November 2016

  1. Obscure Music Monday: Brüll's Overture to Macbeth

    Ignaz Brüll (Nov. 7, 1846 - Sept. 17, 1907) was born in Moravia, but lived and worked in Vienna. Born to wealthy merchants, Brüll had a musical upbringing; his mother played piano, and his father was a baritone. Though Brüll was to inherit the family business, he was encouraged to pursue music after he started taking lessons at eight years old, and showed clear talent. By this time, the family had already moved to work in Vienna, and not long after, Brüll began studying with Julius Epstein at the Vienna Conservatory, and he studied composition and instrumentation with Johann Rufinatscha and Felix Otto Dessoff. His abilities as a pianist were such that Brahms requested that he play alongside him for his four-hand compositions. Continue reading →
  2. Obscure Music Monday: Gade's Echoes of Ossian

    Niels Wilhelm Gade (Feb. 22, 1817 - Dec. 21, 1890) born in Copenhagen, was the son of an instrument maker. Gade, a violinist, composer, and conductor, started his career with the Royal Danish Orchestra as a violinist, and was able to see compositions of his played by the orchestra. Felix Mendelssohn was an early champion of Gade's work, and they became close associates. Robert Schumann was a good friend as well, and the influence of the significant composers of the German Romantic style (Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn) can be heard in his works. Gade went on to influence other composers himself, such as Edvard Grieg and Carl Nielsen. Gade is considered one of the most important Danish composers, though we sadly don't see his works programmed frequently. Continue reading →
  3. Obscure Music Monday: Demersseman's Solo de Concert No. 6

    Jules Demersseman (Jan. 9, 1833 - Dec. 1, 1866) isn't the most common name to come out of classical repertoire, but his contribution has been significant, particularly for the flute. Demersseman was born in France, near the Begian border, and was a flute student at the Paris Conservatory, winning first prize there at the age of 12. He was considered a virtuoso, and went on to write many works for the flute. His Solo de Concert No. 6 is one of his most well known. Continue reading →
  4. Obscure Music Monday: Turina's Scene Andalouse

    Joaquin Turina (Dec. 9, 1882 - Jan. 14, 1949) was born in Seville, where music was a significant part of his upbringing. He tried his hand at studying medicine, but music was his ultimate calling. He studied in both Seville and Madrid, and from 1905 - 1914, he studied composition with Vincent d'Indy at the Schola Cantorum de Paris. He was attracted to the style of Debussy and Ravel, but his interests changed course, however, when he met fellow countrymen Manuel de Falla and Isaac Albinez, who encouraged him to embrace his Spanish and Andalucian heritage. His Scene Andalouse was written for viola, piano, and string quartet, and is in two movements. Continue reading →

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