Crickboom
2) Danse rustique  -Moderato amabile-Tempo1-Poco più mosso)
No.6  à Manuel Quiroga
-Allegro giusto non troppo vivo
-Allegretto poco scherzando
-Allegro Tempo1

Eugène Ysaÿe - 6 Sonates opus 27
No. 4 (end) à Fritz Kreisler

3) Finale (Presto ma non troppo)
No. 5(begin) à Mathieu Crickboom
1) L'aurore (Lento assai)
2) Danse rustique (Allegro giocoso molto moderato-

Eugène Ysaÿe - 6 Sonates opus 27
No. 2(begin) à Jacques Thibaud
2) Malinconia (Poco lento)
3) Danse des ombres: Sarabande (Lento)
4) Les furies (Allegro furioso)

Ysaye - Poème Elégiaque, Op. 12 
Frank Peter Zimmermann



Franz Liszt:
first version of Psalm 23;
Prelude after a theme from Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen for piano;
Deux Épisodes d'apres le Faust de Lenau (orchestral arrangement);
Te Deum 

Liszt - Totentanz for Piano & Orchestra
Valentina Lisitsa, piano
John Axelrod, conductor
Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai
Auditorium "Arturo Toscanini" 10 Aprile 2014

Liszt - Psalm 23 : Mein Got, der ist mein Hirt
Soprano:     Dayna Clarke
Harpist:       Erzsébet Gaál
Pipe Organ: Dean Charles Webb

Liszt - prelude Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen
(Prelude based on a theme from Bach's Cantata No. 12) 

Apostolos Darlas, piano

Liszt - Der nächtliche Zug (Zwei Episoden aus Lenaus Faust)
Conductor: Matei Pop (2012)

Liszt Ferenc - Te Deum 
Előadja az Adorate Kórus, vezényel: Dombó Dániel,orgonán kísér: Harmath Dénes
Budapest, Egyetemi templom, 2011

Johannes Brahms:
Piano Concerto No. 1;
Serenade No. 2 in A

Brahms - Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15
1. Maestoso
2. Adagio
3. Rondo: Allegro non troppo
Daniel Barenboim, piano, Münchner Philharmoniker conducted by Sergiu Celibidache, 1991

Johannes Brahms: Serenade no. 2 op. 16 in A major, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, conducted by Nicholas McGegan.

I. Allegro moderato - 00:00
II. Scherzo. Vivace - 08:54
III. Adagio non troppo - 11:50
IV. Quasi menuetto - 19:47
V. Rondo. Allegro - 25:08

Charles-Valentin Alkan – Concerto for Solo Piano

Alkan - Concerto For Solo Piano
Ronald Smith, piano
1. Allegro assai
2. Adagio 29:47
3. Allegretto alla barbaresca 41:52

Grieg - 23 Short Peices for Solo Piano, EG 104

Antonio Pompa-Baldi, Pianist
1. Allegro agitato
2. Longing
3. Molto allegro vivace
4. Andante quasi allegretto
5. Allegro assai
6. Allegro con moto
7. A Dream
8. Allegro assai
9. Pearls
10. At Gellert's Grave
11. Vivace
12. Largo con estro poetica
13. Allegretto con moto
14. Allegretto con moto
15. Prelude for two parts
16. Scherzo
17. Molto adagio religioso
18. Fifth Birthday
19. Prayer
20. Allegro vivace
21. Loss
22. Gently, not to fast
23. Assai allegro furioso

Edvard Grieg - 23 Little Piano Pieces, EG 104

Mily Balakirev – Overture to King Lear

Mily Balakirev - Overture - King Lear
Vassily Sinaisky - BBC Philharmonic Orchestra

Max Bruch – String Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 9

Bruch: Complete String Quartets

00:00:00 String Quartet in C Minor, Op. Posth.: I. Adagio ma non troppo – Allegro molto 
00:08:19 String Quartet in C Minor, Op. Posth.: II. Adagio 
00:17:26 Quartet in C Minor, Op. Posth.: III. Scherzo. Allegro molto 
00:21:08 String Quartet in C Minor, Op. Posth.: IV. Finale. Presto agitato 
00:26:49 String Quartet No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 9: I. Andante – Allegro ma non troppo 
00:36:12 String Quartet No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 9: II. Adagio 
00:42:52 String Quartet No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 9: III. Allegro molto energico 
00:47:00 String Quartet No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 9: IV. Molto vivace 
00:52:14 String Quartet No. 2 in E Major, Op. 10: I. Allegro maestoso 
01:01:41 String Quartet No. 2 in E Major, Op. 10: II. Andante quasi adagio 
01:07:57 String Quartet No. 2 in E Major, Op. 10: III. Vivace non troppo - Un poco meno vivo 
01:13:25 String Quartet No. 2 in E Major, Op. 10: IV. Finale. Vivace

Diogenes (Quartett) 
Stefan Kirpal (violin) 
Gundula Kirpal (violin) 
Alba González i Becerra (viola) 
Stephen Ristau (violincello)

