Romantic Era
 

1896-1897-1898-1899-1900

1896
Italy renounces its protectorate over Ethiopia • Turks accept self-government for Crete • British forces begin the re-conquest of Sudan • France annexes the island of Madagascar • Scientist Alfred Nobel (Swed) dies; Nobel prizes instituted • The Olympic Games are revived in Athens • Henry Ford (US) makes his first automobile • Antoine Henri Becquerel (Fr) detects radiation from uranium • Akseli Gallen-Kallela (Fin) paints Defense of the Sampo • Paul Cezanne (Fr) paints Annecy Lake • Anton Chekhov (Russ): play The Seagull • Theodor Herzl (Aus): The Jewish State, advocating the founding of a Jewish state in Palestine

1897
William McKinley becomes the 25th President of the USA • Crete unites with Greece • Turkey declares war on Greece and defeats Greek forces in Thessaly; Russia and Austria intervene to end the war • In China, German troops occupy Tsingtao, and Russian forces take Port Arthur • Physician Ronald Ross (Scot) identifies the cause of malaria • Felix Hoffmann at Bayer AG synthesises acetylsalicylic acid to make ‘Aspirin’ • Camille Pissarro (Fr) paints Boulevard Montmartre au printemps • Henri Rousseau (Fr) paints The Sleeping Gypsy • Edmund Rostand (Fr): Cyrano de Bergerac • H. G. Wells (Eng): The Invisible Man • Abraham (Bram) Stoker (Ire): Dracula

 

1898 USA declares war on Spain over the Cuban rebellion; ends with Treaty of Paris: Cuba gains independence and Spain cedes Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines to the USA • The US annexes Hawaii • Emile Zola writes an open letter, ‘J’Accuse’, to the French president in the case of officer Alfred Dreyfus; Zola is sentenced for libel, but flees to England • Scientists Marie and Pierre Curie (Fr) discover radium • Auguste Rodin (Fr) sculpts The Kiss • Henri Matisse (Fr) paints Maisons a Fenouillet • Henry James (US): The Turn of the Screw • H. G. Wells (Eng): The War of the Worlds

1899
In South Africa, war begins between British and Boers • The USA faces insurrection of the Philippines • Britain acquires Tonga and Savage islands • A Geneva conference establishes a permanent international Court of Arbitration at The Hague, Netherlands • Motor omnibuses are introduced in London, England • Monet (Fr) paints Bridge over a Pond of Water Lilies • Paul Gauguin (Fr) paints Maternity • Peder S. Krcyer (Nor/Den) paints Summer Evening on Skagen’s Beach • Leo Tolstoy (Russ): The Resurrection • Joseph Conrad (Pol/UK): Heart of Darkness (first published in Blackwood’s Magazine) • Zoologist Ernst Heinrich Haeckel (Ger): The Riddle of the Universe

1900
Hawaii becomes a territory of the USA • Britain annexes Orange Free State and Transvaal; guerrilla warfare follows • Boxer Rebellion: European legations in Peking are besieged by Chinese Nationalists; an international coalition relieves them • The Commonwealth of Australia becomes an independent British Dominion • Physicist Max Planck (Ger) develops the quantum theory of light • Walter Reed (US) discovers the transmission of yellow fever by mosquitoes • Paul Signac (Fr) paints The Papal Palace, Avignon • Childe Hassam (US) paints New York, Late Afternoon, Winter • Sigmund Freud (Aus): The Interpretation of Dreams • Anton Checkov (Russ): Uncle Vanya

Theodor Herzl (Hebrew: תאודור הֶרְצֵל‬ Te'odor Hertsel, 2 May 1860 – 3 July 1904; Hebrew name given at his brit milah Binyamin Ze'ev (Hebrew: בִּנְיָמִין זְאֵב‬),[1] also known in Hebrew as חוֹזֵה הַמְדִינָה‬, Chozeh HaMedinah, lit. "Visionary of the State") was an Austro-Hungarian journalist, playwright, political activist, and writer who was the father of modern political Zionism. Herzl formed the Zionist Organization and promoted Jewish immigration to Palestine in an effort to form a Jewish state. Though he died before its establishment, he is known as the father of the
State of Israel.

 

1896

Antonin Dvorak composes four symphonic poems inspired by the Czech poet K. J. Erben: The Water Goblin, The Noon Witch, The Golden Spinning-Wheel and The Wild Dove (Opp. 107-110).

Antonin Dvorak - The Noon Witch (Polednice), op 108
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Václav Talich, conductor
1954

Antonín Dvořák - The Golden Spinning Wheel (Zlatý kolovrat) Op.109
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir Charles Mackerras, Conductor

Antonín Dvořák - The Wild Dove (Holoubek) Op.110
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir Charles Mackerras, Conductor

Antonín Dvořák - The Water Goblin Op.107
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir Charles Mackerras, Conductor
2008

Gustav Mahler composes his Third Symphony and completes the revisions to Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (Songs of a Wayfarer).

Gustav Mahler - Symphony No 3

Anna Larsson, contralto

Arnold Schoenberg Chor
Tolzer Knabenchor
Lucerne Festival Orchestra
Claudio Abbado, conductor

Lucerne, August 2007

Gustav Mahler - Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen

Sarah Connolly mezzo-soprano
BBC Symphony Orchestra
David Robertson conductor

Alexander Scriabin composes his Piano Concerto in F-sharp minor.

Alexander Scriabin - Piano Concerto in F sharp minor, Op. 20
Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 1999
- Conductor: Pierre Boulez 
- Soloist: Anatol Ugorski

00:00 - I. Allegro
07:48 - II. Andante
16:30 - III. Allegro moderato

7 March  
Gilbert and
Sullivan’s final comic operetta, The Grand Duke, makes little impression at the Savoy Theatre, London.

THE GRAND DUKE (Gilbert & Sullivan) Act I 
Duke Ellington Theater, Georgetown, Washington DC
May 1996

THE GRAND DUKE (Gilbert & Sullivan) Act II 
 

28 March   
Umberto Giordano's historical verismo opera Andrea Chenier opens to wild applause at La Scala, Milan.

Umberto Giordano - Andrea Chenier
Opera Nazional De Paris - 18.12.2009

ANDREA CHENIER - Marcello Alvarez
CARLO GERARD - Sergei Murzaev
MADDALENA DI COIGNY - Micaela Carosi

13 April   
John Philip Sousa - El Capitan

El Capitan
is an operetta in three acts by John Philip Sousa and has a libretto by Charles Klein (with lyrics by Charles Klein and Tom Frost).

John Philip Sousa's El Capitan (Part 1)

John Philip Sousa's El Capitan (Part 2)

John Philip Sousa's El Capitan (Part 3)

20 May  
Virtuoso pianist and composer
Clara Schumann dies in Frankfurt, aged 76.

5 January   
Pepita Jiménez is a lyric comedy or comic opera with music written by the Spanish composer Isaac Albéniz. The original opera was written in one act and used an English libretto by Albéniz's patron and collaborator, the Englishman Francis Money-Coutts, which is based on the novel of the same name by Juan Valera.

Albéniz - Sorozábal: Pepita Jiménez
Pepita: TERESA BERGANZA
Luis: JULIÁN MOLINA
Antoñona: INES RIVADENEIRA
Don Pedro: ANTONIO BLANCAS
Vicario: VICTOR DE NARKE
Conde de Genazahar: Rubén Garcimartín
Oficial 1º: Ramón Regidor
Oficial 2º: Luis Frutos
Coro de voces blancas solistas: Discípulos de Lola Rodríguez de Aragón
Coro Cantores de Madrid (dir: José Perera)
Maestro concertador: Julián Perera
ORQUESTA SINFÓNICA
Director: PABLO SOROZÁBAL, 1967

23 January   
Edward MacDowell's Indian Suite, based on Native American music, enthrals its first audience at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. His Piano Concerto No. 1 (1882) also shares the programme. Later this year MacDowell becomes the first appointed professor of music at Columbia University.

