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A Birth of Classical 4

A YouTube History of Music

Early Romantic: Composers Born 1770 to 1840

Group & Last Name Index to Full History:


Composers are listed chronologically. Tracks are listed alphabetically.

Not on this page? See history tree below.



Emilio Arrieta    Daniel Auber
Mily Balakirev    Francisco Barbieri    Ludwig van Beethoven    Vincenzo Bellini    Hector Berlioz    Georges Bizet    Alexander Borodin    Johannes Brahms    Max Bruch    Anton Bruckner
Antonio Casimir Cartellieri    Frédéric Chopin    César Cui    Carl Czerny
Alexander Dargomyzhsky    Anton Diabelli    Gaetano Donizetti    Théodore Dubois
The Five    César Franck
Mikhail Glinka    Karl Goldmark    Alexandre Guilmant
Franz Liszt
Felix Mendelssohn    Giacomo Meyerbeer    The Mighty Handful    Ignaz Moscheles    Modest Mussorgsky
Amilcare Ponchielli
Joachim Raff   Carl Reinecke    Gioachino Antonio Rossini    Anton Rubinstein
Camille Saint-Saëns    Franz Schubert    Robert Schumann    Bedrich Smetana    Fernando Sor    Franz Strauss    Johann Strauss I    Johann Strauss II
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky    Ambroise Thomas
Giuseppe Verdi
Richard Wagner    Carl Maria von Weber



Featured on this page in order of the composer's birth date.

Names are alphabetical, not chronological, per year:


1770 Ludwig van Beethoven
1772 Antonio Casimir Cartellieri
1778 Fernando Sor
1781 Anton Diabelli
1782 Daniel Auber
1786 Carl Maria von Weber
1791 Carl Czerny    Giacomo Meyerbeer
1792 Gioachino Antonio Rossini
1794 Ignaz Moscheles
1797 Gaetano Donizetti    Franz Schubert
1801 Vincenzo Bellini
1803 Hector Berlioz
1804 Mikhail Glinka    Johann Strauss I
1809 Felix Mendelssohn
1810 Frédéric Chopin    Robert Schumann
1811 Franz Liszt    Ambroise Thomas
1813 Alexander Dargomyzhsky    Giuseppe Verdi    Richard Wagner
1822 César Franck    Joachim Raff    Franz Strauss
1823 Emilio Arrieta    Francisco Barbieri
1824 Anton Bruckner    Carl Reinecke    Bedrich Smetana
1825 Johann Strauss II
1829 Anton Rubinstein
1830 Karl Goldmark
1833 Alexander Borodin    Johannes Brahms
1834 Amilcare Ponchielli
1835 César Cui    Camille Saint-Saëns
1836 Mily Balakirev
1837 Théodore Dubois    Alexandre Guilmant
1838 Georges Bizet    Max Bruch
1839 Modest Mussorgsky
1840 Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky


  This page indexes the early Romantic period of classical music. The classical pages are structured differently from the other YouTube histories. Due that specific dates are largely impossible with early classical music we keep the convention of indexing works on those pages by alphabetical order only. That is, they are not in chronological order. Dates are noted by appendage and refer the year of publication if not composition. Years at listing headers attempt to date years during which the musician was (possibly) actively composing in some manner. They are broadly circa and largely, though not exclusively, disregard childhood (juvenilia), but may account for unknown works, published or not, in early adulthood, college or study. End dates assume most composers were yet working at the time of their deaths excepting unique cases known otherwise. As for opus numbers, we give them as needful. (Opus numbers are those given by composers themselves, the practice beginning about the time of Joseph Haydn. Publishers also assigned opus numbers. But opus numbers were generally so disorganized that various cataloguing systems developed to gain some clarity as to sequence.) Pieces without opus numbers were sometimes designated a number as WoO. Brackets (: [Part 1]) indicate sections made by YouTube channels. If the composer you're seeking isn't on this page he may be in Classical or Late Romantic. Piano works by several composers of the Romantic period may be found under Arthur Rubinstein in Early Modern.  


The Romantic period is generally understood to extend from 1815 to 1910. Ludwig van Beethoven was born in 1770 in Bonn, Germany. Though largely a classical composer in his first period, Beethoven also serves as the Big Bang to the Romantic period. The Romantic period is characterized by free-flowing composition without the bounds of classical structures, pursuing a greater individuality, a bit like the development of bop in jazz of out of swing. Beethoven received his early instruction from his father who was a kapellmeister. He gave his first public performance at age eight. A year or so later he began studying under opera composer, Christian Gottlob Neefe, releasing his first published compositions in 1781: WoO 63, a set of keyboard variations (below). His first three sonatas (1783) were a set dedicated to the Archbishop-Elector of Cologne titled 'Kurfurst' ('Elector'). It's thought that in 1787 Beethoven left Bonn for a brief trip to Vienna to study with Mozart, his senior by fifteen years, but there is no record of the pair ever meeting. In 1789 Beethoven found it needful to obtain a court order to be directly paid half his father's salary in order to care for his younger brothers, his father having fallen into an alcoholism through which he could somehow work but not much else. If Beethoven's earlier endeavor to meet Mozart wasn't successful, he did manage to meet and study with Johann Michael Haydn in Vienna in 1792, where he remained to study with Johann Georg Albrechtsberger. By 1793 he was a favored virtuoso in the salons of the nobility. His first public performance of a concerto followed in 1795, the composing of his first string quartets begun in 1798. Beethoven's 'First Symphony' (below) arrived in 1800. He had by that time been publishing fairly well overall, and been teaching (pupils of the nobility). But it was by 1796 that Beethoven began to lose his hearing so severely as to avoid conversations for frustration. Severe tinnitus was the early symptom. By 1801 he was frustrating others in conversations. During the first decade of the 19th century Beethoven enjoyed the patronage of Archduke Rudolph, youngest son of Emperor Leopold II, and Jérôme Bonaparte, brother to Napoleon. Beethoven's heroic (middle) period is generally marked with 'Third Symphony in E flat' ('Buonaparte' or 'Eroica', below), first performed in 1805 and dedicated to Napoleon Bonaparte (later changing his mind and dedicating it to Prince Joseph Franz Maximilian Lobkowitz). 1809 found Beethoven covering his head with pillows while hiding in a basement during Napoleon's siege of Vienna. He continued to perform until the failure of a piano concerto in 1811. Piano performances had been Beethoven's emphasis up to that point. Now he would more concentrate on composing. Relevant to the Napoleonic period arrived Beethoven's symphony, 'Wellington's Victory' (below), in 1813. Approaching his latter decade Beethoven began to keep conversation books (the equivalent of sign language at the time), some four hundred of which yet survive. In 1826 he wrote what he himself favored as his single finest work: 'String Quartet 14 in C sharp minor' (below). His health having begun to fail him by that time (third period), Beethoven composed his last piece in 1826, the final movement to 'String Quartet 16 in B flat major', replacing the earlier one, the controversial and difficult 'Große Fuge' (below). His remaining months were bedridden, dying in March of 1827. Like Mozart, it isn't known just what illness killed Beethoven. But unlike Mozart, who died in debt 36 years earlier (thus buried in a common grave without fanfare, several musicians attending his funeral), Beethoven's services were attended by about 20,000 people. Of Beethoven's prolific production of compositions, his orchestral works include symphonies, concertos, overtures, dances and marches. He wrote chamber music for piano and strings as well as piano solos: sonatas, variations and bagatelles. Beethoven also wrote for voice, including a long list of specifically British, Scottish, Irish and Welsh folk songs. His most famous works which just about anyone has heard are likely 'Moonlight Sonata' and 'Symphony 5' (both below). There are a number of cataloguing systems for Beethoven. We go by the most common used, either opus numbers ascribed by Beethoven or his publishers, or "WoO" numbers meaning ("Without Opus"). The first movement of Beethoven's '6th Symphony', below, was used in the 1940 animation extravaganza, 'Fantasia', which score was arranged by Leopold Stokowski. Beethoven's five piano concertos are played by Arthur Rubinstein in Early Modern.

Ludwig van Beethoven   1780 - 1826

  6 Bagatelles

1823   Op 126

      Piano: Anna Radchenko

  7 Bagatelles

      1802   Op 33

      Piano: James Boyk

  9 Variations for Piano

      1781   WoO 63

      First published composition

      Pianoforte: Ernst Dressler

  23 Songs Of Various Nationalities

    WoO 158a

    Album: 'Beethoven Folksong Arrangements'

  Große Fuge in B flat major

   1826 Op 133

  Alban Berg Quartett

  Piano Sonata 14 in C sharp minor

    1801   Op 27:2   'Moonlight Sonata'

    Piano: Tomasz Trzciński

  String Quartet 14 in C sharp minor

    1826   Op 131

    Afiara Quartet

  Symphony 1 in C major

    1799–1800   Op 21

    Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto/Peter Maag

  Symphony 3 in E flat major ('Eroica')

    1803-04   Op 55

    Radio Kamer Filharmonie/Philippe Herreweghe

  Symphony 5 in C minor

    1804–08  Op 67

    Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

   Christian Thielemann

  Symphony 6 in F major

    1808   Op 68:1 Allegro ma non troppo

    From the film 'Fantasia' 1940

   Philadelphia Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski

  Symphony 9 in D minor ('Choral')

    1817–24   Op 125

    London Symphony Orchestra/Josef Krips

  Wellington's Victory

    1813   Op 91

    Octophoros/Paul Dombrecht

Birth of Classical Music: Ludwig von Beethoven

Ludwig von Beethoven   1820

Painting: Joseph Karl Stieler

Source: Tutt Art
  Born in 1772 in present-day Gdańsk, Antonio Casimir Cartellieri is the first composer from Poland to enter these histories of classical music, though he wasn't Polish, his father Italian and his mother Latvian. Cartellieri was age thirteen when they divorced and his mother took him to Berlin. In 1791 he became court composer to Count Oborsky in Poland, with whom he traveled back to Berlin, producing 'Die Geisterbeschwörung' in 1793. He then followed Oborsky to Vienna where he studied with Johann Albrechtsberger. It's likely in Vienna that Prince Joseph Franz Maximilian Lobkowicz hired Cartellieri as Kapellmeister in 1796, with whom he remained as a voice tutor and violinist until his death in 1807 in Liebshausen, Bohemia. Cartellieri had known and worked with Beethoven, but the cause of his death at only age 35 remains a mystery.

Antonio Cartellieri   1790 - 1807

  Clarinet Concerto No 1 in B flat major

Prague Chamber Orchestra

     Clarinet: Dieter Klöcker

  Clarinet Concerto No.3 in E flat major

Prague Chamber Orchestra

    Clarinet: Dieter Klöcker

  La celebre Natività del Redentore

  1806   Oratorio

     Chorus Musicus-Köln/Das neue Orchester

     Christoph Spering

  Symphony 1 in C minor

     Evergreen Symphony Orchestra

     Gernot Schmalfuss

  Born in 1778 in Barcelona, Fernando Sor was a romantic distinctly different from Beethoven or Rachmaninoff. He is the first Spanish composer to enter these histories since Renaissance musician, Tomás Luis de Victoria, Victoria the only other Spanish composer in these histories thus far. The main reason why is the shifting Muslim occupation of portions of Spain from 709 until their final expulsion by the Hapsburgs in 1614. While the rest of Europe was producing music the Iberian Peninsula was fraught with relentless battle for several centuries. The so-called peaceful Caliphates had little use for European music when they weren't forcing Islam on various populations. Battle-torn Spain produced many a composer in the shifting regions it controlled, but it took a century and a half to produce one so significant as Sor. Sor was a virtuosic guitarist who had begun composing by age eleven. His only formal training was in the choir at the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey in Catalonia as a teenager. He began writing nationalistic music upon Napoleon's invasion of Spain in 1808. He became a captain during Spain's resistance, then an administrator in Napoleon's new government in Spain. Having switched allegiances, he fled to Paris upon the Spanish uprising against French domination in 1813, never to see Spain again. He there left his government career and drilled full bore into music. His initial operas there fared not well, but his abilities with a guitar made for success that found him in London in 1915 where his dramatic works were better received. Starting in 1823 he lived in Moscow for three years, then toured Europe. Settling in Paris in 1827, he there composed the majority of his pieces for guitar. His 'Méthode pour la Guitare' was published in 1830. His last composition was a mass in honor of his daughter who died in 1837. He himself followed in 1839 of throat and tongue cancer. Sor's place in classical music is cemented due his works for guitar, but he also composed for piano and voice, church music, works for chamber and orchestra, and a good number of didactic pieces. Sor was more a composer of classical, than Spanish, guitar.

Fernando Sor   1813 - 1837

  3 Easy Duets

   1833   Op 55:3


    Andrzej Olewiński

    Aleksander Wilgos

 6 Short Pieces

   1832   Op 47: 5

Lawrence Johnson

 7 Minuets

   Guitar: Evangelos Assimakopoulos

 Divertimento in E major

   1837   Op 62:1

    Guitar: Jordi Codina


   1828   Op 34   For 2 guitars

    Guitars: Julian Bream & John Williams

 Fantaisie Élégiaque

   1836   Op 59   For guitar E minor

    Guitar: Thomas Viloteau

 Variations on a Theme by Mozart

   1821   Op 9

    Guitar: Evangelos Assimakopoulos

Birth of Classical Music: Fernando Sor

Fernando Sor   Circa 1825

Lithograph: Gottfried Engelmann

From a painting by Innocent-Louis Goubaud

Source: Classic Cat
Birth of Classical Music: Anton Diabelli

Anton Diabelli

Source: Music Room
Born in 1781 in Mattsee, Austria, Anton Diabelli studied with Johann Michael Haydn. He had already composed a number of works before becoming a priest in 1800 in Bavaria. The next year his monastery was closed, so he moved to Vienna to teach guitar and piano, finding employment as a proofreader for a publishing house. While continuing to compose, Diabelli founded his own publishing enterprise in 1817, which would become Cappi & Diabelli, the next year begin publishing the works of Franz Schubert in 1821. Cappi left that concern in 1824, Cappi & Diabelli then becoming Diabelli & Co. Upon Schubert's premature death in 1728 Diabelli purchased Schubert's estate of some 1000 works from Schubert's brother, enabling his firm to print unheard works by Schubert for the next three decades. Diabelli retired from publishing in 1851, dying in 1858. Though better known as a publisher than musician during his time, Diabelli was a solid composer, writing pieces largely for guitar, piano and voice amidst other works. Though Diabelli isn't the first musician in these histories to have played or composed for guitar, he is the first, aside from Fernando Sor, for whom that instrument in particular is of major emphasis.

Antonio Diabelli   1795 - 1858

 Great Brilliant

   Op 102   Sonata in D major

    Gitarre: Spiro Thomatos

    Klavier: Fritz Bernhard

  Pastoral Mass in F major

Op 147

     Augsburger Domsingknaben

     Residenz Kammerorchester München

Reinhard Kammler

  Serenata Concertante

     Op 105

     Flute: Kaoru Namba

     Guitar: Masahiro Masuda

     Viola: Shizuka Inoue

   Sonata in C major

Op 29   Guitar: Wiwat Nawaboon

   Variations on a Favorite Theme

Op 57

      Guitars: Carlo Barone & Adrian Walter

Born in 1782 in Caen, Normandy, Daniel François Esprit Auber studied music as a youth but was sent to London to study business at age 20. Though having produced earlier compositions, his first to be employed were four concertos for cello, used by violinist, Jacques-Michel Lamare, during that period. His first opera, a one-act comedie titled 'Julie', premiered in 1805. He began working with librettist, Eugène Scribe, in 1822, he and Scribe producing 38 stage works together over the next 31 years, largely a string of happy endeavors. Their first opera was 'Leicester' in 1823. In 1825 Auber joined the Legion of Honor until 1847, eventually securing the rank of commander along the way. In 1842 he became director of the Paris Conservatoire. His opera, 'Haydée', premiered in 1847. Auber died in 1871. Though an obscure composer today, Auber was consistently popular during his time, most of his 48 operas premiering in Paris. Fairy operas (per below) were a French genre of opera based on fairy tales.

Daniel Auber   1800 - 1871

  Le Cheval de Bronze: Overture

    1835   Fairy opera   3 acts

     Detroit Symphony Orchestra

     Paul Paray

  Les diamants de la couronne: Overture

     1841   Opera comique   3 acts

  Fra Diavolo

    1880   Opera comique   3 acts

      Conductor: Bruno Campanella

      Fra Diavolo: Giuseppe Sabbatini

  Le domino noir: Overture

     1837   Opera comique   3 acts

      Philarmonia Slavonica

  Gustave III

    1833   Grand opera   5 acts

      Ensemble Vocal Intermezzo

      Orchestre Lyrique Français

      Michel Swierczewski

  La muette de Portici: Overture

    1856   Opera   3 acts

      Radio Bratislava Symphony Orchestra

      Ondrej Lenárd

  La Sirène: Overture

    1844   Opera comique   3 acts

      Stockholms Strauss Orkester/Sven Verde

Birth of Classical Music: Daniel Auber

Daniel Auber

Wikimedia Commons
Birth of Classical Music: Carl von Weber

Carl von Weber

Source:  Wikipedia
Born in 1786 in Eutin, Holstein (now in northern Germany), Carl Maria von Weber's father, Franz had been a military officer, violinist and musical director before founding a theatrical company in Hamburg in 1787. His son, Carl, was able to play piano and sing at age four. Among Weber's various teachers was Franz Joseph Haydn while in Salzburg with his father in 1798, they having gone there upon his mother's death earlier that year. Weber's compositions were first published that year in Leipzig, a set of six fughettas for piano. His first opera, 'Das stumme Waldmädchen' ('The Silent Forest Maiden'), appeared in Freiberg, Saxony, in 1800. He began publishing articles as a music critic in 1801. He was Director at the Breslau Opera (now Wrocław Opera) in 1806. That position presenting frustrations, Weber hired on as private secretary to Duke Louis of Württemberg in 1807. His father also worked for the Duke, in such capacity as to enable him to misappropriate large sums of the Duke's money. Weber was charged alike his father with embezzlement and banished from Württemberg in 1810. He thereafter traveled about Germany, amidst which he worked as an operatic director in Prague, until obtaining the directorship of the Dresden Opera in 1817. His performance of 'Der Freischütz' (below) in 1821 in Berlin meant taking that opera on a European tour until 1826 when he was invited to the Royal Opera in London. He there composed 'Oberon' and lived to conduct it, dying two months later of tuberculosis. For the last several decades opera had been experiencing a tug of war between the older Italian and newer German opera, they differing both in fundamental approach and style. Among the emphases of Weber's career was the firm establishment of the German way of doing things. Along with 10 operas Weber composed concertos, symphonies, vocal works for orchestra and sacred music. J numbers below per Friedrich Jähns, 1967 edition (first edition 1871).

