World War II continues: British troops drive Italian forces out of Egypt and into Libya • British forces liberate Ethiopia from the Italians • British navy sinks Germany’s Bismarck • Operation Barbarossa: German armies (with Axis coalition, including Romania, Hungary, Italy and Finland) invade the USSR; Siege of Leningrad; Russian armies mounta counter-offensive • Japan begins a campaign of conquest: Japanese planes bomb Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, inflicting heavy damage on the US fleet; USA declares war on Axis Powers • Japanese forces capture the Philippines and Hong Kong • Bertolt Brecht (Ger): play Mother Courage and Her Children first staged, in Zurich • Film: Citizen Kane (Orson Welles). Music by Bernard Herrmann
World War II continues; Japanese forces invade Dutch East Indies and Burma, and Singapore surrenders • US troops block Japanese drive in naval battles of the Coral Sea and Midway • German troops drive the British out of Libya and back into Egypt • Germans besiege Leningrad (modern St Petersburg) and are trapped in a Russian counter-offensive • El Alamein: Germans under Rommel are defeated by Allies in Egypt • Nazis begin major period of mass-murder (mainly Jews, but also gypsies, homosexuals, religious and political opponents, the disabled and POWs) by gas chamber • US-led Manhattan Project begun to develop atomic bomb • Anne Frank (Ger), aged 13, begins her diary
World War II continues: America begins heavy air raids against Germany • Germans at Stalingrad surrender to the Russians, who then recapture considerable territory throughout the year • Valiant Jewish resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising crushed by Nazis • German/ltalian forces are defeated in North Africa and surrender • US and British troops invade Italian mainland; Italians depose Mussolini • Italy surrenders unconditionally and joins the war against Germany • In Yugoslavia, Communist resistance forces led by Josip Broz (‘Tito’) open an offensive against the Germans • A US fleet defeats a Japanese fleet in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea
World War II continues: US, British and allied forces land in Normandy; they liberate Antwerp, Brussels and Paris • French leader Charles de Gaulle sets up a provisional government in Paris • Allied forces land in southern France • Russians enter Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Hungary • An attempt by German officers to assassinate Hitler fails • Germans launch rocket-bomb (V-1 and V-2) attacks on Britain • Britain begins re-conquest of Burma • Dumbarton Oaks Conference (Washington D.C.): US, British and Russian delegates agree to set up the United Nations • Salvador Dali (Sp) paints Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee
World War II: Allies bomb Dresden • US, British and allied troops cross the Rhine River; Russian forces capture Warsaw, Cracow, Tilsit and Berlin • The Yalta Conference, also known as the Crimea Conference and code-named the Argonaut Conference, held from 4 to 11 February 1945, was the World War II meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union for the purpose of discussing Germany and Europe's postwar reorganization. • Mussolini assassinated by Italian partisans • Adolf Hitler commits suicide in the ruins of Berlin • Germany surrenders unconditionally; 8 May is declared VE (Victory in Europe) day • US drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan • Japan surrenders; World War II ends • Harry S. Truman takes up as 33rd US President following death of Franklin D. Roosevelt • Clement Attlee replaces Winston Churchill as UK prime minister • The United Nations Organisation comes into formal existence • George Orwell (Eng): Animal Farm
Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin.
The Yalta Conference, also known as the Crimea Conference and code-named the Argonaut Conference, held from 4 to 11 February 1945, was the World War II meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union for the purpose of discussing Germany and Europe's postwar reorganization. The three states were represented by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Premier Joseph Stalin, respectively. The conference convened near Yalta in Crimea, Soviet Union, within the Livadia, Yusupov, and Vorontsov Palaces.
The aim of the conference was to shape a post-war peace that represented not just a collective security order but a plan to give self-determination to the liberated peoples of post-Nazi Europe.
Benjamin Britten, in America, composes the Scottish Ballad for two pianos and orchestra.He is also awarded the Library of Congress Medal for services to chamber music. Next year he returns to England.