Edward MacDowell - Suite No. 2, Indian, Op 48

1. Legend
2. Love Song
3. In War-Time
4. Dirge
5. Village Festival

The Royal Phiharmonic Orchestra
Karl Krueger, conductor

1 February 
Giacomo Puccini’s opera La boheme, based on a story by Henry Murger, is introduced under Toscanini at the Teatro Regio, Turin. The critics are unenthusiastic, but their reviews have no impact: premieres follow in no less than 20 countries over the next two years, including Argentina, Mexico and Egypt.

2 March   
Pietro Mascagni - Zanetto

Zanetto
is an opera in one act by Pietro Mascagni to an Italian libretto by Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti and Guido Menasci. It received its first performance on 2 March 1896 at the Liceo Musicale Rossini in Pesaro.

P. Mascagni - Zanetto 
Teatro dell'Opera Giocosa  - Savona 

Orchestra Sinfonica di Savona 
Conductor Bruno Aprea - Director Beppe De Tomasi 
Scenographer Monica Bocchi 

Silvia - Denia Mazzola Gavazzeni (soprano) 
Zanetti - Romina Basso (mezzo-soprano) 

7 June    
Hugo Wolf's opera Der Corregidor (The Magistrate) is first staged in Mannheim.

"DER CORREGIDOR" - Hugo Wolf
Helen Donath--Soprano
Doris Soffel--Mezzo-soprano
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau--Baritone
Peter Maus--Tewnor
Helmuts Berger-Tuna--BAss
Kurt Moll--Bass
Werner Hollweg--Tenor
Gerd Albrecht--Conductor
Radio-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, 1985

11 October  
Anton Bruckner dies in Vienna, aged 72, leaving the finale of his Ninth Symphony unfinished. Thousands join his funeral procession three days later.

Anton Bruckner - Symphony No 9 in D minor

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Leonard Bernstein

31 October   
American composer and pianist
Amy Beach, aged 29, witnesses her Gaelic Symphony triumph at its official premiere in Boston.

Amy Beach - Symphony in E-minor, Op.32 "Gaelic

Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Conductor: Neeme Järvi

27 November   
Richard Strauss conducts the first performance of his tone poem Also sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spake Zarathustra) in Frankfurt.

Richard Strauss - Also sprach Zarathustra

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra - Gustavo Dudamel

Salzburg, 2014

27 December
Inspired by a short story by Turgenev, Ernest Chausson's Poeme for violin and orchestra premieres in Nancy, France.

Ernest Chausson - Poème for violin and orchestra, op. 25
Vadim Repin - voilin
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra - Zubin Mehta - conductor

 

1897

23 January 
Engelbert Humperdinck introduces ‘Sprechgesang’ (speech-song) in the melodrama Konigskinder (The Kings Children), wrhich enjoys a rapturous reception in Munich. The composer transforms the work into a fully sung opera for a New York premiere in 1910.th.

Engelbert Humperdinck - "Königskinder"
Die Gänsemagd: Helen Donath
Der Königssohn: Adolf Dallapozza
Der Spielmann: Hermann Prey
Der Besenbinder: Gerhard Unger
Der Holzhacker: Karl Ridderbusch
Die Hexe: Hanna Schwarz
Frau: Gudrun Greindl-Rosner
Ratsältester: Theodor Nicolai
Schneider: Friedrich Lenz
Stallmagd: Ortrun Wenkel
Torwächter: Paul Hansen; Peter Schranner
Wirt: Günter Wewel
Wirtstöchter: Heidrun Ankerson; Brigitte Lindner

Tölzer Knabenchor
Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Münchner Rundfunkorchester - Heinz Wallberg

29 May   
Austrian composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold is born in Brno.

8 September   
Gustav Mahler becomes director of the Vienna Court Opera, and is obliged to convert from Judaism to Roman Catholicism.

.13 November   
Paul Delius’s fantasy overture Over the Hills and Far Away is performed for the first time in Elberfeld, Germany.

Frederick Delius - Over the Hills and Far Away
Sir Thomas Beecham conducts Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  [EMI]

11 March  
Henry Cowel born.

12 March 
Vinceny d’lndy
's opera Fervaal is staged for the first time at the Theatre de la Monnaie in Brussels.

Vincent d'Indy - FERVAAL -  Prologue
Guilhen : Sophie Fournier
Fervaal : Rodrigo Orrego 
Arfagard : Philippe Rouillon
Chor und Extrachor des Stadttheaters Bern
Berne Symphony Orchestra, 2009

27 November   
Francesco Cilea - L'arlesiana

L'arlesiana is an opera in three acts by Francesco Cilea to an Italian libretto by Leopoldo Marenco. It was originally written in four acts, and was first performed on 27 November 1897 at the Teatro Lirico in Milan.

Cilea - L'Arlesiana
Callegari, conductor
 Rancatore - Canonici -  Servile - Porcelli
1996, Parma

3 April  
Johannes Brahms
dies in Vienna, aged 63.

His funeral is held three days later, with Dvorak and Busoni among the mourners. He is laid to rest in the Zentralfriedhof, close to the graves of Beethoven and Schubert.

6 May  
Ruggero Leoncavallo’s La boheme is first performed at the Teatro Fenice in Venice. Failing to match the cohesion and emotional intensity of Puccini's version (1896), his opera struggles for recognition from the outset.

Ruggero Leoncavallo - LA BOHEME 
Marcello : Angelo Lo Forese
Rodolfo : Guido Mazzini
Schaunard : Fernando Lidonni
Barbemousche : Giorgio Tadeo
Colline e il Visconte Paolo : Osvaldo Scrigna
Gaudenzio / Durand : Walter Brunelli
Il signore del primo piano : Antonio Petrini
Musetta : Bianca Maria Casoni
Mimì : Florida Assandri Norelli
Eufemia : Maja Sunara
Orchestra Sinfonica della Rai di Milano
Direttore Pietro Argento , 1963

18 May   
Paul Dukas conducts the first performance of his symphonic poem L'apprenti sorcier (The Sorcerers Apprentice) at the Societe Nationale, Paris. The magical evocation of the apprentice and unruly broomstick wins Dukas concert-hall immortality.

Paul Dukas -  L'apprenti sorcier
George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra Bucharest
Conductor: Cristian Orosanu

28 December  
Zdenek Fibich  - Sarka 

Šárka,
opus 51, is an opera in three acts by Zdeněk Fibich to a Czech libretto by Anežka Schulzová, his student and lover. Fibich composed the full score over the period of 8 September 1896 to 10 March 1897.

Zdeněk Fibich - Šárka
Přemysl: Václav Bednář
Ctirad: Beno Blachut
Šárka: Marie Podvalová
Vlasta: Marta Krásová
Vitoraz: Ladislav Mráz 
Dir:Alois Klima (1950)

Autumn 
Isaac Albéniz - Merlin

 

Merlin is the last of the operas of Isaac Albéniz. It is in three acts and the libretto was written in English by Francis Money-Coutts, 5th Baron Latymer.

The opera was written between 1897 and 1902, the first of a projected trilogy of Arthurian operas commissioned by the librettist. After completing Merlin, Albéniz worked on the second part of the trilogy, Lancelot, in 1902–03, but broke off work and did not complete it before his death in 1909.

Albéniz -  Merlin
Vez. José de Eusebio 
Madridi Szimfonikus Zenekar 

Merlin - Carlos Álvarez (bariton), 
Arthur király - Plácido Domingo (tenor), 
Morgána - Jane Henschel (szoprán), 
Nivian - Ana Maria Martínez (szoprán), 
Canterbury érsek - Carlos Chausson (basszus), 
Mordred - Christopher Maltman (bariton), 
Sir Pillinore - Javier Franco (bariton), 
Sir Ector de Maris - Felipe Bou (basszus), 
Kay - José López Ferrero (tenor), 
King Lot of Orkney - Javier Roldán (basszus), 
Gawain - Ćngel Rodríguez (tenor), 
Törpék - José Manuel Abeleira, David Azurza, Luis Badosa, Tu Shi Chiao, Amaro González de Mesa, José Hernández Pastor, José Antonio Maza López, Luis Vincent (kontratenor)

Henry Cowell
 

Henry Cowell, in full Henry Dixon Cowell, (born March 11, 1897, Menlo Park, California, U.S.—died December 10, 1965, Shady, New York), American composer who, with Charles Ives, was among the most innovative American composers of the 20th century.







