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A Birth of Classical 5

A YouTube History of Music

Late Romantic - Impressionist

Group & Last Name Index to Full History:


Composers are listed chronologically. Tracks are listed alphabetically.

Not on this page? See history tree below.



Isaac Albéniz
Marco Enrico Bossi    Tomás Bretón    Ferruccio Busoni
Ruperto Chapí    Jean Cras
Claude Debussy    Henri Duparc    Antonin Dvorák
Edward Elgar
Gabriel Fauré
Alexander Glazunov    Reinhold Glière    Edvard Grieg
Gustav Holst
Vincent d'Indy
Charles Koechlin
Anatoly Lyadov
Gustov Mahler    Giuseppe Martucci    Jules Massenet    André Messager
Carl Nielsen
Ignacy Paderewski    Hubert Parry    Hans Pfitzner    Giacomo Puccini
Sergei Rachmaninoff    Maurice Ravel    Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Alexander Scriabin    Jean Sibelius    John Philip Sousa    Charles Stanford    Richard Strauss
Sergei Taneyev    Francisco Tárrega
Charles-Marie Widor    Hugo Wolf



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

Names are alphabetical, not chronological, per year:


1841 Antonin Dvorák
1842 Jules Massenet
1843 Edvard Grieg
1844 Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov    Charles-Marie Widor
1845 Gabriel Fauré
1848 Henri Duparc    Hubert Parry
1850 Tomás Bretón
1851 Ruperto Chapí    Vincent d'Indy
1852 Charles Stanford    Francisco Tárrega
1853 André Messager
1854 John Philip Sousa
1855 Anatoly Lyadov
1856 Giuseppe Martucci    Sergei Taneyev
1857 Edward Elgar
1858 Giacomo Puccini
1860 Isaac Albéniz    Gustov Mahler    Ignacy Paderewski    Hugo Wolf
1862 Marco Enrico Bossi    Claude Debussy
1864 Richard Strauss
1865 Alexander Glazunov    Carl Nielsen    Jean Sibelius
1866 Ferruccio Busoni
1867 Charles Koechlin
1869 Hans Pfitzner
1872 Alexander Scriabin
1873 Sergei Rachmaninoff
1874 Reinhold Glière    Gustav Holst
1879 Jean Cras
1875 Maurice Ravel


  This page indexes the 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 Earky Romantic or Early Modern. Piano works by several composers of the Romantic period may be found under Arthur Rubinstein in Early Modern. Late Romantic composers on this page referred to as Impressionist in some capacity, including those who intended no such relevance, are Claude Debussy, Charles Koechlin, Alexander Scriabin and Maurice Ravel. Those transitional composers could as easily be listed as early Modern.  


Birth of Classical Music: Antonin Dvorak

Antonin Dvorak

Source: Le Coin du Musiciien
Bohemian (Czech, basically) composers began making a notable appearance in European music in the latter 17th century of the Baroque. The last major Bohemian composer this history has seen is Smetana, a generation earlier than Antonin Dvorák. Born in 1841 in Nelahozeves, near Prague, in present-day Czech Republic, Dvorak had a father who combined keeping an inn with butchering and playing the zither (a string instrument). He learned early to play the violin, his first composition thought to be his 'Forget-Me-Not Polka in C', perhaps 1855. He was soon being instructed in piano, organ, theory and singing as well, progressing through a number of teachers until graduating from Prague's Organ School in 1859. Dvorak had played professionally, as an extra, in an orchestra while attending school. But it was by becoming a member of the orchestra of Karel Komzák I in 1858, which played restaurants, balls and the Provisional Theatre, that enabled him to transition from student to professional without a gap. It was a typical situation for a young inexperienced musician, not earning a lot and sharing an apartment with five other people. He began composing in earnest in the sixties, notably pieces for strings and symphonies. Dvorak composed his first opera, 'Alfred', in 1870 (never performed in his lifetime). By 1871 he was able to vacate his spot in his orchestra at the Provisional Theatre and concentrate on composing. But in 1873 he married. For sake of steady income, albeit little, he took a position as organist at St. Adalbert's in Prague (Dvorak was Roman Catholic). It was 1874 upon the premier of Dvorak's third and fourth symphonies that he began his name, sufficient to leave his position as an organist. By 1877 he was making a big impression on Johannes Brahms who now began to figure large in the promotion of Dvorak's career, beginning as a juror of the Austrian State Prize that Dvorak finally won that year. Having transitioned from local fame in Prague to even greater in Vienna, both major hubs of classical music, it was time to perform at Royal Albert Hall (above right) in London in 1883 (his 'Stabat Mater' of 1880). (Royal Albert Hall had opened for business in March 1871. It was gas lit until electricity was installed in 1897.) Dvorak was preceded to America by Strauss II (1872), Anton Rubinstein (1873), Leopold Godowsky (1884) Fritz Kreisler (1888), Ferruccio Busoni (1891), Paderewski (1891) and Tchaikovsky (1891). Upon arriving to the States he filled the position of director for the National Conservatory of Music in NYC from 1892 to '95. He was paid $15,000 per annum. The sow hat of that is that money bought about twenty times more in Dvorak's time than now, making such the equivalent of a $300,000 per year salary today. It was getting figured by the turn of the century that howsoever barbaric America might be in comparison to Paris or even distant Saint Petersburg (by then becoming an unignorable bright spot on the cultural map), they were yet a source of unusually large financial gain (M&Ms: morons with money), living in a country which prosperity was by then giving Great Britain its notice. Dvorak wrote his ninth symphony, 'From the New World', for the New York Philharmonic in 1893. His ninth and last visit to London occurred in 1896. Brahms was yet promoting Dvorak from Vienna (even proofreading his material) until his death in 1897. Dvorak gave his own last concert in April 1900, becoming director of the Prague Conservatory in 1901. He was struck with flu in April 1904 and died the next month, cause unknown. A lot of Dvorak's oeuvre, such as his dances, is notable for its draw upon Czech, Polish and Slav folk traditions. Dvorak is one of not a few composers for whom opus numbers are futile in determining sequence. With confusion such as between composition dates and publishing dates, even Dvorak's symphony numbers have been changed over the years to make sense of them (such as his ninth, that was his eighth for a while, after originally being titled his fifth). He composed largely symphonies, concerti, chamber and choral music, operas and songs. B numbers below are per J. Burghauser, 1960/96.

Antonin Dvorák   1855 - 1904

  Cello Concerto in B Minor

    1894-95   B 191   Op 104

      Gdansk Feliks Nowowiejski Music School

      Conductor: Sylwia Anna Janiak

      Cello: Jan Lewandowski & Maciej Kułakowski


    1890   B 165   Op 89

      13 movements in 2 sections

      Slovak Philharmonic Choir

      Blanka Juhaňáková

      Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra Olomouc

      Jaromír Krygel

  Slavonic Dances

    Op 72   B 145   No 2

      Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra

  Slavonic Dances

    Op 72   B 145    No 4

      Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra

  Stabat Mater

    Op 58   B 71   10 sections

      Orchestre Philarmonique de Radio France

      Jakub Hruša

  String Quartet 12

    'American String Quartet'

      1893   B 179   Op 96

      Cleveland Quartet

  Symphony 8

    1889   B 163   Op 88   4 movements

      Wiener Philarmoniker

Conducting: Herbert von Karajan

  Symphony 9 (From the New World)

    1893   B 178   Op 95   4 movements

      Armonie Symphony Orchestra

Birth of Classical Music: Royal Albert Hall

Royal Albert Hall   1871

Source: Wikipedia
  Born in 1842 in what is now Saint-Étienne, France, Jules Massenet had an ironmonger for a father. While attending the Lycée Saint-Louis he won admittance to the Paris Conservatoire in 1853 as well. He was an excellent pianist but didn't care for organ. Massenet's first published composition was a work for piano in 16 sections after an opera by Meyerbeer, 'Le pardon de Ploërmel', in 1861. In 1863 he won the Conservatoire's Prix the Rome, a scholarship to study in Italy for three years. Returning to Paris in 1866, he earned his living as a teacher while while publishing compositions. During the Franco-Prussian War, 1870-71, he served in the National Guard. Like Gabriel Fauré, he was forced to flee Paris during the subsequent Commune. Upon his return to Paris his 'Don César de Bazan' premiered in 1882. That boat sank but the next year brought the success of incidental music to Lecant de Lisle's 'Les Érinnyes' and the oratorio, 'Marie-Magdeleine'. A prolific composer, writing from 4 AM to noon was his routine most of his life. He completed his single piano concerto in 1903, followed by the comedie, 'Chérubin', in 1905. His last opera to be performed in his lifetime was 'Roma' (premier February 1912), after which he completed two more, 'Panurge' and 'Cléopâtre', before dying in August 1912 of abdominal cancer. In addition to 34 operas, Massanet composed four ballets, incidental music, orchestral works and a large number of melodies (songs).

Jules Massenet
   1860 - 1912


   1905   Comic opera   3 acts

     Orchestra e Coro del Teatro Lirico

     Emmanuel Villaume

 Le Cid: Ouverture

   1885   Grand opera   4 acts

     Opera Orchestra of New York

Conductor: Eve Queler


   1912   Lyric opera   4 acts

     Orchestra of the Mediterraneo Unito

     Miquel Ortega

     Cléopâtre: Montserrat Caballé

 Don Quichotte

   1910   Opera   5 acts

     Performance unknown

 Piano Concerto in E flat major

   1902   Movement 1: Andante moderato

     Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo

     Sylvain Cambreling

     Piano: Aldo Ciccolini

 Piano Concerto in E flat major

   1902   Movement 2: Largo

     Westphalian Symphony Orchestra

     Siegfried Landau

     Piano: Marylène Dosse

 Piano Concerto in E flat major

   1902   Movement 3: Allegro   'Airs Slovaques'

     Westphalian Symphony Orchestra

     Siegfried Landau

     Piano: Marylène Dosse

Birth of Classical Music: Jules Massenet

Jules Massenet

Source: Opera Arts
Birth of Classical Music: Edvard Grieg

Edvard Grieg

Source: Wikipedia
Born in 1843 in Bergen, Norway, Edvard Hagerup Grieg began piano at age six. He was sent at age fifteen to study at the Liepzig Conservatory. Before finishing his studies in 1862 he gave his first concert the year before in Karlshamn, Sweden. In 1863 he went to Copenhagen to work for three years. He found a champion in Franz Liszt in Rome in 1870. (Liszt was the go-to guy to advance one's musical career, he of assistance in one manner or another to not a few composers on this page.) Grieg became director of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in 1880 for a couple of years. In 1894 he accepted and honorary doctorate from Cambridge University (another from Oxford in 1906). Grieg is the first classical composer in these histories to have made gramophone recordings (1903 in Paris). He is also the first in these histories to have produced piano rolls for player pianos. His final words reportedly, "Well, if it must be so," he died in 1907. About 35,000 attended his funeral. Grieg was a Unitarian. Among his more famous works was his incidental music to Henrik Ibsen's play, 'Peer Gynt'. EG numbers were assigned to works by Grieg which had no opus number by Dan Fog and Edvard Grieg Committee, last edition 1995.

Edvard Grieg   1858 - 1907

  Ballade in G minor

     Op 24   Piano: Gregory Martin

  Holberg Suite

    1884   Op 40   5 movements

     Berliner Philharmoniker/Herbert von Karajan

  Peer Gynt Suites 1-2

     Incidental music

      Suite 1: 1888   Op 46

      Suite 2: 1891   Op 55

      Orquesta Sinfónica de RTVE

      Guillermo Garcia Calvo

  Piano Concerto in A minor

    1868   Op 16

      London Symphony Orchestra/André Previn

      Piano: Arthur Rubinstein

  String Quartet 1 in G minor

    Op 27   Copenhagen String Quartet

  Symphonic Dances

     1897   Op 64

      Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra

       Neeme Järvi

  Symphony in C minor

    1864   EG 119

      Malmö Symphony Orchestra

      Bjarte Engeset

  Born in 1844 in Tikhvin (120 miles east of St. Petersburg), Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov began piano at age six and composing at age ten. But he had little interest in music until meeting teacher, Feodor Kanille, in 1859. Kanille in turn introduced Korsakov to Mily Balakirev in 1861. Balakirev taught Korsakov some fundamentals, but "teach yourself" was the primary lesson Balakirev gave to all his students. Upon graduating from the School for Mathematical and Navigational Sciences in Saint Petersburg in 1862, Risky-Korsakov took to the sea as a midshipman the next year. He did some composing at sea, but notions of becoming a musician began to fade before returning to St. Petersburg in 1865. Had he not met Balakirev before his tour at sea he might never have composed a thing else. Now seeing him again, Balakirev encouraged him to finish the symphony that he had begun at sea in 1861. That resulted in first public performance, directed by Balakirev at his Free School, of his first opus, 'Symphony 1 in E flat minor', in December of '65. (His much later 1884 version was in E minor.) As Rimskey-Korsakov continued mentoring with Balakirev he became the youngest member of The Five, a group led by Balakirev which interest was to fashion a Russian identity in music apart from the prestige of what was taught in conservatories in western Europe. Other members of The Five were Alexander Borodin, César Cui and Modest Mussorgsky. In 1871 Rimsky-Korsakov began teaching composition and orchestration at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory (founded in 1862 by Anton Rubinstein). Funny thing was that Rimsky-Korsikov's knowledge of composition was next to none and he had never conducted an orchestra. Tchaikovsky gave him the same advice as Balakirev had, in so many words, "teach yourself." So he taught himself to compose and conduct as his students followed. He was also yet active in the military and required to wear a uniform until resigning his commission in 1873, assuming a civil status as Russia's first naval band inspector. He became Russia's last naval band inspector in 1884 when that office was closed. The next year he began working with Balakirev at the Saint Petersburg Court Chapel, teaching there as well until 1894. This put him into something of a situation, teaching at Rubinstein's academic Saint Petersburg Conservatory while at once aligned with Balakirev's more progressive Mighty Handful (The Five). In that atmosphere he gradually became more conservative, forming a close friendship with Tchaikovsky who could sympathize. During the 1905 Revolution Rimsky-Korsakov aligned himself with demonstrating students at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory who wished a constitutional monarchy, and was dismissed, which led to a police ban on his works, which wrought more protesting, which saw him reinstated the next December before resigning the next year. Rimsky-Korsakov completed his last opera, 'The Golden Cockerel' in 1907, but died before it's premier in 1909. He had been suffering with angina for perhaps the last twenty years, which finally killed him in 1908. Rimsky-Korsakov had written largely orchestral works and operas, as well as choral works, songs, chamber works and pieces for piano.

