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Romantic Era


Germany plans to build a fleet of battleships • The Liberal Party led by Henry Campbell-Bannerman obtains a large majority in British elections; it proceeds to introduce a series of social reforms • The Russian Duma (parliament) meets, but is quickly dissolved because its members criticise the government of Tsar Nikolai II • Transvaal and Orange Free State win self-government from Britain • British navy launches HMS Dreadnought, the most advanced warship of the day • Frederick Hopkins (Eng) discovers the existence of vitamins • John Galsworthy (Eng) begins the ‘Forsyte Saga’ with The Man of Property

Second Hague Peace Conference; Germany opposes arms limitations • Russia’s second Duma (parliament) is dissolved after disagreement; a third Duma embarks on the repression of revolutionary activities • Britain and Russia form an Entente • The Triple Alliance of Germany, Italy and Austria is renewed • The Korean Emperor Kojong abdicates; Korea becomes a Japanese protectorate • British soldier Robert Baden-Powell founds the Boy Scout movement • Women obtain the vote in Norway • Pablo Picasso (Sp) paints The Young Ladies of Avignon • Gustav Klimt (Aus) paints Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I • First exhibition of Cubism in Paris • G-B Shaw (Ire): play Major Barbara

Portugal’s King Carlos and Crown Prince Luis are assassinated • Herbert H. Asquith takes over as leader of the Liberals and Prime Minister of UK • Bulgaria declares its independence from Turkey; Prince Ferdinand is made Tsar • Austria annexes the Balkan states of Bosnia and Herzegovina • Germany continues to build large warships, creating tense relationship with Britain • Congo (now Zaire) becomes a Belgian colony • Emile Cohl (Fr) releases the first animated cartoon on film: Fantasmagorie • Bruno Liljefors (Swe) paints Winter HareGustav Klimt (Aus) paints The Kiss • E. M. Forster (Eng): A Room with a View • Kenneth Graham (Scot): The Wind in the Willows

William Howard Taft (Rep) takes office as President of the USA • Young Turks depose Sultan Abdul Hamid; Muhamad V succeeds him as ruler of Turkey • The conditions of Russian peasants are improved by Land Laws • Old-age pensions are introduced in Britain • Henry Ford (US) begins assembly-line production of ‘affordable’ Ford Model T cars • Louis Bleriot (Fr) makes first powered air crossing of English Channel • Leo H. Baekeland (US) introduces Bakelite plastic • Explorer Robert E. Peary (US) possibly reaches the North Pole • The first motion-picture newsreels are shown in N. America and Europe • Futurist Manifesto by poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (It) is published in Italian and French newspapers

Britain’s King Edward dies; is succeeded by his son George V • Liberals win a second general election in UK under Herbert H. Asquith • Cape Colony, Natal, Transvaal and Orange Free State unite to form the Union of South Africa • Revolution breaks out in Portugal, and a republic is declared • Japan annexes Korea • Thomas Edison (US) demonstrates the first talking motion picture • Henri Matisse (Fr) paints The Dance • Pablo Picasso (Sp) paints Girl with a Mandolin • Wassily Kandinsky (Russ) begins abstract Composition series • British philosopher-mathematicians Bertrand Russell and A. N. Whitehead: Principia Mathematica, Vol. I • E. M. Forster (Eng): Howard’s End


George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856 – 2 November 1950), known at his insistence simply as Bernard Shaw, was an Irish playwright, critic, polemicist and political activist. His influence on Western theatre, culture and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and beyond. He wrote more than sixty plays, including major works such as Man and Superman (1902), Pygmalion (1912) and Saint Joan (1923). With a range incorporating both contemporary satire and historical allegory, Shaw became the leading dramatist of his generation, and in 1925 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.



Charles Ives composes the first version of his progressive tone poem Central Park in the Dark. Disparate musical ideas are superimposed to conjure up a 'picture in sounds’ of a summers night in New Yorks Central Park, with an appropriately cacophonous climax. Revised twice afterwards, the one-movement work is not performed publicly until 1946.

Charles Ives - Central Park in the Dark

Northern Sinfonia conducted by James Sinclair

Josef Suk completes his Asrael Symphony, a heartfelt response to the deaths of his beloved wife, Otilka, and father-in-law, Dvorak.

Josef Suk - Asrael 
funeral symphony in C minor dedicated "to the noble memory of Dvořák and Otilka" 
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
conductor Rafael Kubelík

1. Andante sostenuto 0:00
2. Andante 16:29
3. Vivace 23:44
4. Adagio 37:16
5. Adagio e maestoso - Allegro appassionato 49:32

Ralph Vaughan-Williams completes his revisions and cataloguing of the English Hymnal. In addition to resetting a number of hymns with folk tunes, he and other composers have contributed new compositions. These include his own For All the Saints and Come Down O Love Divine, and Gustave Holst’s setting of In the Bleak Midwinter.

Vaughan Williams - Hymns from the English Hymnal
No.133 : Jesus Christ is Risen Today, Alleluya! (Easter Hymn) 
No.152 : Come Down, O Love Divine (Down Ampney, an original tune)
No.390 : Firmly I Believe and Truly (Shipston)
No.485 : Teach Me, My God and My King (Sandys)
No.524 : God Be With You Till We Meet Again (Randolph, an original tune)
No.579 : Rest of the Weary (Fortunatus) 
No.597 : It is a Thing Most Wonderful (Herongate)
No.641 : For All the Saints (Sine Nomine, an original tune)
Performed by the Cardiff Festival Choir conducted by Owain Arwel Hughes (with Robert Court, organ)

6 January
Maurice Ravel's piano suite Miroirs is introduced by Ricardo Vines at the Salle Erard in Paris.

Ravel -  Miroirs (Lortie, Bavouzet)

00:00 – Noctuelles (Night Moths)
04:31 – Oiseaux tristes (Sad Birds)
08:32 – Une barque sur l'océan (A Boat on the Ocean)
15:17 – Alborada del gracioso (Morning Song of the Jester)
21:55 – La vallée des cloches (The Valley of Bells)

27:09 – Noctuelles (Night Moths)
31:50 – Oiseaux tristes (Sad Birds)
35:45 – Une barque sur l'océan (A Boat on the Ocean)
43:07 – Alborada del gracioso (Morning Song of the Jester)
49:44 – La vallée des cloches (The Valley of Bells)

24 January 
Sergei Rachmaninov - The Miserly Knight.

The Miserly Knight
, Op. 24, also The Covetous Knight (Russian: Скупой рыцарь, Skupój rýtsar’), is a Russian opera in one act with music by Sergei Rachmaninoff, with the libretto based on Alexander Pushkin's drama of the same name.