 

Cowell grew up in poverty in San Francisco and on family farms in Kansas, Iowa, and Oklahoma. He acquired a piano at age 14, and the following year he gave a concert of his experimental piano compositions. At 17 he studied at the University of California with the influential musicologist Charles Seeger, who persuaded him to undertake the systematic study of traditional European musical techniques. He also urged Cowell to formulate a theoretical framework for his innovations, which he did in his book New Musical Resources (1919; published 1930), an influential technical study of music. While studying comparative musicology in Berlin with Erich von Hornbostel, Cowell became interested in the music of other cultures; he later studied Asian and Middle Eastern music, elements of which he absorbed into many of his own compositions.

In 1923–33 Cowell undertook a series of tours of Europe as composer and pianist. Many of his concerts provoked uproar, but they also brought him to the attention of leading modern European composers. He taught at the New School for Social Research in New York City in 1932–52 and, from 1949, at Columbia University. From 1936 to 1940 he was incarcerated in San Quentin state prison on charges of homosexual conduct. He continued to write music while in prison, and in 1940 he was paroled to the custody of composer Percy Grainger. Cowell was granted a full pardon in 1942.

Cowell’s innovations appear particularly in the piano pieces written between 1912 and 1930. Seeking new sonorities, he developed “tone clusters,” chords that on the piano are produced by simultaneously depressing several adjacent keys (e.g., with the forearm). Later he called these sonorities secondal harmonies—i.e., harmonies based on the interval of a second in contrast to the traditional basis of a third. These secondal harmonies appear in his early piano pieces, such as The Tides of Manaunaun (1912); in his Piano Concerto (1930); and in his Synchrony (1931) for orchestra and trumpet solo. Some of his other piano compositions, such as Aeolian Harp (1923) and The Banshee (1925), are played directly on the piano strings, which are rubbed, plucked, struck, or otherwise sounded by the hands or by an object. Cowell’s Mosaic Quartet (1935) was an experiment with musical form; the performers are given blocks of music to arrange in any desired order. With the Russian engineer Leon Theremin, Cowell built the Rhythmicon, an electronic instrument that could produce 16 different simultaneous rhythms, and he composed Rhythmicana (1931; first performed 1971), a work specifically written for the instrument.

Cowell wrote numerous pieces reflecting his interest in rural American hymnology, Irish folklore and music, and non-Western music. In order to publish the scores of modern composers, he founded the New Music Quarterly in 1927 and was its editor until 1936. He also edited American Composers on American Music (1933) and with his wife, Sidney Cowell, wrote Charles Ives and His Music (1955). A number of well-known American composers, including John Cage, Lou Harrison, and George Gershwin, studied with and were influenced by Cowell.

 

Henry Cowell: Symphony No 2 "Anthropos" (1941)
Leon Botstein conducts the American Symphony 
1. Repose (Largo - sostenuto) 00:00
2. Activity (Poco presto) 05:50
3. Repression (Molto extressivo) 09:42
4. Liberation - Liberty Hornpipe (Allegro vivace) 19:07

Cowell: Symphony No.4 "Short Symphony" (1946)
Eastman-Rochester Symphony Orchestra diretta da Howard Hanson 

I. Hymn: Allegro
II. Ballade: Andante
III. Dance: Vivace
IV. Fuguing Tune: Moderato con moto

Henry Cowell : Sinfonia n.5 (1948)
American Recording Symphony Orchestra 

I. Con moto
II. Andante
III. Presto
IV. Largo sostenuto, quasi andante

Henry Cowell: Symphony No. 9 (1953)
David Van Vactor conducting the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra

Henry Cowell: Sinfonia n.11 "Seven Rituals of Music" (1954).
Opera commissionata da The Louisville Orchestra, eseguita per la prima volta con Robert Whitney sul podio il 29.5.1954

 

Erich Wolfgang Korngold
 

Erich Wolfgang Korngold, (born May 29, 1897, Brünn, Austria-Hungary [now Brno, Czech Republic]—died November 29, 1957, Hollywood, California, U.S.), American composer of Austro-Hungarian birth, best known as one of the originators of the genre of grand film music. He was also noted for his operas, especially for Die tote Stadt (1920; “The Dead City”), which earned him an international reputation.












 



A child prodigy, Korngold at age 11 composed the ballet Der Schneemann (“The Snowman”), which caused a sensation at its first performance in Vienna (1910). He was still a teenager when his operas Der Ring des Polykrates (“The Ring of Polycrates”) and Violanta were produced in Munich (1916). Die tote Stadt premiered in Hamburg and Cologne, and it proved to be one of the most successful operas of the 20th century.
 

In 1934 Korngold traveled to the United States to arrange music for the film A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935), using Felix Mendelssohn’s incidental music for Shakespeare’s play. Over the next several years he traveled back and forth between the United States and Europe, producing film music for Hollywood and concert music in Europe, until the spread of Nazi influence in Austria forced the Jewish composer to settle in the United States in 1938.
 

Korngold’s background in opera revolutionized cinematic music. He debuted new techniques such as matching the rhythms of his compositions to the rhythms of spoken words, often using pitches close to those of the actor’s voice. He also made frequent use of leitmotifs, devising musical themes for various characters and concepts. Richard Wagner had popularized such techniques in opera, and Korngold was the first to apply them to film. For the film Anthony Adverse (1936), the head of the studio music department, Leo Forbstein, received an Academy Award for best music scoring, though Korngold actually composed the music. In 1938 Korngold himself received an Oscar for the score of The Adventures of Robin Hood.

Apart from his film scores, he wrote much absolute (i.e., nonprogram) music, including his Violin Concerto (1937, rev. 1945), which borrows themes from several of his film scores and became one of the most frequently performed of all 20th-century concerti.

Erich Wolfgang Korngold -  "Classic Film Scores"

The Sea Hawk
Of Human Bondage
The Adventures of Robin Hood
Juarez
Kings Row
The Constant Nymph
Captain Blood
Anthony Adverse
Between Two Worlds
Deception
Devotion
Escape Me Never
Charles Gerhardt--Conductor
National Philharmonic Orchestra
1972

Erich Wolfgang Korngold - Symphony in F-sharp major, Op.40 (1953)

Orchestra: Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie

Conductor: Werner Andreas Albert

Sinfonietta for large orchestra in B Major, op 13
- Erich Wolfgang Korngold

BBC Philharmonic - Matthias Bamert, conductor, 1994

"DER RING DES POLYKRATES" - Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1916)
Endrik Wottrich--Court Music Director
Beate Bilandzija--Laura, his wife
Jürgen Sacher--Florian
Kirsten Blanck--Lieschen
Dietrich Henschel--Peter Vogel
Klauspeter Seibrl--Conductor
Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, 1995

"VIOLANTA" - Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1916)
Eva Marton--Soprano--Violanta
Walter Berry--Bass-baritonr--Simone Trovai
Siegfried Jerusalem--Tenor--Alfonso
Marek Janowski--Conductor
Münchner Rundfunk Orchester, 1980

Erich Wolfgang Korngold - Die tote Stadt  (1920)
Stefan Lano, conductor

Orquesta y Coro Estable del Teatro Colón

Paul: Carlos Bengolea
Marietta: Cynthia Makris
Frank: David Pittman-Jennings
Brigitta: Alejandra Malvino
Juliette: Carina Höxter
Lucienne: Alicia Cecotti
Gaston: Alexandre Ribiero Curty
Victorin: Eduardo Ayas
Fritz: Marcelo Lombardero
Conde Albert: Oscar Imhoff

Erich Wolfgang Korngold - Das Wunder Der Heliane 1/2
(1927)

Conductor: Peter Feranec
Heliana: Sally du Randt
Ruler Derrick: Lawrence
Strenger: Norbert Schmittberg
Messenger woman: Jana Wallingerová
Porter: Jan Šťáva
Capital judge: Zoltán Korda
Young man: Ivan Choupenitch
Six judges: Petr Levíček, Petr Císař, David Nykl, Tomáš Krejčiřík, Pavel Kamas, Jiří Klecker

Erich Wolfgang Korngold - Das Wunder Der Heliane 2/2

"DIE KATHRIN" - Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1939)
Melanie Diener--Kathrin
David Rendall--Françcois
Robert Hayward--Malignac
Lillian Watson--Chou-Chou
Della Jones--Monique
Martyn Brabbins--Conductor
BBC Concert Orchestra, 1997

 

1898

Edvard Grieg draws on Norwegian folk themes in his four Symphonic Dances.

