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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
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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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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
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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
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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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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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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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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
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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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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
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