Modern Period
 

1916-1917-1918-1919-1920

1916
World War I continues: the Battle of Verdun rages for ten months; Romania enters the war against the Germans, who take Bucharest; British and German fleets fight indecisive Battle of Jutland • Britain’s war minister Lord Kitchener is drowned when the Hampshire is sunk • Battle of the Somme: British tanks used for first time; over one million British, French and German soldiers killed or wounded • Sinn Fein’s ‘Easter Rising’ in Dublin is suppressed by British troops • US troops quell disorders in the Dominican Republic • Gustav Klimt (Aus) paints Friederike Maria Beer  • The Disquieting Muses is a painting by the Italian metaphysical painter Giorgio de Chirico • James Joyce (Ire): Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

1917
USA declares war on Germany; US troops arrive in Europe • Revolution in Russia; Nicholas II abdicates; Allies Eastern Front collapses and German-Russian armistice is signed • German submarine warfare intensifies • In the Middle East, the Allies win the Battle of Gaza and capture Jerusalem from the Turks • Britain’s Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour announces that the British favour a national home for Jews in Palestine • Bolshevik party, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrows Provisional Russian Government and seizes power • Finland declares its independence from Russia • Marcel Duchamp (Fr/Amer) anticipates conceptual art with Fountain (a urinal) • Paul Valery (Fr): poem La Jeune Parque

1918
World War I ends after Allied victories; Kaiser Wilhelm abdicates and a so-called ‘Popular’ government assumes power • The Austrian emperor Karl abdicates; Austria becomes a republic • Lithuania and Latvia proclaim their independence from Russia • Poland is declared a republic • Turkey and Austria-Hungary surrender • Yugoslavia and
Czechoslovakia become independent • Iceland becomes a sovereign state • Tsar Nicholas II and his family are executed in Russia • Women over 30 get the vote in Britain • Artist Paul Nash (Eng) brings back his paintings of the Western Front • First Tarzan film: Tarzan of the Apes (US) • Egon Schiele (Austria) paints Portrait of Albert Paris von Gutersloh

1919
The Treaty of Versailles imposes reparations and demilitarisation on Germany • The USA begins period of isolationism • The National Socialist (Nazi) Party is formed in Germany • Start of Irish war of Independence (until 1921) • Anti-British demonstrations occur in India: at Amritsar, troops fire on a mob, killing 379 people • Amendment 18 to the US
constitution is ratified; it prohibits the manufacture or sale of alcoholic liquor • Theo van Doesburg (Neth) paints Composition in gray (Rag-time) • Walter Gropius (Ger) founds the Bauhaus design school in Weimar • Vicente Ibanez (Sp): The Four Fiorsemen of the Apocalypse • Felix the Cat becomes the first popular cartoon film star

1920
The League of Nations, brainchild of Woodrow Wilson, comes into being, but the US Senate votes against joining • Estonia becomes independent of Russia • Russia goes to war with Poland • Britain annexes Kenya • The International Court of Justice is established at The Hague, Netherlands • Prohibition (of alcoholic liquor) comes into force in USA •
Public radio broadcasting begins in Britain • Film: The Mark of Zorro, starring Douglas Fairbanks • Stanisiaw Witkiewicz (Pol) paints Laughing boy • F. Scott Fitzgerald (US): This Side of Paradise • Edith Wharton (US): Age of Innocence • Agatha Christie (Eng) introduces Hercule Poirot in The Mysterious Affair at Styles

James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (2 February 1882 – 13 January 1941) was an Irish novelist, short story writer, and poet. He contributed to the modernist avant-garde and is regarded as one of the most influential and important authors of the 20th century. Joyce is best known for Ulysses (1922), a landmark work in which the episodes of Homer's Odyssey are paralleled in a variety of literary styles, most famously stream of consciousness. Other well-known works are the short-story collection Dubliners (1914), and the novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Finnegans Wake (1939). 

 

1916

Bela Bartok composes his Piano Suite, Op. 14.

Béla Bartók - Suite Op. 14 
Piano: Alvin Devonas

Henry Cowell, aged 19, composes Dynamic Motion for piano, his first important work incorporating tone-clusters.to.

Dynamic Motion - Henry Cowell
Stacey Barelos, piano

In between teaching commitments at St Pauls School for Girls, Gustav Holst completes The Planets

Gustav Holst - The Planets, Op. 32
0:35 Mars, the Bringer of War
8:13 Venus, the Bringer of Peace
17:57 Mercury, the Winged Messenger
22:33 Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity
31:20 Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age
41:11 Uranus, the Magician
47:08 Neptune, the Mystic
Maciej TARNOWSKI - conductor
Henryk WOJNAROWSKI - choir director
Orkiestra i Chór Żeński Filharmonii Narodowej
Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra & Female Choir, 2015

Hubert Parry composes his choral setting of William Blake’s poem Jerusalem.

