mozart-featured

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
-

 
 
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
-

 

 
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
-

 
 
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
-

 

 
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
-

 
 
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
-

 

 
chopin-spotlight-880x385-1390231120

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
-

 
 
ole-bull-featured

‘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
-

 

 
fisk-jubilee-singers-spotlight

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
-

 
 
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
-

 

 
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
-

 
 
robert-clara-schumann-spotlight-880x385

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
-