mendelssohn-spotlight

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
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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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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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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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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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‘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
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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
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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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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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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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Morgan Kingston: ‘I believe strongly that a singer cannot adequately express the beautiful and pure in music while cherishing at the same time a bad heart and a mean nature behind it. Singing is such a personal thing, that one's mentality, one's inner nature, is bound to reveal itself.’

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
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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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