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Romantic Era


In Britain, the Irish Home Rule Bill is defeated in the House of Commons • Britain annexes Upper Burma • Britain and Germany agree on the borders of Togoland and Gold Coast • Carl von Welsbach (Aus) invents an incandescent gas mantle • Gold is discovered in South Africa • The American Federation of Labour is formed • The Statue of Liberty is dedicated in New York • Georges Seurat (Fr) paints Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte • John Singer Sargent (US) paints Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose • Robert Louis Stevenson (Scot): Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde • H. Rider Haggard (Eng): King Solomon’s Mines • Henry James (US): The Bostonians

The Dawes Act authorises the end of Indian tribal government and division of Indian land in the USA • German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck calls for a larger German army • Germany, Austria and Italy renew their Triple Alliance • France creates a Union of Indo-China, consisting of Annam, Cambodia, Cochin-China and Tonkin • Yellow River flood in China claims around 900,000 lives • Gottlieb Daimler (Ger) produces first successful automobile • Heinrich Hertz (Ger) produces electromagnetic waves • Vincent van Gogh (Neth) paints Bridges across the Seine at Asnieres and three self-portraits • Arthur Conan Doyle (Scot): first Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet

Wilhelm II becomes (last) German emperor (to 1918) 
• Britain establishes protectorates in Sarawak, Brunei and north Borneo • Serfdom is ended in Brazil • The Suez Canal is declared open to all ships at all times by the convention of Constantinople • ‘Jack the Ripper’ murders occur in London •  John Boyd Dunlop (Scot) invents pneumatic bicycle tyre • George Eastman (US) introduces the Kodak box camera • Georges Seurat (Fr) paints La Parade du Cirque • Vincent van Gogh (Neth) paints Sunflowers • Rudyard Kipling (Eng): Plain Tales from the Hills • Thomas Hardy (Eng): Wessex Tales • Edward Bellamy (US): Looking Backward

Benjamin Harrison becomes 23rd President of the USA • Japan forms a parliament with upper and lower houses, but Emperor Mutsuhito retains wide powers • Italy claims Ethiopia as an Italian protectorate; Menelik II becomes King of Ethiopia • Construction of the Panama Canal is halted by lack of funds • Pedro II of Brazil abdicates, and Brazil becomes a republic • The Eiffel Tower in Paris is completed • George Eastman (US) produces film roll for cameras • Vincent van Gogh (Neth) paints Starry Night • Auguste Rodin (Fr) completes sculpture of The Burghers of Calais • Jerome K. Jerome (Eng): Three Men in a Boat • George Bernard Shaw (Ire): Fabian Essays

The Force Bill, protecting Black voters’ rights, is rejected by the Senate (USA) • Kaiser Wilhelm II dismisses Otto von Bismarck as German Chancellor • Britain gives Heligoland to Germany in return for Zanzibar and Pemba • Britain annexes Uganda • Cecil Rhodes (Eng/SA) becomes Premier of Cape Colony • German East Africa (Tanganyika) becomes a German colony • Luxembourg becomes independent of the Netherlands • Journalist Nellie Bly (US) completes her circumnavigation of the globe in 72 days, six hours, 11 minutes and 14 seconds’ • Vincent van Gogh (Neth) paints two versions of Portrait of Dr Gachet • Sir John Millais (Eng) paints Dew-Drenched Furze


Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle KStJ DL (22 May 1859 – 7 July 1930) was a British writer best known for his detective fiction featuring the character Sherlock Holmes. Originally a physician, in 1887 he published A Study in Scarlet, the first of four novels about Holmes and Dr. Watson. In addition, Doyle wrote over fifty short stories featuring the famous detective. The Sherlock Holmes stories are generally considered milestones in the field of crime fiction.



Isaac Albeniz draws on regional folk idioms in his Suite espanola for solo piano. ‘Sevilla’ and (the later added) ‘Asturias’ are among the principal crowd-pleasers, especially in subsequent guitar transcriptions.

Isaac Albéniz - Suite Española, Op. 47

Namji Kim, 2015
I. Granada: 0:00
II. Cataluña: 5:38
III. Sevilla: 7:48
IV. Cadiz: 12:34
V. Asturias: 16:30
VI. Aragon: 22:59
VII. Castilla: 27:40
VIII. Cuba: 30:28

Gabriel Faure completes his Piano Quartet No. 2 in G minor (Op. 45).

Gabriel Fauré - Piano Quartet #2 in g minor, Op. 4

Albert Cano Smit- piano, Ervin Luka Sešek- violin, Gary Hoffman- cello, Tanner Menees- viola

Colburn Chamber Music Society, Colburn Conservatory, Zipper Hall, 11. 08. 2015 in Los Angeles

00:13 I. Allegro molto moderato
11:30 II. Allegro molto
14:59 III. Adagio non troppo
26:25 IV. Allegro molto

Vincent D’lndy completes Symphonie sur un chant montagnard frangais (Symphony on a French Mountaineers Song), his most popular work.

D'Indy - Symphonie sur un chant montagnard française, op. 25
I. Assez lent
II. Assez modéré
III. Animé
Piano: Aldo Ciccolini
Orchestre National de la Radiodissusion Française
Conductor: André Cluytens, 1953

9 March 
Camille Saint-Saens's chamber work Le carnaval des animaux (The Carnival of the Animals) is premiered in Paris. Apart from one movement, The Swan’, he will not allow the work to be performed again in his lifetime, concerned that its triviality will damage his reputation.

