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Modern Period


The Anglo-Japanese treaty is renewed • Britain’s House of Lords passes a Parliament Act curbing its own powers • Italy declares war on Turkey; annexes Tripoli and Cyrenaica in north Africa • International tension is caused by the arrival of the German warship, Panther, at Agadir, Morocco • France is given virtual control over Morocco • Qing dynasty under threat as China is torn by revolution • Roald Amundsen (Nor) beats Robert F. Scott (UK) to the South Pole by five weeks • Wassily Kandinsky (Russ) and Franz Marc (Ger) found the ‘Blue Rider’ artists’ group in Munich • Gaston Leroux (Fr): novel Phantom of the Opera

New Mexico becomes the 47th State of the USA • President Theodore Roosevelt (US) is wounded in an assassination attempt • End of Quing Dynasty in China; republic formed • In the Balkans, war breaks out between Turkey and an alliance of Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro and Greece 
• Albania becomes independent • Germany continues to increase its naval strength • The British Liner Titanic sinks on its maiden voyage; 1,500 people are drowned • Albert Berry (US) makes the first parachute jump from an aeroplane • Marcel Duchamp (Fr) paints Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 • August Macke (Ger) paints Coloured Composition • Rabindranath Tagore (Ind): poems Gitanjali

Woodrow Wilson (Dem) becomes 28th President of the USA • King George of Greece is assassinated • Greece, Serbia Romania and Turkey defeat Bulgaria in Second Balkan War • Albania declares independence • Ireland poised for civil war following House of Lords rejection of Third Home Rule Bill • In China, revolutionary forces capture Nanking; Yuan Shih-Kai is elected President of the Chinese Republic • The newly-completed Panama Canal opens to shipping • In India, British authorities arrest nationalist leader Mahatma Ghandi • British suffragettes demand the Vote • Charlie Chaplin (Eng) makes his film debut • Thomas Mann (Ger): Death in Venice • G-B Shaw (Ire): Pygmalion

Germany declares war on Russia and France, and invades Belgium • Britain declares war on Germany • Italy and the USA declare neutrality • German troops occupy Brussels • Turkey joins the war on Germany’s side • Britain  annexes Cyprus • Zeppelins carry out first air-raids on Britain • An Irish Home Rule Bill is passed by Britain’s House of Commons despite opposition by Ulster Unionists, but is suspended for the duration of war • Amedeo Modigliani (It) paints Frank Burly Flaviland • Edgar Rice Burroughs (US): Tarzan of the Apes

World War I continues; Italy joins the Allies (France and Britain) • German troops use poison gas and flamethrowers on the Western Front • Allied soldiers land at Salonika, Greece, and Gallipoli, Turkey • British forces take Mesopotamia • Serbia is overrun by the Central Powers (Germany and Austria) • German armies enter Warsaw and capture  Brest-Litovsk • German submarines inflict heavy losses on Allies’ merchant ships • A German fleet is defeated by the British navy at Dogger Bank • US forces occupy Cuba • Pablo Picasso (Sp) paints Harlequin • Albert Einstein (Ger) expounds his general theory of relativity • John Buchan (Scot): The Thirty-Nine Steps


Albert Einstein (14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics (alongside quantum mechanics). His work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science. He is best known to the general public for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc2, which has been dubbed "the world's most famous equation". He received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect", a pivotal step in the development of quantum theory.



Irving Berlin writes Alexander's Ragtime Band, his first hit song.

Alexander's Ragtime Band 1911 Irving Berlin
Edison Amberol Cylinder - Billy Murray - Alexander's Ragtime Band 1911 (Reached US Billboard #2 - Nov 1911 (7 weeks) Recorded in November of 1911.

Anton Webern begins his concise Six Bagatelles for String Quartet (Op. 9) and Five Pieces (for chamber orchestra, Op. 10). Completed in 1913, both works feature atonal, pointillistic textures, with motifs broken up into fragments and dispersed among the instruments. Some movements are surprisingly brief, lasting around 30 seconds.

Anton Webern - Five Pieces, Op. 10
Philharmonia Orchestra - Robert Craft

Anton Webern - Six Bagatelles for String Quartet, Op. 9
II. Leicht bewegt (0:43)
III. Ziemlich flieβend (1:12)
IV. Sehr langsam (1:38)
V. Äuβerst langsam (2:30)
VI. Flieβend (3:46)

Juilliard String Quartet (New York, 1970)

26 January
Richard Strauss retreats from the progressive harmonies of Elektra in his new opera Der Rosenkavalier (The Knight of the Rose), first staged in Dresden. Librettist Hofmannsthal sets the scene in 18th-century Vienna and both he and Strauss enjoy the greatest triumph of their careers.

3 April
In Helsinki Jean Sibelius conducts the first performance of his reflective and austere Fourth Symphony. The public are mostly unappreciative.

Jean Sibelius - Symphony No. 4, Op. 63

Sir Colin Davis, Conductor.
London Symphony Orchestra.

18 May
Gustav Mahler, suffering from fatigue and a chronic heart infection, dies in Vienna, aged 50. He leaves a Tenth Symphony unfinished.


19 May
Maurice Ravel’s one-act opera L'Heure espagnole (The Spanish Hour) opens at the Opera-Comique in Paris.

Maurice Ravel - L'heure espagnole

Concepcion - Sophie Koch
Gonzalve - Yann Beuron
Torquemada - Jean-Paul Fouchecourt
Ramiro - Franck Ferrari
Don Iñigo - Alain Vernhes
c. Seiji Ozawa Opera National de Paris

24 May
Edward Elgar’s Symphony No. 2 leaves the public unimpressed at London’s Queen’s Hall.

Texas Festival Orchestra; Perry So - conductor
Round Top Music Festival
Festival Concert Hall, 2014

2 June
Pietro Mascagni - Isabeau.

is a leggenda drammatica or opera in three parts by Pietro Mascagni, 1911, from an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica. 