The four Symphonic Dances of the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, form the collection notated as Op. 64. They were written c. 1896 and published in 1897. They draw their inspiration from the earlier folk works collected by Ludvig Mathias Lindeman.

Dance No. 1, G major, Allegro moderato e marcato
Dance No. 2, A major, Allegretto grazioso
Dance No. 3, D major, Allegro giocoso
Dance No. 4, A minor, Andante - Allegro risoluto

Edvard Hagerup Grieg - Symphonic Dances, Op. 64

(00:05) No. 1 in G major, Allegro moderato e marcato
(06:17) No. 2 in A major, Allegretto grazioso
(12:25) No. 3 in D major, Allegro giocoso
(18:15) No. 4 in A minor, Andante - Allegro risoluto

Sir John Barbirolli, Conductor
Hallé Orchestra (The Hallé), 
1957

Charles Ives, aged 23, works on his First Symphony while studying under the composer Horatio Parker  at Yale University. Ives graduates this year.

Charles Ives - Symphony No 1
1. Allegro con moto
2. Adagio molto
3. Scherzo
4. Allegro molto
National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland
James Sinclair, conductor, 2002

Edward MacDowell composes his Sea Pieces for piano.

MacDowell - Sea Pieces Op.55
Francesco Caramiello, piano

Richard Strauss completes his tone poem Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life). Controversially, the hero of the work’s programme seems to be Strauss himself; the hero’s wife thus Pauline Strauss (represented by solo violin), and the hero’s adversaries, we infer, Strauss’s critics. He later remarks, ‘I do not see why I should not compose a symphony about myself. I find myself quite as interesting as Napoleon or Alexander.’

Richard Strauss - Ein Heldenleben, Op 40
Herbert von Karajan cond/ Berlin Philharmonic, 1974 

0:00 - Der Held (The Hero)
4:17 - Des Helden Widersacher (The Hero's Adversaries)
7:55 - Des Helden Gefahrtin (The hero's wife)
14:10 - Thema der Siegesgewisheit (Certainty of victory)
20:26 - Des Helden Walstatt (The hero's battlefield)
28:45 - Des Helden Friedenswerke (The hero's works of peace)
33:40 - Des Helden Weltflucht und Vollendung (The hero's withdrawal from the world)
38:22 - Entsagung (Renunciation)

7 January  
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's opera Sadko, based on an epic folk tale about a wandering minstrel, opens in Moscow.

Rimsky-Korsakov - Sadko
Kirov Opera and Ballet
Valery Gergiev, 1994

Sadko: Vladimir Galusin
Volkhova: Valentina Tsidipova
Lyubava Buslayevna: Marianna Tarassova

26 September 
Composer
George Gershwin is born to Russian Jewish immigrant parents in Brooklyn.

20 October
Eugen d'Albert - Die Abreise, musical Comedy in One Act

Eugen d'Albert - Die Abreise

Gilfen - Hermann Prey, Bariton
Luise, his wife - Edda Moser Soprano
Trott - Peter Schreier, Tenor

Philharmonia Hungarica - Janos Kulka Conductor

11 November  
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor has his cantata Hiawatha’s Wedding Feast premiered under the baton of Charles Stanford at the Royal College of Music. Its immediate appeal establishes the composer’s reputation in England and America.omposer, born.
 

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor - Hiawatha's Wedding Feast
2013, Knox Church, Dunedin, New Zealand

Conductor: David Burchell
City Choir Dunedin
Southern Sinfonia
Tenor: Matthew Wilson

17 November         
Umberto Giordano  - Fedora

Fedora 
is an opera in three acts by Umberto Giordano to an Italian libretto by Arturo Colautti, based on the play Fédora by Victorien Sardou.

Umberto Giordano - FEDORA 
Fedora Romazoff: Antonietta Stella -
Loris Ipanoff: Aldo Bottion -
De Siriex: Giulio Fioravanti -
Olga Sukarev: Giuliana Tavolaccini -
Lorek / Nicola: Paolo Mazzotta -
Boroff / Michele: Giovanni Amodeo -
Gretch: Alfredo Colella -
Il Barone Rouvel: Piero De Palma -
Desiré / Cirillo: Giovanni Antonini -
Sergio: Mario Carlin -
Dimitri / Un savoiado: Sergio Gaspari -
Boleslao Lasinski: Antonio Beltrami
Orchestra Sinfonica e Coro della RAI di Milano
Direttore Franco Mannino - M° del Coro Giulio Bertola
1968

22 November     
Pietro Mascagni - Iris

Iris
is an opera in three acts by Pietro Mascagni to an original Italian libretto by Luigi Illica. It premiered on 22 November 1898 at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome. 

IRIS - PIETRO MASCAGNI 
Iris - Denia Mazzola
Osaka - Nicola Martinucci
Il Cieco - Dimitri Kavrakos
Kyoto - Giancarlo Pasquetto
Dhia - Kyung-Wha Cho 

Catania Th Orch - Conductor - Massimo de Bernart, 1997

7 December  
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s ‘dialogue opera’ Mozart and Salieri, based on Pushkin’s romanticised tragedy, is first staged in Moscow. Rachmaninov plays the piano behind the scenes.

Mozart and Salieri - Rimsky-Korsakov
The New York Premiere production with Joseph Shore as Salieri, Ron Gentry as Mozart from the Chamber Opera Theatre of New York, Thaddeus Motyka director, Ainslee Cox and Henry Mollicone conductors.

10 December  
Andre Messager, newly-appointed musical director of the Opera-Comique, stages his operetta Veronique.

Acte 1 de l'opérette "Véronique" d'André Messager
au théâtre de Tourcoing en mai 1992.
Avec Alexyse Yerna, Regis Willem, Michel Ferrer.
Direction musicale : Bruno Membrey

Actes 2 et 3 de l'opérette "Véronique" d'André Messager au théâtre de Tourcoing en mai 1992.

 

1899

Scott Joplin composes his Maple Leaf Rag. He shrewdly acquires a one-cent royalty on each copy sold through the publishers John Stark & Son.

Scott Joplin: Maple Leaf Rag
Dario Ronchi

19 October
Claude Debussy marries Rosalie (Lily) Texier. This year also sees the completion of his three Nocturnes for orchestra: Nuages, Fetes, Sirenes.

Claude Debussy - Nocturnes
1. Nuages ("Clouds")
2. Fêtes ("Festivals")
3. Sirènes ("Sirens")

Maurice Ravel, aged 24, composes his Pavane pour une infante defunte (Pavane for a Dead Princess) for solo piano. He will orchestrate the work in 1910.

Ravel - Pavane pour une infante défunte 
Alessandro Crudele

7 January
French composer
Francis Poulenc is born in Paris.

15 February
French composer Georges Auric is born in Lodeve, near Montpellier.

22 October
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov - The Tsar's Bride

The Tsar's Bride (Tsarskaya nevesta) is an opera in four acts by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, the composer's tenth opera. The libretto, by Ilia Tyumenev, is based on the drama of the same name by Lev Mey.The first performance of the opera took place in 1899 at the Moscow theater of the Private Opera of S.I. Mamontov.

