Romantic Era
 

1881-1882-1883-1884-1885

1881
James A. Garfield, 20th President of the USA is assassinated four months after taking office; Vice-President Chester A. Arthur becomes the 21st President • Treaty of Pretoria; Transvaal’s independence is recognised by Britain • Tunis becomes a French protectorate • Tsar Aleksandr II of Russia is assassinated; his son, Aleksandr III, succeeds him • Louis Pasteur (Fr) develops an anthrax vaccine • Construction of Canadian Pacific Railway is started • Louis Pasteur (Fr) develops anthrax vaccine • Claude Monet (Fr) paints Sunshine and Snow • Henrik Ibsen (Nor): play Ghosts • Anatole France (Fr): The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard • Henry James (US): Portrait of a lady

1882
Germany, Austria and Italy form Triple Alliance (ends 1914) • The USA issues the Chinese Exclusion Act, banning immigration of Chinese into the USA for an intended period of ten years; the ban lasts until 1943 • British forces occupy Cairo and Sudan after defeating rebel forces at Tel-el-Kebir • Italy makes Eritrea a colony • Jews suffer repressive regulations in Russia • Robert Koch (Ger) discovers the bacillus of tuberculosis • Edouard Manet (Fr) paints The Bar at the Folies-Bergeres • Edgar Degas (Fr) paints The Laudresses • Henrik Ibsen (Nor): play An Enemy of the People • Thomas Edison switches on the first commercial electrical power station, serving customers in Lower Manhattan 

1883
Germany founds settlements in south-west Africa • Paul Kruger becomes President of the Boer South African Republic • France begins to colonise west Africa and gains control of Tunisia in north Africa • In Egypt, Muhammad Ahmad al Mahdi organises the defeat of Egyptian troops at El Obeid and obtains control of most of Sudan • John Carbutt (US) introduces a coated celluloid film for photography • Edwin Klebs (Ger) identifies the diphtheria germ • Pierre Renoir (Fr) paints Children at the Beach at Guernsey • Ilya Repin (Russ) paints Easter Procession • Robert Louis Stevenson (Scot): Treasure Island • Friedrich Nietzsche (Ger): philosophical novel Thus Spake Zarathustra

1884
European colonisation in Africa continues: the Berlin Conference establishes an independent State of the Congo • Germany establishes protectorates over Togoland and Cameroons • Britain sends General Gordon to direct Egyptian withdrawal from Sudan • Charles Parsons (Eng/lre) devises a practical steam-turbine engine • Boston and New York City are connected by telephone • Third Reform Act extends voting rights in UK; women and many working-class men still not allowed to vote • France presents the Statue of Liberty to the USA • In Chicago, the first skyscraper is built • Georges Seurat (Fr) paints Bathers at Asnieres • Mark Twain (US): The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

1885
General Gordon Killed at Khartoum; Muhammad Ahmad dies five months later but Dervishes maintain control of Sudan under khalifa Abdullah • Belgium establishes Congo colony • Germany makes a protectorate of north New Guinea, and annexes Tanganyika and Zanzibar • British establish protectorates in Nigeria, north Bechuanaland and south New Guinea • British at war with Burmese • Gottlieb Daimler (Ger) develops an internal-combustion gasoline engine; with Wilhelm Maybach he builds the first motorcycle: Daimler Reitwagen.* Karl Benz (Ger) produces a three-wheel automobile • Louis Pasteur (Fr) successfully vaccinates a child against rabies • Emile Zola (Fr): Germinal

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (15 October 1844 – 25 August 1900) was a German philosopher, cultural critic, composer, poet, philologist, and a Latin and Greek scholar whose work has exerted a profound influence on Western philosophy and modern intellectual history.

 

1881

Alexander Borodin composes his String Quartet No. 2 in D major, famous above all for its infectiously melodic third movement ‘Notturno’.

Alexander Borodin - Quartet No. 2 in D major
I. Allegro moderato
II. Scherzo
III. Notturno
IV. Finale

CLEVELAND QUARTET: Donald Weilerstein, Violin; Peter Salaff, Violin; James Dunham, Viola; Paul Katz, Violoncello.

Emmanuel Chabrier completes his 10 pieces pittoresques for piano.

Emmanuel Chabrier - Pièces Pittoresques 
Paysage  00:00
Mélancolie  05:46
Tourbillon  07:59
Sous-Bois  09:23
Mauresque  14:00
Idylle  17:12
Danse villageoise  22:24
Improvisation  26:35
Menuet pompeux  31:07
Scherzo-Valse  37:51

Rena Kyriakou, piano

10 February
Jacques Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann is premiered four months after the composer’s death, in Paris. Incorporating the figure of E. T. A. Hoffmann as a character within the writers own stories, the ‘serious’ opera fantastique is an immediate sensation, topping 100 performances at the Opera-Comique by the end of the year. 

28 March
Composer Modest Mussorgsky, having battled with alcoholism for many years, dies in a St Petersburg hospital, aged 42.

23 April
Arthur Sullivan - Patience

Patience; or, Bunthorne's Bride,
is a comic opera in two acts with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert.

Gilbert & Sullivan - 
"Patience (or, Bunthorne's Bride)"

9 May
Franz Liszt's orchestrated Second Mephisto Waltz premieres in Budapest. New works this year include his loosely tonal, impressionistic Triibe Wolken/Nuages gris (Gloomy Clouds) for piano.

The Mephisto Waltzes are four waltzes composed by Franz Liszt in 1859–62, 1880–81, 1883 and 1885. Nos. 1 and 2 were composed for orchestra, and later arranged for piano, piano duet and two pianos, whereas 3 and 4 were written for piano only. 

LISZT - MEPHISTO Waltzes 2, 3, 4, Polka, Bagatelle without tonality
Tibor Szasz, USA, 1984

19 August
Composer George Enescu is born.

20 February
Richter conducts a hugely successful first performance of
Anton Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony (second version, 1880) in Vienna. It is the composer’s first triumph. Later this year Bruckner completes his Sixth Symphony and immediately begins his Seventh.

Anton Bruckner - Symphony No 6 in A Major
(Nowak edition)

1. Maestoso
2. Adagio: Sehr feierlich
3. Scherzo: Nicht schnell
4. Finale: Bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell
New York Philharmonic
Leonard Bernstein, conductor. 1976

20 October
Max Bruch draws on sacred Jewish chant in Kol Nidrei, Adagio on Hebrew Melodies for cello and orchestra, premiered in Leipzig. Bruch is currently the director of the Liverpool Philharmonic.

Max Bruch - Kol Nidrei, op. 47, Adagio on Hebrew Melodies
TRIO APOLLON:
Matthias Glander - Klarinette
Felix Schwartz - Viola
Wolfgang Kühnl - Piano
Bearbeitung - Uwe Hilprecht

25 February
Tchaikovsky’s opera The Maid of Orleans is first performed in St Petersburg. 

The Maid of Orleans (Orleanskaja deva) is an opera in 4 acts, 6 scenes, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. It was composed during 1878–1879 to a Russian libretto by the composer, based on several sources: Friedrich Schiller’s The Maid of Orleans as translated by Vasily Zhukovsky; Jules Barbier’s Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc); Auguste Mermet’s libretto for his own opera; and Henri Wallon’s biography of Joan of Arc.