Jerusalem - Sir Hubert Parry
Sir Andrew Davis - Royal Choral Society - London Philharmonic Orches

5 March
Eugen d'AlbertDie toten Augen.


Die toten Augen (or The Dead Eyes) is an opera (called a Bühnendichtung or 'stage poem' by the composer) with a prologue and one act by Eugen d'Albert to a libretto in German by Hanns Heinz Ewers and Marc Henry (Achille Georges d'Ailly-Vaucheret) after Henry's own 1897 play Les yeux morts.

Die toten Augen - Eugen d'Albert

Dagmar Schellenberger – Myrtocle
Hartmut Welker – Arcesius
Norbert Orth – Aurelius Galba
Margaret Chalker – Arsinoe
Anne Gjevang – Maria von Magdala
Lothar Odinius – Hirt
Olaf Bär – Schnitter / Die Stimme Jesu
Eberhard Büchner – Ktesiphar
Cornelia Wosnitza – Hirtenknabe / Rebecca / Zweite Stimme aus dem Brunnen
Angela Liebold – Ruth / Eine sieche Frau
Barbara Hoene – Esther / Erste Stimme aus dem Brunnen
Sabine Brohm – Sarah
Gerald Hupach – Ein Jude
John Maxham – Ein anderer Jude
Eberhard Bendel – Ein alter Jude

Philharmonischer Chor Dresden Dresdner Philharmonie,  
Ralf Weikert, 1997

24 March
Two months after the premiere of Enrique Granados’s opera Goyescas in New York, the Spanish composer (aged 48) and his wife drown in the English Channel when their homebound ship is torpedoed by a German submarine.

Enrique Granados - Goyescas 
Barcelona Symphony Orchestra
García Navarro, director

Ana María González, soprano
Alicia Nafé, mezzo
Manuel Cid, tenor
Pablo Elvira, barítono
Coral Càrmina (dir: Josep Vila)

Palau de la Música. Barcelona, 1992

Karol Szymanowski completes his Third Symphony (The Song of the Night) and his Violin Concerto No. 1.

Karol Szymanowski - Third Symphony "The Song of the Night (Piesn o Nocy)
performed by Antoni Wit and Ryszard Minkiewicz

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

9 April
Manuel de Falla’s Nights in the Garden of Spain, a symphonic impression for piano and orchestra, is performed for the first time, in Madrid.

Manuel De Falla - Nights in the Gardens of Spain 
Alicia de Larrocha, L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Sergiu Comissiona
0:00 En el Generalife
10:22 Danza lejana
15:41 En los jardines de la Sierra de Córdoba

1 February
Carl Nielsen’s Fourth Symphony, The Inextinguishable, is premiered with great successin Copenhagen. Conceived while most of Europe is embroiled in war, the symphony is published with the message: 'Music is life and, like it, inextinguishable. ’

Carl Nielsen - Symphony No. 4 "The Inextinguishable", Op. 29
Conductor: Herbert Blomstedt & San Francisco Symphony

27 April
Ruggero Leoncavallo - 
Goffredo Mameli.

Operetta  
Goffredo Mameli – 27 April 1916, Teatro Carlo Felice, Genoa. 

Ruggero Leoncavallo - MAMELI 
Goffredo Mameli: Antonio De Palma, 
Carlo Terzaghi: Lorenzo Battagion,
Delia: Natalia Margarit
Cristina Trivulzio: Barbara Vivian, EnricoDandolo/Emilio Dandolo
Primo e Secondo Ufficiale: Luciano Grassi, Luciano Manara
Un sergente austriaco e Terzo Ufficiale: Giampaolo Vessella
Orchestra Filarmonica Nazionale Ucraina di Donetsk
Direttore Silvano Frontalini

Sondalo, Palazzetto Comunale, 2011

11 May
Max Reger dies from a heart attack in Leipzig, aged 43. The influential composer is the author of one of the most famous responses to a hostile critic: I am sitting in the smallest room in my house. I have your review before me. Soon, it will be behind me.’

 

1917

Sergei Prokofiev completes his Classical Symphony (1918), First Violin Concerto and the opera The Gambler (1929), based on the novel by Dostoevsky.