1 February 
Victor Herbert, cellist, conductor and composer, born.

17 February 
Giuseppe VerdiUn ballo in maschera

Un ballo in maschera (A Masked Ball)
is an 1859 opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi. The text by Antonio Somma was based on Eugène Scribe's libretto for Daniel Auber's 1833 five act opera, Gustave III, ou Le bal masqué

19 March  
Charles GounodFaust

Faust first performed in Paris. Libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré, based on a work by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

4 April 
Giacomo MeyerbeerLe pardon de Ploërmel (Dinorah)

originally Le pardon de Ploërmel (The Pardon of Ploërmel), is an 1859 French opéra comique in three acts with music by Giacomo Meyerbeer and a libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré. The story takes place near the rural town of Ploërmel and is based on two Breton tales by Émile Souvestre, "La Chasse aux trésors" and "Le Kacouss de l'Armor", both published separately in 1850 in the Revue des deux mondes.

Meyerbeer - Dinorah ou Le Pardon de Ploërmel

Ouverture with chorus

Chorus: Geoffrey Mitchell Choir

Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra

Conductor: James Judd

Dinorah, a peasant girl    coloratura soprano   
Shepherd    soprano   
Shepherd    mezzo-soprano    
Corentin, a bag-piper    tenor   
Goatherd    soprano   
Goatherd    soprano  
Hoël, a goat-herd    baritone   
A huntsman    bass 
A harvester    tenor   
Loïc    baritone   
Claude    tenor 
Chorus: peasants and villagers
Time: Nineteenth centur         Place: Brittany
Act 1
In the Breton village of Ploërmel

During the annual pilgrimage to the chapel of the Virgin, Dinorah has gone mad because her bridegroom Hoël disappeared following a storm that interrupted their wedding on the same day the previous year. Hoël returns to the village, having discovered the whereabouts of a treasure. He enlists Corentin to help him recover the riches, but not without sinister intent, since according to the legend, the first to touch them will perish.
Act 2
A mysterious valley

They descend upon the cache where Dinorah also happens to be. From her, Corentin learns about the legend, and later he and Hoël invite each other first to inspect the treasure. During that time, Dinorah, in pursuit of her pet goat, steps on a tree trunk by a river as it is hit by lightning, and falls in the water and is swept away by the current. Hoël having witnessed the scene leaps to her rescue.

Act 3
Hoël admits his love and regrets to Dinorah as she regains consciousness. She recognizes him and regains her sanity. The villagers arrive and sing a hymn of forgiveness and lead the two lovers to the chapel where they will be married.

8 June 
Léo DelibesL'Omelette à la Follembuche

L'Omelette à la Follembuche, opéra-bouffe en un acte 

22 June 
Jacques Offenbach –   Un mari a la Porte  

Un mari à la porte is an opérette in one act of 1859 with music by Jacques Offenbach. The French libretto was by Alfred Delacour (Alfred Charlemagne Lartigue) and Léon Morand.

Un mari à la porte was premiered by the Théâtre des Bouffes Parisiens at the Salle Lacaze in Paris.

Un mari a la porte - Offenbach 
Opéra de Barie, 2010

Florestan - Didier Claveau
Rosita : Claire Baudoin
Suzanne : Valerie Cantard
Le Mari : Michel Ballan

Mise en scène : Daniel Darc
Piano : Philippe Lamouroux

A darkened room, with a door, windows, a chimney – midnight

Florestan, an operetta composer fleeing a jealous husband, creditors and a bailiff, appears from the chimney in Suzanne’s room. The waltz of a wedding party can be heard. He hides in a cupboard just as the young bride Suzanne and her friend Rosita enter. Suzanne has just had an argument with her new husband, and Rosita is trying to get her to return to the dance.

After singing a Tyrolienne, Suzanne finds Florestan and pleads with him to save her honour by leaving by the window into the garden, but as the room is on the third floor this doesn’t work. When Rosita returns – and after Florestan has explained that his latest operetta was refused by the Bouffes Parisiens – they search their brains for a way for him to get out without being noticed. As Florestan tells more of his story he realizes that the young husband Martel is the bailiff looking for him.

When Martel knocks at the locked door, he hears Florestan’s voice and believes that Suzanne is trying to make him jealous. In the confusion they drop the key out of the window. Still outside Martel pretends to shoot himself. He next goes to retrieve another key for the room. While he is away Florestan gets prepared to jump down to the street. Florestan suddenly remembers that an old aunt had promised to pay his debts if he marries, so he asks Rosita to marry him, and after initial astonishment and reluctance, she accepts. As the curtain falls the husband enters the door.

22 October  
Louis Spohr, violinist, conductor and composer, dies.

19 November 
Jacques Offenbach Genevieve de Brabant 

Geneviève de Brabant
is an opéra bouffe, or operetta, by Jacques Offenbach, first performed in Paris in 1859. The plot is based on the medieval legend of Genevieve of Brabant.