Tchaikovsky - Maid of Orleans 
Gennady Rozhdestvensky Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
Joan of Arc - Irina Arkhipova
King Charles VII - Vladimir Makhov
Agnes Sorel - Claudia Radchenko
Dunois - Vlasimir Valaitis
Lionel - Sergei Yavkovchenko
Archbishop - Lev Vernigora
Raymond - Andrei Sokolov
Bertrand - Viktor Selivanov
Soldier - Vartan Makelian
Thibaut - Evgeni Vladimirov

30 October
Johan Svendsen’s Violin Romance, Op. 26, is introduced at Kristiania, Norway.

Johan Svendsen - Romance for Violin and Orchestra Op. 26
Stefan Milenkovich, violinist"Romance"
Belgrade Philharmonic and conductor Eiving Gulberg Jensen. Belgrade, Serbia.

9 November
Johannes Brahms gives the first performance of his symphonic four-movement Second Piano Concerto in Budapest.

Johannes Brahms - Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 83
Piano: Hélène Grimaud
Conductor: David Zinman
NHK Symphony Orchestra

25 March
Composer Bela Bartok is born in Nagyszentmiklos, southern Hungary (now Sinnicolau Mare, Romania).

19 December
Jules Massenet - Herodiade

Hérodiade
is an opera in four acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Paul Milliet and Henri Grémont, based on the novella Hérodias (1877) by Gustave Flaubert. It was first performed at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels on 19 December 1881.

 

George Enescu
 

(b. Liveni-Virnav [now George Enescu], August 19, 1881; d. Paris, May 4, 1955)










 

Romanian violinist, pianist, conductor, and composer. A musical prodigy of the first magnitude, he was the preeminent Romanian composer of the 20th century. Pablo Casals called him “the most amazing musician since Mozart,” and Yehudi Menuhin, who was his student and friend, held him in similarly high esteem. He began taking violin lessons when he was four, and continued his musical studies at the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna (1888-94), under the tutelage of Joseph Hellmesberger and Robert Fuchs, among others, and subsequently at the Paris Conservatoire (1895-99), where his teachers included Gabriel Faure and Jules Massenet. He launched his performing career with an unprecedented double demonstration of instrumental mastery, playing the violin at the first performance of his Violin Sonata No. 1 in 1898 (accompanied by Alfred Cortot), and the piano in the first performance of his Violin Sonata No. 2, in 1900 (accompanying Jacques Thibaud). Paris would remain his artistic base for the rest of his life, though he would spend long periods in Romania, holing up there for the duration of World War I and again during World War II, and seeking throughout his career to contribute to his native country’s musical life as conductor, musicologist, and educator. He conducted frequently in Bucharest; among his many engagements was one in 1903 in which he led the premiere of what would become his most popular work, the uncharacteristically gaudy Romanian Rhapsody in A, Op. 11, No. 1 , composed two years earlier. He was also active in Iasi, where he served as an honorary chairman of the conservatory, and in 1917 inaugurated a series of symphony concerts bearing his name. Prior to 1915, and during the interwar years, he traveled and concertized widely in Europe and America as well, appearing as conductor and violinist with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1923, and guest conducting the New York Philharmonic several times during the 1937-39 seasons. Following the Communist takeover of his homeland in 1946, he returned to Paris in self-imposed exile; his last years there were clouded by illness and financial duress.

Enescu was a formidable teacher whose students included the American prodigy Menuhin (from 1927), and later Arthur Grumiaux, Ida Haendel, Christian Ferras, and Ivry Gitlis. His list of works as a composer, necessarily short because of his career as a virtuoso and his obligations as a teacher and administrator, nonetheless includes contributions to a variety of vocal, instrumental, and orchestral genres. Just as he had a divided loyalty to two countries—his native Romania and his adopted France—he also had a dual personality as a composer—the one part nationalistic and folk-oriented (reflected in the two Romanian Rhapsodies, and, much later, in 1948, the Ouverture de concert sur des themes dans le caractere populaire roumain), the other cosmopolitan and progressive. His greatest work was the four-act opera Oedipe, based in part on the dramas of Sophocles. Sketched in 1910 and composed mainly between 1921 and 1931, it received its premiere at the Paris Opera on March 13, 1936. Other compositions that have found a place in the repertoire include the Violin Sonata No. 3 (1926), two string quartets, and three symphonies.

George Enescu - Complete Orchestral Works - Vol 1

Romain Natonal Radio Orchestra: Horia Andrescu, condutor
01.Ov on Popular Romanian Themes in A, Op.32 10:09
02.Study Sym (No.4) in E flat I. Molto vivace 8:32
03.Study Sym (No.4) in E flat II. Andante 9:10
04.Study Sym (No.4) in E flat III. Vivace-Meno mosso-Vivace. Prestissimo 18:34
05.Sym. No.1in E flat, Op.13 (To Alfred Casella): I. Assez vif et rythme 10:59
06.Sym. No.1in E flat, Op.13 (To Alfred Casella): II. Lent 12:41
07.Sym. No.1in E flat, Op.13 (To Alfred Casella): III. Vif et vigoureux 9:16

George Enescu - Complete Orchestral Works - Vol 2

Horia Andreescu: Romanian National Radio Orchestra & Choir

01.Symphony #2 In A, Op. 17 - 1. Vivace, Ma Non Troppo 18:56
02.Symphony #2 In A, Op. 17 - 2. Andante Giusto 12:32
03.Symphony #2 In A, Op. 17 - 3. Un Poco Lento, Marziale, Allegro Vivace, Marziale 16:59
04.Romanian Rhapsody #1 In A, Op. 11/1 11:52
05.Romanian Rhapsody #2 In D, Op. 11/2 11:53

George Enescu: Oedipe
Monte Pederson (Oedipe) 
Egils Siliņš (Tirésias) 
Davide Damiani (Créon) 
Michael Roider (Le berger) 
Goran Simic (Le grand prêtre) 
Peter Köves (Phorbas) 
Walter Fink (Le veilleur) 
Yu Chen (Thésée) 
Josef Hopferwieser (Laïos) 
Marjana Lipovšek (Jocaste/La Sphinge) 
Ruxandra Donose (Antigone) 
Mihaela Ungureanu (Mérope) 
Wiener Sängerknaben, Chor und Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper - Dirigent: Michael Gielen- 1997

 

1882

Edward MacDowell composes his First Piano Concerto. The 21-year-old American is currently a piano teacher at Darmstadt’s Academy for Musical Arts.

Edward MacDowell - Piano Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 15

1. Maestoso; Allegro con fuoco
2. Andante tranquillo
3. Presto

Stephen Prutsman, piano and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland conducted by Arthur Fagen

German composer Carl Reinecke conjures a female water-nymph in his limpid Flute Sonata in E minor

(Undine).

