In essence

1346 Posts
Swine Flu H1N1
The Virulent Pig
Science tells us, that we all got a lot of common with pigs. Since we are both mammals, we certainly share a good amount of genetic material, and we are both susceptible to catch the flu. Pigs are unusual in
Read more
On the Cutting Edge of Technology
Schumann’s Concertstück, Op. 86
The horn has a long history, dating from the first time one of our ancestors took a cow horn and, holding it to his lips, found it could make a sound. Moving on from the simple cow horn to the
Read more
Music to Soothe the Mad King
King Philip V ruled Spain from 1 November 1700 until his son Ferdinand VI eventually succeeded him in 1746. Historians have not been kind to his legacy, suggesting that he only marginally advanced the government of his predecessors and that
Read more
Coronavirus MERS-CoV
The Virulent Camel
In September 2012, health officials in Saudi Arabia reported a mystery illness. Patients developed severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. Alarmingly, 3 to 4 out of every 10 patients died. It was originally assumed
Read more
At The Beginning: Mahler’s Symphony No. 1
For every composer, the first work of a series is a serious undertaking. For the composers who followed Beethoven, the symphony was a particularly daunting mountain. Gone were the days of a composer writing hundreds of symphonies: Haydn wrote 106,
Read more
The Monk, the Cardinal, and the Devil
Giuseppe Tartini and Elisabetta Premazore
I don’t understand why a good many people think that classical music is deadly dull and boring. Many of the stories and anecdotes surrounding these exceptional expressions of human creativity could easily become box office hits at your local cinema.
Read more
Beethoven’s Lairs
Theater an der Wien
We primarily remember the Viennese theatrical impresario Emanuel Schikaneder as collaborator and librettist on Mozart’s Magic Flute. However, Schikaneder was also directly responsible for several compositions by Ludwig van Beethoven. You see, Schikaneder and his troupe of performers appeared in
Read more
A Supreme Act of Kindness
Henriette Sontag
Henriette Sontag (1806-1854) was an operatic soprano of international renown. No other than Hector Berlioz wrote the following glowing critique, “She unites all the qualities we like to find in an artist: sweetness never surpassed, agility almost fabulous, expression, and
Read more