759 Posts
Rescuing Something from the Wreckage
Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini and Roman Carnival Overture
Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) was a master of orchestration and his 1844 book on the subject was the standard not for years, but for decades after his death. He lived his life with his heart on his sleeve and works such
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Are We Really Obsessed With Quality
Let’s address one of the elephants in the music room; do we really recognise and pay attention to quality nowadays? Do we even understand what it is? How many of us can recognise high from low levels of quality? How
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Sending Sounds: Phonopostal, Fonopost, and PathéPost
More poking around the Gallica site and we happened on a section that deals with sound that can be sent – but using the post instead of the internet. One of the early inventions for communicating via sound was the
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Adventures With Our Instruments
What the audience doesn’t know behind the scenes typically won’t hurt their enjoyment of a performance. But these recent mishaps chill a performer’s bones even if in retrospect we like recounting these stories! A dear friend of mine, award-winning actress,
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Frances Gershwin: George Gershwin’s Famous Singing Sister
Say the phrase “the Gershwin siblings” and any music lover immediately thinks of George and Ira Gershwin, two brothers famous for co-writing some of the most famous songs in the Great American Songbook. But George and Ira also had a
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The Kingdom of Music: A Féerie
A féerie was a French theatrical genre and, as a ‘fairy play’ combined music, dance, mime, and acrobatics, in a fantasy plot set off by spectacular scenery and stage effects. Some critics noted that the visuals, with the transformational scene
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How the Weber Sisters Became Mozart’s Wife, Family, and Muses
Mozart fell in love with one. Another one caused a scandal by moving in with him before they were married. Yet another premiered the role of The Queen of the Night in his opera The Magic Flute. And one helped
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Living the Modern Life: John Alden Carpenter’s Ballet Skyscrapers
In 1926, the Metropolitan Opera staged the world premiere of the American composer John Alden Carpenter’s 1924 ballet Skyscrapers. This was in February, at the height of the season and it was a triple-bill evening: Gianni Schicchi with Giuseppe De
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