The Tsar's Bride - Rimsky-Korsakov 
Moscow, 2007
Marfa Sobakin - Irina Dubrovskaya
Lyubasha - Olga Borodina
Grigoriy Gryaznoy - Vladimir Stoyanov
Ivan Lykov - Dmitri Popov
Basil Sobakin, merchant - Vyacheslav Pochapsky
Elisha Bomeley, royal physician - Algirdas Janutas
Malyuta Skuratov, boyar - Alexei Tikhomirov
Domna Saburova - Olga Shalaev
Dunyasha - Anna Martha
Petrovna, Sobakin housekeeper - Irina Nicholas

24 March
Jules MassenetCinderella

26 April
Jean Sibelius explores Finnish national consciousness in his Symphony No. 1 in E minor, first performed in Helsinki. Aged 33, Sibelius is now composing full time thanks to the award of a state pension.

Jean Sibelius - Symphony No.1 in E minor, Op.39 Herbert von Karajan
1.Andante ma non troppo - Allegro energico
2.Andante (ma non troppo lento)
3. Scherzo (Allegro)
4. Finale (Quasi una fantasia - Andante - Allegro motto)

3 June
Austrian composer
Johann Strauss II, the ‘Waltz King’, dies in Vienna, aged 73.

2 November
Edvard Grieg’s beautiful song cycle Haugtussa is introduced in Kristiania, Norway.

Grieg -  "Haugtussa Op. 67"
I. Det syng 00:00
II. Veslemøy 03:51
III. Blåbaer-li 06:20
IV.Møte 09:03
V. Elsk 12:56
VI. Killingdans 15:11
VII. Vond dag 16:52
VIII. Ved gjaetle-bekken 19:21
Anne Sofie von Otter- mezzosoprano
Bengt Forsberg -piano

23 November 
Antonin Dvorak - The Devil and Kate

Antonín Dvořák - The Devil and Kate
Ovčák Jirka - Jaroslav Březina
Káča -- Kateřina Jalovcová
Máma -- Ivana Ročková
Čert Marbuel -- Luděk Vele
Lucifer -- Bohuslav  Maršík 
dirigent Jan Chalupecký - Národní divadlo v Praze

10 June
Composer Ernest Chausson
, cycling with his children in Limary, Seine-et-Oise, crashes into a wall and dies from his injuries, aged 44.

19 June
Edward Elgar's Variations on an Original Theme (Enigma) is introduced under Hans Richter at St James’s Hall, London. The 42-year-old’s first piece for large orchestra is a resounding success and marks a career turning point. 

Edward Elgar - Enigma Variations, Op 36 

St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
Yuri Temirkanov, conductor

29 November
Arthur Sullivan - The Rose of Persia

ROSE OF PERSIA (Sullivan-Hood) 1/3 Features Gareth Davis as Hassan, 
Gerald Halsey as the Sultan, 
Elizabeth Ripley as the Sultana, 
Lori Galbraith as Heart's Desire,  
Linda Suda as Scent of Lilies, 
Joseph Tancioco as Yusuf, 
Dan Nassila as Abdallah, 
Mark Angevine as the Grand Vizier, 
Mark Hohenstein as the Royal Executioner, 
Kathy Roche-Zujko as Dancing Sunbeam, and Tiffany Parks as Blush of Morning.  
​Musical Direction:  Dr. Penelope Vrachopoulos.  1995

ROSE OF PERSIA (Sullivan-Hood) 2/3 

ROSE OF PERSIA (Sullivan-Hood) 3/3 

September
Arnold Schoenberg, aged 25, composes his atmospheric string sextet Verklarte Nacht (Transfigured Night). Musically indebted to Wagner, the work is inspired by the poem Weib und die Welt (Woman and World) by Symbolist Richard Dehmel.

Schönberg - Verklärte Nacht, op 4 for String Sextet

Janine Jansen & Boris Brovtsyn, violin
Maxim Rysanov, viola - Amihai Grosz, viola
Torleif Thedéen, cello - Jens Peter Maintz, cello

 

Francis Poulenc
 

Francis Poulenc, (born Jan. 7, 1899, Paris, France—died Jan. 30, 1963, Paris), composer who made an important contribution to French music in the decades after World War I and whose songs are considered among the best composed during the 20th century.










 




Poulenc was largely self-taught. His first compositions—Rapsodie Nègre (1917), Trois Mouvements Perpétuels, for piano, and Sonata for Piano Duet (1918) and his settings of Guillaume Apollinaire’s poem Le Bestiaire and Jean Cocteau’s Cocardes (1919)—were witty pieces with streaks of impudent parody. Humour remained an important characteristic of his music, as in the Surrealistic comic opera Les Mamelles de Tirésias (1947; The Breasts of Tiresias), based on a farce by Apollinaire.
 

In 1920 the critic Henri Collet grouped Poulenc with five other young French composers, calling them “Les Six.” The others were Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaud, Georges Auric, Germaine Tailleferre, and Louis Durey; although they reacted in the same way to the emotionalism of 19th-century Romantic music and the Impressionism of Claude Debussy, they were in fact united by friendship more than by aesthetic ideals. Poulenc studied with the composer and teacher Charles Koechlin from 1921 to 1924. His ballet Les Biches (English title The Houseparty) was produced by Serge Diaghilev in 1924. He composed his song cycles Poèmes de Ronsard and Chansons gaillardes in 1924 and 1926. There followed more than 100 songs, chiefly on poems by Apollinaire (e.g., “Banalités,” 1940), and Paul Éluard (e.g., “Tel jour, telle nuit,” 1937).
 

In 1934 Poulenc appeared as piano accompanist to the baritone Pierre Bernac in the first of many recitals over several years, an experience that deepened his understanding of the song as an art form. His songs, which range from parody to tragedy, are admired for their lyricism and for their sensitive integration of vocal line and accompaniment. His Concert champêtre for harpsichord (or piano) and orchestra (1928) was written at the suggestion of harpsichordist Wanda Landowska. Like many of his keyboard works, it mingles the light, urbane character of 18th-century French keyboard music with 20th-century harmonies.
 

During the 1930s Poulenc wrote many religious works, including Litanies à la Vierge Noire de Rocomadour (1936), Mass in G Major (1937), and Stabat Mater (1951). He participated in the French resistance movement during World War II. Figure humaine (performed 1945), a cantata based on poems by Éluard, voiced the spirit of the resistance and was secretly printed during the Nazi occupation. His opera Les dialogues des Carmélites (1953–56, libretto by Georges Bernanos) is considered one of the finest operas of the 20th century. Other widely performed works by Poulenc were the Sextet for piano and wind quintet (1930–32), Organ Concerto (1938), and Oboe Sonata (1962).
 

Francis Poulenc - Stabat mater (1950)

Monteverdichor Würzburg
Christine Wolff - Sopran

Matthias Beckert (cond.)

Francis Poulenc - Aubade
Concerts Lamoureux Orchestra
Conductor: Serge Baudo - Soloist: Jacques Février (piano)

Les Mamelles de Tirésias (The Breasts of Tiresias) is an opéra bouffe by Francis Poulenc, in a prologue and two acts based on the eponyme play by Guillaume Apollinaire. The opera was written in 1945 and first performed in 1947.

Poulenc - Dialogues des Carmélites
Enregistré à la Salle de la Mutualité (Paris) en janvier 1958. Distribution : Denise DUVAL (Blanche de la Force) ; Denise SCHARLEY (Mme de Croissy, l'ancienne prieure) ; Rita GORR (Mère Marie de l'Incarnation) ; Régine CRESPIN (Mme Lidoine, la nouvelle prieure) ; Liliane BERTON (Sœur Constance) ; Janine FOURRIER (Mère Jeanne) ; Gisèle DESMOUTIERS (Sœur Mathilde) ; Xavier DEPRAZ (le marquis de la Force) ; Paul FINEL (le chevalier de la Force) ; Louis RIALLAND (l'aumônier) ; René BIANCO (le geôlier) ; Max CONTI (M. Javelinot) ; Michel FOREL (Thierry); Jacques MARS (un officier) ; Charles PAUL (le second commissaire) ; Raphaël ROMAGNONI (le premier commissaire).
Chœurs et Orchestre du Théâtre national de l'Opéra de Paris sous la direction de Pierre DERVAUX.

