Portrait of Italian opera composer Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi by Giovanni Boldini
Music Appreciation

Music History Monday: A Magnificent Fiasco!

“I have to tell you that there was never a success in Venice like that of La Traviata. There was an uproar of indescribable applause, and even [the producer] Antonio Gallo had to take a curtain call from his place in the audience – a novelty, but that is what really happened.” […]

Engraving from a portrait of German violinist Johann Peter Salomon
Music Appreciation

Music History Monday: Movers and Shakers

Unbidden and unannounced, he showed up at Haydn’s house, knocked on the door, and introduced himself with these words: “I am Salomon of London and have come to fetch you. Tomorrow we will arrange an accord.” […]

Portrait of Arnold Shoenberg by Egon Shiele
Music Appreciation

Music History Monday: Can’t We Be Friends?

Given the fear and loathing the name “Arnold Schoenberg” continues to inspire 66 years after his death you’d think he was some sort of Nosferatu-like monster who shot puppies for sport and refused to recycle. […]

Music History Monday Johann Joachim Quantz
Arts

Music History Monday: The Best Gig in the World!

You want to talk about breaking a father’s heart? On his deathbed, Johann Joachim Quantz’ blacksmith father begged his 10 year-old son to follow him in the family trade. It didn’t happen, as J.J.’s extraordinary promise as a musician was already apparent. […]

image of Dmitri Shostakovich
Music Appreciation

Music History Monday: Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich

He wrote a symphony (No. 13) that acknowledged the Holocaust at a time when official Soviet doctrine did not. He wrote an opera that almost got him killed; at other times he kissed the collective (and hairy?) derrieres of the Politburo whenever it was necessary, toed the party line, and publicly said what he was told to say… […]

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