Britten - Scottish Ballad, op.26
Silivanova - Puryzhinskiy Piano duo,
International Youth Symphony Orchestra of the Taurida Capella, conductor - Mikhail Golikov.
Arthur Honegger, in Nazi-occupied Paris, composes his Symphony No. 2 for string orchestra.
Arthur Honegger - Symphony No. 2 for strings and trumpet
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Ondřej Vrabec - conductor, Rudolfinum, Prague, 2. 3. 2012.
Sergei Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances is introduced under Eugene Ormandy in Philadelphia.
Rachmaninov - Symphonic Dances op.45
00:00 1. Non allegro
11:20 2. Andante con moto (Tempo di valse)
20:51 3. Lento assai - Allegro vivace
St.Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
Olivier Messiaen and three fellow inmates premiere his Quartet for the End of Time in Hut 27B, Stalag VIII-A, Gorlitz. Scored for clarinet, violin, cello and piano, the eight-movement work is performed in freezing conditions before an audience of guards and several hundred prisoners. The composer is released a few weeks later.
Messiaen - Quartet for the End of Time
Round Top Music Festival, 2018 - Festival Concert Hall
Tomas Cotik, violin; Amitai Vardi, clarinet; Stephen Balderston, cello; Bernadene Blaha, piano
The Kolisch Quartet gives the first performance of Bela Bartok’s String Quartet No. 6 (1939), in New York.
Béla Bartok: String Quartet No.6
I. Mesto - Vivace
II. Mesto - Marcia
III. Mesto - Burletta
IV. Mesto - Molto tranquillo
Weigang Li, Violin
Yi-Wen Jiang, Violin
Honggang Li, Viola
Nicholas Tzavaras, Cello
Kurt Weill - Lady in the Dark.
Lady in the Dark is a musical with music by Kurt Weill, lyrics by Ira Gershwin and book and direction by Moss Hart. It was produced by Sam Harris. The protagonist, Liza Elliott, is the unhappy female editor of a fashion magazine, Allure, who is undergoing psychoanalysis. The musical ran on Broadway in January 23, 1941.
Kurt Weill - Lady in the Dark (1-5)
Adolph Green, Stephanie Augustine, Risë Stevens
Kurt Weill - Lady in the Dark (2-5)
Kurt Weill - Lady in the Dark (3-5)
Kurt Weill - Lady in the Dark (4-5)
Kurt Weill - Lady in the Dark (5-5)
Aaron Copland’s orchestral arrangement of Quiet City, originally conceived as incidental music to Irwin Shaw’s play (1939), is first heard in New York.
Quiet City - Aaron Copland
James Fountain, Trumpet
Amelia Coleman, Cor anglais
Eric Whitacre, Conductor
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Royal Albert Hall, London, 2015
Violinist Albert Spalding performs the public premiere of Samuel Barber’s Violin Concerto (1939) under Ormandy with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Samuel Barber - Violin Concerto, Op. 14
I. Allegro (00:00)
II. Andante (10:25)
III. Presto in moto perpetuo (19:11)
Gil Shaham, violin
David Robertson, conductor
BBC Symphony Orchestra
In Chicago Frederick Stock conducts William Walton’s Scapino overture, composed for the 50th anniversary of the city’s Symphony Orchestra.
William Walton: Scapino, A Comedy Overture
Philharmonia Orchestra diretta da William Walton (incisione 1951)
Benjamin Britten – Paul Bunyan
Paul Bunyan, Op 17, is an operetta in two acts and a prologue composed by Benjamin Britten to a libretto by W. H. Auden, designed for performance by semi-professional groups. It premiered at Columbia University on 5 May 1941, to largely negative reviews, and was withdrawn by the composer. Britten revised it somewhat in 1976 and subsequently it had numerous performances and two commercial recordings. The story is based on the folkloric American lumberjack, Paul Bunyan, with the music incorporating a variety of American styles, including folk songs, blues and hymns. The work is strongly sectional in nature, highly reminiscent of the 'Broadway musical' style of the period.
