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
 

 
 

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
 

 

 

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
 

 
 

‘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
 

 

 

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
 

 
 

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
 

 

 

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
 

 
 

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
 

 

 

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 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
 

 

 

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
 

 
 

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