In essence

1316 Posts
Danubian Debauchery I
Johann Strauss and Maria Anna Streim
Johann Strauss Täuberlin-Walzer, Op. 1 Kettenbrücken-Walzer, Op. 4 “Homage to Queen Victoria of Great Britain”, Op. 103 (1838) “Radetzky March”, Op. 228 (1848) One would be hard pressed not to agree with the assessment of a contemporary music critic, who
Read more
Tuberculosis, Tinnitus and other Tribulations
Bedřich Smetana and Kateřina Kolářová
By the summer of 1874, Bedřich Smetana (1824-1884) was fighting an apparently minor throat infection that resulted in a blockage to his ears. By September, however, he had lost all hearing in his right ear, and by October he was
Read more
“A Match made in Heaven”
Faustina Bordoni and Johann Adolph Hasse
After merely two years in London, Faustina Bordoni departed for Venice. Exhausted from her petty quarrels with Francesca Cuzzoni, and tired of a feuding and bickering general public and musical establishment — which of course included Handel’s futile attempts at
Read more
“The Queen amongst the Queens”
Faustina Bordoni, Francesca Cuzzoni and George Friedrich Handel
“She had a mezzo-soprano voice, that was less clear than penetrating. Her execution was articulate and brilliant. She had a fluent tongue for pronouncing words rapidly and distinctly, and a flexible throat for divisions, with so beautiful a shake that
Read more
The Loft of Contention and Scandal
Charles Gounod and Georgina Weldon
In an interview, conducted by a special correspondent to the New York Times in London on 2 June 1874, Georgina Weldon defiantly declared “according to some authorities, an atmosphere of scandal is not only favorable to the development of musical
Read more
“The Maid as Mistress”
Georg Philipp Telemann and Maria Katharina Textor
Georg Philipp Telemann TELEMANN, G.P.: Pimpinone [Opera] (1725) For one reason or another, scholarship has been unable to ascertain the exact number of children sired by Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767). This numerical uncertainly—not all together uncommon in the history of
Read more
“The Secret Passage”
Felix Mendelssohn and Delphine von Schauroth
Felix Mendelssohn Song without words Book 1, Op 19No. 6 Andante sostenuto in G minor “Venezianisches Gondellied” (Venetian Boat Song) No. 1 (1830) Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor Op. 25 (1830-31) On his way to Italy, Felix Mendelssohn
Read more
Violin Concerto of Renewed Passion
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Yosif Kotek II
The world of Classical and Popular music is numerously populated by compositions that openly celebrate courtship, love, sex, and marriage. Equally numerous, although less overtly advertised, are works that exult in the suspension of a partnership, the break-up of a
Read more