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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
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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
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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
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Mozart’s ‘Requiem’

'Requiem,' Mozart's final masterpiece, was written in late 1791, while the composer lay dying. In 1893 George P. Upton published this detailed account of the composition's creation.
by David McGee
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Elbert Hubbard’s Mozart

ELBERT HUBBARD--writer, publisher,artist and philosopher--was about as interesting a character as the famous people he wrote about. His 1901 prose portrait of MOZART is unlike any other account of the great composer's life and ...
by David McGee
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‘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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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