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Modern Period


Mohandas Gandhi is released from jail • By the Statute of Westminster, Dominions of the British Empire are recognised as sovereign states • Japan invades Manchuria, beginning a Sino-Japanese war • Revolution flares in Spain: King Alphonso XIII leaves the country and a republic is proclaimed • Collapse of Austria’s largest bank, Credit Ansalt, precipitates a financial crisis in Europe • New York’s Empire State Building completed • Physicist August Piccard (Switz) ascends by balloon into the stratosphere • Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue completed • Films: Dracula (with Bela Lugosi); Frankenstein (with Boris Karloff) • Salvador Dali (Sp) paints The Persistence of Memory

Japan establishes a puppet state of Manchukuo in Manchuria, China • A World Disarmament Conference (in which the USA and USSR join) opens in Geneva • The National Socialists (Nazis) become the largest party in the German Reichstag (parliament) • War between Bolivia and Paraguay breaks out over the ownership of th Gran Chaco region • British Physicist James Chadwick discovers the neutron and US physicist Carl D. Anderson discovers the Positron • Sydney Harbour Bridge is opened in Australia • Shirley Temple, aged three, makes her film debut •
Frieda Kahlo - Self Portrait on the Border Line Between Mexico and the United States   Ernest Hemingway (US): Death in the Afternoon • Aldous Huxley (Eng): Brave New World

Franklin D. Roosevelt (Dem) becomes 32nd President of the USA, and announces a ‘New Deal’ to cure the Depression • Nazi leader Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany; under his rule, open persecution of Jews begins, and trade unions are suppressed • Germany withdraws from the international disarmament conference and leaves the
League of Nations • Japan also leaves the League • The USA and Canada abandon the gold standard • The 21st Amendment to the US Constitution repeals prohibition • James Hilton (Eng) introduces Shangri-La in Lost Horizon • H. G. Wells (Eng): The Shape of Things to Come

Austrian Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss is killed by Nazis; Justice Minister Kurt von Schuschnigg succeeds him 
• President Paul von Hindenburg of Germany dies; Chancellor Adolf Hitler is given dictatorial powers as Fuhrer (leader) • King Alexander of Yugoslavia and French Foreign Minister, Jean Barthou, are assassinated in Marseilles (Fr) • A Balkan Entente is formed by Greece, Romania, Yugoslavia and Turkey • The USSR joins the League of Nations • F. Scott Fitzgerald (US): Tender is the Night  • Robert Graves (Eng):  Claudius • Agatha Christie (Eng): Murder on the Orient Express

Germany rejects the disarmament clauses of the Versailles Treaty (which ended World War I) and introduces conscription • In a plebiscite, the Saarland votes to return to Germany • Britain signs a naval treaty with Germany • German Jews are deprived of citizen’s rights by the Nuremberg Laws • Abyssinian War: Italian troops invade Ethiopia • Kurt von 
Schuschnigg tries to curb growing Nazi strength in Austria • Stresa Conference: Britain, France and Italy denounce unilateral repudiation^ treaties • Persia changes its name to Iran • Physicist Robert Watson Watt (Scot) devises radar • T. S. Elliot (US/Eng): play Murder in the Cathedral • Dorothy L. Sayers (Eng): Gaudy Night


Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was an Indian activist who was the leader of the Indian independence movement against British rule. Employing nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. The honorific Mahātmā (Sanskrit: "high-souled", "venerable")– applied to him first in 1914 in South Africa – is now used worldwide. In India, he is also called Bapu (Gujarati: endearment for father, papa) and Gandhi ji, and known as the Father of the Nation



George Gershwin adapts the theme Manhattan Rhapsody from the score into his Second Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra.

George Gershwin - Second Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra

Temple University Symphony Orchestra
William Wolfram, piano
Andreas Delfs, conductor, 2017

Sergei Prokofiev composes his Piano Concerto No. 4 for the left hand for the one-armed war veteran and pianist Paul Wittgenstein. Unfortunately, Wittgenstein (brother of the philosopher, Ludwig) does not care for the piece and refuses to play it. The composer hides away his score, never to hear it performed.

Sergei Prokofiev - Piano Concerto No. 4 (for the left hand)
The Philadelphia Orchestra
- Conductor: Eugene Ormandy
- Soloist: Rudolf Serkin
- Year of recording: 1958

Edgard Varese completes Ionisation, probably the first stand-alone piece of Western classical music scored for percussion ensemble.

