December 2016

  1. Obscure Music Mondays: Prokofiev's Things in Themselves

    Sergei Prokofiev (April 23, 1891 - March 5, 1953) was a Russian and Soviet pianist, composer, and conductor.  A graduate of the St. Petersburg Conservatory, Prokofiev is undoubtedly one of the most well known composers of the 20th century, and many of his works are staples in the repertoire, from his concertos for violin, cello, and piano,  seven symphonies, and to his ballets and operas. Some of his works have remained under the radar though, for whatever reason, such as the one we are looking at today: Things In Themselves, a work for solo piano. Continue reading →
  2. Obscure Music Monday: Waldteufel's Le Patineurs

    Émile Waldteufel (Dec. 9, 1837 - Feb. 12,1915) was a French conductor, pianist, and composer. Born in to a musical family, he studied music first with his father, and then at the Conservatoire de Paris. He went on to become the court pianist for Empress Eugenie, and he also led the state orchestra. Regarding his body of work, Waldteufel is known for composing dance pieces, particularly waltzes. His most well known is Les Patineurs (The Ice Skaters). Continue reading →
  3. Obscure Music Monday: Korngold's Overture to Der Schneemann

    Erich Wolfgang Korngold (May 29, 1897 - Nov. 29, 1957) was an Austrian born composer, conductor, and a child prodigy. The son of a music critic, Korngold was playing piano alongside his father at age five, and was writing his own music by age seven. Gustav Mahler said that Korngold was a "musical genius", and suggested he study with Alexander von Zemlinsky. Richard Strauss spoke very highly of him as well. Korngold went on to compose many movie scores, operas, and orchestral works. Continue reading →
  4. Obscure Music Monday: Weiner's Serenade for Small Orchestra

    Leó Weiner (April 16, 1885 - Sept. 13, 1960) was born in to a Jewish family in Budapest, and ended up being one of the leading Hungarian music educators the first half of the twentieth century. He started piano lessons as a boy with his brother, and later studied at the Academy of Music in Budapest. While he was there, he won numerous prizes, and eventually went on to be a professor at the Academy, teaching theory, composition, and chamber music. Some of his notable students include cellist János Starker, conductors Fritz Reiner and George Solti, and pianist György Sebők. Continue reading →

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