Sergei Rachmaninov: "Il cavaliere avaro" (The miserly knight)
Con: Richard Berkeley-Steele, Maxim Mikhailov, Viacheslav Voynarovskiy, Albert Schagidullin, Sergei Leiferkus, Matilda Leyser
Vladimir Iurowski / Annabel Arden
Glyndebourne, 2004

24 January 
Sergei Rachmaninov - Francesca da Rimini.

Francesca da Rimini, Op. 25, is an opera in a prologue, two tableaux and an epilogue by Sergei Rachmaninoff to a Russian libretto by Modest Ilyich Tchaikovsky. It is based on the story of Francesca da Rimini in the fifth canto of Dante's epic poem The Inferno (the first part of the Divine Comedy). 

Rachmaninov - Francesca Da Rimini
Direction musicale : Rani Calderon
Mise en scène : Silviu Purcărete

L’Ombre de Virgile : Igor Gnidii
Dante : Suren Maksutov
Lanceotto Malatesta : Alexander Vinogradov
Francesca : Gelena Gaskarova
Paolo : Evgeny Liberman
Nancy 2015

19 March
Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari’s 
comic opera I Quatro rusteghi (The Four Curmudgeons) premieres at the Hoftheater in Munich. Based on Carlo Goldini’s play I rusteghi (1760), the work adds popularity to the post-Romantic 'back to Mozart’ movement.

Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari - I QUATRO RUSTEGHI
Lunardo - Fernando Corena,
Margarita - Agnese Dubbini,
Marina - Alda Noni,
Siora Felice - Ester Orell,
Filipeto - Mario Carlin
Cancian - Cristiano Dalamangas,
Conte Riccardo - Manfred Ponz de León,
Lucieta - Gianna Perea-Labia,
Maurizio - Pasquale Lombardo,
Simon - Carlo Ulivi,
Giovane serva - Gilda Capozzi
Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano della RAI
Teatro dell'Arte, Milano 13 giugno 1951

24 May
One of
Frederick Delius’s greatest compositions, Sea Drift, scored for baritone, chorus and orchestra to words by Walt Whitman, is first performed in Essen.

Delius - Sea Drift, after Walt Whitman
Baritone: Bryn Terfel
Chorus-masters: Neville Creed, Graham Caldbeck,
David Hill
Conductor: Richard Hickox
Waynflete Singers 
Southern Voices
Bounemouth Symphony Chorus &
Symphony Orchestra

Late May
Gustav Mahler rehearses his Sixth Symphony in Essen. The composer is overwhelmed by his own work, as his wife Alma later recalls: 'When it was over, Mahler walked up and down in the artists’ room, sobbing, wringing his hands, unable to control himself.’ Anxiety gets the better of him as he conducts the premiere on the 27th, resulting in a poor performance.

Mahler -  6th Symphony "Tragic" 
Leonard Bernstein cond.
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, 1988, Vienna

Arnold Schoenberg completes his Chamber Symphony No. 1, moving ever further away from tonality.

Arnold Schoenberg - Chamber Symphony No. 1, Op. 9
Omega Ensemble
Australian National Academy of Music
Paul Meyer (conductor)

23 August
’s folk-tune inspired Norfolk Rhapsody No. 1 is performed for the first time, at the Promenade Concerts in London.

Vaughan Williams -  Norfolk Rhapsody No 1
The London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Bryden Thompson 

25 September
Dmitri Shostakovich is born in St Petersburg.


3 October
Edward Elgar’s oratorio The Kingdom, sequel to The Apostles (1903), premieres in Birmingham.

Elgar: The Kingdom - Prelude
Sir Andrew Davies conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra with Elgars 'The Kingdom' in the First Night of the Proms 2014. 
Recorded live by BBC Radio Three from the Royal Albert Hall, London.

31 October
Jules Massenet - Ariane.

is an opera in five acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Catulle Mendès after Greek mythology (the tale of Ariadne). 

Jules Massenet - ARIANE acte I 1/5

Ariane : Cécile Perrin 
Phèdre : Barbara Ducret 
Perséphone : Anne Pareuil 
Cypris : Inge Dreisig 
Eunoé : Florence Vinit 
Chromis : Patricia Schnell 
Thésée : Luca Lombardo 
Pirithoüs : Cyril Rovery 
Le chef de la nef – Phereklos : Marco di Sapia 

Le récitant : Patrice Kahlhoven 

Chœurs Lyriques de Saint-Etienne  
Chef de chœurs Laurent Touche 

Orchestre Symphonique de Saint-Etienne 
sous la direction de  Laurent Campellone  

Jules Massenet - ARIANE acte II 2/5

Jules Massenet - ARIANE acte III 3/5

Jules Massenet - ARIANE acte IV 4/5

Jules Massenet - ARIANE acte V 5/5


11 November
Carl Nielsen introduces his comic opera Maskarade to a receptive audience at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen.

