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
 

 
 

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
 

 

 

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
 

 
 

A Day With Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy

Ever wonder what it would have been like to spend a day with, say, Felix Mendelssoh? Especially a day when Robert Schumann shows up? George Sampson did just that, and set down the experience for posterity.
by David McGee
 

 

 

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
 

 
 

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
 

 

 

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
 

 
 

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
 

 

 

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
 

 
 

The Spiritual Side Of The Singer’s Art

An interview with opera singer MORGAN KINGSTON, circa 1917, in which he holds forth on 'The Spiritual Side of the Singer's Art'
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
 

 
 

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