King George of Britain dies; is succeeded by his eldest son, Edward VIII, Edward soon abdicates and is succeeded by his brother, George VI • Italy annexes Ethiopia • In Spain, the left-wing Popular Front wins elections; a right-wing army revolt led by Emilio Mola and Francisco Franco starts a bloody civil war • Dictators Adolf Hitler (Ger) and Benito Mussolini (It)proclaim a Berlin-Rome ‘Axis’ (alliance) • A regular public television service begins in Britain • Track and field athlete Jesse Owens (US) wins four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics • Georgia O’Keeffe (US) paints Summer Days • Margaret Mitchell (US): Gone With the Wind • Dylan Thomas (Wal): Twenty-Five Poems
In the Spanish Civil War, Germany and Italy give open military support to forces led by General Franco; the City of Guernica is bombed; Almeria is shelled; the Spanish Republic government withdraws to Barcelona • France and Britain adopt a policy of appeasement towards Axis powers (Germany and Italy) • Japanese invade China, beginning an eight-year war • The film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Walt Disney) is released • Salvador Dali (Sp) paints Sleep • Pablo Picasso (Sp) paints Guernica • Ernest Plemingway (US): To Have and Have Not • John Steinbeck (US): Of Mice and Men • George Orwell (Eng): The Road to Wigan Pier
German Fuhrer (leader) Adolf Hitler assumes command of Germany’s armed forces • Germany invades Austria • Demands for autonomy by Germans in Sudentenland causes a crisis in Czechoslovakia • Munich Pact: Germany, Britain, France and Italy agree, without consulting the Czechs, to a German occupation of the Sudetenland; Czech PresidentEdouard Benes resigns • Czechs cede Teschen to Poland and southern Slovakia to Hungary • Kristallnacht: Nazi anti-Jewish pogrom • Georg Biro (Hung) introduces the ballpoint pen • Superman comic strip introduced in the USA • Salvador Dali (Sp) paints Espaha • Graham Greene (Eng): Brighton Rock
The Spanish Civil War ends with victory for Francisco Franco • Spain leaves the League of Nations • German troops complete their occupation of Czechoslovakia • The USSR and Germany sign a non-aggression pact • German troops invade Poland; Britain and France declare war on Germany • Soviet forces invade Poland which is divided between Germany and the USSR • Russian armies invade Finland • Physicists Otto Fiahn (Ger) and Fritz Strassmann (Ger) achieve nuclear fission • Film: Gone With the Wind • Frida Kahlo (Mex) paints The Two Fridas • DC Comics (US) introduce Batman • John Steinbeck (US): The Grapes of Wrath • James Joyce (Ire): Finnegans Wake
World War II continues: Germany invades Norway and Denmark • N. Chamberlain resigns as British Prime Minister; succeeded by Winston Churchill • German armies over-run Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, and invade France • British forces evacuated form Dunkirk • Italy enters the war on Germany’s side • French conclude an armistice with Germany; the southern part of France, ruled from Vichy, remains independent; Germans occupy the rest • The Battle of Britain’: major British air-victory thwarts German plans for invasion • Italy invades Greece • The Russo-Finnish War ends with Soviet victory • Film: Disney’s Pinocchio, Fantasia • E. Hemingway (US): For Whom the Bell Tolls
Walter Elias Disney (December 5, 1901 – December 15, 1966) was an American entrepreneur, animator, voice actor, and film producer. He was a pioneer of the American animation industry who introduced several developments in the production of cartoons. Disney holds the record for most Academy Awards earned by an individual film producer, having won 22 Oscars from 59 nominations. He was presented with two Golden Globe Special Achievement Awards and an Emmy Award, among other honors. Several of his films are included in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
Disney set up the Disney Brothers Studio with his brother Roy. His first major success was the character Mickey Mouse, which he developed in 1928 with Ub Iwerks.The results can be seen in features such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Pinocchio (1940), Fantasia (1940), Dumbo (1941), and Bambi (1942), which all furthered the development of animated film. New animated and live-action films followed after World War II, including the critically successful Cinderella (1950) and Mary Poppins (1964), which received five Academy Awards.
Sergei Prokofiev completes his ballet Romeo and Juliet and extracts from it the first of three orchestral suites. This year he returns with his family to live in the Soviet Union.
Sergei Prokofiev - Romeo and Juliet, Op 64
Symphonic Orchestra of State Academic Bolshoi Theatre
Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, 1959
Prokofiev - Romeo & Juliet
M. Loudières (Juliet), M. Legris (Romeo).
Choreogr. Rudolf Nureyev
Orchestre de l`opera de Paris, dir. Vello Pähn
George Enescu – Œdipe, op. 23, completed by 1931, based on the mythological tale of Oedipus, and set to a French libretto by Edmond Fleg.
