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Tag: #nineteenthcentury

10 Dinner Party Facts About Giuseppe Verdi

1. His date of birth is unclear. Scholars have found references on October 11th that state Giuseppe Verdi was "born yesterday," but...

How can you turn as gruesome a tale as Hansel and...

From gruesome tale to Christmas tradition, follow Hansel und Gretel on their journey into the woods and onto the opera stage...

This Week in Music History: Verdi’s Aida premieres (1871)

“We must at least keep the fee secret,” wrote Verdi in June 1870, about his latest project: Aida.

This Week in Music History: The premiere of Dvořák’s New World...

Classical music has such a long, storied history, that it can be difficult to know where to start. Each week, we’ll be...

This Week in Music History: Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony premieres (1888)

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.”

This Week in Music History: Franz Liszt is born (1811)

Franz Liszt was born in the Hungarian town of Raiding on October 22, 1811—a little more than a year after the births of Chopin and Schumann. Unlike those two composers, however, he reached old age: he died at 75, three years after his friend and son-in-law Richard Wagner. He’s one of very few composers whose life makes the 19th century look rather short.

This Week in Music History: Beethoven finishes the Heiligenstadt Testament (1802)

"How could I possibly admit such an infirmity in the one sense which should have been more perfect in me than in others," Beethoven asks in his Heiligenstadt Testament.

Symphonic Ballets, Balletic Symphonies… Tchaikovsky and Dance Music

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.

This Week in Music History: Vincenzo Bellini dies (1835)

Vincenzo Bellini was just 33 years old when he died of dysentery in a Parisian suburb on September 23, 1835: younger than Chopin (39), Bizet (37) or even Mozart (35) at the time of their deaths...

This Week in Music History: Wagner’s Ring cycle is first performed...

Classical music has such a long, storied history, that it can be difficult to know where to start. Each week, we’ll be exploring an...