Sergei Prokofiev - Violin Concerto No.1 in D major, Op. 19
Hilary Hahn, violin
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Lorin Maazel, conductor

5 May
Claude Debussy performs in public for the last time, introducing his Violin Sonata No. 3 with the violinist Gaston Poulet, in Paris.

Claude Debussy - Violin Sonata
Shlomo Mintz (violin),
Yefim Bronfman (piano) - 1986

Josef Suk completes his autobiographical symphonic poem Zrani (Ripening), inspired by a poem of the same name by Antonin Sova.

"The Ripening""Lebensreife", Symphonic Poem for Large Orchestra, Op. 34 by Josef Suk
I. Erkenntnis (Recognition)
II. Jugend (Youth)
III. Liebe (Love)
IV. Schicksal (Fate)
V. Entschluβ (Resolve)
VI. Selbstbescheidung Orchester der Komischen Oper Berlin Kirill Petrenko, conductor

30 January
Alexander von ZemlinskyEine florentinische Tragödie.

Eine florentinische Tragödie, Op. 16, is an opera in one act by Alexander von Zemlinsky to a libretto adapted by the composer from a German translation by Max Meyerfeld (de) of Oscar Wilde's unfinished play A Florentine Tragedy.

Alexander Zemlinsky: Eine florentinische Tragödie
op. 16

Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France diretta da Armin Jordan
Bianca: Iris Vermillion
Guido: Viktor Lutsiuk
Simone: Albert Dohmen 

11 March
Ottorino Respighi, aged 37, has his orchestral Fontane di Roma (Fountains of Rome) introduced in Rome. His pupil and future wife, Elsa Sangiacomo, records: 'Rather cold reception with some hissing at the end of the work.’ The tone poem triumphs the following year under Toscanini in Milan.

Ottorino Respighi - Fontane di Roma
Boston Symphony Orchestra - Seiji Ozawa

27 March
The neutral ground of Monte Carlo plays host to the premiere of
Giacomo Puccini’s opera La Rondine (The Swallow). Not among the composer’s masterworks, it manages only modest success.

1 April
Ragtime composer Scott Joplin dies from syphilis in New York, aged 49.

30 April
Pietro Mascagni - Lodoletta.
 

Lodoletta is a dramma lirico or lyric opera in three acts by Pietro Mascagni. The libretto is by Giovacchino Forzano, and is based on the novel Two Little Wooden Shoes by Marie Louise de la Ramée, (Ouida). It was first performed at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome on 30 April 1917 with Rosina Storchio in the title role. 

Pietro Mascagni - LODOLETTA 
Tavolaccini, Campora, Fioravanti -
Rai, 28.12.1957

3 May
Ernest Bloch’s Israel Symphony and Schelomo (Solomon) for cello and orchestra, both completed the previous year, are first performed in New York.

E.Bloch: Symphonie Israël
Russian State Symphony Orchestra conducted by Evgeny Svetlanov.
Galina Bokyo, Natalia Gerassimova, sopranos.
Elena Alexandrova, Galina Borissova, altos.
Anatoly Safiulin, bass.

Ernest Bloch - Schelomo, Hebrew Rhapsody
Orchestra: Utah Symphony Orchestra - Conductor: Maurice Abravanel - Year of recording: 1967
Zara Nelsova (cello)

11 May 
Ferruccio Busoni - Turandot.

Turandot (
BV 273) is a 1917 opera with spoken dialogue and in two acts by Ferruccio Busoni. Busoni prepared his own libretto, in German, based on the play by Count Carlo Gozzi. The opera is often performed as part of a double bill with Busoni's earlier one-act opera Arlecchino.

Ferruccio Busoni - Turandot

Príncipe Kalaf - Milan Voldrich
Barak - Balasz Poka
Imperador Altoum - Norman Bailey
Princesa Turandot - Kristine Ciensinski
Adelma - Alison Browner
Truffaldino - Bruce Brewer
Pantalone - Alan Cemore
Tartaglia - Phillip Guy-Bromley
Rainha da Samarcanda - Malmfrid Sand
Dançarinas: Julie Wong, Sarah Audsley
The Wexford Festival Chorus
Chorus Master: Roy Laughlin
The Radio Telefis Eireann Symphony Orchestra
Regência: Simon Joly
Simon Joly, conductor, 1988

11 May
Ferruccio BusoniArlecchino. 

Arlecchino, oder Die Fenster (Harlequin, or The Windows, BV 270) is a one-act opera with spoken dialog by Ferruccio Busoni, with a libretto in German.
The premiere performance was on 11 May 1917 at the Stadttheater, Zürich. Busoni's two-act opera Turandot was also performed on the program as part of a double-bill.