Pietro Mascagni - ISABEAU
Isabeau: Marcella Pobbe -
Ermynthrude: Nicoletta Ciliento -
Ermyngarde: Anna Assandri -
Giglietta: Laura Zanini -
Folco: Pier Miranda Ferraro -
Re Raimondo: Silvano Carroli - 
Cornelius: Guido Mazzini -
Il Cavaliere: Renato Borgato -
L'araldo: Gabriele Floresta
Un vecchio uomo: Angelo Sepe -
Due voci: Luigi Paolillo, Angelo Casertano
Orchestra e coro del Teatro San Carlo Napoli - Direttore Ugo Rapallo - Napoli, 8 marzo 1972

13 June
Igor Stravinsky’s allegorical ballet Petrushka, staged by Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes with Nijinsky in the lead role, triumphs at the Theatre du Chatelet, Paris.

Stravinsky - Petrushka
Bolshoi Ballet, produced by Mosfilm, 2002. 
Petrushka - Andris Liepa
Ballerina - Tatiana Beletskaya
Blackamoor - Gennady Taranda

Stravinsky - Petrushka
Claudio Abbado: London Symphony Orchestra

7 July
Gian Carlo Menotti is born in Cadegliano, Italy.

Gian Carlo Menotti

Gian Carlo Menotti

Gian Carlo Menotti, (born July 7, 1911, Cadegliano, Italy—died Feb. 1, 2007, Monaco), Italian composer, whose operas gained wider popularity than any others of their time. His realistic operas on his own librettos represent a successful combination of 20th-century dramatic situations with the traditional form of Italian opera. Menotti used largely traditional harmonies, resorting at times to dissonance and polytonality to heighten dramatic effect.


Menotti wrote his first opera, The Death of Pierrot, by the age of 11. He studied at the Milan Conservatory and in the late 1920s emigrated to the United States, where he continued his studies at the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia (1928–33), at the suggestion of Arturo Toscanini. There he met Samuel Barber, who became his lifelong companion and frequent collaborator. Although Menotti worked extensively in the United States, he retained his Italian citizenship.

Menotti’s opera Amelia Goes to the Ball, a witty satire on society manners and morals, was produced in Philadelphia in 1937 with great success and was transferred to the Metropolitan Opera in New York City in 1938. It was followed by a radio opera, The Old Maid and the Thief (1939), and The Island God, produced at the Metropolitan in 1942. These works were less successful, and Menotti turned to writing chamber operas—requiring fewer singers and smaller orchestras—on melodramatic subjects. His first opera of this type, The Medium (1946), was a tragedy about a medium who becomes a victim of her own fraudulent voices. It was followed by a one-act comic opera, The Telephone (1946). In 1947 the two operas were paired in an unprecedented Broadway run. In 1951 The Medium was made into a motion picture.

In 1950 Menotti’s opera The Consul, which won a Pulitzer Prize, was produced on Broadway. Like all of his operas, it is a work of great theatrical effectiveness. Set in an unnamed country under totalitarian rule, it deals with the vain efforts of a woman to gain an exit visa to join her husband, an enemy of the state. Amahl and the Night Visitors (1951), the first opera composed for television, is the story of a lame shepherd boy who gives his crutch to the Three Wise Men as a gift for the Christ child. With The Saint of Bleecker Street (1954) Menotti won a second Pulitzer Prize.

In 1958 Menotti wrote the libretto for Barber’s opera Vanessa. His “madrigal fable” The Unicorn, the Gorgon, and the Manticore, for chorus, instruments, and dancers, was produced in 1956. His grand opera Maria Golovin (1958) was less successful than his earlier tragic operas. In 1963 he produced a cantata, The Death of the Bishop of Brindisi; a television opera, Labyrinth; and a comic opera, The Last Savage. His instrumental works include the symphonic poem “Apocalypse” (1951) and concerti for piano and for violin. In 1958 Menotti established the Festival of Two Worlds, for opera, music, and drama, in Spoleto, Italy, and its American branch in Charleston, S.C., in 1977. Help, Help, the Globolinks! (1968) is a satiric opera, and Tamu-Tamu (1973) is an antiwar opera that is sung in English and Indonesian. The opera Goya (1986) dealt with the life of the Spanish painter of that name. A prolific composer, Menotti also wrote ballets and chamber music. In addition, he staged many of his works. In 1984 he received a Kennedy Center Honor.


List of Menotti's operas:
Amelia Goes to the Ball (Amelia al ballo) (1937)
The Old Maid and the Thief, radio opera (1939)
The Island God (1942)
The Medium (1946)
The Telephone, or L'Amour à trois (1947)
The Consul (1950)
Amahl and the Night Visitors, television opera (1951)
The Saint of Bleecker Street (1954)
The Unicorn, the Gorgon, and the Manticore (1956)
Maria Golovin (1958)
Labyrinth, television opera (1963)
The Last Savage (1963)
Martin's Lie (1964)
Help, Help, the Globolinks! (1968)
The Most Important Man (1971)
Tamu-Tamu (1973)
The Egg (1976)
The Hero (1976)
The Trial of the Gypsy (1978)
Chip and his Dog, on commission for the CCOC (1979)
La Loca (1979)
Missa 'O Pulchritudo' (1979)
A Bride from Pluto (1982)
The Boy Who Grew Too Fast (1982)
Goya (1986)
The Wedding (Giorno da Nozze) (1988)
The Singing Child (1993)

Amelia Goes to the Ball - (1937)
Jacqueline Jenae Slipp as Amelia
Fullerton College Sat Feb 1, 2014

The Old Maid and the Thief - (1939)

The Medium (1946)

Monica, Elizabeth Patterson
Toby, Cole Sisser
Madame Flora (Baba), Sonia Gariaeff
Mrs. Gobineau, Maria Caycedo
Mr. Gobineau, Julio Ferarri
Mrs. Nolan, Vismaya Lhi
Piano, Osvaldo de Leon

Musical and Stage Direction, Osvaldo de Leon

Lucy :  Rebecca Caine, Ben : David Barrell
BBC Concert Orchestra
Direttore Martyn Brabbins

The Consul  (1950)  Act I 
University of Alabama Opera Theatre 2014

The Consul  (1950)  Act II

Amahl and the Night Visitors  (1951)
Ash Lawn Opera - performed at the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, Virginia, 2013



Alban Berg composes his Five Orchestral Songs (Op. 4) based on short poetic texts by Peter Altenberg. 