Camille Saint-Saëns - Le Carnaval des animaux
0:48 Introduction et Marche Royale du Lion
3:01 Poules et Coqs
3:53 Hemiones
4:41 Tortues
6:36 L'Elephant
8:05 Kangourous
8:58 Aquarium
11:25 Personnages a longues oreilles
12:15 Le Coucou au fonds des bois
14:35 Pianistes
16:10 Fossiles
17:38 Le Cygne
20:49 Final
Symphony Orchestra of The Stanisław Moniuszko 
Małgorzata Sapiecha - conductor

19 May
Saint-Saens’s Symphony No. 3 in C minor (Organ Symphony), commissioned by the London Philharmonic Society, is introduced under the composer’s direction at St James’s Hall. Employing the (Lisztian) technique of thematic transformation, Saint-Saens repeatedly draws on his principal subject. The celebrated Maestoso section introduces the symphony’s most famous thematic transformation, featuring divided strings and glistening four-hand piano accompaniment, followed by full-throttle organ and triumphant brass.

Saint-Saëns - Symphony No 3 in C minor, Op 78 'Organ'

1 Adagio - Allegro moderato - Poco adagio
2 Allegro moderato - Presto - Maestoso - Allegro

Thierry Escaich, organ

Orchestre de Paris. Paavo Järvi, conductor

31 July
Following several busy months of touring and concert giving, Franz Liszt dies at Bayreuth, aged 74. 


Richard Strauss, aged 22, composes his symphonic fantasy Aus Italien. This same year he takes the post of third conductor at the Munich Court Opera.

Richard Strauss - Aus Italien, Op. 16
1. Auf dem Land
2. Ruinen von Rom
3. Am Strande von Sorrent
4. Neapolitanisches Volksleben
Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra

One work that definitely can use some love is Ruggero Leoncavallo's symphonic poem La Nuit de mai, a setting of an Alfred de Musset poem 

Placido Domingo sings "La Nuit de Mai"
by Ruggero Leoncavallo

Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna
Alberto Veronesi, conductor

17 April
Le songe d'une nuit d'été (A Midsummer Night's Dream) is an opéra-comique in three acts composed by Ambroise Thomas to a French libretto by Joseph-Bernard Rosier and Adolphe de Leuven. 
The opera was premiered on 20 April 1850 by the Opéra-Comique at the second Salle Favart in Paris. 
A revised version was mounted on 17 April 1886.

Ambroise Thomas - Le Songe d'une nuit d'ete

24 November 
Johannes Brahms presents his Cello Sonata No. 2 in F major at the Kleiner Musikvereinssaal in Vienna, and eight days later at the same venue his Violin Sonata No. 2 in A major.

Brahms - Cello Sonata No.2 in F major op.99
Truls Mørk, cello - Juhani Lagerspetz, piano

Brahms - Violin Sonata No 2 in A major, Op 100

Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin - Lambert Orkis, piano



Frederick Delius completes his Florida Suite while studying at the Leipzig Conservatory.

Frederick Delius - Florida Suite
Welsh Opera Orchestra conducted  Sir Charles Groves.

1. Daybreak (0:00 - 12:35)
2. By the River (12:36 - 19:14)
3. Sunset (19:15 - 29:15)
4. At Night (29:16 - 37:57)

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov latches onto the vogue for Spanish exoticism in his effervescent Spanish capriccio for orchestra. 

Rimsky-Korsakov - Capriccio Espagnol Op 34
Berliner Phil. Dir. Zubin Mehta

Charles-Marie Widor's Organ Symphonies Nos. 5-8 are published in Paris as his Op. 42.

Widor - Organ Symphony No.5 in F minor Op.42 
Marie-Claire Alain

Widor - Symphonie No. 6 in G Minor, Op. 42
Ben van Oosten

Widor – Symphonie pour orgue No. 7 op. 42 

Antonin Dvorak completes his second set of Slavonic Dances (Op. 72).

Dvořák - Slavonic Dances. Op. 72 
Václav Talich (Conductor)
Czech Philharmonic, 

Opus 72
No. 1 (9) in B major (Odzemek)
No. 2 (10) in E minor (Starodávný)
No. 3 (11) in F major (Skočná)
No. 4 (12) in D-flat major (Dumka)
No. 5 (13) in B-flat minor (Špacírka)
No. 6 (14) in B-flat major (Starodávný ("Ancient"))
No. 7 (15) in C major (Kolo)
No. 8 (16) in A-flat major (Sousedská)

5 February
Giuseppe Verdi's first new opera in over 15 years, Otello, with libretto by Boito after Shakespeare’s play, causes a sensation at La Scala, Milan. The premiere has attracted an international body of media and public emotion ranges from excited to hysterical. After the performance, mobbing fans detach Verdi’s carriage from the horses and draw it themselves, conveying Boito, Verdi and his wife back to their hotel. A crowd remains outside the hotel throughout most of the night, cheering and playing music.

24 February
John Stainer's most enduring large-scale work, the oratorio The Crucifixion, is first performed at St Marylebone Parish Church, London. The English composer and organist will later dismiss all his music as 'rubbish'.

John Stainer - The Crucifixion

Yannick Badier, Tenor
Daniel Summers, Baritone
Anna-Victoria Baltrusch, Orgen

Chorus: Cantus Zürich,
Conductor: Walter Riethmann

27 February
Composer Alexander Borodin drops down dead from heart failure at a Medical-Surgical Academy ball in St Petersburg, aged 53. 