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
   1859 - 1907

  4 Romances

    1865–66   Op 2

      Piano: Richard Boldrey

      Soprano: Sadie Frazier

  The Golden Cockerel

    1906–07   Opera   3 acts

      All-Union RT Choir and Orchestra

      Choirmaster: K. Ptitsa

       Conductors: A. Kovaliov & E. Akulov


    1888   Op 35   Orchestral suite of 4

      New York Philharmonic Orchestra

      Leonard Bernstein

  Spanish Capriccio

    1887   Op 34   5 movements

      Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

   Symphony 1 in E minor: Movement 1

     1884   Version 2 of Op 1 in E♭ minor (1861-65)

       Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra

       Boris Khaikin

  Symphony 1 in E minor: Movement 2

    1884   Version 2 of Op 1 in E♭ minor (1861-65)

      Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra

      Boris Khaikin

  Symphony 1 in E minor: Movement 3

    1884   Version 2 of Op 1 in E♭ minor (1861-65)

      Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra

      Boris Khaikin

  Symphony 1 in E minor: Movement 4

    1884   Version 2 of Op 1 in E♭ minor (1861-65)

      Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra

      Boris Khaikin

  Symphony 2

    4 versions 1868-1903   Op 9

      Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra

      Lucasz Borowicz

  Symphony 3 in C major

    Version 1: 1866–73 Version 2: 1886   Op 32

      St. Peterburg State Symphony Orchestra

      André Anichanov

Birth of Classical Music: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

Source: Bach Cantatas
Birth of Classical Music: Charles-Marie Widor

Charles-Marie Widor

Photo: Paul Berger

Bibliothèque nationale de France

Source: Wikipedia
Born in 1844 in Lyon, France, organist Charles-Marie Widor was the son of an organ builder. He studied organ and composition in Brussels some years prior to becoming assistant to Camille Saint-Saëns at the Catholic Eglise de la Madeleine in Paris in 1868. In 1870 he became organist at the Catholic Church of Saint-Sulpice in Paris, where he remained until 1933.  In 1890 he succeeded César Franck as an organ, and later composition, teacher at the Paris Conservatoire. As much a performer as a composer, Widor toured internationally. He waited until he was 76 years old to get married in 1920. Widor was a founder of the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau in 1921, there director until 1934. He died at his home in Paris in 1937. Widor had composed for chamber, chorus, stage and symphony along with songs and a considerable number of pieces for solo organ and solo piano. Though his symphonies were written for one organ alone, they were called symphonies because they were composed especially for the advanced Cavaillé-Coll organ with wide orchestral range and other features helping to approxiamate symphonic effects.

Charles-Marie Widor   1863 - 1937

 Organ Symphony 1 in C minor

   1872 Revised 1901 1918

    Op 13   7 movements

    Organ: Wayne Marshall

Organ Symphony 5 in F minor

   1879 Revised 1901 1918

    Op 42:1   5 movements

    Organ: Massimo Gabba

  Organ Symphony 6 in G minor

   1885   Op 42:2   6 movements

    Organ: Ben van Oosten

 Organ Symphony 9 (Gothique)

   1895   Op 70   4 movements

    Organ: Ben van Oosten

    Organ: Daniel Chorzempa

 Piano Concerto 1 in F minor

   1876   Op 39   3 movements

    Utrecht Symphony Orchestra/Jean Fournet

    Piano: Ronald Brautigam


   1887   For flute and piano

    Op 34   4 sections

    Flute: Leonard Garrison

    Piano: Rajung Yang

Birth of Classical Music: Duke of Durham Cigarettes

First Cigarette Brand   1892

Source: Jim's Burnt Offerings
Born in Pamiers in southern France in 1845, Gabriel Fauré had a school master for a father, who took him to Paris to study at the School of Classical and Religious Music (École Niedermeyer) upon receiving a scholarship at age nine. He there distinguished himself at organ, harmony, piano and composition until graduating at age twenty. The next year he assumed a position as organist at the Church of Saint-Sauveur in Rennes, Brittany. He was resigned from that job in 1870 upon showing up one Sunday to perform at Mass in evening clothes after having attended an overnight ball. (His like of cigarettes had also been revealing a mismatch. Rimsky-Korsakov was another composer who took up the cigarette at that time when smoking was beginning to replace snuffing. Tangentially, the first commercial cigarette operation was started in 1865, hand rolled, in North Carolina. Cigarette manufacture became mechanized in 1881 upon the founding of the American Tobacco Company, releasing the world's first cigarette brand, 'Duke of Durham', packaged with baseball cards,) Not long later Faure's career was further interrupted by the Franco-Prussian War. These histories have seen composers associated with the military, but Faure saw action upon volunteering in 1870 that made a no-nonsense soldier of him and couldn't but have had an enormous effect on him. (See as Massenet well.) Upon Prussia's victory and the subsequent Commune, Faure fled to Switzerland where he taught at the École Niedermeyer, which school had also relocated from Paris. Able to return to Paris the next year, he became choirmaster at the Église Saint-Sulpice. In 1874 he began working under Saint-Saëns at the Église de la Madeleine, eventually to take his place as organist. Faure's first violin sonata was performed in 1877. Faure had first met Saint-Saëns as a teenager at the École Niedermeyer where Saint-Saëns had taught. Now, having worked together, Saint-Saëns took Faure to Paris to meet Franz Liszt. In I878 he and André Messager, who had been his first student in Switzerland, went on a tour of Wagner operas in Germany. (Faure liked Wagner, though didn't compose alike.) In 1883 he married, but the eighties were a stretch for Faure. Though working at the Madelaine he earned no royalties, selling songs for about 60 francs per ($12, worth $240 today). Matters improved upon a trip to Venice in 1890, then an appointment at the Paris Conservatoire as an inspector of provincial conservatoires, then as professor of composition in 1896. His students at the Madelaine had been amateurs. But now Faure was teaching serious musicians such as Maurice Ravel, In 1898 his incidental music to Maeterlinck's 'Pelléas and Mélisande' premiered, followed by his lyric tragedy, 'Prométhée', in 1900. From 1903 to 1921 he wrote criticism for the newspaper, 'Le Figaro'. In 1905 he succeeded Théodore Dubois as director of the Paris Conservatoire. He was elected to the Institut de France in 1909. His opera, 'Pénélope', premiered in 1913. He lived in France through World War I with considerably less personal trouble than the Franco-Prussian War had wrought some four to five decades prior. Retiring from the Conservatoire in 1920, Faure completed his last composition, 'String Quartet in E minor' (Op 121), in 1924. He died less than two months later of pneumonia in November in Paris. Faure's melodies were the French answer to the German lied. Though he played organ continually during his career he composed nothing for that instrument, preferring piano. He also wrote chamber and orchestral music.

Gabriel Fauré
  1860 - 1924

  3 Songs

     1902   Op 85

      Baritone: Sanford Sylvan

Piano: David Breitman

  5 Mélodies

    1891   Op 58

      Mezzosoprano: Joyce DiDonato

      Piano: Julius Drake

  Barcarolles 1-13


      Piano: Evelyne Crochet


     1877 1887–93   Op 48

      George Enescu Philharmonic C & O

      Conducting: Valentin Doni

  Nocturnes   [Series]

     1875-1922   Op 33 & Op 4-13

      Piano: Evelyne Crochet


     1907–13   Lyric opera   3 acts

       Opéra National du Rhin

Anna Caterina Antonacci

  String Quartet in E minor

     1924   Op 121   Last composition

       Amati Quartet

Birth of Classical Music: Gabriel Faure

Gabriel Faure   1907

Source: Wikipedia
Birth of Classical Music: Henri Duparc

Henri Duparc

Source: Britannica
Born in 1848 in Paris, among Henri Duparc's first works was 'Six rêveries pour piano' in 1863-65. He studied piano and composition under César Franck. His first surviving song collection, 'Five Melodies', was published in 1868. Duparc abruptly quit composing altogether in 1885, perhaps for combined psychological reasons. He hung out with his family and painted until eventually becoming blind after the turn of the century. A severe judge of his own works, he destroyed most of them, leaving fewer than forty. He spent most the remainder of his life in La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland, before dying in Mont-de-Marsan, France, in 1933.

Henri Duparc
   1867 - 1885

 Chanson triste

   1868   Song   E flat major

    Librettist: Henri Cazalis as Jean Lahor

    Piano: Enrique Ricci

    Soprano: Régine Crespin


   1874 Revised 1884?    Melody

    Librettist: Henri Cazalis as Jean Lahor

    Piano: Enrique Ricci

    Soprano: Régine Crespin

 L'invitation au voyage

   1870   Melody   C minor

    Librettist: Charles Baudelaire

    Piano: Paula Bär-Giese

    Soprano: Paula Bär-Giese

 La Vague et la Cloche

   1871   Melody   C minor

    Librettist: François Coppée

    Baritone: Bruno Laplante

    Piano: Marc Durand

 La vie Antérieure

   1884   Melody   E flat major

    Librettist: Charles Baudelaire

    Baritone: Gérard Souzay

    Piano: Jacqueline Bonneau


   1882   Melody   A flat major

    Librettist: Leconte de Lisle

    Baritone: Njabulo Madlala

    Piano: William Vann


   1869?   Melody   D minor

    Librettist: Sully Prudhomme

    Baritone: Bruno Laplante

    Piano: Marc Durand

  Born in 1848 in Bournemouth, England,  Charles Hubert Hastings Parry was the gentleman indeed, his father an artist and art collector, having inherited no small wealth originating in his family with the East India Company prior to the 19th century. Parry played and studied organ in church capacities as a youth. He published his anthem, 'Blessed is He', in 1865 before taking his bachelor's in music from Oxford in 1867. His compositions by that time were coming to note. Parry worked as an underwriter for Lloyd's of London from 1870 to 1877. Parry wasn't able to arrive to success in insurance because he spent his time studying music and composing to escape it. He had also begun writing articles in 1875 for George Grove's 'Dictionary of Music and Musicians'. It was about that time that Parry met the burning bush, so to speak, and got down to composition. His career began propelling itself in the early eighties, though it can't be said he was a rock star, and he has remained as obscure as ever but of late. Orchestration, in which he owned no real interest, is oft cited his weakness. He composed the opera, 'Guinevere', circa 1885-86. Parry resigned from Oxford in 1908. During World War I he composed 'Jerusalem' (1916) and 'Songs of Farewell' (1916–1918). He died of Spanish flu in West Sussix in 1918. In addition to several books on music history and the like, Parry left behind largely conservative church and choral music, also writing a good list of chamber pieces, songs, pieces for keyboard and orchestral works such as incidental music.

Sir Hubert Parry
   1865 - 1918

 Fantasia and Fugue in G

   Published   1913   For organ

    Organ: Roger Sayer


   Published 1916   Choral song

    Lyrics: William Blake

    Faye Sampson

 Symphony 1 in G major

   1878–82   4 movements

    The London Philharmonic/Matthias Bambert

 Symphony 3 in C major

   'The English'   1887–89   4 movements

    The London Philharmonic/Matthias Bambert

 Symphony 5 in B minor


    4 movements: Stress - Love - Play - Now

    The London Philharmonic/Matthias Bambert

Birth of Classical Music: Hubert Parry

Sir Hubert Parry

Source: Daily Mail
  Born in Salamanca in 1850, Tomás Bretón went to Madrid at age sixteen to study under Emilio Arrieta. He also played in orchestras and zarzuela theatres. Zarzuelas were a form of drama peculiar to Spain, generally ascribed to Juan Hidalgo de Polanco as of 1658 upon his composition, 'El Laurel de Apolo'. It is surprising that next to no Polanco exists at YouTube, the zarzuela so significant in the music of Spain. Howsoever, he began conducting in 1878. A grant from the Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando brought Breton to study in Rome, Milan, Vienna and Paris from 1881 to 1884. He died in 1923, having written largely operas, zarzuelas and orchestral works. His most immediate contemporaries were composers, Manuel Fernández Caballero, Ruperto Chapí and Gerónimo Giménez.

Tomás Bretón
   1866 - 1923

 El Apocalipsis

   1882   Premier 1890   Oratorio

Coral de Bilbao

    Orquesta Sinfonica de Madrid/Andrés Zarzo

 En la Alhambra

   1887   Symphonic serenade

Orquesta Ciudad de Granada/Juan de Udaeta

 Symphony 1 in F major

   1878   4 movements

OS de Castilla y León/José Luis Temes

 Symphony 2 in E flat major

   1883   4 movements

OS de Castilla y León/Max Bragado Darman

 Symphony 3 in G major

   1905   4 movements

OS de Castilla y León/José Luis Temes

 La verbena de la Paloma

   Premier 1894   Zarzuela

Orquesta y coros Montilla/EM Marco

 Violin Concerto in A major


    Community Orchestra of Madrid

    Luis Miguel Ramos

    Violin: Agustin Léon Ara

Birth of Classical Music: Tomás Bretón

Tomas Breton

Source: Biografia y Vidas
Birth of Classical Music: Ruperto Chapi

Ruperto Chapi

Source: Arte Historia
Born in Villena in 1851, Ruperto Chapí began playing piccolo and composing at age nine. He wrote his first zarzuela, 'La estrella del bosque', at age fifteen, the same year he began conducting. He began studies the next year at the Madrid Conservatory. During the seventies he won a scholarship to the Paris Conservatoire. His works began finding considerable success upon his return to Madrid in 1878. Like his most significant Spanish contemporary, Tomás Bretón, Chapi had composed largely operas, zarzuelas and orchestral works. He died in 1909.