Carl Maria von Weber   1795 - 1826

  Der Freischutz (The Freeshooter)

     1821   J 277   Op 77   Opera

       Carlos Kleiber   Soprano: Gundula Janowitz

   Abu Hassan: Overture

1810-11   J 106   Opera

      Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

      Conductor: Lawrence Foster

   Missa Sancta 2 in G major

'Jubelmesse'   1818-19   J 251   Op 76

      Cologne West German Radio Chorus

      Cologne West German Radio Orchestra

Helmut Froschauer

Soprano: Anke Hoffmann

  Oberon: Overture

1825-26   J 306

     Gewandhausorchester Leipzig/David Oistrakh

  Piano Concerto 1 in C major

1810   J 98   Op 11

     Staatskapelle Dresden/Herbert Blomstedt

      Piano: Peter Rösel

  Piano Concerto 2 in E flat major

1812   J 155   Op 32

     RTE Sinfonietta/Proinnsias O Duinn

     Piano: Benjamin Frith

  Piano Sonata 4 in E minor

1819-22   J 287   Op 70

     Piano: Michael Endres

  Though born in 1791 in Vienna, Carl Czerny was Czech. Nor did his family speak German. Czerny's father was a piano teacher who wasted no time clearing Carl's path. Playing piano at three and composing at seven, Czerny first publicly performed in 1800, a concerto by Mozart. Beginning in 1801 he studied under Beethoven for the next three years. Such was the start of a lifetime friendship. Czerny had a phenomenal memory and could play any piece by Beethoven on call by 1804-05. Beethoven chose Czerny to premiere his first concerto in 1806 (his fifth in 1812), the same year he began teaching, Franz Liszt to become a pupil in 1819. (Due to Liszt's skill Czerny instructed him for free.) Czerny performed on tours in Italy, France and England until 1840, when he decided to focus more composition than playing piano. He died a wealthy man in Vienna in 1857, bequeathing most his fortune to charities. Czerny had composed above a thousand works, largely with piano in mind, though sacred works as well. His piano works included fantasies, impromptus (brief solo pieces reminiscent of improvisation), rondeaux, sonatas, variations, etc. Czerny's prestige carried onward into the modern period due his advanced piano techniques and students who themselves became successful composers.

Carl Czerny   1800 - 1857

  Nonett in E flat major


      Consortium Classicum/Dieter Klöcker

      Piano: Claudius Tanski

  Piano Concerto in C major 4 hands

      1827?   Op 153

      Philharmonisches Orchester Altenburg-Gera

      Conductor: David Porcelijn

      Piano: Anna & Ines Walachowski

  Piano Sonata 1 in A flat major

      1822?   Op 7:4   Rondo

      Piano: Martin Jones

  Piano Sonata 6 in D minor

     1826?   Op 124   Piano: Martin Jones

  The School of Velocity

     Op 299   40 exercizes   Piano: Rino Nicolosi

  Symphony 1 in C minor

     Op 780

     Staatsorchester Frankfurt/Nikos Athinäos

  Symphony 5 in E flat major

     Staatsorchester Frankfurt/Nikos Athinäos

Birth of Classical Music: Daniel Auber

Carl Czerny

Source: Bach Cantatas
  Born near Berlin in 1791 (capital of Prussia at the time), Giacomo Meyerbeer (Jacob Liebmann Beer) had a rich Jewish financier for a father and, with the exception of Romanos the Melodist with whom these histories begin, is the first Jewish composer to find entry into these histories. He studied with Franz Lauska and Muzio Clementi before giving his first public piano performance in 1801 (a concerto by Mozart). He then studied with composers Antonio Salieri and Carl Zelter. His first theatrical work was produced in 1810 in Berlin, a ballet called 'Der Fischer und das Milchmädchen'. From 1810 to 1812 he studied under Georg Joseph Voglerh, about the time Beer changed his name to Meyerbeer. After staging a number of works in Germany Meyerbeer traveled to Paris and London before arriving in Italy to study Italian opera in 1816. Commencing opera productions there in 1817, not until 'Il crociato in Egitto' did Meyerbeer begin to see resounding success. First staged in Venice in 1824, he took the show to London the next year, then Paris where, as Paris was the music capital of Europe everyday success translated to big success. ('Il crociato in Egitto' was the last opera to feature a castrato. Castratos had a range from contralto to soprano. Eunuchs had been singing in choirs since about 400 AD, Empress consort, Aelia Eudoxia, of Constantinople, employing a eunuch for a choir master. Eunuchs were originally slaves castrated before puberty to ensure submission. They were later found among males who simply never reached puberty. Castration for musical purposes wasn't made illegal until 1861 in Italy. It wasn't forbidden by the Catholic Church until 1878. As for Jewish castration of foreskin on the eighth day of life, Meyerbeer apparently believed, at least for a time, that who didn't bleed on the ninth day would bleed throughout life and after death.) Big success got translated to huge success in 1831 with the production of 'Robert le diable'. In 1832 Meyerbeer became Kapellmeister to the court of Frederick William III of Prussia. His opera, 'Les Huguenots', appeared in Paris in 1836 (to Robert Schumann's displeasure, Schumann casting no pearls before Jews). 'Le prophète' arrived in 1849 (to Richard Wagner's displeasure, Meyerbeer among the Jewish composers for whom Wagner had small taste, including Moscheles and Mendelssohn). Meyerbeer died in Paris in 1864, his 'L'Africaine' staged posthumously the next year. Wagner continued as could to see Meyerbeer erased from musical history, believing Meyerbeer's work to be superficial, and his success more purchased than earned (Meyerbeer having always been wealthy and staging spectacles exceedingly costly to produce). In 1933 the Nazi regime banned Meyerbeer altogether. Meyerbeer composed some 13 operas and 50 songs.

Giacomo Meyerbeer   1805 - 1864

  L'Africaine: Prelude

     1837-63   First performed 1865 Paris   5 acts

     Radio-Philharmonie Hannover

     Conductor: Michail Jurowski

  L'Africaine: Finale

     1837-63   First performed 1865 Paris   5 acts


     Conductor: Frank Beermann

  Clarinet Quintet in E-flat major

     1813   Clarinet: Dieter Klöcker

  Il crociato in Egitto

      1824   2 acts

      Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Henry Lewis

  Dinorah: Overture

      1859   3 acts

      Geoffrey Mitchell Choir

      Philharmonia Orchestra

Conductor: James Judd

  Les Huguenots

     1836   5 acts

     Sydney Opera House

     The Australian Opera

Director: Lofti Mansouri

     Conducting: Richard Bonynge

  Margherita d'Anjou

     1820 Revised 1826   2 acts

     London Philharmonic Orchestra/David Parry

  Le Prophete

     1836-49   5 acts

     Chor und Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper

     Marcello Viotti

Birth of Classical Music: Daniel Auber

Giacomo Meyerbeer

Photo: Pierre Petit

Source: Noteworthy
Birth of Classical Music: Gioachino Rossini

Gioachino Rossini   1858

Photo: Félix Nadar

Source:  Wikipedia
Born in 1792 in Pesaro, Italy, Gioachino Antonio Rossini had a horn player for a father, who also inspected slaughterhouses, and a singer for a mother, both of whom played together at theatres. He also received fundamental instruction for a couple of years from a blacksmith to whom he was apprenticed. Rossini's first known compositions, a number of string sonatas, were written in 1804. His first appearance in public other than in a choir was the next year, singing in a theatre, which he would never do again. He composed his first opera, 'Demetrio e Polibio', in 1805/06, but didn't stage it until 1812 after several of his other operas had appeared. Beginning in 1806 Rossini sought instruction at the Conservatorio di Bologna, learning cello. His debut opera in public was 'La cambiale di matrimonio' in 1810 in Venice. He spent the next decade becoming Italy's most popular name in opera. In 1815 Rossini came by an offer too nice to despise from impresario, Domenico Barbaia, in Naples. Rossini was to supply one opera per year to the Teatro di San Carlo and the Teatro del Fondo. To be paid 200 ducats per month and what would amount to about 1000 ducats annually from gambling tables at those theatres. For Beethoven the value of 1 ducat after 1816 was equivalent to $133 today. If the value of a ducat was anything similar in Italy, that provided Rossini a salary of about $319,200 today, plus another $133,000 in gambling profits, a prime salary for a man only 24 years old in 1816. Rossini is probably most famous for his opera, 'The Barber of Seville' (1816). In 1822 he was staging works in Vienna, taking performances to Paris and London the next year. In 1824 he became music director at the Théâtre des Italiens in Paris, to be paid £800 annually (about $94,095 today). He also began composing for Charles X of France. About 1832 (age 40) Rossini retired, trading music for the life of a gourmand (as one might gather from the photo to the left) and hosting salons. He did continue to compose, however, at leisure, his 'Péchés de vieillesse' ('Sins of Old Age'), being a collection of piano and voice solos composed between 1857 and his death in 1868 of pneumonia in Paris. Rossini left an estate valued at about 1.4 million dollars today, which is peanuts to not a few successful musicians in these times. But in Rossini's period, during which there was neither radio nor recording from which to earn royalties, that was rock star money. (It's been figured that Beethoven's 9th Symphony may have been worth about $19,200 in today's money to him, a little sonata or cantata perhaps seven to nine hundred dollars, nothing like the sums that can be made today by any silly song at all.) Rossini's compositions were of singularly powerful influence on opera during the first half of the 19th century, his 39 Italian operas the greatest rival at that time to German opera. He also composed a number of cantatas, instrumental works and sacred pieces.

Gioachino Rossini   1803 - 1868

  Il Barbiere di Siviglia

1816   Opera

Choir of Cologne

 Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart

      Gabriele Ferro

   Bianca e Falliero

1819   Opera

Coro Filarmonico di Praga

      London Sinfonietta Opera Orchestra

      Donato Renzetti

  Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra

1815   Opera

Teatro Massimo di Palermo/Nino Sanzogno

  Guillaume Tell

1829   Last opera

Teatro di San Carlo di Napoli

      Fernando Previtali

  L'equivoco stravagante

1811   Opera

Orchestra Sinfonica e coro della Rai di Napoli

      Bruno Rigacci

   Petite messe solennelle

     1863   Sacred

Coro de la OSG

     Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia

Director: Alberto Zedda

  La Riconoscenza

1821   Cantata

Orchestra Sinfonica e coro di Torino della RAI

      Herbert Handt

  Stabat Mater

1831 Revised 1841   Sacred

Philharmonia Orchestra/Carlo Maria Giulini

Birth of Classical Music: Ignaz Moscheles

Ignaz Moscheles   1820

Source: Wikimedia Commons
Born in 1794 in Prague, Jewish Ignaz Moscheles had a rich merchant who played guitar for a father. Upon his father's death he went to Prague with his mother in 1808, where he gave his first public concert, then Vienna, managing to study counterpoint and theory under Johann Albrechtsberger and composition beneath Antonio Salieri. Beginning to make a name for himself as a piano virtuoso, he and Meyerbeer played duets together during that period. He also met and worked for Beethoven, thereat to begin an important relationship between them. Eventually leaving Vienna to tour Europe, Moscheles landed on English soil for the initial time in 1822. In 1824 he became tutor to Felix Mendelssohn, age 15, in Berlin, accounting him a "phenomenon" and "master" already. As with Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Moscheles would work with each other in various ways in the coming years. When Mendelssohn died in 1847 Moscheles assumed leadership of the conservatory Mendelssohn had founded in Leipzig in 1843. That position brought him to maintain rivalry between the Mendelssohn and Wagner camps. He died in 1870 in Leipzig. Most of Moscheles' works, above 140, were for piano and orchestra, including a large number of sonatas and études. (Etudes are brief exercises or demonstrations of virtuosity.)

Ignaz Moscheles   1805 - 1870

  Les Charmes de Pari

    1822   Op 54   Rondo

      Piano: Marc Andre Hamelin

  Fantasie in D major

    Op 57   Piano: Loredana Brigandi

  Grande Sonate

    1819?   Op 47:1   Piano 4 hands

      Piano: Nakamura Junko & Hayashikawa Takashi

  Grande Sonate

    1819?   Op 47:2   Piano 4 hands

      Piano: Nakamura Junko & Hayashikawa Takashi

  Grande Sonate

    1819?   Op 47:3-4   Piano 4 hands

      Piano: Nakamura Junko & Hayashikawa Takashi

  Piano Concerto 3 in G minor

    Op 58   3 movements

      Philharmonica Hungarica/Othmar Maga

      Piano: Michael Ponti

  Sonate mélancolique

    1821   Op 49

      F sharp minor   Allegro con passione

      Piano: Michael van Krücker

  Symphony 1 C major

    First performance 1829 London ?   Op 81

      Frankfurt State Orchestra/Nikos Athinaos

  Born in Bergamo in northern Italy in 1797, Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti was one of the triple whammy that dominated Italian opera during the first half of the 19th century, consisting of  Gioachino Rossini, Vincenzo Bellini and himself. Donizetti attended the school of composer, Simon Mayr, on scholarship, perhaps at age nine. He also studied counterpoint and fugue at the Liceo Filarmonico in Balogna. Donizetti's first opera was a one-act comedy in 1816, 'Il Pigmalione', probably never performed during Donizetti's life. He performed his first opera, 'Enrico di Borgogna', in Venice in 1818 to no great fanfare, though it brought him a commission to stage his one-act 'Una follia' the next month, again to lukewarm result. Donizetti had written nine operas to no resounding applause by the time he went to Rome, then Naples, in 1822. It was in Naples that he staged his first truly successful operas that year: 'La Zingara' and 'La lettera anonina'. Contracts in Rome followed before staging 'Emilia di Liverpool' in Naples in 1824, working in Palermo the next year. He became Director of the Royal Theatres of Naples in 1829, which was a boon over the next decade, but not the splash that 'Anna Bolena' made in Milan in 1830, the opera that established him as a major name throughout Europe. He thereafter pumped out theatrical works in rapid succession in Italy until traveling to Paris in 1835 to perform 'Marino Faliero' and 'Lucia di Lammermoor'. In 1938 his opera, 'Poliuto', concerning the Christian martyr, Saint Polyeuctus, was banned by the King of Naples who felt the stage was no place for such sacred subject matter. Donizetti caught an attitude and left for Paris, greatened 'Poliuto' upon revision into 'Les Martyrs', and staged it in 1840 to success that was becoming old hat by then. He then shuttled back and forth between Milan and Paris, staging operas, before going to Vienna in 1842 where he became Kapellmeister at the chapel of the royal court of Ferdinand I. He traveled about Italy before returning the same year to Paris, there to stage 'Don Pasquale' in 1843. About that time Donizetti's health was beginning to fail him. But he was a workaholic, in Vienna to perform the works of several other composers before returning to Paris to stage, the same year, 'Dom Sébastien' and 'Maria di Rohan' (said to have been largely composed in less than 24 hours). December that year found him neatly back at the chapel of the royal court in Vienna. Between working there and traveling about Italy it was 1845 before his final return to Paris, where his mental and physical health so rapidly deteriorated as to find him institutionalized the next year. His brother finally won his release to a Paris apartment, then a last trip to Bergamo. He spent the last several months of his life detached from existence about him, dying in April of 1848 of syphilis. Donizetti wrote almost 70 operas, his exemplary of bel canto style. He also wrote 193 songs, 26 cantatas and a firm number of instrumental, orchestral and piano works. All works below are operas except 'Messa da Requiem'.

