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A Birth of Classical 6

A YouTube History of Music

Expressionist - Early Modern

Group & Last Name Index to Full History:


Composers are listed chronologically. Tracks are listed alphabetically.

Not on this page? See history tree below.



Georges Auric
Edgar Bainton    Béla Bartók    Arthur Benjamin    Alban Berg    Arthur Bliss    Lili Boulanger    Nadia Boulanger
Pablo Casals    Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco    Carlos Chavez    Henry Cowell
Paul Dukas    Louis Durey
Heino Eller    George Enescu
Manuel de Falla    Arthur Fiedler
Leopold Godowsky
Roy Harris    Paul Hindemith    Arthur Honegger
Charles Ives
Otto Klemperer    Zoltán Kodály    Fritz Kreisler
Gian Francesco Malipiero    Darius Milhaud    Nikolai Myaskovsky
Carl Orff    Eugene Ormandy    Leo Ornstein
Walter Piston    Ildebrando Pizzetti   Francis Poulenc    Sergey Prokofiev
Ottorino Respighi    Arthur Rubinstein
Érik Satie    Franz Schmidt    Florent Schmitt   Arnold Schoenberg    Franz Schreker    Andrés Segovia    Roger Sessions    The Six    Max Steiner    Leopold Stokowski    Igor Stravinsky
Germaine Tailleferre   Alexandre Tansman    Federico Moreno Torroba
Heitor Villa-Lobos
Anton Webern    Ralph Vaughan Williams
Alexander von Zemlinsky



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

Names are alphabetical, not chronological, per year:


1865 Paul Dukas
1866 Érik Satie
1870 Leopold Godowsky    Florent Schmitt

Alexander von Zemlinsky

1872 Ralph Vaughan Williams
1874 Charles Ives    Arnold Schoenberg    Franz Schmidt
1875 Fritz Kreisler
1876 Pablo Casals    Manuel de Falla
1878 Franz Schreker
1879 Ottorino Respighi
1880 Edgar Bainton    Ildebrando Pizzetti
1881 Béla Bartók    George Enescu    Nikolai Myaskovsky
1882 Zoltán Kodály    Gian Francesco Malipiero    Leopold Stokowski    Igor Stravinsky
1883 Anton Webern
1885 Alban Berg    Otto Klemperer
1887 Nadia Boulanger    Heino Eller    Arthur Rubinstein    Heitor Villa-Lobos
1888 Louis Durey    Max Steiner
1891  Arthur Bliss    Sergey Prokofiev    Federico Moreno Torroba
1892 Arthur Honegger    Darius Milhaud    Germaine Tailleferre
1893 Arthur Benjamin    Lili Boulanger    Leo Ornstein    Andrés Segovia
1894 Arthur Fiedler    Walter Piston
1895 Paul Hindemith    Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco    Carl Orff
1896 Roger Sessions
1897 Henry Cowell    Alexandre Tansman
1898 Roy Harris
1899 Georges Auric    Carlos Chavez    Eugene Ormandy    Francis Poulenc


  This page concerns early modern classical composers born before 1900. A few at the begin will have bridged from the Romantic period. Albeit the Expressionist movement in painting began concurrently with the latter Romantic, it's contribution to modern classical composition was notable and concurrent with early modern. The Modern period largely commences with atonal works and Arnold Schoenberg's twelve-tone chromatic system, replacing the seven notes of the major and minor keys), soon dubbed serialism. 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 list headings are broadly figured as those during which the musician was possibly actively composing beyond a juvenile level (generally in the teens). They attempt to account for early vanished works such as studies (including collegiate), also assuming most composers were yet working at the time of their deaths unless noted otherwise. Brackets (: [Part 1]) indicate sections made by YouTube channels. If the composer you're seeking isn't on this page he may be a bridge figure intwelve-tone chromatic system, replacing the seven notes of the major and minor keys), soon dubbed serialism. 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 list headings are broadly figured as those during which the musician was possibly actively composing beyond a juvenile level (generally in the teens). They attempt to account for early vanished works such as studies (including collegiate), also assuming most composers were yet working at the time of their deaths unless noted otherwise. Brackets (: [Part 1]) indicate sections made by YouTube channels. If the composer you're seeking isn't on this page he may be a bridge figure in Romantic or Modern 2. Such would be true of French composers dubbed as Impressionist during the late Romantic or composers born after 1900. Those called Impressionist could just as easily go on this page as an early emergence of Modern. Composers on this page who experimented with German Expressionism at some point in their career were Béla Bartók, Igor Stravinsky, Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, Anton Webern and Paul Hindemith. (Late piano sonatas by Alexander Scriabin have been called Expressionistic.) (A note on opus numbers: 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.)