Carl Reinecke - Sonata in E minor, Op. 167 "Undine" 
Allegro
Intermezzo: Allegretto vivace
Andante tranquillo
Finale: Allegro molto agitato ed appassionato, quasi Presto

Xue Su, flute
Rhett Lei, piano

13 January Richard Wagner completes Parsifal, his final opera. It has been arranged that Hermann Levi, the son

of a Rabbi, will conduct the ‘sacred festival drama’.

Wagner is unsuccessful in his attempt to persuade his friend to undergo Christian baptism before the premiere.

10 February
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera Snegurochka (The Snow Maiden), based on an old Russian folk tale, is first staged in St Petersburg. 
 

The Snow Maiden (subtitle: A Spring Fairy Tale), (Snegúrochka–Vesennyaya Skazka) is an opera in four acts with a prologue by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, composed during 1880–1881. The Russian libretto, by the composer, is based on the like-named play by Alexander Ostrovsky.

The first performance of Rimsky-Korsakov's opera took place at the Mariinsky Theatre, Saint Petersburg on 29 January 1882 (OS; 10 February NS) conducted by Eduard Nápravník.

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov - Snegurochka (The Snow Maiden) Part I

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov - Snegurochka (The Snow Maiden) Part II

29 March
The 16-year-old Alexander Glazunov has his First Symphony introduced with great success under Mily Balakirev in St Petersburg.

Glazunov - Symphony No. 1
Moscow Symphony Orchestra, Alexander Anissimov

17 June
Composer Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky is 
born in Oranienbaum, near St Petersburg.

30 August
Charles Gounod conducts his commissioned 'sacred trilogy’, La Redemption, at the Birmingham Festival, England.

Gounod - Unfold ye Portals from "The Redemption" 

31 August
Hubert Parry’s Symphony No. 1 is premiered at the Birmingham Festival.

Sir Hubert Parry - Symphony No.1 in G-major

Mov.I: Con fuoco 00:00
Mov.II: Andante 12:28
Mov.III: Presto - Meno mosso 23:24
Mov.IV: Allegretto molto vivace 32:58

The London Philharmonic - Matthias Bamert

24 October
Composer Emmerich Kalman, born.

25 November
Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan’s lolanthe opens before an eager audience at the Savoy Theatre, London. 

Gilbert & Sullivan - "Iolanthe"
Light Opera of Portland present Iolanthe at the Alpenrose Dairy Opera House. Recorded 2016.

16 December
Composer Zoltan Kodaly is born in Kecskemet, Hungary.

 

Emmerich Kalman
 

Emmerich Kálmán, Hungarian form Kálmán Imre, (born Oct. 24, 1882, Siófok, Hung.—died Oct. 30, 1953, Paris, France), Hungarian composer, one of the leading exponents of the last era of Viennese operetta.











 


Kálmán was born to a lower middle-class Jewish family. He studied composition at the Academy of Music in Budapest under János Koessler; for a time his fellow students included Béla Bartók and Zoltán Kodály. He worked as a music critic for the Pesti Napló (“Pest Journal”) from 1904 to 1908 and as a lawyer’s assistant to supplement the cost of his studies. In 1907 he was awarded several prizes for music, which enabled him to pursue trips to Bayreuth, Munich, and Berlin.

Kálmán’s musical talent was obvious from his first orchestral works. Kálmán added variety and colour to the Viennese operetta form by incorporating Hungarian elements to his works. His musical inventions, brimming with joie de vivre, brought him international acclaim. (At the time, he was also writing licentious cabaret songs under a pseudonym.) His reputation as a composer of operettas was made by his first stage work, Tatárjárás (1908; The Gay Hussars). The strongly Hungarian tone of this piece succeeded in winning over Viennese audiences, and The Gay Hussars was performed throughout Europe and the United States.

A few years later, Kálmán moved to Vienna and began to compose German-language operettas for theatre companies there. His greatest success came from Csárdáskirálynõ (1915; “The Czardas Queen”); it was performed by almost every musical theatre in the world, often enjoying runs of thousands of performances. The productions of his works Bajadér (1921; “Bayadère”), Marica grófnõ (1924; “Countess Marica”), Cirkuszhercegnõ (1926; “Princess of the Circus”), and Montmartre-i ibolya (1930; “Montmartre Violet”) rescued several theatres from bankruptcy.

In 1936 the premiere of his operetta Josephine császárnõ (“Empress Josephine”) took place not in Vienna but in Zürich because of increasing political tension in Austria. With the Nazi occupation of Austria in 1938, Kálmán and his family fled to Paris and then, in 1940, to the United States. There he pursued a successful career as a conductor of his own works. In 1945 he returned to Europe, settling in Paris. He received the cross of the Legion of Honour from the French government. He was buried in Vienna.

Kalman - La Duchessa di Chicago - 1928

Kalman - Das Veilchen vom Montmartre -1930

 

Zoltan Kodaly
 

Zoltán Kodály, Hungarian form Kodály Zoltán, (born December 16, 1882, Kecskemét, Austria-Hungary [now in Hungary]—died March 6, 1967, Budapest), prominent composer and authority on Hungarian folk music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



He was also important as an educator not only of composers but also of teachers, and, through his students, he contributed heavily to the spread of music education in Hungary. He was a chorister in his youth at Nagyszombat, Austria-Hungary (now Trnava, Slovakia), where he wrote his first compositions. In 1902 he studied composition in Budapest. He toured his country in his first quest for folk-song sources in the year before his graduation from Budapest University with a thesis (1906) on the structure of Hungarian folk song. After studying for a short time in Paris with the composer-organist Charles Widor, he became teacher of theory and composition at the Budapest Academy of Music (1907–41).

With Béla Bartók, whom he met in 1906, he published editions of folk songs (1906–21). Their folk-song collection formed the basis of Corpus Musicae Popularis Hungariae (established 1951).

Kodály created an individual style, Romantic in flavour and less percussive than that of Bartók, that was derived from Hungarian folk music, contemporary French music, and the religious music of the Italian Renaissance. His works, many of which are widely performed, include Psalmus Hungaricus (1923), written to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the union of Buda and Pest; Háry János (1926), a comic opera; two sets of Hungarian dances for orchestra, Marosszék Dances (1930) and Dances of Galánta (1933); a Te Deum (1936); a concerto for orchestra (1941); Missa Brevis (1942); an opera, Cinka Panna (1948); Symphony in C Major (1961); and chamber music, including two cello sonatas (1909–10; 1915), two string quartets (1908; 1916–17), and Serenade, for two violins and viola (1919–20).

Kodály’s scholarly writings include Die ungarische Volksmusik (1956; Folk Music of Hungary), as well as numerous articles for ethnographic and musical journals. The Selected Writings of Zoltán Kodály, edited by Ferenc Bónis and translated from the Hungarian by Lili Halápy and Fred Macnicol, was published in 1974.