Carl Nielsen -  Maskarade 
Leonore: Inga Nielsen
Leander: Stig Fogh Andersen
Henrik: Guido Paevatalu
Jeronimus: Ib Hansen
Pernille: Elsebeth Lund
Magdelone: Minna Nyhus
Arv: Christian Sørensen
Leonard: Poul Karlskov
Vægteren: Jørgen Klint
Maskesælgeren: Hans Jørgen Laursen
Hans assistent: Anthony Michael
Skriveren: Johan Uldall
Kokkepigen: Kari Hamnøy Theilmann
Fem studenter:
Peter Grønlund
Sten Nordberg Nielsen
Mogens Halken
Michael Kammer
Tony Stenfors
Officeren: Troels Kold
Tre piger: 
Lise-Lotte Nielsen
Lilli Jønch
Annemarie Møller
Vagtmesteren: Claus Nørby
Maskarademesteren: Ulrik Cold
Magisteren: Christian Christiansen
Drengen: Martin Bloch

Danish Radio 1986

Dirigent: Lamberto Gardelli
Iscenesættelse: Palle Kjærulff-Schmidt



Claude Debussy completes his second book of Images for Piano.

Claude Debussy: Images, book II
Daniel Stipe, piano, August 13, 2015
Richmond Center Stage, Richmond, Virginia

I. Cloches a travers les feuilles
II. Et la lune descend sur le temple qui fut
III. Poissons d'or

Gustav Mahler finishes the orchestration of his mammoth Eighth Symphony, scored for quadruple woodwinds, two brass sections (the second off-stage), two harps, two mandolins, piano, celesta, harmonium and organ, eight solo voices, three choirs, a large battery of percussion, and strings. He regards it as his greatest work to date.

The Symphony No. 8 in E-flat major by Gustav Mahler is one of the largest-scale choral works in the classical concert repertoire. Because it requires huge instrumental and vocal forces it is frequently called the "Symphony of a Thousand", although the work is normally presented with far fewer than a thousand performers and the composer did not sanction that name. The work was composed in a single inspired burst, at Maiernigg in southern Austria in the summer of 1906. The last of Mahler's works that was premiered in his lifetime, the symphony was a critical and popular success when he conducted the Munich Philharmonic in its first performance, in Munich, on 12 September 1910.

21 February
Frederick Delius - A Village Romeo and Juliet.

A Village Romeo and Juliet
is an opera by Frederick Delius, in six scenes. The composer himself, with his wife Jelka, wrote the English-language libretto based on the short story Romeo und Julia auf dem Dorfe by the Swiss author Gottfried Keller. The first performance was at the Komische Oper Berlin on 21 February 1907

Frederick Delius - "A Village Romeo and Juliet" Sadler's Wells, 1962
Meredith Davies conducts a cast featuring Elsie Morison, Donald McIntyre, Lawrence Felley, John Wakefield, and Neil Easton.  

Frederick Delius - "A Village Romeo and Juliet"
This film is by Petr Weigl in 1991

Sergei Rachmaninov completes his Second Symphony and composes his First Piano Sonata.

Rachmaninoff - Symphony No 2 in E minor, Op 27

1 Largo - Allegro moderato
2 Allegro molto
3 Adagio
4 Allegro vivace

Orchestra of the Academy of Santa Cecilia, Rome
Sir Antonio Pappano, conductor
. London, 2013

Alexander Scriabin completes his symphonic Poem of Ecstasy (Symphony No. 4), which struggles at its New York premiere the following year.

Alexander Scriabin - The Poem of Ecstasy 
Philharmonia Orchestra and conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen at 2010 BBC Proms.

5 February
Arnold Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 1 in D minor (1905), exploring extended tonality, provokes a frosty reaction at its premiere in Vienna. Three days later the 32-year-old’s Chamber Symphony No. 1 in E major (1906) is played for the first time, also in Vienna, and fairs no better.

Arnold Schönberg - String Quartet No. 1 D minor, op.7
Zemlinsky Quartet - Basel 24.11.2015

15 April
Francesco Cilea - Gloria.

 is a tragic opera in three acts by Francesco Cilea with an Italian libretto by Arturo Colautti. A variation on the Romeo and Juliet story and set in 14th century Siena, the libretto is based on Victorien Sardou's 1874 play La Haine (Hatred). The opera premiered on 15 April 1907 at La Scala conducted by Arturo Toscanini.

"Gloria" - Francesco Cilea
Margherita Roberti (Gloria)
Flaviano Labò (Lionetto de'Ricci)
Ferruccio Mazzoli (Aquilante dei Bardi)
Lorenzo Testi (Bardo)
Enrico Campi (Il Vescovo)
Anna Maria Rota (La Senese)
Alberto Albertini (Il Banditore)
Orchestra Sinfonica e Coro di Torino della RAI
Ruggero Maghini, chorus master
Fernando Previtali, conductor, Torino, 1969

10 May
Paul Dukas’s Ariane et Barbe-Bleue (Ariane and Bluebeard), based on a play by Maeterlinck, opens at the Opera-Comique, Paris.

Paul Dukas - Ariane et Barbe-Bleue

Ygraine - Anne-Marie Blanzat, soprano
Mélisande - Jocelyne Chamonin, soprano
Bellangère - Michelle Command, soprano
Ariane - Katherine Ciesinski, mezzosoprano
La Nourrice - Mariana Paunova, mezzosoprano
Sélysette - Hanna Schaer, contralto
Barbe.Bleue - Gabriel Bacquier, baritono
Un vieux Paysan - Chris de Moor, basso
II. Paysan - André Meurant, tenore
III Paysan - Gilbert Chretien, basso
Alladine, mimo

Coro: Paysans, Foule

Chœurs et Nouvel Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France - Rainer Altorfer e Jacques Jouineau, maestri di coro - Armin Jordan, direttore

7 February
Jules Massenet - Therese.

is an opera in two acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Jules Claretie.