  Born in 1865 in Paris, Paul Dukas was a composer of the Romantic period with both a strong classical and modern lean, yet neither to great intent. His father was a banker, his mother a pianist who died during childbirth when Dukas was five. He played piano as a youth and began composing at age fourteen. Two years later he entered the Paris Conservatoire. Two of his overtures from 1883 yet survive. He left the Conservatoire in 1889 and began writing music criticism for various chronicles, producing some 410 articles over the years. He wrote his 'Symphony in C major' in 1895-96. He composed the scherzo (playful piece), 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice', in 1897, used in the 1940 Disney film, 'Fantasia' (see Stokowski). His Oriental ballet, 'La Péri', premiered in Paris in 1912. Succeeding Charles-Marie Widor as professor of composition at the Conservatoire de Paris in 1927, he died in Paris in 1935.

Paul Dukas   1893 - 1935

 La Péri (The Fairy)

   1911   Dance poem

   Ulster Orchestra/Yan Pascal Tortelier

 Piano Sonata in E flat minor

   1900   4 movements

   Piano: Alexander Vaulin


   1891   Overture

   Les Siècles/François-Xavier Roth

 The Sorcerer's Apprentice

   1896–97   Scherzo symphonic poem

   Philharmonic Orchestra Bucharest

   Cristian Orosanu

 Symphony in C major 1

   1895-96   Allegro non troppo vivace

   Direction: Armin Jordan

 Symphony in C major 2

   1895-96   Andante espressivo e sostenuto

   Direction: Armin Jordan

 Symphony in C major 3

1895-96   Allegro spiritoso

   Direction: Armin Jordan

 Variations [on a Minuet]