Poulenc - Piano Music - I

Olivier Cazal, piano

8 Nocturnes
3 Suite 
19 Promenades 
Pastourelle (L'Eventail De Jeanne) 
6 Villageoises (Children's Pieces)
3 Feuillets D'Album
3 Intermezzi
Bourrée Au Pavillon D'Auvergne 
Valse - Assez Vif 1:41

Poulenc - Piano Music - II
Melancolie - Tres Modere
3 Movements Perpetuels
8 Suite Francaise D'Apres Claude Gervaise
Piece Breve Sur Le Nom D'Albert Roussel 
Badinage - Assez Anime 
11 Les Soirees De Nazelles
Humoresque - Prestissimo Molto Staccato 
Valse-Improvisations Sur La Nom De Bach
5 Impromptus (1939 Edition) 
Presto Possible 1:24

Poulenc - Piano Music - III
12 Thème Varié 
15 Improvisations 
3 Pieces 
3 Napoli Suite Pour Le Piano
3 Novelettes 

Poulenc - La Voix humaine

La voix humaine (The Human Voice)
is a forty-minute, one-act opera for soprano and orchestra composed by Francis Poulenc in 1958. The work is based on the play of the same name by Jean Cocteau.
Felicity Lott, soprano
Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
Conducted by Armin Jordan, 2001

Georges Auric - Music for Films
1. Caesar and Cleopatra - Suite (0:00)
2. Caesar and Cleopatra - At the Sphinx (1:34)
3. Caesar and Cleopatra - The Battle (5:48)
4. The Titfield Thunderbolt - Suite (10:04)
5. The Titfield Thunderbolt - The Triumph of the Thunderbolt (11:23)
6. The Titfield Thunderbolt - End Titles (13:46)
7. Dead of Night - Finale (14:34)
8. Passport to Pimlico - Suite (20:40)
9. Passport to Pimlico - The Siege of Burgundy (21:56)
10. Passport to Pimlico - Finale (25:15)
11. The Innocents - O Willow Waly (26:51)
12. The Innocents - Coachride and Arrival at Bly (30:14)
13. The Lavender Hill Mob - Suite (32:10)
14. The Lavender Hill Mob - The Robbery (33:32)
15. The Lavender Hill Mob - The Eiffel Tower (35:44)
16. The Lavender Hill Mob - End Titles (38:36)
17. Moulin Rouge - Suite (39:51)
18. Moulin Rouge - Polka (41:26)
19. Moulin Rouge - Waltz (43:12)
20. Moulin Rouge - Quadrille (46:25)
21. Father Brown - The Cross of St Augustine (49:01)
22. Father Brown - Channel Crossing (52:31)
23. Father Brown - Train Journey to Fleurancy (53:54)
24. Father Brown - End Titles (55:53)
25. It Always Rains on Sunday - Suite (56:20)
26. It Always Rains on Sunday - Tommy and Rosie (59:55)
27. It Always Rains on Sunday - Farewell and Getaway (1:02:30)
28. Hue and Cry - Overture (1:10:44)

 

Georges Auric
 

Georges Auric, (born Feb. 15, 1899, Lodève, France—died July 24, 1983, Paris), French composer best known for his film scores and ballets. In these and other works, he was among those who reacted against the chromatic harmonic language and Symbolist structures of Claude Debussy.










 


Auric studied under Vincent d’Indy and Albert Roussel in Paris, and in 1920 the critic Henri Collet included him in the group he called Les Six, young French composers under the informal patronage of Erik Satie and Jean Cocteau. Auric wrote music criticism for the periodicals Marianne, Paris-Soir, and Nouvelles Littéraires and was artistic director of the Paris Opéra and Opéra-Comique (1962–68).

Auric’s works are characterized by a type of musical irony, mingling popular tunes with sophisticated harmony. His most notable compositions are the ballet Les Matelots (1925; “The Sailors”) and his film scores for René Clair’s À nous la liberté! (1931) and for the film biography of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Moulin Rouge (1952), which included the popular hit “Where Is Your Heart?” (“The Song from Moulin Rouge”). Auric’s other works include an “overture” for orchestra (1938), songs, chamber music, and music for ballets produced by Serge Diaghilev, Jean-Louis Barrault, and Cocteau.


 

 

1900

14 January
Giacomo Puccini
's emotionally tempestuous opera Tosca premieres at the Teatro Costanzi, Rome, amid feverish expectations and a bomb scare. The public are enraptured, demanding footlight appearances of the composer throughout. In his eponymous heroine, 
Puccini has created one of the repertory’s most engaging female roles.

3 October
Inadequate rehearsal time hampers
Edward Elgar’s oratorio The Dream of Gerontius, introduced under Hans Richter in Birmingham. An acclaimed performance takes place the following year in Dusseldorf.

Edward Elgar - The Dream of Gerontius, Op. 38

Janet Baker, mezzo-soprano (The Angel)
Richard Lewis, tenor (Gerontius, Soul of Gerontius)
Kim Borg, bass (The Priest, The Angel of Agony)

Hallé Choir and Sheffild Philharmonic Chorus
(chorus master: Eric Chadwick)
Ambrosian Singers (chorus master: John McCarthy)
Hallé Orchestra, leader: Martin Milner
Conducted by John Barbirolliб 1965

2 February
Gustave Charpentier’s Louise, a tale of a humble working woman in search of self-fulfilment and love, opens at the Opera Comique, Paris. Many decry the opera as licentious and improper, yet it proves such a success that the composer, using his profits, establishes the Conservatoire Populaire de Mimi Pinson, offering working-class girls free musical education.

Louise - Gustave Charpentier
Orchestra and Choir of the National Opera of Paris. Mireille Delunsch, Jane Henschel, Jose Van Dam and Paul Groves.

2 March
Stage composer Kurt Weill is born in Dessau, Germany.

2 July
Jean Sibelius supports Finland’s right to self-rule with his symphonic poem Finlandia (1899, revised 1900), premiered in Helsinki. Performances of the work are usually advertised under the title 'Impromptu’, so to avoid drawing attention from Russian authorities.

Jean Sibelius - Finlandia, Op. 26
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Vasily Petrenko, conductor.

12 July
The full orchestral version of Gabriel Faure’s Requiem (possibly orchestrated by his pupil Jean Roger-Ducasse) is introduced at the Trocadero in Paris. This year the composer adapts his incidental music to Pelleas et Melisande (1898) to make a popular four-movement orchestral suite.

Gabriel Fauré - Requiem in D minor, Op. 48 
King's College Choir, Cambridge
New Philharmonia Orchestra
John Carol Case (baritone)
Robert Chilcott (treble)
Sir David Willcocks conducting, 
1967

Pelléas et Mélisande Suite, Op. 80 - Gabriel Fauré

San Francisco Conservatory of Music
James Feddeck, 2012

3 November
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan is staged for the first time, in Moscow. 

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov - The Tale of Tsar Saltan

10 November 
Zazà  is an opera by Ruggero Leoncavallo, with the libretto by the composer. Its première at the Teatro Lirico di Milano on 10 November 1900.

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

14 November
Composer Aaron Copland is born in Brooklyn, New York.

22 November
Sir Arthur Sullivan dies in London, aged 58. The Times declares: 'The death of Sir Arthur Sullivan may be said without hyperbole to have plunged the whole empire in gloom."

23 August
Austrian composer and writer Ernst Krenek is born in Vienna.

 

Kurt Weill
 

Kurt Weill, in full Kurt Julian Weill, (born March 2, 1900, Dessau, Ger.—died April 3, 1950, New York, N.Y., U.S.), German-born American composer who created a revolutionary kind of opera of sharp social satire in collaboration with the writer Bertolt Brecht.












 

Weill studied privately with Albert Bing and at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Berlin with Engelbert Humperdinck. He gained some experience as an opera coach and conductor in Dessau and Lüdenscheid (1919–20). Settling in Berlin, he studied (1921–24) under Ferruccio Busoni, beginning as a composer of instrumental works. His early music was expressionistic, experimental, and abstract. His first two operas, Der Protagonist (one act, libretto by Georg Kaiser, 1926) and Royal Palace (1927), established his position, with Ernst Krenek and Paul Hindemith, as one of Germany’s most promising young opera composers.