Zoltan Kodaly
00:00 Viennese Musical Clock (Hary suite 1926)
02:20 Intermezzo (Hary suite 1926)
07:05 Entrance of the Emperor and His Court
10:10 Jesus and the Children 1934
12:30 Evening Song
15:05 Te Deum of Budavár (piece) 1936
22:17 Pictures of Mátra 1931
33:47 Gipsy eats Cottage Cheese 1925
36:07 Psalmus Hungaricus (piece) 1923
39:04 Advent Song 
42:43 121. Psalm of Geneva
46:45 The Spinning Room (piece) 1924-1932
49:42 The Peacock (piece) 1939
01:01:54 Dances of Galánta (piece) 1933

Zoltán Kodály - Missa Brevis for solo voices, choir and organ
Kinga JASKOWSKA - soprano
Justyna JEDYNAK-OBŁOZA - soprano
Ewelina SIEDLECKA-KOSIŃSKA - soprano
Jadwiga BARTNIK - alto
Adam SŁAWIŃSKI - tenor
Krzysztof CHALIMONIUK - baritone
Jakub PANKOWIAK - organ
Bartosz MICHAŁOWSKI - conductor
CHÓR FILHARMONII NARODOWEJ - LAUREAT GRAMMY
WARSAW PHILHARMONIC CHOIR - GRAMMY WINNER

Zoltán Kodály : Symphony in C major 

 

1883

Edvard Grieg completes his Cello Sonata, (Op. 36) the Walzer-Capricen for piano duet (Op. 37) and a second book of Lyric Pieces for piano solo (Op. 38). A second piano concerto, begun this year, is never completed.

Edvard Grieg - Sonata for Cello and Piano in A Minor, Op. 36

Anastasia Injushina piano, Jian Wang cello

Grieg -"Waltz-caprice" Piano Duo: Marina Porchkhidze,Vladimir Shinov

Edvard Grieg - Lyric pieces - Book II, Op. 38
Hakon Austbo, piano
Berceuse (00:19)
Folk Melody (02:35)
Norwegian dane (05:48)
Spring dance (06:36)
Elegy (07:58)
Waltz (10:03)
Canon (11:06)

8 March
Gabriel Faure’s oratorio La Naissance de Venus is first performed in Paris.

Gabriel Fauré - La Naissance de Vénus,
scène mythologique Op. 29

Brigitte Lafon, soprano (Vénus)
Bruno Ranc, tenor (Jupiter)
Anna Holroyd, alto solo
Jacques Bona, bass solo

Jean-Claude Pennetier, piano
Soliste de Lyon-Bernard Tétu
Direction Bernard Tétu
1998

14 April
Leo Delibes  exploits fashionable orientalism in Lakme, premiered at the Opera-Comique, Paris. Set in India and inspired by Pierre Loti’s exotic tale Rarahu, the three-act tragic opera enjoys immediate success.

The 71-year-old Franz Liszt completes his solo piano pieces Valse de concert, Mephisto-Polka and the Mephisto Waltz No. 3.

LISZT - MEPHISTO Waltzes 2, 3, 4, Polka, Bagatelle without tonality,
Tibor Szasz, USA, Nov. 4, 1984

11 February
The second and third movements of Anton Bruckner’s Sixth Symphony are introduced and well appreciated in Vienna.

Anton Bruckner - Symphony No 6 in A Major
(Nowak edition)

1. Maestoso
2. Adagio: Sehr feierlich
3. Scherzo: Nicht schnell
4. Finale: Bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell
New York Philharmonic - Leonard Bernstein, 1976

Symphonies by Anton Bruckner
Symphony in F minor completed in 1863. 

Symphony No. 1 in C minor completed in 1866, but the original manuscript of this symphony was not reconstructed until 1998. Instead, it is commonly known in two versions, the so-called Linz Version – based mainly on rhythmical revisions made in Vienna in 1877 – and the completely revised Vienna Version of 1891.

Symphony in D minor of 1869, the so-called "Symphony No. 0" ("Die Nullte").

Symphony in B-flat major
Bruckner's next attempt was a sketch of the first movement to a Symphony in B-flat major, but he did no further work on it afterwards.

Symphony No. 2 in C minor of 1872 was revised in 1873, 1876, 1877 and 1892. 

Symphony No. 3 in D minor composed in 1873. 

Symphony No. 4 in E-flat major
Bruckner's Symphony No. 4 in E-flat major was his first great success. It is more commonly known as the Romantic Symphony, the only epithet applied to a symphony by the composer himself. The 1874 version has been seldom played; success came in 1878 but only after major revisions, including a completely new scherzo and finale, and again in 1880–1, once again with a completely rewritten finale. This version was premiered in 1881 (under the conductor Hans Richter). Bruckner made more minor revisions of this symphony in 1886–8.

Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major
Bruckner's Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major crowns his most productive era of symphony-writing, finished at the beginning of 1876. Until recently we knew only the thoroughly revised version of 1878.

Symphony No. 6 in A major written in 1879 to 1881

Symphony No. 7 in E major written 1881–1883 and revised in 1885. 

Symphony No. 8 in C minor composition in 1884. In 1887 Bruckner sent the work to Hermann Levi, the conductor who had led his Seventh to great success. 

Symphony No. 9 in D minor
The final accomplishment of Bruckner's life was to be his Symphony No. 9 in D minor, which he started in August 1887, and which he dedicated "To God the Beloved." 

Anton Bruckner - Symphony No. 7 in E major
Karajan, Wiener Philharmoniker

Allegro moderato •
19:40 Adagio: Sehr feierlich und sehr langsam •
42:55 Scherzo: Sehr schnell - Trio: Etwas langsamer • 53:06 Finale: Bewegt, doch nicht schnell

13 February
In Venice the 69-year-old Richard Wagner has a blazing row with his wife, Cosima, who is suspicious about a pending visit from the singer Carrie Pringle. Wagner retreats to a study, where a few hours later he suffers a fatal heart attack. On discovering her husband, Cosima remains clenched to his corpse for 25 hours. The body is transported back to their home, Wahnfried in Bayreuth, and buried in a private ceremony.

3 October
Eine Nacht in Venedig (A Night in Venice) is an operetta in three acts by Johann Strauss II. Its libretto was by F. Zell and Richard Genée based on Le Château Trompette by Eugène Cormon and Richard Genée. ​

Johann Strauss -  Eine Nacht in Venedig
Inszenierung von Helmuth Lohner, 1999
Marc Clear (Herzog von Urbino)
Gideon Singer (Delacqua)
Evelyn Schörkhuber (Barbara, seine Frau)
Anton Steingruber (Barbaruccio, Senator)
Mirjana Irosch (Agricola, seine Frau)
Wilhelm Gartner (Testaccio, Senator)
Ingrid Habermann (Annina, Fischerin)
Christian Baumgärtel (Caramello, Barbier)
Markus Heinrich (Pappacoda, Makkaronikoch)
Christine Bath (Ciboletta, Barbaras Zofe)

3 October
Polish composer Karol Szymanowski is born.

4 November
Emmanuel Chabrier’s popular orchestral Rhapsody Espana, inspired by the composer's

recent trip to the country, premieres in Paris. His Trois Valses Romantiques for two pianos is first performed in the same city a month later.