Gaetano Donizetti   1810 - 1848

   Anna Bolena

1830   2 acts

      Soprano: Anna Netrebko

      Mezzo-soprano: Elīna Garanča

   Don Pasquale

      1843   3 acts

      Chorus: Teatro Municipale di Piacenza

      Orchestra: Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini

      Conductor: Riccardo Muti

      Don Pasquale: Claudio Desderi

   L'Elisir d'amore

      1832   2 acts

      Chor & Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper

      Alfred Eschwe


      1831   Revised 1833   2 acts

     Chorus & Orchestra Teatro dell'Opera di Roma

     Conductor: Daniel Oren

      Fausta: Raina Kabaivanska

   La Fille du Regiment

      1840   2 acts

      Chorus & Orchestra Teatro alla Scala

      Donato Renzetti

   Lucia di Lammermoor

      1835   3 acts

      Covent Garden Chorus & Orchestra

      Richard Bonynge

      Lucia: Joan Sutherland

  Maria di Rohan

      1842-43   3 acts

      Choeurs du Grand Theatre

      Orchestre de la Suisse Romande

      Conductor: Evelino Pido

      Maria di Rohan: Annick Massis

  Les Martyrs

      1840   3 acts   Revision of 'Poliuto'

      Teatro Bergamo/Adolfo Camozzo

      Pauline: Leyla Gencer

  Messa da Requiem

      Chor der Bamberger Symphoniker

      Bamberger Symphoniker

      Conductor: Miguel Gomez-Martinez

      Soprano: Cheryl Studer


      1838   3 acts

      Chorus: Teatro Donizetti di Bergamo

      Orchestra Sinfonica dell'Emilia Romagna

      Conductor: Gianandrea Gavazzeni

      Poliuto: Jose Sempere

  Ugo, Conte di Parigi

      1832   2 acts

      Geoffrey Mitchell Choir/Philharmonia Orchestra

      Conductor: Alun Francis

      Ugo: Maurice Arthur


Birth of Classical Music: Gaetano Donizetti

Gaetano Donizetti

Painting: Giuseppe Rillosi

Source:  Wikipedia
  Born in Vienna, Austria, in 1797, Franz Schubert had a schoolmaster for a father. He learned to play violin, piano, organ and viola, and was composing string quartets as a juvenile, In 1808 Schubert won a scholarship to study at the Stadtkonvikt (Imperial Seminary). Upon his works there revealing genius, he was soon studying theory and composition under Antonio Salieri. His first employment was as a teacher at his father's school. Such was a station difficult to overcome even as he was continually generating compositions nonstop. In 1818 Schubert gave his first performance of a secular work, an overture, the same year he became a music tutor to the family of Count Johann Karl Esterházy. In 1820 he was arrested by Austrian police and reprimanded for use of "insulting and opprobrious language" against government officials. Schubert's first published work was the lied, 'Der Erlkönig' (below), in 1821 (printed by Anton Diabelli). In 1822 Schubert met both major composers, Carl Weber and Beethoven, but that amounted to nodding heads. One reason their are nigh no compositions noted in this paragraph is that the list of Schubert's notable works is too long to address. Even as he was fiddling with all the entrapments of staging operas he was churning out compositions underground and elsewise that did and would challenge the classical status quo, the rejection of his works during his lifetime as marked as applause. In the summer of 1828 Schubert began to fall ill to degree that he thought he might die, which he did in November that year, age 31, typhoid generally considered his killer. Schubert joins Beethoven as the preeminent pair that of experiment and innovation launched the Romantic period. Composing above 1,500 works, about 600 of them were for solo voice and piano. (He proved a treasure chest to Diabelli, who upon Schubert's death purchased his musical estate from Schubert's brother, there so many works unheard that his publishing firm printed "new" pieces by Schubert for the next thirty years.) Among Schubert's favored poets to put to song were Johann Goethe. Other than the vast quantity of secular lieder that Schubert wrote, he also composed music for masses and hymns. Together with about 21 operatic works he composed chamber music for piano and strings. His large number of piano pieces include duets, sonatas and dances. His 'Ave Maria' was featured in the Walt Disney animation film, 'Fantasia', in 1940. Though opus numbers aren't much used with Schubert (they making little sense between he and those publishers who assigned them) we cite those given. Standard cataloguing of Schubert is by D number, first assigned in 1951 by Otto Erich Deutsch, revised edition 1978. Schubert's fourth impromptu is listed under Arthur Rubinstein in Early Modern.

Franz Schubert
   1810 - 1828

 12 German Dances

   1823   D 790   Op 171

     Piano: Alfred Brendel

 Der Erlkönig

   1815   D 328

     Bass baritone: Philippe Sly

     Piano: Maria Fuller: piano

 Fantasy in F minor

   1828   D 940   Piano 4 hands

     Piano: Louis Lortie & Hélène Mercier

 Fierabras: Overture

   1823   D 796   Op 76   Opera

     Prague Sinfonia/Christian Benda

 Lazarus   [Part 1/3]

   1820   D 689   Oratorio

     Libretto: August Niemeyer

     Südfunkchor Stuttgart/Wolfgang Isenhardt

     Radio Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart

     Gabriel Chmura

 Lazarus   [Part 2/3]

   1820   D 689   Oratorio

     Libretto: August Niemeyer

     Südfunkchor Stuttgart/Wolfgang Isenhardt

     Radio Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart

     Gabriel Chmura

 Lazarus   [Part 3/3]

   1820   D 689   Oratorio

     Libretto: August Niemeyer

     Südfunkchor Stuttgart/Wolfgang Isenhardt

     Radio Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart

     Gabriel Chmura

 Mass 2 in G major

   1815   D 167

     Moran Singers Ensemble

     Tel-Aviv Soloists Ensemble

     Conductor: Barak Tal

 Mass 5 A flat major

   1822   D 678

     Concerto Köln/Peter Neumann

 Mass 6 in E flat major

   1828   D 950

     Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France

     Conductor: Daniel Harding

 Octet in F major

   1824   D 803   Quatuor Ysaye

 Piano Sonata 16 in A minor

   1825   D 845   Op 42

     Piano: Wilhelm Kempff

 String Quartet in D minor

   'Der Tod und das Mädchen'

     ('Death and the Maiden')

     1826   D 810   Alban Berg Quartett

 String Quintet in C major

   1828   D 956   Op 163   Juilliard Quartet

   Symphony 2 in B flat major

    1815   D 125

    Failoni Orchestra/Michael Halász

  Symphony 3 in D major

    1815   D 200

     Vienna Philharmonic/Carlos Kleiber

  Die Winterreise

    1827   D 911   Op 89   Song cycle

      Baritone: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

Birth of Classical Music: Franz Schubert

Franz Schubert   1827

Painting: Franz Eybl

Source:  Wikipedia
Birth of Classical Music: Vincenzo Bellini

Vincenzo Bellini

 Source: Utah Symphony
Born in 1801 in Catania, Sicily, Vincenzo Bellini could sing an aria at eighteen months, studied music theory at age two, played piano at age three and began composing at age six, according to one dubitable anonymous hand-written source. Bellini was, however, composing by age fifteen, including nine 'Versetti da cantarsi il Venerdi Santo' produced in 1816. Bellini had been instructed in music by his grandfather until going to Naples in 1818 to study at the Conservatorio di San Sebastiano. Upon witnessing his first opera by Rossini, 'Semiramide' (1823), he thought it pointless to attempt better music and took the challenge, his first opera, 'Adelson e Salvini', appearing in 1825 at his college theatre while yet a student. His first publicly performed opera was 'Bianca e Gernando' (originally titled 'Bianca e Fernando') in 1826. It's said that King Francis I of the Two Sicilies broke the custom of applause disallowed at performances attended by royalty. The next year Bellini began basing himself in Milan, producing 'Il pirata' there in 1827. He visited Genoa in 1828 to stage 'Bianca e Fernando' (a revision of 'Bianca e Gernando'). Bellini never married, not wishing distraction from his work, but he did begin an affair of several years while in Genoa with a married woman, one Giuditta Turina. His opera, 'La straniera', followed in Milan in 1829, the same year he went to Parma to stage 'Zaira'. The next year he went to Venice to produce 'I Capuleti e i Montecchi', returning to Milan for 'La sonnambula' and 'Norma' in 1831. Bellini worked again in Venice in 1833, staging 'Beatrice di tenda', then journeyed to London to perform at the King's Theatre. Arriving in Paris in 1833, he there performed his last opera, 'I puritani', in 1835. Bellini was yet another composer whom some or other illness claimed young, dying in September of '85. The doctor who did his autopsy thought he died of dsysentary. Bellini's main rival in Italian opera was Gioachino Rossini, whom he greatly esteemed and in whose shadow his own career was pursued. Yet it was Rossini who handled his funeral and estate upon Bellini's death, and arranged the erection of a monument at Bellini's grave. Bellini's correspondences with his friend since college, Francesco Florimo, a Conservatory librarian, are a good source of information as to some of the frustrations a composer and/or performer of opera could face. He completed eleven of them in addition to a number of songs.

Vincenzo Bellini   1815 - 1835

 I Capuleti e i Montecchi


Orchestra et Chorus of the Opéra de Lyon

     Evelino Pidò

Giulietta: Anna Caterina Antonacci

Romeo: Olga Peretyatko

  Il Barbiere di Siviglia

    1831   Director: Mario Pontiggia

Conductor: Fabrizio Maria Carminati

Soprano: Dimitra Theodossiu

  I Puritani


Orchestra e Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

  La sonnambula


Teatro Lirico di Cagliari/Maurizio Benini

  Born near Grenoble, France, in 1803, Hector Berlioz is the first French composer to enter these histories since Louis-Claude Daquin a century earlier. Paris had been the battleground and, in a manner, summary critic of European music, especially opera, for some decades. Paris was where it was much decided whether opera would go the way German composers had been inventing it or continue along the Italian vein. But that was all imported music, out which fray Paris finally produced a hugely talented composer of its own in Berlioz, though it didn't lay out a carpet. Berlioz' father, Louis, was a physician and scholar, thought to have been the first European to examine Chinese acupuncture. Berlioz didn't begin to study music until age 12, though writing compositions from the start (chamber pieces and romances), and was nigh completely self-taught. He never learned to play piano (not the easiest instrument to come by), though he did learn the flageolet, flute and guitar. After high school Berlioz studied medicine, for which had small taste. He published his first article as a music critic in 1823, quit medicine the next year, then saw the first public performance of one of his compositions, 'Messe solennelle', in 1825. (He later destroyed it, but there was a copy discovered in 1991.) He completed his initial opera in 1826, though it went unperformed. Not until 1826 did he seek instruction (fairly requisite to composition to the degree it had developed long before Berlioz' time), entering the Paris Conservatoire. Berlioz began to get traction in 1830, completing 'Symphonie fantastique' and an overture for Shakespeare's 'The Tempest'. His performance of the latter at the Paris Opera got rained out, but Franz Liszt was in attendance, resulting in their long friendship. In 1831 he left for Rome to study at the Paris Academy. He wasn't there long before receiving a correspondence from the mother of his fiancée, informing him that she was to marry a piano merchant. His first return to Paris was with intent to murder all three, concerning which he changed his mind and returned to Rome. After traveling a bit in Italy Berlioz returned to Paris in 1832, married a woman with whom he didn't get along in 1833, then composed 'Harold en Italie' for composer and virtuosic violinist, Niccolò Paganini, in 1834. Paganini didn't like the score and rejected it until hearing played by someone else. He then paid Berlioz 20,000 francs, broadly in the vicinity of $260,000 today, which extreme generosity Berlioz found shocking, though not fatally so. He paid off his debts, ceased writing music criticism (his bread and butter through the years) and dove into composing, resulting in 'Benvenuto Cellini' in 1836, then the dramatic symphony, 'Roméo et Juliette', first performed in 1839. In 1842 Berlioz decided to tour Germany. His 'Treatise on Instrumentation' appeared in 1844. 1846 saw the first performance of 'La damnation de Faust' (Paris). Unfortunately its failure left him in debt to the tune of five to six thousand francs, which he solved by his first visit to Russia in 1847, he considerably more popular there than in France. Berlioz visited London the same year. He accepted the position of a librarian at the Paris Conservatoire in 1850, the same year he wrote 'Shepherd's Farewell' to experiment with music critics. He gave one performance in his own name and another under an assumed name. Upon critics preferring the performance of the assumed to the actual he scored a point, pun accidental. 1854 witnessed the performance of 'L'enfance du Christ', 'Lélio' and 'Te Deum' following the next year. 'Les Troyens' appeared at the Paris Opera in 1858, 'Béatrice et Bénédict' in Baden-Baden, Germany, in 1862. Berlioz finished his last article for 'Journal des débats', a newspaper, in 1863, though continued writing, publishing 'Memoires' in 1865. The next year he visited Vienna to stage 'La damnation de Faust'. In 1867 Berlioz toured Russia to much fanfare a second time, the trip so profitable that he rejected an offer of 100,000 francs to take his music across the ocean to New York. His health, however, had begun to become severely troublesome by then, he dying in 1869 in Paris. His last words were reportedly, "At last, they are going to play my music." Though Berlioz had difficulty getting his music performed during his lifetime, he was nigh as influential thereafter as Beethoven had been to him, the case. Among the authors from whom he drew material were Thomas De Quincey, Goethe, Georg Byron, Virgil and Shakespeare. He composed several books in addition to songs and music for chamber, chorus and orchestra. H numbers below per Holoman, 1987.

Hector Berlioz   1805 - 1868

  La Damnation de Faust

    1845–46   H 111

     Warsaw National Choir & Philharmonic

      Kazimierz Kord

  L'enfance du Christ

1850   H 130

     Radio Filharmonisch Orkest/James Gaffigan

     Mezzosopran: Blandine Staskiewitcz

  Grande Messe des morts (Requiem)

1838   H 75   Op 5

Dutch Philharmonic Orchestra

     Choir director: Boudewijn Jansen

  Harold en Italie

1834   H 68

Philarmonia Orchestra/Sir Colin Davis

  Les Nuits d’été

1841   H 81   Op 7   Song cycle

     Orchestre de Paris/Daniel Barenboim

     Sopran: Kiri Te Kanawa

  Roméo et Juliette

1839   H 79

Netherlands Radio Choir/Simon Halsey

     Radio Philharmonic Orchestra/James Gaffigan

     Sopran: Géraldine Chauvet

  Symphonie fantastique

    1830   H 48   Op 14

    Danmark Radio Symfoni Orkestret

    Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos

Birth of Classical Music: Hector Berlioz

Hector Berlioz

Source: Opiods
Birth of Classical Music: Mikhail Glinka

Mikhail Glinka

Source: Stock Music
The first Russian composer to enter these histories of classical music is Mikhail Glinka. He is generally considered the fountainhead of Russian classical music. Born in 1804 in what is now Smolensk Oblast on the eastern border of Poland, Glinka's father was a wealthy captain retired from the army of the Tsar. After his grandmother died he received his care and education, including piano and violin, from a brainy governess who taught him languages as well. At 13 he was sent to a school for the nobility in Saint Petersburg, where he began to compose before graduating and and taking his first employment in 1824 as an assistant secretary in the Tsar's the Department of Public Highways. In 1830 Glinka made the long journey from Russia to Italy to study at the Milan Conservatory. On his return trip three years later he studied several months with music theorist, Siegfried Dehn, in Berlin. In 1836 Glink staged his first opera, 'A Life for the Tsar' with the title, 'Ivan Susanin'. He was rewarded with 4000 rubles by the Tsar and made instructor at the Imperial Chapel Choir in St. Petersburg the next year. (He was to be paid lodging and 25,000 rubles per annum. The 'Like Forex' website places the value of one ruble at $30.50 in 1930. Adjusted for inflation, one dollar in 1930 equals 13.75 of them today.) His next opera, 'Ruslan and Lyudmila', saw the stage in 1842. Though the music excelled his prior opera it didn't fair well, so went away as far as he could, Spain, then worked with Hector Berlioz in Paris. In 1856 Glinka went to Berlin where he died upon catching a cold in February the next year. During Glinka's time such as Poland and Spain yet occupied fringe status to the hubs of classical music in Austria, Germany, Italy, Bohemia (Prague), London and, especially, Paris. But, rococo palaces not withstanding, Russia was nigh as frontier at the time as was the United States. It was a long, cold walk and a trip by carriage had to be tortuous. Thus Glinka's significance, Russia thereafter to produce a long list of Romantic and modern composers conspicuously among the greatest in the history of music. Along with operas Glinka produced music for piano and voice, as well as chamber and orchestral works.

Mikhail Glinka   1820 - 1857

  Grand Sextet

    1832   E flat major

      Soloists Ensemble/Mikhail Pletnev

  A Life for the Tsar: Overture

     1834–1836   Opera

      Bolshoi Theatre Moscow

  Ruslan and Lyudmila

     1837–42   Opera

      Kirov Opera & Orchestra/Valery Gergiev

  La sonnambula

     1832   A flat major   Divertimento

      Piano: Alexander Moglievsky

  Spanish Overture 1

     'Capriccio Brilliante on the Jota Aragonesa'


      USSR Symphony Orchestra/Yevgeni Svetlanov

  Symphony on Two Russian Themes

     1834   D minor

     BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Vassily Sinaisky

  Trio pathétique in D minor   [Part 1]

     1827?   Cello: Natalia Gutman

     Clarinet: Kari Kriikku   Piano: Dmitri Vinnik

  Trio pathétique in D minor   [Part 2]

     1827?   Cello: Natalia Gutman

     Clarinet: Kari Kriikku   Piano: Dmitri Vinnik

Birth of Classical Music: Johann Strauss I

Johann Strauss I   1835

Lithograph: Josef Kriehuber

Source: Wikipedia
Born in 1804 in Leopoldstadt (now in Vienna), Johann Strauss I (Senior, the Elder) lost both his parents by age twelve, thereupon placed with his guardian, tailor Anton Müller, who apprenticed him to bookbinder, Johann Lichtscheidl, with whom he learned viola and violin. He also studied music with Johann Polischansky. Upon completing his apprenticeship with Lichtscheidl in 1822 he obtained his first professional position in the orchestra of Michael Pamer before joining the Lanner Quartet, performing Viennese waltzes and rustic German dances. That quartet expanded into a small string orchestra in 1824. He began writing his own dance music upon the formation of his own band in 1825, quickly becoming a favorite in Vienna. He also married in 1825, resulting in six children. In 1834 he took a mistress, resulting in seven to eight more. On a trip to France in 1837 he heard a quadrille (square dance usually performed by four couples), which he introduced to Austria in 1840. He had made a highly successful trip to Great Britain in 1838, then returned to as much in 1849. Strauss, however, died young that year, age 45, of scarlet fever. He was buried in Vienna, having composed some 300 works. Strauss' distinction is that, though he didn't invent the Viennese waltz, he pulled it all together such that "Strauss I" and the "Viennese waltz" are fairly synonymous.