Ruperto Chapí
   1867 - 1909

 Combate de Don Quijote

    1869   Scherzo

Orquesta Sinfonica de RTVE/Adrian Leaper

 Escenas de capa y espada

    1876   Symphonic poem

OS de Radio Televisión Española

     Adrian Leaper


    Preduleo to 'El tambor de granaderos'

 1894   Zarzuela   Miguel Roa

  La revoltosa

    1879   Zarzuela

Teatro Calderon Madrid

     Conductor: Jose Irastorza


    1873 1879   From 'Fantasía Morisca'

 Orquesta de la Comunidad de Madrid

    José Ramón Encinar

 Symphony in D minor

    1879   4 movements

Orquestra del Gran Teatre del Liceu

     Guerassim Voronkov

  Born in 1851 in Paris to Catholic and royalist aristocrats, Vincent d'Indy began piano as a child, then studied harmony at age 14 under composer, Albert Lavignac (famous for his 8 hands 'Galop-marche'). At age 19 he enlisted in the National Guard during the Franco-Prussian War. He then studied under César Franck at the Paris Coservatoire. His overture, 'Les Piccolomini' premiered in Pasdeloup in 1874. His choral work, 'Le Chant de la cloche' appeared in 1883. In 1984 he founded the Schola Cantorum de Paris with composers, Charles Bordes and Alexandre Guilmant, as an alternative to the Paris Conservatoire. His opera, 'Fervaal', premiered in Brussels in 1897. D'Indy died in Paris in 1931. Among his greater influences was Richard Wagner.

Vincent d'Indy
   1870 - 1931


   1896   Op 42

Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra

 Poème des rivages

    1919-21   Op 77   Suite   4 movements

     [Part I]

     [Part 2]

     [Part 3]

     [Part 4]

 String Quartet 3 in D flat major

   1928-29   Op 96   4 movements

    New Budapest String Quartet

 Symphony 2 in B flat major

   1902-03   Op 57   4 movements

    Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse

    Conductor: Michel Plasson

 Symphony 3 in D major

   1870–72   Op 70   4 movements

    Iceland Symphony Orchestra/Rumon Gamba

  Symphony on a French Mountain Air

   1886   Op 25   3 movements

    Iceland Symphony Orchestra/Rumon Gamba

Birth of Classical Music: Henri Duparc

Vincent d'Indy

Source: Quarterly Review
Birth of Classical Music: Charles Stanford

Sir Charles Stanford

Source: Hyperion Records
Born in 1852 in Dublin, Sir Charles Villiers Stanford is the first Irish composer to see these histories. His father was a prominent lawyer. Stanford was composing by age eight, a march in B flat appearing then, performed at the Royal Theatre three years later. Entering into the Royal Academy of Music at age ten, he later attended a couple of colleges while continuing to compose before entering Cambridge in 1870. Becoming a member of the Cambridge University Musical Society that year, he was instrumental to gaining the admittance of women by creating a vocal guild that did include females, which put the CUMS choir, without them, to task. Finally recognizing that not a few compositions did indeed call for women in a chorus, those in Stanford's Amateur Vocal Guild were admitted to the CUMS as associates and the two choirs were combined. Stanford became a founding professor at the Royal College of Music in 1883. He conducted the Bach Choir in London from 1885 to 1902. He began teaching at Cambridge in 1887. His opera, 'The Veiled Prophet', saw stage in 1893, 'Much Ado About Nothing' in 1901. During World War I Stanford moved from London to Windsor to evade aerial bombing. Stanford gave his last public performance in March of 1921, conducting his cantata, 'At the Abbey Gate'. His final work, 'Irish Rhapsody 6', appeared in 1922. Stanford's health had begun declining about the time he'd turned seventy. He died of stroke in London in 1924, having composed some 200 works. Excluding all works prior to 1875 from his catalogue, Stanford had written seven symphonies, nine operas, eleven concertos, 28 chamber works and 40 choral works in addition to incidental music, pieces for piano and organ, and songs.

Sir Charles Stanford
   1875 - 1922

  Clarinet Concerto in A minor

   1902   Op 80

    Bournemouth Symphony orchestra

    Conductor: David Lloyd-Jones

Robert Plane

 Irish Rhapsody 3

   1913   Op 137

    Ulster Orchestra/Vernon Handley

    Cello: Raphael Wallfisch

 The Lord is My Shepherd


    Trinity College Choir Cambridge

    Richard Marlow

 Magnificat in B flat major

   Op 164   Magnificat

    Choir of Winchester Cathedral

 Magnificat in B flat major

   Op 164   Magnificat

    Trinity Episcopal Cathedral Choir

 Stabat Mater

   1906   Op 96   5 movements   Stabat Mater

    London Philharmonic Chorus

    BBC Philharmonic

    Soprano: Ingrid Attrot

 Symphony 1 in B flat major

   1876   4 movements

    Ulster Orchestra/Vernon Handley

 Symphony 4 in F major

   1888?   Premier 1889 Berlin   Op 31

    Ulster Orchestra/Vernon Handley

 Symphony 5 in D major

   1894   Op 56

    Ulster Orchestra/Vernon Handley

 Symphony 7 in D minor

   1911   Op 124   4 movements

    Ulster Orchestra/Vernon Handley

  Born in Villarreal in the province of Castellón in 1852, Francisco de Asís Tárrega y Eixea had a flamenco guitarist for a father when not working as a watchman. He began to study both guitar and piano for a brief time in Barcelona in 1862. He enrolled into the Madrid Royal Conservatory in 1874 due to the patronage of one Antonio Canesa. He there studied composition beneath Emilio Arrieta. By the latter seventies his was giving guitar concerts and teaching. He played houses in Lyon, Paris and London in 1881 before settling in Madrid, then Barcelona in 1885. During the latter eighties another patron, one Conxa Martinez, lent him one of her homes in which to live with his family. Tarrega visited Algiers in 1900, Italy in 1903. His last composition was 'Oremus', dying a couple weeks later on December 15, 1909. He had composed a minimum of 78 pieces (likely considerably more) and fairly laid the foundation for which Spain has come to be so well known: classical guitar. Tarrega played the Torres guitar (made by Antonio Torres Jurado).

Francisco Tárrega
   1874 - 1909

 16 Preludes

   Guitar: David Russell

 El Columpio

   Guitar: Marcin Dylla

 Gran Jota

   Guitar: Lilit Mardiyan


   Guitar: Phil McKelliget


   1: Dança Mora   2: Capricho Árabe   3: Valsa

Guitar: Ana Vidovic

 Recuerdos de la Alhambra

   1896   Guitar: Ana Vidovic


   Variations on 'El Carnaval de Venecia' by Paganini

Guitar: Emmanuel Rossfelder

Birth of Classical Music: Francisco Tárrega

Francisco Tarrega

Source: 21st Century Guitar
Birth of Classical Music: Covent Garden Theatre

Covent Garden Theatre   Circa 1897
Born in 1853 in Montluçon, France, André Charles Prosper Messager was the son of a tax collector and playing piano by age seven. He was sent to board at a Marist school until the financial ruin of a bank crash made that no longer feasible. Fortunately, Messager won a scholarship to the École de Musique in Paris, run by composer, Louis Niedermeyer. During the Paris Commune of 1871 Niedermeyer moved his school to Switzerland. Messager followed, there to meet Gabriel Fauré, his next teacher. He became choirmaster at the Church of Saint-Sulpice in 1874. Messager may have composed his first work for stage in 1876, 'Les païens', now lost. In 1878 he and Fauré went on a tour of Wagner operas in Germany, also working together. 1878 also saw Messager appointed conductor at the Folies Bergère. He worked at another theatre and a couple more churches until 1874, he now with the strong success of 'François les bas-bleus' under his belt, having premiered the year before. From that point onward Messager pumped out one popular theatrical after the next, his works eventually being produced not only in Great Britain, but the United States. In 1898 he became musical director for the Opéra-Comique in Paris. From 1901 to 1907 Massanet was a director with the Grand Opera Syndicate in London, whereof he would conduct a number of concerts at Covent Garden (now the Royal Opera House) for several years. in 1902 Messager conducted the Opéra-Comique premier of Claude Debussy's opera, 'Pelléas et Mélisande'. His own 'Fortunio' premiered at the Opéra-Comique in 1907. The next year he traded the Opéra-Comique for conducting for the Société des Concerts du Conservatoire. He took the Conservatoire orchestra to Argentina in 1916, Switzerland the next year, and the United Sates and Canada in 1918-19. While in New York he made a number of recordings of his works. Those were war years, and like other composers in France Messager was pressured to boycott German music. But Messager believed that music oughtn't be contained within national boundaries, so conducted works by Richard Wagner anyway, leading to his resignation from the Conservatoire upon his return from America. He conducted at the Opéra-Comique for a season, including Wagner's 'Tristan und Isolde'. In 1928 he sued the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation, founded 1922) for airing his works without consent. He lost, due he had assigned his British performing rights to theatre manager, George Edwardes, who had granted BBC permission. He died the next year in 1829. Though Messager composed several instrumental works his oeuvre, when not conducting, was nigh exclusively theatrical, completing above forty works for stage.

André Messager
  1870 - 1929

 L'Amour Masqué: Act 1

    1923   Opera

      Opéra National de Bordeaux

      Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine

      Geoffrey Styles

 L'Amour Masqué: Act 2

    1923   Opera

      Opéra National de Bordeaux

      Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine

      Geoffrey Styles

 L'Amour Masqué: Act 3

    1923   Opera

      Opéra National de Bordeaux

      Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine

      Geoffrey Styles


    1888   Opera   3 acts

      Choeurs de la RTF/Orchestre Radio Lyrique

      Direction: Louis Beydts

      Isoline: Janine Micheau

 Symphony in A Major


      Orchestre Symphonique Du Mans

      Jose-Andre Gendille

Birth of Classical Music: Andre Messager

Andre Messager

Source: Britannica
  Had Billboard been charting popular music around the cusp of the 20th century John Philip Sousa could easily have found himself on the Hot 100 with a few Top Tens. That's because patriotic sentiment was among the aspects of the romantic period which the military band addressed. "What a parade!" around year 1900 was like "Don't bogart that joint, my friend, pass it over to me" at a concert in 1968 (Fraternity of Man). Born in 1854, this composer of largely military marches began his study of various instruments at age six, and would later be partially responsible for the development of a bass tuba called the sousaphone, the concert tuba too unwieldy for marching. When Sousa was thirteen his intention to join a circus band got redirected by his father, a trombonist in the U.S. Marines, who enlisted him into the same as an apprentice instead. That would have been 1867, four years after his first composition with a solid date listed at IMSLP, being a piece for violin titled 'An Album Leaf' in 1863. Sousa remained in the Marines until 1875, during which time his more mature compositions began to appear, beginning in 1872 with the waltz, 'Moonlight on the Potomac'. Being twenty upon discharge from the Marines, Sousa toured as a violinist, eventually coming to conduct on Broadway before reenlisting in the Marines in 1880 to lead the U.S. Marine Band. During that time he composed 'Semper Fidelis', march of the U.S. Marine Corps, in 1888. Discharged again in 1892, Sousa then assembled his own band with which he would come to tour the United States and Europe. In the meantime he premiered his operetta, 'El Capitan' in 1895. He composed that for which he is perhaps best known the following year, the military march, 'Stars and Stripes Forever'. Sousa had by that time already made the obligatory cylinder recordings which that new technology was begging at the time, though most musicians agreed that early recording sounded too horrible to pursue without reservation. Sousa also disliked recording for the same reason he'd later not care much for radio, that being the absence of live contact with audience. Howsoever, Sousa's U.S. Marine Band began to appear on cylinders for Columbia as early as 1890, such as 'Semper Fidelis', 'The Thunderer' and 'The Washington Post'. Sousa recorded 'Stars and Stripes Forever' with his own outfit in 1901 for Columbia (#532). He kept his band in business until 1931, not, however, without another tour in the military, joining the Navy Reserve in 1917 to lead a Navy band at the Great Lakes Naval Station in Illinois until the end of World War I in '18. Sousa died of heart failure in March 1932 in Reading, Pennsylvania, 'Stars and Stripes Forever' the last march he conducted at above 15,600 concerts given during the forty-year existence of his band. He'd composed 137 marches, 15 operettas, 5 overtures, 11 suites, 28 fantasies, and 24 dances in addition to above 300 symphonic arrangements.

John Philip Sousa   1872 - 1932

 El Capitan

   1895   Operetta

Part 1

    Part 2

    Part 3

Grand Valley State University

Conducting: Barry Martin

 El Capitan

1896   March

    Great American Main Street Band

 The Liberty Bell

    1893   March

    President's Own U.S. Marine Band

 La Reine de la Mer

    1886   Waltz

    President's Own U.S. Marine Band

 Semper Fidelis

    1888   March

    President's Own U.S. Marine Band

 Stars and Stripes Forever

    1896   March

    President's Own U.S. Marine Band


    1885   Overture

    U.S.A.F. Heritage of America Band

 The Thunderer

    1889   March

    President's Own U.S. Marine Band

 The Washington Post

    1889   March

    President's Own U.S. Marine Band

  With Pleasure

    1912   Dance hilarious

    U.S. Marine Band


Birth of Classical Music: John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa

Source: Britannica
Birth of Classical Music: Andre Messager

Anatoly Lyadov

Source: Alchetron
Born in 1855 in Saint Petersburg, Anatoly Konstantinovich Lyadov's mother was a pianist, his father the conductor of the Imperial Opera Company. He entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1870, initially to study piano and violin. During the following decade he became associated with the group of independent composers known as The Five. Upon graduation Lyadov began teaching at the Conservatory in 1878. It was Lyadov who instituted the Glinka Prize in 1884, the year he also married. The next year he founded a publishing house in Leipzig, more to publish the work of other composers than his own, such as Borodin, Glazunov and Rimsky-Korsakov. He died in 1914, a composer of miniatures, having never produced a large-scale composition.