   1899–1902?   14 piano pieces in 3 sections

   12 variations - Interlude - Finale

   Piano: Marco Rapetti


   1905?   For horn & piano

   Horn: Dennis Brain   Piano: Gerald Moore

Birth of Classical Music: Paul Dukas

Paul Dukas

Source:Classical Connect
  Born in Honfleur, Normandy, in 1866, Érik Satie has been generally described as the so-called father of modern classical music. Its deeper routes can be traced to Faure. The so-called Impressionist composers, Debussy and Ravel, are often cited as the bridge from Romantic to Modern, with Satie a touch a precursor and already moving onward before he, too, got branded as such. What also makes Satie the first brick on the modern path was Les Six, a group of avant-garde composers with whom he surrounded himself, named after the earlier Romantic movement in Russia called the The Five. The Six consisted of composers, Louis Durey, Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaud, Germaine Tailleferre, Georges Auric, and Francis Poulenc. (See Milhaud below for example of collaboration by that group.) In 1879 Satie entered the Paris Conservatoire where he was presumed to be "insignificant and laborious" as well as "worthless" and sent back home. With so bright prospects before him, he published his first salon compositions in the early eighties. A positive thinker, he was readmitted to the Conservatoire in 1885, to about the same result, with the exception that he then joined the military. But he was adverse to the military, so he infected himself with bronchitis toward a discharge. He then concentrated on publishing in Montmarte until becoming a chapel master for the Rosicrucian Order. (See '3 Sonneries de la Rose+Croix' listed below.) In 1893 he founded the Metropolitan Art Church of Jesus the Conductor, which publications helped ensure that he be its only member. Satie began working as a cabaret pianist in 1899, adding a few of his own compositions to his repertoire of more than a hundred others. He was yet performing popular cabaret tunes when in 1905 he became a student at the Schola Cantorum de Paris. He there studied some five years, emerging to great success with his miniature piano pieces. During World War I he worked on incidental music to Shakespeare's 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', then the ballet, 'Parade', during which 1917 premier he came into contact with cubist painters Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. Due to the closing of many concert halls and theatres during World War I, Satie thought to fill the gap with events staged by a group of artists and composers he called the Les nouveaux jeunes. He abandoned it as quickly as he'd founded it the next year, but it carried on with a new name, Les Six (above). In 1919 Satie began associating with Dadaist artists. His last three compositions were in 1924, the two ballets, 'Mercure' and 'Relache', and the score for the surrealist film, 'Entr'acte'. Satie died in 1925 of cirrhosis of the liver, having been a heavy drinker. Having lived a life of "stark simplicity" in "squalor" and "chaos," perhaps he has thought positively and been readmitted via reincarnation, to about the same result. Along with a large number of arrangements, Satie composed majorly for solo piano. He also wrote a strong number of songs and dramatic works, as well as instrumental pieces for such as small orchestra.

Erik Satie   1884 - 1924

 3 Gymnopédies

   1888   3 piano pieces

   Piano: Pascal Rogé

 3 Sonneries de la Rose+Croix

   1892   3 airs

   Piano: Bojan Gorišek

 Entr'Acte (Between the Acts)

   1924   Surrealist film


   1889–97   6 piano pieces

   Piano: Pascal Rogé


   1917   Ballet   6 sections

   Kölner Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester

   Igor Markevitch


   1924   Ballet   21 sections

   Orchestre Symphonique et Lyrique de Nancy

   Jérome Kaltenbach

 Sports et Divertissements

1914   21 piano pieces

   Piano: Ellen Hohmann

Birth of Classical Music: Erik Satie

Erik Satie   Circa 1890

Source: Nueva Tribuna
Birth of Classical Music: Godowsky Score Sheet

Sample score by Godowsky

Source: Wikipedia
Born in 1870 in Žasliai, Russia (now Lithuania), Leopold Godowsky is said to have been composing (a minuet) and playing both piano and violin at age five. Largely self-taught, his first public appearance was at age nine, after which he toured regionally before studying at the Königliche Hochschule für Musik in Berlin. In 1884 he left Europe for America, first performing in Boston, then touring the States and Canada. He returned to Europe in 1887 to work in Paris and London. He became a teacher at the New York College of Music in 1890, then in Philadelphia, then in Illinois at the Chicago Conservatory. He had become an American citizen in 1891. Godowsky was beyond human at piano, teaching weight release in addition to muscular movement. He was back in Europe by 1900, performing and teaching in Berlin. From 1909 to 1914 he taught at the Vienna Academy of Music. He returned to the States in 1912, then moved there in 1914 upon World War I, working in New York, Los Angeles and Seattle. During the twenties he toured internationally and recorded piano rolls. (A piano roll thought from 1916 is listed below. Godowsky had already made his initial acoustic gramophone recordings in the States in 1912, Chopin's 'Revolutionary' [Study 22] among them.) He disowned his son, Gordon, in 1928 for marrying a vaudeville dancer. He died of stomach cancer in 1938. Godowsky joins other composers, such as Rachmaninoff, whose highly sophisticated compositions require virtuosic mastery beyond the norm to play, to the left a sample page from one his scores, a transcription of Chopin's etude, Op 25:1.