Ferruccio Busoni - Arlecchino 
regia di Lucio Dalla - registrato al Teatro Comunale di Bologna il 24 marzo 2007
Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna diretta da David Agler
Marco Alemanno (Arlecchino)

18 May
The ballet Parade, featuring music by Eric Satie, provokes a storm in Paris. 
With scenario by Jean Cocteau, choreography by Massine and set and costumes by Picasso, the frivolous work is slated by the press. Heated exchanges follow and Satie ends up in court for libellous comments made against an arch-critic. Cocteau hinders the proceedings by shouting down the critic’s lawyer with obscenities. Satie narrowly escapes jail, incurring a suspended sentence and fine.

Erik Satie - Parade

12 June
Hans Pfitzner's opera Palestrina is first performed under the direction of Bruno Walter in Munich. The composer’s own libretto is based on the apocryphal story that Palestrina (d. 1594) deterred the Council of Trent from banning polyphony by composing his wondrous Papae Marcelli Mass.

Hans Pfitzner "Palestrina" 

Palestrina: Peter Schreier
Erster Bischof: Fritz Heidan
Zweiter Bischof: Walter Naveau
Abdisu: Henno Garduhn
Avosmediano: Bernd Zettisch
Bischof von Budoja: Günter Kürth
Bischof von Feltre: Gerd Wolf
Bischof von Fiesole: Horst Gebhardt
Carlo Borromeo: Siegfried Lorenz
Doktor: Elvira Dreßen
Erste Engelstimme: Brigitte Eisenfeld
Zweite Engelstimme: Margot Stejskal
Dritte Engelstimme: Adelheid Vogel
Grossetto: Peter Bindszus
Ighino: Carola Nossek
Erster Kapellsänger: Olaf Bär
Zweiter Kapellsänger: Peter Bindszus
Dritter Kapellsänger: Peter Menzel
Vierter Kapellsänger: Heinz Reeh
Fünfter Kapellsänger: Dario Süß
Kardinal von Lothringen: Reiner Süss
Lukrezia: Uta Priew
Luna: Günter Leib
Madruscht: Fritz Hübner
Erster Meister: Olaf Bär
Zweiter Meister: Henno Garduhn
Dritter Meister: Horst Gebhardt
Vierter Meister: Günter Leib
Fünfter Meister: Hermann Christian Polster
Sechster Meister: Heinz Reeh
Siebter Meister: Andreas Schmidt
Achter Meister: Gerd Wolf
Neunter Meister: Bernd Zettisch
Morone: Hans-Joachim Ketelsen
Müglitz: Heinz Reeh
Novagerio: Peter Jürgen Schmidt
Papst Pius IV.: Hermann Christian Polster
Severolus: Ekkehard Wlaschiha
Silla: Rosemarie Lang
Spanischer Bischof: Roman Trekel
Theophilus: Joachim Arndt

Chor der Deutschen Staatsoper Berlin 1986; 
Staatskapelle Berlin, 
Dirigent: Otmar Suitner

 

1918

Leos Janacek composes his Russian orchestral rhapsody Taras Bulba, based on the historical novel by Nikolai Gogol.

Leoš Janáček - Taras Bulba - Rhapsody for Orchestra

1. The Death of Andrei
2. The Death of Ostap
3. Prophecy and the Death of Taras Bulba

Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
Rafael Kubelík Conductor

24 May
Bela Bartok and librettist Bela Balazs 
present their one-act Bluebeard's Castle  in Budapest.

This minimal-action opera, completed in 1911 but since revised, shares double billing with their ballet The Wooden Prince, premiered the previous year.

Erik Satie completes his most important work, Socrate, 'a 'symphonic drama’ for four voices and chamber orchestra based on Plato’s Dialogues. Serious and sensitive, it extends Satie’s reputation beyond that of a mere musical humourist.

Erik Satie - Socrate 

00:00 I. Portrait de Socrate (Le Banquet)
05:57 II. Bords de l'Ilissus (Phèdre)
13:05 III. Mort de Socrate (Phédon)

Jean-Paul Fouchécourt – ténor
Ensemble Erwartung
Bernard Desgraupes, 1993

1 January 
Where the Lark Sings (Wo die Lerche singt) is a 1918 operetta by the Hungarian composer Franz Lehár. The libretto by A. M. Willner and Heinz Reichert (de) was inspired by Dorf und Stadt by Charlotte Birch-Pfeiffer. The work premiered at the Király Theatre in Budapest on 1 January 1918. 