Jacques Offenbach – Genevieve de Brabant 
00:02:15 Acte I 1er Tableau - La Grand-place de la ville de Curaçao en Brabant, devant le palais du duc Sifroy
00:31:39 2e Tableau - Le boudoir de Dame Geneviève
00:57:41 3e Tableau - La chambre à coucher de Sifroy
01:24:42 Acte II 4e Tableau - Un ravin près d'une caverne cachée dans la forêt
01:48:38 5e Tableau - Dans la grande galerie du château d'Asnières, chez Charles Martel
02:01:37 Ballet
02:21:03 Acte III 6e Tableau - Devant la caverne
02:36:44 7e Tableau - La Grand-place de Curaçao

Place: Curaçao and in Brabant          Time: Around AD 730
Act 1
At evening in the main square, the burgomaster Van der Prout announces the imminent return from a pilgrimage to the monastery of Mount Poupard of Duke Sifroid’s party. The Duke, married to the beautiful Geneviève of Brabant, has fallen under a curse which prevents them from having any children. To find a cure, a competition is organized and is won by Drogan, a young baker, offering a magic pie. Secretly in love with Geneviève, Drogan asks for his reward to be made the page of Geneviève. Upon his return, the Duke tastes the magic pie, and feels good (Couplets de la poule).

In Geneviève’s apartments, Drogan implores her to allow him to accept him as her page, and confesses that it is he who has been singing beneath her window each night. He leaves as the Duke joins Geneviève, but after an interruption announcing the imminent arrival of Charles Martel, the effects of the pie on the Duke begin, in the form of a terrible bout of indigestion. As the Duke tries to assuage his digestion with a cup of tea, his counsellor Golo and his poet Narcisse arrive to carry out a plot to seize the crown. Golo and Narcisse tell him that Geneviève and Drogan have been witnessed in an embrace: the Duchess and the page must be put to death. But then Charles Martel demands entry to the palace (Boléro), asking Sifroid and his knights to catch the 8.05 train and join his crusade to Palestine. Sifroid condemns Geneviève, then sets off with his soldiers, by the northern railway.

Act 2
With the help of her servant Brigitte Geneviève has escaped, along with Drogan, and they find themselves seven months later in a forest. As two men-at-arms approach they hide. The Gascon and Flemish men-at-arms tell how they have been tasked by Golo to kill a noble lady. Golo and Van der Prout come on the scene and after despatching the men-at-arms to hunt down Geneviève (Golo having put about the story that Sifroid has been killed in the crusades) he calls up the hermit of the ravine. Drogan appears disguised as the statue of the hermit, and warns the men to abandon their pursuit as Sifroid is at the Château d'Asnières with Charles Martel. Even though he was married many years before, Golo threatens Geneviève with marriage. The statue of the hermit comes to life (Drogan) and sends the men-at-arms packing. Geneviève decides to feign death, Drogan takes a lock of her hair, and rushes off to reach the Duke.

Meanwhile, Charles Martel and Sifroid have ended their trip at the Château d'Asnières, where they make merry. Sifroid is taken with a masked lady, Isoline, who explains how her husband left her. Drogan arrives and announces the death of Geneviève. Sifroid decides to set off again with his retinue back to Curaçao to meet Golo – who, Isoline reveals, is the husband who abandoned her.

Act 3
Geneviève and Brigitte are still in the forest with only a young hind for company. Drogan returns with four huntsmen, looking for Golo. Passing by on the way back from their 'crusade', Sifroid and Martel are stopped by the men-at-arms, but Geneviève recognises and vouches for her husband’s identity. Van der Prout swaps sides again and tells Sifroid that the treacherous Golo is planning to be crowned at a quarter to three. All continue back to Curaçao.

At the appointed hour Golo claims the crown, but he is denounced by Drogan and Sifroid has his crown restored. Isoline promises to punish her errant husband, and all ends well.

Victor Herbert

Victor Herbert

Victor Herbert, (born Feb. 1, 1859, Dublin, Ire.—died May 26, 1924, New York, N.Y., U.S.), Irish-born American composer of operettas and light music.


Herbert became active in Germany as a composer and cello virtuoso (studying with Max Seifritz and Bernhard Cossmann, respectively). In 1886 he went to the United States with his wife, Therese Förster, who became a prima donna in the Metropolitan Opera. He played in the Metropolitan Orchestra and under Anton Seidl and Theodore Thomas. His early compositions, romantic and melodious, were performed by the New York Philharmonic Society; he was soloist in his two cello concerti. In 1893 he assumed leadership of the celebrated 22nd Regiment Band (formerly P.S. Gilmore’s); from 1898 to 1904 he conducted the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; and in 1904 he organized his own concert orchestra. He led the fight for favourable copyright legislation, passed in 1909, and he helped found the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in 1914.

Herbert’s first operetta was Prince Ananias (1894). It was followed by more than 40 others. Among the best are The Serenade (1897), The Fortune Teller (1898), Babes in Toyland (1903), Mlle. Modiste (1905), The Red Mill (1906), Naughty Marietta (1910), Sweethearts (1913), The Only Girl (1914), and Eileen, first performed as Hearts of Erin (1917). His operetta music was superbly orchestrated. He also wrote two grand operas, Natoma (1911) and Madeleine (1914), and the music for the motion picture The Fall of a Nation (1916), probably the first original symphonic score composed for a feature film. Late in life he wrote for revues, notably the Ziegfeld Follies.