Thérèse - Massenet Jules
Dirigent: Patrick Fournillier
Redatelj: Vlado Habunek
Dunja Vejzović .................(Therese)
Daniel Galvez Vallejo....... (Armand de Cherval)
Josip Lešaja.......................(Andre Thorel)
Miroslav Belamarić...........(Morel)
Damir Fatović....................(Prvi oficir)
Vlaho Ljutić ......................(Drugi oficir)
Sotir Spasevski..................(Civilni oficir)
Zbor i orkestar HNK - Zagreb, 1989

4 September
Leading Norwegian composer
Edvard Grieg dies in Bergen, aged 64. A crowd of 50,000 gather to watch his funeral procession five days later.


25 September
Jean Sibelius conducts the premiere of his Symphony No. 3 in C major in Helsinki. A national hero, he can observe his portrait hanging in many of the city’s shop windows.

Jean Sibelius - Symphony No. 3 Op. 52

The Danish National Symphony Orchestra
Leif Segerstam, conductor.



Claude Debussy completes his piano suite Children's Corner, dedicated to ‘Chou-Chou’, his beloved daughter, Claude-Emma.

Debussy - Children's Corner
1. Doctor Gradus ad parnassum
2. Jimbo's Lullaby
3. Serenade for the Doll
4. The Snow is Dancing
5. The Little Sheperd
6. Golliwog's Cake Walk

Mieczyslaw Horszowski, 1984

4 February
Igor Stravinsky’s Symphony in E flat (Op. 1) is given its first complete performance, in St Petersburg. This year the composer also writes the orchestral scherzo Fireworks, composed as a wedding present for Rimsky-Korsakov’s daughter, Nadezhda.

Igor Stravinsky - Symphony in E-flat major Op. 1 
Russian National Orchestra conducted by Mikhail Pletnev.

Charles Ives completes his chamber work The Unanswered Question. This same year he marries a nurse, Harmony Twitchell. He will later write (in Memos): "If I have done anything good in music, it was first, because of my father, and second, because of my wife."

Charles Ives - The Unanswered Question
CCM Concert Orchestra
Olivier Ochanine, conductor, 2009

15 March
The first performance of Maurice Ravel's symphonic suite Rapsodie espagnole is warmly applauded in Paris.

Ravel "Rhapsodie espagnole"
oston Symphony Orchestra - Seiji Ozawa

Camille Saint-Saens produces one of the first original film scores with his music to Henri Lavedan’s film L’assassinat du due de Guise (The Assassination of the Duke of Guise).

Camille Saint Saëns - L'Assassinat du Duc de Guise Op. 127

2 January
The third book of Isaac Albeniz’s piano suite Iberia is introduced at the salon of Princess de Polignac in Paris.

The composer completes the fourth and final book this year.
Book I: May 9, 1906, Salle Pleyel, Paris
Book II: September 11, 1907, Saint-Jean-de-Luz
Book III: January 2, 1908, Palace of Princess de Polignac, Paris
Book IV: February 9, 1909, Société Nationale de Musique, Paris.

«Iberia, doce nuevas impresiones en cuatro cuadernos» -  Isaac Albéniz
Alicia de Larrocha, piano. 

Cuaderno 1
1. Evocación (00:00) 
2. El Puerto (06:04) 
3. Corpus Christi en Sevilla (10:14) 

Cuaderno 2
4. Rondeña (19:15) 
5. Almería (26:39)
6. Triana (36:29) 

Cuaderno 3
7. El Albaicín (41:35) 
8. El Polo (49:03) 
9. Lavapiés (56:05)  

Cuaderno 4
10. Málaga (01:03:10) 
11. Jerez (01:08:29)
12. Eritaña (01:18:20) 

18 January
Frederick Delius's An English Rhapsody is premiered in Liverpool.

Frederick Delius -  "Brigg Fair", an "English rhapsody" 

Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera
by Sir Charles Mackerras, 1990

21 June
Composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov dies outside St Petersburg, aged 64.


19 September
Gustav Mahler premieres his Seventh Symphony (completed 1905) with only modest success in Prague. This year also marks the completion of his orchestral song cycle Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth).

Gustav Mahler - Symphony No. 7: Song of the Night
Wiener Philharmoniker - Leonard Bernstein

Mahler - Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth)
1. The Drinking Song of Earth's Misery
2. The Lonely One in Autumn
3. Of Youth
4. Of Beauty
5. The Drunken Man in Spring
6. The Farewell

Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano
William Burden, tenor

Vladimir Kulenovic, Conductor
Texas Festival Orchestra - Round Top Music Festival, 2016

3 December
Edward Elgar's Symphony No. 1 is introduced under Hans Richter in Manchester. It is the first significant symphony by an English composer.

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

10 December
French composer Olivier Messiaen is 
born in Avignon.

23 January
American composer
Edward MacDowell dies in New York, aged 47.


1 February  
Karl Goldmark - Ein Wintermärchen.

Karl Goldmark - Ein Wintermärchen

IDEGENEK – operavizsga 
Szimfonikus Zenekara
Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

Conductor: MADARAS Gergely
Leontes: Zuo YOU

Hermione: Lusine SAHAKYAN

Perdita: IHRING Anna

Paulina: RUSZÓ Alexandra

Dada: VIDA Anikó

Polixenes: ERDŐS Attila 

Florizel: ÓDOR Botond 

Camillo: GAÁL Csaba 

Mamilius: KISS Tamás
2015., Hungarian State Opera House

11 December
Composer Elliot Carter is born in New York.

21 December
The Rose Quartet (The Rosé Quartet was a string quartet formed by Arnold Rosé in 1882. It was active for 55 years, until 1938) premiere Arnold Schoenberg’s highly dissonant Second String Quartet with the soprano Marie Gutheil-Schoder in Vienna. The audience begins to laugh during the second movement, followed up with some stronger reactions as the final movement introduces pure atonality. The groundbreaking work suffers, in Schoenbergs words, 'tumultuous rejection’.