Alban Berg - 5 Orchesterlieder, Op.4
I. Seele, wie bist du schöner, tiefer, nach Schneestürmen
II. Sahst du nach dem Gewitterregen den Wald
III. Über die Grenzen des All blicktest du sinnend hinaus
IV. Nichts ist gekommen, nichts wird kommen für meine Seele
V. Hier ist Friede. Hier weine ich mich aus über alles
Halina Lukomska, soprano
Sinfonieorchester des südwestfunks, Ernest Bour

26 June
Bruno Walter conducts the posthumous premiere of
Gustav Mahler’s harmonically progressive Ninth Symphony in Vienna. A restless contemplation of life and death, the work seems to find resolution and peace in its transcendent fourth movement Adagio.

Mahler - 9th Symphony 
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra cond/ Leonard Bernstein (live recording)

0:00 - Andante comodo (D major)
27:43 - Im Tempo eines gemächlichen Ländlers. Etwas täppisch und sehr derb (C major)
43:41 - Rondo-Burleske: Allegro assai. Sehr trotzig (A minor)
55:51 - Adagio. Sehr langsam und noch zurückhaltend (D-flat major)

Frederick Delius composes his evocative orchestral tone poem On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring.

Delius - On Hearing the First Cuckoo in SpringRoyal Scottish National Orchestra - Conducted by David Lloyd-Jones

William Christopher Handy's The Memphis Blues is published in Memphis and becomes one of the first 12-bar blues hits.


(William Christopher Handy (November 16, 1873 – March 28, 1958) was a composer and musician, known as the 'Father of the Blues'. An African American, Handy was one of the most influential songwriters in the United States.)


Memphis Blues - W. C. Handy 
Victor Military Band

Hart Wand's Dallas Blues and ‘Baby’ F. Seals’s Baby Seals Blues are also published this year.

(Hart A. Wand (March 3, 1887 – August 9, 1960), was an American early fiddler and bandleader from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, he was of German extraction.). "Dallas Blues" was an early example of published twelve-bar blues song)

Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra plays "Dallas Blues". 

(H. Franklin "Baby" Seals (c.1880 – December 29, 1915) was an American vaudeville performer, songwriter and pianist, whose successful 1912 song "Baby Seals' Blues" was one of the first published blues compositions, predating W. C. Handy's "The Memphis Blues" by several months.)

Baby Seals Blues by Baby F. Seals
(1912, Blues piano) Arranged by Artie Matthews 1912

29 January
Maurice Ravel - ballet Ma mere l'oye (Mother Goose).
In 1911 Ravel orchestrated the five-piece suite, and in this form it is most frequently heard today. 
Later the same year he also expanded it into a ballet, separating the five initial pieces with four new interludes and adding two movements at the start, Prélude and Danse du rouet et scène. The ballet premiered on 29 January 1912 at the Théâtre des Arts in Paris.

Maurice Ravel - Ma Mère L'Oye 
Orchestra: Berliner Philharmoniker
Conductor: Pierre Boulez 

00:00 - Prélude
03:31 - Premier tableau - Danse du rouet et scène
07:13 - Deuxième tableau - Pavane de la belle au bois dormant
08:41 - Interlude
09:34 - Troisième tableau - Les entretiens de la belle et de la bête
13:46 - Interlude 
14:35 - Quatrième tableau - Petit Poucet
17:55 - Interlude
19:29 - Cinquième tableau - Laideronnette, impératrice des Pagodes
23:09 - Interlude
24:39 - Sixième tableau - Le jardin féerique

28 February
Cael Nielsen
conducts the first performance of his Violin Concerto in Copenhagen. 

Carl Nielsen: Concerto for Violin and orchestra, op. 33 
I.  Praeludium. Largo – Allegro cavalleresco
II. Poco adagio – Rondo. Allegretto scherzando

Alina Pogostkina, violin
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra - John Storgards

12 April
Ferruccio Busoni - Die Brautwahl 

Die Brautwahl (The Bridal Choice)
is a "comic-fantastic" opera in three acts and an epilogue by Ferruccio Busoni. The German libretto, by Busoni himself, is based on a short story by E. T. A. Hoffmann. 

Ferruccio Busoni - DIE BRAUTWAHL
Voswinkel: George Fourié,
Edmund Lehsen: Herbert Handt,
Albertine: Lilian Sukis,
Leonhard: Siegmund Nimsgern,
Dionysius Thusman: Gerlad English,
Manasse: Raffaele Arié,
Bensch: Ermanno Lorenzi,
Un servo: Bruno Andreas
Orchestra Sinfonica e coro di Torino della RAI
Direttore Fernando Previtali, 1975

7 August
Sergei Prokofiev, aged 21, performs as soloist introducing his Piano Concerto No. 1 in Moscow. Most critics hate it, one declaring the work 'primitive cacophony’.

Sergei Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No.1 in D-flat major, Op.10

I. Allegro brioso (00:00)
II. Andante assai (06:49)
III. Allegro scherzando (11:01)

Martha Argerich, piano

New York Philharmonic
Mstislav Rostropovich, conductor

April, 2005 - Avery Fisher Hall, New York City

13 August
French opera composer Jules Massenet dies in Paris, aged 70.


1 September
Composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor 
dies of pneumonia in Croydon, aged 37.


3 September
Sir Henry Wood conducts the premiere of
Arnold Schoenberg’s atonal Five Orchestral Pieces at a London Promenade concert. Audience reaction is divided—some hiss and laugh while others applaud. The critic Ernest Newman later writes, 'Schoenberg is not the mere fool or madman that he is generally supposed to be ... May it not be that the new composer sees a logic in certain tonal relations that to the rest of us seem merely chaotic at present, but the coherence of which may be clear enough to us all some day?’