Anatoly Lyadov   1876 - 1914

 3 Pieces for piano

   1900-05   Op 57

1: Prelude in D-flat major

    2: Waltz in E major

    3: Mazurka in F minor

    Piano: Chris Breemer

 4 Pieces for piano

   1909-10   Op 64   Piano: Victor Paukstelis

 8 Russian Folksongs

   1906   Op 58   For orchestra

Philadelphia SO/Leopold Stokowski

    Recorded in 1934

 Barcarolle in F sharp major

   1898   Op 44   Piano: Tatiana Nikolaeva


   1876   Op 2   14 pieces for piano

Piano: Jean-Pierre Salmona

 The Enchanted Lake

   1909 Op 62 For orchestra

    Boston University SO/Konstantin Dobroykov


   1909   Op 63   For orchestra

St. Petersburg PO/Yuri Temirkanov

 Polonaise in C major

   1899   'In Memory of Pushkin'   Op 49

    City of Birmingham SO/ Neeme Järvi

Birth of Classical Music: Giuseppe Martucci

Giuseppe Martucci

Source: Into Classics
Born in 1856 in Campua, Italy, Giuseppe Martucci learned music from his father who was a trumpeter. He was playing piano in public at age eight and entered the Naples Conservatory at age eleven. His career as a pianist began in 1875 on tour of Germany, France and England. He began his teaching career in 1880 at the Naples Conservatory, his conducting debut occurring the next year. Martucci died in 1909, not a major Romantic composer but composer enough. He was unusual in that he is one of the few Italian composers of note to not have produced any stage works, concentrating on chamber, orchestral, piano and vocal endeavors.

Giuseppe Martucci
  1867 - 1909

 2 pieces

    1896   Op 77   Capriccio - Toccata

      Piano: Francesco Caramiello

  Fantasia in G minor

    1880   Op 51   Piano: Antonio Pompa-Baldi

  Piano Concerto 1 in D minor

    1878   Op 40   Concertante   3 movements

      Philharmonia Orchestra/Francesco D'Avalos

      Piano: Francesco Caramiello

 Piano Concerto 2 in B flat minor

     1885   Op 66   Concertante   3 movements

      Orchestre Philharmonique de Montpellier

      Conductor: Massimo de Bernart

Jeffrey Swann

 Symphony 1 in D minor

    1888-95  Op 75

      Philharmonic Orchestra/Francesco D'Avalos

 Symphony 2 in F major

    1899-1904   Op 81

      Philharmonic Orchestra/Francesco D'Avalos

 Tema con variazioni in E- flat

    1882 Revised 1900 1905   Op 58

      Piano: Franco Trabucco

  Born in 1856 in Vladimir, Sergei Ivanovich Taneyev began learning piano at age five before moving to Moscow with his family in 1865. The following year he entered the Moscow Conservatory. He there studied composition under Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, who would become the major figure in his life, and piano beneath Nikolai Rubinstein before graduating in 1875, also giving his first professional performance that year in Moscow, a concerto by Brahms. He thereafter began touring Russia and Europe before succeeding Tchaikovsky as professor of harmony at Moscow Conservatory in 1878. He there served as Director from 1885 to 1889, though continued teaching until 1905. Author, Leo Tolstoy, would meanwhile become an eventful figure in his life. The Revolution of 1905 brought Taneyev's resignation from the Moscow Conservatory in 1905, resuming his career as a performer. His final finished work was his cantata, 'At the Reading of a Psalm' in 1915. Taneyev caught pneumonia upon later attending the funeral of Alexander Scriabin. But upon recovering he died of heart attack near Zvenigorod in June of 1915. Alike Tchaikovsky, Taneyev was more conservative than his contemporaries, the academies-free Mighty Handful (see Mily Balakirev). He wrote largely orchestral and chamber works, as well as string quartets and a single opera, 'Oresteia' (premier 1895, St. Petersburg).

Sergei Taneyev   1868 - 1915

  At the Reading of a Psalm

    1912-15   Op 6

      Sacred cantata   3 movements

      Russian National Orchestra/Mikhail Pletnev

  Concert Suite

    1908–09   Op 28   5 movements

      Philharmonia Orchestra/Nikolai Malko

      Violin: David Oistrakh

  John of Damascus

    1883–84   Op 1

      Sacred cantata   3 movements

      Netherlands Radio Philharmonic

      Vasily Petrenko


    Op 102   Sonata in D major

      1887–94   Opera   Overture & 3 acts

      Belorussian State Opera

      Tatiana Kolomizheva

  Overture on a Russian Theme

    1882   C major

      Orquesta Sinfónica de la Academia de Novosibirsk

      Thomas Sanderling

  Piano Quintet in G minor

    1910–11   Op 30   4 movements

      Piano: Mikhail Pletnev

  Symphony 4 in C minor

    1896-98   Op 12   4 movements

      Polish State Philharmonic Orchestra

      Stephen Gunzenhauser

Birth of Classical Music: Sergei Taneyev

Sergei Taneyev

Source: Editions Silvertrust
  Born near Worcester in 1857 Sir Edward William Elgar is the first major composer from England that these histories have seen since Henry Purcell during the Baroque nigh two centuries earlier. Elgar was the son of a piano tuner who also sold musical instruments and sheet music. He played organ and violin as well, Elgar himself beginning to play piano and violin at seven. At age ten he was writing compositions. His first employment in 1872 was as a clerk to a solicitor, he also beginning to perform in public. He was soon teaching, then conducting at the Worcester County Pauper and Lunatic Asylum (now Powick Hospital). He also played bassoon in a wind quintet. In 1880 he crossed the Channel to Paris, then headed for Liepzig in 1882. In 1883 he became a member of a small local orchestra in Birmingham Two years later he assumed his father's position as organist at the St. George Roman Catholic Church, now beginning to compose sacred pieces. In 1889 he became happily betrothed to a writer, Caroline Alice Roberts, a student of his, who was disinherited for her marriage, but the major positive force in Elgar's life until her death in 1920. The couple moved to London for a brief a time, their major entertainment together attending concerts at the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park. During the nineties Elgar steadily built a reputation conducting and publishing compositions until his 'Enigma Variations' appeared in 1899, which international acclaim began making him England's response to the Continent's dominance of classical music. He nailed that place more firmly with his sacred oratorio, 'The Dream of Gerontius', premiering in 1901. Elgar began producing his 'Pomp and Circumstance Marches' that year as well. By 1904 he had sufficiently impressed royalty as to be knighted at Buckingham Palace. From 1905 to 1908 he taught at the University of Birmingham. His 'Symphony 1' (Op 55) appeared in 1908, his 'Violin Concerto' (Op 61) in 1910, his 'Symphony 2' (Op 63) to much less fanfare in 1911. Also in 1911 Elgar was made a member of the exclusive Order of Merit by King George V. Elgar became a special constable and volunteer in the reserves during World War I, but continued composing without incident. Between 1914 and 1925 Elgar recorded a number of works for the UK Gramophone Company. (The invention of the microphone in 1925 quickly put them out of date, requiring recording again, largely of orchestral works. Some of those recordings were yet available on CD as late as 1993.) Upon his wife's death in 1920 Elgar began to relax, composing now more for amusement than remuneration. He pursued chemistry, horse racing and bicycling. (In the photo above Elgar poses with one of the Royal Sunbeam bicycles he bought in 1903 for he and his wife.) In 1923 he traveled to Brazil. In 1933 Elgar conducted in Paris, but he died of colorectal cancer the next year, leaving his opera, 'The Spanish Lady', and his 'Symphony 3' unfinished. He has since been represented as the preeminent composer of the Edwardian era (1901-1910). Elgar had written largely orchestral works, including cantatas and oratorios. He had also composed for chamber, church and song. He himself thought his best work to have been 'The Dream of Gerontius'. Per below, 'The Black Knight' (Op 25) is a secular cantata composed between 1889 and 1893. It is performed by the London Symphony Chorus and Orchestra with Richard Hickox conducting.

Sir Edward Elgar   1867 - 1934

 Cello Concerto in E minor

    1919   Op 85   4 movements

      Orchestra: Kammerorchester Basel

      Paul McCreesh

      Cello: Sol Gabetta

 The Dream of Gerontius

    1899-1900   Op 38   Sacred oratorio

      Sacramento Opera Chorus

      University & Alumni Chorus

      UC Davis Symphony Orchestra

 Enigma Variations

    1899   Op 36   Orchestral portraits

      BBC Symphony Orchestra

      Leonard Bernstein

 Symphony 1 in A flat major

    1907-08   Op 55   4 movements

      BBC Symphony Chorus

      London Philharmonic Choir

      BBC Symphony Orchestra/Martyn Brabbins

 Symphony 2 in E flat major

    1909-11   Op 63   4 movements

      Texas Festival Orchestra/Perry So

 Violin Concerto in B minor

    1905-10   Op 61   3 movements

      BBC Symphony Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis

      Violin: Tasmin Little

Birth of Classical Music: Sir Edward Elgar

Sir Edward Elgar   1903

With Royal Sunbeam Bicycle

Source: Sunbeam Museum
Birth of Classical Music: Giacomo Puccini

Giacomo Puccini   1908

Source: Britannica
Born in Lucca, Tuscany, in 1858, opera composer, Giacomo Puccini, was only six when his father died, thus the first in his family to not become maestro di cappella at the Cattedrale di San Martino, a position that had been handed father to son for well over a century. Puccini would instead become a post-Romantic composer of verismo (naturalism, realism). He took his diploma from the Pacini School of Music in 1880. Among his first compositions was 'Messa a quattro voci', his graduation exercise begun in 1878. He then studied composition for three years at the Milan Conservatory. Puccini's first professional composition, 'Le Villi', premiered in 1884. His second opera, 'Edgar', appeared in 1889 to a so-so reception that put a big dent in the promise he'd been showing, from which he recouped with 'Manon Lescaut', premiering in 1893. Followed by 'La Bohème' in 1896, Puccini then owned the prestige to wade into new waters, producing 'Tosca' in 1900, in which verismo was evident. 1903 saw Puccini healing from a serious auto accident that February, the car his chauffer was driving leaving the road and flipping over atop Puccini. His wife and son escaped severe injury, but he and his chauffer fractured a femur, Puccini nevertheless premiered 'Madame Butterfly' 51 weeks later in Milan. (His fifth revision as of 1907 is the standard.) Puccini embarked on his first boat to New York in 1907. His 'La fanciulla del West' followed in 1910 'La Rondine' in 1917. He weathered the Great War seemingly apolitical, it appearing, anyway, that it mattered not to him which powers won. In 1924 he became a senatore a vita in Italy, hoping to erect a theatre in Viareggio. A senatore viva is an honorary senator chosen by the President of the Italian Republic, the practice continuing to this day. In Paccini's time it required him to twice meet the young Benito Mussolini in 1923. Mussolini had been prime minister for about a year at that time. Puccini died before Mussolini's fascist dictatorship took control in December '24 (announced in January '25). Puccini was working on 'Turandot', his final opera, at the time. His death was due to radiation treatment for throat cancer, surgery followed by a heart attack the next day. Try as they did, German (including Austrian) composers never could wrest opera from its Italian (including Venetian) prestige. Italians had conceived it (see Jacopo Peri) and for three centuries had produced one composer upon the next that, do as might, German composition couldn't, in general, surpass. Puccini wrote other music, but opera was the rabbit in his hat.

Giacomo Puccini   1878 - 1924

  La Boheme

    Op 102   Sonata in D major

      Gitarre: Spiro Thomatos

      Klavier: Fritz Bernhard

  La Fanciulla del West

     Op 102   Sonata in D major

      Wienes Staatsoper Orchester

      Conductor: Franz Welser-Möst

  Gianni Schicchi

     Op 102   Sonata in D major

      Gitarre: Spiro Thomatos

      Klavier: Fritz Bernhard

  Madame Butterfly

     Op 102   Sonata in D major

      Wichita Grand Opera

Director: Shayna Leahy

  Preludio Sinfonico in A major

     Op 102   Sonata in D major

      Gitarre: Spiro Thomatos

      Klavier: Fritz Bernhard


     Op 102   Sonata in D major

      Gitarre: Spiro Thomatos

      Klavier: Fritz Bernhard


     Op 102   Sonata in D major

      Gitarre: Spiro Thomatos

      Klavier: Fritz Bernhard

  Born in 1860 in Camprodon, Catalonia, Isaac Manuel Francisco Albéniz y Pascual began playing piano at age four. As his father was a customs agent, requiring him to travel abroad, one could say that Albeniz became an international performer at age twelve, traveling with his father and sister, Clementine. His first published composition, 'Marcha Militar', appeared in 1868. 1876 found him at the Leipzig Conservatory, later the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. He traveled to Budapest in 1880 to study with Franz Liszt, but Liszt was in Weimar, Germany. His five 'Chants d'Espagne' (Op 232) appeared in 1892. Perhaps his most important musical association was Spanish composer, Felipe Pedrell, whom he met in 1883 and who persuaded him to compose in terms of Spanish national identity (long time coming). From that time to 1886 he produced more than fifty piano pieces instrumentally based on guitar. (The guitar had largely evolved in Spain during the Renaissance and was the favored folk instrument there.) Albeniz composed his piano suite, 'Iberia' in 1908, the year before his death. He had written largely Romantic salon pieces for piano as well as operas and zarzuelas (musical comedies). A number of his works have long since been transcribed for guitar and become famous on that instrument. His famous 'Asturias' is the Prelude to 'Chants d'Espagne', below.

