In essence

1387 Posts
Alexander Serov and Valentina Bergman
“Too Bad, You’re Not a Boy”
Valentina Semyonovna Bergman (1846-1924) was born into a Russian merchant family of German-Jewish descent. Her parents converted to Lutheranism before she was born, and they operated a successful shop specializing in colonial wares. Valentina showed great musical promise from an
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Beethoven’s Lairs
“Probusgasse 6, Heiligenstadt”
In October 1802, Beethoven moved into a roughly 40 square meter apartment at Probusgasse 6 in the trendy spa town of Heiligenstadt. In his day, it would have been a substantial journey from the Vienna city center, and when Beethoven
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Escaping COVID-19
Feel-Good Music I
It’s difficult to escape COVID-19 these days. With new cases and emerging hot zones identified nearly every day—not to mention the rising death count of those who have succumbed to the virus—this outbreak is starting to frustrate medical practitioners, health
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Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
The Virulent Cow
Watching cattle graze in their natural environment is one of life’s bucolic pleasures. As natural herbivores, they eat a lot of grasses and hay. Yet in commercial farming, various feeds are used, which may contain ingredients such as antibiotics, hormones,
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The Nature of the Elements
Bruce’s The North Wind Was a Woman
What if we go back in time to when the world around us was made of personified elements? In Baroque opera, ideas were often personified, as in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, Music herself gives us the Prologue. In Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas,
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Ludwig van B.
A Universe of Dedications III
Count Ferdinand Ernst Gabriel von Waldstein (1762-1823) was Beethoven’s first great patron in Bonn. Originally he hailed from Vienna, and after receiving the knighthood of the Order by its Grand Master Archduke Maximilian Francis of Austria, he was sent on
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A Heavyweight Musical Boxing Match
Franz Liszt vs. Felix Mendelssohn
It might not be a complete surprise, but Franz Liszt and Felix Mendelssohn really didn’t like each other! Mendelssohn first heard a Liszt performance at a concert in Paris in 1825. In his opinion “Liszt had many fingers but few
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Human Immunodeficiency Virus
The Virulent Simian
A common nature drama in the equatorial region of Africa, possibly in what is now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo, unleashed a global pandemic that is still one of the world’s most serious public health challenges. A troop
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