5 March
Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos is born in Rio de Janeiro.

18 May 
Emmanuel Chabrier's Le roi malgre lui (King, in Spite of Himself) makes little impact at the Opera-Comique, Paris. The opera house itself burns down later this month.

Emmanuel Chabrier - Le roi malgre lui

Henri de Valois: Liam Bonner 
Comte de Nangis: Luigi Boccia 
Le Duc de Fritelli: Frederic Goncalves 
Minka: Mercedes Arcuri 
Alexina: Nathalie Paulin 
Laski: Quirijn de Lang 
Basile: Thomas Morris 
Lincourt: Carlos Nogueira 
D'Elboeuf: Lawrence Thackeray 
Maugiron: Simon Robinson
 Comte de Caylus: Owen Webb 
Marquis de Villeguier: Simon Meadows 
Conductor Jean-Luc Tingaud

22 January
Gilbert and Sullivan’s Ruddigore opens at the Savoy Theatre, London. Following a string of hits, their new operetta achieves only modest success. 

RUDDIGORE (Gibert & Sullivan) Act I 
Rose Maybud: Sandra Dugdale
Robin Oakapple: Edward Coker
Richard Dauntless: Forbes Leon Woods
Mad Margaret: Wendy Hillhouse
Sir Despard Murgatroyd: Malcolm Arnold
Sir Roderic Murgatroyd: Eric Johnson
Dame Hannah: Meredith Rawlins
Old Adam Goodheart: George McTyre
Zorah: Carol Attmore
Ruth: Debra Hays

Stage Director: Albert Sherman

The Lyric Opera of Dallas
Conductor: John Burrows

June 1988
The Majestic Theater, Dallas TX

RUDDIGORE (Gilbert and Sullivan) Act II 

10 August 
Anton Bruckner completes the first version of his Eighth Symphony, only to have the conductor Hermann Levi reject the work as incomprehensible. He immediately starts revisions, and at the same time begins work on his Ninth Symphony.

Anton Bruckner - Symphony No 8 in C minor

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Herbert von Karajan, 

18 October 
Johannes Brahms conducts the premiere of his Double Concerto for violin and cello, in Cologne. It is performed by its dedicatees, Joachim and Robert Hausmann.

Brahms - Double Concerto for Violin,Cello & Orchestra in A Minor,Op.102
Violin : Isaac Stern
Cello : Yo-Yo Ma
Cond : Kazuyoshi AKIYAMA
NHK Symphony Orchestra
1986.11.27   Suntory Hall (Tokyo)

31 December
Cesar Franck's Violin Sonata in A major is introduced by Eugene Ysaye at the Societe Nationale in Paris.

César Franck - Violin Sonata in A Major
Isaac Stern: violin - Alexander Zakin: piano -1959

Heitor Villa-Lobos

Heitor Villa-Lobos

Heitor Villa-Lobos, (born March 5, 1887, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil—died November 17, 1959, Rio de Janeiro), Brazilian composer and one of the foremost Latin American composers of the 20th century, whose music combines indigenous melodic and rhythmic elements with Western classical music.


Villa-Lobos’s father was a librarian and an amateur musician. Under the influence of his father’s weekly musical get-togethers, the boy became interested in music. He learned to play cello (actually a modified viola) at age six and was inspired by music from Johann Sebastian Bach’s A Well-Tempered Clavier that was given to him by an aunt. While traveling with his family to various regions of the vast country, he also developed an interest in native Brazilian folk music. When they returned to Rio de Janeiro, Villa-Lobos began associating and performing with the city’s popular musicians. He learned to play the guitar. He left home at age 18 because his widowed mother opposed his “delinquent” friends and wanted him to become a doctor. Instead, he became a musical vagabond, playing cello and guitar to support himself while traveling throughout the states of Espírito Santo, Bahia, and Pernambuco, absorbing Brazilian folk music and composing his own pieces.

During this period Villa-Lobos enrolled briefly at the Instituto Nacional de Música in Rio de Janeiro, but he was to continue his travels for three years. He returned to the city with a large group of manuscripts and an intimate knowledge of the Afro-Brazilian music of the country’s northern and northeastern regions. He began a serious study of the works of Bach, Richard Wagner, and Giacomo Puccini, whose influence can be noted in his compositions. In 1915 a concert in Rio de Janeiro featured his compositions, and his career was given a vital boost that same year when the firm of Artur Napoleão began publishing his music. Although many critics initially attacked the dissonance and modernity of his work, he persisted in his efforts to merge Western music and the Brazilian vernacular tradition.

In 1919 he met the pianist Artur Rubinstein, who helped advance Villa-Lobos’s reputation by playing his music in concerts throughout the world. He composed ceaselessly (about 2,000 works are credited to him in all), and by the time of his first trip to Europe in 1923 he had produced a long list of compositions in every form, from solo pieces for guitar to trios, quartets, concerti, vocal music, and symphonies. The success of his first trip—he made Paris his home base for the remainder of the 1920s—encouraged him to organize and perform in a number of concerts; during this period he published more of his work and solidified an international reputation.

In Brazil for a performance in 1930, Villa-Lobos presented a plan for music education in the São Paulo school system and was appointed director of music education there. In 1932 he took charge of music education throughout Brazil. He established a conservatory for choral singing in 1942 and, with fellow composer Oscar Lorenzo Fernandez, cofounded the Brazilian Academy of Music in 1945. Between 1944 and 1949 he traveled widely in the United States and Europe, where he wrote music for several films, received many honours, and was much in demand as a conductor.