Isaac Albéniz   1876 - 1909

 Chants d'Espagne

    1884-88   4 movements

      Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

      Leonard Bernstein

 Doce Piezas Características

    1884-88   4 movements

      Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

      Leonard Bernstein


    1884-88   4 movements

      Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

      Leonard Bernstein


    1884-88   4 movements

      Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

      Leonard Bernstein


    1884-88   4 movements

      Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

      Leonard Bernstein

  Rapsodia Española

     1884-88   4 movements

      Ukiah Symphony Orchestra

Piano: Elena Casanova

 La Vega

    1884-88   4 movements

      Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

      Leonard Bernstein

Birth of Classical Music: Giacomo Puccini

Isaac Albeniz

Source: Last FM
Birth of Classical Music: Gustov Mahler

Gustov Mahler   1907

Source: Wikipedia
Born in 1860 in Kalischt, Bohemia (now Kaliště, Czech Republic), Gustov Mahler was a Jew with a distiller and tavern keeper for a father. His grandmother had a piano that he began to play at age four. In 1875 he began studying piano, then composition, at the Vienna Conservatory. Mahler attended the University of Vienna for a year before becoming a piano teacher. In 1876 he completed the cantata, 'Das klagende Lied', though it wasn't performed until 1901. In 1880 Mahler took his first conducting position in a little town called Bad Hall, then at a theatre in Laibach (presently, Ljubljana, Slovenia) the next year. After a couple more small theatres in towns off route Mahler finally landed work conducting at the Liepzig Opera in 1886. He became director at the Hungarian State Opera House in Budapest in 1888. His 'First Symphony' appeared there in 1889 to small success. In 1891 Mahler exchanged Hungary for Germany, conducting at the Hamburg State Opera in 1891, becoming director in 1894. The premier of his 'Second Symphony' in Hamburg in 1895 didn't make him a rock star, but it came to greater positive result than his first in '89. His 'Third Symphony' followed the next year. In 1897 Mahler converted from Judaism to Roman Catholicism to become director at the Vienna Court Opera (Vienna Hofoper), bypassing that theater's ban against that position being filled by a Jew. Now in a position with which he could live, Mahler premiered his 'Fourth', 'Fifth' and 'Sixth' symphonies in 1902, 1904 and 1906. He remained at the Vienna Court Opera until October of 1907, when anti-Semitism nevertheless became a factor in his resignation. He then left for New York in December that year, his conducting debut in America at the Metropolitan Opera in January 1908. Returning to Europe later that year, his 'Seventh Symphony' premiered in Prague in September 1908. He largely completed his 'Ninth' in 1908-09 but it wasn't performed in Mahler's lifetime.  Embarking to New York for a second season at the Met later that year, Mahler crossed the Atlantic yet again to tour Netherlands in the summer of 1909. Upon his third trip to America later that year he began conducting for the New York Symphony Orchestra, then the New York Philharmonic, last conducting at the Met in March 1910 (Tchaikovsky's 'The Queen of Spades'). Back in Europe yet again for the summer of 1910, Mahler premiered his 'Eighth Symphony' in Munich in September. His fourth trip to America in November of 1910 was his final,  he giving his last performance as a conductor in February 1911, premiering Ferruccio Busoni's 'Berceuse élégiaque' at Carnegie Hall. (Carnegie Hall was home to the New York Philharmonic. Its doors first opened in May 1891, Tchaikovsky performing.) Leaving for Europe the last time in April 1911, he died the next month in Vienna of endocarditis, his 'Tenth Symphony' left unfinished. As Mahler concentrated on conducting, his composing was neither prolific nor especially successful overall during his time. Appreciation of his work has been largely posthumous. Being Jewish, Mahler's music came to be banned by the later Nazi regime. Mahler largely wrote orchestral and vocal works, with several pieces for chamber and stage, some of them lost.

Gustov Mahler   1877 - 1911

  Symphony 1 in D major

    1884-88   4 movements

      Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

      Leonard Bernstein

  Symphony 3 (multiple keys)

    1896   6 movements

      Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

      Leonard Bernstein

  Symphony 4 (multiple keys)

    1900-01   4 movements

      Istituto Europeo di Musica

      World Orchestra for Peace/Valery Gergiev

  Symphony 5 (multiple keys)

    1902   5 movements

      Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

      Leonard Bernstein

  Symphony 7

    1904-1906   5 movements   Multiple keys

      Lucerne Festival Orchestra/Claudio Abbado

  Symphony 8 in E flat major

    'Symphony of a Thousand'

      1906–07   2 parts

      Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

      Leonard Bernstein

  Symphony 9 in D major

    Closing adagio in D flat

1909-10   4 movements

      Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester

      Claudio Abbado

Birth of Classical Music: Metropolitan Opera House 1910

Metropolitan Opera House   1910

Source: Shutterstock

Birth of Classical Music: Carnegie Hall 1900

Carnegie Hall   Circa 1900

Source: Concert Database
Birth of Classical Music: Ignacy Paderewski

Ignacy Paderewski

Photo: Troy Chromatic Concerts Inc

Source: Polonia Music
Born in 1860 in Kuryłówka, Russia, Ignacy Jan Paderewski was a Polish composer and pianist who enrolled into the Warsaw Conservatorium in 1872. He became a tutor there upon graduating in 1878 and first published the next year. He next began studies in Berlin in 1881, then Vienna in 1884. Paderewski's first professional performance was in Vienna in 1887. His was a very successful career from the start. He made Paris in 1889, London in 1890, then the United States in 1891 at Carnegie Hall, (the same year Busoni and Tchaikovsky also first arrived to the States). His solitary opera, 'Manru', premiered in Dresden the same year. With the exception of a hymn in 1917 Paderewski completed his last composition, 'Symphony in B minor' ('Polonia'), in 1909. He moved to the U.S. in 1913, then bought land in California to grow vines that he would have made into wine. He meanwhile turned his attention to statesmanship, joining the Polish National Committee, founded in 1917 to the purpose of creating the state of Poland. It was his speech in Poznań in 1918 that instigated the Greater Poland Uprising against Germany. Paderewski became Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the new state of Poland in 1919. He resigned as Foreign Minister the same year, becoming Polish Ambassador to the League of Nations instead. Resigning from politics in 1922, Paderewski returned to performing, his first concert after that at Carnegie Hall. He next played at Madison Square Garden, then toured the United States via private railway car. He hesitated, then consented to appear in the film, 'Moonlight Sonata', playing himself, in 1936. World War II saw Paderewski back in politics, becoming head of Polish parliament in exile in London in 1939. The next year he was eighty years old. Scheduled to appear at Madison Square Garden, he refused, his explanation that he had already played there, referring to his performance twenty years prior as if it had been only recently. Paderewski died on tour of pneumonia in 1941 in New York. He was buried in Virginia, then removed to St. John's Archcathedral in Warsaw in 1992. Paderewski had composed largely for solo piano, but he also wrote works for chamber, orchestra, chorus and voice. Paderewski is filmed playing Beethoven's 'Moonlight Sonata' below.

Ignacy Paderewski
   1872 - 1909   1917

 Moonlight Sonata

   Composition: Beethoven 1801

    Film: 'Moonlight Sonata' 1937

    Piano: Ignacy Paderewski

 Piano Concerto in A minor

   1888   Op 17   Movement 1

    Liepaja Symphony Orchestra

    Miroslaw Jacek Blaszczyk

    Piano: Pawel Kowalski

 Piano Concerto in A minor

   1888   Op 17   Movement 1

    Liepaja Symphony Orchestra

    Miroslaw Jacek Blaszczyk

    Piano: Pawel Kowalski

 Piano Concerto in A minor

   1888   Op 17   Movement 1

    Liepaja Symphony Orchestra

    Miroslaw Jacek Blaszczyk

    Piano: Pawel Kowalski

 Piano Sonata in E flat minor

   1903   Op 21   Piano: Anderzej Stefanski

 Polish Fantasy [Part 1]

   1893   Op 19

    Polish National Radio SO/Michael Bartos

    Piano: Thomas Tirino

 Polish Fantasy [Part 2]

   1893   Op 19

    Polish National Radio SO/Michael Bartos

    Piano: Thomas Tirino

 Polish Fantasy [Part 3]

   1893   Op 19

    Polish National Radio SO/Michael Bartos

    Piano: Thomas Tirino

 Sonata in A minor

   1885   Op 13

    Piano: Joanna Czapinska-Wróblewska

    Violin: Katarzyna Bakowska


Hugo Wolf was born in 1860 in Windischgrätz, Austria (now Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia). He began playing piano and violin at age four. He entered the Vienna Conservatory in 1875 and was expelled, an outspoken critic, in '77. Wolf had begun composing seriously at the Conservatory. His 'Mörike Lieder' of 53 songs in 4 volumes and his 'Eichendorff Lieder' of 20 songs are of unknown date, but his 'Goethe Lieder' of 51 songs is thought to have been composed circa 1875. Upon getting the boot from the conservatory, he taught in Vienna and discovered benefactors permitting him more time to compose. He was briefly a second kapellmeister in Salzburg before returning to Vienna, there to eventually publish his first weekly review in the 'Wiener Salonblatt' in 1883, again, an outspoken critic, having no patience for such as Brahms or Rubinstein with Franz Liszt around. Among his first larger works was the symphonic poem, 'Penthesilea', completed in 1885. Wolf stopped writing reviews in 1887, the same year he finished his work for strings, 'Italian Serenade'. In 1891 he published his 'Spanisches Liederbuch', a collection of 44 songs in two volumes. He also composed his 'Italienisches Liederbuch' that year, a collection of 46 lieder. 1896 saw the premier of his opera, the comedy, 'Der Corregidor', in Mannheim. The next year Wolf composed his 'Michelangelo Lieder' of three finished songs. He left his opera, 'Manuel Venegas', unfinished in 1897 when he was placed in a mental home. Released the next year, he attempted to drown himself in 1899. At his own request he was committed to an asylum in Vienna, there dying in 1903 of syphilis, 33 years of age.

Hugo Wolf   1864 - 1899

 Eichendorff Lieder   [selections]

   Librettist: Joseph von Eichendorff

    Baritone: Barry McDaniel

    Piano: Aribert Reiman

 Italian Serenade for Chamber Orchestra


    Chamber Orchestra Mechelen

    Tom Van den Eynde

     Viola: Mattijs Roelen

 Italienisches Liederbuch   [selections]

   1891   Librettist: Paul Heyse

     Mezzosoprano: Christa Ludwig

     Piano: Erik Werba

 Michelangelo Lieder


     Librettist: Walter Robert-Tornow

                    After Michelangelo Buonarroti

     Bass: Leonard Andrzej Mróz


   1885   Symphonic poem   3 movements

     Staatskapelle Berlin/Otmar Suitner

 Spanisches Liederbuch   [selections]


     Piano: Joseph Yungen

     Soprano: Elizabeth Smith

 String Quartet in D minor

   1878   4 movements

     Quaertetto Prometeo

Birth of Classical Music: Gustov Mahler

Hugo Wolf

Source: Wikipedia
Birth of Classical Music: Marco Enrico Bossi

Marco Enrici Bossi

Source: Provincia di Torino
Born in 1861 in Salo, Lombardy, Marco Enrico Bossi was an obscure Italian composer occupying what had become, but for church music, a niche in classical music ever since the invention of the much more popular pianoforte (piano) circa 1700 (replacing the harpsichord): organ music. He received training at the Liceo Musicale in Bologna and the Milan Conservatory. Bossi became director and organist at the Coma Cathedral in 1881. He began teaching harmony at the Naples Conservatory in 1900. Upon a tour of the United States in 1924 Bossi died the next year while at sea, returning to Europe. Bossi composed nigh exclusively for organ, though also produced pieces for chamber, orchestra, piano and voice, above 150 works in his repertoire.

Marco Enrico Bossi   1880 - 1925

 Concerto in A minor

   Op 100

    Orchestra Fabio da Bologna

    Alessandra Mazzanti

    Organ: Francesco Bongiorno

 Concert Piece in C minor

   Op 130   Organ: Domenico Severin

 Scherzo in G minor

   Op 49   Organ: Omar Caputi

 Thema und Variationen

   Op 115   Organ: Artruro Sacchetti

Birth of Classical Music: Claude Debussy

Claude Debussy

Photo: Getty Images

Source: Universitatea Babes-Bolyai
Born in Saint-Germain-en-Laye in 1862, Claude Debussy's owned a china shop and his mother was a seamstress. At age five Debussy's parents moved to Paris where he began to study piano at age seven. In 1872 he entered the Paris Conservatoire. He there studied piano and composition for the next eleven years. His first public appearance was in 1876, accompanying singer, Léontine Mendès. His intent to become a composer occurred in 1879. (Among his earlier pieces is 'Danse bohémienne', composed in 1880.) In 1884 he won the Prix de Rome for his cantata, 'L'enfant prodigue' (below). (Several musicians in these histories had won the Prix de Rome. Founded in 1663 to encourage students of painting, it was later expanded to include architecture, engraving, sculpture and music. The Prix de Rome was Europe's most prized scholarship program, awarding three to five years of study in Italy with accommodations.) In 1889 Debussy married fashion model, Rosalie Texier. In 1904 Debussy participated in several recordings by soprano, Mary Garden. Also In 1904 Debussy met Emma Bardac, the wife of a Parisian banker. Later that year he sent Texier a letter of intent to end their marriage. Texier attempted suicide and lived thereafter with a bullet lodged in her spine, while Bardac and Debussy each obtained a divorce and bought a house in Paris that Debussy would call home until his death. They married in 1908, two to three years after the birth of their daughter. In 1913 Debussy produced piano rolls for M. Welte & Sons. Debussy died of rectal cancer in 1918 as Nazi artillery was shattering Paris. Debussy's composing was called impressionist at the time, an association with which he strongly disagreed, he more aligned with naturalism (realism) and symbolism were it insisted he be squeezed into a genre. Relevantly, Debussy was a pantheist. He was and remains among the most influential of classical composers, his dissonant chords and harmonies among his trademarks. He composed largely chamber and orchestral works, and a great number of songs and pieces for piano. L numbers below are per François Lesure, 1977.