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.

5 September
Musical innovator John Cage is born in Los Angeles.

16 September  
Ruggero Leoncavallo - Zingari

Zingari (Gypsies)
, also known as Gli Zingari, is an opera in two acts by Ruggero Leoncavallo. The libretto by Enrico Cavacchioli[it] and Guglielmo Emanuel[it] is based on The Gypsies, a narrative poem by Alexander Pushkin. The opera premiered on 16 September 1912 at the Hippodrome Theater in London.

Ruggero Leoncavallo - GLI ZINGARI
Fleana: Gianna Galli,
Radu: Aldo Bottion,
Tamar: Renzo Scorsoni,
Il vecchio: Guido Guarnera 
Orchestra Sinfonica della Rai di Torino, direttore Elio Boncompagni, 1970

16 October
Following 40 rehearsals,
Arnold Schoenberg’s expressionist chamber song cycle Pierrot lunaire is introduced in Berlin.

Arnold Schönberg - Pierrot lunaire op. 21
(nach Gedichten von Albert Giraud)
Plus Jazz Interludes by Maria Baptist

1 Mondestrunken 
2 Colombine 
3 Der Dandy 
4 Eine blasse Wäscherin 
5 Valse de Chopin 
6 Madonna 
7 Der kranke Mond
8 Jazz Interlude 1 
9 Nacht 
10 Gebet an Pierrot
11 Raub 
12 Rote Messe
13 Galgenlied 
14 Enthauptung 
15 Die Kreuze
16 Jazz Interlude 2 
17 Heimweh 
18 Gemeinheit! 
19 Parodie 
20 Der Mondfleck 
21 Serenade 
22 Heimfahrt 
23 O alter Duft 

Stella Doufexis, speaking voice/mezzosoprano 
Maria Baptist, Piano
Conductor: Konstantia Gourzi

William Christopher Handy

8 June
Maurice Ravel’s ballet Daphnis et Chloe is introduced by the Ballets Russes at the Theatre du Chatelet, Paris. It is not unanimously appreciated.

Maurice Ravel: "Daphnis et Chloe" 
WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln - Jukka-Pekka Saraste

25 October
The first version of
Richard Strauss’s opera Ariadne auf Naxos (Ariadne on Naxos) is presented in Stuttgart as a third act to a production of the play Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme. Strauss writes a prologue four years later to take the place of the first two acts.

John Cage

John Cage

John Cage, in full John Milton Cage, Jr., (born September 5, 1912, Los Angeles, California, U.S.—died August 12, 1992, New York, New York), American avant-garde composer whose inventive compositions and unorthodox ideas profoundly influenced mid-20th-century music.

The son of an inventor, Cage briefly attended Pomona College and then traveled in Europe for a time. Returning to the United States in 1931, he studied music with Richard Buhlig, Arnold Schoenberg, Adolph Weiss, and Henry Cowell. While teaching in Seattle (1938–40), Cage organized percussion ensembles to perform his compositions. He also experimented with works for dance, and his subsequent collaborations with the choreographer and dancer Merce Cunningham sparked a long creative and romantic partnership.

Cage’s early compositions were written in the 12-tone method of his teacher Schoenberg, but by 1939 he had begun to experiment with increasingly unorthodox instruments such as the “prepared piano” (a piano modified by objects placed between its strings in order to produce percussive and otherworldly sound effects). Cage also experimented with tape recorders, record players, and radios in his effort to step outside the bounds of conventional Western music and its concepts of meaningful sound. The concert he gave with his percussion ensemble at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 1943 marked the first step in his emergence as a leader of the American musical avant-garde.

In the following years, Cage turned to Zen Buddhism and other Eastern philosophies and concluded that all the activities that make up music must be seen as part of a single natural process. He came to regard all kinds of sounds as potentially musical, and he encouraged audiences to take note of all sonic phenomena, rather than only those elements selected by a composer. To this end he cultivated the principle of indeterminism in his music. He used a number of devices to ensure randomness and thus eliminate any element of personal taste on the part of the performer: unspecified instruments and numbers of performers, freedom of duration of sounds and entire pieces, inexact notation, and sequences of events determined by random means such as by consultation with the Chinese Yijing (I Ching). In his later works he extended these freedoms over other media, so that a performance of HPSCHD (completed 1969) might include a light show, slide projections, and costumed performers, as well as the 7 harpsichord soloists and 51 tape machines for which it was scored.

Among Cage’s best-known works are 4′33″ (Four Minutes and Thirty-three Seconds, 1952), a piece in which the performer or performers remain utterly silent onstage for that amount of time (although the amount of time is left to the determination of the performer); Imaginary Landscape No. 4 (1951), for 12 randomly tuned radios, 24 performers, and conductor; the Sonatas and Interludes (1946–48) for prepared piano; Fontana Mix (1958), a piece based on a series of programmed transparent cards that, when superimposed, give a graph for the random selection of electronic sounds; Cheap Imitation (1969), an “impression” of the music of Erik Satie; and Roaratorio (1979), an electronic composition utilizing thousands of words found in James Joyce’s novel Finnegans Wake.

Cage published several books, including Silence: Lectures and Writings (1961) and M: Writings ’67–’72 (1973). His influence extended to such established composers as Earle Brown, Lejaren Hiller, Morton Feldman, and Christian Wolff. More broadly, his work was recognized as significant in the development of traditions ranging from minimalist and electronic music to performance art.