Benjamin Britten – Paul Bunyan
As the Nazis sweep across western Russia, Dmitri Shostakovich completes his patriotic Seventh Symphony for his besieged home city of Leningrad (formerly St Petersburg). The composer will later declare that the work ‘is not about Leningrad under siege—it’s about the Leningrad that Stalin destroyed and Hitler merely finished off.’
Dmitri Shostakovich - Symphony No. 7 "Leningrad"
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
- Conductor: Leonard Bernstein
- Year of recording: 1988
00:00:00 - I. [War]. Allegretto
00:31:49 - II. [Memories]. Moderato (poco allegretto)
00:46:41 - III. [My Native Field]. Adagio
01:06:05 - IV. [Victory]. Allegro non troppo
Sergei Prokofiev completes his Piano Sonata No. 7 during the Red Army’s defence of Stalingrad. It becomes the most celebrated of his ‘War Sonatas’ (Nos. 6-8) and wins him a Stalin Prize (second class) the following year.
Sergei Prokofiev - Piano Sonata No. 6 Opus 82 (1940)
for piano solo, the first of the Three War Sonatas
I. Allegro moderato 0:22
II. Allegretto 8:59
III. Tempo di valzer lentissimo 13:30
IV. Vivace 20:42
Yuja Wang, piano
Sergei Prokofiev - Piano Sonata No. 7 ("Stalingrad") in B♭ major, Op. 83, second of the Three War Sonatas.
Grigori Sokolov, 2002 (Live in Paris, France)
00:00 - 1. Allegro inquieto
09:23 - 2. Andante caloroso
17:40 - 3. Precipitato
Prokofiev - Piano Sonata No. 8 in B♭ major, Op. 8, written between 1939-1944.
Vladimir Ashkenazy, 1995
00:00 - I. Andante dolce
15:12 - II. Andante sognando
18:59 - III. Vivace
This sonata is the third of the Three War Sonatas. The work is in great contrast to its predecessor, Sonata No. 7 (Op. 83), despite the fact that both are in the key of B flat major.
John Cage’s three-minute Imaginary Landscape No. 3 is first performed at the Arts Club of Chicago. Scored for six players, instruments include an assortment of frequency oscillators, tin cans, muted gong, variable-speed turntables (playing frequency recordings), a buzzer, an amplified marimbula and an amplified coil of wire.
John Cage - Imaginary Landscape No. 3
Zoltán Kocsis · John Cage · Amadinda Percussion Group · Katalin Károlyi
Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony, Leningrad, is premiered in Kuybishev, becoming a symbol of resistance to the German invasion. A secret microfilm of the score is smuggled out to the West, with performances following in London and America this same year.
Bing Crosby records Irving Berlin’s White Christmas for Decca records. Released 30 July this year, it becomes the best-selling song of all time.
Irving Berlin - "White Christmas"
Registrazione live dal concerto del 15 dicembre 2011 a Pisa, Basilica di San Paolo a Ripa d'Arno.
Coro dell'Università di Pisa
Orchestra dell'Università di Pisa
Organo: Chiara Mariani
Dirige: Stefano Barandoni
Aaron Copland’s ballet Rodeo (or The Courting at Burnt Ranch), commissioned and danced by the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, is performed for the first time, in New York.
Aaron Copland - Rodeo
00:00 1. Buckaroo Holiday
08:11 2. Corral Nocturne
15:35 3. Saturday Night Waltz
21:03 4. Hoe-Down
Conductor: Zubin Mehta
Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, 2011
Richard Strauss’s one-act Capriccio premieres in Munich. Set in a chateau outside Paris in 1775, the work presents an allegorical consideration of whether words or music are more important in opera; there is neither action nor characterisation. The composer’s so-called ‘conversation piece’ is his 15th and final opera.