Edgard Varèse - Ionisation - pour 13 percussions dont 1 piano

Solistes de l'Ensemble intercontemporain 
Elèves du Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris 
Susanna Mälkki, direction 

Percussions : Gilles DUROT, Samuel FAVRE, Victor HANNA (Ensemble intercontemporain) / Matthieu DRAUX, Adelaide FERRIERE, Jean-Baptiste BONNARD, Noam BIERSTONE, Christophe DRELICH, Julien LACROUZADE, Thibault LEPRI, Sylvain BORREDON, Othman LOUATI
Piano  : Sébastien VICHARD

3 October
Leading Danish composer
Carl Nielsen dies from angina in Copenhagen, aged 66.


10 October
William Walton's oratorio Belshazzars Feast, commissioned by the Leeds Festival, is first performed there under Malcolm Sargent. It is an indisputable triumph with both the public and critics.

Sir William Walton - Belshazzar's Feast

BBC Symphony Orchestra
Bryn Terfel, baritone
BBC Singers - BBC Symphony Chorus
conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, 1994

23 October
Violinist Samuel Dushkin premieres
Igor Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto under the composer’s baton with the Berlin Radio Orchestra.

Igor Sravinsky - Violin concerto in D major 
I Toccata;
II Aria I;
III Aria II;
IV Capriccio

Itzhak Perlman;
Seiji Ozawa: Boston Symphony Orchestra

12 November
Edward Elgar and the London Symphony Orchestra inaugurate Abbey Road Studios, recording the popular Pomp and Circumstance March, No. 1.

Elgar: Pomp and Circumstance March No 1 in D major, 'Land of Hope and Glory' (Prom 75)
Performed by the BBC Singers, BBC Symphony Chorus and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sakari Oramo.

10 January
Charles Ives's Three Places in New England for chamber orchestra is introduced in Boston. The work taxes the skills of Nicolas Slonimsky, who at one point has to conduct different beats with his right and left hand simultaneously to direct the orchestra through conflicting rhythms and tempi.

Charles Ives -  Three Places in New England 
Ensemble Intercontemporain
Matthias Pintscher,  direction

Enregistré en direct le 24.09.2016 à la Cité de la musique - Paris

5 March 
Ermanno Wolf-FerrariLa vedova scaltra, staged 5 March, at the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, Rome

Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari - LA VEDOVA SCALTRA
Rosaura : Alda Noni,
Marionette : Dora Gatta,
Conte di Bosco Nero : Agostino Lazzari,
Folletto : Florindo Andreolli,
Arlecchino : Renato Capecchi,
Monsieur Le Blau : Amilcare Blaffard,
Don Alvaro di Castiglia : Carlo Badioli,
Milord Runebif : Antonio Cassinelli,
Birif : Giorgio Onesti
Orchestra Sinfonica della Rai di Milano, 1955
Direttore Nino Sanzogno

17 September
Frederick Delius’s tone poem A Song of Summer is introduced at a Promenade Concert in London. Now blind and paralysed from the late stages of syphilis, Delius has completed the work with the help of his amanuensis, Eric Fenby. The composer, at home in France, hears the premiere broadcast by radio.

Frederick Delius - Song of Summer
Hallé Orchestra London Symphony Orchestra Conducted by John Barbirolli 1967

2 December
Composer Vincent d’lndy dies in Paris, aged 80.


26 December
George and Ira Gershwin’s musical Of Thee I Sing opens on Broadway. The following year it becomes the first musical to win a Pulitzer Prize for drama.

Gershwin - Of Thee I Sing
Michael Tilson Thomas, Orchestra of St. Luke's



Francis Poulenc composes his comic secular cantata Le Bal masque for voice and chamber ensemble, setting four poems by Max Jacob.

Francis Poulenc - Le Bal Masqué
Franck Leguérinel (baritone), Alexandre Tharaud (piano), Jean-Marc Phillips (violin), Françoise Groben (cello), Serge Krichewski (oboe), Marc Bauer (cornet), Ronald Van Spaendonck (clarinet), Marie Gondeau (bassoon), Françoise Rivalland (percussion)
Conductor: Pierre-Michel Durand, 1997 

00:00 - I. Préambule et air de bravoure
04:27 - II. Intermède
06:58 - III. Malvina
09:13 - IV. Bagatelle
11:29 - V. La dame aveugle
13:49 - VI. Finale (Caprice)

Arnold Schoenberg breaks off from his opera Moses und Aron, never to compose the third act.

Moses und Aron (Moses and Aaron) is a three-act opera by Arnold Schoenberg with the third act unfinished. The German libretto is by the composer after the Book of Exodus. Hungarian composer Zoltán Kocsis completed the last act, with Schoenberg's heirs' permission, in 2010, but as of 2014 Moses und Aron was almost always performed as Schoenberg left it in 1932, with only two of the planned three acts completed.

