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Pietro Mascagni's verismo opera Cavalleria Rusticana started out as an unlikely competition entry. But its triumph saw the young Italian become "maestro."
Carnegie Hall opened its doors for the first time in 1981, Tchaikovsky ushering in a thriving new age of live music and public events in New York City.
The riot that took place at The Rite of Spring premiere in Paris is almost as notorious as the work itself. Stravinsky set the stage for scandal....
150 years after Hector Berlioz's death, we recognise a man who dauntlessly pursued his artistic vision — his life and music a complex web of passion...
“I dedicate my last work to the majesty of all majesties, the beloved God, and hope that he will give me so much time to complete the same,” he is alleged to have said.
Full of Christmas cheer, Brahms wrote to Clara Schumann in December 1857:
Early critics of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony reacted differently to the different movements, but the finale repeatedly came in for criticism. Tchaikovsky even started to believe some of the more negative assessments himself: “I concluded that this symphony is unsuccessful,” he wrote after conducting it in Prague. “There is something repulsive about it.”
Tchaikovsky’s three ballet scores are all revered today, but they drew mixed—sometimes very negative—reviews when they were first performed. "The melody is too… how can I say it? Too confused, too capricious—in a word, it was not written 'balletically.'” (St Petersburg News, 1877) That was a critic’s verdict after the premiere of—wait for it—Swan Lake.