Johann Strauss I
   1825 - 1849


    Op 153   Quadrille

      Slovak Sinfonietta Zilina/Christian Pollack

   Contredanses (Country Dances)

    1831   Op 44

      Slovak Sinfonietta Zilina

      Ernst Marzendorfer

   Frohinns Salven Walzer

     Op 163   Waltz

     Slovak Sinfonietta Zilina

     Christian Pollack

   Huldigung der Königin Victoria

     'Homage to Queen Victoria'

      1838   Op 103   Waltz

      London Symphony Orchestra

     John Georgiadis

  Loreley-Rheinklänge Walzer

     1843   Op 154   Waltz

      Willi Boskovsky/Wiener Philharmoniker

  Myrthenblüthen Walzer

    'Myrtle Blossoms Waltz'

      Op 395   Waltz

      Polish State Philharmonic Orchestra

  Walzer à la Paganini

    Op 11   Waltz

      Slovak Sinfonietta Zilina/Christian Pollack

  Born in 1809 in Hamburg, though raised in Berlin, Felix Mendelssohn had a wealthy banker who had renounced Judaism for a father. Mendelssohn thus eluded circumcision, though was baptized at age seven. He studied piano as a child, the prodigy also composing, finishing his first opera, 'Die Soldatenliebschaft', in 1820. His first meeting with Johann Goethe, a strong influence, occurred in 1821. About age 13 he was composing string symphonies well enough to perform them at salons held by his parents. He may have been thirteen when his first composition was published, a piano quartet (Op 1) estimated to 1822. In 1824 Mendelssohn completed his first full symphony (Op 11 in C minor), also studying under Ignaz Moscheles that year, who later stated that there wasn't a lot that Mendelssohn didn't already know. In 1835 he wrote a translation of Terence's 'Andria' that saw anonymous publishing (he a pupil) in 1826. That work gained him entry to Humboldt University of Berlin in 1826, where he studied until 1829. In 1827 Mendelssohn's performance of 'Die Hochzeit des Camacho' (composed 1825) was a failure, he thereafter hesitant to approach opera. (Mendelssohn completed only two more. Including his last, 'Loreley', which was unfinished, Mendelssohn wrote nine operas). In 1829 Mendelssohn traveled to London, then other points throughout Europe. He became musical director for the city of Düsseldorf in 1833, then Leipzig the next year. 1840 saw him in Berlin performing various musical tasks for King Frederick William IV of Prussia. Mendelssohn founded the Leipzig Conservatory in 1843. In 1846 he made his ninth of ten visits to England to premier his oratorio, 'Elijah '. His last visit the next year found him becoming ill, such that he died of apoplexy in Leipzig in November of 1847, yet another composer who lived but half an average lifetime. One possible assistant to Mendelssohn's premature death was a temper to such degree that his ravings could be incoherent, said even to collapse on occasion. Mendelssohn's virtuosic piano and organ matched his ability to compose, but he had a nemesis in Richard Wagner who believed his music to be "washy," "whimisical" and vague." The later Nazi regime would purge itself of Mendelssohn, regarding him a "dangerous accident" and "degenerate." He has otherwise been generally regarded as a genius, his some 750 works containing not a few masterpieces. Mendelssohn wrote largely choral and orchestral works, concertos, chamber pieces, songs and solos for keyboard. His 'Songs Without Words', below, is a series of lyrical piano pieces written between 1829 and 1845. Mendelssohn was also a skilled watercolor painter (see 'Piano Quartet 1' below). Mendelssohn's first piano trio is listed under Arthur Rubinstein in Early Modern.

Felix Mendelssohn   1820 - 1847


1846 Revised 1847   Op 70   Sacred oratorio

Choeur de Radio France

     Orchestre National de France

Conductor: Daniele Gatti

Soprano: Lucy Crowe

  Die Hebriden (Fingal's Cave)

    1830   Op 26   Overture

San Francisco Conservatory of Music Orchestra

Scott Sandmeier

   Piano Quartet 1

    1822   Concerto in A minor   Op 1

     Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra/Janos Rolla

Piano: Cyprien Katsarsis

  Prelude & Fugue in E minor

    Prelude: 1832   Fugue 1832-37   Op 35:1

Piano: Rudolf Serkin

  Songs Without Words

    1829-45   Piano: Rena Kyriakou

  Symphony 3 in A minor

'Scottish Symphony'

1841-42   Op 56

Chamber Orchestra of Europe

   Symphony 4 in A major

    'Italian Symphony'

     1841-42   Op 56

     La Scala Philarmonic/Gustavo Dudamel

  Violin Concerto in E minor

     Violin: Julia Fischer

     Violin: Hilary Hahn

     Violin: Anne-Sophie Mutter

Birth of Classical Music: Felix Mendelssohn

Felix Mendelssohn

Source: All Music
Birth of Classical Music: Frederic Chopin

Frederic Chopin

Source: Quien
Born in 1810 in Żelazowa Wola, Duchy of Warsaw, Frédéric Chopin is the first Polish composer to enter into these histories of classical music, though his father was French. (Antonio Cartellieri, above, was born in Poland. But his parents were Italian and Latvian.) His father a tutor to Polish aristocrats, Chopin studied under pianist, Wojciech Żywny, from 1816 to 1823, giving his first concert at age seven. Among his earliest known compositions were a couple polonaises as of 1817. The earliest surviving manuscript of a work by Chopin is a polonaise in A flat major in 1821. From 1823 to '26 he studied at the Warsaw Lyceum, concentrating on organ, then theory, figured bass and composition at the Warsaw Conservatory from 1826 to '29. His performance for Tsar Alexander I who was visiting Warsaw in 1825 earned him a diamond ring. Chopin's first published composition came in 1825, 'Rondo Op 1'. He first visited Berlin in 1828. His debut performance upon graduating from the conservatory was in 1829: 'Variations on Là ci darem la mano Op 2' (from Mozart's 'Don Giovanni'). Much as Chopin was endeared to Poland, he left for Paris in 1831 and never returned. Warsaw was in no way comparable to Paris, Europe's major musical hub, for a musician. Chopin quickly became a part of the salon circuit. His debut concert there was a huge success. But concerts were the wrong venue for his delicate piano pieces. Thus to find a patron in the Rothschild family to play salons was propitious. The Rothschild's first became notable as patrons to European music with Ignaz Moscheles, during the twenties in England. Chopin dreaded all the trappings of giving concerts and would later away with only one a year if possible. Beyond composing, playing salons, preferably at his own apartment, and publishing music was Chopin's whole lifestyle. In December of 1831 Chopin met Franz Liszt with whom he hung and worked for the next decade. It was 1836 that his famous affair with writer, George Sand, began, unlikely in that neither were initially attracted to the other. In 1837 he journeyed to London to play at a soiree. Upon returning to Paris he found himself in the company of Sand upon leaving for Majorca (island some hundred miles east of Spain) in 1838, he and Sand's fifteen year-old daughter to convalesce, she to escape a lover. Chopin's frail health began to rapidly deteriorate in 1842, he hardly able to move and in constant pain. As Chopin progressively became more a patient than a lover, his relationship with Sand was eventually severed in 1847. He gave his last concert in Paris before leaving for London during the Revolution of 1848. He there played at Stafford House (now Lancaster House) for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. One item of interest is the prices Chopin charged. As a conspicuous master too high for any to fault, he likewise requested high-end fees. He figured an hour's worth of piano lessons worth a guinea. That's only £1.05 or $1.61 in today's money. But it bought at minimum a hundred dollars more. Chopin asked 20 guineas for a recital, at least $2000 of purchasing power today. Chopin traveled to Scotland in the summer of 1848, before returning to London to give his final concert at Guildhall in November that year. By this time his weight had dropped to under 99 pounds. If he wasn't sick before he was now. He nevertheless returned to Paris that November and died in October the following year. Like other composers for whom it was the fashion to die early, the cause of Chopin's death is unknown, though tuberculosis is the strongest contender. His funeral attracted some three thousand people from about Europe, excluded from attending for not having been invited. Chopin existed in the stratosphere. Everybody knew it as they have ever since. A critic could complain as to this or that about Beethoven. But Chopin's melodies and virtuosic talent were simply inviolable. Amidst much else, Chopin wrote mazurkas (lively Polish dances in triple time), nocturnes (short compositions generally thematic of night, usually for piano), polonaises (slow Polish dances in triple time, generally alike a march or procession) and waltzes (swirling dances in triple time). Chopin's mazurkas, nocturnes and second piano concerto are also listed under Arthur Rubinstein in Early Modern.

Frédéric Chopin   1817 - 1848

  Ballades 1-4

1835-42   Piano: Tzvi Erez

  Mazurkas   [Complete]

Idil Biret

  Nocturnes   [Complete]

    Piano: Maurizio Pollini

 Piano Concerto 1

1830   Op 11   3 movements

Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy

     Piano: Emil Gilels

  Piano Concerto 2

1829-30 Op 21 3 movements

     London Symphony Orchestra/André Previn

     Piano: Arthur Rubinstein

  Polonaises 1-6

    Piano: Vladimir Ashkenazy

  Scherzi 1-4

    1833-42   Piano: Vladimir Ashkenazy

  Waltzes   [Complete]

    Piano: Zoltán Kocsis

  Born in 1810 in Zwickau, Kingdom of Saxony, Robert Schumann had a bookseller, publisher and novelist for a father. Schumann began piano instruction and wrote juvenile compositions at age seven. As he advanced he invented the entertainment of doing comical portraits at the keyboard. Schumann was also a writer, beginning to show promise as a teenager. In 1828 he entered law school in Leipzig, then in Heidelberg the next year, necessary if he wished an inheritance from his mother (his father by then deceased). The first occasion of what would be called program music is generally credited to Schuman's 'Papillons' (Op 2) in 1831, a suite of music referring to Jean Paul's novel, 'Die Flegeljahre'. (Program music is distinguished from absolute music in that it is instrumental narrative referenced to something extramusical, compared to absolute music composed for its own sake.) His first written criticism was published in 1831, concerning Chopin, whom he would compliment "a genius" a few years later. In 1832 the first movement of his incomplete 'Symphony in G minor' ('Zwickauer') appeared, thought by some to have first attempted suicide the next year. The first issue of his journal of musical criticism, 'Neue Zeitschrift für Musik', was published in 1834. In 1835 he met his life love, fifteen year-old concert pianist, Clara Wieck. Schumann concentrated on piano works until 1840 when he composed 138 songs. His initial two of four symphonies appeared in 1841. He focused on chamber works in 1842, became a professor at Mendelssohn's Conservatory of Music in 1843, then toured Russia in 1844. (Schumann had small affection for Jews, but he made a guarded exception for Mendelssohn.) He composed his only opera, 'Genoveva', in 1848. Schumann took his 'Scenes from Goethe's Faust' on tour of Germany in 1849 (though its overture didn't appear until 1853). He finished his third symphony in 1850, his fourth and last, begun in 1841, in 1851. Schumann met Johannes Brahms, age 20, in 1853, whom he considered a genius and with whom he became close friends. His last published work, 'Geistervariationen' ('Ghost Variations'), appeared in 1853. He attempted suicide in February 1854, jumping from a bridge in Düsseldorf into the Rhine. Rescued, Schumann asked for committal to an asylum. He died two and half years later at a sanitarium in Bonn, age 46, in July of 1856. Though it isn't known what killed Schumann, yet another composer to die prematurely, it's generally thought to have been syphilis exaggerated by mercury, used at the time for a cure. Despite an early injury to his right hand that prevented Schumann from playing piano as he'd have liked, he was a highly regarded compositional master in his own time, remaining so ever since.

Robert Schumann   1830 - 1853


   1833-35   Op 9   21 sections

George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra

    Valentin Doni


    1837?   Op 6   18 character pieces

Piano: Claudio Arrau


    1837?   Op 6   18 character pieces

    Piano: Andras Schiff


    1840   Op 48   16 lieder (songs)

Piano: Hubert Giesen

    Vocal: Fritz Wunderlich


    1837   Op 12   8 sections

Piano: Dora Bakopoulou


    'Ghost Variations'

    1864   6 movements

Piano: Suguru Ito

 Genoveva: Overture

    1847-49   4 acts

Orchestre National de l'Opera de Monte Carlo

    David Josefowitz


    'Scenes from Childhood'

    1836   Op 15   13 sections

Piano: Vladimir Horowitz


    1838   Op 16   8 pieces

Piano: Daria Burlak

 Symphonic Etudes

    1834   Op 13   9 variations

Piano: Alfred Brendel

 Piano Trio 1 in D minor

    1847   Op 63   4 movements

    Cello: Clive Greensmith

    Piano: Inna Faliks

    Violin: Movses Pogossian

Birth of Classical Music: Robert Schumann 

Robert Schumann
  Born in 1811 in Doborján (now Raiding), Franz Liszt is the first Hungarian composer to find these histories of classical music. His father, a musician, was employed in some capacity otherwise by Prince Nikolaus II Esterházy. The Esterházy dynasty had long been among the most powerful in Europe, the family ever an influential patron to the arts. Liszt began playing piano at seven and began scratching compositions at eight. He was a student of both Carl Czerny and Antonio Salieri. He made his public debut in Vienna in 1822. His first published composition, 'Variation on a Waltz by Diabelli' (S 147), followed in 1824. Upon his father's death in 1827 Liszt moved to Paris with his mother, where he began giving lessons as he started to emphasize composing over performing. But it was upon viewing a performance by violinist, Niccolò Paganini, in 1832 that he intended to become a virtuouso. His aspirations were further fueled in 1833 upon beginning a relationship with Countess Marie d'Agoult. They would live together for the next several years in Switzerland, Liszt teaching at the Geneva Conservatory, and Italy. He also began contributing essays to the 'Revue et gazette musicale' in Paris during that period. In 1939 Liszt began a tour of Europe for several years that would begin to be called Lisztomania (similar to Beatlemania) in 1844 by writer, Heinrich Heine. It would also make him so rich that by 1857, the year he became a Franciscan, he began to simply forward his performance fees to charities, his a great heart as a philanthropist. In 1847 Liszt toured not only the Balkans and Russia, but Turkey, the first composer in these histories to introduce classical music to that region south of the Black Sea. In 1842 he became Kapellmeister Extraordinaire to Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia in Weimar, where he kept for the next couple decades. His 'Dante Symphony' appeared in 1857. In 1861 Liszt left for Rome, intending to marry one Princess Carolyne, which plan was foiled upon his arrival by Carolyne's husband or, prior husband, which was the trouble. Having lost two of his children by 1862, Liszt assumed a a largely solitary existence but for ordination as a Franciscan priest in 1865. In 1866 he composed the coronation ceremony, in Hungary, for Franz Joseph I of Austria and Elizabeth of Bohemia. Liszt began teaching in Weimar in 1869, in Budapest two years later, then was elected President of the new Royal Academy in Budapest in 1875. Meanwhile making trips to Rome, Chopin's traveling is estimated at some four thousand miles a year during that period. If continual travel wears out a musician now, in Liszt's time even more so. A fall down a flight of stairs in Weimar in 1881 marked Liszt's rapid decline in health. He died in Bayreuth, Germany, in 1886 of pneumonia. As a pianist, Liszt's only rival was his friend, Chopin. But Liszt was a concert pianist and Chopin a solon performer, meaning little rivalry at all, neither their turf nor venue the same (though they had Paris in common, especially Chopin). Also differently than Chopin, Liszt gave lessons for free to an innumerable host of students throughout the years while Chopin charged exclusive fees for only high-end clients. Among the most important works in Liszt's gigantic oeuvre are his 19 Hungarian rhapsodies and 13 symphonic poems. Along with much else he composed some six dozen songs with piano. Liszt is among those composers who were Freemasons (beginning with Frederick II), joining in 1841. Liszt's famous first liebestraum is included below. His third liebestraum and 'Sonata in B minor' are listed under Arthur Rubinstein in Early Modern. S numbers below are per Humphrey Searle, 1966.

Franz Liszt   1824 - 1886

 Dante Symphony

     1855-56   S 109   2 movements

     Berlin Philharmonic/Daniel Barenboim

  Études d'exécution transcendanter

     1851  S 139  12 pieces

Claudio Arrau

 Faust Symphony

     1854 Revised 1857–61 & 1880   S 108

     Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus

     Sir Georg Solti

     Tenor: S. Jerusalem


     1848-82   Symphonic Poem No 10   S 104

     London Philharmonic Orchestra

     Bernard Haitink

 Hungarian Rhapsodies 1-9

     1846-47   S 244:1-9

     Piano: Georges Cziffra

 Hungarian Rhapsodies 10-15

     1846-47: S 244:10-14   1851-53: S 244:15

     Piano: Georges Cziffra

 Liebestraum 1 (Love Dream 1)

     1850   S 541

     Piano: Vanessa Benelli Mosell

 Mephisto Waltz 1

     1856–61? S 514

     Piano: Félix Ardanaz

Birth of Classical Music: Franz Liszt

Franz Liszt   1858

Photo: Franz Hanfstaengl

Source: Piano 4 Life
Birth of Classical Music: Ambroise Thomas

Ambroise Thomas

 Source: H Berlioz
Born in 1811 in France, Ambroise Thomas had music teachers for parents. He studied piano and violin as a child before entering the Paris Conservatoire in 1828. In 1832 his cantata, 'Hermann et Ketty', won the Prix de Rome to study in Italy. Thomas composed his first opera, 'La double échelle', in 1837, making him very popular straight out of the box. He became a professor at the Paris Conservatoire on 1856. His opera, 'Mignon', made his name throughout Europe in 1866. He followed that with another significant success via 'Hamlet' in 1868. Thomas assumed directorship of the Paris Conservatoire in 1871. He died in Paris in 1896, having completed 24 operas with a couple ballets and string quartets.

