167 Posts
Lure of the Siren
Carl Maria von Weber and Gretchen Lang
The soprano Margarethe Bernbrunn, née Lang, who frequently performed under the stage name “Adalbert Prix,” was described in the following terms. “Gretchen possessed a little plump seductive form, was about twenty years of age, and, in addition to her undoubted
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Love on a cosmic scale
Olivier Messiaen, Claire Delbos and Yvonne Loriod
Claire Delbos was the daughter of a Sorbonne professor, a member of the prominent new music society “La Spirale,” and an accomplished violinist and composer. Predictably, she studied at the Paris Conservatory and quickly crossed paths with another highly talented
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Tango Passion II
Astor Piazzolla and Amelita Baltar
With his marriage to Dedé Wolff in serious trouble, Astor Piazzolla was finding solace in the arms of other women. “I am now seeing a youngish lass, divine,” he told a friend. The affair with the “youngish lass” was short-lived
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Tango Passion I
Astor Piazzolla and Dedé Wolff
Odetta Maria Wolff, affectionately known as Dedé, first laid eyes on Astor Piazzolla at a tea party in September 1940. She was not impressed at all, and found him “a rather ugly boy, round faced, who paid more attention to
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An arranged and happy marriage
Claudio Monteverdi and Claudia Cattaneo
Claudio Monteverdi was a precocious musical talent who published his first collection of madrigals at age 15. Ambitious and highly confident he was hired as a singer and instrumentalist by Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua in 1590. Mantua and nearby
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“Sex is more fun than cars but cars refuel quicker than men”
Germaine Tailleferre and Ralph Waldo Emerson Barton
It started like a fairy tale, as it often does. In 1925, she was the hottest French musical ticket in New York City. Germaine Tailleferre had just arrived on a huge wave of personal and artistic success stemming from her
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A Love Letter from the Trenches
Frederick Septimus Kelly and Jelly D’Aranyi
It all happened during the disastrous Gallipoli Campaign in World War I. With death and destruction all around, an Australian soldier sat in a trench and composed a violin sonata for a young woman far away. “He had a tiny
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Two Hearts, One Soul
Zoltán Kodály and Emma Gruber
The most important and influential address for artistic matters at the turn of the 20th century Budapest was the salon of Emma Gruber. Mrs. Gruber was born Emma Schlesinger in the southern Hungarian town of Baja, daughter of wealthy merchants.
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