Leopold Godowsky   1886 - 1938

 Ballade 1 in G minor

   Composer: Chopin   1835-1836   Op 23

   Piano: Leopold Godowsky

   Piano roll recorded 1916

 Java Suite

   1924–25   12 sections in 4 parts

   Piano: Esther Budiardjo


   1928   Passacaglia

   Piano: Howard Na

 Suite for the Left Hand Alone

   1928   Symphonic metamorphosis

   Transcription from 'The Gypsy Baron'

   Original composer: Strauss II

   Piano: Takeo Tchinai

 Symphonic Metamorphoses

   1905-12   Paraphrase   Part 1: 1905

   Transcription of 'Künstlerleben'

   Original composer: Strauss II

   Piano: Earl Wild

 Symphonic Metamorphoses

   1905-12   Paraphrase   Part 2: 1907

   Transcription of 'Die Fledermaus'

   Original composer: Strauss II

   Piano: Dan Sato

 Symphonic Metamorphoses

   1905-12   Paraphrase   Part 3: 1912

   Transcription of 'Wein, Weib und Gesang'

   Original composer: Strauss II

   Piano: Marc-André Hamelin

Birth of Classical Music: Leopold Godowsky

Leopold Godowsky

Source: Bach Cantatas
Birth of Classical Music: Leopold Godowsky

Florent Schmitt

Source: Into Classics
Born in 1870 in Meurthe-et-Moselle, France, Florent Schmitt studied music in Nancy before entering the Paris Conservatoire at age nineteen. He won the Prix de Rome in 1900. (The Prix de Rome was the most distinguished scholarship one could win in France, rewarding three to five years of accommodations to study in Italy or elsewhere.) He also joined Les Apaches during that period, a group of composers who rallied about Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel another member. By 1910 Schmitt's compositions were making his a big name. He was a music critic for 'Le Temps' from 1929 to 1939. Even as the articles he wrote sparked controversy, Schmitt had been a highly popular composer until World War II, sympathizing with Nazi Germany and Vichy (occupied) France. He passed away in Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1958, his 'Symphony 2' his last completed work. Schmitt had written well above a hundred works, largely for chamber and orchestra, as well as ballets and pieces for piano and voice. Schmitt had also recorded.

Florent Schmitt   1890 - 1958


   1913   Op 62   For wind band

   Philharmonic Winds


   1943/1944   Op 96   4 pieces

   Tarihere Quartet

 Psalm XLVII

   1904   Op 38   Psalm

   Orchestre Symphonique de Sao Paulo

   Yan Pascal Tortelier

 Saxophone Quartet

   1948   Op 102

   Raintree Saxophone Quartet

 Suite en rocaille

   1934   Op 84   4 pieces

   Quinteto Tournier

 Symphony 2

   1958   Op 137

   Orchestre National de la RTF

   Charles Munch

 La Tragédie de Salomé

   1907   Op 50   Ballet

   Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra

   Yan Pascal Tortelier

  Born in 1871 in Alexander von Zemlinsky was a Jewish romantic composer who transitioned to the modern period during his later career. He played piano and organ as a child before entering the Vienna Conservatory in 1884. He also studied under Anton Bruckner. Zemlinsky is thought to have begun composing intently in 1892. He was a founder of the Polyhymnia Orchestra in 1895. His first published work was his 'Clarinet Trio' of 1896 with the assistance of Johannes Brahms. In 1897 Zemlinksy became kapellmeister at the new Vienna Volksoper. From 1911 to 1927 he conducted at the State Opera in Prague. He then worked with conductor, Otto Klemperer, in Berlin at the Kroll Opera. In 1930 he converted from Judaism to Protestantism. Zemlinksy fled Germany for Vienna in 1933 upon Adolf Hitler becoming Chancellor that year, only to leave Austria for New York City in 1938. He was yet working on the opera, 'Circe', when in 1939 he began to experience a number of strokes that put an end to composing. He died of pneumonia in 1942 in New York City, having composed for chamber, orchestra, piano and voice, in addition to eight operas. He had also been in great demand as a teacher.