Victor Herbert - Cello Concerto No.1 in D major Op.8

1. Allegro con spirito
2. Andante-Scherzo: Vivace-Andante
3. Finale: Allegro

Lynn Harrell Violoncello

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Sir Neville Marriner Conductor

Victor Herbert - Favorites (Medley):
The Streets Of New York
Every Day Is Ladies' Day With Me
Because You're You
March Of The Toys
 Kiss Me Again
Romany Life

The Boston Pops Orchestra is conducted by Arthur Fiedler.

VICTOR HERBERT -  best operettas.



Franz Liszt – First of the Mephisto Waltzes

Liszt - Mephisto Waltz No. 1, S. 514 
André Laplante

Johannes Brahms:
Vier Gesänge, for women's chorus, two horns and harp, Op. 17;
String Sextet No. 1 in B-flat major, Op. 18

Johannes Brahms - Vier Gesänge,
or women's chorus, two horns and harp, Op. 17

Johannes Brahms - String Sextet No. 1 in B flat major, Op. 18
0:04 Allegro ma non troppo
14:28 Andante, ma moderato
23:54 Scherzo: Allegro molto
27:07 Rondo: Poco Allegretto e grazioso

Byol Kang, Josep Colomé, violin
Isabel Villanueva, Malte Koch, viola
Peter Schmidt, Pau Codina, cello

7 February 
Stanislaw Moniuszko Hrabina

The Countess (Hrabina) is an opera in three acts by the Polish composer Stanisław Moniuszko. The libretto was written by Włodzimierz Wolski (who also authored the libretto of Moniuszko's Halka). The opera was first performed at the Great Theatre, Warsaw on 7 February 1860.

Stanisław Moniuszko - The Countess - Overture (Hrabina - Uwertura)
Pomeranian Philharmonic  Bydgoszcz

Hrabina (The Countess) - soprano
the Chorąży - bass
Bronia, his granddaughter - soprano
Kazimierz - tenor
the Podczaszyc - baritone
Dzidzi, his nephew - tenor
Panna Ewa (Miss Ewa), Hrabina's friend - soprano
Place: Warsaw, Poland, and a village in the Polish countryside Time: early 19th century

Act I
Warsaw. A great ball is to be held at the house of the recently widowed young Countess in a couple of days. Everyone here is busy with the preparations and talking about the greatness of the projected event. A breathtaking Diana's costume (dress) is being sewn for the Countess. Dzidzi is doing his best to win the Countess's favour. Also present in the household is Bronia, the Countess's distant relative who is being courted by the elderly Podczaszyc. Bronia has recently come to town from the country and she is feeling miserable in the new surroundings. She complains to her grandfather (the Chorąży) that she does not feel at home in the artificial world of the salon, a fake world full of unnatural foreign customs and empty laughter (O mój dziaduniu arietta). Bronia is unhappily in love with a neighbour from the countryside, the young nobleman Kazimierz who is also present in this house. He in turn loves the Countess. He is told by Chorąży to stop moping and go for a hunt (Ruszaj bracie, ruszaj w pole song). Kazimierz, however, feels that his happiness depends on the Countess's returning his love (Od twojej woli aria).

Act II
Before the ball the Countess puts on her new dress and admires herself in the mirror (Suknio coś mnie tak ubrała aria). The guests assembled in the ballroom are clearly divided into 2 groups: Kazimierz, Bronia and Chorąży form the "national side" - dressed in simple, traditional Polish attire. The other guests form the "foreign side" - luxuriously dressed yet alien to Polish tradition. We next witness a rehearsal of the show which is to aggrandize the ball: first a ballet scene (ballet music), then a virtuoso aria sung by the Countess's friend Ewa (Italian aria), then the Podczaszyc dressed up as Neptune arrives in a shell-shaped chariot, greeted by the other guests. The final number was to be sung by another of the Countess's friends, who fell ill. Bronia fills in for her and sings a sad song about a peasant girl longing for her soldier lover who went to war - she promises to be faithful to him to the grave (Szemrze strumyk pod jaworem song). The foreign-type guests are unmoved and find the song too trivial. Kazimierz, Chorąży, and even Podczaszyc are extremely impressed by the song's simple, sincere beauty. Madame de Vauban, the most prominent of the guests, arrives. In the ensuing disorder Kazimierz accidentally steps on the Countess's dress and tears it badly. Her polite attitude is immediately gone. It is clear that Kazimierz has lost all favour with her.