Emmanuel Chabrier - España Rhapsody For Orchestra
The BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leonard Slatkin
Recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall, 2002

Emmanuel Chabrier - Trois Valses Romantiques for two pianos 
Très vite et impétueusement  00:00
Mouvement modéré de Valse  02:20
Animé  07:28
Rena Kyriakou & Walter Klien, pianos

2 December
Johannes Brahms's Third Symphony is successfully introduced under Hans Richter in Vienna.

Johannes Brahms - Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90
Conductor: Daniel Barenboim
Chicago Symphony Orchestra

0:01 - Allegro con brio
13:50 - Andante
23:18 - Poco allegretto
29:43 - Allegro – Un poco sostenuto

3 December
Composer Anton Webern is born in Vienna.

22 December
Composer Edgard Varese is born in Paris.

5 March
Henry VIII is an opera in four acts by Camille Saint-Saëns, from a libretto by Léonce Détroyat and Armand Silvestre, based on El cisma en Inglaterra (The schism in England) by Pedro Calderón de la Barca. 

Camille Saint Saëns - HENRY VIII

 

Karol Szymanowski
 

Karol Szymanowski, in full Karol Maciej Szymanowski, (born Oct. 6, 1883, Timoshovka, Ukraine, Russian Empire—died March 29, 1937, Lausanne, Switz.), the foremost Polish composer of the early 20th century.











 


Szymanowski began to compose and play the piano at an early age. In 1901 he went to Warsaw and studied harmony, counterpoint, and composition privately until 1904. Finding the musical life in Warsaw limiting, he went to Berlin, where he organized the Young Polish Composers’ Publishing Co. (1905–12) to publish new works by his countrymen. His compositions from this period, which include the opera Hagith (1913), show the influence of Strauss, Wagner, and Scriabin.

The advent of World War I caused Szymanowski to return to his homeland. Isolated from the European musical community during the period from 1914 to 1917, he composed copiously and studied Islāmic culture and ancient Greek drama and philosophy. Szymanowski’s works from this period, which include Mity (1914; “Myths”), Metopy (1915; “Metopes”), and Maski (1916; “Masques”), show great originality and diversity of style. He softened his dynamic extremes, employed coloristic orchestration, and used polytonal and atonal material while retaining the expressive melodic style of his earlier works.

With the establishment of an independent Polish state in 1918, Szymanowski became deeply interested in the Polish folk idiom and tried to create a Polish national style, a task unattempted since Chopin. He also became more conservative, abandoning his atonal vocabulary. Living in Zakopane, the regional centre of the Tatra mountain people, he adopted their tonal language, syncopated rhythms, and winding melodies in his new style. Notable works from this period include 20 Mazurkas (1924–25) for piano and the ballet-pantomime Harnasie (1923–31). Szymanowski also traveled widely, promoting his works in London, Paris, and the United States and receiving international acclaim for his operas Hagith and Król Roger (1918–24; “King Roger”). In 1927 he settled in Warsaw to assume the directorship of the Warsaw Conservatory for five years with the aim of improving musical education in Poland. During the 1930s Szymanowski retreated from the direct use of folk music in his compositions, and though he continued to use folk music material, his forms and orchestration recall those of his earlier works. Among the major works from this last period are the Symphony No. 4 (1932) and the choral works Veni Creator (1930) and Litania Do Marii Panny (1930–33; “Litany to the Virgin Mary”).

Karol Szymanowski - Violin Concerto No. 1, Op. 35
Frank Peter Zimmermann, Wit,
Orkiestra Filharmonii Narodowej w Warszawie

Karol Szymanowski - Violin Concerto No. 2, Op. 61

Lydia Mordkovitch - BBC Philharmonic, conducted by Vassily Sinaisky.

Szymanowski - Symphony No. 3, Op. 27 "The Song of the Night"
Vladimir Jurowski

Karol SZYMANOWSKI - "Harnasie" op. 55
ORKIESTRA I CHÓR FILHARMONII NARODOWEJ
Jacek KASPSZYK dyrygent
Tomasz WARMIJAK tenor

Karol Szymanowski - Król Roger Op. 46 - Opera in 3 acts
Roger II, King of Sicily - WOJCIECH DRABOWICZ (24.03.1966 - 27.03.2007)
Roxana, Roger's wife - Olga Pasiecznik
Edrisi, The arabian sage - Krzysztof Szmyt
Shepherd - Piotr Beczała
Archbishop - Romuald Tesarowicz
Deaconess - Stefania Toczyska
Tenor solo - Ryszard Wróblewski
Voice 1 - Justyna Kabała
Voice 2 - Maciej Dunin
"Alla Polacca" Youth Choir, Choir Director: Sabina Włodarska
Chorus and Orchestra of the Polish National Opera, Warsaw  Chorus Master: Bogdan Gola
Conducted by JACEK KASPSZYK

 

Anton Webern
 

Anton Webern, in full Anton Friedrich Wilhelm von Webern, (born Dec. 3, 1883, Vienna, Austria—died Sept. 15, 1945, Mittersill, near Salzburg), Austrian composer of the 12-tone Viennese school. He is known especially for his passacaglia for orchestra, his chamber music, and various songs (Lieder).












Webern’s father, a mining engineer, rose to the highest rank of his profession, becoming chief of mining in the Habsburg government. Nobility had been conferred upon the family as early as 1574 by Emperor Maximilian II. Although the predicate von was outlawed in Austria after the 1918 revolution, and the composer’s music had to be published under the name Anton Webern, he upheld his aristocratic heritage throughout his life.

Webern’s father’s career caused the family to move to two provincial capitals, Graz and Klagenfurt, and then back to Vienna. Webern received his first musical instruction from his mother, an amateur pianist. In Klagenfurt, Edwin Komauer instructed him in the rudiments of musical theory, as well as in piano. Webern also learned to play the cello and participated in the local orchestra.

His first compositions, Two Pieces for Cello and Piano (1899) and several songs, date from the Klagenfurt period. In 1902, after graduation from the Klagenfurt Humanistisches Gymnasium, he attended performances of Wagner operas at the Bayreuth Festival, and these left a deep impression on the young musician. That fall, he entered the University of Vienna, studying musicology and composition. He received a Ph.D. degree (1906) with a dissertation on the Choralis Constantinus II of the Dutch composer Heinrich Isaac. Meanwhile, in the autumn of 1904, Webern had become a private pupil of the composer Arnold Schoenberg. The association proved to be a decisive influence. With Schoenberg, and soon also his friend the young composer Alban Berg, Webern explored new dimensions of musical expression, leading to the breakthrough that established “atonality”—a revolutionary concept abnegating the necessity of a governing tonal centre. But from the start Webern created a style distinctly his own.

Schoenberg’s direction of Webern’s musical development ended in 1908. By then, Webern had already written many works, including the orchestral idyll Im Sommerwind (1904; antedating his study with Schoenberg), several string quartets, the songs based on poems of Richard Dehmel, the orchestral Passacaglia (1908), and the choral canon Entflieht auf leichten Kähnen (1908). These still adhere to traditional tonality, but, with the Stefan George songs (1908–09), Webern entered the realm of music no longer based on a fixed tonal centre.