Arnold Schoenberg - Quartetto per archi n.2 op.10  Bethany Beardslee, soprano 
The Sequoia String Quartet

Olivier Messiaen

Olivier Messiaen

Olivier Messiaen, in full Olivier-Eugène-Prosper-Charles Messiaen, (born Dec. 10, 1908, Avignon, France—died April 27, 1992, Clichy, near Paris), influential French composer, organist, and teacher noted for his use of mystical and religious themes. As a composer he developed a highly personal style noted for its rhythmic complexity, rich tonal colour, and unique harmonic language.


Messiaen was the son of Pierre Messiaen, who was a scholar of English literature, and of the poet Cécile Sauvage. He grew up in Grenoble and Nantes, began composing at age seven, and taught himself to play the piano. At age 11 he entered the Paris Conservatory, where his teachers included the organist Marcel Dupré and the composer Paul Dukas. During his later years at the conservatory he began an extensive private study of Eastern rhythm, birdsong, and microtonal music (which uses intervals smaller than a semitone). In 1931 he was appointed organist at the Church of the Sainte-Trinité, Paris.

Messiaen became known as a composer with the performance of his Offrandes oubliées (“Forgotten Offertories”) in 1931 and his Nativité du Seigneur (1938; The Birth of the Lord). In 1936, with the composers André Jolivet, Daniel Lesur, and Yves Baudrier, he founded the group La Jeune France (“Young France”) to promote new French music. He taught at the Schola Cantorum and the École Normale de Musique from 1936 until the outbreak of World War II in 1939. As a French soldier he was taken prisoner and interned at Görlitz, where he wrote Quatuor pour la fin du temps (1941; Quartet for the End of Time). Repatriated in 1942, he resumed his post at Sainte-Trinité and taught at the Paris Conservatory. His students included Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pierre Boulez, Jean-Louis Martinet, and Yvonne Loriod (whom he married in 1961).

Much of Messiaen’s music was inspired by Roman Catholic theology, interpreted in a quasi-mystical manner, notably in Apparition de l’église éternelle for organ (1932; Apparition of the Eternal Church); Visions de l’amen for two pianos (1943); Trois Petites Liturgies de la présence divine for women’s chorus and orchestra (1944); Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant Jésus for piano (1944; Twenty Looks upon the Infant Jesus); Messe de la Pentecôte for organ (1950); and La Transfiguration de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ for orchestra and choir (1969). Among his most important orchestral works is the Turangalîla-Symphonie (1948) in 10 movements—containing a prominent solo piano part and using percussion instruments in the manner of the Indonesian gamelan orchestra, along with an ondes martenot (an electronic instrument). Also notable is Chronochromie for 18 solo strings, wind, and percussion (1960). Le Réveil des oiseaux (1953; The Awakening of the Birds), Oiseaux exotiques (1956; Exotic Birds), and Catalogue d’oiseaux (1959; Catalog of Birds) incorporate meticulous notations of birdsong. He composed an opera, St. François d’Assise, which premiered at the Paris Opera in 1983.

Messiaen’s method of composition is set forth in his treatise Technique de mon langage musical (1944; “Technique of My Musical Language”).


Messiaen - Quartet for the End of Time
Richard Nunemaker, Clarinet

Johnny Chang, Violin
Olive Chen, Cello
I-Ling Chen, Piano

St. Thomas University, Houston, November 15, 2011

Olivier Messiaen -  Chronochromie (1960)
Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks diretta da Karl Anton Rickenbacher -

I. Introduction
II. Strophe 1 [3:26]
III. Antistrophe 1 [4:52]
IV. Strophe 2 [8:05]
V. Antistrophe 2 [9:30]
VI. Épôde [15:10]
VII. Coda [18:48]

Messiaen - La Transfiguration de Notre Seigneur Jesus-Christ
John A. C. Kane [Xylorimba], János Starker [Cello], Yvonne Loriod [Piano], Wallace Mann [Flute], Loren Kitt [Clarinet], Frank A Ames [Marimba], Ronald Barnett [Vibraphone], Michael Sylvester [Tenor], Paul Aquino [Baritone], Westminster Symphonic Choir [Choir], National Symphony Orchestra Washington [Orchestra], Antal Doráti [Conductor]


Saint François: José van Dam
L'Ange: Christine Schäfer
Le Lépreux:  Chris Merritt
Frère Léon: Brett Polegato
Frère Massée: Charles Workman
Frère Elie: Christoph Homberger
Frère Bernard: Roland Bracht
Frère Sylvestre: Guillaume Antoine
Frère Ruffin:  David Bizic

Choeur et Orchestre de l'Opéra National de Paris
Sylvain Cambreling, 
Paris, Opéra Bastille, 2004

Elliot Carter

Elliot Carter

Elliott Carter, in full Elliot Cook Carter, Jr., (born December 11, 1908, New York, New York, U.S.—died November 5, 2012, New York City), American composer, a musical innovator whose erudite style and novel principles of polyrhythm, called metric modulation, won worldwide attention. He was twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize for music, in 1960 and 1973.


Carter, who was born of a wealthy family, was educated at Harvard University (1926–32), where he first majored in English and later studied music with Walter Piston and Gustav Holst. His interest in music dated from his teens and was fostered by the composer Charles Ives, who was Carter’s neighbour in 1924–25.

Carter began composing seriously in 1933, while studying in Paris with Nadia Boulanger. His early works displayed an original diatonic style that was strongly influenced by the rhythmic and melodic patterns of ancient Greek music and literature. Among his early works were choral and instrumental pieces and a ballet. Two pieces from the early 1940s—The Defense of Corinth for narrator, men’s chorus, and two pianos (1941) and Symphony No. 1 (1942)—were especially representative work of that period.