John Cage: Piano Works
00:00:00 Three Easy Pieces (1933)
00:04:01 V Metamorphosis (1938)
00:17:43 Jazz study (1942)
00:20:20 Tripled paced (first version, 1943) I-II-III
00:22:43 Ad lib
00:25:46 Soliloquy
00:28:21 Ophelia
00:34:45 Two pieces (1946) I-II
00:42:07 in A landscape
00:50:08 Dream
00:56:24 Suite for toy Piano - versione per Pianoforte - I-V
01:02:47 Seven Haiku I
01:04:52 For M.C. and D.T.
01:05:40 Waiting
01:09:21 Socrate (1918) Drame symphonique en trois parties Transcription for two pianos by Cage (1944–1968): I Portrait de Socrate (Le Banquet) 
01:15:47 Socrate (1918) Drame symphonique en trois parties Transcription for two pianos by Cage (1944–1968): II Bords de l'Iliussus (Phèdre)
01:22:39 Socrate (1918) Drame symphonique en trois parties Transcription for two pianos by Cage (1944–1968): III Morte de Socrate (Phédon)
01:38:23 Cheap imitation (1969) I-II-III
02:09:39 Etudes Boreales I (Piano) I-II-III-IV
02:32:04 Etudes Boreales I (cello) I-II-III-IV
02:54:22 Etudes Boreales I (cello & Piano) I-II-III-IV


John Cage's 4'33"
A performance by William Marx

John Cage: Quartets I-VIII, for orchestra.

Radio Sinfonie Orchester Frankfurt
diretta da Lucas Vis.

John Cage : Seven2, for Bass flute, bass clarinet, bass trombone, two percussionists (instruments not specified), violoncello and contrabass (1990).

Ives Ensemble.



Gustav Holst completes his St Pauls Suite for the string orchestra of St Paul’s Girls’ School in London, where he serves as Director of Music.

Gustav Holst  - St Paul's Suite 
I. Jig. (Vivace)
II. Ostinato. (Presto)
III. Intermezzo. (Andante con moto - Vivace - Tempo I)
IV. Finale (The Dargason). (Allegro)

City of London Sinfonia - Richard Hickox

Sergei Rachmaninov composes The Bells, a choral symphony based on the poem by Edgar Allen Poe. He later refers to it as his favourite composition.

Sergei Rachmaninov -  The Bells" (Kolokola),
choral symphony for soprano, tenor, baritone, chorus & orchestra, Op. 35
National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland
Dublin Radio Telefis Eireann Symphony Chorus
Conductor: Alexander Anissimov
Ivan Choupenitch (tenor), Oleg Melnikov (bass), Helen Field (soprano) - Year of recording: 1996-1997

00:00 - I. Allegro ma non tanto ('The Silver Sleigh Bells')
06:47 - II. Lento ('The Mellow Wedding Bells')
17:40 - III. Presto ('The Loud Alarum Bells')
26:16 - IV. Lento lugubre ('The Mournful Iron Bells')

Erik Satie pens his three Desiccated Embryos for piano.

Satie - Embryons desséchés ("Desiccated embryos")

1. (Desiccated embryo) of a Holothurian
2. (Desiccated embryo) of an Edriophthalma (2:01)
3. (Desiccated embryo) of a Podophthalma (3:58)
ean-Joël Barbier 

25 January
Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski  is born in Warsaw.

26 January
Claude Debussy’s Images for orchestra, comprising Gigues, Iberia and Rondes de printemps, is performed in full for the first time, in Paris.

Claude Debussy - Images pour orchestre
The Cleveland Orchestra conducted by Pierre Boulez.
1. Gigues (0:00)
2. Iberia:
   I. Par les rues et par les chemins (7:30)
   II. Les parfums de la nuit (14:30)
   III. Le matin d'un jour de fête (22:00)
3. Rondes de printemps (26:20)

4 March
Gabriel Faure - Penelope.

is an opera in three acts by the French composer Gabriel Fauré. The libretto, by René Fauchois is based on Homer's Odyssey. It was first performed at the Salle Garnier, Monte Carlo on 4 March 1913.

Gabriel Faure - Penelope

1 April
Manuel De Falla’s first opera, La Vida breve (The Short Life), opens successfully in Nice.

Falla: La Vida Breve
Salud: Erica Petrocelli
La Abuela: Brindley McWhorter
Carmela: Morgan Middleton
Paco: David Rivera
Manuel: Nicholas Tocci
El Tío Salvador: Christopher Carbin
Tenor Voice: Rafael Delsid
El Cantaor: Josh Quinn
Produced and Directed by Jandro Cisneros

10 April 
Italo Montemezzi 
creates  a verismo sensation with the opera L'amore dei tre re (The Love of Three Kings), introduced at La Scala, Milan.

Italo Montemezzi: L'amore dei tre re. Atto 1
Queen City Opera, 2013
Artistic Director and Conductor: Isaac Selya

Archibaldo: William Tvrdik (Bass)
Flaminio: Allan Palacios Chan (Tenor)
Avito: Marco Panuccio (Tenor)
Fiora: Esther Kang (Soprano)
Manfredo: Gregory Jebaily (Baritone)
A servant: Adria Caffaro (Mezzo-Soprano)
Fiora cover: Alexandra Kassouf (Soprano)


Italo Montemezzi: L'amore dei tre re. Atto 2

25 April  
Panurge is an opera (titled 'Haulte farce musicale') in three acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Georges Spitzmuller and Maurice Boukay, after Pantagruel by Rabelais. It was first performed at the Théâtre de la Gaîté in Paris on 25 April 1913, nearly a year after Massenet's death.

Jules Massenet - Panurge
Nouvel Orchestre de Saint-Etieune
Director Patrik Fourniller, 1994


15 May
Nijinsky dances to
Claude Debussy’s colouristic music in the ballet Jeux, premiered with disappointing results in Paris. It is the composer’s last completed orchestral work.

