Obscure Music Mondays

  1. Obscure Music Monday: Bax's Elegiac Trio

    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 →
  2. Obscure Music Monday: Mayer's Tonwellen

    Emilie 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...
  3. Obscure Music Monday: Gonzaga's Bijou

    Chiquinha Gonzaga (born Francisca Edwiges Neves Gonzaga) was a Brazilian composer, pianist, and conductor, born October 17, 1847 and died February 28, 1935. Since Gonzaga was born in to a military family, she received an excellent education. In addition to learning how to read and write, she was taught piano, and fell in love with it at a young age...
  4. Obscure Music Monday: Carreño's Le sommeil de l'enfant

    Maria Teresa Carreño Garcia de Sena (Dec. 22, 1853 - June 12, 1917) was a Venezuelan pianist, singer, conductor, and composer. Born in to a musical family, she became known around he world as a virtuoso pianist, often referred to as the "Valkyrie of the piano". Continue reading →
  5. Obscure Music Monday: Smyth's 3 Songs, No. 3: On The Road

    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...
  6. Obscure Music Monday: Galos' Nocturne No. 3

    Giselle Galos (commonly known as C. Galos) was an obscure 19th century pianist and composer, born in France.  Very little is known about her; she didn't perform in public, and mainly published her works under the name "C. Galos" and no one knew if they were a woman or man. Some earlier works were found however, with the name "Madmoiselle Giselle...
  7. Obscure Music Monday: Burleigh's Southland Sketches No. 3 Allegretto grazioso

    Henry Thacker "Harry" Burleigh (Dec. 2, 1866 - Sept. 12, 1949) was an African-American composer, arranger, and baritone born in Erie, Pennsylvania. Burleigh is well known for introducing spirituals and folk songs to classically trained singers, in more classically arranged versions for them. He grew up hearing spirituals and slave songs from his grandfather, who suffered the deep injustice of slavery himself (he was eventually granted freedom, by buying his, and his mother's way out of slavery).  Continue reading →
  8. Obscure Music Monday: Price's Travel's End

    Florence Beatrice Price (April 9, 1887 - June 3, 1953) was an African-American pianist and composer, and the first African-American woman to have a piece played by a major symphony orchestra. Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Price's first piano teacher was her mother, a music educator, and Price's first recital was at the age of 4. After high school (where she...
  9. Obscure Music Monday: Saint-Georges' Sonata No. 3 for Two Violins

    Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (Dec. 25, 1745 – June 10, 1799) was a composer, violinist, and conductor, born to George Bologne de Saint-Georges, a wealthy married planter, and Anne dites Nanon, his wife's African slave. Though born in Guadeloupe, his father took him to France when he was a child, where he was educated, and he became a skilled fencer. Later on he joined the Légion St.-Georges during the French Revolution, the first all-black regiment in Europe. Continue reading →
  10. Obscure Music Monday: Joplin's Wall Street Rag

    Scott Joplin (c. 1867/68 - April 1, 1917) was an African-American composer and pianist, who came to be known as the "King of Ragtime Writers". Joplin was born in to a family of railroad laborers in Texas, but got as much musical knowledge as he could from local teachers, and ended up  forming a vocal quartet, and teaching mandolin and...

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