September 2016

  1. Obscure Music Mondays: d'Indy Chansons et danses

    Vincent d'Indy (March 27, 1851 - Dec. 2, 1931) was born in Paris, France into an aristocratic family, and began studying the piano at an early age with his grandmother. At 14 he was studying harmony, and later on attended the Conservatoire de Paris, where he was a devoted student of Cesar Franck (who initially didn't think much of his compositional attempts, despite the recommendations of Massenet and Bizet). Later on however, he became unhappy with the standard of teaching at the Conservatory, and founded the Schola  Cantorum de Paris with Charles Bordes and Alexandre Guilmant. Some of d'Indy's students included Erik Satie,  Joseph Cantaloube, Darius Milhaud, and Cole Porter, and during his time, d'Indy was considered an important and influential composer. Continue reading →
  2. Obscure Music Mondays: Eybler String Trio in C

    Joseph Leopold Eybler (Feb. 8, 1765 - July 24, 1846) was born in Schwechat, near Vienna, in to a musical family. His father was a choir director, and friend of the Haydn family. Eybler studied music with his father before attending the cathedral school at St. Stephen's Boys College in Vienna, and later studied composition under Johann Georg Albrechtsberger, who claimed Eybler was Vienna's greatest musical genius, apart from Mozart. He also received praise as a composer from Franz Joseph Haydn, and Mozart as well, who he also studied with. Clearly he was highly regarded, which makes it all that more unfortunate that we don't hear his compositions very often. Continue reading →
  3. Obscure Music Monday: Guilmant's Symphony no. 1 for Organ and Orchestra

    Felix-Alexandre Guilmant (March 12, 1837 - March 29, 1911) was born in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France, and was quite the virtuosic organist. Not exactly a household name, he nevertheless was a prolific composer, writing almost entirely  for the organ. Guilmant began his organ studies with his father, and eventually went on to teach in Paris for thirty years, before embarking as a virtuoso soloist. He toured in both North America and Europe, where he was especially popular; his concerts in England attracted upwards of 10,000 people. Continue reading →
  4. Obscure Music Monday: Bottesini Concerto no. 1 for Double Bass and Orchestra

    In the world of the double bass, Bottesini is a well known name, but not so much outside of that world, despite his many operas, chamber works, and solo pieces. Giovanno Bottesini (Dec. 22, 1821 - July 7, 1889) was born in Crema, Italy, and began his early musical education with his father, an accomplished clarinetist and composer. Later on in his life, Bottesini wanted to enter the Milan Conservatory on violin, but lacked the funds. The school only had two scholarships available, for bassoon and double bass. Within a matter of weeks, Bottesini prepared a successful audition on the double bass, and four years later began touring as a soloist, known as "The Paganini of the double bass". Continue reading →

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