Franz Lehár - Wo die Lerche singt (1956)

19 January
Gabriel Faure’s Cello Sonata No. 1 is first played in Paris.

Gabriel Fauré - Sonata for Cello and Piano No. 1 in D minor, Op. 109

Christian Poltéra, Cello
Kathryn Stott, Piano

3 March
Bela Bartok’s three-movement String Quartet No. 2 debuts in Budapest. Its second movement, featuring driving ostinatos and percussive gestures, takes inspiration from North African folk music.

Béla Bartók - String Quartet No. 2
Hungarian String Quartet: 1961

25 March
Claude Debussy dies of cancer aged 55, amid a German bombardment of Paris.
 

21 April
Inspired by the music of
Haydn, Sergei Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony (No. 1) is first performed in St Petersburg. Classical forms and themes are treated with humour and parody, resulting in the first major work of neo-classicism.

Sergie Prokofiev - Symphony No. 1. 1917
Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
New York Philharmonic

25 August
Composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein is born in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

28 September
Ernest Ansermet directs the first performance of Igor Stravinsky’s Faustian ballet L’Histoire du soldat (The Soldier’s Tale) in Lausanne. The short music theatre piece incorporates just three actors/dancers, a narrator and seven instrumentalists, so to facilitate modest productions in uncertain times. With clear textures, dance parodies and dry musical wit, Stravinsky edges towards neo-classicism.

Stravinsky: A Soldier'sTale (L'histoire du Soldat)

Cast
Narrator: Steven Goldstein
Soldier: Nile Hawver
Devil: Josh Quinn
Princess: Kristin Wagner

Music
Violin: Paul Biss
Double Bass: Donald Palma
Clarinet: Michael Wayne
Bassoon: Richard Ranti
Cornet: Mark Emery
Trombone: Gabriel Langfur
Percussion: Robert Schulz

Stage Director: Joshua Major

24 October
Jean Sibelius’s patriotic cantata Oma maa (Our Native Land) is first performed in Helsinki.

Jean Sibelius Oma maa, Op. 92, My Own Land,
cantata for mixed choir and orchestra, words by Kallio 

Ellerhein Girls' Choir.
Estonian National Male Choir.
Estonian National Symphony Orchestra.
Paavo Jârvi, conductor.

14 December  
Jiacomo Puccini
presents three one-act 
operas under the title Il trittico (The Triptych) at the Metropolitan Opera, New York. The collection comprises Il tabarro (The Cloak), Suor Angelica (Sister Angelica), and the comedy Gianni Schicchi, famous above all for its beautiful aria ‘O mio babbino caro’.

 

Leonard Bernstein
 

Leonard Bernstein, (born August 25, 1918, Lawrence, Massachusetts, U.S.—died October 14, 1990, New York, New York), American conductor, composer, and pianist noted for his accomplishments in both classical and popular music, for his flamboyant conducting style, and for his pedagogic flair, especially in concerts for young people.











 






Bernstein played piano from age 10. He attended Boston Latin School; Harvard University (A.B., 1939), where he took courses in music theory with Arthur Tillman Merritt and counterpoint with Walter Piston; the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia (1939–41), where he studied conducting with Fritz Reiner and orchestration with Randall Thompson; and the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, Massachusetts, where he studied conducting with Serge Koussevitzky. In 1943 Bernstein was appointed assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic; the first signal of his forthcoming success came on November 14, 1943, when he was summoned unexpectedly to substitute for the conductor Bruno Walter. His technical self-assurance under difficult circumstances and his interpretive excellence made an immediate impression and marked the beginning of a brilliant career. He subsequently conducted the New York City Center orchestra (1945–47) and appeared as guest conductor in the United States, Europe, and Israel. In 1953 he became the first American to conduct at La Scala in Milan. From 1958 to 1969 Bernstein was conductor and musical director of the New York Philharmonic, becoming the first American-born holder of those posts. With this orchestra he made several international tours in Latin America, Europe, the Soviet Union, and Japan. His popularity increased through his appearances not only as conductor and pianist but also as a commentator and entertainer. Bernstein explained classical music to young listeners on such television shows as Omnibus and Young People’s Concerts. After 1969 he continued to write music and to perform as a guest conductor with several symphonies throughout the world.