Claude Debussy   1879 - 1918

 Danse bohémienne

    1880   L 9   Piano: Veronika Kopjova

 L'enfant prodigue (The Prodigal Child)

   1884 Revised 1908   L 57   Sacred cantata

     Stuttgart Radio Symphony/Gary Bertini


   1903   L 100   3 pieces

     1: Pagodes

     2: La soirée dans Grenade

     3: Jardins sous la pluie (Gardens in the Rain)

     Piano: Anna Zassimova

 Images Set 1

   1905   L 110   3 pieces

     1: Reflets dans l'eau

     2: Hommage à Rameau

     3: Mouvement

     Piano: Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli

 Images Set 2

   1907   L 111   3 pieces

     1: Cloches a travers les feuillies

     2: Et la lune descend sur le temple qui fut

     3: Poissons d'or (Goldfish)

Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli

  La Mer (The Sea)

    1903-05 Revised 1908   L 109

     Sketch for orchestra   3 movements

     1: De l'aube à midi sur la mer

     2: Jeux de vagues

     3: Dialogue du vent et de la mer


   1897-99   L 91   3 pieces

     1: Nuages (Clouds)

     2: Fêtes (Holidays)

     Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra


   1897-99   L 91   3 pieces

     3: Sirènes (Sirens)

     Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Bernard Haitink

 Préludes Book 1-2

   Book 1: 1909–1910   L 117

     Book 2: 1912–1913   L 123

     Piano: Theodore Paraskivesco

Born in Munich in 1864 Richard Strauss was the son of Franz Strauss. (He wasn't related to Johann Strauss I or II.) Strauss began composing at age six. He wrote a number of lied and piano pieces, gradually moving upward through chorals and chamber music until beginning larger orchestral works in 1880. He completed his first opera, 'Guntram', in 1894. In 1906 he produced a number of piano rolls for Welte & Sons which yet survive. (He would much later record for phonograph as well.) He continued working largely as usual through World War I, but World War II wrought some disturbance. Though Strauss wasn't Nazi, he was made president of the Reichsmusikkammer (Reich Music Bureau) at a time when Jews were being excluded from musical positions in Reich. As well, he had a Jewish daughter-in-law. He complied with the ban on Jewish composers until 1935, his 'Die schweigsame Frau' then appearing in Dresden, with a libretto by Stefan Zweig, a Jewish writer. The opera was banished and Strauss dismissed from his post at the Reichsmusikkammer. He yet owned the influence, however, to rescue his daughter-in-law from fate at a concentrate camp. His efforts to save others in her family were unsuccessful. His 'Metamorphosen', was composed in Vienna in 1945, merely another of thousands of years of infinite hell on Earth, though distinguished by the surrender of Germany and Japan from World War II. 'Metamorphosen' was completed, however, two months before Allied victory in Europe (four months later in the Pacific), and after the bombing of his hometown, Munich. Among Strauss' final compositions were the 'Four Last Songs' (Vier letzte Lieder), with death their theme. He completed them in 1948, dying the next year in September. Strauss has been regarded by not a few to have been the preeminent composer of the first half of the 20th century. Of well over 300 works nigh twenty of them were for opera. He also wrote chamber, orchestral and vocal works. AV numbers below per Von Asow, third edition. TRV numbers per Franz and Florian Trenner, 1999.

Richard Strauss   1870 - 1949

  Eine Alpensinfonie

    1915   TRV 233   Op 64

      Symphonic poem   22 sections

      San Francisco Symphony/Herbert Blomstedt

  Aus Italien (From Italy)

    1886   Op 16   TRV 147   Symphonic fantasie

      Staatskapelle Dresden/Rudolf Kempe

  Also sprach Zarathustra

     1896   Op 30   TRV 176   Symphonic poem

      Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Georg Solti

   Don Juan

     1889   TRV 156   Op 20   Symphonic Poem

      Staatskapelle Berlin

      Conductor: Richard Strauss

  Don Quixote

    1897   Op 35   TRV 184

      Fantasie variation   3 sections

      NHK Symphony/Wolfgang Sawallisch

  Four Last Songs

    1948   AV 150   TRV 296

      Alpine Symphony/Christian Thielemann

      Soprano: Anja Harteros

  Ein Heldenleben

    1898   TRV 190   Op 40   Symphonic poem

      Orchestrer des Bayerischen Rundfunks

      Conductor: Mariss Jansons

      Violin: Anton Barachovsky


     1945   AV 143   TRV 290   Study for strings

      Staatskapelle Weimar/Antoni Wit


    1903–05   Op 54   TRV 215

      Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Karl Bohm

      Direction: Götz Friedrich

      Salome: Teresa Stratas

  Symphonia Domestica

    1902-03   Op 53   TRV 209   Symphonic poem

      Scottish National Orchestra/Neeme Jarvi

Birth of Classical Music: Richard Strauss

Richard Strauss   1918

Painting: Max Liebermann

Source: All World Art
  Born in 1865 on the Danish island of Funen, Carl August Nielsen had a house painter for a father. A gray-area romantic-modern bridge figure, Nielsen played piano and violin as a child, producing a lullaby and polka at about age eight or nine. He began studies at the Royal Conservatory in 1884. From 1889 to 1905 he was second violinist in the Royal Danish Orchestra at the Royal Theatre. During that time he toured Europe on scholarship and married, sculptor, Anne Brodersen, also touring on Scholarship. Nielsen's first symphony premiered in 1894. He received a state pension in 1901 to supplement his income as a violinist, permitting him to ceasing teaching while writing cantatas and incidental music for the Royal Theatre. He finally became conductor there in 1905 until 1914. He began conducting the orchestra of the Musikforeningen in 1914, then began teaching at the Royal Danish Academy in 1916. He published a couple of books in the twenties, dying in 1931, he had completed only two operas, but nearly 300 songs and hymns. He'd also written six symphonies and other orchestral works, together with concertos and pieces for chorus and keyboard. Albeit a prolific and steady composer, Nielsen came to no great fame during his time and remains a well-regarded, yet more obscure, composer. Although Nielsen studied composition upon entering the Royal Conservatory in 1884 it seemingly needed placing on a list of things to do until 1887, the year he wrote 'Quartet in F', which Nielsen considered his debut composition. Thus the intently composing date below (distinguished from actively composing).

Carl Nielsen   1887 - 1931


1918–19   Op 34   Incidental music   7 pieces

    Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra/Neeme Järvi

 Clarinet Concerto

1928   Op 57

Korean Broadcasting System SO

    Alexander Rahbari

    Clarinet: Julian Bliss

 Flute Concerto

   1926   FS 119   2 movements

    Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra

    John Frandsen

    Flute: Jean Pierre Rampal

 Helios Overture

   1901   Op 17

    Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra

    Giordano Bellincampi

 An Imaginary Trip to the Faroes

   1927   FS 123   Rhapsodic overture

    Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra

    Herbert Blomstedt

 Saul and David

   1899–1900   FS 25   Opera

    Royal Danish Opera/Sixten Ehrling

    David: Kjell Magnus Sandve   Saul: Leif Roar

 String Quartet 3

   1897-98 Revised 1899   Op 14

    Danish String Quartet 

 Symphony 2

   1901-02   Op 16   'The Four Temperaments'

    Royal Stockholm Philharmonic/Sakari Oramo

 Symphony 3

   1910-11   Op 27   4 movements

    Danmark Radio SO/Thomas Dausgaard

 Wind Quintet

   1922   Op 43   Carion

Birth of Classical Music: Carl Nielson

Carl Nielsen

Source: The Guardian
Birth of Classical Music: Jean Sibelius

Jean Sibelius

Source: Counter-Currents
Jean Sibelius was born in 1865 in Hämeenlinna, Finland, then part of Russia. About age fifteen he aspired to become a violin virtuoso. Among his earliest compositions was his brief pizzicato (plucking) 'Vattendroppar' ('Raindrops') for violin and cello circa 1881. Sibelius began to study law upon graduation from high school in 1885, but quickly switched to the Helsinki Music Institute (now the Sibelius Academy) from which he graduated in 1889. He studied another year in Berlin with Albert Becker, then in Vienna with Karl Goldmark. About that time he changed his musical direction, thinking he'd begun to play violin too late to become virtuosic, and he had composed his first large orchestral work in 1882 to much success (the symphonic poem, 'Kullervo'). Sibelius studied another year in Italy before beginning a career in composition and conducting that would find him traveling to points in Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, France and Germany. His 'Symphony 1 in E minor' appeared in 1899. Sibelius was among those composers who were Freemasons (such as Frederick II and Franz Liszt). Freemasonry was banned from Russia under the monarchy. But Finland became its own nation in 1919, Sibelius becoming a founding member of Suomi Lodge 1 in Helsinki in 1922. He also composed for Freemasons. He completed his last symphony. 'Symphony No. 7 in C major', in 1924, his final symphonic poem, 'Tapiola', in 1926. Sibelius wrote largely orchestral works, prolifically so, until his death in 1957. He also left a strong number of chamber, keyboard and vocal pieces.

Jean Sibelius   1881 - 1957

 The Swan of Tuonela

    1895 Revised 1897 1900   Op 22:2

      Symphonic poem   1 movement

      BBC National Orchestra of Wales

      Thomas Søndergård

 Symphony 1 in E minor

    1889   Op 39   4 movements

      Berliner Philharmoniker/Herbert von Karajan

 Symphony 2 in D major

    1901-02   Op 43   4 movements

      Wiener Philharmoniker/Leonard Bernstein

 Symphony 3 C major

    1907   Op 52   3 movements

      Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra

      Esa-Pekka Salonen

 Symphony No 4 in A minor

    1910-11   Op 63   4 movements

      London Symphony Orchestra/Sir Colin Davis

 Symphony 5 in E flat

    1915 Revised 1916-19   Op 82   3 movements

      Philharmonia Orchestra/Vladimir Ashkenazy

 Symphony 6 in D minor

    1923   Op 104   4 movements

      Lahti Symphony Orchestra/Osmo Vänskä

 Symphony 7 C major

    1918?–1924   Op 105   1 movement

      Wiener Philharmoniker/Leonard Bernstein

  Vattendroppar (Raindrops)

    1881   JS 216   pizzicato

      Violin: Janine Jansen


Birth of Classical Music: Alexander Glazunov

Alexander Glazunov

Source: Dimitri Tiomkin
Born in Saint Petersburg in 1865 Alexander Glazunov was the son of a rich publisher. He began piano at age nine and composing a couple years later. In 1879 he became protégé to Rimsky-Korsakov. His first symphony premiered in 1884 and his work first saw publishing the next year. He quickly came to note internationally, his conducting debut occurring in 1888. He began teaching at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in 1899, becoming its Director in 1905 until 1917. Glazunov was honored with an honorary doctorate at both Oxford and Cambridge in 1907. His prestige at St. Pete's among international peers made his a smooth transition from Imperial to Bolshevik Russia upon the Revolution of 1917. There was no problem with his music and the new regime could use a well-regarded world-class composer. In 1928 Glazunov left Russia for Vienna, never to return. He toured Europe and the States, then settled in Paris in 1929. He died in 1936 near Paris, having composed works for chamber, orchestra, stage, piano and voice, as well as concertantes and instrumentals.

Alexander Glazunov   1879 - 1936

 Saxophone Concerto

    1934   Op 109

     Piano: Edward Holly

     Saxophone: Gavin Brennan

 The Seasons

    1900   Ballet   1 act

     Orchestre de la Suisse Romande

     Ernest Ansermet

 The Spring

    1891   Op 34   Symphonic picture   D minor

     USSR SO/Yevgeny Svetlanov

 Stenka Razin

    1885   Op 13   Symphonic Poem

     B minor   1 movement

     Vienna Philharmonic

    Conductor: Wilhelm Furtwangler

 Symphony 1 in E major

    1880-82   Op 5   4 movements

     Moscow Symphony Orchestra

     Alexander Anissimov

 Symphony 2 in F sharp minor

    1884-86   Op 16   4 movements

     USSR Ministry Of Culture SO

     Gennadi Rozhdestvensky

  Symphony 4 in E flat major

    1893   Op 48   3 movements

     Russian National Orchestra

     José Serebrier

 Symphony 5 in B flat major

    1895   Op 55   4 movements

     USSR Ministry Of Culture SO

     Gennadi Rozhdestvensky

 Symphony 7 in F major

    1902   Op 77   4 movements

     USSR Ministry Of Culture SO

     Gennadi Rozhdestvensky

  Ferruccio Busoni was born in Empoli, Italy, in 1866, to professional musicians, his father a clarinetist, his mother a pianist. Raised largely in Trieste, Busoni made his first public appearance at piano at age seven with his parents. He was playing his own compositions at age nine, He further studied in Graz, conducting by age 12. In 1886 Busoni received instruction from Carl Reinecke in Leipzig. Taking his first teaching post in 1888 in Helsinki, Busoni then taught in Moscow before touring the United States between 1891 and 1894. (Paderewski and Tchaikovsky also first arrived to the States in 1891.) Returning to Berlin, he also taught in Weimar, Vienna and Basel. In 1905 Busoni began making piano rolls, highly criticized as unrepresentative of his virtuosic pianism. His manifesto, 'Sketch of a New Aesthetic of Music', was published in 1907. During World War I Busoni directed at the conservatory in Bologna, then Zurich due he didn't wish to work in any country participating in the war. He made a series of 13 recordings for Columbia in London in 1919, but they were unfit for distribution and likely lost. 1920 saw him back in Berlin, then recording again for Columbia in London in 1922 (tracks of which are available for purchase). Busoni died of kidney disease in 1924, having composed works largely with piano in mind.

Ferruccio Busoni   1875 - 1924

  24 Preludes   [1-12]

      1879–80   Op 37   BV 181

      Pianoforte: Geoffrey Douglas Madge

  24 Preludes   [13-24]

1879–80   Op 37   BV 181

      Pianoforte: Geoffrey Douglas Madge

  1922 Recordings

British Columbia Records

  Indianische Fantasie   [Part 1]

1913-14   Op 44   BV 264   1 movement

      Piano: Jeffrey Swann

  Indianische Fantasie   [Part 2]

1913-14   Op 44   BV 264   1 movement

      Piano: Jeffrey Swann

  Piano Concerto in C major

1904   Op 39   BV 247   5 movements

      Cleveland Men's Chorus/Robert Page

Cleveland Orchestra/Christoph von Dohnányi

      Piano: Garrick Ohlsson

   Violin Sonata 1:2 in E minor

1890   Op 29   BV 234

      Piano: Rintaro Akamatsu

   Violin Sonata 2 in E minor

      1898–1900   Op 36a   BV 244   3 movements

      Piano: Noel Mewton-Wood

      Violin: Max Rostal

Birth of Classical Music: Ferrucio Busoni

Ferrucio Busoni   1906

Source: Wikipedia
Birth of Classical Music: Ferrucio Busoni

Charles Koechlin
Like Scriabin and Ravel, Charles Koechlin was a strong bridge figure from the Romantic period to modern. He is on this page rather than in Early Modern because, like Scriabin and Ravel, he was associated with the Impressionism of the late Romantic period. Born in 1867 in Paris, Koechlin became a student at the Paris Conservatoire in 1890, the same year as his Op 1, a set of rondels. Among his professors was Gabriel Fauré. Upon graduation he composed and taught, becoming a critic for the 'Chronique des Arts' in 1909, then helping to found the Société musicale indépendante with Ravel in 1910. Koechlin made a tour of lectures in the United States in 1918 and joined Érik Satie's Nouveaux Jeunes in 1920. In both 1928 and '29 he taught at the University of California Berkeley. He taught in San Diego in 1937. World War II he wrote largely orchestral works. Having been a Communist-leaning pantheist, Koechlin died in 1950. Koechlin had been a prolific composer, producing an impressive number of chamber, orchestral and symphonic works, in addition to other instrumental music and works for voice. He also wrote a number of well-regarded didactic volumes on harmony, music theory and orchestration between 1923 and 1943. He also wrote a biography of Gabriel Fauré in 1927. A sample of a work below that would be called Impressionistic is 'Vers la Voitte Etoilee'. One can hear how its softly blending and something blurry passages, leaving an impression, might be compared with the same in the Impressionistic paintings to the right. The Renoir is titled, 'Mademoiselle Marie-Therese Durand-Ruel Sewing'. The piece by Monet is named 'Bridge Over a Pond of Water Lilies'.