Weill’s first collaboration as composer with Bertolt Brecht was on the singspiel (or “songspiel,” as he called it) Mahagonny (1927), which was a succès de scandale at the Baden-Baden (Germany) Festival in 1927. This work sharply satirizes life in an imaginary America that is also Germany. Weill then wrote the music and Brecht provided the libretto for Die Dreigroschenoper (1928; The Threepenny Opera), which was a transposition of John Gay’s Beggar’s Opera (1728) with the 18th-century thieves, highwaymen, jailers, and their women turned into typical characters in the Berlin underworld of the 1920s. This work established both the topical opera and the reputations of the composer and librettist. Weill’s music for it was in turn harsh, mordant, jazzy, and hauntingly melancholy. Mahagonny was elaborated as a full-length opera, Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny (composed 1927–29; “Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny”), and first presented in Leipzig in 1930. Widely considered Weill’s masterpiece, the opera’s music showed a skillful synthesis of American popular music, ragtime, and jazz.

Weill’s wife, the actress Lotte Lenya (married 1926), sang for the first time in Mahagonny and was a great success in it and in Die Dreigroschenoper. These works aroused much controversy, as did the students’ opera Der Jasager (1930; “The Yea-Sayer,” with Brecht) and the cantata Der Lindberghflug (1928; “Lindbergh’s Flight,” with Brecht and Hindemith). After the production of the opera Die Bürgschaft (1932; “Trust,” libretto by Caspar Neher), Weill’s political and musical ideas and his Jewish birth made him persona non grata to the Nazis, and he left Berlin for Paris and then for London. His music was banned in Germany until after World War II.

Weill and his wife divorced in 1933 but remarried in 1937 in New York City, where he resumed his career. He wrote music for plays, including Paul Green’s Johnny Johnson (1936) and Franz Werfel’s Eternal Road (1937). His operetta Knickerbocker Holiday appeared in 1938 with a libretto by Maxwell Anderson, followed by the musical play Lady in the Dark (1941; libretto and lyrics by Moss Hart and Ira Gershwin), the musical comedy One Touch of Venus (1943; with S.J. Perelman and Ogden Nash), the musical version of Elmer Rice’s Street Scene (1947), and the musical tragedy Lost in the Stars (1949; with Maxwell Anderson). Weill’s American folk opera Down in the Valley (1948) was much performed. Two of his songs, the “Morität” (“Mack the Knife”) from Die Dreigroschenoper and “September Song” from Knickerbocker Holiday, have remained popular. Weill’s Concerto for violin, woodwinds, double bass, and percussion (1924), Symphony No. 1 (1921; “Berliner Sinfonie”), and Symphony No. 2 (1934; “Pariser Symphonie”), works praised for their qualities of invention and compositional skill, were revived after his death.


 

The Music of Kurt Weill
"Introduction from Mahagonny-Songspiel" – Steve Weisberg - 00:00
"The Ballad of Mac The Knife" (from The Threepenny Opera) – Sting and Dominic Muldowney - 0:48
"The Cannon Song" (from The Threepenny Opera) – The Fowler Brothers and Stan Ridgway - 3:36
"Ballad of the Soldier's Wife" – Marianne Faithfull and Chris Spedding - 5:49
"Johnny Johnson Medley" – Van Dyke Parks - 10:12
"The Great Hall" – Henry Threadgill - 15:52
"Alabama Song" (from Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny) – Ralph Schuckett with Richard Butler, Bob Dorough, Ellen Shipley and John Petersen - 19:30
"Youkali Tango" – Armadillo String Quartet - 23:57
"Der Kleine Leutnant Des Lieben Gottes" (The Little Lieutenant of the Loving God) (from Happy End) – John Zorn - 28:38
"Johnny's Speech" – Van Dyke Parks - 34:01
"September Song" (from Knickerbocker Holiday) – Lou Reed - 35:45
"Lost in the Stars" – Carla Bley with Phil Woods - 40:03
"What Keeps Mankind Alive?" (from The Threepenny Opera) – Tom Waits - 46:16
"Klops Lied" (Meatball Song) – Elliott Sharp - 48:28
"Surabaya Johnny" (from Happy End) – Dagmar Krause - 49:16
"Oh Heavenly Salvation" (from Mahagonny) – Mark Bingham with Johnny Adams and Aaron Neville - 53:23
"Call From The Grave/Ballad In Which MacHeath Begs All Men For Forgiveness" (from The Threepenny Opera) – Todd Rundgren with Gary Windo - 56:58
"Speak Low" (from One Touch of Venus) – Charlie Haden and Sharon Freeman - 1:02:20
"In No Man's Land" (from Johnny Johnson) – Van Dyke Parks - 1:06:42

Kurt Weill - Four Walt Whitman Songs,
per baritono e orchestr -- Wolfgang Holzmair, baritono -- Robert-Schumann-Kammerorchester e fiati dei Düsseldorfer Symphoniker diretti da Marc-Andreas Schlingensiepen --

I. "Oh Captain ! My Captain!"
II. "Beat! Beat! Drums!"
III. Dirge for Two Veterans
IV. "Come up from the fields, father"

Kurt Weill - Berthold Brecht - Die sieben Todsünden mit Gisela May 
Dirigent: Herbert Kegel
Anna I & Anna II : GISELA MAY
PETER SCHREIER (Tenor)
HANS JOACHIM ROTZSCH (Tenor)
GÜNTHER LEIB (Bariton)
HERMANN CHRISTIAN POLSTER (Baß)
Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Leipzig
1 Prolog, Prologo, Prologue.
2 Faulheit, Accidia, Sloth, Paresse.
3 Stolz, Superbia, Pride, Orgueil.
4 Zorn, Ira, Anger, Colère.
5 Völlerei, Gola, Gluttony, Gourmandise.
6 Unzucht, Lussuria, Lust, Luxure.
7 Habsucht, Avarizia, Avarice, Cupidité.
8 Neid, Invidia, Envy, Envie.
9 Epilog, Epilogo, Epilogue.

 

Ernst Krenek
 

Ernst Krenek, (born Aug. 23, 1900, Vienna, Austria—died Dec. 23, 1991, Palm Springs, Calif., U.S.), Austrian-American composer, one of the prominent exponents of the serial technique of musical composition.










 


Krenek studied in Vienna and Berlin and was musical assistant at the German opera houses of Kassel (1925–27) and Wiesbaden (1927–28). In 1938 he immigrated to the United States, where he taught composition at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (1939–42), and Hamline University, St. Paul, Minn. (1942–47), before settling in Palm Springs, Calif.

Krenek’s earliest compositions were influenced by Gustav Mahler (who was briefly Krenek’s father-in-law). In his first operas, however, he turned to a dissonant, Expressionist style, as in Zwingburg (1924; Dungeon Castle). He gained international success with the opera Jonny Spielt Auf! (1927; Johnny Strikes up the Band!), a work written in an idiom that mixed Expressionist dissonance with jazz influences and strove to reflect modern life in the 1920s. After a period in which he espoused the Romanticism of Franz Schubert, he began in the 1930s to use the 12-tone method of Arnold Schoenberg. His first significant 12-tone work was the opera Karl V (1933; produced 1938). His other important 12-tone works were the Piano Concerto No. 2 (1937) and the Symphony No. 4 (1947).

Krenek experimented widely with styles and techniques of composition. In Sestina (1957) he used total serialization, in which not only pitch but all musical elements are arranged in basic series. In his Piano Concerto No. 3 (1946) he temporarily abandoned the 12-tone method for traditional tonality; his Symphony No. 5 (1950) is atonal but avoids serial technique. In his oratorio Spiritus Intelligentiae (1958) he utilized electronically produced sound. In Pentagram, for wind quintet (1952; revised 1958), and in Fibonaci Mobile (1965), mathematical ideas influence the musical content. Krenek’s other compositions include sonatas for harp and for organ; Twelve Short Piano Pieces (1938), an introduction to 12-tone technique; Eleven Transparencies for orchestra (1954); and operas. He also wrote several books, notably Über neue Musik (1937; Music Here and Now), Studies in Counterpoint (1940), and Selbstdarstellung (1948; Self-Analysis), an autobiography.