As mentioned above, Villa-Lobos’s works are characterized by a singular blend of Western classical music and Brazilian folk songs and rhythms. One of his best-known works is Bachianas brasileiras (written 1930–45), a set of nine pieces for various instrumental and vocal groups, in which a contrapuntal technique in the manner of Bach is applied to themes of Brazilian origin. A similar series of 14 works, composed between 1920 and 1929, bears the generic title Chôros (the choro is a Brazilian country dance). Each of his 12 symphonies alludes to a historic event or place. Among his many other works are two cello concerti (1915, 1955), Momoprecoce for piano and orchestra (1929), Guitar Concerto (1951), Harp Concerto (1953), Harmonica Concerto (1955), 16 string quartets, Rudepoema for piano solo (1926; orchestrated 1942), and the symphonic poems Uirapurú (1917), Amazonas (1929), and Dawn in a Tropical Forest (1954).


Heitor Villa Lobos - Bachianas Brasileiras, No. 1, - orchestra of cellos.
01 - Bachianas Brasileiras, No. 1 for 'an orchestra of cellos' (1930), I. Introduction - Embolada
02 - Bachianas Brasileiras, No. 1 for 'an orchestra of cellos' (1930), II. Preludio - Modinha
03 - Bachianas Brasileiras, No. 1 for 'an orchestra of cellos' (1930), III. Fuga - Conversa 

Heitor Villa-Lobos - Bachianas Brasileiras, No. 2 
Preludio (O canto do capadocio) 
Aria (O canto da nossa terra)
Dansa (Lembrança do sertão)
Toccata (O trenzinho)

Heitor Villa-Lobos - Bachianas Brasileiras No.3
cored for piano and orchestra (1938)
Preludio (Ponteio)
Fantasia (Devaneio) (Digression)
Aria (Modinha)
Toccata (Picapào)

Heitor Villa-Lobos - Bachianas Brasileiras No.4
Scored for piano (1930-41)
Preludio (Introdução)
Coral (Canto do sertão)
Aria (Cantiga)
Danza (Mindinho) 

Heitor Villa-Lobos - Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5
Scored for soprano and orchestra of cellos (1938/45).
Aria (Cantilena) (lyrics by Ruth V. Corrêa) 
Dansa (Martelo)) (lyrics by Manuel Bandeira)

Heitor Villa-Lobos - Bachianas Brasileiras No. 6
Scored for flute and bassoon (1938)
Aria (Choros)

Heitor Villa-Lobos - Bachianas Brasileiras No. 7
Scored for symphony orchestra (1942)
(dedicated to Gustavo Capanevia)
Preludio (Ponteio)
Giga (Quadrilha caipira)
Tocata (Desafio)
Fuga (Conversa)

Heitor Villa-Lobos - Bachianas Brasileiras No. 8 
Scored for symphony orchestra (1944)
(dedicated to Mindinha)
Aria (Modinha)
Tocata (Catira batida)
Fuga (Also arranged for four-part a cappella choir.)

Heitor Villa-Lobos - O Descubrimento do Brasil, Suites Simfónicas (1937-52)
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by  Roberto Duarte.
Baritone: Adam Blazo.
Choir: Slovak Philharmonic Choir.
Suite I (0:00) 
Suite II (18:17) 
Suite III (30:57) 
Suite IV “First Mass in Brazil”  (48:37)



Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov composes the Russian Easter Festival overture and the exotic symphonic suite Sheherazade.

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov - Russian Easter Festival Overture, Op. 36
Conductor: Arthur Fiedler
Orchestra: Boston Pops Orchestra

Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade op.35

Introducción. El mar. El barco de Simbad (00:05)
La historia del príncipe Kalender (12:03)
El joven príncipe y la princesa (25:10)
Fiesta en Bagdad. El mar. El barco de Simbad naufraga al chocar contra una roca en cuya cima se halla un herrero de bronce (37:18)

Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia
Leif Segerstam, director
Slava Chestiglazov, concertino 

Gustav Mahler completes a two-part tone poem, later entitled Titan and effectively the first version of his Symphony No. 1 in D major. This year he takes up the directorship of the Budapest Opera.

Gustav Mahler - Symphony No.1 in D major "Titan"

I. Langsam. Schleppend. Wie ein Naturlaut - Im Anfang sehr gemächlich (00:00)
II. Kräftig bewegt, doch nicht zu schnell (16:20)
III. Feierlich und gemessen, ohne zu schleppen (23:37)
IV. Stürmisch bewegt (34:31)

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Claudio Abbado 
(Recorded in 1981)

29 March
Charles-Valentin Alkan dies in Paris, aged 74.


Erik Satie completes his three modal Gymnopedies (Nude Gymnasts) for solo piano. At the age of 22 he has already produced his most enduring and popular work.

