November 2019

  1. Obscure Music Monday: Bauer's The Epitaph of a Butterfly

    Marion Bauer (Aug. 15, 1882 - Aug. 9, 1955) was an American composer, music critic, teacher, and writer. Born in Walla Walla, Washington, she was the youngest of seven children. Her father noticed her musical inclinations and she began studying piano  with her elder sister Emilie, who was 17 years older than her.  Continue reading →
  2. Obscure Music Monday: Dukas' Villanelle

    Paul Abraham Dukas (Oct. 1, 1865 - May 17, 1935)  was a French composer, professor, and critic, born in to a Jewish family. The second of three children, Dukas didn't show any extraordinary musical talent, despite taking piano from a young age, until his teenage years, when he started to compose while recovering from an illness. When he was 16 years old, he entered the Paris Conservatory, studying piano with George Mathias, harmony with Théodore Dubois, and composition with Ernest Guiraud. While he was there, he won several prizes, including second place for the coveted award Prix De Rome. He was upset he didn't win the top prize however, and left the university in 1889. After compulsory military service, he devoted himself to composing and has a career as a critic as well. He later on became Professor of Composition at the Paris Conservatory and also taught at the École Normale de Musique.  Continue reading →
  3. Obscure Music Monday: Bottesini's Fantasia on "La Sonnambula"

    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 →
  4. Obscure Music Monday: Bax's Sleepy Head

    Sir Arnold Edward Trevor Bax (Nov. 8, 1883 - Oct. 3, 1953) was an English poet, author, and composer. His output was prolific, and spanned several genres, from choral works to chamber pieces to orchestral music. His music was for a while neglected, and then revived, though predominantly as recordings; we still don't see his work programmed very often in concert halls. Continue reading →

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