prokofiev-pleasures-of-music-spotlight-880x385

Prokofiev, Conflicted: Great Composer or Great Compromiser?

SERGEI PROKOFIEV was a great composer, but was he also a great compromiser when it came to bowing to the demands of the Soviet regime, which viewed him as a threat to the people?
by David McGee
-

 
 
heinrich-heine-1-260x152-1371528779

The Paris of Berlioz and Liszt

Writing in 1837, acclaimed German poet HEINRICH HEINE filed a report on 'the two most remarkable phenomena in the contemporary musical world,' i.e., BERLIOZ and LISZT.
by David McGee
-

 

 
pauline-viardot-featured

The ‘Superhuman’ Voice of Pauline Viardot

Pauline Garcia Viardot (1821-1910) was one of the 19th century’s most versatile and influential opera stars. In his book 'Musical Memories,' CAMILLE SAINT-SAENS provides the most in-depth profile extant of Mme. Viardot.
by David McGee
-

 
 
mendelssohn-featured

Mendelssohn’s ‘Hymn of Praise’

GEORGE P. UPTON examines the life of FELIX MENDELSSOHN and the story behind the great composer's Symphony No. 2 ('Hymn of Praise').
by David McGee
-

 

 
ravel12-880x385-1394067475

Contemporary Music

During a four-month concert tour of America in 1928, composer MAURICE RAVEL delivered a then-controversial lecture urging American classical musicians to incorporate African-American music into their compositions. Ahead of his ...
by David McGee
-

 
 
grainger2-880x385

‘Unaccountably Odd’

'Unaccountably Odd': a musical and sexual adventurer, possibly a racist, and a composer ahead of his time, PERCY GRAINGER led a most unusual life, and now lives on in a new album by the BILDER DUO. A reconsideration is in order.
by David McGee
-

 

 
rossini1-290x170

Rossini on Rossini, Byron on Rossini

From his 1886 book From Mozart to Marvio V1: Reminiscences of a Half Century, Louis Engel discloses the composer Giochino Rossini's slightly jaundiced view of his own legacy; in correspondence to two friends in 1818, Lord Byron...
by David McGee
-

 
 
Claudio Monteverdi (15 May 1567-29 November 1643): ‘I found as subject for my music the two contrary passions of battle and prayer on the point of death.’

The Passionate Style

Italian composer, gambist, and singer Claudio Giovanni Monteverdi is often regarded as revolutionary in that his work marked the transition from the Renaissance style of music to that of the Baroque period. He developed two ind...
by David McGee
-

 

 
amy-beach-featured-260x152-1374616946

The Women Composers

In 'The Women Composers,' from his book Contemporary American Composers, published in 1900, RUPERT HUGHES, M.A. makes the case for women composers being the equal of male composers as the 20th century dawned. Featuring AMY BEAC...
by David McGee
-

 
 
The Strange Adventures and Alluring Music of Alessandro Stradella

The Strange Adventures and Alluring Music of Alessandro Stradella

An exhaustive appreciation of Alessandro Stradella, one of the most enigmatic, colorful and gifted composers of the 17th Century, from whom Handel borrowed for Israel in Egypt and whose amorous inclinations led to his assassina...
by David McGee
-

 

 
beethoven-pleasures-music-spotlight-880x385-1380641358

Beethoven’s Day

Composer RICHARD WAGNER was always quick to dash off polemics on various subjects. He first wrote about BEETHOVEN in 1840, and returned to interpret the master's C-Sharp Minor String Quartet in 1870 during the Beethoven Centena...
by David McGee
-

 
 
chopin-pleasures-of-music-spotlight-880x385-1368494111

Chopin a National Poet

FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN a National Poet? FRANZ LISZT thought so, and explained why in an 1852 essay that begat a biography of the great Romantic composer.
by David McGee
-