September 2021

  1. Obscure Music Monday: Szymanowska's Caprice sur la romance de Joconde

    Maria Szymanowska (Dec. 14, 1789 - July 25, 1831) was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist. Born in Warsaw, the history of her musical studies is largely unknown, but we know that she gave her first public recitals in Paris and Warsaw in 1810.Just five years after her first public recital, her professional career began, with tours all throughout Europe, and a few performances in private for royalty. One of the first virtuosos of the 19th century, her playing was well received. She was also one of the first pianists to play performances from memory, far ahead of Liszt and Clara Schumann. After touring for a while, she relocated to Moscow, and then St. Petersburg, where she was court pianist to the tsarina. Continue reading →
  2. Obscure Music Monday: Bonis' Sonata for Cello and Piano

    Mélanie Hélène Bonis, known as Mel Bonis, (Jan. 21, 1858 - March 18, 1937) was a French late Romantic composer. Bonis wrote an incredible amount of music for many genres. Growing up in a strict Catholic household, Bonis' parents did not encourage her musical interests, though she did teach herself the piano. When she was twelve, a professor at the...
  3. Obscure Music Monday: Bantock's The Witches Frolic

    Sir Granville Ransome Bantock (Aug. 7, 1868 - Oct. 16, 1946) was a British composer and conductor, born in London. His parents hoped he would enter the Indian Civil Service, but poor health would prevent him from that. He turned to chemical engineering, but around 20 years old, he started looking at musical manuscripts. His first teacher was at Trinity College of...
  4. Obscure Music Monday: Smyth's Violin Sonata

    Dame Ethel Mary Smyth DBE (April 22,1858 - May 8, 1944) was an English composer and member of the women's suffrage movement. The fourth of eight children, Smyth showed a keen interested in music as a career. Her father, a major general in the Royal Artillery, was not particularly supportive, though that didn't stop her from pursuing music anyway. Smyth studied...

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