October 2016

  1. Obscure Music Monday: Suk's Asrael Symphony

    Josef Suk (Jan. 4, 1874 - May 29, 1935) was a Czech composer and violinist, who began his musical training at an early age. He learned the violin, organ, and piano from his father, and then went on to study composition, with his most famous teacher being Antonin Dvořák. Suk and Dvořák became close, trusted friends, and eventually Suk married Dvořák's  daughter, Otilie. Continue reading →
  2. Obscure Music Monday: Ries' Piano Sonata in B minor

    Ferdinand Ries (Nov. 28, 1784 - Jan. 13, 1838) was born to a musical family in Bonn. He received piano lessons from his father, and also played the cello and organ. In the early 1800s, Ries became a pupil of Ludwig van Beethoven, and later on his secretary and close friend. Continue reading →
  3. Obscure Music Mondays: Enescu's Symphony no. 1

    George Enescu (Aug.19, 1881 - May 4, 1955) has long been regarded as Romania's most important musician. In addition to composing, he was also a violinist, pianist, and conductor. At age seven he became the youngest student ever admitted to the Vienna Conservatory, studying with Robert Fuchs, and Sigismund Bachrich. Later on he studied at the Paris Conservatory, studying with Jules Massenet, and Gabriel Faure. Continue reading →
  4. Obscure Music Mondays: Glinka's Viola Sonata

    Mikhail Glinka (June 1, 1804 - Feb. 15, 1857)  has often been called the father of Russian classical music; his works were strong influences on Mussorgsky, Borodin, and Rimsky-Korsakov, just to name a few. HIs output as a composer was considerable; he wrote operas, symphonic works, chamber pieces, and more. Today we are looking at  his Viola Sonata, a work that is often forgotten about among his large number of works. Continue reading →
  5. Obscure Music Monday: Bartók's Kossuth

    Béla Bartók (March 25, 1881 - Sept. 26, 1945) is certainly not an obscure name, but just like any composer, has works that aren't championed as well as others.  Born in Hungary, he showed significant musical talent at a very young age, and began studying music with his mother. Later on Bartok attended The Royal Academy of Music in Budapest, where he wrote his first major orchestra work, which we are looking at today: his symphonic poem Kossuth. It is not programmed anywhere near as often as his other works such as Concerto for Orchestra, Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta, or The Miraculous Mandarin. It seems oft overlooked, but is very much worth a listen. Continue reading →

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