Charles Koechlin   1890 - 1950

 Les Heures persanes

   1913–19   Op 65   16 pieces for piano

    Orchestral version

    Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra

    Heinz Holliger

    Piano: Michael Korstick

 Paysages et marines   [1-5]

   1916   Op 63   12 pieces for piano

    Piano: Michael Korstick

 Paysages et marines   [6-12]

   1916   Op 63   12 pieces for piano

    Piano: Michael Korstick

 The Seven Stars Symphony

    1933   Op 132

    Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester/James Judd

 Symphony 1

   1926   Op 57bis

    SO of Radio Television France

    Manuel Rosenthal

 Symphony 2

   1943-44   Op 196

    London Symphony Orchestra

    Constantin Silvestri

 Vers la Voitte Etoilee

   1923-33 Revised 1939

   Op 129   Symphonic poem

    Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart

    Heinz Holliger

Birth of Classical Music: Late Romantic: Impressionist Painting: Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir   1882

Source: Art History News

Birth of Classical Music: Late Romantic: Impressionist Painting: Monet

Claude Monet   1899
  Born in Moscow in 1869, Hans Erich Pfitzner was taken with his family to Frankfurt at age three. He received training in violin from his father who was a professional violinist and began composing at age eleven. His earliest known works are songs dating from 1884. He studied at the Hoch Conservatory from 1886 to 1890. Upon graduation he taught piano and theory at the Koblenz Conservatory until becoming conductor at the Staatstheater Mainz in 1894. Moving onward to the Theater des Westens in Berlin, he then obtained directorship of the conservatory in Strasbourg in 1908. Upon the annexation of Alsace by France after World War I Pfitzner lost his position in Strasbourg. In 1923 he was in the hospital for gall bladder surgery when he was visited by Adolf Hitler. As Pfitzner voiced disagreement with Hitler's negative view of Jewish philosopher, Otto Weininger, their dialog came to more harm than good for Pfitzner. Pfitzner didn't recognize it at the time, but his career saw various interferences and he was considered a Jewish sympathizer, if not a Jew. (An investigation showing otherwise was made.) Pfitzner continued his career in Germany while at once largely ignorant that he wasn't as favored as he presumed. What kept him in business while at once compromised was his notion of romantic German heroism a la Wagner and his reactionary view of the Weimar Republic which he deemed decadent, thus welcoming the rise of National Socialism. There were reasons to believe that Pfitzner was reluctant to tow the Party line when it came to Jews. He made at least one intercession, kept Jewish associations and was disinclined to denounce certain Jewish personages. However, Pfitzner did reason Jewry to be ideologically and racially antithetical to German aspirations and was apathetic overall to their plight, rationalized as needful to the greater glory of humankind that was Germankind. Those Jews he favored were exceptions, to be determined by himself, to the general rule. Though he never joined the National Socialist Party he aligned himself to the same as a musical propagandist of National Socialism to further, not only romantic idealism, but his career. He was the composer of the Third Reich, and that was his motivation. During Nuremburg denazification Pfitzner was referred to as one of the greatest criminals of all, inspiring those sentiments by which the Nazis waged war and cleaned the world of Jews. But there was no law against raising patriotic fervor. In the end, World War II left Pfitzner's home a ruin, after which he lived in a residence for the elderly until his death in 1949. Pfitzner had been a Romantic composer decidedly not a modernist, finding progressive music (music popular during the Weimar Republic that Jews were composing) both conformist and decadent. (Nor did Pfitzner have any use for American jazz, thinking a few Jews in the entertainment industry were exploiting a lot of negroes.) What he actually thought concerning Jews may never be resolved because he himself likely never came to complete resolution on the matter, despite his ant-Semitic invectives and written intellectual rationalizations. Pfitzner had been pumped on romantic idealism, National Socialism was its all-too-convenient manifestation in the actual world, and the Jew thing later came as a drag along that, but for Nazis and a livelihood amidst that German zeitgeist, he likely could have done without. But, being not quite so heroic as his musical ideal, Pfitzner didn't. A life of limousine transport and chatter with leading German figures was honey too tempting. Though his works were highly regarded by such as Gustov Mahler and Richard Strauss, Pfitzner has generally been regarded as a barely minor composer. He occupies a post-Romantic position not utterly conservative but not quite modern either. Pfitzner had written for stage, chamber, orchestra and voice with piano.

Hans Pfitzner   1885 - 1949

 Alte Weisen

   1923   Song cycle

    Gitarre: Spiro Thomatos

    Klavier: Fritz Bernhard

 An den Mond (To the Moon)

   1906   Op 18   E minor

    Baritone: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

 An die Mark (To the March)

   Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

    Wolfgang Sawallisch

    Baritone: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

 Kleine Sinfonie in G major   [Part 1]


    NDR Symphony Orchestra/Klauspeter Seibel

  Kleine Sinfonie in G major   [Part 2]


    NDR Symphony Orchestra/Klauspeter Seibel


   1912–15   WoO 17   Opera   3 acts

    Chor der Deutschen Staatsoper Berlin

    Staatskapelle Berlin/Otmar Suitner

    Palestrina: Peter Schreier

 Piano Concerto in E flat major

   1922   Op 31   4 movements

    Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden

    Christian Thielemann

    Pianist: Tzimon Barto

 Symphony in C major

   1940   Op 46

    Wiener Philharmoniker/Wilhelm Furtwängler

Birth of Classical Music: Hans Pfitzner

Hans Pfitzner

Source: Music Douban
Birth of Classical Music: Alexander Scriabin

Alexander Scriabin

Photo: Popperfoto/Getty Images

Source: Music With Ease
Alexander Scriabin wasn't an Impressionist composer, though he got dubbed as such, which is why he goes on this page in the Romantic period rather than in Early Modern. Those labeled as Impressionistic during the late Romantic are generally regarded a main bridge to the modern period. Born into an aristocratic family in Moscow in 1872, Scriabin was a strong bridge figure from the Romantic period to modern who would easily fit in Early Modern. His father was in the military until the death of Scriabin's month when he was one year old, then a diplomat to Turkey, leaving Scriabin home to be raised by family members. As a youngster he built pianos, conducted with other children, and performed puppet operas and plays. He also studied piano under Nikolai Zverev as a child. At age ten he entered the Second Moscow Cadet Corps, later studying at the Moscow Conservatory. Scriabin's Op 1 was 'Waltz in F minor' in 1886. He graduated as a notable pianist in 1892, the same year he composed 'Piano Sonata 1 in F minor'. Scriabin began performing in St. Petersburg in 1894, also beginning to publish. In 1897 he began touring Russia and Europe. Back in Moscow in 1899, his first two symphonies appeared as he there taught at the Conservatory until moving to Switzerland in 1904. He there composed his third symphony, to premier in Paris the next year. He then toured to locations in Switzerland, Italy, France and Belgium before leaving to the United States in 1906. Returning to Paris in 1907, then Brussels, he landed back in Russia permanently in 1909. In 1910 he recorded 34 piano rolls for 19 of his works in Moscow, those for Welte-Mignon and Ludwig Hupfeld companies. (Such are available on CD.) While in London in 1914, Scriabin developed a sore on his upper lip, resulting in septicemia, killing him the next year in Moscow. Classical music had been largely dominated by Catholic and Protestant composers until the 18th century when such as Freemasonry began to appear. (Mozart, for example, was a Freemason.) Scriabin was himself an occultist and Theosophist (the Theosophical Society founded in 1875 by Helena Blavatsky and Henry Olcott in New York City), which figured largely in his later work, including his use of the so-called "mystic" or "Prometheus" chord (prominent in his work, 'Prometheus: The Poem of Fire' [Op 60] of 1910). His late piano sonatas are thought to be Expressionistic. Howsoever, Scriabin was a musician of no small stature, one more composer by which it could be said that, earlier stellar others aside, be they German (Beethoven, say), French (Chopin, say), Hungarian (Liszt, say) or waltzing in Vienna with the Strausses, Russia came to largely own the Romantic period. Nigh all Scriabin composed was for piano, though he left some orchestral and other miscellaneous pieces as well.

Alexander Scriabin   1885 - 1915

  24 Preludes   [1-22]

    1888-96   Op 11

      Piano: Vladimir Sofronitzky

  Piano Concerto

    1896   Op 20   3 movements

      Helsinborg Symphony Orchestra

      Conductor: Alexander Vedernikov

      Piano: Andrei Korobeinikov

  Symphony 1 in E major

    1899–1900   Op 26   6 movements

      Spanish Radio Symphony Orchestra & Choir

      Aleksandar Markovic

  Symphony 2 in C minor

    1901   Op 29   5 movements

      Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra

      Eliahu Inbal

  Symphony 3 in C minor

    'Le Divin Poème'   4 sections

      1902-04   Op 43

      USSR Symphony Orchestra

      Evgeny Svetlanov

  Symphony 4

    1905-08   Op 54   'Poème de l'Extase'

      Leningrad Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra

      Evgeny Mravinsky

  Symphony 5

    'Le Poème du Feu' or 'Prometheus'

      1911   Op 60

      State Safonov Philharmonic Orchestra

      Stanislav Kockanovsky

      Piano: Evgeni Mikhailov

  Waltz in F minor

    1886   Op 1

      Piano: Xiayin Wang

  The Romantic period is brought to its apex with Russian composer, Sergei Rachmaninoff. Born near Novgorod in 1873, Rachmaninoff's father was an aristocratic army officer whose marriage brought with it five estates, soon reduced to none to live in by gambling. If his father was the pathological liar that it's said he was then Rachmaninoff's childhood was likely a nightmare. His mother did, however, bring a tutor from St. Petersburg to their home in 1882, with whom Rachmaninoff studied until that home was lost and the family moved into an apartment. In 1883 Rachmaninoff entered the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. He then entered the Moscow Conservatory from which he graduated in 1891, the year of his Opus 1, 'Piano Concerto 1 in F sharp minor'. His initial professional concert followed in 1892 with 'Trio élégiaque 1', the year he wrote his first complete opera, 'Aleko'. Rachmaninoff premiered his 'Symphony 1' in 1897, poorly received. He became director of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow for a couple of years in 1904, after which he worked briefly in Italy, then spent the next few winters in Dresden, residing in Ivanovka in the summers. In 1909 Rachmaninoff composed his 'Piano Concerto 3' which he took to the United States the same year. During the Russian Revolution in 1917, Rachmaninoff lost everything but some compositions on which he was working, leaving Petrograd for Helsinki by sleigh with his family. He toured Scandinavia for a year before returning to New York in 1918. In 1919 Rachmaninoff began acoustically recording for Edison Records. He also began creating piano rolls that year, recording 35 pieces, 12 his own, throughout the next decade. He started with the Victor Talking Machine Company in 1920 (later RCA Victor). Now touring more than composing, Rachmanoff purchased a house for his family. Able to buy another home in Switzerland in 1932, he spent his summers there until 1939. In 1942 he became ill of melanoma, became a U.S. citizen with his wife in 1943, then gave his last recital in February (Chopin's 'Piano Sonata 2'). Rachmaninoff died the next month of melanoma in Beverly Hills, California (buried in New York). He had been a virtuosic pianist with a remarkable memory, able to play complex works, upon hearing them once, years later. He wrote largely orchestral, chamber and choral works, as well as pieces for piano and voice. He appears on his own recordings below with 'Piano Concerto 2' and 'Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini'. (The same are played by Arthur Rubinstein in Early Modern.)

Sergei Rachmaninoff   1880 - 1943

 Piano Concerto 2 in C minor

    1900-01   Op 18   3 movements

      Philadelphia Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski

      Piano: Sergei Rachmaninoff

 Piano Concerto 3 in D minor

    1909   Op 30   3 movements

      Piano: Olga Kern

 Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

    [Part 1]   1934   Introduction & 24 variations

      Philadelphia Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski

      Piano: Sergei Rachmaninoff

 Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

    [Part 2]   1934   Introduction & 24 variations

      Philadelphia Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski

      Piano: Sergei Rachmaninoff

 Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

    [Part 3]   1934   Introduction & 24 variations

      Philadelphia Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski

      Piano: Sergei Rachmaninoff

  Symphony 1 in D minor

    1895   Op 13   4 movements

      MusicAeterna Orchestra

Valeriy Platonov

 Symphony 2 in E minor

    1906–07   Op 27   4 movements

      Academy of Santa Cecilia

Sir Antonio Pappano

 Symphony 3 in A minor

    1935–36 Revised 1938

      Op 44   3 movements

      Novosibirsk Philharmonic

      Gintaras Rinkevičius

Birth of Classical Music: Alexander Scriabin

Sergei Rachmaninoff

Source:  geenohjeu
  Born in 1874 in Kiev, Russia (now Ukraine), Reinhold Glière had a father who was a professional builder of wind instruments. His initial formal training was in violin in Kiev in 1891. He entered the Moscow Conservatory in 1894. Graduating in 1900, Gliere began teaching at the Gnesin School of Music the next year. He became the first director of the Kiev Conservatory in 1914, raised in status that year from a school. Gliere began teaching at the Moscow Conservatory in 1920. 1927 saw the premier of his ballet, 'The Red Poppy', with a Russian Revolutionary theme (revised and retitled 'The Red Flower' in 1955). Gliere never visited either Europe or America. He did, however, work in more musically remote areas of Russia such as Azerbaijan, Siberia and Uzbekistan. He won the Glinka Prize thrice and the Stalin Prize in 1946. Gliere was a firm Soviet composer, politically speaking, suffering little castigation from authorities for composing the wrong music in unacceptable ways (: formalism). He died in Moscow in 1956, the majority of his works for chamber, orchestra and stage.

