‘A Man to Evoke Respect and Love Under All Conditions’

From his 1899 book FAMOUS VIOLINISTS OF TO-DAY AND YESTERDAY, HENRY C. LAHEE offers a balanced profile of Norway's violin virtuoso OLE BULL, replete with musical excerpts.
by David McGee
 

 
 

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
 

 

 

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
 

 
 

A Day With Robert Schumann

IN this month's PLEASURES OF MUSIC, an 1884 report by May Byron on A DAY WITH ROBERT SCHUMANN. In this account, the author chronicles a day spent with the arch-Romantic composer, which includes some vivid scenes with Schumann's...
by David McGee
 

 

 

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
 

 
 

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
 

 

 

‘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
 

 
 

Frédéric Chopin: ‘Sublimity Through Sweet Sounds’

From his turn-of-the-20th-century travels, ELBERT HUBBARD chronicles a visit to the home of composer Frédéric Chopin and uncovers a link to American novelist STEPHEN CRANE.
by David McGee
 

 

 

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
 

 
 

Caruso on The Art of Singing

ENRICO CARUSO holds forth on the ART OF SINGING in an excerpt from a 1909 collection of h is public utterances on his art. The wealth of embedded videos include the 1918 silent film MY COUSIN, featuring the great singer in a du...
by David McGee
 

 

 

The Fisk Jubilee Singers: Working On a Building

In 1871 the JUBILEE SINGERS of Nashville toured the northern states in hopes of raising funds to build a college. Bucking daunting odds against them, they succeeded and made Fisk University possible.
by David McGee
 

 
 

Music a Remedy

In his monumental ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLY, published in 1621, ROBERT BURTON argued for, among other things, music as a remedy for melancholy. It might work.
by David McGee