Erik Satie -  Gymnopédies & Gnossiennes

00:00:00 3 Sarabandes (1887): No. 1
00:05:33 3 Sarabandes (1887): No. 2
00:10:33 3 Sarabandes (1887): No. 3
00:14:47 3 Gymnopédies (1889): No. 1: Lent et douloureux
00:18:27 3 Gymnopédies (1889): No. 2: Lent et triste
00:21:45 3 Gymnopédies (1889): No. 3: Lent et grave
00:24:38 Gnossiennes 1-3 (1890): No. 1
00:28:45 Gnossiennes 1-3 (1890): No. 2
00:30:45 Gnossiennes 1-3 (1890): No. 3
00:34:11 Gnossiennes 4-6 (1889-1897): No. 4
00:37:02 Gnossiennes 4-6 (1889-1897): No. 5
00:39:53 Gnossiennes 4-6 (1889-1897): No. 6
00:41:27 2 Préludes du nazaréen (1892): No. 1, assez lent
00:46:09 2 Préludes du nazaréen (1892): No. 2, assez lent
00:49:15 2 Prélude de la porte Héroique du ciel (1894)
00:53:00 2 Pièces froides (1897), No. 1: Airs a faire fuir: D’une manière très particulaire
00:55:59 2 Pièces froides (1897), No. 1: Airs a faire fuir: Modestemente
00:57:42 2 Pièces froides (1897), No. 1: Airs a faire fuir: S’inviter
01:00:45 No 2: Danses de travers: En y regardent à deux fois
01:01:39 No 2: Danses de travers: Passer
01:02:25 No 2: Danses de travers: Encore
01:03:47 Petite ouverture à danser (1900)

Håkon Austbö (piano)

Richard Strauss completes his tone poems Macbeth (first version) and Don Juan.

Richard Strauss - Macbeth Op. 23 
Staatskapelle Dresden, Rudolf Kempe.

Richard Strauss - Don Juan op.20
Mariss Jansons
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks

Hugo Wolf  begins a marathon songwriting spree that will continue well into the following year. During this time he completes his collections of Morike-Lieder, Eichendorjf-Lieder and Goethe-Lieder. Overcome by his own brilliance, he informs friends of ‘Fussreise’ (A Morning Walk): 'When you have heard this song you can have only one wish—to die.’

Hugo Wolf - Eichendorff Lieder

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

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Gerald Moore, 1959

Hugo Wolf -  "Goethe-Lieder"
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf--Soprano
Gerald Moore--Piano, 2016
Mignon I                                    0:01
Mignon II                                  4:03
Mignon III                                 6:22
Kennst du das Land              10:35
Philine                                      17:32
Epiphanias                              20:53
St Nepomuks Vorabend       25.34
 Der Schäfer                           28:35
Die Spröde                             30:58    
Die Bekehrte                          33:01           
Frühling übers Jahr             35:52
Hockbegglückt in deiner Liebe     37:53

7 May
Edouard Lalo’s Le roi d'Ys (The King of Ys) is staged at the Opera-Comique, Paris. The three-act opera triumphs and becomes the composer s most famous work in France.

Edouard Lalo - The King of Ys
Henri Legay - Janine Micheau - Rita Gorr - Jean Borthayre - Jacques Mars - 1955

11 May 
Composer Irving Berlin born.

3 October
Gilbert and Sullivan's The Yeoman of the Guard opens at the Savoy Theatre, London.

Gilbert and Sullivan - "The Yeomen of the Guard"
Performed by the CT Gilbert and Sullivan Society, 2013.  

17 November
Tchaikovsky introduces his Fifth Symphony in St Petersburg. It is the most tightly wrought of all the composers symphonies, marked above all by a 'fate’ motif appearing in each of the four movements.

Tchaikovsky - SYMPHONY NO. 5 in E minor, Op. 64
State Symphony Orchestra of the Russian Federation 'Evgeny Svetlanov'
VASILY PETRENKO, cond. (2015)

I. Andante - Scherzo. Allegro con anima - Molto più tranquillo (0:00)
II. Andante cantabile, con alcuna licenza - Non allegro - Andante maestoso con piano (15:16)
III. Valse. Allegro moderato (29:13)
IV. Finale. Andante maestoso (con fiamma) - Non allegro - Presto molto furioso - Molto assai e molto maestoso - Allegro vivace  (34:29)

26 December 
Isoline is an opera, described as a 'conte de fées' (fairy story) in three acts and ten tableaux, on a text by Catulle Mendès, with music by André Messager.

André Messager - ISOLINE
Personaggi e interpreti:
Isoline: Janine Micheau,
Isolin: Jeanne Rolland,
Titania: Maria Branèze,
La Reine Amalasonthe: Marguerite Pifteau,
Violante: Genevève Parat,
Nicette: Nadine Sautereau,
Désolée: Jacqueline Cauchard,
Oberon: Willy Clément
Rosélio/Daphnis: Joseph Peyron
Choeurs de la RTF, Orchestre Radio Lyrique
Direction Louis Beydts
RTF Paris, 21 septembre 1947

Irving Berlin

Irving Berlin


Irving Berlin, original name Israel Baline, (born May 11, 1888, Mogilyov, Russia [now in Belarus]—died Sept. 22, 1989, New York, N.Y., U.S.), American composer who played a leading role in the evolution of the popular song from the early ragtime and jazz eras through the golden age of musicals. His easy mastery of a wide range of song styles, for both stage and motion pictures, made him perhaps the greatest and most enduring of American songwriters.


Israel was born to the family of a Jewish cantor that immigrated to New York City in 1893. His father died when the boy was eight years old. Having obtained only two years of formal education, he worked as a street singer and a singing waiter in New York’s Lower East Side. He began writing song lyrics, and his first published song, “Marie from Sunny Italy,” appeared in 1907; a printer’s error on this song named him Irving Berlin, a surname that he subsequently kept. Berlin continued his writing and within a few years was a successful “song plugger,” demonstrating new tunes. He was unable to read or write musical notation and learned music by ear instead. He began writing his own music as well as lyrics, and in 1911 he wrote what quickly became the preeminent hit of Tin Pan Alley’s ragtime vogue, “Alexander’s Ragtime Band.” His first ballad, “When I Lost You,” was written in 1912. Then he began contributing to numerous Broadway revues and musical entertainments, including Florenz Ziegfeld’s Follies. In 1919 he founded the Irving Berlin Music Corporation to publish his own music.