Debussy - Jeux
Conductor: Pierre Boulez

31 March
The Skandalkonzert of March 31, 1913, was a concert of the Wiener Konzertverein (Vienna Concert Society) conducted by Arnold Schoenberg in the Great Hall of the Musikverein. The audience, shocked by the expressionism and experimentalism of the Second Viennese School, began rioting, and the concert was ended prematurely.

The program listed:

Anton Webern: Six Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 6. (1909)
Alexander von Zemlinsky: Four Orchestral Songs on poems by Maeterlinck (eventually published as Zemlinsky's Op. 13, Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 5 were performed at the Skandalkonzert). Composition Year: August 1910 (nos. 1—4), July 1913 (nos. 5—6)

Schoenberg: Chamber Symphony No. 1, Op. 9. (1906)

Alban Berg: Two of the Five Orchestral Songs on Picture-Postcard (1912)Texts by Peter Altenberg, Op. 4 Nos. 2 and 3. Both the lyrical and musical side of this premiere were seen as provocative.

The concert was ended before the scheduled performance of Gustav Mahler's Kindertotenlieder (1904) could begin.

During Berg's songs the audience called for both poet and composer to be committed, despite it being public knowledge that Altenberg was already committed to an asylum at the time. Though not present at the concert, he was granted leave to attend the dress-rehearsal that morning, and three days later he wrote a prose sketch depicting Alma Mahler there. At the concert it was during Berg's songs that the fighting began. At the trial, Straus commented that the thud of Buschbeck's punch had been the most harmonious sound at the entire concert. For Berg's work the Skandalkonzert had lasting consequences: the songs were not performed again until 1952, and the full score did not appear in print until 1966.


Alexander Zemlinsky - Six Songs to Poems by Maurice Maeterlinck, Op. 13

00:00 1. Die drei Schwestern
03:51 2. Die Madchen mit den verbundenen Augen
7:00 3. Lied der Jungfrau
9:37 4. Als ihr Geliebter schied
11:48 5. Und kehrt er einst heim
15:06 6. Sie kam zum Schloss gegangen
Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzo-soprano 

NDR-Sinfonieorchester - Conducted by John Eliot Gardiner, 1996


Watschenkonzert, caricature in Die Zeit from April 6, 1913

29 May
Igor Stravinsky’s ballet The Rite of Spring, depicting a frenzied pagan ritual, creates mayhem at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees, Paris. Discordant, rhythmically aggressive music combined with Nijinsky’s unconventional choreography offends ballet purists who are looking for a fight: ‘People shouted insults, howled and whistled, drowning out the music; there was slapping and even punching,’ recalls the artist Valentine Gross. Subsequent performances go without incident.

Igor Stravinsky "The Rite of Spring"  Ballet
Choreography: Maurice Béjart

Stravinsky - The Rite of Spring 
London Symphony Orchestra - Sir Simon Rattle, 2017

5 September
Sergei Prokofiev, aged 22, introduces his Piano Concerto No. 2 in Pavlovsk. Audience members boo and shout out rude remarks: ‘My cat can play like that!’ Prokofiev ignores them and performs an encore.

Prokofiev: Piano Concerto n. 2  in G minor op. 16
Yefim Bronfman
Vassily Sinaisky conducts the Rai National Symphony Orchestra
Giampaolo Pretto, flute
Turin, 1997

1 October
Edward Elgar conducts the premiere of his tone poem Falstaff at the Leeds Festival.

Edward Elgar - Falstaff, Op. 68 
London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras

22 November
Composer Benjamin Britten,
is born in Lowestoft, Suffolk.


15 Decenber

Parisina is a tragedia lirica, or opera, in four acts by Pietro Mascagni. Gabriele D'Annunzio wrote the Italian libretto after Byron's poem Parisina of 1816.

It was first performed at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan on 15 December 1913.

Pietro Mascagni - PARISINA
Nicolò d'Este, Benito Di Bella, Ugo d'Este, Michele Molese, Parisina Malatesta, Emma Renzi, Stella dell'assassino, Mirella Parutto, Aldobrandino dei Rangoni, Ferruccio Mazzoli, La figlia di Nicolò di Oppizi detta la Verde, Mirna Pecile
La Fante, Mirella Fiorentini, Prima donzella, Maria Dalla Spezie
Seconda donzella, Mirella Fiorentini, Terza donzella, Angela Rocco
Primo compagno, Teodoro Rovetta, Secondo compagno, Gian Carlo Vaudagna
Terzo compagno, Ivan Del Manto, Quarto compagno, Guido Pasella
Quinto compagno, Teodoro Rovetta, 
Direttore, Pierluigi Urbini - Rai Milano, 16 luglio 1976

Witold Lutoslawski

Witold Lutoslawski

Witold Lutosławski, (born Jan. 25, 1913, Warsaw, Pol.—died Feb. 7, 1994, Warsaw), outstanding Polish composer of the 20th century who attempted to create a new musical language by incorporating elements of folk songs, 12-tone serialism, atonal counterpoint, and controlled improvisations reminiscent of aleatory (chance, see aleatory music) compositions while retaining elements of conventional harmony and melody.


Lutosławski studied mathematics at the University of Warsaw and received diplomas in piano (1936) and composition (1937) from the Warsaw Conservatory. During the Nazi occupation of Poland, he performed in clandestine concerts that included proscribed music. His prewar works (most notably the Symphonic Variations, 1938) were primarily conventional neoclassical pieces, often infused with traditional folk tunes. When his Symphony No. 1 (begun in 1941) had its premiere in 1948, however, the new communist government denounced the piece as “formalist” and banned Lutosławski’s increasingly avant-garde works from public performance. He earned a living writing children’s songs and scores for motion pictures until those restrictions were eased in the mid-1950s. He was honoured with the first of his many government prizes in 1955, soon after composing his Concerto for Orchestra, based on folk themes.