The Chorąży's country manor. A melancholy polonaise melody played by four cellos evokes the serene and patriotic atmosphere of this house. The Podczaszyc, who is a guest in this house, is out hunting (Pojedziemy na łów - Hunters' song). Bronia misses Kazimierz who after the unfortunate incident at the ball has set off to war. Unexpectedly, the Countess arrives - she has understood the value of Kazimierz's true feelings, and, having learned of his upcoming arrival and expecting that he will stop by Chorąży's house, she is eager to greet him and regain his love (On tu przybywa aria). Upon seeing Chorąży's country manor Kazimierz is reminded of Bronia's sweet face and sincerity (Rodzinna wioska już się uśmiecha aria). He greets the Countess rather coldly. Neither Bronia nor the Chorąży are aware of Kazimierz's change of heart, and they are anxious about his and the Countess's arrival at the same time. The Podczaszyc has however understood everything, including the unappropriate age difference between him and Bronia. A little drunk, he gives a long speech and proposes to Bronia on Kazimierz's behalf. Kazimierz kneels down before the Chorąży, confirming that the Podczaszyc has indeed correctly expressed his wish. The Countess is of course deeply disappointed. Vain and proud, she does not want to show her true feelings to everyone, and decides quickly to leave (Zbudzić się z ułudnych snów aria). Dzidzi is full of new hope. The remaining guests raise a toast to the new couple.

18 February
Charles Gounod - Philemon et Baucis

Philémon et Baucis (Philemon and Baucis)
is an opera in three acts by Charles Gounod with a libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré. The opera is based on the tale of Baucis and Philemon as told by La Fontaine (derived in turn from Ovid's Metamorphoses Book VIII).

Gounod - Philémon et Baucis
RAI Milano 4.10.1960 - Nino Sanzogno -
Renata Scotto (Bauci) -
Alvinio Misciano (Filemone) -
Rolando Panerai (Giove) -
Paolo Montarsolo (Vulcano) -
Jolanda Torriani (Una baccante)

Revised 2 Act version, 16 May 1876
Act 1

Jupiter comes to Philémon's hut, accompanied by Vulcain, to seek refuge from a storm which the god himself has caused. He had come to earth to verify Mercury's tale of the people's badness, and finding this only too true, being received discourteously by people around, he is glad to meet with a kindly welcome at Philémon's door. This worthy old man lives in poverty but contentedly with his wife Baucis, with whom he has been married for sixty years. Jupiter, seeing at once that the old couple form an exception to the evil rule, resolves to spare them, and to punish only the bad people. The gods partake of the kind people's simple meal, and Jupiter, changing the milk into wine, is recognized by Baucis, who is much struck by this discovery. But Jupiter reassures her and promises to grant her only wish, which is to be young again with her husband, and to live the same life. The god sends them to sleep. There follows an intermezzo.

Phrygians are resting after a festival, bacchants rush in and wild orgies begin afresh. The divine is mocked and pleasure praised as the only god. Vulcain comes, sent by Jupiter to warn them, but they only laugh at him, mocking Olympus and the gods. Jupiter himself appears to punish the sinners, and a tempest arises, sending everything to rack and ruin.

Act 2
Philémon's hut is now a palace; he awakes to find himself and his wife young again. Jupiter, seeing Baucis' beauty, orders Vulcain to keep Philémon away while he courts her. Baucis, though determined to remain faithful to Philémon, nevertheless is flattered at the god's attentions, and dares not refuse him a kiss. Philémon witnesses it, and violently reproaches her and his guest; though Baucis suggests who the latter is, the husband does not feel inclined to share his wife's love, even with a god. The first quarrel takes place between the couple, and Vulcain hearing it, consoles himself with the reflection that he is not the only one to whom a fickle wife causes sorrow. Philémon bitterly curses Jupiter's gift; he wishes to go back to how he was, with peace of mind. Throwing down Jupiter's statue, he leaves his wife to the god. Baucis, replacing the image, which happily is made of bronze, repents her behaviour towards her husband. Jupiter finds her weeping and praying that the gods may turn their wrath upon herself alone. The god promises to pardon both, if she is willing to listen to his love. She agrees to the bargain on the condition that Jupiter shall grant her a favour. He consents, and she entreats him to make her old again. Philémon, listening behind the door, rushes forward to embrace the true wife and joins his entreaties to hers. Jupiter, seeing himself caught, would fain be angry, but their love conquers his wrath. He does not recall his gift, but giving them his blessing, promises never more to cross their happiness.

13 March 
Hugo Wolf
, composer, born.

29 May 
Isaac Albéniz, pianist and composer, born.

25 June 
Gustave Charpentier
, composer, born.

7 July  
Gustav Mahler, conductor and composer, born.


3 August 
Charles Gounod - La Colombe

La Colombe (The Dove)
is an opéra comique in two acts by Charles Gounod with a libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carré based on the poem Le Faucon by Jean de la Fontaine. It premiered in a one-act version at the Theater der Stadt in Baden-Baden on 3 August 1860, where it was well received and performed four times.

Charles Gounod: La colombe / A galamb

Sylvie - Márta Szűcs
Horace - Péter Korcsmáros
Marie (orig. Mazet) - Jutta Bokor
Maître Jean / Jean mester - István Gáti

Conductor / vezényel: László Kovács

The opera takes place in Florence. Sylvie, jealous of a social rival's parrot, pays a visit to Horace in hopes of obtaining his prize dove. The love-stricken admirer has fallen on hard times and resolves to roast the bird in order to have something to put on the table. A happier ending for the bird than La Fontaine's is arranged.