In 1911 Webern married Wilhelmine Mörtl, the daughter of his mother’s sister. Because of the Roman Catholic prohibition of the union of first cousins, the marriage was solemnized only in 1915, after three of the couple’s four children had already been born. Webern, while deeply religious in a pantheistic sense, was averse to church dogma, rejecting the priest’s role as intermediary between God and humanity. During the years 1908 to 1913 he held posts as coach and conductor in Vienna, Ischl, Innsbruck, Teplitz, Danzig, and Stettin. These engagements proved to be short-lived since he loathed theatre routine, choosing instead to focus on free creative work. His compositions of that period reveal a growing tendency to compress the highest intensity of expression within the greatest formal brevity, characteristics that mark his Five Movements for String Quartet (1909), Six Pieces for Orchestra (1909), Four Pieces for Violin and Piano (1910), Two Songs, Opus 8 (1910), Six Bagatelles for String Quartet (1911–13), Five Pieces for Orchestra (1911–13), and Three Small Pieces for Cello and Piano (1914). The Cello Sonata (1914) marks his first effort to return to more expanded forms following his “aphoristic” period. Webern’s Four Songs, Opus 12 (1915–17) and Opus 13 (1914–18), Six Songs (1917–21), Five Sacred Songs (1917–22), Five Canons on Latin Texts (1923–24), Three Folktexts (1924), Three Songs (1925), and Two Songs (1926) are vocal compositions; except Four Songs, which employs piano accompaniment, these works are distinguished by highly original instrumental combinations.

In 1915, during World War I, Webern enlisted for army service but was discharged at the end of 1916 because of poor eyesight. After a last theatre season in Prague (1917–18), he settled in Mödling, near Vienna, teaching privately and acting as supervisor for the Schoenberg-founded Society for Private Musical Performances (1918–22). In 1924 Schoenberg formulated the 12-tone method of composition—the system in which a basic “row,” formed from the 12 independent tones of the chromatic scale, is used melodically and harmonically through the devices of inversion, retrograde progression, and transposition, allowing for a total of 48 possibilities in which the chosen row may appear. Webern adopted this system first in his Kinderstück for piano (1924), employing the serial technique thereafter for all further compositions and developing it with severe consistency to its most extreme potential. The instrumental works during that period—String Trio (1927), Symphony (1928), Quartet for Violin, Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone, and Piano (1930), Concerto for 9 Instruments (1934), Piano Variations (1935–36), String Quartet (1937–38), and Variations (1940)—are governed by rigorous formal discipline. In the vocal realm, the lyrics of Hildegard Jone, a painter and poet, inspired all of Webern’s later works, such as Three Songs, Opus 23 (1933–34) and Three Songs, Opus 25 (1934); Das Augenlicht (1935); Cantata No. 1 (1938–39); and Cantata No. 2 (1941–43). Always professing his ties with tradition, Webern was a foremost exponent of the genre of the German Lied. He also was a skillful arranger; notable among his orchestrations of classic works is the Ricercata (1935) from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Musical Offering (1747).

After the Society for Private Musical Performances was dissolved, he conducted several choirs, notably the Singverein, a lay group especially organized to perform masterworks, such as Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 (1907), in conjunction with the Workers’ Symphony Concerts. Both organizations, sponsored by the Social Democratic Party, were dissolved after the “Dollfuss Revolution” (February 1934). As guest conductor, Webern occasionally appeared with the Austrian Radio Orchestra and was invited to conduct in Switzerland, Germany, Spain, and England.

 

Although an outstanding teacher, Webern never received an appointment at the University of Vienna or the music academy. He held a minor position at the Israelitic Institute for the Blind (1925–31) and from 1932 on gave private lecture courses. Public recognition at home remained limited to the Vienna Music Prize, awarded to him twice (1924, 1932) under the Socialist regime. Although Webern was not politically active, he nevertheless fell victim to the rising tide of right-wing nationalism. Schoenberg left Europe soon after Hitler came to power in 1933. The Nazis branded the music of the “New Vienna school” as “cultural Bolshevism” and “degenerate art” and banned performance of this type of music. Webern’s artistic isolation grew complete with Berg’s death in 1935, and his economic plight became desperate after the Nazi annexation of Austria in 1938. The political upheaval brought to a halt the publication of his works. With almost no private pupils left, Webern had to resort to accepting such tasks as piano arrangements of works by lesser composers. Always of a retiring disposition, he fell into total obscurity with the outbreak of World War II. Webern’s disillusionment with the Hitler regime was deepened by increasing bombing raids. In February 1945 his only son, Peter, was killed in a strafing attack on a train. When the Russian Army neared Vienna, the composer and his wife fled to Mittersill near Salzburg, where their three daughters and grandchildren had sought refuge. Webern was accidentally shot and killed there by a soldier in the U.S. occupation forces.

Anton Webern
Conductor: Pierre Boulez
Berliner Philharmoniker   Date: 1995

0:00 Passacaglia for orchestra, Op. 1
10:13 Movements for string quartet, Op. 5: No. 1, Heftig bewegt
13:06 Movements for string quartet, Op. 5: No. 2, Sehr langsam
15:19 Movements for string quartet, Op. 5: No. 3, Sehr bewegt
16:02 Movements for string quartet, Op. 5: No. 4, Sehr langsam
17:30 Movements for string quartet, Op. 5: No. 5, In zarter Bewegung
20:59 Pieces for orchestra, Op. 6: No. 1, Etwas bewegte
22:03 Pieces for orchestra, Op. 6: No. 2, Bewegte
23:32 Pieces for orchestra, Op. 6: No. 3, Zart bewegte
24:22 Pieces for orchestra, Op. 6: No. 4, Langsam marcia funebre
28:42 Pieces for orchestra, Op. 6: No. 5, Sehr langsam
31:05 Pieces for orchestra, Op. 6: No. 6, Zart bewegt
32:56 Musikalisches Opfer (Musical Offering), BWV 1079: Fuga (Ricercata) A 6 Voci
40:14 German Dances for piano, D. 820
44:41 German Dances for piano, D. 820
50:48 Im Sommerwind, for orchestra

Anton Webern - Sinfonia op.21 (1927/1928) 
Orchestra del Teatro La Fenice di Venezia diretta da Paul Hindemith (Venezia 14 aprile 1961) --

I. Ruhig schreitend
II. Variationen: Sehr ruhig

Anton Webern - Passacaglia per orchestra op.1 (1908) 
Boston Symphony Orchestra diretta da Carlo Maria Giulini  1974)

Anton Webern - The Orchestral Piece
Five Pieces for Orch, Op. 10 00:01
Five Pieces for Orch, Op. post 04:27
Fuga (Ricercata) No. 2 from the 'Musical Offering' 10:25
Im Sommerwind 17:32
Passacaglia for Orch, Op. 1  30:57
Six Pieces for Orch, Op. 6  42:22

Anton Webern

 

Edgard Varese
 

Edgard Varèse, original name Edgar Varèse, (born Dec. 22, 1883, Paris, France—died Nov. 8, 1965, New York, N.Y., U.S.), French-born American composer and innovator in 20th-century techniques of sound production.