Lutosławski spoke of his Funeral Music for string orchestra (1958) as marking a turning point in his style; a 12-tone work, it is dedicated to the memory of the Hungarian composer Béla Bartók. This he followed with an experimental piece in which he first used aleatory operations in combination with conventional effects: Venetian Games, written for the Venice Festival of 1961. In this work Lutosławski used unconventional visual notation to guide the performer in the various improvisatory operations.

Although Lutosławski is best known for his orchestral works, he also wrote piano pieces, children’s songs, choral works, and a string quartet (1964). His later works include Concerto for Cello and Orchestra (1970), Chain 2: Dialogue for Violin and Orchestra (1985), Piano Concerto (1988), and Symphony No. 4 (1992).



Antoni Wit, Conductor - Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra



Esa-Pekka Salonen, Conductor

Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra

Witold Lutosławski - Symphony Nº 3
Finnish Radio TV Symphony Orchestra - Hannu Lintu -cond.

Witold Lutoslawski - Symphony Nº4 
Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France - Esa-Pekka Salonen - cond.

Witold Lutoslawski - Piano Concerto 
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Krystian Zimmermann 



First Finnish performance of
Jean Sibelius's tone poem Luonnotar, with soprano Aino Ackté and conductor Georg Schnéevoigt.​

Jean Sibelius - Luonnotar
Karita Mattila, soprano
Hannu Lintu, conductor
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Helsinki Music Centre, 18 December 2015

23 February
Jules MassenetCléopâtre.

is an opera in four acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Louis Payen. It was first performed at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo on 23 February 1914, nearly two years after Massenet's death.

Jules Massenet - Cléopâtre.
Cléopâtre: Montserrat Caballé
Octavie : Montserrat Martí
Charmion : Eneida García
Marc Antoine : Filippo Bettoschi
Spakos : Nikolai Baskov
Ennius : Andrea Sivilla
Conductor : Miquel Ortega. Roma. July 13, 2002.

André Messager - Béatrice 

Beatrice - Jacqueline Brumaire
La Vierge - Nadine Sautereau
Musidora - Andree Gabriel
La Bohemienne - Solange Michel
La Superieure - Christiane Cloez
Frosine - Caludine Collart
Les Saeurs - Mathilde Sibere, Huguette Hennetier, Jacqueline Cauchard Lorenzo - Raphael Romagnonli
Tiberio - Robert Massard
L'Eveque - Lucien Lovano
Fabrice - Joseph Peyron
Fabio - Jean Mollien
Beppo - Charles Clavensy

Choeurs & Orchestre-Lyrique de la RTF Chef des choeurs
Rene Alix Direction - Gustave Cloez, 1957

21 March
Béatrice is a légende lyrique (opera) in four acts of 1914, with music by André Messager and a French libretto by Caillavet and Flers, after the short story La légende de Soeur Béatrix by Nodier.


27 March
Ralph Vaughan Williams's London Symphony premieres under Geoffrey Toye at the Queen’s Hall in London. This year the composer writes his immensely popular The Lark Ascending for violin and orchestra, inspired by English folk music and the poetry of George Meredith.

Vaughan Williams - Symphony No.2 'A London Symphony'
London City Orchestra - Conductor: Pablo Urbina
St John's Church, Waterloo,  2015

Vaughan Williams - The Lark Ascending
London Philharmonic Orchestra with David Nolan on violin and Vernon Handley conducting.

26 May
Igor Stravinsky's opera The Nightingale, based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen, is first staged by Diaghilev in Paris.

Stravinsky - The Nightingale 
Concert performance from the Royal Festival Hall.
Ewa Malas Godlewska, Helen Perraguin,
Jean-Luc Chaignaud, Wendy Hoffman, Askar Abzrazakov, Neal Davies, Wolfgang Bunten,
BBC SO & Chorus, Pierre Boulez, 1997

Le rossignol - Stravinsky

4 June
Jean Sibelius premieres his tone poem The Oceanides to great acclaim at the Norfolk Music Festival in Connecticut. The $ 1,000-commission facilitates a very successful concert tour around the east of America. Later this month the Finnish composer receives an honorary doctorate from Yale Universit

Sibelius: The Oceanides, Op. 73

24 September
Polish composer and conductor Andrzej Panufnik is born in Warsaw.

Andrzej Panufnik

Andrzej Panufnik

Sir Andrzej Panufnik, (born Sept. 24, 1914, Warsaw, Pol.—died Oct. 27, 1991, Twickenham, Greater London, Eng.), Polish-born British composer and conductor, who created compositions in a distinctive contemporary Polish style though he worked in a wide variety of genres.


Panufnik’s father was an instrument maker, and his mother a violinist and his first teacher. He began composing at age nine, studied composition at the Warsaw Conservatory (1932–36), and studied conducting with Felix Weingartner at the Vienna Academy (1937–38). He then completed his studies in Paris and London and returned to Warsaw, where, during World War II, he had to lie low, performing occasionally as a pianist in underground concerts. All his early works were destroyed in the Warsaw Uprising (1944), but he was able to reconstruct some of them.

Panufnik conducted the Kraków Philharmonic (1945–46) and the Warsaw Philharmonic (1946–47) and from 1947 was guest conductor with a number of European orchestras. His compositions were gaining attention also and won a number of awards; the Polish communist officials, however, began criticizing the style and content of his works, and he defected to Britain in 1954. (He became a naturalized British subject in 1961.) Panufnik was musical director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (1957–59) and then devoted himself to his own compositions, which included 10 symphonies, various other orchestral works, concerti, chamber works, and choral and vocal works. In September 1990, after the overthrow of communism, Panufnik returned to Poland for the first time in 36 years and conducted the European premiere of his last symphony.

Panufnik’s autobiography, Composing Myself, was published in 1987, and he was knighted in 1991.


Panufnik - Symphony No. 1 "Sinfonia Rustica" (1948)
Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra - Lukasz Borowicz. 

Panufnik - Symphony No. 2 "Sinfonia Elegiaca" (1944).

ICulture Orchestra, Kirill Karabits (Conductor)

Panufnik - Symphony No.3 "Sinfonia Sacra" (1963).

