In essence

Up close with composers

Niels Gade “A distinctive Nordic Voice”

Although the public reception of the works of Niels Wilhelm Gade (1817-1890) was left untouched by political and cultural censorship, he never quite achieved the fame of Felix Mendelssohn and Robert Schumann. Nevertheless, Gade is still regarded as one of [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | January 19th, 2017
Mozartwoche Salzburg 2017 Vienna Philharmonic: Yannick Nézet-Séguin/Rolando Villazón

1 February 2017Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Concert Arias for Tenor and Orchestra, KV 420, 431, 36, 21 The vast majority of Mozart’s independent arias is composed for the soprano voice. However, there are a handful of concert arias for the tenor [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | January 17th, 2017
Unsung Concertos Ralph Vaughan Williams: Piano Concerto in C major

The reputation of Ralph Vaughan Williams as the most important English composer of his generation squarely rests on his compositions for the operatic stage and the Concert Hall. These theatrical dramas and orchestral essays characteristically reference the landscapes, myths and [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | January 11th, 2017
Claude Debussy: La Flûte de Pan/ Syrinx Melodrama and Flute Solo

Claude Debussy composed very little music for the theatre. Although he conceived a substantial number of theatrical projects with the playwright, novelist, poet and translator Gabriel Mourey, they somehow never fully materialized. The notable exception is the three-act dramatic poem [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | January 5th, 2017
Unsung Concertos Francesco Petrini: Harp Concerto No. 1 , Op. 25

Before she ingloriously lost her head, Marie-Antoinette reigned over music in France in the Age of Enlightenment for nearly twenty years. She invited and actively supported foreign composers, and simultaneously fostered the great tragédie lyrique of Gluck alongside the opéa [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | January 4th, 2017
Holiday Fun: Die Fledermaus

A New Year’s Eve tradition in the opera world is Johann Strauss II’s operetta Die Fledermaus (The Bat). A year earlier, Eisenstein abandoned his friend Falke in center of town, drunken and dressed as a bat (hence the title), and [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | January 1st, 2017
Happy New Year from Franz Schubert and the Nonsense Society

In April 1817, a merry little band of artists decided to form a small private club called the “Unsinnsgesellschaft” (Nonsense Society). Based in Vienna, this congenial group of artistic friends published a weekly magazine, the “Archiv des menschlichen Unsinns” (Archive [...] more >>

by Georg Predota | December 31st, 2016
Holiday Fun: The Nutcracker

From its first notes, Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker takes us to someplace warm and magical. Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, Op. 71: Overture (Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra; Simon Rattle, cond.) The ballet originates in a story by E.T.A. Hoffmann, The Nutcracker and the [...] more >>

by Maureen Buja | December 31st, 2016