Reinhold Glière   1894 - 1950

   Concerto for horn and orchestrar

    1951   Op 91   B flat major

     Conducting: Caleb Young

     Horn: I-Ping Chiu

  Concerto for harp and orchestra

    1938   Op 74   E flat major

     London Symphony Orchestra

     Richard Bornynge

  The Red Poppy

    1927 Revised 1949/55   Ballet   Op 27

     BBC Philharmonic/Sir Edward Downes

  Romance for violin and piano

    1902   Op 3

     Piano: Olga Sitkovetsky

     Violin: Alexander Sitkovetsky

  The Sirens

    1908   Symphonic poem  Op 33   F minor

     Moscow Radio and Television SO

     Vladimir Esipov

  Symphony 1 in E flat

    1900   4 movements

     Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra

     Stephen Gunzenhauser

Birth of Classical Music: Reinhold Glière

Reinhold Glière

Source:  On Music Dictionary
  Born in 1874 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, Gustav Theodore Holst was a Romantic composer who, being English, thus insisted upon being peculiar, therefore transitioned more to English than modern. He had a father who was organist and choirmaster at All Saints' Church. He played piano, violin and trombone as a child, preferring piano. Attending Merton College at Oxford University in 1891, Holst wrote his first symphony the next year. His first employment as a musician was as organist and choirmaster at the Wyck Rissington parish in Gloucestershire, but he was soon packing for London in 1893 to study at the Royal College of Music. He began publishing his works while at RCM, but in 1898 he had to take work as an organist in London churches and a trombonist in London theatres. He yet distinguished himself in that capacity and was soon touring with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. The poet, Walt Whitman, would became a strong influence about the turn of the century. (His 'Mystic Trumpeter', below, is a setting to Walt Whitman's 'From Noon to Starry Night'.) Of equal influence were the hymns of the 'Rig Veda' and Sanskrit literature. In 1903 Holst left the life of an orchestra musician to concentrate on composing. He himself considered all his pieces composed before 1904 to be "early horrors," he coming about that year with 'The Mystic Trumpeter'. He had nevertheless to begin teaching a couple years later. He became musical director of the St. Paul's Girl's School in 1905, a position he would keep until his death. In 1907 he became musical director at Morley College where he remained until 1924. As the romantic readily shifts toward the exotic, Holst conducted his 'Beni Mora' in 1912, inspired by a trip to Algeria in 1908. (Its last of three movements has been described as very early minimalist, though Holst was too early to have much a clue as to that.) Holst was rejected from military service during World War I, during which time he composed the work that would make him internationally famous, 'The Planets'. 1918 found Holst in Greece as a musical organizer for the YMCA. Upon his return to England in 1919 He continued composing and teaching whilst finding himself a huge celebrity, his 'The Planets' followed in 1920 by 'The Hymn of Jesus'. In 1922 he recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra for Columbia, he conducting. His comic opera, 'The Perfect Fool', premiered in 1923. In 1927 his homage to the novelist, Thomas Hardy, appeared, the tone poem, 'Egdon Heath'. It wasn't received well, though Holst himself regarded it his most perfect composition. Holst lectured at Harvard in 1932 until illness forced him back to England. Among his last works was the 'Brook Green Suite' of March 1934. He died the next May of heart failure following surgery for an ulcer. Holst had written largely for stage (ballets, operas) as well as piano, choral music and songs. His instrumental works include concertantes, works for chamber and orchestral pieces such as incidental music. H numbers below are prer 'A Thematic Catalogue of Gustav Holst's Music' by Imogen Holst, 1974. 'The Planets' by Holst is interpreted by Eugene Ormandy in Early Modern.

Gustav Holst
   1892 - 1934

 Beni Mora

   1909–1910   H 107   Op 29:1   Oriental Suite

    1: First Dance   2: Second Dance

    3: Finale: 'In the streets of the ouled nails'

    Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra

    Sascha Goetzel

 Brook Green Suite

   1933   H 190

    1: Prelude   2: Air   3: Dance

    Ho Chi Minh City Conservatory of Music

 Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda

   1908–1912   H 97-100   Op 26

    14 sacred hymns

    Royal Philarmonic Orchestra

    Sir David Willcocks

 Egdon Heath

   1927   H 172   Op 47   1 movement

    BBC Symphony Orchestra/Sir Andrew Davis

 The Hymn of Jesus

   1917   H 140   Op 37   Sacred hymn

    BBC Chorus & Symphony Orchestra

    Sir Adrian Boult

 Japanese Suite

   1915   H 126   Op 33   6 movements

Ulster Orchestra/JoAnn Falletta

 The Mystic Trumpeter

   1904   1912   H 71   Op 18

    For soprano and orchestra

    Royal Scottish National Orchestra

    David Lloyd-Jones

    Soprano: Claire Rutter

 The Planets

   1914-16   H 125   Op 32   7 movements

    MusicAeterna Orchestra

    Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre Orchestra

    Valeriy Platonov

Birth of Classical Music: Gustov Holst

Gustov Holst   1921

Photo: Herbert Lambert

Source:  Wikipedia
  Born in 1879 in Brest, Brittany, though Jean Émile Paul Cras was a fringe composer, something personifying the Romantic as adventure, Cras in terms of the military, travel and the sea. Cras joined the French navy at age seventeen. He'd seen battle on both sides of the Atlantic before being promoted to Lieutenant in 1908. During World War I he worked in submarine defense and commanded a torpedo boat. He was made Major General of the Port of Brest in 1931 and later promoted to Rear Admiral. That is, Cras actually did the stuff about which heroic Romantics made a fuss about (though didn't compose especially heroic music, he something more the melodic poet). His military career left him little time for composing, surviving works of his appearing around the turn of the century. He composed his opera, 'Polyphème', during World War I, though it didn't premier until 1922. It was also 1922 that he met composer, Henri Duparc, perhaps his most important musical association. Crass died in 1932, having written largely for chamber, piano and voice, as well as some some orchestral pieces.

Jean Cras   1899 - 1932

 Danza tenera

   1917   Piano: Ernest So

 Duo for Flute and Harp


    Flûte: Anne Giquet   Harpe: Isabelle Marie

 En Islande

   1902   From 'Cinq poèmes' (1902-11)

    Piano: Luca Ciammarughi


   1904   From 'Cinq poèmes' (1902-11)

    Piano: Luca Ciammarughi

 String Trio

   Published 1927

    Cello: Martijn Dendievel

    Viola: Jonathan Ponet

    Violin: Diede Verpoest

Birth of Classical Music: Jean Cras

Jean Cras

Source:  Musicologie
Birth of Classical Music: Maurice Ravel

Maurice Ravel

Source:  Rate Your Music
Born in 1875 in Ciboure (in the Pyrenees in the southwest corner of France eleven miles from Spain), Maurice Ravel was labeled an impressionist composer, and well buttons the late Romantic period, bridging to modern, on which page he would be placed had he not been labeled an impressionist. His mother had been a poor Basque until she married his father, an impressive engineer and inventor. He began piano at age six, later giving his first public piano recital in 1889. Though he had earlier studied composition, his first intent works didn't begin to appear until circa 1893 as a student at the Paris Conservatoire. His first published work was 'Menuet antique' in 1895, the same year he was expelled from the Conservatoire for failing to win the requisite medal that would keep him school. He later returned in 1898 to study under Gabriel Fauré. He also privately studied with composer, André Gedalge. Around 1900 he began to hang with the Apaches, a loose group of avant-garde artists, musicians and poets. Albeit Claude Debussy wasn't an Apache, he was the composer whom the Apaches hailed to be at the vanguard of future French composition. Ravel had met Debussy, twelve years his senior, in the nineties, but in 1900 they began a friendship which nevertheless found them competing with one another professionally due both to comparative critics and Ravel's reservations as to Debussy's symbolism. In 1908 Ravel composed three poems for piano titled, 'Gaspard de la nuit' (below), a good example of his impressionistic approach. In 1909 and 1911 he crossed the Channel his first times, touring England and Scotland. During the war he served as a truck driver at the Verdun front. World War I resulted in various endeavors to erase German influence from French music, but Ravel believed that music transcended national boundaries and didn't participate. His composition, 'La valse' (originally 'Wien' ['Vienna']), found him challenged to a duel against its commissioner, impresario, Sergei Diaghilev, who thought the work less a ballet than a "portrait of a ballet." Ravel ended the working relationship they had had, but in 1925 refused to shake Diaghilev's hand upon seeing him again. Diaghilev believed such the affront sufficient cause for a duel, then changed his mind. (The duel had been about for several centuries as a means of "satisfaction' among aristocrats. References refer to trials by combat over land disputes in Germany as early the 8th century. Thousands of "gentlemen" had lost their lives to the duel, though the purpose wasn't to kill so much as to prove, absolutely, that one's honor had been severely offended. The last duel in England was fought in 1845, in France in 1967.) In 1922 Ravel finished his 'Sonata for Violin and Cello', dedicated to the memory of Debussy, his major rival who had died in 1918, putting at least an existential end to their dueling pianos. Ravel would naturally become conservative as the next wave in French composition evolved (Les Six in particular), but his opera, 'L'enfant et les sortilèges', premiering in 1925, incorporates elements of ragtime and jazz (dueling versions below, it apparently taking two to waltz in this instance). He began recording his compositions in 1927. In 1928 he arrived in New York City to great acclaim, remuneration (America the proverbial pot of gold for European composers for the last half century) and George Gershwin. During his trip to America he included New Orleans to there examine jazz. Returning to Paris in 1928, he composed his 'Bolero' (below), perhaps his most famous experiment, surprising him upon its success, having expected none. 1932 saw Ravel bang his head during an accident in a taxi, after which he began to have memory and speech troubles. Thinking his symptoms might be a tumor, he underwent surgery in 1937. No tumor was found, but upon recovering from anesthesia, he lapsed into a coma and died. Like Debussy, Ravel had been labeled an impressionist, and like Debussy, he considered such a wee absurd, impressionism being a manner of painting, not composing. He was also a perfectionist, composing fewer works than some, but ever reshaping technical details. He had written largely for orchestra, chamber, stage and voice. M numbers below per Marcel Marnat.

Maurice Ravel   1893 - 1937


    1928   M 81   Bolero   C major   1 movement

      Münchner Philharmoniker/Sergiu Celibidache

  L' Enfant et les Sortilèges   [Bagnoli]

    'The Child and the Spells'   M 71

      1919–25   Opera   1 act   Libretto: Colette

      Opera de Liege   2013

      Director: Enrico Bagnoli

      Conductor: Philippe Gérard

  L' Enfant et les Sortilèges   [Sabag]

    'The Child and the Spells'   M 71

      1919–25   Opera   1 act   Libretto: Colette

      Theatro Municipal de São Paulo   2011

Director: Livia Sabag

      Conductor: Jamil Maluf

  Gaspard de la nuit

    1908   M 55   3 piano pieces

      Gitarre: Spiro Thomatos

      Piano: Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli


    1904–05   M 43   5 piano pieces

      Piano: Lortie Bavouzet

  Piano Concerto for Left Hand

    1929-30   M 82   D major   1 movement

      Orchestra of the University of Music Weimar

      Nicolás Pasquet

      Piano: Hélène Tysman

  Piano Concerto in G major

    1931   M 83   3 movements

      Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai

      Andrej Boreyko

      Piano: Martha Argerich

  La valse

    1919-20   M 72   Waltz   D major

      Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France

      Myung-Whun Chung


We temporarily suspend this history of the latter Romantic period with Maurice Ravel. We may be making additions as such occur.





Early Blues 1: Guitar

Early Blues 2: Vocal - Other Instruments

Modern Blues 1: Guitar

Modern Blues 2: Vocal - Other Instruments

Modern Blues 3: Black Gospel Appendix


Medieval - Renaissance


Galant - Classical

Romantic: Composers born 1770 to 1840

Romantic - Impressionist

Expressionist - Modern

Modern: Composers born 1900 to 1950




Country Western


Early Jazz 1: Ragtime - Bands - Horn

Early Jazz 2: Ragtime - Other Instrumentation

Early Jazz 3: Ragtime - Song - Hollywood

Swing Era 1: Big Bands

Swing Era 2: Song

Modern 1: Saxophone

Modern 2: Trumpet - Other Horn

Modern 3: Piano

Modern 4: Guitar - Other String

Modern 5: Percussion - Other Orchestration

Modern 6: Song

Modern 7: Latin Jazz - Latin Recording

Modern 8: United States 1960 - 1970

Modern 9: International 1960 - 1970

Rock & Roll

Early - Boogie Woogie - R&B - Soul

Doo Wop

The Big Bang - Fifties American Rock

UK Beat

British Invasion

Total War - Sixties American Rock

Other Musical Genres - Popular Music Appendix

Musician Indexes

Classical - Medieval to Renaissance

Classical - Baroque to Classical

Classical - Romantic to Modern

The Blues

Bluegrass - Folk

Country Western

Jazz Early - Ragtime - Swing Jazz

Jazz Modern - Horn

Jazz Modern - Piano - String

Jazz Modern - Percussion - Song - Other

Jazz Modern - 1960 to 1970

Boogie Woogie - Doo Wop - R&B - Rock & Roll - Soul - Disco

UK Beat - British Invasion

Sixties American Rock - Popular

Latin Recording - Europe

Latin Recording - The Caribbean - South America


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