Konzerthausorchester Berlin - Łukasz Borowicz.

Panufnik - Symphony No. 5 "Sinfonia di Sfere" (1975).

Konzerthausorchester Berlin - Łukasz Borowicz.

Andrzej Panufnik - Metasinfonia (Symphony No.7),
for solo organ, timpani and string orchestra (1978).

Jennifer Bate, organo
Kurt-Hans Goedicke, timpani
London Symphony Orchestra - Andrzej Panufnik.

Panufnik - Symphony No.9 "Sinfonia di speranza" (1986).

Konzerthausorchester Berlin - Łukasz Borowicz.



Bela Bartok composes his Sonatina and the Romanian Folk Dances for piano.

Béla Bartók: Sonatina 
Balázs Szokolay

Béla Bartók - Six Romanian Folk Dances, Sz. 56, BB 68
AMY YANG, piano 

Alban Maria Berg finishes his Three Orchestral Pieces, Op. 6.

Berg - Three Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 6
Claudio Abbado - Vienna Philharmonic

Charles Ives completes his String Quartet No. 2 'for 4 men—who converse, discuss, argue ... fight, shake hands, shut up—then walk up the mountainside to view the firmament!’ The public will not hear it until 1946.

Charles Ives - String Quartet No. 2
Ivani Quartet, 2016

Abigail Hong, Sophia Szokolay violins
Aria Cheregosha, viola
Annette Jakovcic, cello

Sergei Prokofiev completes his Primitivist Scythian Suite. 

Prokofiev: Scythian Suite, Op. 20
Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Claudio Abbado

15 April
Manuel de Falla’s ballet El Amor Rrujo (Love, the Magician) is premiered in Madrid with little success. Falla adapts a vocal-orchestral suite from the ballet (completed 1916), resulting in one of his most popular concert works.

El Amor Brujo - Manuel de Falla 
DRSO - Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos

Manuel de Falla - El amor brujo (Love, the magician)

1. Introduction and Scene
2. In the cave
3. Song of plaintive love
4. The apparition
5. Dance of terror
6. The magic circle
7. Midnight
8. Ritual fire dance
9. Scene
10. Song of the will-o'-the wisp
11. Pantomime
12. Dance of the game of love
13. Morning bells 

Victoria de los Angeles, soprano
Philharmonia Orchestra - Carlo Maria Giulini, 1964

Ballet Entre Amigos "El Amor Brujo (Selección)" Manuel de Falla

Gitanería de Manuel de Falla, "El Amor Brujo" versión 1915, Orquesta Sinfónica de la UCAM- director: Alejandro Curzio
Candelas: Joana Jiménez
Jumilla 20 agosto 2015 - Jardín de la Glorieta

27 April
Alexander Scriabin dies of a blood infection in Moscow, aged 43.


Igor Stravinsky begins composing Renard (The Fox), scored for four male singers and chamber orchestra.

The dance-theatre work is completed the following year, but not performed publicly until 1922.

Stravinsky -  "Renard"
Renard - William Hess
Cock - Robert Harmon
Cat - Warren Galjour
Ram - Leon Lishner
Conductor Robert Craft, 1950

Ruggero Leoncavallo - La reginetta delle rose

Ruggero Leoncavallo - LA REGINETTA DELLE ROSE 
Lina Pagliughi, Ornella D'Arrigo, Liana Avogadro, Emilio Renzi, Giuseppe Diani, Riccardo Massucci, Pier Luigi Latinucci, Giuliano Ferrein. Orchestra Sinfonica e coro della Rai di Torino. Direttore Cesare Gallino. 1951

25 January
Umberto Giordano - Madame San-Gene

Madame Sans-Gêne 
is an opera in three acts by Umberto Giordano. The libretto was taken from Victorien Sardou and Émile Moreau's play, adapted for the opera by Renato Simoni.

Umberto Giordano - MADAME SANS GENE 
Caterina: Orianna Santunione, Lefebvre: Franco Tagliavini
Fouché: Renato Capecchi,
Gelsomino: Alvinio Misciano
Napoleone: Mario Zanasi,
Toniotta: Limbania Leoni
Giulia: Jolanda Gardino,  
La Rossa: Armanda Bonato
Conte di Neipperg: Nicola Tagger,
Vinaigre: Rinaldo Pelizzoni
Le Regina Carolina: Romana Righetti,  
La Principessa Elisa: Laura Zanini,
Despréaux: Franco Calabrese, Leroy: Claudio Giombi
De Brigode: Virgilio Carbonari,
Signora de Bulow: Mirella Fiorentini
Roustan: Marco Stefanoni,
Voce dell'Imperatrice: Mariagrazia Allegri
Orchestra e coro del Teatro alla Scala
Milano, 28 febbraio 1967

28 October
Richard Strauss
conducts the first performance of Eine Alpensinfonie (An Alpine 
Symphony) in Berlin. Effectively a tone poem, the one-movement work depicts a day’s hiking in the Bavarian Alps, inspired by Strauss’s own experiences as a 14-year-old.

Richard Strauss - Eine Alpensinfonie
Staatskapelle Dresden - Fabio Luisi conductor
Royal Albert Hall London 27.08.2009

23 March
Sergei Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil (or Vespers) for unaccompanied choir is first sung in Moscow.

Sergej Rachmaninov - Vespers (All-Night Vigil),
for alto, tenor & chorus, Op. 37
Valery Polyansky, conductor

8 December
Jean Sibelius turns 50 and Finland celebrates. An evening concert is held in Helsinki where the composer introduces his Fifth Symphony—a searching, four-movement work that throws its weight at a climactic finale, inspired by the sighting of 16 migrating swans. Sibelius will twice revise the work, reordering and refining his material into the definitive three-movement version in 1919.

Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 82
Lahti Symphony Orchestra - Sibelius Hall, Lahti
Conductor: Jukka-Pekka Saraste

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