As a composer Bernstein made skillful use of diverse elements ranging from biblical themes, as in the Symphony No. 1 (1942; also called Jeremiah) and the Chichester Psalms (1965); to jazz rhythms, as in the Symphony No. 2 (1949; The Age of Anxiety), after a poem by W.H. Auden; to Jewish liturgical themes, as in the Symphony No. 3 (1963; Kaddish). His best-known works are the musicals On the Town (1944; filmed 1949), Wonderful Town (1953; filmed 1958), Candide (1956), and the very popular West Side Story (1957; filmed 1961), written in collaboration with Stephen Sondheim and Jerome Robbins. He also wrote the scores for the ballets Fancy Free (1944), Facsimile (1946), and Dybbuk (1974), and he composed the music for the film On the Waterfront (1954), for which he received an Academy Award nomination. His Mass, written especially for the occasion, was performed at the opening of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., in September 1971. In 1989 he conducted two historic performances of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D Minor (1824; Choral), which were held in East and West Berlin to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1990 Bernstein was awarded the Japan Art Association’s Praemium Imperiale prize for music.

Bernstein published a collection of lectures, The Joy of Music (1959); Young People’s Concerts, for Reading and Listening (1962, revised edition 1970); The Infinite Variety of Music (1966); and The Unanswered Question (1976), taken from his Charles Eliot Norton lectures at Harvard University (1973).

Fancy Free is a ballet by Jerome Robbins, subsequently ballet master of New York City Ballet, made on Ballet Theatre, predecessor of American Ballet Theatre, to a score by Leonard Bernstein, with scenery by Oliver Smith, costumes by Kermit Love and lighting by Ronald Bates. The premiere took place on Tuesday, 18 April 1944 at the old Metropolitan Opera House, New York. 

Leonard Bernstein: Fancy Free
From 1986. NYC Ballet. Choreography by Jerome Robbins.

Synopsis
The scene is a bar and the outside sidewalk in New York City, in wartime. Three sailors on liberty boisterously arrive, have a drink (two of their number conning the third into paying), and head outside looking for female companionship. A beautiful girl passes by and the three sailors vie for her attention. She demurs and escapes, pursued by two of the sailors. The Third, having been left in the dust, encounters another beautiful passer-by, and invites her to have a drink with him. He impresses her with a pantomime of his military exploits, and they dance a passionate pas de deux.

The other two sailors arrive with the first girl, who recognizes the second girl as a friend. The sailors realize their predicament: three men, but only two girls. The couples dance and change partners, with one always left dancing alone. Finally, it is decided that the three sailors will hold a contest and the loser will go dateless. Each sailor performs a solo variation (a galop, a waltz, and a danzon), but they're so equally matched that the girls can't decide and the boys come to blows. In the mist of the fistfight, the girls flee in terror. Seeing their dates vanish, the sailors pick themselves up, have another drink and head outside again. Another beautiful girl passes by, and the three sailors take off in hot pursuit.

Dybbuk is a ballet made by New York City Ballet ballet master Jerome Robbins to Leonard Bernstein's eponymous music and taking S. Ansky's play The Dybbuk as a source. The premiere took place on 16 May 1974, at New York State Theater, Lincoln Center, with scenery by Rouben Ter-Arutunian, costumes by Patricia Zipprodt and lighting by Jennifer Tipton. 

Leonard Bernstein: Dybbuk (1974)

Mel Ulrich, baritono
Marc Risinger, basso

Nashville Symphony diretta da Andrew Mogrelia.

Trouble in Tahiti is a one-act opera in seven scenes composed by Leonard Bernstein with an English libretto by the composer

Leonard Bernstein - Trouble in Tahiti

Catherine Hopper   Dinah
Dean Robinson   Sam
Jane Harrington   soprano
Ashley Catling   tenor
Quentin Hayes   baritone

Nicholas Kok   conductor

Candide is an operetta with music composed by Leonard Bernstein, based on the 1759 novella of the same name by Voltaire. The operetta was first performed in 1956 with a libretto by Lillian Hellman; but since 1974 it has been generally performed with a book by Hugh Wheelerwhich is more faithful to Voltaire's novel. The primary lyricist was the poet Richard Wilbur.

West Side Story is a musical with a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. It was inspired by William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet.

 

1919

Hugo Alfven completes his single-movement Fourth Symphony (From the Outermost Skerries), scored with wordless soprano and tenor.

Hugo Alfvén - Symphony No.4 in C-minor, Op.39 "Från havsbandet" - "From the Outermost Skerries" 

Mov.I: Moderato - Allegretto, ma non troppo 00:00
Mov.II: Allegro - Moderato - Allegro 11:02
Mov.III: Lento - Maestoso - Molto appassionato 16:03
Mov.IV: Allegro agitato 35:16

Soprano: Arndis Halla - Tenor: Johann Valdimarsson

Violin: Sigrun Edvaldsdottir - Cello: Richard Talkowsky

Iceland Symphony Orchestra - Conductor: Niklas Willén

Charles Ives completes his ambitious Piano Sonata No. 2 (subtitled Concord, Mass., 1840-60).