Ambroise Thomas
   1828 - 1896


    1868   Opera   5 acts

      Ambrosian Opera Chorus London

      London Philharmonic Orchestra

      Antonio De Almeida

  Mignon   [Part 1]

      French: 1866   Italian: 1870   3 acts

      Choeur Le Madrigal

      Orchestre Régional de Picardie

      Mignon: Lucile Vignon

  Mignon   [Part 2]

      French: 1866   Italian: 1870   3 acts

      Choeur Le Madrigal

      Orchestre Régional de Picardie

      Mignon : Lucile Vignon

  String quartet in E minor

      1833   Op 1

      Daniel String Quartet

  Born in 1813 in Belyovsky District of Russia, Alexander Sergeyevich Dargomyzhsky wasn't a major composer, but he kept things pumping since Glinka until later Russian composers began flooding into the Romantic period. Educated in St. Petersburg, it was 1833 when he met Glinka, nine years his senior. In addition to other works, Dargomyzhsky composed a number of operas: 'Esmeralda' (composed 1839, premiered 1847), 'Rusalka' (premiered 1856) and 'The Stone Guest' (premiered 1872). Dargomyzhsky's fame in Europe was fairly limited to Belgium in association with the Mighty Handful (see Mily Balakirev)which regarded him highly. He died in St. Petersburg in 1869.

Alexander Dargomyzhsky   1839 - 1869


    1839   Bolero

      Orquesta Sinfónica de la URSS

      Yevgeny Svetlanov


    1848-55   Opera   4 acts

      Grand Chorus All-Russian Radio & Television

      Moscow Radio Tchaikovsky SO

      Vladimir Fedoseyev

  Songs   [Collection]

    Piano: Mstislav Rostropovich

      Soprano: Galina Vishnevskaya

  The Stone Guest

    1866-1869   Opera

      All-Union Radio Chorus and Orchestra

      Alexander Orlov

Birth of Classical Music: Alexander Dargomyzhsky

Alexander Dargomyzhsky

Source: Wikinedia Commons
  Born in 1813 in Le Roncole, Taro (among the Italian regions annexed to France under Napoleon), Giuseppe Verdi was sent to school at age ten in Busseto. At age twelve he began studying under opera composer, Ferdinando Provesi, with whom he remained until 1829. Verdi states that he wrote what amounts to well over two hundred works between ages 13 and 18, mostly marches and symphonies. By 1830 Verdi was a highly regarded member of the Busseto Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1832 Verdi left Busseto for Milan where he studied counterpoint and such under Vincenzo Lavigna. His first opera, 'Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio', appeared in Milan in 1839. After the failure of 'Un giorno di regno' in 1940 he vowed to never compose again, then produced 'Nabucco' the next year. It's premier in Milan put even an opera by Donizetti, performing nearby, to task. That ignited the engine of an opera career in Italy that began, if not making toast of, then superceding Rossini. His relationship with the love of his life, soprano Giuseppina Strepponi, commenced in 1843. By the time he produced 'Macbeth' in Florence in 1847 he owned a farm and apartment far too modest for Mozart to have suffered. 1847 saw Verdi's production of 'I masnadieri' in London, 'Jérusalem' in Paris, 'Il corsaro' on Trieste in 1848. Verdi brought the first half of the 19th century to a close with 'La battaglia di Legnano' in Rome in January 1849, then 'Luisa Miller' in Naples in December. He ought have died about then, it something of a trend amidst composers to expire prematurely, but Verdi yet had the second half of the 19th century to go, which he commenced in 1850 with 'Stiffelio' in Trieste. His first grand opera (staging and such to magnificent proportion), 'Les vêpres siciliennes', appeared at the Paris Opera in 1855. He and Strepponi finally decided to marry in 1859, the year 'Un ballo in maschera' appeared in Rome. Having by then composed 22 operas, Verdi and his wife retired to Sant'Agata where he gardened and hunted when not involving himself with politics. (Verdi was a firm Italian patriot, having no patience for the Austrian threat.) Strepponi, not one for the previous farm, nor now to lounge about because the climate was pleasant, was all for performing Verdi's 'Don Alvaro o la fuerza del sino' in St. Petersburg in 1861, then Moscow. 1862 found Verdi making another important performance in Paris (then hub of European opera), this time of 'Inno delle nazioni'. He was in London that spring. He and Stepponi wintered in Genoa from '66 to '73, before Verdi performed his 'Requiem Mass' in Milan in 1874. His last opera, 'Falstaff', was performed in 1893. His last composition was a setting for the Stabat Mater in 1897 (though he is thought to have been an atheist). He died due largely to stroke in January 1901, the first composer in these histories to reach the 20th century. Verdi largely ensured the continued powerful presence of Italian opera through the 19th century. Amidst other works he completed 37 operas and a nice number of songs.

Giuseppe Verdi   1823 - 1897


     1870-71   4 acts

      Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet

      Javanshir Jafarov

      Aida - Xuraman Qasımova

  Don Carlo (Don Carlos)   [Part 1]

     1867-1888   5 acts

      C & O del Teatro alla Scala

Conducting: Claudio Abbado

  Don Carlo (Don Carlos)   [Part 2]

     1867-1888   5 acts

      C & O del Teatro alla Scala

Conducting: Claudio Abbado


    1893   3 acts

      C & O de la Scala

      Falstaff: Ambrogio Maestri

   Macbeth    1847   4 acts

      C & O del Teatro alla Scala

Riccardo Muti

  Messa da Requiem

    1874 Revised 1875   7 sections

     WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln

     Kölner Philharmonie

      Semyon Bychkov


     1841   4 acts

      L'Opéra National de Paris/Pinchas Steinberg

      Nabucco: Jean-Philippe Lafont


     1851   3 acts

      Azerbaijan State Academic Opera and Ballet

      Javanshir Jafarov

      Rigoletto - Evez Abdullayev

  Simon Boccanegra

     1857   3 acts

      La Fenice Opera House C & O

     Conductor: Myung-Whun Chung

Chorus Master: Claudio Marino Moretti

  Il Trovatore

     1851-53 4 acts

      National Philharmonic Orchestra

      Richard Bonynge

  Les vêpres siciliennes

     1852-55   5 acts

      Teatro alla Scala

      Director: Riccardo Muti

Birth of Classical Music: Giuseppe Verdi

Giuseppe Verdi   1886

Painting: Giovanni Boldini

Source: Wikipedia
Birth of Classical Music: Richard Wagner

Richard Wagner

Source: Muse Worthy
Born in 1813 in Leipzig, Germany, Richard Wagner was the ninth child of a police clerk. But his father died when he was six months old so he was raised by actor, Ludwig Geyer, in relationship with his mother. While yet a child Wagner played at least one minor role, an angel, in theatre. In 1828 he completed the play,'Leubald', the same year he began instruction in harmony beneath Christian Müller. He wrote a piano transcription of Beethoven's 'Symphony 9' that year as well. In 1831 he transitioned to Leipzig University, also studying composition under Thomaskantor Weinlig. 1832 saw his 'Symphony in C major' performed in Prague. He composed his first opera, 'Die Feen' in 1833, but it was never performed during his lifetime. His second opera, 'Das Liebesverbot' saw the stage in 1836 in Magdeburg. He also married in 1836, his bride leaving him for another man the next year. (That bride, one Minna, would continue to be an element in his life until her death in 1866.) So he left for Riga, Russia (now Latvia), yet a hinterland compared to Germany or Prague in 1837, and there became an opera director. Now engaged to his first intended bride's sister, the pair assumed debts, then fled to London in 1838, Paris in 1839 where he wrote articles and arranged operas (other composers). 'Rienzi' first saw the stage in Dresden in 1840. Wagner is the first socialist composer to enter these histories. In 1849 he was among the revolutionaries during the May Uprising in Dresden, thus fled to Paris, then Zurich. In exile, Franz Liszt performed Wagner's 'Lohengrin' for him in Weimar in 1850. He published 'Opera and Drama' the next year. The first of his four operas known as 'Der Ring des Nibelungen' premiered in Munich in 1869. That was 'Das Rheingold'. The other three are 'Die Walküre' (premiering Munich 1870), 'Siegfried' (premiering Bayreuth 1876 ) and 'Götterdämmerung' ('Twilight of the Gods', premiering Bayreuth 1876). In 1862 Wagner moved to Biebrich, Prussia. Wagner struck oil when Ludwig II of Bavaria invited him to Munich. Ludwig settled Wagner's debts, by then enormous, in return for 'Tristan und Isolde', premiering in 1865. In 1866 his off and on marriage to Minna ended with her heart attack. Marrying again, one Cosima, in 1870, the couple moved to Bayreuth in 1871 where Wagner had his Festival Theatre built, completed in 1875. Wagner's final opera was 'Parsifal', premiering its Prelude for Ludwig II in Munich in 1880. Its premier was in 1882 in Bayreuth. Later traveling to Venice to there winter, he died instead of heart attack in February of 1883. He was buried in Bayreuth. The Bayreuth Festival has been an annual event ever since. Wagner's oeuvre consists of some 113 works, 27 of which were operas (ten left unperformed in his lifetime). Among the literary giants with whom he hung was Friedrich Nietzsche. Like Nietzsche, Wagner's has been a hugely powerful influence, albeit divisive, and perhaps like Nietzsche, not well understood in general. (As well, Hitler's like of both of them did neither a lot of good.) Wagner's 'Bridal Suite', heard at most weddings, is very likely his most famous piece. WWV numbers below are per 'Wagner Werk-Verzeichnis', 1986.

Richard Wagner   1828 - 1883

  Bridal Chorus

     From the opera 'Lohengrin' 1846-48

     Chor der Deutschen Staatsoper Berlin

     Staatskapelle Berlin/Otmar Suitner

  Das Liebesverbot

     Premier 1836   WWV 38   2 acts

     Sebastian Weigle


    1857-82   WWV 111   3 acts

      Bayreuth Festival Choir & Orchestra

      Hans Knappertsbusch

  Rienzi: Ouverture

     'Rienzi': 1840   WWV 49   5 acts

      Orchestra of the University of Music

      Nicolás Pasquet

  Symphony in C major

     1832   WWV 29   4 movements

      Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin

      Heinz Rögner

  Tristan und Isolde

     1857-19   WWV 90

      Chorus of the Royal Opera House

      Philharmonia Orchestra

Birth of Classical Music: Festival Theatre

Wagner's Festival Theatre

Source: Opera News
  Born in Liège (then Netherlands, now in Belgium) in 1822, César Franck was the son of bank clerk. He studied such as harmony, solfège, piano and organ at the Royal Conservatory before performing his first concerts in 1834, one for Leopold I, first King of Belgium upon its independence from Netherlands in 1831. In 1831 Cesar's father took him and his younger brother, Johann, to study counterpoint with Anton Reicha and piano with Pierre Zimmermann in Paris. He entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1837. Frank had difficulty catching big fish during his earlier career. In 1843 he switched from writing chamber music to an oratorio, 'Ruth', which evaporated. Discouraged, he assumed the life of an accompanist and teacher in Belgium. In 1847 he was made second organist at Notre-Dame-de-Lorette. As a Roman Catholic, Franck found that position to his taste until switching Saint-Jean-Saint-François-au-Marais in 1851, there to be appointed primary organist in 1853. Franck continued focusing on organ upon appointment as maître de chapelle at Basilica of Saint Clotilde in Paris in 1858. Perhaps a year later he was made titulaire, setting him perfectly into his element, his sacred compositions beginning to shine and his virtuosity coming into demand. Franck began working on 'Les Béatitudes' in 1869. 1872 put a shift into his composing when he accepted a position as a professor at the Paris Conservatoire. He finally performed 'Les Béatitudes' in 1879. After ten years of scratching it out to dismal failure, even his students wondered. He nevertheless began composing some of his more interesting work in the early eighties, followed by his 'Sonata in A major' in 1886. His only symphony, in D minor, arrived in 1886, badly received. Catching a cold in October 1890 dug his grave, he dying the next month of pleurisy and pericarditis. The majority of Franck's work was for piano or organ, though he wrote chamber, operatic and symphonic works as well. Many of Franck's works employed cyclic movements (repetitional variations upon some theme). Franck's influence on later music was substantial, especially of an academic nature, they largely composers and professionals who've studied his work keeping him relevant more so than audience recognition (fame).

César Franck   1833 - 1890

  Les Beatitudes


      Orchestra e Coro della RAI di Milano

      Mino Bordignon/Gianandrea Gavazzeni

      Soprano: Viorica Cortez

  Le Chasseur Maudit

     1882   'The Accursed Huntsman'

      University of North Carolina Greensboro

      Eduardo Vargas

  Choral for Organ in B minor

     1890   Organ: Joel Hastings

  Les Djinns

    1884   1 movement

      Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra

     Roberto Benzi

      Piano: Francois-Joel Thiollier


     1886-87   Symphonic poem

      Opera Orchestra of Paris

      Conductor: Felix Krieger

      Ballet of the Paris Opera

      Choreography: Alexei Ratmansky

  Sonata in A major

    1886   4 movements

     Piano: Alexander Zakin   Violin: Isaac Ster

  Symphony in D minor

    1888   3 movements

      Philadelphia Orchestra/Ricardo Muti

Birth of Classical Music: Cesar Franck

Cesar Franck

Source: NAXOS/td>
Birth of Classical Music: Joachim Raff

 Joachim Raff

Source: Periodista Digital
Born in 1822 Lachen, Switzerland, Joseph Joachim Raff was a school teacher self-taught in music before sending some piano compositions to Felix Mendelssohn who had them published in 1844. He was assistant to Franz Liszt in Weimar from 1850 to '53. His first opera, 'König Alfred', premiered in 1851 in Weimar. Raff became the first director of the Hoch Conservatory founded in 1878. In huge demand as a teacher, he died in 1882 in Frankfurt. Raff composed largely orchestral and chamber works with a few operas.

Joachim Raff
   1842 - 1882

  Cello Concerto 1 in D minor

    1874   Op 193

      Bamberger Symphoniker/Hans Stadlmaier

      Cello: Daniel Müller-Schott

  Cello Concerto 2 in G Major

    WoO 45

      Bamberger Symphoniker/Hans Stadlmaier

      Cello: Daniel Müller-Schott

  Piano Concerto in C minor 1

    1873   Op 185   Movement 1: Allegro

      Hamburg Symphony Orchestra/Richard Kapp

      Piano: Michael Ponti

  Piano Concerto in C minor 2

    1873   Op 185   Movement 2: Andante

      Hamburg Symphony Orchestra/Richard Kapp

      Piano: Michael Ponti

  Piano Concerto in C minor 3

    1873   Op 185   Movement 3: Allegro

      Hamburg Symphony Orchestra/Richard Kapp

      Piano: Michael Ponti

  Symphony 1 in D major

    1869   Op 96   'An Das Vaterland'

      Rhenish Philharmonic Orchestra

      Samuel Friedmann

  Symphony 3 in F major (Im Walde)

    1869   Op 153   'In the Forest'

      CBS Symphony Orchestra

      Bernard Herrmann

  Symphony 9 in E minor (Im Sommer)

    Op 208

      Philharmonia Hungarica

      Werner Andreas Albert

Birth of Classical Music: Franz Strauss

Franz Strauss

Source: Wikipedia
Born in 1822 in Parkstein, Bavaria (near the present western border of the Czech Republic), Franz Strauss was a multi-instrumentalist who favored horn. His son was Richard Strauss, but he was unrelated to Johann Strauss I or II. At age fifteen Strauss began playing in the orchestra of Duke Maximilian Joseph, there to remain until age 25. He married late, age 41, but well, hooking up with Josephine Pschorr, heiress of the wealthy brewing family. In 1847 Strauss switched to the Bavarian Court Orchestra. Strauss premiered his initial horn concerto in 1865, creating a commotion by his virtuosity at horn. He became a professor at the Royal School of Music in 1871. Strauss was among the more conservative composers during the Romantic period. He didn't care for Wagner's music, nor Wagner for him, but when required to perform works by Wagner even Wagner recognized Strauss to be impeccable. Though Franz Strauss wasn't a major composer (indeed, composed very little) his instrumental abilities, and reliability in general to present good music whatever its kind, brought him a solid reputation in Germany. Strauss died in Munich in 1905.

Franz Strauss   1850 - 1905

 Les Adieux


      Horn: Stefan Dohr

      Piano: Markus Becker


    <1851   Op 2

      Horn: Brandon Guillen

      Piano: Rebecca Casey

 Horn Concerto in C minor

    1865   Op 8

      Czech Philharmonic Orchestra

      Václav Neumann

      Horn: Zdeněk Tylšar

 Introduction, Theme and Variations

    <1879   Op 13

      Horn: Arty Joshua Robinson

 Nocturne in D flat major

    <1867   Op 7

      Cello: Mark Jacot

  Born in 1824 Ansfelden, Austria, Anton Bruckner had learned to play organ and written his first composition ('Pange Lingua', WAB 31, 1835?) by the time his father died in 1837. His father having been a schoolmaster, his schoolmaster's house went to his successor and Bruckner was sent by his mother to become a choirboy at an Augustinian monastery in Sankt Florian. His first employment was as a teacher's assistant (not music) in Kronstorf. He worked as an organist and taught school (not music) in Sankt Florian for ten years beginning in 1845. His 'Missa solemnis' (WAB 29) was written in 1854 before he became a student, largely via correspondence, of composer, Simon Sechter, the next year. He began to study with Otto Kitzler in 1861. Bruckner may have lived in Austria where Vienna was a major capital of classical and romantic music, but he was still out of the way and, apart from a few sessions with Sechter in Vienna, he had neither means nor wish, or combination thereat, to move anywhere more at the center of things. Further, his interest was largely sacred music, there no need, for example, to take an opera to Paris in pursuit of commercial success. He did, however, meet Franz Liszt in 1861, the same year he made his concert debut with his motet, 'Ave Maria' (WAB 6). Not until Sechter died in 1868 was Bruckner tempted beyond his accustomed realm to Vienna, to assume Sechter's post in music theory at the Vienna Conservatory. He next took the next plunge into foreign waters in 1869, giving recitals in Paris, he by now a virtuoso at organ. Finding the water warm, he then took his talents to London in 1871. Bruckner was a lifelong bachelor, though his diaries included long lists of teenage girls to whom he was attracted, such also notable on an 1874 calendar of his. In 1875 he began teaching at Vienna University. Bruckner largely retired from Vienna University in 1892, though continued writing music for pedagogical reasons. He died in Vienna in 1896. Bruckner was one of those artists who had to die to come to recognition, especially his complex symphonies (all in four movements) difficult to comprehend. His greatest influence was Richard Wagner (and Beethoven) though he had no interest in theatre. The heroic qualities of some of his music much thereat derived, Bruckner joined Wagner as a composer sanctioned acceptable by the later Nazi regime. WAB numbers below per 'Werkverzeichnis Anton Bruckners' by Renate Grasberger.