 

Ernst Krenek - Sinfonia n.3 op. 16 (1922)
Radio-Philharmonie Hannover des NDR diretta da Takao Ukigaya 

Ernst Krenek - Sinfonia n.4 op.113 (1947)
NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover diretta da Alun Francis 

Ernst Krenek - Piano Concerto No.2 op.81 (1937)
Mikhail Korzhev, pianoforte
English Symphony Orchestra - Kenneth Woods 

Ernst Krenek  - "Jonny spielt auf"
Lucia Popp--Yvonne, the chambermaid
Evelyn Lear--Anita, an opera singer
Thomas Stewart--Daniello--a violinst
William Blankenship--Max, a composer
Gerd Feldhof--Jonny, a black Jazz band violinist
Heinrich Hollresier--conductor
Vienna State Orchestra, 1964

 

Aaron Copland
 

Aaron Copland, (born Nov. 14, 1900, Brooklyn, N.Y., U.S.—died Dec. 2, 1990, North Tarrytown [now Sleepy Hollow], N.Y.), American composer who achieved a distinctive musical characterization of American themes in an expressive modern style.










 

Copland, the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, was born in New York City and attended public schools there. An older sister taught him to play the piano, and by the time he was 15 he had decided to become a composer. As a first step Copland tried to learn harmony through a correspondence course. Haltingly and in an environment not particularly conducive to art, he struggled toward his goal.

In the summer of 1921 Copland attended the newly founded school for Americans at Fontainebleau, where he came under the influence of Nadia Boulanger, a brilliant teacher who shaped the outlook of an entire generation of American musicians. He decided to stay on in Paris, where he became Boulanger’s first American student in composition. After three years in Paris, Copland returned to New York City with an important commission: Nadia Boulanger had asked him to write an organ concerto for her American appearances. Copland composed the piece while working as the pianist of a hotel trio at a summer resort in Pennsylvania. That season the Symphony for Organ and Orchestra had its premiere in Carnegie Hall with the New York Symphony under the direction of the composer and conductor Walter Damrosch.

In his growth as a composer Copland mirrored the important trends of his time. After his return from Paris, he worked with jazz rhythms in Music for the Theater (1925) and the Piano Concerto (1926). There followed a period during which he was strongly influenced by Igor Stravinsky’s Neoclassicism, turning toward an abstract style he described as “more spare in sonority, more lean in texture.” This outlook prevailed in the Piano Variations (1930), Short Symphony (1933), and Statements for Orchestra (1933–35). After this last work, there occurred a change of direction that was to usher in the most productive phase of Copland’s career. He well summed up the new orientation: “During these years I began to feel an increasing dissatisfaction with the relations of the music-loving public and the living composer. It seemed to me that we composers were in danger of working in a vacuum.” Furthermore, he realized that a new public for modern music was being created by the new media of radio, phonograph, and film scores: “It made no sense to ignore them and to continue writing as if they did not exist. I felt that it was worth the effort to see if I couldn’t say what I had to say in the simplest possible terms.” Copland therefore was led to what became a most significant development after the 1930s: the attempt to simplify the new music in order that it would have meaning for a large public.

The decade that followed saw the production of the scores that spread Copland’s fame throughout the world. Most important of these were the three ballets based on American folk material: Billy the Kid (1938), Rodeo (1942), and Appalachian Spring (1944; commissioned by dancer Martha Graham). To this group belong also El salón México (1936), an orchestral piece based on Mexican melodies and rhythms; two works for high-school students—the “play opera” The Second Hurricane (1937) and An Outdoor Overture (1938); and a series of film scores, of which the best known are Of Mice and Men (1939), Our Town (1940), The Red Pony (1948), and The Heiress (1948). Typical too of the Copland style are two major works that were written in time of war—Lincoln Portrait (1942), for speaker and chorus, on a text drawn from Lincoln’s speeches, and Letter from Home (1944), as well as the melodious Third Symphony (1946).

In his later years Copland refined his treatment of Americana: “I no longer feel the need of seeking out conscious Americanism. Because we live here and work here, we can be certain that when our music is mature it will also be American in quality.” His later works include an opera, The Tender Land (1954); Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson (1950), for voice and piano; and the delightful Nonet (1960). During these years Copland also produced a number of works in which he showed himself increasingly receptive to the serial techniques of the so-called 12-tone school of composer Arnold Schoenberg. Notable among such works are the stark and dissonant Piano Fantasy (1957); Connotations (1962), which was commissioned for the opening of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City; and Inscape (1967). The 12-tone works were not generally well-received; after 1970 Copland virtually stopped composing, though he continued to lecture and to conduct through the mid-1980s.

For the better part of four decades, as composer (of operas, ballets, orchestral music, band music, chamber music, choral music, and film scores), teacher, writer of books and articles on music, organizer of musical events, and a much sought after conductor, Copland expressed “the deepest reactions of the American consciousness to the American scene.” He received more than 30 honorary degrees and many additional awards. His books include What to Listen for in Music (1939), Music and Imagination (1952), Copland on Music (1960), and The New Music, 1900–60 (1968). With the aid of Vivian Perlis, he wrote a two-volume autobiography (Copland: 1900 Through 1942 [1984] and Copland: Since 1943 [1989]).
 

Music by Aaron Copland - I
00:00:01 Appalachian Spring
00:24:40 Letter From Home
00:32:02 Danzon Cubano
00:39:12 Lincoln Portrait 
00:54:17 Symphony No 3
01:38:01 Concerto for Clarinet, Strings, Harp, & Piano

Music by Aaron Copland - II
00:00:01 Rodeo (Four Dance Episodes)
000:19:40 Music for Movies New England Countryside (from The City)
00:25:50 Music for Movies Barley Wagons (from Of Mice and Men)
00:28:23 Music for Movies Sunday Traffic (from The City)
00:31:04 Music for Movies Grovers Corners (from Our Town)
00:34:12 Music for Movies Threshing Machines (from Of Mice and Men)
00:37:17 El Salon Mexico
00:48:40 An Outdoor Overture
00:57:37 Billy The Kid (Orchestral Suite)
01:18:43 Quiet City
01:28:33 John Henry
01:32:32 Our Town 
01:43:34 Las Agachadas (The Shake-down Song)
01:46:39 Fanfare For The Common Man

Appalachian Spring - Aaron Copland
Performed live by Sydney Camerata Chamber Orchestra at Paddington Uniting Church, Sydney.
Conductor Luke Gilmour

 

Aaron Copland - Old American Songs,
arranged with choral arrangements by Irving Fine

Old American Songs Set I (1950 orch. 1954), arranged by Irving Fine for chorus (1952) 00:00-12:05
The Boatmen's Dance - The Dodger - Long Time Ago - Simple Gifts - I Bought Me A Cat.

Old American Songs Set II (1952 orch. 1958) arranged by Irving Fine & others for chorus 12:05-24:55
The Little Horses (arr. Raymond Wilding-White) - Zion's Walls (arr. Glenn Koponen) - The Golden Willow Tree - At the River (arr. Raymond Wilding-White) - Ching-a-ring Chaw (arr. Irving Fine) 
Performed by Don Becker (baritone) and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir with the Utah Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas.

Copland - The Tender Land. Opera Act 1
Laurie. Emily Ulrich
Beth: Daniela Leska
Ma Moss: Caroline Vercoe
Mrs Splinters: Bridie Barrett
Mrs Jenks: Dannielle O'keefe
Martin: Henry Choo
Tom: Raphael Wong
Pa Moss: Tiriki Onus
Mr Splinters: Daniel Sinfield
Mr Jenks: Bernard Leon

Director: John Kachoyan
Designer: Rob Sowinski
Choreographer: Georgia Taylor
Conductor: Pat Miller

Copland - The Tender Land. Act 2 and 3

Auguste Rodin - The Kiss

 

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