music

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

Carl Bechstein (1826 – 1900) 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. At the age of 14, Carl Bechstein was apprenticed at a piano manufacturer in Erfurt and continued this career in Dresden. In later years,…
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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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Franz Liszt – Rockstar of the 19th Century

Franz Liszt – Rockstar of the 19th Century

Franz Liszt (1811 – 1886) On October 22, 1811, famous Hungarian piano player, composer and conductor Franz Liszt was born. During the nineteenth century Liszt was renowned for his extreme virtuosic skill as a pianist. According to his contemporaries he was the most technically advanced pianist of his age and by the 1840s he was considered by some to be perhaps the greatest pianist of all time. Liszt was born in 1811…
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Mozart’s Famous Masonic Opera – The Magic Flute

Mozart’s Famous Masonic Opera – The Magic Flute

The arrival of the Queen of the Night. Stage set by Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781–1841) for an 1815 production Opera is not for everybody, but there are iconic pieces that have become a cultural heritage for all mankind and that are well known all over the globe. Thus, everybody knows Mozart, and if you ask people, what piece of Mozart they know best, then most times you will hear the answer ‘Die…
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Mozart Got Married

Mozart Got Married

Constanze Mozart, wife of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, at 78 years of age, pictured front left in black 2 years before her death (1840) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the finest composers the world has ever known, had two great loves in his life: the first was music; and the second one was Constanze Weber, whom he married in Vienna on August 4, 1782. She was 20, he was 26. It was in September 1777…
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Rocking the Baroque – Johann Sebastian Bach

Rocking the Baroque – Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (aged 61) in a portrait by Elias Gottlob Haussmann (1746) On this day in 1750 one of the most important and productive composers of the Baroque period, Johann Sebastian Bach died. Bach’s abilities as an organist were highly respected throughout Europe during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest and performances of his music in the first half of…
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