Charles Ives - Piano Sonata No.2, "Concord, Mass., 1840-1860"
Stephen Drury, piano

Maurice Ravel orchestrates his piano suite Le tombeau de Couperin (1917) and begins work on the symphonic poem La valse.

7 April
André Messager - 
Monsieur Beaucaire.

Monsieur Beaucaire is a romantic opera in three acts, composed by
André Messager. The libretto, based on the 1900 novel by Booth Tarkington, is by Frederick Lonsdale, with lyrics by Adrian Ross. The piece premiered at the Prince of Wales Theatre in Birmingham, England, on 7 April 1919.

André MESSAGER - MONSIEUR BEAUCAIRE
00:00:00 PROLOGUE Chez Monsieur Beaucaire à Bath
00:22:46 ACTE I - Une salle de bal à Bath
01:05:35 ACTE II - Dans un parc chez Lord Bantison
01:44:42 ACTE III - Une salle du Casino de Bath
02:18:54 GENERIQUE
Captation réalisée par TV MosaiK, 2007
Complexe Culturel de Sarralbe

2 June
Paul Hindemith, aged 24, organises a concert of his own music in Frankfurt, including performances of his String Quartet No. 2 and a Sonata for Viola and Piano (Op. 11). The event proves a great success and leads to a lifelong partnership with Schott Publishers.

Paul Hindemith - String Quartet No. 2, Op. 10
Pavel Hůla (violin), Jan Odstrčil (violin), Zbyněk Paďourek (viola), Václav Bernášek (cello) - 1995

Hindemith : Sonata for Viola and Piano, op.11 No.4
Ryo Oshima (viola), Fuyuka Kusa (piano)

Igor Stravinsky adapts early to mid 18th-century works in his first neo-classical composition, the ballet Pulcinella.

Igor Stravinsky - Ballet Pulcinella
Basler Ballett, Academa of St. Martin in the Fields, cond. Sir Neville Marriner, choreography Heinz Spoerli - Vers. 1980.

Igor Stravinsky - Pulcinella
Scapino Ballet, Choreography Nils Christe
The London Symphony Orchestra;
T. Berganza, R. Davies, J. Shirley-Quirk
Conductor Claudio Abbado

Story
The story of Pulcinella is taken from a manuscript from Naples, dating from 1700, containing a number of comedies portraying the traditional character of the popular Neapolitan stage. The particular story used is entitled Quartre Polichinelles semblables ("Four identical Pulcinellas").

The one-act ballet features Pulcinella, his girlfriend Pimpinella, his friends Furbo, Prudenza and Rosetta, and Florindo and Cloviello. The story starts with Florindo and Cloviello serenading Prudenza and Rosetta. The two women are unimpressed and reply by showering the suitors with water. Prudenza's father, a doctor, appears and chases them away.

A new episode begins with Rosetta with her father appearing. Rosetta dances for Pulcinella and they kiss. But Pimpinella sees this and interrupts the scene. Florindo and Cloviello arrive and jealous of Pulcinella, they beat him up. Pulcinella is then stabbed, but this is actually a mockery to get Pimpinella to forgive Pulcinella. Furbo disguised as a magician appears and resurrects Pulcinella's body in front of everybody. Pimpinella indeed forgives Pulcinella, Prudenza and Rosetta succumb to Florindo's and Cloviello's wooing. The ballet ends with the marriages of the couples.

22 July
Manuel de Falla’s satirical El sombrero de tres picos (The Three Cornered Hat) gains a rapturous reception under Ernest Ansermet in London. Produced by Diaghilev, the Spanish ballet is a reworking of Fallas pantomime El corregidor y la molinera (1917) and features choreography by Massine, with sets and costumes by Picasso. Falla extracts two orchestral suites.

Falla - The Three-Cornered Hat - Proms 2013
Mezzo-soprano Clara Mouriz joins conductor Juanjo Mena and the BBC Philharmonic

André Messager - Monsieur Beaucaire - Extraits
Martha Angelici - Michel Dens - Liliane Berton - René Lénoty  Gilbert Moryn - Choeurs Raymond Saint-Paul

9 August
Composer Ruggero Leoncavallo dies in Montecatini, Italy, aged 62.

10 October
Richard Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten (The Woman without a Shadow) opens to little acclaim at the Vienna State Opera. Successful only in the second half of the century, the opera will ultimately rank among the composers finest.