Anton Bruckner
   1835 - 1896


    1878   WAB 57

     Lyrics: Heinrich von der Mattig

     Camerata Musica Limburg/Jan Schumacher

     Tenor: Christoph Prégardien

  Mass 2 in E minor

    Version 1: 1866   Version 2: 1882   WAB 28

     MIT Concert Choir/William Cutter

  Requiem in D minor

    1849   WAB 39

     Gemischter Chor Biberist/Contrapunkt Chor

     Ad Hoc Orchester/Maija Breiksa

     Soprano: Ilze Paegle

  Symphony 1 in C minor

    1865-91   WAB 101

     Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra

     Paavo Järvi

  Symphony 2 in C minor

    Version 1: 1872 Revised 1873

     Version 2: 1877 Revised 1892

     WAB 102

     Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra

     Simone Young

  Symphony 4 in E flat major

   1874-88   WAB 104

     Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra

     Stanislaw Skrowaczewski

  Symphony 5 in B flat major

    1876 & 1878   Revised w Franz Shalk 1896

     WAB 105

     Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest

     Riccardo Chailly

  Symphony 6 in A major

    1881   Revised w Franz Shalk 1896

     WAB 106

     München Philharmoniker Orchester

     Sergiu Celibidache

  Symphony 8 in C minor

   Version 1: 1887 Revised 1888

     Version 2: 1890

     WAB 108

     BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

     Donald Runnicles

Birth of Classical Music: Anton Bruckner

Anton Bruckner

Source: Singers
  Born just to southern France in Puente la Reina, Navarre, in 1823, Pascual Juan Emilio Arrieta Corera is a comparatively obscure composer alike his contemporaries in Spain during his period. But he was an important instructor and composer of zarzuelas, a dramatic form peculiar to Spain. Arrieta studied at the Milan Conservatory from 1841 to '45. He began teaching at the Madrid Conservatory in 1857, becoming Director in 1868. Arrieta wrote dramatic works in the Italian manner, operas and zarzuelas (musical comedies), dying in Madrid in 1894.

Emilio Arrieta   1841 - 1894


    1887   Opera   3 acts

     Coro del Teatro de la Zarzuela/Antonio Fauró

     Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid

     Cristóbal Soler



     Preludio to the opera 'La conquista de Granada'

     C & OS de Madrid/Jesús López Cobos


     1846   Preludio to the opera 'Ildegonda'

     C & OS de Madrid/Jesús López Cobos

 Va a marchitaros vuestra belleza

    1853   From the zarzuela 'El dominó azul'

     Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid

     José María Moreno

     Soprano: Sonia de Munck

Birth of Classical Music: Emilio Arrieta

Emilio Arrieta

Source: Cuaderno de Sofonisba
Birth of Classical Music: Francisco Barbieri

Francisco Barbieri

Source: Wikipedia
Born in 1823 in Madrid, Francisco Barbieri is an obscure composer compared to others of his period. But he was among a number of Spanish composers who at his time were beginning to make a notable contribution to both classical and Spanish music (Arrieta, Gaztambide, Oudrid). Barbieri entered the Madrid Conservatory in 1837. His first opera was 'Il Buontempone' in 1847. It was in the Italian fashion, though he would later found La España Musical in the interest of developing an opera distinguishably Spanish. His first zarzuela appeared in 1850. At the Teatro del Circo in 1951, in 1856 he helped found the Teatro de la Zarzuela. Barbieri formed the Society for Orchestral Music in 1866. He died in 1894 in Madrid, having composed largely zarzuelas.

Francisco Barbieri
   1837 - 1894


   1851   From 'Don Quijote'   Incidental music

    Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid

    José Ramón Encinar

 El Barberillo de Lavapiés

   1874   Zarzuela

    BSMO Banda Sinfónica Ogíjares

 Niñas que a vender flores

   Bolero from the operetta 'The Diamond Crown'

    Premier 1856 Madrid

    Coro Cantores de Madrid

    Gran Orquesta Sinfónica/Ataúlfo Argenta

 Pan y toros

   Premier 1864 Madrid   Zarzuela  

    Manuel Mondéjar Criado

Birth of Classical Music: Anton Bruckner

Carl Reinecke

Source: Coast Pink

Born in Hamburg (in Denmark at the time) in 1824, Carl Heinrich Carsten Reinecke began composing at age seven, due a music teacher for a father. He first played piano in public at twelve. Reinecke took his first concert tour in 1843 to points in Denmark and Sweden. After studying in Leipzig under Mendelssohn, Schumann and Liszt, he toured Germany and Denmark in 1846. Reinicke was court pianist in Copenhagen for Christian VIII of Denmark until 1848, after which he composed in Paris. Starting in 1851 Reinecke became a prof at the Cologne Conservatory, then a musical director in Barmen and, later, the Singakademie in Breslau. In 1860 he became a professor at the Conservatorium in Leipzig, the same year he became director of the Gewandhaus Orchestra which he would conduct until 1895. Upon retiring from the conservatory in 1902 Reinecke continued composing and toured England. 1904 saw Reinecke recording seven piano rolls for the Welte-Mignon company, later followed by 14 for Aeolian, then twenty for Ludwig Hupfeld. Reinecke died in March 1910 in Leipzig.

Carl Reinecke   1835 - 1910

 Octet in B flat

    1892   Op 216

      Octet for winds   4 movements

      Soni Ventorum

 Piano Concerto 4 in B minor

    1901   Op 254   3 movements

      Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie

      Alun Francis

      Piano: Klaus Hellwig


    1882   Op 167

      Flute sonata in E minor   4 movements

      Flute: Aiva Elsina   Piano: Phillip Moll

 Symphony 1 in A major

    1858 Revised 1863   Op 79   4 movements

      Rhenish Philharmonic Orchestra/Alfred Walter

 Symphony 2 in C minor (Håkon Jarl)

    <1875 Revised 1888   Op 134

      Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra

      Howard Shelley

 Symphony 3 in G minor

    1895?   Op 227   4 movements

      Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt

      Heribert Beissel

 Violin Concerto in G minor

    1877   Op 141   3 movements

      Johannes Moesus

      Violin: Ingolf Turbin

Birth of Classical Music: Bedrich Smetana

Bedrich Smetana

Source: Gimnazija Črnomelj

Born in 1824, Bedrich Smetana was a Bohemian born east of Prague, a portion of the Hapsburg Empire at the time. His father was a master brewer, both commercially and to royalty. Upon finishing school in 1843 he went to Prague with 20 gulden (perhaps about $500 today) and in need of musical instruction, which he found in composer, Josef Proksch. He himself became a music teacher to the family of Count Thun. He resigned with Thun in 1847 to go on a concert tour in West Bohemia that was largely a failure. Returning to Prague, he composed music for the democratic revolutionaries beginning to rebel against monarchical Hapsburg rule (see Paul Robeson, 'The Song of Freedom'). He was among the Svornost (Citizen's Army) to barricade the city upon attack by Prince Windisch-Grätz that year. That uprising was swiftly settled and Smetana suffered nothing of it, opening his Piano Institute later in August with twelve pupils. Regardless that Smetana was a Czech nationalist, he accepted the position of Court Pianist to Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I at Prague Castle. Albeit Smetana's Piano Institute was well regarded his career as a concert pianist sputtered. So he left Prague for Gothenburg, Sweden, in 1856, where he assumed the wand for the Gothenburg Society for Classical Choral Music. He married in 1860, then attempted another concert tour in 1861, this time in Netherlands and Germany, only failure once again. The appearance of Smetana's first opera, 'The Brandenburgers', in 1866 was a great success, but 'The Bartered Wife' came to yet another disappointment later that year. (He would revise it to greater success in 1870.) Smetana's third opera, 'Dalibor', arrived in 1868. In 1870 he became conductor at the Provisional Theater (so named since its erection in 1862 in preparation to become the National Theatre in 1881). Smetana's fourth opera, 'Libuše', premiered in 1872. 'The Two Widows' appeared in 1874. By October that year Smetana had lost his hearing in both ears. He then granted the Provisional Theatre the right to perform his works in return for a pension of 1,200 guldens per annum. (Widely around $30,000 today, that was about what an average composer might get paid in a year, no great sum compared to the wealth with which other operatic composers retired, but nothing to sniffle about for only four years of service.) He began falling ill the next year, then took his family to Jabkenice, there to compose in peace. His opera, 'Libuše', was employed for the grand opening of the National Theatre in 1881. The next year his health began to deteriorate to the point that he couldn't sustain a project. His behavior becoming incoherent and violent, he was admitted to the Kateřinky Lunatic Asylum in Prague in April 1884, dying the next month. The cause of his death was registered as dementia, but syphilis is the wider consensus. The importance of Smetana was partially the alignment of his career with the rise of Czech and Slavak nationalism. Though Smetana spoke German as a Bohemian youth before he learned Czech, and though Czechoslovakia wouldn't attain independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire until 1918, that nation (become the Czech Republic since then) could claim him as its own due his nationalist sympathies. Perhaps his most important influence had been Berlioz, even as Franz Liszt had been his most important musical associate. Albeit František Škroup preceded him by a generation, Smetana is the first major Czech composer to endeavor opera. Even so, his works for piano are among his most appreciated. JB numbers below are per Jiri Berkovec, 1999.

Bedrich Smetana
   1845 - 1884

  The Bartered Bride   [Part 1]

    Versions 1-4 1863-70   JB 1:100

      Czech Philharmonic Chorus & Orchestra

      Zdeněk Košler

  The Bartered Bride   [Part 2]

    Versions 1-4 1863-70   JB 1:100

      Czech Philharmonic Chorus & Orchestra

      Zdeněk Košler

  The Bartered Bride   [Part 3]

    Versions 1-4 1863-70   JB 1:100

      Czech Philharmonic Chorus & Orchestra

      Zdeněk Košler

  The Kiss

    1875–76 Revised 1877   JB 1:104   2 acts

      Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts

      Piano: Richard Pohl & Kostiantyn Tyshko

  Macbeth and the Witches

    1859   JB 1:75

      Piano: František Maxián

  Ma Vlast

    1872–79   JB 1:112   6 symphonic poems

      Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France

      Peter Oundjian

  Piano Trio in G minor

    1854-55   JB 1:64   Op 15

      Cello: Marco Damiani

      Piano: Angela Pardo

      Violin: Alessandro D'Andrea

Birth of Classical Music: Prague Castle

Prague Castle

Source: Wikipedia
Birth of Classical Music: Johann Strauss II

Johann Strauss II

Source: Wikipedia
Born in 1825 in Ulrich near Vienna, Johann Strauss II (also Junior, the Younger, etc.) was son to, guess what, Johann Strauss I. He was also a legitimate son, Strauss I having more children by his mistress than his wife. Strauss II received a whipping at age seven for playing violin, his father intending him to become a banker, the life of a musician too much a gamble against ruin. Upon Strauss I taking a mistress Strauss II had his mother's blessing to pursue music. He then took a succession of a few teachers, composing a sacred graduale in 1844 ('Tu qui regis totum orbem'), also making his debut professional performance that year at the Donmayer Casino in Heitzing. Young Strauss lived during a period when all Europe was coming to odds with the monarchical system of the Austro-Hungarian Hapsburgs. Among his first confrontations with such the scenario was getting arrested, then acquitted, for performing the revolutionary anthem, 'La Marseillaise' (1792). Upon his father's death in 1849 Strauss joined his father's orchestra to his own and toured Austria-Hungary, Poland and Germany, popularly waltzing along alike his father, nevertheless experiencing a nervous breakdown in 1853. He made the first of his annual trips to Russia in 1856, touring there each year until 1865. But Russia wasn't the only frontier Strauss II visited. He is the first composer in these histories to have visited the United States, landing in New York in 1872. He performed at the World's Peace Jubilee and International Musical Festival that year. (The World's Peace Jubilee and International Musical Festival was arranged by impresario, Patrick Gilmore, the Peace Jubilee Coliseum erected to that purpose. It was designed to hold 60,000 in audience and 22,000 musicians. It opened to only 15,000. Strauss is said to have performed Verdi's 'Il Trovatore' with an orchestra of 2,000, a chorus of 20,000 [larger than the audience] and a hundred Boston firemen in red shirts with 100 anvils. The World's Peace Jubilee was also notable in the hiring of the gospel group, the Fisk Jubilee Singers, the first time black musicians received major billing. Those in the audience who didn't walk out in disgust were treated to a highly acclaimed performance.) Howsoever, Strauss returned to Europe with truly international fame, "international" now meaning not but German versus Italian composers competing in Paris, but including Russia and the United States as well. On New Year's Day, 1892, Strauss' only opera, 'Ritter Pázmán', premiered in Vienna. His only ballet, 'Aschenbrödel' ('Cinderella'), was left unfinished upon his death of pneumonia in 1899 in Vienna. Strauss had composed more than 500 works, including fifteen completed operettas, some eleven quadrilles, and lengthy lists of marches, polkas and waltzes. Like his father, Strauss I, "Strauss II" and "waltz" are fairly synonymous.

Johann Strauss II   1840 - 1899

  An der schonen blauen Donau

    'On the Beautiful Blue Danube'

      1866   Op 314   Waltz

      London Philarmonic Orchestra

      Conductor: Franz Welser-Most

  Du und du (You and You)

     1874   Op 367   Waltz

     Wiener Philharmoniker/Mariss Jansons

  G'schichten aus dem Wienerwald

    'Tales from the Vienna Woods'

      1868   Op 325   Waltz

      The Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy

  Gross-Wien (Great Vienna)

    1891   Op 440   Waltz

      Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra

  Kaiser-Walzer (Emperor Waltz)

    1888   Op 437   Waltz

      Wiener Philharmoniker/Claudio Abbado

  Liebeslieder (Love Songs)

    1852   Op 114   Waltz

      Wiener Philharmoniker/Riccardo Muti

  Mephistos Höllenrufe

     'Mephistopheles Cries from Hell'

      1851   Op 101   Waltz

      Wiener Philharmoniker/Zubin Mehta

  Morgenblätter (Morning Jounals)

    1863   Op 279   Waltz

      Vienna Folk Opera Orchestra

  Schatz-Walzer (Treasure Waltz)

    1885   Op 418   Waltz

      Wiener Johann Strauss-Orchester

      Willi Boskovsky

  Tritsch-Tratsch-Polka (Chit Chat)

     1858   Op 214   Polka

      Wiener Philharmoniker

Mariss Jansons

  Wiener Blut (Viennese Blood)

     1873   Op 354   Waltz

      Vienna Opera Orchestra/Alfred Scholz

      Violin: Joseph Francek

 Birth of Classical Music: Peace Jubilee Coliseum

Peace Jubilee Coliseum   1872

Source: Good Old Boston

Fisk Jubilee Singers

Fisk Jubilee Singers

Source: Antiwar Songs
  Born in 1829 what is presently Maldova south of Ukraine, Anton Rubinstein's father owned a pencil factory. He was the brother of composer, Nikolai Rubinstein. A piano virtuoso, Rubinstein began to play the instrument at age five. He was eventually placed under the tutorship of music teacher, Alexander Villoing, who recognized Rubinstein's potential, brought it to fruition and took him on a tour of Europe in 1940, starting in Paris. A second tour at age fourteen, confined to Russia, followed in 1843 with his brother, Nikolai, age eight. In 1844 Rubinstein's mother took her boys to Berlin. She returned with Nikolai to Russia in 1846, Anton leaving a time later for Vienna, hoping to study with Franz Liszt, to disappointment. He was seventeen at the time and could no longer be billed as a child prodigy. Persuaded to return to Russia by the Revolution of 1848, he found a patron in Saint Petersburg in Princess Charlotte of Württemberg, sister to Tsar Nicholas I. Teaching and giving public concerts as well, by 1852 his was a leading name in the burgeoning growth of that city's musical climate, not yet Paris, but with ambitions that would soon see it a major player in classical music to come. Rubinstein completed his first opera, 'Dmitry Donskoy', in 1852 (its overture all that has survived). Unsuccessful, Rubenstein did again what seemed to work and toured Europe in 1854. In 1862 Rubinstein founded the St. Petersburg Conservatory, a major endeavor that helped put St. Petersburg on the musical map, despite later detractors such as Balakirev and the Free School. He completed his opera, 'The Demon' in 1871. He became the second major composer in these histories to visit the United States in 1873 (Strauss II in 1872). He left such wind through the States, playing 215 concerts in 239 days at $200 per, as to earn $43,000 (worth well over a million dollars in today's money). Rubinstein found America wearisomely unsophisticated, an audience alike one drags along only so long as one must, then went back to Russia to buy a house (nothing grand considering his wealth). In 1887 he reassumed his position at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. He resigned that post in 1891 upon Imperial demand that Conservatory admittance be per racial quota rather than skill. As that was disadvantageous to Jews, of which he was one, he moved to Dresden, there to teach as well as give largely charity concerts in locations in Germany and Austria. Rubinstein gave his last concert in St. Petersburg in 1894. He died nine months later in November of heart disease at his home in Petergof (St. Petersburg). Writing nearly 20 works for stage, Rubinstein also composed chamber music, concertos, symphonies and pieces for solo piano or voice.