Through the following decades Berlin wrote the scores for several musicals, one of his most popular being Annie Get Your Gun (1946; film, 1950). He wrote more than 800 songs, many of which became classics, including “Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning,” “A Pretty Girl Is like a Melody,” “Always” (written in 1925 as a wedding present for his second wife), “Remember,” “ Cheek to Cheek,” “How Deep Is the Ocean,” “Blue Skies,” “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” the patriotic standard “God Bless America,” “Heat Wave,” and “There’s No Business like Show Business.”

In the era of big motion-picture musicals, Berlin was able to transfer his stage success to the screen, writing the scores for many successful films, including Top Hat (1935), Follow the Fleet (1936), Easter Parade (1948), Call Me Madam (1953), and White Christmas (1954). His score for the film Holiday Inn (1942) introduced the touching ballad “White Christmas,” which became one of the most popular songs ever recorded. Altogether Berlin wrote the scores for 19 Broadway shows and 18 motion pictures.

The Very Best of the Irving Berlin Songbook 
1. 00:00:00 Fred Astaire Let’s Tace the Music and Dance
2. 00:02:28 Ella Fitzgerald Always
3. 00:05:35 Howard Keel There’s No Business Like Show Business
4. 00:08:05 Sarah Vaughan Cheek to Cheek
5. 00:10:51 Frank Sinatra How Deep Is the Ocean?
6. 00:13:50 Dean Martin I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm
7. 00:16:33 Eydie Gorme Be Careful, It’s My Heart
8. 00:19:00 Ethel Merman Anything You Can Do
9. 00:22:08 Nina Simone You Can Have Him
10. 00:27:57 Jimmie Lunceford Easter Parade
11. 00:30:38 Billie Holiday He Ain’t Got Rhythm
12. 00:33:29 Mary Martin Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly
13. 00:35:56 Coleman Hawkins Say It Isn’t So
14. 00:38:50 Al Jolson Let Me Sing and I’m Happy
15. 00:41:12 The McGuire Sisters Blue Skies
16. 00:43:02 Doris Day Let’s Take an Old Fashioned Walk
17. 00:46:01 Eddie Fisher How About Me?
18. 00:48:55 Tommy Dorsey Marie
19. 00:52:14 Mildred Bailey You’re Laughing at Me
20. 00:55:03 Gary Crosby Play a Simple Melody
21. 00:57:57 Irving Berlin This Is the Army, Mr Jones
22. 01:00:18 Gordon MacRae Steppin’ out with My Baby
23. 01:02:48 Ella Fitzgerald It’s a Lovely Day Today
24. 01:05:14 Nat King Cole What’ll I Do
25. 01:08:18 Fred Astaire Top Hat, White Tie and Tails
26. 01:12:07 Ella Fitzgerald Isn’t It a Lovely Day
27. 01:15:35 Frank Sinatra They Say It’s Wonderful
28. 01:18:41 Fred Astaire Puttin’ on the Ritz
29. 01:21:16 Mary Martin I Got the Sun in the Morning
30. 01:24:33 Johnnie Ray Alexander’s Ragtime Band
31. 01:27:00 Howard Keel The Girl That I Marry
32. 01:29:34 Bobby Darin All by Myself
33. 01:32:40 Tommy Dorsey Everybody’s Doing It
34. 01:35:36 Perry Como You’re Just in Love
35. 01:38:33 Peggy Lee I Threw a Kiss in the Ocean
36. 01:41:33 Bing Crosby When I Lost You
37. 01:44:46 Tony Bennett Roses of Yesterday
38. 01:47:39 Ethel Waters Heatwave
39. 01:50:39 The Nat King Cole Trio I Never Had a Chance
40. 01:53:30 Ginger Rogers The Piccolino
41. 01:56:45 Frank Sinatra You’re Lonely and I’m Lonely
42. 01:59:57 Geraldo I Want to Be in Dixie
43. 02:03:06 Ben Selvin Me!
44. 02:05:58 Alice Faye This Year’s Kisses
45. 02:08:52 Bunny Berigan Russian Lullaby
46. 02:11:59 Fred Astaire Change Partners
47. 02:15:17 Ella Fitzgerald Slumming on Park Avenue
48. 02:17:40 Bing Crosby White Christmas
49. 02:20:44 Fats Waller Waiting at the End of the Road
50. 02:24:06 Louis Armstrong The Song Is Ended (But the Melody Lingers On)



8 February  
Francesco Cilea"Gina"

Francesco Cilea - "Gina"
Opera in 3 Acts

Anna Lucia Alessio (Gina)
Laura Brioli (Lilla), 
Gianluca Terranova (Giulio)
Fabio Maria Capitanucci (Uberto)
Andrea Porta (Flamberge)
Coro Solisti Cantori
Orchestra Philarmonia Mediterranea

Christopher Franklin, conductor

17 February
Cesar Franck's Symphony in D minor (completed 1888) is premiered with just modest success by the Societe des Concerts du Conservatoire in Paris.

Cesar Franck - Symphony in D minor
00:00 Lento - Allegro
17:09 Allegretto
27:06 Allegro non troppo

New York Philharmonic Orchestra - Kurt Masur.

21 April  
Edgar is an operatic dramma lirico in three acts (originally four acts) by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Ferdinando Fontana, freely based on the play in verse La Coupe et les lèvres by Alfred de Musset. The first performance was given at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan on 21 April 1889.

