“Every great inspiration is but an experiment.”

Charles Ives

Unconscious bursts of creativity that engender significant artistic endeavors are not necessarily inspired by passionate romantic love alone. Greek mythology believed that this kind of stimulus came from nine muses, the inspirational goddesses of literature, science, and the arts. Muses were long considered the source of knowledge embodied in poetry, lyric songs and ancient myths. Throughout the history of Western art, artists, writers and musicians have prayed to the muses, or alternately, drawn inspiration from personified muses that conceptually reside beyond the borders of earthly love. True to life, however, composer inspiration has emerged from the entire spectrums of existence and being. Nature has always played a decidedly important role in the inspiration of various classical composers, as did exotic cities, landscapes or rituals. Composer inspiration is also found in poetry, the visual arts, and mythological stories and tales. Artistic, historical or cultural expressions of the past are just as inspirational as is the everyday: the third Punic War or the contrapuntal mastery of Bach is inspirationally just as relevant as are the virulent bat and camel. Composer inspiration is delightfully drawn from heroes and villains, scientific advances, a pet, or something as mundane as a hangover. Discover what fires the imagination of people who never stop asking questions.

885 Posts
  • Johannes Brahms: “Ein Deutsches Requiem” Op. 45 Johannes Brahms: “Ein Deutsches Requiem” Op. 45
    The “German Requiem” by Johannes Brahms, more so than any other of his compositions, first established the composer’s reputation among a wide range of music lovers in Germany, and subsequently secured his international reputation as well. Not unexpectedly, however, the
  • Mozart in London III Mozart in London III
    After a mere four weeks in England, Wolfi showed remarkable progress and growth as a composer. Leopold wrote, ”what he had known when he left Salzburg is nothing compared with what he knows now; it defies the imagination … right
  • Ariadne auf Naxos: Take One! Ariadne auf Naxos: Take One!
    After the rousing financial success of “Der Rosenkavalier”, Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal eagerly sought to continue their artistic collaboration. It seems, however, that they were pulling in slightly different artistic directions. Strauss wanted them to reengage with “Semiramis”,
  • Mozart in London II Mozart in London II
    During his initial stay in London, which lasted from 23 April 1764 through 1 July 1765, young Wolfi regaled in the invigorating and stimulating musical environment offered by the British capital. A rapidly prospering and growing middle class not only
  • Mozart in London I Mozart in London I
    Mozart’s father Leopold early on realized that his son Wolfgang, to whom he referred as the “miracle of God permitted to have been born in Salzburg,” represented a unique talent and opportunity. In order to raise money and to spread
  • Mozart and his World: Salzburg III Mozart and his World: Salzburg III
    Mozart’s early experience with Italian opera is documented in Daines Barrington’s report to the Royal Society in London, published in 1769. “At nine, the prodigy could already, in improvised recitatives and arias, ape operatic styles suited to anger and tenderness”.