Schönberg - Moses und Aron
Bochumer Symphoniker
Conductor: Michael Boder
ChorWerk Ruhr

Moses - Dale Duesing
Aron - Andreas Conrad
Ein junges Mädchen - Ilse Eerens
Eine Kranke - Karolina Gumos
Ein junger Mann - Finnur Bjarnason
Der nackte Jüngling - Michael Smallwood
Ein anderer Mann/Ephraimit - Boris Grappe
Ein Priester - Renatus Meszar
Vier nackte Jungfrauen - Ilse Eerens, Hanna Herfurtner, Karolina Gumos - Constance Heller

Arnold SCHÖNBERG - Moses und Aron

Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra - 
cond. Zoltan KOCSIS
PRIEST - Krisztián CSER
National Choir (cond. Mátyás ANTAL)
The Choir of the Singer School of Budapest (cond. Tamás BUBNÓ)
The 'Honvéd' Men's Choir: (Richárd RIEDERAUER)

Act I: 0:01:22
Act II: 0:50:38
Act III. 1:42:18

Igor Stravinsky, following a successful tour of his Violin Concerto (1931) with Samuel Dushkin, composes the Duo concertant for violin and piano, to add to their concert-giving repertoire.

Igor Stravinsky - Duo concertant 
Mariya Nesterovska - violin 
Nenad Lecic - piano
1. Cantilene 0:00
2. Eglogue 1 3:07
3. Eglogue 2 5:34
4. Gigue 8:53
5. Dithyramb 13:42

14 January
Maurice Ravel conducts Marguerite Long in 
the first performance of his Piano Concerto in G major, in Paris.

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

6 March
Composer and bandmaster
John Philip Sousa dies in Reading, Pennsylvania, aged 77.


10 March 
Kurt Weill Die Bürgschaft


Die Bürgschaft (The Pledge) is an opera in three acts by Kurt Weill. Caspar Neher wrote the German libretto after the parable Der afrikanische Rechtspruch (The African Verdict) by Johann Gottfried Herder. Composed from August to October 1931, it was premiered on 10 March 1932 at the Städtische Oper in Berlin, Germany.

Kurt Weill - Die Bürgschaft (Part 1 of 2)
Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra - Dir. Julius Rudel
Johann Mattes : Frederick Burchinal (Hoher Bariton)
Anna Mattes : Margaret Thompson (Mezzosopran)
David Orth : Dale Trevis (Hoher Baß)
Jakob Orth : Joel Sorensen (Tenor)
Luise Mattes : Ann Panagulias (Sopran)
Der Richter von Urb : Enrico Di Giuseppe (Tenor)
Ellis, der Kommissar : John Daniecki (Tenor)

Kurt Weill - Die Bürgschaft (Part 2 of 2)

16 March 
Ottorino RespighiMaria egiziaca

Maria egiziaca (Saint Mary of Egypt) is an opera "in three episodes" by the Italian composer Ottorino Respighi. The libretto, by Claudio Guastalla, is based on a Medieval life of Saint Mary of Egypt, contained in the translation into the vernacular of the Vitae Patrum written by Domenico Cavalca.

The work was originally intended as a concert piece although it has been fully staged in some revivals. It was first performed at Carnegie Hall, New York City on 16 March 1932. The first stage performance was at the Teatro Goldoni in Venice on 10 August 1932.

Ottorino Respighi - Maria Egiziaca 

Primo Episodio 
- Intermedio I (21:26) 
Secondo Episodio (25:00) 
- Intermedio II (47:46)
Terzo Episodio (54:34)

Maria: Veronika Kincses 
il Marinaio / il Lebbroso: János B. Nagy 
il Pellegrino / l'Abate Zosimo: Lajos Miller
la Cieca / un Compagno: Mária Zempléni 
un altro Compagno / il Povero: Ildikó Komlósi 
una Voce dal mare: Mihály Kálmándi 
la Voce dell'Angelo: Katalin Farkas 

Hungarian Radio & Television Chorus 
Hungarian State Orchestra / dir: Lamberto Gardelli 


23 March  
Pietro Mascagni Pinotta  

Pinotta is an idillio or opera in 2 acts by Pietro Mascagni from an Italian libretto by Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti. The opera received its first performance on 23 March 1932 at the Teatro del Casinò in San Remo.

Pietro Mascagni - PINOTTA 
Maria Luisa Cioni, Giuseppe Vertechi, Lino Puglisi

16 August
Albert Coates conducts the premiere of George Gershwin's Cuban Overture (originally entitled Rumba) at Lewisohn Stadium.

George Gershwin - Cuban Overture
Orchestra: Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Jeff Tyzik

5 September
Francis Poulenc performs his Concerto for Two Pianos in D minor with Jacques Fevrier in Venice. Commissioned by Princess de Polignac, the neo-classical concerto overflows with irony and humour. Wild and capricious in its first movement, the second overtly parodies Mozart s piano concerto slow movements—notably that of K. 466 in D minor. The third returns to cavorting mood and wraps up Poulenc s enduring crowd-pleaser.