Giacomo Puccini - Edgar

Esclarmonde - Jules Massenet
Esclarmonde,  soprano - Alexandra Pendatshanska
Roland, conteggio di Blois, tenore - Alberto Cupido
Vescovo di Blois, baritono - Manrico Biscotti
Énéas, Cavaliere-Errant a Parséis, tenore - Ivan Kiurkciev
Parseis, sorella di Esclarmonde, mezzo soprano - Claudia Bandera
Phorcas, imperatore, basso - Michele Pertusi
Cléomer, re della Francia, basso - Boris Martinovic
Orchesta e coro del teatro Regio di Torino diretti da: Alain Guingal
regia di: Lorenzo Mariani Prima esecuzione in Italia, 1992

Esclarmonde - Jules Massenet 

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, 1983

Esclarmonde..................Joan Sutherland
Roland.............................Ernesto Veronelli
Parséis............................Diane Montague
L'Empereur Phorcas........Gwynne Howell
L'Évêque de Blois...........Jonathan Summers
Énéas..............................Ryland Davies
Cléomer..........................Geoffrey Moses
Un envoyé Sarrazin........John Dobson
Un héraut Byzant............Kim Begley

Conductor.......................Richard Bonynge

Acting Chorus Master....Nina Walker

Prologue: 0:00

Start of Act I: 08:04 (Roland! Roland! Comme ce nom me trouble étrangement!)
25:13 (Esprits de l'air! Esprits de l'onde!) 

Start of Act 2: 31:06

Start of Act 3: 01:10:35 (O Blois! misérable cité!
01:38:09 (Ah! Ah! Ah! Rolond!... Ah! c'est elle! c'est elle!)
01:43:12 (Regarde-les, ces yeux)

Start of Act IV: 01:47:22 (Entendez tous ce que ma voix proclame...)

Start of Epilogue: 02:15:08(Dignitaires! Guerriers! Sous ces augustes voûtes devant moi vous voici rassemblés!)

14 May
Jules Massenet’s four-act medieval fantasy Esclarmonde opens at the Opera-Comique in Paris.

15 June
John Philip Sousa introduces his march The Washington Post at the newspapers essay awards ceremony. The piece is so phenomenally successful that it significantly enhances the newspapers reputation.

John Philip Sousa - The Washington Post - March
CSULB Wind Symphony - John Alan Carnahan - Conductor

21 October
Johann Strauss II's Kaiser-Walzer (Op. 437) is performed for the first time in Berlin.

Johann Strauss II - Kaiser-Walzer op.437 (Emperor Waltz)
Conductor: Claudio Abbado & Wiener Philharmoniker

8 November
Antonin Dvorak completes his Eighth Symphony.

Antonín Dvořák - Symphony No.8 in G major, Op.88

I. Allegro con brio (00:00)
II. Adagio (09:31)
III. Allegretto grazioso (21:11)
IV. Allegro, ma non troppo (26:49)

Wiener Philharmoniker
Herbert von Karajan, conductor

August 15, 1974

11 November
Richard Strauss conducts the first performance of his tone poem Don Juan (1888) in Weimar. The success of the work advances his reputation as one of the leading Germancomposers of the day. This same year sees the composition of the tone poem Tod und Verklarung (Death and Transfiguration).

Richard Strauss - Tod und Verklärung op.24

London Symphony Orchestra
Karl Böhm
Salzburg, 10.VIII.1977

11 November
Edward Elgar's Salut d'amour, composed the previous year for violin and piano, is introduced in its orchestral version at the Crystal Palace, London. It is the composers first enduring work.

Edward Elgar - Salut d'amour, Op. 12
From the Annecy Classic Festival 2013
Saint-Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
Yuri Temirkanov - conductor

7 December
Gilbert and
Sullivan’s two-act operetta The Gondoliers—their last major success—opens at London’s Savoy Theatre. The story, concerning the infant heir to the throne of Barataria, stolen by the Grand Inquisitor, has been inspired in part by Gilbert’s own kidnapping, aged two, in Naples.

The Gondoliers (Act 1) - Gilbert & Sullivan

The Duke of Plaza-Toro, A Grandee of Spain (comic baritone)
Luiz, his Attendant (lyric baritone or tenor)
Don Alhambra del Bolero, the Grand Inquisitor (baritone)
Marco Palmieri, Venetian Gondolier (tenor)
Giuseppe Palmieri, Venetian Gondolier (baritone)
Antonio, Venetian Gondolier (baritone)
Francesco, Venetian Gondolier (tenor)
Giorgio, Venetian Gondolier (bass)
Annibale, Venetian Gondolier (speaking role/chorus)
The Duchess of Plaza-Toro (contralto)
Casilda, her Daughter (soprano)
Gianetta, Contadina (soprano)
Tessa, Contadina (mezzo-soprano)
Fiametta, Contadina (soprano)
Vittoria, Contadina (mezzo-soprano)
Giulia, Contadina (mezzo-soprano or soprano)
Inez, the King's Foster-mother (contralto)
Chorus of Gondoliers and Contadine, Men-at-Arms

Pro Arte Orchestra - Glyndebourne Festival Chorus
Conductor: Sir Malcolm Sargent

The Gondoliers (Act 2) - Gilbert & Sullivan



Enrique Granados completes his 12 Danzas espanolas for piano.