Varèse spent his boyhood in Paris, Burgundy, and Turin, Italy. After composing without formal instruction as a youth, he later studied under Vincent d’Indy, Albert Roussel, and Charles Widor and was strongly encouraged by Romain Rolland and Claude Debussy. In 1907 he went to Berlin, where he was influenced by Richard Strauss and Ferruccio Busoni. In 1915 he immigrated to the United States.
 

Varèse’s music is dissonant, nonthematic, and rhythmically asymmetric; he conceived of it as bodies of sound in space. After the early 1950s, when he finally gained access to the electronic sound equipment he desired, he concentrated on electronic music.
 

Varèse actively promoted performances of works by other 20th-century performers and founded the International Composers’ Guild in 1921 and the Pan-American Association of Composers in 1926; these organizations were responsible for performances and premieres of works by Béla Bartók, Alban Berg, Carlos Chávez, Henry Cowell, Charles Ives, Maurice Ravel, Wallingford Riegger, Francis Poulenc, Anton von Webern, and others. Varèse also founded the Schola Cantorum of Santa Fe, N.M., in 1937, and the New Chorus (later, Greater New York Chorus) in 1941 to perform music of past eras, including works of Pérotin, Heinrich Schütz, Claudio Monteverdi, and Marc-Antoine Charpentier.
 

Varèse’s works include Hyperprism for wind instruments and percussion (1923); Ionisation for percussion, piano, and two sirens (1931); and Density 21.5 for unaccompanied flute (1936). His Déserts (1954) employs tape-recorded sound. In the Poème électronique (1958), written for the Philips Pavilion at the Brussels World’s Fair, the sound was intended to be distributed by 425 loudspeakers.

Edgard Varese - Ionisation
Performed by Amadinda Percussion Group, Mondo Quartet and students of Franz Liszt Academy of Music Budapest (2005)

Edgard Varèse - Déserts (1954)
Kent Nagano - Orchestre National de France,  1996

Edgard Varèse - Amériques 
pour orchestre 
Orchestre du Conservatoire de Paris
Ensemble intercontemporain
Matthias Pintscher, direction 

Edgard Varèse - Ecuatorial (1934)
Basse du Choeur de Radio France
Ensemble intercontemporain  - Susanna Mälkki, direction 

Trompettes en Sib   Antoine CURÉ, Jean-Jacques GAUDON, Johann NARDEAU, Jean-Philippe WOLMANN
Trombones Ténor-Basse   Benoît COUTRIS, Olivier DEVAURE, Jérôme NAULAIS, Benny SLUCHIN
Percussions    Hélène COLOMBOTTI, Gilles DUROT, Samuel FAVRE, Victor HANNA, Benoît MAURIN, Pierre-Olivier SCHMIT  - Piano     Hidéki NAGANO
Orgue électrique    Vincent ADRAGNA, Sébastien VICHARD
Ondes Martenot   Haruka OGAWA, Augustin VIARD  

 

1884

4 January
Arthur SallivanPrincess Ida

Princess Ida; or, Castle Adamant
is a comic opera with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. It was their eighth operatic collaboration of fourteen. Princess Ida opened at the Savoy Theatre on 5 January 1884, for a run of 246 performances. The piece concerns a princess who founds a women's university and teaches that women are superior to men and should rule in their stead. The prince to whom she had been married in infancy sneaks into the university, together with two friends, with the aim of collecting his bride. They disguise themselves as women students, but are discovered, and all soon face a literal war between the sexes.

Arthur Sallivan - Princess Ida

7 January
The opera Sigurd by the French composer Ernest Reyer premieres in Brussels. 

Sigurd is an opera in four acts and nine scenes by the French composer Ernest Reyer on a libretto by Camille du Locle and Alfred Blau.

Reyer - Sigurd (part 1 of 4)

Hilda - Cécile Perrin
Uta - Viorica Cortez
Gunther - Jean-Philippe Lafont
Hagen - Antoine Garcin
the Barde - Jean-Jacques Cubaynes
Infrid - Jean-Luc Maurette
Rudiger - Patrick Vilet
Hawart - Antoine Normand
Ramunc - (name not determined)
Sigurd - Alberto Cupido

Orchestra and Chorus of the Opéra de Marseille
Conductor: Dietfried Bernet

Reyer - Sigurd (part 2 of 4)
High Priest - Jean-Marc Ivaldi
Sigurd - Alberto Cupido
Gunther - Jean-Philippe Lafont
Hagen - Antoine Garcin
Brunehild - Françoise Pollet

Reyer - Sigurd (part 3 of 4)
Uta - Viorica Cortez
Hilda - Cécile Perrin
Gunther - Jean-Philippe Lafont
Sigurd - Alberto Cupido
Brunehild - Françoise Pollet
Hagen - Antoine Garcin

Reyer - Sigurd (part 4 of 4)

Brunehild - Françoise Pollet
Hilda - Cécile Perrin
Gunther - Jean-Philippe Lafont
Hagen - Antoine Garcin
Sigurd - Alberto Cupido
Uta - Viorica Cortez

Orchestra, Chorus and Ballet of the Opéra de Marseille
Conductor: Dietfried Bernet

19 January
Jules Massenet’s five-act Manon, based on Prevost's novel Uhistoire du chevalier dies Grieux et de Manon Lescaut (1731), opens at the Opera-Comique, Paris. The composers skilful portrayal of innocence corrupted launches the opera into the repertory.

15 February
Tchaikovsky’s nationalistic opera Mazeppa, based on Pushkin's historical poem Poltava, is respectfully received at the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow. 

Tchaikovsky - Mazeppa
From the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia (1996)
Kirov Orchestra, Opera, Chorus & Ballet
Valery Gergiev - conductor
Irina Molostova - stage producer
Soloists: 
Nikolai Putilin - Mazeppa
Sergei Aleksashkin - Vasilij Kocubej
Larissa Diadkova - Ljubov
Irina Loskutova - Maria
Viktor Lutsiuk - Andrej
Vladimir Zhivopistsev - Iskra
Vlatcheskav Luhanin - Orlik
Nikolai Gassiev - a drunken Cossak

1:23 Overture
8:11 Act I, Scene 1
31:17 Act I, Scene 2
47:07 Act II, Scene 1
1:02:10 Act II, Scene 2
1:20:02 Act II, Scene 3
1:57:27 Act III

28 March
Zdenek Fibich's tragic opera The Bride of Messina is first performed in Prague.

Zdeněk Fibich - Die Braut von Messina

00:00 Erster Akt
46:07 Zweiter Akt
1:23:21 Dritter Akt

Libuše Márová – Donna Isabella
Václav Zítek – Don Manuel
Ivo Žídek – Don Cesar
Gabriela Beňačková – Beatrice
Karel Hanuš – Diego
Jaroslav Horáček – Cayetan
Miroslav Švejda – Bohemund
Naďa Šormová – Page des Cesars

Prager Rundfunkchor 
Chor und Orchester Nationaltheater Prag,
Milan Malý – Choreinstudierung
František Jílek, 1975

12 May
Bedrich Smetana, having suffered rapidly deteriorating mental health, dies in an asylum in Prague, aged 59.

31 May
Giacomo Puccini’s debut opera, the one-act Le Villi, is presented at the Teatro Dal Verme in Milan. Revised for a two-act production in Turin at the end of the year, it rewards the composer with an early taste of success.

