January 2020

  1. Obscure Music Monday: Parker's A Northern Ballad

    Horatio William Parker (Sept. 15, 1863 - December 18, 1919 )was an American composer, teacher, and organist, who came to be a part of the Second New England School, also commonly known as the Boston Six, along with Amy Beach, George Whitefield Chadwick, Arthur Foote, Edward MacDowell, and John Knowles Paine. Continue reading →
  2. Obscure Music Monday: Coleridge-Taylor's Ballade Op. 33

    Samuel Colderidge-Taylor (Aug. 15, 1875 - Sept. 1, 1912) was born in London, England, to Alice Hare Martin, an English woman, and Dr. Daniel Peter Hughes Taylor, from Sierre Leone. They were not married, and Daniel Taylor returned to Africa before 1875, not even knowing he had a son. Martin named her son after the poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and was raised in Croydon, Surrey by his mother, and her father. Coleridge-Taylor studied violin at the Royal College of Music, and was later on appointed a professor at the Crystal Palace School of Music, and conducted the orchestra at the Croyden Conservatory.  Coleridge-Taylor found success at the Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester and Worcester; he was recommended by Edward Elgar, who heard rave reviews about Coleridge-Taylor from noted music critic and editor August Jaeger. He had much success during his time, and his interest in African-American culture brought him to the States on several occasions where his success continued. He made such an impression that he was invited to the White House by Theodore Roosevelt.  Continue reading →
  3. Obscure Music Monday: Schumann's Scherzo No. 1

    Clara Schumann (Sept. 13, 1819 - May 20, 1896) was a German composer and pianist, born to musical parents in Leipzig. Her father was well-known throughout Leipzig, where he sold and repaired pianos, and gave piano lessons. She took lessons from him, and he also made sure she was educated in music theory, counterpoint, harmony, and composition. She had her first recital at age 10, and had a wildly successful career as a pianist from that point onward, receiving praise from audiences and critics alike. The day before she turned 21 she married composer Robert Schumann. Continue reading →
  4. Obscure Music Monday: Mayer's Faust Overture

    Emelie Luise Friderica Mayer (May 14, 1812 - April 10, 1883) was a German composer of Romantic music. While she studied music growing up, it was nothing serious. It wasn't until 1840 when her father died that she took music and composing seriously; she moved to Stettin to study with Carl Loewe, and then later moved to Berlin to study with Adolph Bernhard Max and Wilhelm Wieprecht. Later on in life she became the Associate Director of the Opera Academy in Berlin. Continue reading →

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