22 October
The first Viennese operetta, Das Pensionat by Franz von Suppé, is premièred at the Theater an der Wien

Franz von Suppé - Overture: Das Pensionat
The Pmea Region VI Band of 2009 plays the overture from Das Pensionat.  Guest conductor Loras John Schissel - Virginia Grand Military Band, Conductor.

18 December  
Edward MacDowell, pianist and composer, born.

Hugo Wolf

Hugo Wolf

Hugo Wolf, in full Hugo Philipp Jakob Wolf, (born March 13, 1860, Windischgraz, Austria [now Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia]—died Feb. 22, 1903, Vienna), composer who brought the 19th-century German lied, or art song, to its highest point of development.


Wolf studied at the Vienna Conservatory (1875–77) but had a moody and irascible temperament and was expelled from the conservatory following his outspoken criticism of his masters. In 1875 he met the composer Richard Wagner, from whom he received encouragement. He met Johannes Brahms in 1879, and from him also he received encouragement and the urging to broaden his musical focus and his career. He was also a friend of Gustav Mahler as a young man. In the late 1870s Wolf apparently contracted the syphilis that was to cripple and kill him. In the repeated relapses of the disease, Wolf would enter deep depressions and was unable to compose, but during remissions he was radiant and highly inspired. In 1883 Wolf became music critic of the Wiener Salonblatt; his weekly reviews provide considerable insight into the Viennese musical world of his day.

His early songs include settings of poems by J.W. von Goethe, Nikolaus Lenau, Heinrich Heine, and Joseph von Eichendorff. In 1883 he began his symphonic poem Penthesilea, based on the tragedy by Heinrich von Kleist. From 1888 onward he composed a vast number of songs on poems of Goethe, Eduard Friedrich Mörike, and others. The Spanisches Liederbuch (“Spanish Songbook”), on poems of P.J.L. von Heyse and Emanuel von Geibel, appeared in 1891, followed by the Italienisches Liederbuch (part 1, 1892; part 2, 1896). Other song cycles were on poems of Henrik Ibsen and Michelangelo. His first opera, Corregidor (1895; composed on a story by Pedro Antonio de Alarcón), was a failure when it was produced at Mannheim in 1896; a revised version was produced at Strasbourg in 1898. His second opera, Manuel Venegas, also after Alarcón, remained unfinished.

Wolf ’s reputation as a song composer resulted in the formation in his lifetime of Wolf societies in Berlin and Vienna. Yet the meagre income he derived from his work compelled him to rely on the generosity of his friends. In 1897, ostensibly following upon a rebuke from Mahler but actually on account of growing signs of insanity and general paresis, he was confined to a mental home. He was temporarily discharged in 1898, but soon afterward he unsuccessfully attempted to commit suicide, and in October 1898 he requested to be placed in an asylum in Vienna.

Wolf wrote about 300 songs, many published posthumously. Of his first 100—from his early years—he only counted a handful worthwhile. But his output in the mature years was supremely original, in the finest tradition of the German lied. Wolf excelled at creating vocal melodic lines that express every emotional nuance of a given poetic text. The atmosphere of his songs ranges from tender love lyrics to satirical humour to deeply felt spiritual suffering. The vocal melodic line is subtly combined with strikingly original harmonies in the piano accompaniment, resulting in Wolf’s remarkable fusion of music and speech. His instrumental works were more interesting for their underlying ideas than for their execution; they included the Italian Serenade for orchestra (1892; a transcription of the serenade for string quartet of 1887).


"Italienisches Liederbuch" - Hugo Wolf
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau--Baritone
Jörg Demus--Piano, 1958

"Italienisches Liederbuch" - Hugo Wolf
Dawn Upshaw--Soprano
Helmut Deutsch--Piano, 1995

Hugo Wolf  -  Eichendorff Lieder
Dietrich Fischer Dieskau
Gerald Moore - piano, 1959
Der Freund 0:00
Der Musikant 2:02
Verschwiegene Liebe 3:42
Das Ständchen 6:04
Der Soldat I 8:45
Der Soldat II 10:00
Nachtzauber 10:47
Der Schreckenberger 14:46
Der Glücksritter 16:25
Lieber alles 18:51
Heimweh 20:02
Der Scholar 22:11
Der verzweifelte Liebhaber 24:33
Unfall 25:28
Liebesglück 26:38
Seemanns Abschied 27:48
In der Fremde I 29:56
Erwartung 32:06
Die Nacht 34:18
Nachruf 36:58


Hugo Wolf : Quartetto per archi in re minore ''Entbehren sollst du, sollst entbehren'' MOV. II : Langsam 
Quartetto Auryn

Isaac Albéniz

Isaac Albéniz

(b. Camprodon, May 29, 1860; d. Cambo-les-Bains, May 18, 1909)


Spanish composer. A child prodigy of the piano, he passed the entrance exam of the Paris Conservatoire when he was six and was already a seasoned touring artist at 13. He undertook further studies in Leipzig and Brussels, and had some private lessons with Liszt. The greatest influence on his development as a composer was his acquaintance with the pioneering Spanish musicologist Felipe Pedrell, who encouraged him to concentrate on creating music of specifically Spanish character.

