Anecdotes

558 Posts
Verdi: Rigoletto
Premiered Today in 1851
A tragic story of jealousy, vengeance and sacrifice, Rigoletto is one of Verdi’s most popular operas. In fact, when it premiered in Venice at La Fenice on 11 March 1851 to a full house, the aria “La donna è mobile”
Read more
Hector Berlioz Plays a Trick on Music Critics
Hector Berlioz was particularly fond of poking fun at so-called musical critics who had neither the education nor the natural ability to pass judgment on a composition. Of course, he had been mercilessly criticized for “his strange composition consisting of
Read more
Strauss: Don Quixote
Premiered Today in 1898
Richard Strauss’ tone poem Don Quixote, subtitled “Fantastic Variations on a Theme of Knightly Character,” was premiered in Cologne on 8 March 1898. It musically dramatizes Miguel de Cervantes’ famous novel of 1605, describing the adventures of the anti-hero Don
Read more
Mozart’s Musical Journey
7 March 1778: “Basta vincesti… Ah, non lasciarmi,” K. 486a
Wolfgang writes to his father from Mannheim, “I have received your letter on the 26th February, and am much obliged to you for all the trouble you have taken about the arias, which are quite accurate in every respect. Next
Read more
Bohemian and Other Rhapsodies
The 2018 film Bohemian Rhapsody is a foot-stomping celebration of the British rock band Queen, and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury. While its portrayals of Mercury’s life and sexuality and of the other band members were criticized, actor Rami
Read more
Beethoven: String Quartet Op. 127
Premiered Today in 1825
Beethoven had started to work on his String Quartet Op. 127 in 1822, but it was not premiered until 6 March 1825. Tickets for a first hearing had actually been sold for the end of February, but the quartet wasn’t
Read more
Bizet: Carmen
Premiered Today in 1875
George Bizet (1838-1875) was greatly optimistic about the premiere performance of his opera Carmen on 3 March 1875 at the “Opéra Comique” in Paris. Final rehearsals had gone very well, and on the very same day Bizet was appointed as
Read more
Mozart’s Musical Journey
28 February 1778: “Non so d’onde viene,” K. 294
“I have also, for practice,” Wolfgang Amadeus writes to his father from Mannheim, “arranged the air ‘Non so d’onde viene’ which has been so charmingly composed by Bach. Just because I know that of Bach so well, and it pleases
Read more