Francis Poulenc: Concerto for Two Pianos
Susan Merdinger and Irina Feoktistova, Duo Pianists
FullScore Chamber Orchestra, Ron Arden, Conductor

I. Allegro ma non troppo 00:00
II. Larghetto 8:25
III. Finale (Allegro Molto) 14:13
Recorded Live on March 25, 2017  "Piano Masters: From Bach to Beck"
Merit School of Music, Anne and Howard Gottlieb Hall, Chicago, Illinois
Recording Engineer: Edward Ingold
Score and Parts from Boosey and Hawkes and Licensed by Universal Music Group
Susan Merdinger, Artistic Director

9 October
Karol Szymanowski takes the solo part in his Symphonie Concertante for piano and orchestra, introduced in Poznan, Poland. 
Also designated ‘Symphony No. 4’, the three-movement work boasts powerful textural and thematic contrasts, culminating in an enthralling, barbarous climax. The audience encore the final movement.

Szymanowski - Symphony No. 4 "Symphonie concertante", Op. 60, for piano and orchestra

I. Moderato [0:00]
II. Andante molto sostenuto - [10:19]
III. Allegro non troppo [18:40]
Pianist: Tadeusz Żmudziński
Conductor: Karol Stryja
Polish State Philharmonic Orchestra, Katowice

31 October
Sergei Prokofiev gives the first performance of his Fifth Piano Concerto with the Berlin Philharmonic under Furtwangler. The composers final essay of the genre generates little interest.

Prokofiev – Piano Concerto No. 5 Opus 55
0:27 I. Allegro con brio
5:24 II. Moderato ben accentuato
9:00 III. Toccata (allegro con fuoco)
10:35 IV. Larghetto
16:59 V. Vivo
Sergei Babayan
Symphony Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre,
St Petersburg - Valery Gergiev - musical director, 2012



Benjamin Britten, aged 19, begins composing his Simple Symphony, incorporating themes composed prior to his teens. He completes the work the following year.

Britten: Simple Symphony
Benjamin Britten, conducting the English Chamber Orchestra

1 July
At times sentimental operetta, Richard Strauss’s Arabella opens in Dresden. The composer muses to the writer Stefan Zweig, 'Must one become seventy to recognise that ones greatest strength lies in creating kitsch?’

Arnold Schoenberg loses his teaching post at the Prussian Academy of Arts in Berlin as Nazis begin ejecting Jews from public office. Anticipating worsening oppression, he leaves the country, reconverts to Judaism (in Paris) and emigrates to America.


Arnold Schoenberg, 1927, by Man Ray

Pawel Kochanski gives the first performance of Karol ​Szymanowski’s folk-influenced Violin Concerto No. 2 in Warsaw. 

Karol Szymanowski - Violin Concerto No. 2
Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, 27 January 2018 

Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra 
Jacek Kaspszyk - conductor 
Isabelle van Keulen violin 

23 January
Béla Bartok performs as soloist in the premiere of his acclaimed Second Piano Concerto (1931) in Frankfurt. This is one of the composers final appearances in Germany: after Hitlers rise to power, he shuns the country and forbids his works to be performed there.

Béla Bartók - Piano Concerto No. 2
Orchestra: Concertgebouw Orchestra
Conductor: Bernard Haitink
Soloist: Géza Anda, 1970 

00:00 - I. Allegro
09:31 - II. Adagio—Presto—Adagio
20:15 - III. Allegro molto - Più allegro

11 March
42nd Street is a 1933 American pre-Code musical film, directed by Lloyd Bacon, and starring Warner Baxter, Bebe Daniels, George Brent, Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell and Ginger Rogers. The choreography was staged by Busby Berkeley. The songs were written by Harry Warren (music) and Al Dubin (lyrics). The script was written by Rian James and James Seymour, with Whitney Bolton, who was not credited, from the 1932 novel of the same name by Bradford Ropes. Release date March 11, 1933.

Complete version of 42nd Street musical with high quality audio of 20-piece orchestra and 3-camera edit. Performed by the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School Of The Arts.

“42nd Street” from "42nd Street"

"Overture / Audition" from "42nd Street"

“Dames / Keep Young and Beautiful” from "42nd Street"

“Lullaby of Broadway” from "42nd Street"

“Shuffle Off to Buffalo” from "42nd Street"

14 October
Alexander von Zemlinsky
Der Kreidekreis.

Der Kreidekreis (Op. 21), is an opera in three acts by Alexander von Zemlinsky to a libretto by the composer after the play Der Kreidekreis (de) by Klabund – a telling of the Chalk Circle story. The opera was written during 1930-31 and premiered on 14 October 1933 in the Zürich Opera House.