Albeniz’s first major effort along nationalistic lines was the Suite espanola (1886), eight miniatures for piano, each depicting a particular town or region. While some of the pieces exhibit the catchy rhythmic profile of Spanish folk music, others, like “Granada”, spin out arabesqued melodies of an almost achingly sultry beauty. The pianistic styles of Chopin and Liszt can still be detected but the music is truly Spanish in its emotional character—volatile even when nostalgic, bittersweet even when lively.

While less overtly descriptive than the sketches of the Suite espanola, the 12 vignettes that make up Iberia (1906), Albeniz’s masterpiece, contain music of extraordinary fantasy and complexity in which the composer’s remarkable gift for pictorialism is combined with a now haunting, now exhilarating spirituality. These pieces, the majority of which deal with Andalusia, represent the greatest achievement in the keyboard literature of Spain and mark the moment that a truly national musical style emerged on the Iberian peninsula.


Isaac Albéniz: La Guitarra Soñada

Iberia, Cahier I
Iberia, Cahier I: No. 2, El Puerto
Iberia, Cahier II: No. 5, Almería
España, Op. 165: No. 5, Capricho Catalán
Suite Española No. 1, Op. 47: No. 8, Cuba, Notturno
Suite Española No. 1, Op. 47: No. 1, Granada, Serenata
Pavana-Capricho, Op. 12
Suite Española No. 1, Op. 47: No. 4, Cádiz, Saeta
España, Op. 165: No. 1, Preludio
España, Op. 165: No. 2, Tango

Albéniz - Suite Iberia 
López Cobos - Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Guitar Player Ever ASTURIAS by Isaac Albéniz 

Gustave Charpentier

Gustave Charpentier

Gustave Charpentier, (born June 25, 1860, Dieuze, Fr.—died Feb. 18, 1956, Paris), French composer best known for his opera Louise.


Charpentier was born in Dieuze, Moselle, the son of a baker, and with the assistance of a rich benefactor he studied violin at the conservatoire in Lille before entering the Paris Conservatoire in 1881. There he took lessons in composition under Jules Massenet (from 1885) and had a reputation of wanting to shock his professors. In 1887 he won the Prix de Rome for his cantata Didon. During the time in Rome that the prize gave him, he wrote the orchestral suite Impressions d'Italie and began work on the libretto and music for what would become his best-known work, the opera Louise.

Charpentier returned to Paris, settling in Montmartre, and continued to compose, including songs on texts by Charles Baudelaire and Voltaire. He eventually completed Louise, and it was accepted for production by the Opéra-Comique. A realistic portrait of Parisian working-class life, it is sometimes considered a French example of verismo opera.

The premiere of Louise on 2 February 1900 under the baton of André Messager was an immediate success. Soon this work was being performed all over Europe and America, and it brought Charpentier much acclaim. It also launched the career of the Scottish soprano Mary Garden, who took over the title role during an early performance. In late 1935 the composer supervised the abridged score used in a studio recording of around 70 minutes of the opera, conducted by Eugène Bigot. A film adaptation of the work followed in 1939 with Grace Moore in the title role. At the revival of Louise at the Opéra-Comique on 28 February 1950, celebrating the 50th anniversary of its creation and the 90th birthday of its composer, it was hoped that Charpentier himself might conduct the performance, but André Cluytens did so, with the composer conducting the 'Chant de l’apothéose' after the 3rd Act.

Louise is still occasionally performed today, with the soprano aria "Depuis le jour" a popular recital piece.

In 1902, Charpentier founded the Conservatoire Populaire Mimi Pinson, intended to provide a free artistic education to Paris's working girls. However, he became unproductive as a composer. He worked on a sequel to Louise, Julien, ou la vie d'un poète, but it was quickly forgotten after its tepidly received 1913 premiere. Thereafter, Charpentier wrote very little.

He was, nevertheless, no recluse. During World War I, he started the Œuvre de Mimi Pinson and Cocarde de Mimi Pinson to aid wounded soldiers. He was awarded the Légion d'honneur in 1900, became a Commandeur in 1930, and a Grand Officier in 1950. In 1934, he conducted a recording of his Impressions d'Italie with a Paris symphony orchestra. He died, aged 95, in Paris.


Louise is an opera (roman musical) in four acts by Gustave Charpentier to an original French libretto by the composer, with some contributions by Saint-Pol-Roux, a symbolist poet and inspiration of the surrealists.

Gustave Charpentier “Louise” 

Act 1
The Parisian home of Louise's parents

Louise has fallen in love with her neighbor, Julien. At the opening of the opera, they recall how they met. Louise's mother interrupts them and vocally expresses her disapproval of Julien. The exhausted father comes home from work and his wife and daughter implore him to quit the taxing job. However, he feels that it is his responsibility to provide for his family. At supper, he reads a letter that Julien left in which he proposed marriage to Louise. He is indifferent, but the mother is livid and, when Louise stands up for Julien, she slaps Louise across the face. The peaceful father asks his daughter to sit with him and read the paper. As she reads about springtime in Paris, she breaks down and cries.