Anton Rubinstein   1845 - 1894

  12 Persian Songs

     Op 34   Boris Gmyrya

  The Demon

    1871   Opera   3 acts

      Latvian National Opera/Normunds Vaicis

  Ivan the Terrible

      Op 102   Sonata in D major

      1869   Op 79   Symphonic poem

      Russian State Symphony Orchestra

      Igor Golovchin

  Piano Concerto 4 in D minor

    1864   Op 70   3 movements

      USSR TV & Radio Symphony Orchestra

      Boris Khaikin

      Piano: Grigory Ginzburg

  Piano Concerto 5 in E flat major

    1874   Op 94   3 movements

      Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra Bratislava

      Robert Stankovsky

      Piano: Joseph Banowetz

  Sonata for Viola and Piano in F minor

    1855   Op 49

      Piano: Marina Baudoux

      Viola: Ilario Gastaldello

  Symphony 3 in A major

    1854-55   Op 56

      Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra

      Robert Stankovsky

Birth of Classical Music: Anton Rubinstein

Anton Rubinstein

Source: Bach Cantatas
Birth of Classical Music: Karl Goldmark

Karl Goldmark

Source: Princeton
Born in 1830 in Keszthely, Hungary, Karl Goldmark was a Jew born of a birthing machine, being one of 20 children. He began to study violin at an academy in Sopran in 1842. He began his studies in Vienna in 1846 where he would also teach and become a music critic. Goldmark composed his initial opera, 'Die Königin von Saba' ('The Queen of Sheba') in 1875, as well as his 'Rustic Wedding Symphony'. He died in Vienna in 1915.

Karl Goldmark   1855 - 1915


      1894   Op 44   Overture

      Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

      Adam Medveczky

  Symphony 1 (Landliche Hochzeit): 1

      'Rustic Wedding Symphony'   E flat major

      1875   Op 26   Hochzeitsmarsch: Variationen

      Singapore Symphony Orchestra/Lan Shui

  Symphony 1 (Landliche Hochzeit): 2

      'Rustic Wedding Symphony'   E flat major

      1875   Op 26   Brautlied: Intermezzo

      Singapore Symphony Orchestra/Lan Shui

  Symphony 1 (Landliche Hochzeit): 3

      'Rustic Wedding Symphony'   E flat major

      1875   Op 26   Serenade: Scherzo

      Singapore Symphony Orchestra/Lan Shui

  Symphony 1 (Landliche Hochzeit): 4

      'Rustic Wedding Symphony'   E flat major

      1875   Op 26   Im Garten: Andante

      Singapore Symphony Orchestra/Lan Shui

  Symphony 1 (Landliche Hochzeit): 5

      'Rustic Wedding Symphony'   E flat major

      1875   Op 26   Tanz: Finale

      Singapore Symphony Orchestra/Lan Shui

  Symphony 2 in E flat major

      1887   Op 35   4 movements

      Rhenish Philharmonic Orchestra

      Michael Halász

  Violin Concerto in A minor

      1877   Op 28   3 movements

      Budapest Festival Orchestra

      Michael Schonwandt

      Violin: Joseph Lendvay

  Born in Saint Petersburg 1833, Alexander Porfiryevich Borodin was the illegitimate son of a Georgian nobleman, Luka Gedevanishvili. He was registered as the son of a serf, Porfiry Borodin, but not neglected. He entered the Medical–Surgical Academy in Saint Petersburg to study chemistry in 1850. Upon graduation he served for a year as a surgeon at a military hospital, then undertook three years of advanced study in western Europe. He assumed the chair in chemistry at the Imperial Medical-Surgical Academy in 1862, the same year he studied with Mily Balakirev and began composing, to become one Balakirev's Mighty Handful (The Five), a group of musicians who set themselves the challenge of composing in manner peculiar to Russia, distinct from western Europe. The remarkable thing about Borodin was that he was a serious chemical scientist highly accomplished in that field whilst at once producing an oeuvre in music that alone would have been a life well spent. He initially began composing with 'Symphony 1' in 1862, though it wasn't performed until 1869, the year after beginning his incomplete opera, 'Prince Igor'. He died in 1887 in St. Petersburg. He had completed only one opera ('Bogatyri' in 1878) and a couple of symphonies, but managed some 13 chamber works and a nice number of solo pieces for piano and voice.

Alexander Borodin    1862 - 1887

  In the Steppes of Central Asia

    1880   Symphonic poem

      USSR Symphony Orchestra

      Evgeny Svetlanov

  Prince Igor

    1869-87   Opera

      State Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Russia

      Musical director: Vassily Sinaisky

      Stage director: Yuri Lyubimov

  String Quartet 1: Movement 1

    1877   Moderato - Allegro

      Gitarre: Spiro Thomatos

      Klavier: Fritz Bernhard

  String Quartet 1: Movement 2

    1877   Andante con moto

      Borodin String Quartet

  String Quartet 1: Movement 3

    1877   Scherzo - Prestissimo

      Borodin String Quartet

  String Quartet 1: Movement 4

    1877   Andante - Allegro risoluto

      Borodin String Quartet

  String Quartet 2 in D major


      Cleveland Quartet

  Symphony 1


      USSR State TV & Radio Symphony Orchestra

      Gennady Rozhdestvensky

  Symphony 2


      Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

      Karel Mark Chichon

Birth of Classical Music: Alexander Borodin

Alexander Borodin

Source: Le Blog de JazzNicknames
Birth of Classical Music: Johannes Brahms

Johannes Brahms

Source: Bio
Born in 1833 in Hamburg, Johannes Brahms had a professional multi-instrumentalist for a father, playing largely horn and double bass. He began to play piano at age seven. He first began touring in 1853, soon meeting Franz Liszt in Weimar. Brahms began living with Robert Schumann in Düsseldorf in 1853, working with him until the latter's confinement to a sanatorium the next year. Upon Schumann's death in 1856 Brahms fell in love with his widow, Clara, a professional pianist who loved him as well, though as a son. So he formed and conducted a ladies choir in Hamburg that year, working as well as a court conductor and teacher in the Principality of Lippe. It was during the fifties and sixties that what came to be called the War of the Romantics occurred. Conservatives largely wished to preserve Robert Schumann's direction, his main man  being conservative Brahms versus heroic Richard Wagner and the remarkable Franz Liszt. It was out of that climate that Brahms' first orchestral composition saw performance in public, 'Piano Concerto 1', in 1859. Brahms arrived in Vienna in 1862, there to become conductor at the Wiener Singakademie (an institute of vocal training). By that time Brahms was a rich man, largely from publishing his works. He kept a housemaid but lived in a modest apartment. It was the appearance of 'A German Requiem' in 1868 that made his name throughout Europe. From 1872 to 1875 he was concert director for the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde. In 1877 Brahms declined an honorary doctorate from the University of Cambridge, but accepted the same from the University of Breslau in 1879, composing his 'Academic Festival Overture' in appreciation. His 'Piano Concerto 2' appeared in 1881, composed in Austria rather than Italy where he had been summering since 1878. He died in 1897 of cancer. Though raised a Lutheran he is thought to have died an agnostic or atheist. He composed largely for chamber, orchestra piano and voice. Brahms' first piano concerto is also played by Arthur Rubinstein in Early Modern.

Johannes Brahms   1844 - 1897

  Ein Deutsches Requiem

    1865–68   Op 45   7 movements

      Philharmonia Chorus London

      Reinhold Schmid

      Philharmonia Orchestra London

      Otto Klemperer

  Piano Concerto 1 in D minor

     1854–59   Op 15   3 movements

      Concertgebouw-Orchester Amsterdam

      Bernard Haitink

  Piano Concerto 2 in B flat major

     1878–81 Op 83 4 movements

      Wiener Philarmoniker/Leonard Bernstein

      Piano: Krystian Zimerman

  Symphony 1 in C Minor

     1862–76   Op 68   4 movements

     Vienna Philharmonic/Istvan Kertesz

  Symphony 2 in D major

    1877   Op 73   4 movements

     SO des BayerischenRundfunks

     Mariss Jansons

  Symphony 3 in F major

     1883   Op 90   4 movements

      Orchestra of the University of Music

      Nicolás Pasquet

  Symphony 4 in E minor

     1884–85   Op 98   4 movements

      Wiener Philharmoniker/Leonard Bernstein

Birth of Classical Music: Amilcare Ponchielli

Amilcare Ponchielli

Source: Last Verista

Born near Cremona, Italy, in 1834, Amilcare Ponchielli won a scholarship to study at the Milan Conservatory at age nine. He'd written his first symphony by age ten. He worked dead-end jobs while writing operas, also a bandmaster in Piacenza and Cremona. His first opera, 'I promessi spos' (The Betrothed), appeared in 1856, four years after graduating from the Conservatory. His career gained momentum in 1872 with the considerably greater success of 'I promessi sposi' than to which his operas had been used. He also contracted with music publisher, Ricordi & Company, the Conservatory establishment and the Teatro alla Scala in Milan that year. He secured his now name reputation in 1904 with 'I Lituani' ('The Lithuanians'). 1881 brought a radical change from working for stage when Ponchielli became maestro di cappella at Bergamo Cathedral. He also began teaching composition at the Milan Conservatory that year. Ponchielli died of pneumonia in 1886 in Milan. He had written eleven operas. His 'Dance of the Hours' (Finale to his opera, 'La Gioconda'), was featured in Walt Disney's animation extravaganza, 'Fantasia', in 1940.

Amilcare Ponchielli
   1850 - 1886

 Capriccio for Oboe and Piano

   1889?   Op 80

    Oboe: Gianfranco Bortolato

    Piano: Riccardo Caramella

 Il Convegno (The Meeting)

   1865   Op 76   3 movements

    Clarinet: Philippe Cuper & Jean Luc Votano

 Marion Delorme

   1885   Opera   4 acts

    Latvian Radio Chorus

    Montpellier Opera Chorus

    Orchestre du Languedoc Roussillon

    Friedemann Layer

 La Gioconda

   1876   Op 9   Opera   4 acts

    Coro Cetra/Giulio Mogliotti

    Orchestra Sinfonica di Torino della RAI

    Antonino Votto

    Soprano: Maria Callas

  Born in 1835 in present-day Lithuania, César Cui had a French soldier in the Napoleonic army for a father, who had remained in Russia upon Napoleon's defeat in 1812. Cui began his own career in the military at age 16, entering the Chief Engineering School in Saint Petersburg. After further studies at what is presently the Military Engineering-Technical University, Cui entered the service as an instructor in fortifications in 1857. He would eventually attain the rank of general in 1906. But in 1856 he had met Mily Balakirev and begun composing. He had experimented with composition since a teenager, but now it became an intent and mature pursuit. Balakirev was beginning to shape what became known as The Five, a group of composers to which Cui belonged which interest was Russian individuality in composition versus the conservatory-bred music of western Europe. Classical music had seen it's medieval apex in France, its early Renaissance in the Low Countries to full bloom in Italy, the Germanic in general at the wheel during the Baroque and Classical, and now Russia wanted to hog the Romantic minus Mozart. Cui's first publicly performed composition, 'Scherzo 1' (Op 1) was possibly in 1859. He wrote his first of nigh 800 articles in music criticism in 1864. It appeared in the 'Vedomosti' in Saint Petersburg (Russia's first newspaper, established 1702-03). He also wrote some ten texts during his life concerning military fortifications. His first opera, 'William Radcliff', was staged in 1869. 'Prisoner of the Caucasus' saw production in Liege, Belgium, in 1886; 'Le filibuster' in Paris in 1894; 'Puss in Boots' in Rome in 1915. Cui began composing by dictation in 1916, becoming blind, then died in April 1918. He had completed above fifteen operas, a number of choral, chamber and orchestral works, and solos for keyboard or voice.

César Cui   1865 - 1918

  25 Preludes: 1-2

    1903   Op 64

      Piano: Lyle Neff

  25 Preludes: 6-8

    1903   Op 64

      Piano: Jeffrey Biegel

  25 Preludes: 9

    1903   Op 64

      Piano: Margaret Fingerhut

  25 Preludes: 10

    1903   Op 64

      Piano: Margaret Fingerhut

  25 Preludes: 18

    1903   Op 64

      Piano: Miguel Ángel Barca Sancho


    1893   Op 50

      Piano: Aaron Shorr   Violin: Peter Sheppard

  Suite concertante for violin: 1-2

    1884   Op 25

      Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra

      Conductor: Kenneth Schermerhorn

      Violin: Takako Nishizaki

  Suite concertante for violin: 3-4

    1884   Op 25

      Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra

      Conductor: Kenneth Schermerhorn

      Violin: Takako Nishizaki

Birth of Classical Music: Cesar Cui

Cesar Cui

Source: Find a Grave
Birth of Classical Music: Camille Saint-Saens

Camille Saint-Saens

Source: M Files
Born in Paris in 1835, Camille Saint-Saëns was the only child of an official in the Ministry of Interior. He was a prodigy playing piano at five, making his public debut at age ten via performances of concertos by Mozart and Beethoven at the Salle Pleyel. He matriculated into the Paris Conservatoire at age 13 in 1848. He there studied organ, composing a symphony, scherzo (lively movement), overture and choral ('Les Djinns') about 1850. Upon graduating from the Conservatoire in 1853 Saint-Saens became an organist at the Church of Saint-Merri. With more than 26,000 parishioners in that church, basic stipend plus funerals plus a couple hundred marriages per year made Saint-Saens a comfortable musician. In 1861 he began teaching at the École de Musique Classique et Religieuse (a school founded by Louis Niedermeyer in 1853). In 1870 the Franco-Prussian War began, Saint-Saens serving in the French militia. His symphonic poem, 'Le Rouet d'Omphale', appeared in 1871. Saint-Saens first ventured into theatre with the brief one-act 'Yellow Princess' in 1872. 1874 saw the appearance of another of his four symphonic poems, 'Danse macabre'. During the sixties and early seventies Saint-Saens had been living with his mother in a large fourth-story apartment. In 1875 that changed, Saint-Saens entering into an unhappy marriage. His first full-length opera occurred in 1877 with 'Le timbre d'argent' ('The Silver Bell'). He had dedicated that work to one Albert Libon, who died three months later, leaving Saint-Saens a beneficiary of his legacy such that he would never have to be employed again. That working out better than his marriage, he quit playing church organ altogether and produced his next opera, 'Samson et Dalila', the same year, premiering in Weimar. He was elected to the Institut de France in 1881, the same year he permanently parted from his wife. Saint-Seans premiered his 'Symphony 3 in E minor' (Op 78) in London in 1886, a huge success and the first of a number of notable appearances in England. Possibly his most famous work was for chamber, 'The Carnival of the Animals', appearing in 1887. He entered the 20th century touring throughout Europe. Saint-Saens is among the earliest composers in these histories to have visited the United States (Johann Strauss II the first in 1872, Anton Rubinstein in 1873, Leopold Godowsky in 1884, Kreisler in 1888, Busoni, Paderewski and Tchaikovsky in 1891 and Dvorák in 1892), reaching New York in 1906 and 1909 to considerable celebration. His endeavor to boycott German music from Paris during World War I had little success. He gave his last concert in Paris at age 86, as lively as ever, then went to Algiers where he died of heart attack the same year. His prodigious oeuvre included works for chamber and orchestra, concertantes, operas, chorals and solo pieces for keyboard or voice. True to practice, Saint-Saens toured extensively, said to have performed in 27 countries, placing him among the first truly international classical musicians. R numbers below per Sabina Ratner. Saint-Saens' second piano concerto is performed by Arthur Rubinstein in Early Modern.

Camille Saint-Saëns  1840 - 1921

  The Carnival of Animals

     1886 R 125

      Chamber Ensemble Music Academy

      Piano: Daniel Gasparovic & Nikola Kos

  Dance Macabre

    1874   R 171   Op 40

      Symphonic poem in G minor

      Marcin Józef Zebrowski Music School

      Zygmunt Nitkiewicz

  Piano Concerto No 5

    1858-96   Op 103

      Concertgebouw Orchestra

      Piano: Jean-Yves Thibaudet

  Le rouet d'Omphale

     'The Spinning Wheel of Omphale'

      1872   R 169   Op 31

      Symphonic poem in A major

      Philharmonia Orchestra/Charles Dutoit

  Symphony 1 in E flat major

    1853   Op 2

      Orchestra: Wiener Symphoniker

      Georges Prêtre

  Symphony 2 in A minor

     1859   Op 55

      St.Paul Chamber Orchestra

      Thomas Zehetmair

  Symphony 3 in C minor

     1886   R 176   Op 78  'Organ Symphony'

      South German Philharmonic Orchestra

      Alfred Scholz

      Organ: Walter Neumann

  Born in 1836 in Nizhny Novgorod about 260 miles east of Moscow, Mily Balakirev was leader of The Five (the Mighty Handful), which group concerned itself with weaning composition away from western European conservatory-grown standards to give it a Russian character of its own. (The other members of that group were  Alexander Borodin, César CuiModest Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov.) The son of a lower status clerk, Balakirev's family was at much limited means though not poor, as they owned a piano and had space in which to place it. He began playing at age four, instructed by his mother. He first saw Moscow for piano instruction at age ten, and was boarded at the Alexandrovsky Institute upon his mother's death. Balakirev led his first performance, Mozart's 'Requiem Mass in D minor', at age fourteen. His earliest surviving pieces were composed the next year, an incomplete septet and 'Grande Fantasie on Russian Folksongs'. He matriculated into the University of Kazan, about 450 miles east of Moscow, in 1853. Studying mathematics, he also began teaching piano. In 1855 he met Mikhail Glinka on a trip to St. Petersburg, thereat encouraged to exchange math for music. The next year saw the debut performance of one of his own works, 'Piano Concerto 1 in F sharp minor' (Op 1). A firm Russian nationalist, it was 1856 when The Five came together with blessings from Alexander Serov and Dargomyzhsky. Largely an autodidact in composition, Balakirev had no use for academic routine, emphasizing individual direction from brick one. Nevertheless, he formed the Free School of Music in 1862, such become needful to establish legitimacy amidst the greater prestige of musical institutions. Publishing since 1859, Balakirev's 'Collection of Russian Folksongs' saw print in 1866. From 1867 to '69 he shared directorship of the Russian Musical Society (RMS) with Nikolai Zaremba, even as his Free School was an emphatic rival. (Arthur Rubenstein, director of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory [ditto RMS], and Bedrich Smetana were two other forces in his life that he found difficult to suffer.) 1871 saw Balakirev collapsing from the drive, he removing himself from the music profession, though he had to take a job as a railroad clerk in Warsaw the next year. His mother died and he joined the Russian Orthodox Church that year as well. Rimsky-Korsakov assumed his vacant spot as director of the Free School in 1874. He slowly waded back into the music profession as a private teacher of theory in 1876. Reassuming his place at the Free School in 1881, he finished 'Tamara' in 1882, became director of the Imperial Chapel Choir in 1883 (and conductor for the Imperial Music Society), then completed 'Rus' in 1884. Retiring from the Imperial Chapel in 1895, Balakirev died in 1910 and was buried in St. Petersburg. Among his more important professional associations beyond The Five had been Tchaikovsky. He had been a kind man to the point of becoming a vegetarian, though he was anti-Semitic, accepting no Jews at the Free School. His works most characteristically Russian are thought to be his symphonies and symphonic overtures, though the orientalism of 'Tamara' has been more appreciated. Per below, a humoresque is simply a brief and stimulating piece of music. The Mazurka is a lively Polish dance in triple time.