Alexander Zemlinsky: Der Kreidekreis Atti I° e II°

Atto I°
Prima scena (Tong, Mädchen, Haitang, Frau Tschang, Tschang-Ling, Ma, Pao)
Seconda scena (Pao, Haitang, Ma, Tong) [16:56]

Atto II°
Preludio [35:25]
Terza scena ((Frau Ma, Tschao, Ma, Tschang-Ling, Haitang) [36:20]
Quarta scena (Frau Ma, Ma, Haitang, Tschao, Ein Polizist, Tschang-Ling) [1:02:51]

Tschang-Haitang: Renate Behle
Frau Tschang: Gabriele Schreckenbach
Ma: Roland Hermann
Tschao: Siegfried Lorenz
Mädchen: Celina Lindsley
Pao, Kaiser: Reiner Goldberg
Tong: Uwe Peter
Tschang-Ling: Hans Helm
Yü Pei, Frau Ma: Gertrud Ottenthal
Hebamme: Kaja Borris
Soldat: Gidon Saks
Erster Kuli: Warren Mok
Zweiter Kuli: Beng-Ola Morgny
Tschu-Tschu: Peter Matić

Radio-Symphonie-Orchester Berlin diretta da Stefan Soltesz.

Alexander Zemlinsky: Der Kreidekreis Atto III°

I. Preludio e Quinta Scena (Tschu-Tschum Zwei Kulis, Frau Ma, Hebamme, Haitang,Tschang-Ling, Kurier)
II. Zwischenspiel [24:21]
III. Sesta scena (1. & 2. Soldat, Haitang, Tschang-Ling) [25:35]
IV. Settima scena (Kaiser, Tschang-Ling, Tschu-Tschu, Haitang, Frau Ma, Tschao) [32:53]

15 October
In Leningrad the 27-year-old Dmitri Shostakovich performs the premiere of his energetic (and in places Romantic) Piano Concerto No. 1, scored with solo trumpet and strings. 

Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No.1 in C minor  for Piano, Trumpet and String Orchestra, Op.35

I. Allegretto (00:00)
II. Allegretto (06:08)
III. Moderato (14:09)
IV. Allegro con brio (16:03)

Martha Argerich, piano
Philip Smith, trumpet

New York Philharmonic
Mstislav Rostropovich, conductor, April, 2005

23 November
Krzysztof Penderecki is born in Debica, Poland.

Krzysztof Penderecki

Krzysztof Penderecki

Krzysztof Penderecki, (born November 23, 1933, Debica, Poland), outstanding Polish composer of his generation whose novel and masterful treatment of orchestration won worldwide acclaim.


Penderecki studied composition at the Superior School of Music in Kraków (graduated 1958) and subsequently became a professor there. He first drew attention in 1959 at the third Warsaw Festival of Contemporary Music, where his Strophes for soprano, speaker, and 10 instruments was performed. The following year was marked by the performances of both Anaklasis and the Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima for 52 strings. The Threnody illustrates Penderecki’s skilled and refined treatment of instruments, making use of quarter-tone clusters (close groupings of notes a quarter step apart), glissandi (slides), whistling harmonics (faint, eerie tones produced by partial string vibrations), and other extraordinary effects. The techniques used in Threnody were extended to his vocal work Dimensions in Time (1961) and his operas The Devils of Loudun (1968) and Paradise Lost (1978).

Penderecki’s Psalms of David (1958) and Stabat Mater (1962) reflect a simple, linear trend (letting interwoven melodic lines predominate and determine harmonies) in his composition. The Stabat Mater combines traditional and experimental elements and led to his other well-known masterpiece, the St. Luke Passion (1963–66). In form, the latter work resembles a Baroque passion, such as those by Johann Sebastian Bach, and Penderecki makes use of traditional forms such as the passacaglia (a variation form), a chantlike freedom of metre, and a 12-tone row (ordering of the 12 notes of the chromatic scale) based on the motif B♭-A-C-B (in German notation, B-A-C-H) in homage to Bach.

Penderecki’s Canon for 52 strings (1962) made use of polyphonic techniques (based on interwoven melodies) known to Renaissance composers. Yet he also made some use of the techniques of aleatory (chance) music, percussive vocal articulation, nontraditional musical notation, and other devices that stamped him as a leader of the European avant-garde. His later works include the two-part Utrenja (1969–71; Morning Prayer), Magnificat (1973–74), Polish Requiem (1980–2005), Cello Concerto No. 2 (1982; Grammy Award, 1998), the opera Ubu Rex (1990–91), and the choral work Phaedra (2002).

In addition to composing steadily, Penderecki taught composition and conducted. His collected essays, an interview, and other writings were published in Labyrinth of Time: Five Addresses for the End of the Millennium (1998). In 2004 he received the Japan Art Association’s Praemium Imperiale prize for music.