Enrique Granados  - 12 Danzas Españolas

1. Galante 
2. Orientale 
3. Fandango 
4. Villanesca 
5. Andaluza 
6. Rondalla aragonesa 
7. Valenciana
8. Sardana 
9. Romantica 
10. Melancolica 
11. Arabesca 
12. Bolero 

Monica Alianello.

15 January
Tchaikovsky’s enchanting ballet The Sleeping Beauty receives its first performance at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. Its reception is lukewarm.

The Sleeping Beauty  - Tchaikovsky
Interpreted by the Australian Ballet Company, featuring by The Elizabethan Melbourne Orchestra, conducted by Barry Wordsworth at Sidney Art Center.

10 February 
Salammbô is an opera in five acts composed by Ernest Reyer to a French libretto by Camille du Locle. It is based on the homonymous novel by Gustave Flaubert (1862). Initially refused by Paris, Reyer's opera enjoyed its first performance at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels, on 10 February 1890

Ernest Reyer - SALAMMBÔ 
Kate Aldrich - Gilles Ragon - J.P Lafont - Sebastien Gueze - Wojtek Smilek - Andre Heyboer


10 September
Edward Elgar conducts the first performance of his Froissart Overture at the Worcester Public Hall during the Three Choirs Festival.

Elgar - Froissart Op.19
New Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Sir John Barbirolli.

4 November 
Alexander Borodin's Prince Igor, completed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Glazunov, premieres with reasonable success at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, three years after the composers death. The opera becomes one of the most important of the Russian repertory.


8 November
Cesar Franck dies in Paris, aged 67. 


8 December
Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu is born in Policka, Bohemia. For the first 11 years of his life he lives with his family in a church tower.

19 December
Tchaikovsky’s tragic opera The 
Queen of Spades opens at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. With libretto by the composer s brother, Modest, adapted from a short story by Pushkin, the opera wins immediate admiration from critics and public alike. Over the next 20 years it will secure its place in the international repertory.

17 May
Pietro Mascagni, aged 26, makes his indelible mark on the operatic world with Cavalleria rusticana (Rustic Chivalry), the winning work of a one-act opera competition in Rome. Telling of an unfaithful soldier, a jealous girlfriend, an adulterous wife and her revengeful husband, the opera typifies Italian verismo—a true-to-life style featuring common people in contemporary, regional settings. By the end of the year Mascagni’s one enduring opus has played throughout Europe and North America.

Bohuslav Martinu

Bohuslav Martinu

Bohuslav Martinů, (born December 8, 1890, Polička, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary [now in Czech Republic]—died August 28, 1959, Liestal, Switzerland), modern Czech composer whose works exhibit a distinctive blend of French and Czech influences.


Martinů studied violin from age six, attended and was expelled from the Prague Conservatory, and in 1913 joined the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. After the success of his ballet Istar and symphonic poem Mizející půlnoc (Vanishing Midnight), both in 1922, he studied under Josef Suk, a leader of the movement toward nationalism in Czech music. In 1923 he went to Paris to study under the French composer Albert Roussel. In 1940 Martinů fled the German invasion of France and settled in the United States, where he taught at Princeton University and at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, Massachusetts. Although he had planned to return to Prague after the end of World War II to teach at the conservatory there, he remained mostly in the United States until 1957, when he went to Rome to serve as composer in residence at the American Academy.

His orchestral works Half-Time (1924) and La Bagarre (1927) were inspired by contemporary events, respectively a Czech-French football (soccer) game and the crowds that met Charles Lindbergh’s plane as it ended its transatlantic flight. Of his later works, the Concerto grosso for chamber orchestra (1941) uses the alternation between soloists and full orchestra found in the Baroque concerto grosso and shows Martinů’s skill in polyphonic writing. The Double Concerto for two string orchestras (1940) is a powerful work expressing Czech suffering after the partition of Czechoslovakia (1938). His Memorial to Lidice (1943) is a short symphonic poem commemorating Czechs killed by the Nazis during their destruction of the village of Lidice in 1942. Martinů’s other works include six symphonies; violin, piano, cello, and flute concerti; six string quartets; and compositions for piano, for harpsichord, for voice, and for unaccompanied cello and violin.

Martinů was a prolific composer whose works varied greatly in quality; at its best his music shows vitality, charm, and originality. He assimilated the rhythmic and melodic traits of Czech folk music into a modern, Neoclassical idiom that shows a clarity and precision characteristic of French music.


Bohuslav Martinů - Simphonies​
Symphony No. 1 at 0:00, 10:36, 18:45, 27:53. Symphony 2 at 37:32, 44:08, 51:28, 56:13.
Symphony 3 at 1:03:40, 1:12:35, 1:21:25.
Symphony 4 at 1:32:25, 1:39:32, 1:48:35, 1:58:45. Symphony 5 at 2:08:47,  2:17:34,  2:26:33.
Symphony 6 at 2:38:45, 2:48:00, 2:55:51.

Bohuslav Martinů - Piano Concertos

Bohuslav Martinů - Sonatas Nos 2 and 3 for violin and piano - Five Madrigal Stanzas
Josef Suk
Josef Hala

Bohuslav Martinů - Špalíček (1932-33)
Ballet with singing in three acts

Act I: Fairy Tale of Puss in Boots - 3:35
Act II: Fairy Tale of the Cobbler and Death - 28:42
Act III: Fairy Tale of Cinderella - 1:03:57

Ana Kratochvílová, soprano
Miroslav Kopp, tenor
Richard Novák, bass
Kantiléna Children Chorus - Kühn Female Chorus
Brno Philharmonic Orchestra- František Jílek


Vincent van Gogh - Starry Night

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