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Tag: #twentiethcentury

Love gone wrong: horrifying tales from classical music

Anyone who's familiar with the operatic stage knows that most love stories don't end with the perfect pair riding off into the sunset...

This Week in Music History: The premiere of Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony...

“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.

How well do you know Jacqueline Du Pré? Take our quiz...

Jacqueline Du Pré © David Farrell / Redferns On January 26th, the classical music community remembers...

This Week in Music History: Claudio Abbado dies (2014)

“Always a great conductor, his performances in these last years were transcendent, and we all feel privileged to have witnessed them,” Rattle described.

This Week in Music History: Francis Poulenc is born (1899)

The start of a year, the end of a century: Francis Poulenc was born on January 7, 1899.

This Week in Music History: The premiere of Strauss’s Salome (1905)

Strauss’s opera Salome scandalized the musical world in 1905—and again in May 1906, when, as Ross vividly describes, the Austrian premiere in Graz drew together an astonishing array of musical luminaries, from Mahler to Schoenberg to Puccini. “Like a flash of lightning,” Ross writes, “it illuminated a musical world on the verge of traumatic change. Past and future were colliding; centuries were passing in the night.”

This Week in Music History: Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra premieres (1944)

Hugely renowned in his native Europe, the young Béla Bartók can hardly have imagined that he would receive perhaps the most important commission of his life while languishing with an unknown disease on a hospital bed in New York, after several barren years. But the final chapter in Bartók’s life story was full of surprises.

This Week in Music History: Benjamin Britten is born (1913)

Benjamin Britten was born on November 22, 1913—St Cecilia’s Day, the patron saint of music—in Lowestoft, Suffolk, overlooking the English east coast. Music and the English coast were the forces that would shape his life. These twin influences were combined in perhaps the most profound way a full century after Britten’s birth.

This Week in Music History: Debussy’s La mer premieres (1905)

Debussy began La mer in August 1903. Buoyed by the success of his opera Pelléas et Mélisande in 1902, the composer decided to embark on a set of “three symphonic sketches” inspired by the sea: his second tripartite work for orchestra, following the Nocturnes of 1899.

This Week in Music History: Vladimir Horowitz is Born (1903)

It’s not entirely clear when Vladimir Horowitz was born, or where. The date was October 1 (in the ‘new’, Gregorian style), but the year isn’t certain. He was once thought to have been born in 1904, but it seems that his passport was doctored in 1925—the year he left the Soviet Union—so that it said he was a year younger than he really was.