Penderecki - Psalmen Davids
für Chor und Schlagzeug ( 1958 )

Penderecki – Stabat Mater for three choirs divisi (1962)

From Levitas – Choral Masterworks (2000)
UCSB Chamber Choir
Michel Marc Gervais, Conductor

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

Die Teufel von Loudun - Penderecki (1969)
Director: Rolf Liebermann
Starring:  Cvetka Ahlin, Heinz Blankenburg,
Ursula Boese 

Krzysztof Penderecki - Paradise Lost (1978)

Adam: William Stone, baritono
Eve: Ellen Shade, soprano
Satan: Peter van Ginkel, baritono
Beelzebub: Michael Ballam, tenore
Moloch: William Powers, basso
Belial: Melvin Lowery, tenore
Mammon e 4th Voice of God: Edward Hulls, baritono
Death: Paul Esswood, controtenore
Sin: Joy Davidson, mezzosoprano
Zephon: Susan Brummel, soprano
Ithuriel: John Patrick Thomas, controtenore
Gabriel: James Schwisow, tenore
Raphael: Dale Terbeek, controtenore
Messias: Alan Opie, controtenore
Michael: Frank Little, tenore

Chicago Chorus and Orchestra - Bruno Bartoletti.
Atto I, parte 1 00:00
Atto I, parte 2 50:49
Atto II, parte 1 1:32:12
Atto II, parte 2 2:24:51



Alexander Glazunov, now living in Paris, composes his Saxophone Concerto (Op. 109).

 Glazunov, concerto pour saxophone op.109
La Philharmonie de Toulouse
Direction Stanislas de Monredon 
Soliste Maxime Bazerque

Paul Hindemith completes his symphony Mathis der Maler (Mathias the Painter), while continuing to work on an opera of the same name.

Paul Hindemith - Mathis der Maler [Matthias the Painter], symphony from the opera.
London Symphony Orchestra 
Conductor: Jascha Horenstein, 1972 

00:00 - I. Angelic Concert (inspired by painting for Isenheim Altar)
09:04 - II. Entombment (inspired by painting of interment of Jesus)
14:10 - III. Temptation of Saint Anthony

22 January
Dmitri Shostakovich’s second opera, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District (completed 1932), premieres in Leningrad. Critics declare it a masterpiece, but then radically change their minds two years later (see 1936). 

23 February
Sir Edward Elgar, England’s musical figurehead, dies in London, aged 76.


10 June
Bradford-born Frederick Delius dies at Grez-sur-Loing, aged 72.


15 July
Harrison Birtwistle is born in Accrington, Lancashire.

8 September
Composer Peter Maxwell Davies is born in Salford, Greater Manchester.

7 November
Sergei Rachmaninov performs his Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini under the baton of Stokowski in Baltimore. The work combines 24 variations on Paganini’s Caprice No. 24 into a three-movement form, with occasional references to the liturgical plainchant melody Dies Irae. Of the famously tuneful Variation No. 18 (based on an inversion of the original theme) the composer remarks, This one is for my agent’.

Rachmaninov  - Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Denis Matsuev (piano);
State Symphony Orchestra of Russia;
Conductor: Leonard Slatkin;
Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, Moscow, April 2, 2013 
0' 1. Sergei Rachmaninov: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op.43 
24' 2. Rachmaninoff Etude Tableau Op. 39 no 2

23 January 
La fiamma (The Flame) is an opera in three acts by Ottorino Respighi to a libretto by Claudio Guastalla based on Hans Wiers-Jenssen's 1908 play Anne Pedersdotter, The Witch.

Respighi - LA FIAMMA
Montserrat Caballé, Juan Pons, Martha Szirmay, Vera Baniewicz, Antonio Ordóñez, Maria Gallego
- José Collado, Barcelona, 1989

31 January  
Gustav HolstThe Wandering Scholar

The Wandering Scholar, Op.50 is a chamber opera in one act by the English composer Gustav Holst, composed 1929-30. The libretto, by Clifford Bax, is based on the book The Wandering Scholars by Helen Waddell.

The opera received its premiere at the David Lewis Theatre, Liverpool on 31 January 1934, but Holst did not hear the live performance because he was too ill to attend.

Gustav Holst - The Wandering Scholar, Op. 50
Conductor : Richard Hickox
Pierre, a scholar, tenor (Neill Archer)
Father Philippe, a priest, bass (Donald Maxwell)
Louis, a farmer, baritone (Alan Opie)
Alison, his wife, soprano (Ingrid Attrot)

30 November
Alban Maria Berg's Lulu Suite, comprising five pieces adapted from his unfinished opera, is introduced under Erich Kleiber in Berlin. Kleiber resigns his directorship of the Berlin Staatsoper the following month in protest against artistic censorship imposed by the Nazi regime.

