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Picturing Home: Braga Santos’ Lisboa Overture
Joly Braga Santos (1924-1988) brought Portugal into the full orchestral world of the 20th century. A student of Luís de Freitas Branco, he used his teacher’s symphonies as the springboard for his own orchestral explorations. As he looked at modern
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The Unheard Serenade: Wolf’s Sérénade italienne
The Austrian composer Hugo Wolf (1860-1903) was a superb song composer, bringing the late Romantic lied into the modern age and, with it, imbuing the lied with a new conciseness that was more a hallmark of Schoenberg’s Second Viennese School.
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Further Study: Saint-Saëns’ Étude en forme de valse
Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) made his piano recital debut at age 10, audaciously telling the audience that he would perform any one of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas as an encore. Liszt considered him as the greatest organist on earth. Over some
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New from Old: Taneyev’s Prelude and Fugue, Op. 29
When we think of the pairing of ‘Prelude and Fugue’ our mind first casts itself back to the early 18th century and Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier. What if it’s 200 years later? It’s the Post-Romantic early 20th century and you can’t
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The Bright Southern Lands: Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony
There is something so undeniably cheerful about the first movement of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4. It just sweeps you up and makes you look around and admire the glory and beauty of Italy. For Germans from the cold north, and,
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The Weeping Mother – Boccherini’s Stabat Mater
Jacopo da Todi’s meditation on the emotions of Mary at the crucifixion of her son have inspired composers for centuries. The Stabat Mater, written in the 13th century, has been set by composers from the 15th century to the 21st,
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Watching the Caravan: Borodine’s In the Steppes of Central Asia
Alexander Borodin (1833-1887) followed Balakirev and became a member of The Five, that group of up- and-coming young composers who set out to create a true Russian music. Holding down a day job as professor of chemistry, he was a
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The Temperate Virtuoso – Wieniawski’s Polonaise Brillante No. 2
Polish-born composer and virtuoso violist Henryk Wieniawski (1835-1880) made his name early as a violinist and was an exceptional student at the Paris Conservatoire for two reasons. The first is that he wasn’t French and the second was that he
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