Oedipe - Tragédie Lyrique En 4 Actes Et 6 Tableaux Op.23
Lawrence Foster - Laurence Albert - Brigitte Fassbaender, 1990
On the day following the death of King George V of England, Paul Hindemith composes Trauermusik (Funeral music) for viola and string orchestra, completed in just over five hours. BBC radio broadcasts the poignant eight-minute work the next day, with Hindemith performing the solo viola part.
Hindemith: Trauermusik, per viola e orchestra d'archi
Paul Hindemith, viola
The RCA Victor Orchestra diretta da Bruno Reibold
Almost certainly on Stalins orders, Pravda newspaper publishes a hostile attack on Shostakovich’s opera Lady Macbeth (1932), accusing the composer of writing degenerate, ‘formalist’ music, contrary to the true spirit of the Russian people. The paper warns that unless the composer changes his ways, ‘things ... may end very badly’. Shostakovich withdraws his Fourth Symphony before its premiere, fearing disastrous consequences. It remains unperformed for 25 years.
Shostakovich : Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Op.43
Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra Conducted by Kirill Kondrashin
I. Allegro poco moderato 00:00
II. Moderato con moto 23:20
III. Largo. Allegro 34:03
Sergei Prokofiev’s didactic symphonic fairytale Peter and the Wolf, written for orchestra and narrator, is introduced at a children’s concert in Moscow. Prokofiev finds its reception disappointing.
Sergei Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf
The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra's music director Bramwell Tovey
Minimalist composer Stephen (Steve) Reich is born in New York.
Edgard Varese's Densite 21.5 for solo platinum flute is first performed at the Carnegie Hall, New York. The title derives from the density of platinum: 21.5 grammes per cubic centimetre.
Varèse - Density 21.5
Laura Pou, flute
Sergei Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 3, completed almost 30 years after No. 2, receives its first performance under Stokowski with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Rachmaninoff: Symphony No.3 in A minor, Op.44
Saint Petersburg Academic Symphony Orchestra
Neeme Järvi, conductor, 2005
Samuel Barber’s muscular Symphony No. 1 is premiered in Rome. The 26-year-old composer is currently fulfilling his residency as winner of the American Prix de Rome.
Barber - Symphony No. 1
Steve Reich, byname of Stephen Michael Reich, (born October 3, 1936, New York, New York, U.S.), American composer who was one of the leading exponents of minimalism, a style based on repetitions and combinations of simple motifs and harmonies.
Reich was the son of an attorney and a singer-lyricist. He majored in philosophy at Cornell University (1953–57) and then studied composition at the Juilliard School (formerly the Juilliard School of Music) before receiving a master’s degree from Mills College (1963), where his teachers included composers Darius Milhaud and Luciano Berio. Reich also played keyboard instruments and percussion. By 1966, when he formed his own ensemble, he was already creating minimalist compositions.
Like the works of fellow minimalist Philip Glass, Reich’s compositions rejected the characteristic complexity of mid-20th-century classical harmony and tonality in order to make large-scale works from minimal materials—a single chord, a brief musical motif, a spoken exclamation—which are repeated at length, with small variations introduced very slowly. Early experiments with tape loops, documented in It’s Gonna Rain (1965) and Come Out (1966), allowed Reich to observe interlocking rhythmic patterns that he would later reproduce compositionally; some of his works even combined both live and taped performers. Reich drew additional inspiration from American vernacular music, especially jazz, as well as ethnic and ancient musics; he studied African drumming in Ghana (1970), Balinese gamelan music in Seattle and Berkeley, California (1973–74), and Middle Eastern chanting in New York City and Jerusalem (1976–77).
Reich’s early works include Four Organs (1970), for four electric organs and maracas; Drumming (1971), for small tuned drums, marimbas, glockenspiels, two voices, whistling, and piccolo; and Clapping Music (1972), for two pairs of clapping hands. Gradually he began to score for larger ensembles, and in 1976 he completed Music for 18 Musicians, a piece structured around a cycle of 11 vibrantly pulsing chords that is perhaps his best-known composition. Tehillim (1981) marked Reich’s first setting of a text—the Psalms, sung in Hebrew—and he followed it with The Desert Music (1984), a setting of a William Carlos Williams poem scored for 106 musicians.
For Different Trains (1988), Reich integrated fragments of audio recordings pertaining to rail travel, including the reminiscences of Holocaust survivors, with a string quartet that mimicked both the rhythm of a train and the natural musicality of the voices on tape. The piece, as performed by the Kronos Quartet, won a Grammy Award for best contemporary composition in 1989. Reich later collaborated with his wife, video artist Beryl Korot, on two multimedia operas: The Cave (1993), which explores the shared religious heritage of Jews and Muslims, and Three Tales (2002), a reflection on 20th-century technology. His composition Double Sextet (2007), arranged either for 12 musicians or for 6 playing against a recording of themselves, won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Music. In commemoration of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center, Reich composed WTC 9/11: For Three String Quartets and Pre-recorded Voices (2010), incorporating recordings of emergency personnel and New York residents that had been made on the day of the tragedy. For his contribution to the development of music as a whole, he received the Japan Art Association’s Praemium Imperiale prize in 2006.