Mily Balakirev   1851 - 1910


    1903   Humoresque

      Piano: Alexander Paley


    1869   Op 18   Fantasie for piano

      Piano: Sandro Russo

  Mazurkas 1-7

    1864-1906   Piano: Alexander Paley

  Nocturne 1

    1898   B flat minor

      Piano: Alexander Paley

  Nocturne 2

    1901   Piano: Alexander Paley

  Nocturne 3

    1902   Piano: Ryan Layne Whitney

  Ouverture on 3 Russian Themes


      State Academic Symphony Orchestra

      Evgeny Svetlanov


    1863–64 Revised 1890 & 1907

      Symphonic poem

      State Academic Symphony Orchestra

      Evgeny Svetlanov

  Scherzos 1-3

    1: 1856   2: 1900   3: 1901

      Piano: Alexander Paley

  Symphony 1 in C major

    1864–66 1893–97   4 movements

      Russian State Symphony Orchestra

      Igor Golovschin

  Symphony 2 in D minor

    1908   4 movements

      Russian State Symphony Orchestra

      Igor Golovschin


    1867–82   Symphonic poem

      Russian State Symphony Orchestra

      Igor Golovschin

Birth of Classical Music: Mily Balakirev

Mily Balakirev

Source: America Pink
Birth of Classical Music: Theodore Dubois

Theodore Dubois

Source: Mixtur
Born in 1837 in Rosnay in northeastern France, Théodore Dubois initially studied at Reims cathedral under Louis Fanart, then the Paris Conservatoire under composer, Ambroise Thomas ('Mignon', 'Hamlet'). In 1868 he became choirmaster at the Church of the Madeleine, at the Basilica of Sainte-Clotilde in 1871, also teaching at the Paris Conservatoire. Returning to the Church of the Madeleine as an organist in 1877, in 1896 he became director of the Paris Conservatoire until 1905. Amidst elsewise, Dubois largely composed chamber and orchestral works, as well as operas. Among the more obscure composers, Dubois could be called an apt example of firm French academic during the Romantic period. He passed in 1924.

Théodore Dubois   1860 - 1924

  Cello Sonata in D major

    Published 1906   3 movements

      Cello: Yasutaka Takeuchi

      Piano: Satomi Hayakawa

  Messa Breve

     Chorale La Villanelle/Odile Chateau

  Piano Concerto 2 in F minor

    Published 1897

      Wiener Philharmoniker/Zubin Mehta

      Piano: Lang Lang

  Piano Quartet 1:1

    Published 1904   4 movements

      Chagall Trio Plus One

  Toccata in G major

     1889   Organ: David Patrick

  Born in Boulogne-sur-Mer in northern France in 1837, Félix-Alexandre Guilmant was an organist and teacher. His opus one was 'Ave Verum pour Choeur et Orgue' in 1856. He became organist at the Catholic Église de la Sainte-Trinité in 1871, where he kept for the next three decades. Pursuing the career of a virtuoso, Guilmant toured the United States, Canada and England. In 1894 he assisted composers, Charles Bordes and Vincent d'Indy, in the foundation of the Schola Cantorum de Paris, an intended alternative to the Paris Conservatoire. He there taught until his death in 1911. Guilmant had been a prolific composer of nigh all works for organ.

Alexandre Guilmant   1856 - 1911

 Marche Élégiaque

   Op 74:1   For organ   C minor

    Bamberger Symphoniker/Sebastian Weigle

    Organ: Edgar Krapp

 Sonata 5

   Op 80   For organ

    Organ: Thomas Nipp

 Symphony 1 in D minor

   Op 42   For organ   3 movements

    Bamberger Symphoniker/Vladimir Fedoseyev

    Organ: Vladimir Fedoseyev

 Symphony 2 in A major

   Op 91   For organ

    Bamberger Symphoniker/Sebastian Weigle

    Organ: Edgar Krapp

Birth of Classical Music: Alexandre Guilmant

Alexandre Guilmant

Source: Guilmant
  Born in Paris in 1838 Georges Bizet had a singing teacher for a father. Showing sufficient ability in piano and singing to enter the Paris Conservatoire at age nine (the minimum age of ten waived), he there excelled in composing and piano. His earliest surviving compositions are a couple of wordless songs for soprano circa 1850. He had been at the conservatoire 6 (of 9) years when he published a couple songs in 1854. Among other works the next year he completed his first overture (in A) as well as his first symphony (in C). His first opera to be performed was 'Le docteur Miracle' in 1856, premiering in Paris the next year. Also in 1857 Bizet won the Prix de Rome, his particular scholarship to study 2 years in Rome, 1 year in Germany and two more in Paris. He was accommodated the next year in Rome at the Villa Medici, the French Academie's quarters there. He obtained permission to study in Italy another year instead going to Germany. Upon completing his Prix de Rome Bizet became a teacher and accompanist. He also arranged, transcribed and didn't get very far as a music critic. Like Saint-Saëns, Fauré and Messager, Bizet was a defender of the Third Republic and joined the National Guard. He also fled Paris during the subsequent Commune, returning a month later. From 1873 to '74 Bizet composed his final opera, 'Carmen', less than well received. He died of a second heart attack in June 1875. Along with works for stage Bizet composed orchestral works, piano pieces and songs.

Georges Bizet   1850 - 1875


    1873-74   WD 31   Opera   4 acts

      Wiener Staatsoper Choir and Orchestra

      Choirmaster: Thomas Lang

      Conductor: Andris Nelsons

      Director: Franco Zeffirelli

      Carmen: Nadia Krasteva

  Le Docteur Miracle

    1856   First performance 1857

      Operette 1 act

      L'Ensemble de Montréal

  Jeux d'enfants

    1871   WD 56   12 piano pieces 4 hands

      Piano: Alfons & Aloys Kontarsky

  La jolie fille de Perth

    1866   WD 15   Opera   4 acts

      Cori spezzati (split choirs): Olivier Opdebeeck

      Orchestre d'État Hongrois Failoni

      Direction musicale: Jérôme Pillement

      Direction: Pierre Jourdan

  Symphony 1 in C major

    1855   WD 33   4 movements

      Kislovodsk Philharmonic Orchestra

      Conducting: Ricardo Araújo

  Roma Symphony in C major

    1860-68 Revised 1871

      WD 37   4 movements

      University of Chicago Orchestra

Birth of Classical Music: Georges Bizet

Georges Bizet

Source: Britannica
  Born in 1838 in Cologne, Germany, Max Bruch's mother was a singer and his father a lawyer and vice president ot the Cologne police. His first composition was at age nine, a song for his mother's birthday, after which he began writing a string of compositions, including a string quartet and orchestral prelude which haven't, however survived. A symphony at age fourteen won him a scholarship to study in Cologne. Among his early teachers was composer, Ferdinand Hiller. In addition to composing he taught and conducted at various locations in Germany. He conducted three seasons at the Liverpool Philharmonic Society beginning in 1880, and married in 1881. In 1890 Bruch began teaching composition at the Berlin University of the Arts from where he retired twenty years later. He died in his home in Friedenau (now part of Berlin) in 1920, having written a strong number of concertantes (in general, somewhere between a concerto, but with less emphasis on solos, and a symphony, but with more emphasis on solos), operas, lieder (songs) and works for chamber, chorus and orchestra. Per 'Scottish Fantasy' below, the fantasy in classical music began during the 16th century Renaissance as a way to compose an idea or imagination without having to conform to some form. It thus found a wide variety of expressions.

Max Bruch   1852 - 1920

 Concerto for 2 Pianos

1912   Op 88a   4 movements

    Philharmonia Orchestra/Semyon Bychkov

Pianos: Katia & Marielle Labèque

 Das Lied von der Glocke

1877–1878   Op 45   Cantata/oratorio

    Mezzosoprano: Renée Morloc

  Double Concerto in E minor

1911   Op 88   3 movements

    OS Simón Bolívar de Venezuela

    Gregory Carreño

   Viola: Frank Di Polo  

 Scottish Fantasy

   1880   Op 46   4 movements

    Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia/Rumon Gamba

    Violin: Stefan Jackiw  

 Symphony 2 in F minor

Op 36   1868–70   3 movements

    Kölner Philharmoniker/James Conlon  

Violin Concerto 1 in G minor

    1866-68   Op 26   3 movements

    Staatskapelle Weimar/Pavel Baleff

    Violin: Sophie Wang  

 Violin Concerto 2 in D minor

    1877   Op 44   3 movements

    Russian Philharmonic Orchestra

    Dmitry Yablonsky

    Violin: Maxim Fedotov

Violin Concerto 3 in D minor

1891   Op 58   3 movements

    Russian Philharmonic Orchestra

    Klavier: Fritz Bernhard

    Violin: Maxim Fedotov

Birth of Classical Music: Max Bruch

Max Bruch

Source: Britannica
Birth of Classical Music: Modest Mussorgsky

Modest Mussorgsky

Source: Audio Sparx
Born in 1839 in Kerova, some sixty miles northeast of modern Belarus, Modest Pyotrovich Mussorgsky was a member the Mighty Handful (The Five) led by Mily Balakirev. The Five were a group of composers who met in St. Petersburg from 1856 to 1870 in the interest of creating music peculiar to Russia rather than drumming European styles. (Other members were Alexander Borodin, César Cui and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.) His father was a wealthy landowner, Mussorgsky published his first piano piece, 'Porte-enseigne Polka', at age twelve in 1852. The next year he became a cadet in the School of Guards, graduating to the Russian Imperial Guard in 1856, the year he met Borodin, also in the military. Soon attending soirees held by Alexander Dargomyzhsky. His abilities at piano impressive to Dargomyzhsky, he resigned from the military in 1858 to pursue music. Easier planned than done, it was needful for him to be employed as a civil servant, which steady status ended in 1867, becoming a supernumerary, leaving him to make a living largely by music alone. His opera, 'Zhenitba', first saw stage in 1873, 'Boris Godunov' in 1874. In 1880 he was resigned from the civil service altogether, alcoholism making him unable to function. (Mussorgsky's love of drink had begun in the military, militaries in general promoting such as drunken Saturday nights as bravado. As well, liquor was interwoven with the Russian "romantic" lifestyle.) In 1881 he endured four seizures, then died the next year, having drank himself to death at age forty-two. Mussorgsky had composed chiefly operas, choral and orchestral works, and pieces for solo piano or voice. Mussorgsky wrote the libretto and music to the opera, 'Khovanshchina', below, from 1872 to 1880, leaving its orchestration undone. It was completed the first time by Rimsky-Korsakov between 1881 and '83, a second by Shostakovich in 1958-59. His 'Night on Bald Mountain' (below) was featured in the Walt Disney animation film, 'Fantasia', in 1940.

Modest Mussorgsky   1852 - 1881

  Boris Godunov

    1868-72   Opera

      Bolshoi Theatre Chorus & Orchestra

      Boris Khaikin

      Boris: Yevgeny Nesterenko

  Khovanshchina (Хованщина) Act 1

     1872–80 Incomplete

      Sofia National Opera Chorus & Opera

      Emil Tchakarov

  Khovanshchina (Хованщина) Act 2

    1872–80 Incomplete

      Sofia National Opera Chorus & Opera

      Emil Tchakarov

  Khovanshchina (Хованщина) Act 3

    1872–80 Incomplete

      Sofia National Opera Chorus & Opera

      Emil Tchakarov

  Khovanshchina (Хованщина) Act 4

     1872–80 Incomplete

      Sofia National Opera Chorus & Opera

      Emil Tchakarov

  Khovanshchina (Хованщина) Act 5

     1872–80 Incomplete

      Sofia National Opera Chorus & Opera

      Emil Tchakarov

  Night on Bald Mountain

    1867   Symphonic poem

      Ludwig Symphony Orchestra/Thomas Ludwig

  Pictures at an Exhibition

    1874   Pieces for piano

      Piano: Jose Andres Navarro Silberstein

  Born in 1840 deep in Russia (780 miles east of Moscow in Votkinsk in present-day Udmurt Republic), Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky had an engineer and lieutenant colonel serving in the Department of Mines for a father. Groomed for life as a civil servant, Tchaikovsky was 10 when he was sent away from Votkinsk to complete studies needful to enter the Imperial School of Jurisprudence in St. Petersburg. Among his initial compositions was a waltz at age fourteen upon the death of his mother of cholera. In 1859 Tchaikovsky was employed at the Ministry of Justice for the next three years, having been taught piano sporadically by a couple teachers by then, but not to much actual intent. He began to get serious in 1861, studying music theory at classes arranged by the Russian Musical Society (RMS) in St. Petersburg. The next year he enrolled in Anton Rubinstein's Saint Petersburg Conservatory. Among his first works during that period were 'Characteristic Dances' in 1865 and 'Symphony 1 in G minor' in 1866. By 1867 he was teaching at the Moscow Conservatory. Tchaikovsky's first opera, 'The Voyevoda', premiered in 1869, his symphonic poem, 'Fatum', as well. The opera, 'Undina', followed in 1870. By that time the last fourteen years had witnessed the rift between Rubinstein, a musical conservative who emphasized the importance of western European composition, and Balakirev, whose Free School distanced itself from European influence, emphasizing individuality in the creation of a music that Russia could call its own. Tchaikovsky was caught in between, sympathizing with both, neither absolutely, and distancing himself from both, neither absolutely. Balakirev nevertheless contributed in a consultative manner to Tchaikovsky's symphonic poem, 'Romeo and Juliet' (called an overture-fantasie by Tchaikovsky), it's first version premiering in 1870. Tchaikovsky also received Balakirev's blessing upon his 'Symphony 2 in C minor' ('Little Russian'), composed in 1872, after which Tchaikovsky and the Free School would remain on generally friendly terms. As for Rubinstein, he and Tchaikovsky had their disagreements but worked closely together off and on until Rubinstein's death in 1881. It was 1880 when Tchaikovsky composed his '1812 Overture' in six weeks. In 1884 he was awarded the Order of St. Vladimir by Tsar Alexander III. In 1885 he was awarded an annual pension of 3,000 rubles (worth about $80,000 today) by Tsar Alexander III. It was 1887 when he won patronage for the next thirteen years from Nadezhda von Meck, the widow of a wealthy railroad magnate. Meck paid Tchaikovsky 6,000 rubles a year, equivalent to about $160,000 today. Together with other earnings, that made Tchaikovsky himself a tycoon. His 'Symphony 5 in E minor' premiered in St. Petersburg in 1888, 'Hamlet' a week later. Tchaikovsky is among the first composers in these histories to have visited the United States, performing at Carnegie Hall in 1891. (He was preceded by Strauss II in 1872 and Anton Rubinstein the next year. Leopold Godowsky arrived to the States in 1884, Fritz Kreisler in 1888. Both Busoni and Paderewski also first visited the States in 1891.) He conducted his last concert in 1893 at the debut of 'Symphony 6 in B minor' ('Pathétique') in Saint Petersburg, dying nine days later. It isn't known what killed him, cholera from drinking bad water the general consensus. Tchaikovsky had twice married, but as neither wife understood his homosexuality any more than he did, neither marriage had been successful. Tchaikovsky had completed three ballets, 11 operas, seven symphonies, various chamber, orchestral and choral works, as well as a strong number of arrangements. His 'Nutcracker' suite was featured in the animation film, 'Fantasia', in 1940.

Pyotr Tchaikovsky   1854 - 1893

  1812 Overture

    1880   Op 49

      Symphonic St. Germain Orchestra

      Vladimir Szell

  The Nutcracker

     1892   Op 71   Ballet

      RTV Moscow Large Symphony Orchestra

      Vladimir Fedoseyev

  Piano Concerto 1 in B flat minor

     Three versions: 1874-90?   Op 23

      Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra

      Hannu Lintu

      Piano: Yuja Wang

  Romeo and Juliet

     Three versions: 1869-80

      Symphonic poem (overture-fantasie)

      Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy

  Sleeping Beauty

     1888–89   Op 66   Ballet

      The National Philharmonic Orchestra

      Richard Bonynge

  Swan Lake

     Premier: 1877   Op 20   Ballet

      RTV Moscow Large Symphony Orchestra

      Gennady Rozhdestvensky

  Symphony 6 in B minor (Pathétique)

     1893   Op 74

      Moskow Radio Symphony Orchestra

      Conducting: Vladimir Fedoseyev

Birth of Classical Music: Pyotr Tchaikovsky

Pyotr Tchaikovsky

Source: Wikipedia

We temporarily suspend this history of the first several decades of the Romantic period with Tchaikovsky. We may be making additions as such occur.





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