Carter’s Piano Sonata (1945–46) marked a turning point in his stylistic development; in it he used a complex texture of irregularly cross-accented counterpoint within a large-scale framework. In the Cello Sonata (1948) the principles of metric modulation were well established. In a 2002 radio interview, Carter said, “Everybody hated it. I couldn’t get it published. Now it’s taught in most universities and it’s played all the time.” The composer’s innovative rhythmic technique culminated in his String Quartet No. 1 (1951), characterized by the densely woven counterpoint that became a hallmark of his style. Both that quartet and the String Quartet No. 2 (1959; Pulitzer Prize, 1960) became part of the standard repertory. The Variations for Orchestra (1955) marked another phase of Carter’s development, leading to a serial approach to intervals and dynamics. The Double Concerto for harpsichord, piano, and two chamber orchestras (1961), which won rare praise from Igor Stravinsky, displayed Carter’s interest in unusual instrumentation and canonic texture (based on melodic imitation). The conflict generated between the two orchestral groups and the great difficulty of the concerto were mirrored in his Piano Concerto (1965). Carter’s Concerto for Orchestra was first performed in 1970 and the String Quartet No. 3, for which he won a second Pulitzer Prize, in 1973.
The 1980s began a major creative period for Carter. Some of his more frequently performed works from that and subsequent decades include the Oboe Concerto (1987); Violin Concerto (1990), a recording of which won the 1993 Grammy Award for best contemporary composition; String Quartet No. 5 (1995); the playful Clarinet Concerto (1996); the ambitious Symphonia: Sum Fluxae Pretium Spei (1993–96; “I Am the Prize of Flowing Hope”); an opera, What Next? (1999), about six characters in the aftermath of a car accident; the Cello Concerto (2000), first performed by Yo-Yo Ma; and a continuing string of commissions beyond the composer’s 100th birthday. Major orchestras and other performers around the world increasingly played his music, and he became one of the few contemporary composers whose works entered the standard repertoire.

Carter was the first composer to receive the U.S. National Medal of Arts (1985); the governments of France, Germany, Italy, and Monaco also awarded him high honours. He became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Referring to the “wit and humour…anger…lyricism and beauty” found throughout Carter’s works, the critic Andrew Porter labeled the composer “America’s great musical poet.”


Elliott Carter  - Symphony No. 1
American Composers Orchestra
Conducted by Paul Dunkel

Elliott Carter - Piano Concerto (1964)

Ursula Oppens, piano
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Michael Gielen, conductor

Elliott Carter - String quartet No.1 (1951)
Juilliard String Quartet

I. Fantasia: Maestoso
Allegro scorrevole
II. Allegro scorrevole (13:16)
III. Variations (26:46)

Elliott Carter - String quartet No.2 (1959)
Juilliard String Quartet

I. Allegro fantastico   Cadenza for viola
II. Presto scherzando   Cadenza for cello
III. Andante espressivo   Cadenza for violin I
IV. Allegro   Conclusion

Elliott Carter -  Cello Concerto
Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music
Fred Sherry - cello
Stefan Asbury - conductor

Elliott Carter - Piano Sonata
Paul Jacobs



Zoltan Kodaly captures Hungarian folk melody in his String Quartet No. 1.

Zoltán Kodály - String Quartets 1 & 2
Kodály String Quartet 

Arnold Schoenberg completes Three Piano Pieces, Op. 11, and the Five Orchestral Pieces, Op. 16. They are the composers first completely atonal works.

Arnold Schoenberg: Three Piano Pieces, Op 11
I Mässig (at a moderate speed) 0:00
II Mässig (at a moderate speed) 4:33
III  Bewegt (with motion) 12:40

Matthew Edwards

Arnold Schoenberg - 5 Orchestral Pieces Op. 16 
1. Premonitions (Vorgefühle)
2. The Past (Vergangenes) 2:12
3. Chord-Colours (Farben) 7:30
4. Turning Point (Peripetie) 10:41
5. The Obbligato Recitative (Das obligate Rezitativ) 12:52
London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Rober Craft.

2 June
The ballet Les Sylphides, with Chopin's music orchestrated by Alexander Glazunov, is first danced in St Petersburg.

Alexander Glazunov - Chopiniana (Les Sylphides)
I. Polonaise
II. Nocturne
III. Mazurka
IV. Walzer
V. Tarantelle
Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava) Ondrej Lenárd

7 June
Thomas Beecham premieres Frederick Delius’s A Mass of Life (1905) at the Queens Hall, London. True to his anti-religious disposition, Delius has drawn his text from Nietzsche's Also sprach Zarathustra.

Frederick Delius - A Mass of Life.

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Hill.
Soprano: Janice Watson.
Mezzo-Soprano: Catherine Wyn-Rogers.
Tenor: Andrew Kennedy.
Baritone/barítono: Alan Opie.
Choir: The Bach Choir.

I. First Part (0:00)
II. Second Part (32:51)

Ralph Vaughan Williams, aged 38, completes his first symphonic work, A Sea Symphony, scored for orchestra and voices throughout.

Ralph Vaughan Williams - Symphony No. 1 for soprano, baritone, chorus & orchestra ("A Sea Symphony")
London Philharmonic Orchestra, 1989
- Choirs: London Philharmonic Choir, Cantilena
- Conductor: Bernard Haitink
- Felicity Lott (soprano),
- Jonathan Summers (baritone)

00:00 - 1: A Song for All Seas, All Ships (baritone, soprano, and chorus)
20:58 - 2: on the Beach at Night, Alone (baritone and chorus)
33:02 - 3: Scherzo: The Waves (chorus)
40:00 - 4: The Explorers (baritone, soprano, semi-chorus, and chorus)

Anton Webern, Five movements for string quartet, op. 5

Anton Webern - Six Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 6 
Staatskapelle Dresden conducted by Giuseppe Sinopoli

Anton Webern composes his Five Movements for String Quartet, Op. 5, and Six Pieces for OrchestraOp. 6.
The 12-minute orchestral suite, inspired by Schoenberg's Five Orchestral Pieces, points to Webern's mature style with its predominantly sparse, fragmentary atonal textures.