Steve Reich - "Music for 18 Musicians"
Tim Munro, flutes (piano and marimba for this performance)
Michael J. Maccaferri, clarinets
Matt Albert, violin
Nicholas Photinos, cello
Matthew Duvall, percussion
Lisa Kaplan, piano
Third Coast Percussion
Owen Clayton Condon, percussion
Robert Dillon, percussion
Peter Martin, percussion
David Skidmore, percussion
Todd Meehan, percussion
Doug Perkins, percussion
Sunshine Simmons, clarinets
Adam Marks, piano
Amy Briggs, piano
Amy Conn, soprano
Kirsten Hedegaard, soprano
Susan Nelson, soprano
Nina Heebinck, mezzo soprano
Steve Reich - Electric Counterpoint, 1987
STEVE REICH: VARIATIONS FOR WINDS, STRINGS, KEYBOARDS
Complete recording by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Edo De Waart in 1983
Sextet - Steve Reich
Performed by Yale Percussion Group
Jonny Allen - Garrett Arney - Doug Perry -
Terry Sweeney - Georgi Videnov - Mari Yoshinaga
Bela Bartok's Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta is premiered under Paul Sacher in Basel. Commissioned by Sacher and the Basel Chamber Ensemble, it will become one of the most often studied works of the 20th century.
Bela Bartok - Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta
Texas Festival Chamber Orchestra
Linus Lerner, conductor
Ottorino Respighi - Lucrezia
Lucrezia is an opera in one act and three tableaux by Ottorino Respighi to a libretto by Claudio Guastalla, after Livy and William Shakespeare's The Rape of Lucrece. Respighi died before finishing the work, which was therefore completed by the wife of the composer, Elsa Respighi, and by one of his pupils, Ennio Porrino. Lucrezia premiered on 24 February 1937 at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan
Ottorino Respighi - LUCREZIA
Lucrezia: Anna de Cavalieri,
La Voce: Oralia Dominguez,
Collatino: Renzo Casellato,
Sesto Tarquino: Giulio Fioravanti
Orchestra e Coro del Teatro la Fenice, Direttore Ettore Gracis - Venezia, 12 gennaio 1961
Arthur Honegger & Jacques Ibert - L'Aiglon,
drame lyrique en cinq actes d’après la pièce d’Edmond Rostand (1900), adaptée par Henri Cain.
00:00 - Acte I - composée par Jacques Ibert
25:40 - Acte II - composée par Arthur Honegger
40:06 - Acte III - composée par Arthur Honegger et Jacques Ibert
1:05:59 - Acte IV - composée par Arthur Honegger
1:19:32 - Acte V - composée par Jacques Ibert.
Anne-Catherine Gillet - L’Aiglon
Marc Barrard - Flambeau
Étienne Dupuis - Metternich
Philippe Sly - Marmont
Pascal Charbonneau - L’attaché militaire
Isaiah Bell - Gentz
Tyler Duncan - Prokesch
Jean-Michel Richer - Sedlinsky
Hélène Guilmette - Thérèse de Lorget
Marie-Nicole Lemieux - Marie-Louise
Julie Boulianne - Fanny Elssler
Kimy McLaren - Comtesse Camerata
Choeur & Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal
Kent Nagano, 2015
Arthur Honegger and Jacques Ibert – L'Aiglon
L'Aiglon is an opera (drame musical) in five acts composed by Arthur Honegger and Jacques Ibert. Honegger composed Acts II, III, and IV, with Ibert composing Acts I and V.
Tuberculosis and heavy smoking send Polish composer Karol Szymanowski to the grave in Lausanne, aged 54.
Gian Carlo Menotti – Amelia Goes to the Ball.
Amelia al ballo (Amelia Goes to the Ball) is a one-act opera buffa by Gian Carlo Menotti, who set his own Italian libretto. Composed during 1936 when Menotti was in his mid-twenties/
Amelia Goes to the Ball - Part one
Amelia Goes to the Ball - Gian Carlo Menotti, Nov. 2014 - San Diego State University School of Music Opera Theatre and SDSU School of Music Orchestra - Stage Directed, Designed, and Produced by M. Ayres
Amelia Goes to the Ball - Part two
Amelia Goes to the Ball - Part three
Alban Berg’s unfinished opera Lulu is posthumously premiered at the Municipal Theater in Zurich. The complete opera will not be performed until 1979 owing to an embargo implemented by Berg’s widow on the incomplete third act.