August 2015

  1. Obscure Music Monday: Farrar's The Blessed Damozel

    This week we take a look at a work from a composer who's life was tragically cut short during World War I, Ernest Bristow Farrar. Just two days after going to the western front of the war, Farrar's short life ended at the age of 33. His extensive compositional output in the years preceding the war have, unfortunately, fallen into obscurity. Today we look at a work for solo voice, chorus, and orchestra, a setting of Dante Gabriel Rossetti's The Blessed Damozel. Continue reading →
  2. Obscure Music Monday: Schillings' Violin Concerto No. 1

    Max_von_Schillings_by_Nicola_PerscheidThe early 20th Century brought about a wide variety of musical styles - from the overtly romantic stylings of Richard Strauss to the academic stylings of Schoenberg's 12 tone system. What is often overlooked is the theatrical works of composers of the early 20th Century, which often fed the concept of the modern movie score - a genre unto itself for many modern day music lovers. Today we look at Max von Schillings' Violin Concerto No. 1, a dramatic work for violin and orchestra that is rarely performed today. Continue reading →
  3. Obscure Music Monday: Kirnberger's Flute Sonata in G

    While many of Johann Sebastian Bach's works were forgotten shortly after his death (until "re-discovery" of the works in the 19th century), his influence on music was carried on through his students and admirers. Amongst those, we can count Johann Kirnberger, a composer and theorist who was a great admirer of Bach's, and rumored to have been a student of Bach. Today we look at his Flute Sonata in G Major. Continue reading →
  4. Obscure Music Monday: Smyth's Cello Sonata

    Ethel_SmythFemale composers have historically struggled for recognition in a field dominated by men, even in the modern world. Looking back into the 19th and early 20th centuries, we see even more of a struggle. Such was the case of Dame Ethel Smyth, an English composer who was active as a composer primarily in the late 19th century, with a limited composition output in the early 20th century as she slowly lost her hearing. Today we look at her Cello Sonata in A minor, Op. 5, composed in 1887. Continue reading →

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