25 January
Richard Strauss’s potent one-act opera Elektra, completed the previous year to a librettoby Hugo von Hofmannsthal, is performed for the first time, in Dresden. The opera incorporates some of Strauss’s most harmonically daring passages, flirting at times with atonality.

Arnold Schoenberg completes the song cycle Das Buch der hangenden Garten (Book of the Hanging Gardens).

Das Buch der hangenden Garten, Op. 15 - Schoenberg

Helen Vanni, mezzo-soprano. Glenn Gould, piano.

I. Unterm schutz von dichten Blattergunden   [0:00]
II. Hain in diesen paradisen   [2:35]
III. Als neuling trat Ich ein in dein gehege   [3:55]
IV. Da meine lippen reglos sing und brennen   [5:35]
V. Da meine lippen reglos sind mir, auf welchem pfade   [7:05]
VI. Jedem werke bin Ich furder tot   [8:20]
VII. Angst und hoffen wechselnd mich beklemmen   [9:20]
VIII. Wenn Ich heut nicht deinen leib beruhre   [10:30]
IX. Streng ist uns das cluck und sprode   [11:28]
X. Das schone beet betracht Ich mir im harren   [12:52]
XI. Als wir hinter dem beblumten tore   [15:05]
XII. Wenn sich bei heilger ruh in tiefen matten   [18:30]
XIII. Du lehnest wider eine silberweide   [20:30]
XIV. Sprich nicht mehr von dem laub   [22:05]
XV. Wir bevolkerten die abend-dustern lauben  [22:45]

18 May
Spanish composer and pianist
Isaac Albeniz dies in Cambo-les-Bains (French Pyrenees), aged 48, having suffered from Bright’s disease for several years.


7 October
’s final opera, 
The Golden Cockerel, is posthumously premiered in Moscow.

16 November
Bela Bartok aged 28, marries his piano pupil Marta Ziegler, aged 16. This year has seen the completion of his String Quartet No. 1.

Béla Bartók - String Quartet No. 1 in A minor, Sz. 40, BB 52 (Op. 7)
 Hungarian String Quartet, 1961 

12 November 
Der Graf von Luxemburg (The Count of Luxembourg) is an operetta in three acts by Franz Lehár to a German libretto by Alfred Willner, Robert Bodanzky, and Leo Stein. 

28 November
Sergei Rachmaninov, touring America for the first time, introduces his perilously demanding Piano Concerto No. 3 under Walter Damrosch in New York. This year has also seen the composition of his symphonic poem The Isle of the Dead.

Rachmaninoff - Piano Concerto No. 3 
Mikhail Pletnev
Valery Gergiev  (Moscow, 2003)

Rachmaninov - The Isle of the Dead,
Symphonic poem Op. 29

Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra 
Sir Andrew Davis, conductor

4 December
Ermando Wolf-Ferrari’s one-act intermezzo Il Segreto di Susanna (Susanna’s Secret) opens in Munich.

Ermanno Wolf Ferrari -  "Il Segreto di Susanna" 
Director: Nicola Ulivieri - Conductor: Dennis Assaf
Set design: Filippo Andreatta
Costumes: Chiara Defant, 2012



Alban Berg composes his String Quartet, Op. 3.

Alban Berg - String Quartet, Op. 3
 New Zealand String Quartet, 2004

Sergei Rachmaninov composes his 13 Preludes for piano, Op. 32.

Rachmaninov - 13 Preludes, op. 32
Boris Berezovsky, 2007

00:00 - 1
01:18 - 2
04:01 - 3
06:30 - 4
11:55 - 5
14:32 - 6
15:53 - 7
17:38 - 8
19:20 - 9
22:19 - 10
27:29 - 11
29:35 - 12
32:16 - 13

Alexander Scriabin completes his mystical Fifth Symphony, Prometheus: the Poem of Fire. Scored for orchestra, piano, organ and choir, he has created the work utilising his condition of synesthesia, perceiving sounds as colours.

Prometheus: The Poem of Fire - Alexander Scriabin
Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valéry Gergiev. Alexander Toradze (piano). 2018

8 January
Franz LehárZigeunerliebe.

Gipsy Love (Zigeunerliebe) 
is an operetta in three acts by Franz Lehár with a libretto by Alfred Willner and Robert Bodanzky, provided with English translations and revisions by several hands.

Zigeunerliebe - Franz Lehár
Peter Dragotin: Gustav Neidlinger/Heinz Klevenow
Zorika (seine Tochter): Helene Werth/Frecca Renate Bortfeld
Jonel Bolescu: Rupert Glawitsch
Joszi: Rudolf Schock/Erwin Linder
Ilona: Gisela Litz
Jolan:Christine Görner/Gisela Peltzer
Kajetan: Otto Albrecht/Hermann Lenschau
Moschu:Clemens Wilmenrod
Mihaly:Adolf Meyer-Bremen
Julsza: Martina Otto
Hamburger Rundfunkchor - Hamburger Rundfunkorchester - Wilhelm Stephan, 1953

29 May
Composer and conductor Mily Balakirev, dies in St Petersburg, aged 73.


26 June
Diaghilev stages
Igor Stravinsky’s first ballet, The Firebird, at the Paris Opera. 

Stravinsky - The Firebird
Gergiev - Vienna Philarmonic - Salzburg Festival 2000

6 September
Vaughan Williams conducts the first performance of his Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis for string orchestra, at Gloucester Cathedral. He will twice revise the work, producing its definitive version in 1919.

Vaughan Williams - Fantasia on a theme of Thomas Tallis
BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrew Davis

12 September
Gustav Mahler triumphs with the premiere of his Eighth Symphony (1907) in Munich. The colossal forces involved—a chorus of 850 and an orchestra of 171—gives the work its sobriquet: Symphony of a Thousand.