Alban Berg - Lulu Suite 
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
-Conductor: Sir Simon Rattle
-Soprano: Arleen Auger

00:00 - I. Rondo (Andante & hymn)
14:50 - II. Ostinato (Allegro)
18:39 - III. Lied der Lulu [Lulu's song] (Comodo)
21:39 - IV. Variationen [Variations] (Moderato)
25:06 - V. Adagio (Sostenuto, lento, grave)

Harrison Birtwistle

Harrison Birtwistle

Sir Harrison Birtwistle, (born July 15, 1934, Accrington, Lancashire, Eng.), British composer.

He began as a clarinetist, shifting to composition in his 20s. He cofounded the Pierrot Players with Peter Maxwell Davies (1967) but felt limited by the group’s size. He concentrated on exploring large-scale time structures; his music’s form is controlled by complex cyclical principles that he declined to discuss. His works include the theatre pieces Punch and Judy (1966–67), The Mask of Orpheus (1973–86), and Gawain (1991), and the orchestral works The Triumph of Time (1972), Silbury Air (1977), and Secret Theatre (1984).



Harrison Birtwistle - Earth Dances (1986)

Ensemble Modern Orchestra
Pierre Boulez

Harrison Birtwistle – Deep Time
2017, Staatskapelle Berlin, Daniel Barenboim 

Harrison Birtwistle: Tragoedia (1965)

Ensemble Inter Contemporain diretto da Pierre Boulez.

Peter Maxwell Davies

Peter Maxwell Davies

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, (born September 8, 1934, Salford, near Manchester, England—died March 14, 2016, Sanday, Orkney Islands, Scotland), English composer, conductor, and teacher whose powerfully innovative music made him one of the most influential British composers of the 20th century.


Davies studied at the Royal Manchester College of Music (1952–56; now the Royal Northern College of Music), at the University of Manchester (1952–57), and then in Italy (1957–59) with composer Goffredo Petrassi. From 1959 to 1962 he taught music at the Cirencester Grammar School, Gloucestershire, England, where he developed teaching methods that enabled children to perform relatively complicated works of modern music. A scholarship enabled him to study with Roger Sessions at Princeton University, New Jersey, U.S., in 1962–64. Davies returned to England and in 1967 cofounded, with the composer Harrison Birtwistle, the Pierrot Players (renamed the Fires of London in 1970), a highly skilled ensemble dedicated to contemporary music. He often conducted this ensemble in Britain and abroad, and he wrote many works for it.

Davies’s exceptionally large output as a composer was marked by uncompromising innovation and a bold exploration of various musical forms. Especially striking in his early works was his borrowing of plainchant fragments and other materials from medieval and Renaissance music, which he incorporated into highly complex contrapuntal or serial compositions. Prolation for orchestra (1958) and Second Fantasia on John Taverner’s In Nomine (1964) exemplify the early compositions, which feature elements of musical parody and satire. Revelation and Fall (1965) and pieces of musical theatre such as Eight Songs for a Mad King (1969) mark his next stylistic period, in which disparate musical elements are combined to create histrionic effects of violence and emotional frenzy. The opera Taverner (1962–70; first performed 1972) summarized his evolving musical vocabulary in its 16th-century themes, complex rhythms, parodic elements, and expressionistic power. In the early 1970s Davies moved to Scotland’s Orkney Islands, where the austere landscapes and solitary working conditions shaped and influenced his music. His compositions of this third period—such as his Symphony No. 1 (1976), Symphony No. 2 (1980), and Sinfonia Concertante (1982)—are lyrical and reflective.

Davies was the founding artistic director (1977–86) of the annual St. Magnus Festival, which takes place in June on the Orkney Islands. A number of notable orchestras have performed at the festival, including the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as such musicians as André Previn, Isaac Stern, and Vladimir Ashkenazy. A number of his own works premiered there, including The Martyrdom of St. Magnus (1976; first performed 1977), a chamber opera in nine scenes based on a novel by George Mackay Brown; Cinderella (1979; first performed 1980), a pantomime opera in two acts for young performers; and Symphony No. 7 (2000). In the early 21st century the composer concentrated on chamber music, especially the cycle of 10 string quartets commissioned by the record label Naxos.


Peter Maxwell Davies: Sinfonia n.1 op. 71
(1973/1976) -- BBC Philharmonic diretta da Sir Peter Maxwell Davies
II. Lento - Allegro
III. Adagio
IV. Presto

Peter Maxwell Davies : Sinfonia n.6 op.176 (1996)
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra diretta da Sir Peter Maxwell Davies 

I. Adagio - Allegro
II. Adagio non troppo - Allegro
III. Aagio - Più animato

Peter Maxwell Davies - Symphony No.8 `Antartic' (2000)

Peter Maxwell Davies  - Symphony No. 10, 'Alla ricerca di Borromini'.