Act 2
Scene 1: A street in Paris

It begins with a prelude that suggests dawn in Paris. The curtain rises to a bustling scene where people go about their daily routines and comment about life in general. The Noctambulist enters and calls himself the spirit of the Pleasure of Paris, and then leaves with the daughter of a ragman. Julien appears with a group of fellow bohemians to show them where Louise works. He tells them that if her parents do not consent to marriage, he will carry the girl off. Julien and his companions go off and he sings that the medley of sounds around him is the voice of Paris itself. Louise and her Mother arrive at the dressmaking store where Louise works (her mother brings her to work everyday). When the mother leaves, Julien returns. Louise tells him she loves him, but she loves her parents too much to leave them. He tries to persuade her to run off with him and she finally agrees to do so soon.

Scene 2: Inside Louise's place of work

Louise is being teased by the other seamstresses for being in love. A band is heard outside and Julien sings a serenade. The girls admire him for his looks and voice. Louise quietly slips away – to run off with Julien.

Act 3
A cottage overlooking Paris

The act opens with the opera's most well known aria, "Depuis le jour"; the lovers have moved into a cottage overlooking Paris and in the aria she sings of her happiness with her new existence and with her lover. A long love duet ensues in which they sing of their love for each other and Paris. Many Bohemians enter and crown Louise Queen of Montmartre. The Noctambulist presides as the King of the Fools. Louise's mother appears and the festivities end. She tells Louise of her father's illness and that her father creeps into Louise's room in the middle of the night, even though they agreed to regard her as dead. Even Julien is moved, and he lets Louise leave on the promise she will return whenever she wishes.

Act 4
The Parisian home of Louise's parents

The father has regained his health and spirits. He is working again, but has come to accept poverty in a philosophical way. His recovery can be attributed to the return of Louise, whom he takes into his arms and sings a lullaby. She is not comforted and longs to be with Julien again. A merry waltz is heard outside and Louise takes it up, singing madly of love and freedom. Her parents are shocked and her father becomes increasingly angry. He shouts at Louise and demands that she leave; if that is what she wants, let her go and dance and laugh! He begins to attack her, but the mother stands in the way. Louise runs from the room to go back to Julien. Only then does the father realise what he did. "Louise, Louise!" he calls. She is gone and in despair he shakes his fist at the city that stole his daughter, "Paris!" he moans and the opera closes.

Edward MacDowell

Edward MacDowell

Edward MacDowell, (born Dec. 18, 1860, New York City—died Jan. 23, 1908, New York City), U.S. composer known especially for his piano pieces in smaller forms. As one of the first to incorporate native materials into his works, he helped establish an independent American musical idiom.


MacDowell first studied in New York with Teresa Carreño and then at the Conservatoire (1876–78) in Paris. In 1878 he went to Germany to study composition with Joachim Raff at the Frankfurt Conservatory and later taught piano at Darmstadt. In 1882 Raff introduced MacDowell to Liszt, who arranged for him to play his Modern Suite No. 1 at Zürich. In 1884 he went to the U.S., where he married his former pupil, Marian Nevins (1857–1956). He returned with her to Wiesbaden and remained there until 1887. The following year he settled in the U.S. In 1889 he played in New York City the first performance of his Second Piano Concerto in D Minor, his most successful larger work, one that retains popularity throughout the world.

In 1896 he was invited to establish a department of music at Columbia University, New York City. As a result of disagreement with the university, he resigned in 1904, becoming the subject of much unpleasant publicity, which may have contributed to his mental collapse. He eventually receded to infantilism from which he never recovered. A public appeal for funds was made on his behalf in 1906. Shortly before his death, his wife organized the MacDowell Colony at their residence in Peterborough, N.H., as a permanent institution in the form of a summer residence for American composers and writers.

MacDowell’s music is said to derive from the contemporary Romantic movements in Europe, his lyrical style suggesting Grieg, his harmony, Schumann and sometimes Liszt. Almost all his works have literary or pictorial associations. His early symphonic poems include Hamlet and Ophelia (1885), Lancelot and Elaine (1888), Lamia (1889), and The Saracens (1891). More distinctive is his orchestral Indian Suite (1892), based on Indian tunes. His songs, though derivative, are lyrical; but he is considered at his best in his piano music, particularly in small pieces, when he shows the gifts of a sensitive miniaturist. The best of his piano works are thought to be the suites Sea Pieces (1898) and Fireside Tales (1902) and the imaginative evocations of the American scene in the albums Woodland Sketches (1896) and New England Idylls (1902). His four piano sonatas, Tragica (1893), Eroica (1895), Norse (1900), and Keltic (1901), are cited as ambitious attempts at programmatic music in classical forms.


Edward MacDowell - Piano Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 15
Stephen Prutsman, piano and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland conducted by Arthur Fagen

Edward MacDowell - Piano Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 23
Stephen Prutsman, piano and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland conducted by Arthur Fagen

Edward MacDowell - Sonata Tragica N°1 G Minor Op.45
Vladimir Ollivier - piano

E. MacDowell - Sea Pieces Op.55
Francesco Caramiello, piano

Edward MacDowell - Fireside Tales, Op. 61
Piano: Alan Lai


William Holman Hunt - The Finding of the Saviour in the Temple

bottom of page