Giacomo Puccini - "Le Villi" 
Barry Morell (Roberto)
Adriana Maliponte (Anna)
Matteo Manuguerra (Guglielmo)
Gian-Carlo del Monaco (Narrator)
Vienna Volksoper Orchestra
Vienna Academy Chamber Chorus
Anton Guadagno, conductor, 1972

5 August
Claude Debussy, aged 22, wins the Prix de Rome for his cantata L'enfant prodigue. He will spend the next two years in Rome, as required of all prize-winners, residing at the Villa Medici.
L'enfant prodigue (The Prodigal Son) is a scène lyrique or cantata in one act by Claude Debussy with a text by Édouard Guinand.

Claude Debussy - L'enfant prodigue, L. 57

Lia: Jessye Norman, soprano
Azaël: José Carreras, tenore
Siméon: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritono

Stuttgart Radio Symphony - Gary Bertini, 1981

3 December
Edvard Grieg’s solo piano work From Holberg's Time is introduced in Bergen to mark the bicentennial celebrations of Holberg’s birth. Grieg will arrange the suite for string orchestra the following year, creating one of his best-loved compositions.

Edvard Grieg  - Du temps de Holberg, op. 40

I. Präludium: Allegro vivace
II. Sarabande: Andante
III. Gavote: Allegretto - Musette: Un poco mosso - Gavotte
IV. Air: Andante religioso
V. Rigaudon: Allegro con brio

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

 

1885

Cesar Franck composes his Symphonic Variations for piano and orchestra.

César Franck - Symphonic Variations, for Piano & Orchestra, M. 46
- Orchestra: London Philharmonic Orchestra 
- Conductor: Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos 
- Soloist: Alicia de Larrocha, 1972 

00:00 - 01. Poco Allegro 
01:48 - 02. L'istesso tempo 
02:14 - 03. Poco più lento 
03:18 - 04. Allegro 
04:39 - 05. Allegretto 
09:03 - 06. Molto più lento 
12:37 - 07. Allegro non troppo 
14:29 - 08. Un pochettino ritenuto 
15:10 - 09. Tempo I 

Franz Liszt composes his progressive Bagatelle ohne Tonart (Bagatelle without tonality). Opening with a motif distinguished by a tritione, the short, heavily chromatic piano piece never settles in any particular key, thereby breaking down the traditions of ‘functional tonality’ and anticipating 20th-century trends.

Franz Liszt - Bagatelle ohne Tonart
Nina Tichman

Gustav Mahler completes the first version of his song cycle Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer).

Gustav Mahler - Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen

Christian Gerhaher, baritone
Herbert Blomstedt

London, 2010

Camille Saint-Saens composes his Violin Sonata No. 1 in D minor.

Saint-Saëns - Violin Sonata No. 1 in D minor  Op. 75
Allegro agitato – Adagio  00:00
Allegretto moderato – Allegro molto  12:18

Dong-Suk Kang, violin
Pascal Devoyon, piano

Hugo Wolf completes his symphonic poem Penthesilea.

Hugo Wolf - Penthesilea, Symphonic Poem

1.  Departure of the Amazon for Troy
2.  Penthesilea's Dream of the Feats of Roses
3.  Fights, Passions, Madness, Extinction Combats, Passions, Folie, Destruction

Staatskapelle Berlin - Otmar Suitner, conductor

9 February
Austrian composer Alban Maria Johannes Berg is born in Vienna.

4 March
Richard Strauss looks to the earlier Romantics in his Horn Concerto No. 1 in E flat major (1883, written at the age of 18), premiered in Meiningen. The composers familiarity with the horn derives from his father, Franz, who is the Principal Horn of the Munich Court Orchestra.

Richard Strauss - Concerto for French Horn & Orchestra No 1 Op. 11 
Ondřej Vrabec - French horn,
NCPA Orchestra, Lü Jia - conductor.
National Center for Performing Arts (NCPA), Beijing. 2015

14 March
The Mikado begins a run of 672 performances at the Savoy Theatre in London. Regarded by most as Gilbert and Sullivan’s finest operetta, it enjoys phenomenal popularity on both sides of the Atlantic and becomes the pairs first major success beyond the English-speaking world.

Gilbert and Sullivan - The Mikado

22 April
Antonin Dvorak conducts the first performance of his Seventh Symphony in D minor (Op. 70), in London. While the severity of the work takes some by surprise, it will in time become recognised as one of the greatest of all Romantic symphonies. During this second English visit, Dvorak also conducts his cantata The Spectres Bride (1884).

Antonín Dvořák - Svatební košile (The Spectres Bride)
Velká kantáta pro sóla, sbor a orchestr na text Karla Jaromíra Erbena.  Zpívají Drahomíra Tikalová (Dívka), Beno Blachut (Umrlec), Ladislav Mráz (Vypravěč) a Český pěvecký sbor (sbormistr Josef Veselka), hraje Česká filharmonie, řídí Jaroslav Krombholc.

Antonín Dvorák - Symphony No 7 in D minor, Op 70

Prague Symphony Orchestra
Jirí Belohlávek, conductor

2 May
Anton Bruchner - Te Deum.

Anton Bruckner - Te Deum in C major
Berliner Philharmoniker
Chor der Deutschen Oper Berlin 
Conductor Eugen Jochum 
Maria Stader (soprano), Sieglinde Wagner (contralto), Ernst Haefliger (tenor), Peter Lagger (bass), 1965 

26 August
Charles Gounod's final oratorio, Mors et vita, premieres at the Birmingham Festival. The composer is unable to attend, having just lost a libel case with his former landladv and business associate Mrs Georgina Weldon, who has sued him on grounds of unpaid debts and defamatory remarks. Gounod faces immediate arrest if he sets foot on English soil.

Charles Gounod - MORS ET VITA
Barbara Hendricks, Nadine Denize, John Aler, José Van Dam, Orféon Donostiarra, orch du Capitole de Toulouse, Michel Plasson (1992)

4 October
Peter Ilytch Tchaikovsky completes his Manfred Symphony, based on Byron's dramatic poem. As with his fantasy-overture Romeo and Juliet, the initial idea for the work has come from Mily Balakirev.

Tchaikovsky - Manfred Symphony in B minor, Op. 58
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra - Bernard Haitink

24 October
Johann Strauss II delights Vienna with his new operetta The Gypsy Baron, staged at the Theater an der Wien.

Johann Strauss II “Der Zigeunerbaron” (Nikolaus Harnoncourt, 1994)
Graf Homonay - Wolfgang Holzmair
Conte Carnero - Jürgen Flimm Sandor Barinkay - Herbert Lippert 

25 October
Johannes Brahms conducts the first performance of his Symphony No. 4 in E minor (Op. 98), in Meiningen. Audiences are generally slow to embrace what is arguably the composers greatest essay in the genre.

Brahms - Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98

Gunther Herbig - Berlin Symphony Orchestra