London Symphony Orchestra / Antonio Pappano

Peter Maxwell Davies: Eight Songs for a Mad King, testo di Randolph Stow e King George III (1969).

1. The Sentry (Tune: King Prussia's Minuet)
2. The Country Walk (La Promenade)
3. The Lady-in-Waithing (Miss Musgrave's Fancy)
4. To be sung on the Water (The Waterman)
5.  The Phantom Queen (He's ay a-kissing me)
6. The Counterfeit (La Contrefaite)
7. Country Dance  (Scotch Bonnett)
8. The Review (A Spanish March)

Julius Eastman, baritono
The Fires of London diretti da Sir Peter Maxwell Davies



16 January
Pietro MascagniNerone  

Nerone (Nero) is an opera in three acts by Pietro Mascagni from a libretto by Giovanni Targioni-Tozzetti, based on the play Nerone by Pietro Cossa. Most of Mascagni's music was drawn from a failed project Vistilia (from 1907) - the music made to 'fit' a wholly unconnected libretto.

It received its first performance on 16 January 1935 at La Scala, Milan which was conducted by Mascagni himself.

"Nerone" -  Pietro Mascagni

Nerone.................Mario Marchesi
Atte...................Madelyn Renée Monti
Egloge.................Adriana Damato
Menecrate..............Michele Porcelli
Nevio..................Leopoldo Lo Sciuto
Faonte.................Ruben Martinez
Epafrodito.............Pierluigi Dilengite
Eulogio................Ernesto Morillo
Vinicio................Carlo Riccioli
Rufo e Mucrone.........Cesidio Jacoboni
Icelo e Il Pastore.....Antonio Faieta
Petronio...............Stephan Poen
Babilio................Marco Grimaldi
Coro Lirico Sinfonico Romano
Orchestra Filarmonica di Roma
Támas Pál, conductor

8 April
Bela Bartok’s Fifth String Quartet is premiered in Washington D.C. by the Kolisch Quartet.

Béla Bartok: String Quartet No. 5 Sz. 102, BB 110 

 Shanghai Quartet

 Weigang Li, violin
 Yi-Wen Jiang, violin
 Honggang Li, viola
 Nicholas Tzavaras, cello

10 April
Adrian Boult directs the first performance of Vaughan Williams’s Fourth Symphony, in London. Despite its daring dissonances and angular melodies—untypical of the composer— the work is warmly received. I wrote as I felt,’ the composer remarks.

Ralph Vaughan Williams: Symphony No.4 in F minor

I. Allegro (00:00)
II. Andante moderato (08:17)
III. Scherzo: allegro molto (18:28)
IV. Finale con epilogo fugato: allegro molto (23:56)

Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Colin Davis, conductor

17 May
composer and critic Paul Dukas dies in Paris, aged 69.


24 June
Richard Strauss’s comic opera Die Schweigsame Frau (The Silent Woman), based on Ben Jonson’s play Epicoene, opens in Dresden. The production achieves just four performances before Nazi authorities ban the work, displeased with the involvement of the Jewish librettist Stefan Zweig.

30 September
George and Ira Gershwin’s African-American cast folk-opera Porgy and Bess opens in Boston. Infectious songs such as 'Summertime’,

It Ain’t Necessarily So’ and 'Oh, I Got Plenty of Nuthin” are not enough to seduce the critics unanimously, some finding the work lacking depth. Despite a 124-performance run, the production is not profitable. Commercial success follows six years later when dialogue replaces the recitative.

6 November
William Walton’s Symphony No. 1 receives its first complete performance in London. It seals the reputation of the 33-year-old composer.

William Walton: Symphony No. 1 in B-flat minor Ashkenazy, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Allegro assai - 14:17
Scherzo: Presto con malizia - 20:47
Andante con malinconia - 31:29
Maestoso - Allegro, brioso ed ardentemente - Vivacissimo - Maestoso

I December
French violinist Robert Soetans premieres Sergei Prokofiev’s lyrical Violin Concerto No. 2 in Madrid.

Sergei Prokofiev - Violin Concerto No. 2, op. 63 in G minor
01:11 I. Allegro moderato
12:29 II. Andante assai
22:31 III. Allegro, ben marcato

Janine Jansen (Violin)
Mark Elder (Conductor)
Radio Philharmonic Orchestra

29 May
Czech composer Joseph Suk dies in Benesov, near Prague, aged 61.


24 December
Alban Berg, aged 50, dies from blood poisoning caused by an infected insect bite (or sting). He leaves his opera Lulu unfinished.

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