Mahler - 8th Symphony "Symphony of a Thousand"
Chicago Symphony Orchestra cond Sir Georg Solti Chorus of the Vienna State Opera, Singverein Chorus, Vienna Boys Choir

0:00 - Part I: Veni creator spiritus 
23:22 - Part II: Closing scene from Goethe's Faust

4 October
The 13-year-old
Erich Wolfgang Korngold beguiles a Viennese audience at the Hofoper with his ballet Der Schneemann (The Snowman).

Erich Wolfgang Korngold - Der Schneemann,
ballet pantomime

BBC Philharmonic Orchestra - Matthias Bamert

10 November
Edward Elgar
’s Violin Concerto is premiered by Fritz Kreisler at the Queen’s Hall in London. Elgar conducts and enjoys ecstatic applause.

Edward Elgar - Violin Concerto in B minor, Op. 61

Tasmin Little, violin
Sir Andrew Davis - BBC Symphony Orchestra

9 March
Composer Samuel Barber is born in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

20 April
Jeanne Leleu and Genevieve Durony, aged 11 and 14, introduce Maurice Ravel s suite Ma mère l'Oye (Mother Goose) for piano duet at the inaugural concert of the Societe Musicale Independents in Paris.

Ravel - Ma Mere l'Oye 
Martha Argerich - Eduardo Delgado

10 December
New York’s Metropolitan Opera stages its first premiere:
Giacomo Puccini’s La fanciulla del West (The Girl of the Golden West). Toscanini conducts Enrico Caruso and Emmy Destinn, and the audience lap it up; by the end of the performance the composer, conductor and cast have received over 50 curtain calls between them.

29 May
Max Reger - Piamo Concerto in F minor  is introduced in Leipzig.

Max Reger - Piano Concerto in F minor, op. 114
Pianist Steven Mayer
Hague Philharmonic conducted by Ernest Bour.

Samuel Barber

Samuel Barber

Samuel Barber, (born March 9, 1910, West Chester, Pennsylvania, U.S.—died January 23, 1981, New York, New York), American composer who is considered one of the most expressive representatives of the lyric and Romantic trends in 20th-century classical music.


Barber studied the piano from an early age and soon began to compose. In 1924 he entered the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where, in addition to piano and composition, he studied singing and conducting. After graduation in 1934, Barber devoted himself entirely to composition. His style was distinctive and modern but not experimental. He established his reputation with his overture to The School for Scandal (1933), based on Richard Sheridan’s comedy by that name, and with Music for a Scene from Shelley (1935), inspired by the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound.

Although many of Barber’s works make literary allusions, his music is not programmatic in the strict sense. Significant in this respect are the three Essays for Orchestra (1938, 1942, and 1978), which are intended as musical counterparts of the literary form. Structural considerations govern Barber’s instrumental writing; there is great astringency in harmony, but the basic tonality remains secure; the rhythmic lines are very strong, without loss of coherence.

In 1936 Barber composed his String Quartet. Its slow movement, arranged for string orchestra, was performed under the title Adagio for Strings by the NBC Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini in 1938 and acquired extraordinary popularity in the United States and Europe.
Barber’s Symphony No. 1 (1936; rev. 1942) is in the Romantic tradition. In the Symphony No. 2 (1944; rev. 1947), commissioned by the U.S. Army Air Forces (which he had joined in 1943), Barber introduced an electronic instrument imitating radio signals for air navigation, an effect replaced in the revised version by an E-flat clarinet.

Barber also wrote a Violin Concerto (1941) and a Cello Concerto (1946). His Piano Sonata (1949) is a monument of 20th-century American piano music. His other compositions include Dover Beach, for voice and string quartet (1931); three vocal works with orchestra, Knoxville: Summer of 1915 (1948), Prayers of Kierkegaard (1954), and Andromache’s Farewell (1962); and Medea (1947). His opera Vanessa, with libretto by longtime partner Gian Carlo Menotti and produced by the Metropolitan Opera Association, New York City, in 1958, was awarded a Pulitzer Prize.

Barber’s Piano Concerto (1962) brought him new international success and another Pulitzer Prize. His opera Antony and Cleopatra inaugurated the new auditorium of the Metropolitan Opera Association at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in 1966. After a period of creative inactivity, Barber resumed composing for orchestra. The Lovers and Fadograph of a Yestern Scene were first performed in 1971, and Third Essay for Orchestra had its premiere in 1980.


Vanessa is an American opera in three (originally four) acts by Samuel Barber, opus 32, with an original English libretto by Gian Carlo Menotti. It was composed in 1956–1957 and was first performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City on January 15, 1958.

Samuel Barber  Vanessa with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa in the title role. Conducted by Lawrence Foster with David Maxwell Anderson as Anatol, Lucy Schauffer as Erika, Rosalind Elias as Baroness and David Evitts as the Doctor.
L'Opera de Monte Carlo.

Antony and Cleopatra, Op. 40, is an opera in three acts by American composer Samuel Barber. The libretto was prepared by Franco Zeffirelli. It was based on the play Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare.

The opera was first performed on September 16, 1966.

Samuel Barber - Antony and Cleopatra (1)
Cleopatra - Catherine Malfitano
Antony - Richard Cowan
Caesar Octavius - Jacque Trussel
Enobarbus - Eric Halfvarson
Charmian - Wendy White
Iras - Nancy Maultsby
Agrippa - Michael Wadsworth
Dolabella - Paul Kreider
Eros - Philip Zawisza
Alexas - William F Walker
A Rustic - James Ramlet
A Messenger - Paul Jacobsen
A Soothsayer; Guard - Kurt Link
Octavia - Beverly Thiele
Thidias - Patrick Denniston
A Soldier - Brad Cresswell
A Guardsman; Guard - Charles Austin
A Senator - Roy Cornelius Smith
Guard - Gary Lehman
Guard - Victor Benedetti
Watchman - Andrew Schroeder
Watchman - Elias Mokole
Conductor - Richard Buckley, 1991

Samuel Barber - Antony and Cleopatra (2)


Gustav Klimt  - The Kiss

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