January 2017

  1. Obscure Music Monday: Lacombe's Dialogue Sentimental

    Paul Lacombe (July 11, 1837 - June 4, 1927) was a French composer and pianist. He was born in to a wealthy family, and his first music lessons were with his mother, on piano. Later on his studied harmony and counterpoint with Francois Teysseyre, who graduated from the Conservatoire de Paris. Lacombe was a great admirer of George Bizet, and began a correspondence with him, asking for compositional advice, which Bizet gave, from 1866 to 1868. They would eventually become good friends, and Bizet promoted much of Lacombe's works. Lacombe music sadly never gained widespread popularity, as he was unwilling to leave his hometown of Carcassonne for Paris. Continue reading →
  2. Obscure Music Monday: Schreker's Chamber Symphony

    Franz Schreker (March 23, 1878 - March 21, 1934) was an Austrian composer, conductor, and teacher. Schreker grew up travelling across Europe, and after his father died, the family moved to Vienna in 1888. A few short years later, Schreker entered the Vienna Conservatory on violin,  but then also started taking up composition. He would go on to teach at Vienna's Imperial Academy of Music, and later on be an administrator at the Hochschule fur Musik in Berlin. A vast portion on his compositional output is opera, though he wrote many orchestral work, including a one movement work entitled Chamber Symphony. Continue reading →
  3. Obscure Music Monday: Foote's Suite in E major for String Orchestra

    Arthur William Foote (March 5, 1853 - April 8, 1937) was an organist and composer, and a member of the "Boston Six", a group of composers from New England that lived in the late 19th century and early 20th century, that also included Amy Beach, George Whitefield Chadwick, Edward MacDowell. John Knowles Paine, and Horatio Parker. Foote graduated from Harvard, and was the first composer of note to be trained entirely in the United States. Continue reading →
  4. Obscure Music Monday: Carpenter's Adventures in a Perambulator

    John Alden Carpenter (Feb. 28, 1876 - April 26, 1951) was born in Park Ridge, Illinois, in to a musical family.  He attended Harvard University, and studied under John Knowles Paine, and later on traveled to England to study with Edward Elgar. After his time in England, he returned to Chicago to study with Bernhard Ziehn in 1912. Sadly, Carpenter has been overlooked as a composer, in favor of other big names from his generation, like Ives and Copland. Continue reading →
  5. Obscure Music Monday: Adam's Overture to La Poupée de Nuremberg

    Adolphe Charles Adam (July 24, 1803 - May 3, 1856) was a French composer and music critic. His father, Jean-Louis Adam, was a professor at the Paris Conservatoire, but Adolphe enjoyed improvising music by himself, rather than study seriously. That suited his father fine--he wasn't keen on his son following his path. Eventually, however, Adolphe started studying seriously (and secretly) and eventually entered the Paris Conservatoire.  He ended up becoming a prolific writer of ballets and operas, particularly opéra comique. Continue reading →

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