music

The Inglourious Death of Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

The Inglourious Death of Jean-Baptiste Lully, Composer

Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687) On January 8, 1687, French ballet dancer and composer Jean-Baptiste Lully struck his foot with his long conducting staff during a performance of his Te Deum. Because he refused to treat the wound, it got infected and he died from gangrene soon after. Besides this inglourious way of death, Lully is considered the chief master of the French baroque style, who stripped of all Italian influences from French music of…
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Antonio Stradivari and his famous Strings

Antonio Stradivari and his famous Strings

Illustration of Antonio Stradivari On December 18, 1737, famous Italian violin maker Antonio Stradivari passed away. Besides violins Stradivari also crafted cellos, guitars, violas, and harps. He is generally considered the most significant and greatest artisan in this field. There is only little known of Stradivari’s early life, but his oldest surviving violin was presumably from 1666. It is assumed that he began apprenticeship with Nicolo Amati at the age of about 12 years. Amati…
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Giuseppe Verdi – Master of the Opera

Giuseppe Verdi – Master of the Opera

Giuseppe Verdi (1813 – 1901) Image by Giovanni Boldini On October 9 or 10, 1813, famous Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi was born. He is primarily known for his romantic operas, and together with Richard Wagner, Verdi is considered the most influential composer of operas of the nineteenth century. The future musician moved to Bosetto with his family very early in his life, where he also got taught in composition. In his early 20s,…
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Camille Saint-Saëns – a Musical Renaissance Man

Camille Saint-Saëns – a Musical Renaissance Man

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 – 1921) On October 9, 1835, French composer, organist, conductor, and pianist of the Romantic era Camille Saint-Saëns was born. He was something of an anomaly among French composers of the nineteenth century in that he wrote in virtually all genres, including opera, symphonies, concertos, songs, sacred and secular choral music, solo piano, and chamber music. Moreover, his interests also exceeded the musical genre as being an expert in…
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Johann Pachelbel – the Baroque One Hit Wonder

Johann Pachelbel – the Baroque One Hit Wonder

Extract from Johann Pachelberg’s work“Wenn mein Stündlein vorhanden” On September 1, 1653, German Baroque composer, organist and teacher Johann Pachelbel was born. It was Pachelbel, who brought the south German organ tradition to its peak. He composed a large body of sacred and secular music, and his contributions to the development of the chorale prelude and fugue have earned him a place among the most important composers of the middle Baroque era.…
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Black Vinyl at 33⅓ RPM

Black Vinyl at 33⅓ RPM

Neumann Record Cutting MachineImage: JacoTen On June 21, 1948, Columbia Records introduced the long-playing record album, in short the LP, in a public demonstration at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, New York, which soon was adopted as a new standard by the entire record industry. Apart from relatively minor refinements and the important later addition of stereophonic sound capability, it has remained the standard format for vinyl “albums”. To take a…
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Carl Bechstein and his famous Pianos

Carl Bechstein and his famous Pianos

On June 1, 1826, Carl Bechstein was born, who became widely known for his German piano manufacture. His pianos met the demands mostly of Romantic Era musicians such as Franz Liszt or Hans von Bülow at first, which made the company famous globally. Carl Bechstein was the stepson of the teacher, cantor and plant breeder Johann Michael Aght. At the age of 14, Carl Bechstein was apprenticed at a piano manufacturer in…
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Richard Wagner – Genius and Megalomania

Richard Wagner – Genius and Megalomania

On May 22, 1813, German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor Richard Wagner was born. His compositions, particularly those of his later period, are notable for their complex textures, rich harmonies and orchestration. His music is characterized by elaborate use of leitmotifs, i.e. musical phrases associated with individual characters, places, ideas or plot elements. His advances in musical language greatly influenced the development of classical music and made way to modern music. And…
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Felix Mendelssohn – Child Prodigy of the Romantic Era

Felix Mendelssohn – Child Prodigy of the Romantic Era

Felix Mendelssohn 1809 – 1847 On November 4, 1847, the German composer, pianist, and organist of the Romantic era Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy passed away. Felix Mendelssohn was born in 1809 to a family of intellectuals, who tried to give their children as much educational support as possible. Even though his parents first hesitated to letting their son begin a musical career, they noticed his huge talent. Due to his parent’s social status,…
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