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.
Carlo Gozzi’s play Turandot was first performed in Venice in 1762. It was a deliberate attempt to counter the new literary trend of bourgeois realism so prevalent in the works of Carlo Goldoni. When Friedrich Schiller fashioned his German translation,
He was proclaimed “Britain’s greatest living composer” in the Performing Right Gazette of 1929. That assessment was based on the overall number of performances of his works, and his apparent popularity caused a good deal of professional jealousy. Today, he
You might never have heard of the composer Franz von Suppé (1819-1895), but there is a very good chance that you know some of his music. Suppé composed tantalizing music mainly for the theater, in particular operettas, ballets and comedies.
Music is a wonderful support for sensorial illustrations and evocative descriptions. While some is considered absolute — music for the sake of music — the contrast, expressive music, is often a great support for composers’ creativity. Also known as program
The last of Ottorino Respighi’s celebrations of Rome looked at its festivals. Feste romane was completed in 1928 and received its premiere under the baton of Toscanini in February 1929. Roman Festivals starts with the ancient history of the Romans
Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936) continued his tour of Rome with his 1924 work Pini di Roma (Pines of Rome). Just as in Fontane di Roma (1916), he looked at the trees in various parts of the city at different times of
Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936) is best known for his works about the city of Rome: The Pines of Rome, Roman Festivals, and, first of all, The Fountains of Rome. Respighi, who came from Bologna, was at first intimidated by the ancient
The history of the violin concerto in Russia is inextricably linked to the incredible performing career of Leopold Auer (1845-1930). Spanning two centuries, Auer’s playing was polished and elegant, and although it supposedly lacked fire, “he made up for it