11 January
Frederick Delius's tone poem Eventyr (Once Upon a Time) is first performed under the baton of Henry Wood in London.

Delius: Eventyr Once upon a time
New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Myer Fredman, 1994

27 October
Edward Elgar conducts Felix Salmond and the London Symphony Orchestra in the premiere of his Cello Concerto at London’s Queen's Hall. Sadly under-rehearsed, the performance of the composers final masterpiece is poor.

Edward Elgar - Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85
Conductor: John Barbirolli
Cellist: Jacqueline du Pre 
Apollo Symphony Orchestra, 1965

 

1920

23 April
Leos Janacek opera The Excursions of Mr Broucek opens at Prague’s National Theatre.

Leoš Janáček - Výlety páně Broučkovy
The Excursions of Mr. Brouček to the Moon and to the 15th Century

21 February
Darius Milhaud and Jean Cocteau present their pantomime Le Boeufsurle Toit (The Bull on the Roof) at the Comedie des Champs-Elysees, Paris. Inspired by the popular music of Brazil, Milhaud’s score had been originally conceived as an accompaniment to a Charlie Chaplin film.

MILHAUD - LE BOEUF SUR LE TOIT

Orchestre National de France - Leonard Bernstein.

Le Bœuf sur le toit - Darius Milhaud  - Part I
Yuli Turovsky, chef d'orchestre - Alexandre Marine, mise en scène - Vitali Makarov et Maria Monakhova, comédiens - Kaelyn Schmitt, Vanessa Vollering, Bridie Hooper, Gregory Arsenal R., Yannick Thomas, Giulio Lanzafame, Joachim Ciocca et Matthew Holsbeke de lÉcole nationale de cirque - Natasha Turovsky, artiste-peintre - 25 février 2009 - Théâtre Maisonneuve de la Place des Arts

Le Bœuf sur le toit - Darius Milhaud  - Part II

Another staging took place in Montreal on 25 February 2009 as part of the Montreal Highlights Festival, whose theme was the city of Paris. Unlike Cocteau's plot, director Alexandre Marine shifted the action to a brothel, with the bawdy house transforming to a "hospital" with the arrival of the policeman. The Montreal chamber orchestra known as I Musici de Montréal played and students of Montreal's École nationale de cirque danced.

8 March
Erik Satie invents ‘muzak’ with his Musique d'ameublement (Furniture music) at the Galeries Barbazange, Paris. Designed specifically as background music not to be listened to, the plan backfires when everyone stops talking to pay attention to it. 'Satie hadnot bargained for the charm of his own music’, notes Milhaud.

Erik Satie: Musique d'ameublement ~ Tenture de cabinet préfectoral
Ensemble Ars Nova, dir. Marius Constant, 1981

2 October
German composer Max Bruch dies in Berlin, aged 82.

4 December  
Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s 
opera Die tote Stadt (The Dead City) opens simultaneously in Hamburg and Cologne.

Korngold "Die tote Stadt" 
Albert: Ulrik Qvale
Birgitta: Ingrid Tobiasson
Frank: Anders Bergström
Fritz: Per-Arne Wahlgren
Gaston: Lars-Erik Jonsson
Juliette: Hilde Leidland
Lucienne: Anna Tomson
Marietta: Katarina Dalayman
Paul: Thomas Sunnegardh
Victorin: Lars-Erik Jonsson
Tomberga School Children''s Choir
Royal Swedish Opera Chorus
Royal Swedish Opera Orchestra
Conductor: Leif Segerstam

12 December
Maurice Ravel’s choreographic poem La valse—commissioned but subsequently dismissed by Diaghilev as being inappropriate music for ballet—debuts under Camille Chevillard in Paris.

Maurice Ravel - La Valse
Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra, Gustavo Dudamel, BBC Proms London, 2016.

13 December  
Edipo re è l'ultima opera di Ruggero Leoncavallo, su libretto di Giovacchino Forzano, tratto dall'Edipo re di Sofocle. L'opera, lasciata incompiuta da Leoncavallo, venne completata da Giovanni Pennacchio.

Fu rappresentata postuma nell'Auditorium Theatre di Chicago il 13 dicembre 1920.

Leoncavallo - EDIPO RE 
Lormi, Vaina, Vertecchi, Mazzieri, Durante
Direttore Pietro Argento - Rai Roma, 1972

 

Giorgio de Chirico -  The Disquieting Muses 

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