Alexander Zemlinsky   1892 - 1939

 Eine florentinische Tragödie

   1916   Op 16   Opera   1 act

   London Philharmonic Orchestra

   Vladimir Jurowski

   Soprano (Bianca): Heike Wessels

 Lyrische Symphonie

1923   Op 18   7 songs

   Baritone: Juha Uusitalo

   Soprano: Solveig Kringelborn

   Philharmonia Orchestra/Esa-Pekka Salonen

 Die Seejungfrau (The Little Mermaid)

1902–03   Symphonic poem   Fantasy

   Deutsches Symphony Orchestra

   Ingo Metzmacher

 Symphony 1 in D minor


   North German Radio Symphony Orchestra

   Antony Beaumont

 Symphony 2 in B-flat major


   Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra

   Edgar Seipenbusch

 Der Zwerg

   1919–21   Op 17   Opera   1 act

   Frankfurter Kantorei

   Gürzenich-Orchester Kölner Philharmoniker

   James Conlon

Birth of Classical Music: Alexander von Zemlinsky

Alexander von Zemlinsky

Source: Arnold Schoenberg
Birth of Classical Music: Ralph Vaughan Williams

Ralph Vaughan Williams

Source: Britannica
Born in 1872 in Gloucestershire, Ralph Vaughan Williams was very much the English composer as compared to modern. Composing on the island in the late Romantic and early Modern took a decidedly different route than on the continent with such as the so-called Impressionists, Les Six, Expressionism, Surrealism, etc.. Williams largely dispensed with "modern" music and continued along the veins of the Romantic toward what he called "pure" music, that is, simply music. William's father was a vicar at All Saints Church. He began piano and composition at age six, violin the next year. A couple of the larger names with whom he associated at the Royal College of Music in London were Gustav Holst and Leopold Stokowski. He also studied with Max Bruch in Berlin and Maurice Ravel in Paris. Williams was thirty by the time of his published composition, the song, 'Linden Lea' (written 1901). Williams began conducting the Leith Hill Music Festival in Dorking each year until 1953. His career as a composer began to take off about 1910, but upon World War I he enlisted in the medical corps, forty-one years of age. He bore stretchers in France until making second lieutenant in the artillery in 1917. He became Director of Music of the First Army in 1918. He made his only commercial recording in 1937 (his fourth symphony having premiered in 1935), though recordings by others would follow. His last (9th) symphony premiered (May) three months before his death in August 1958. He had written largely operas, ballets, chamber works, orchestral works, concerti, film scores and songs. Though an atheist-agnostic, Williams had also written sacred pieces such as hymns and choral music.

Vaughan Williams   1895 - 1958

 Dona Nobis Pacem

   1936   Sacred cantata   5 movements

   Eastman-Rochester Chorus

   Eastman School SO/Yunn-Shan Ma

   Soprano: Michaela Anthony

 The Lark Ascending

1914 Revised 1920   Romance

   Violin: Janine Jansen

 Piano Concerto in C major


   Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

   James Judd

   Piano: Ashley Wass

 Sancta Civitas in C

   1925   Sacred oratorio

   The Bach Choir

   Winchester Cathedral Choristers

   Winchester College Quiristers

   Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

   David Hill

 Symphony 2

   'A London Symphony'   4 movements

   1911–13 Revised 1918 1920 1933

   London Philharmonic/Sir Roger Norrington

 Symphony 4 in F minor

   1935   4 movements

   BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

   Andrew Manze

 Symphony 6 in E minor

   1947   4 movements

   BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

   Andrew Manze


Born in Danbury, Connecticut, in 1874, Charles Ives is the first American composer in these histories of classical music. His father served as a bandleader during the Civil War. Ives began performing as youth as a drummer for his father. He is thought to have begun composing about the time he became a church organist at age fourteen. Among his earliest known works is 'Variations on America' written in 1891. He continued composing in college at Yale, but took his first employment as an actuary for Mutual Life, beginning his own insurance company in 1907. Ives composed his last song, 'Sunrise', in 1926. In 1930 he retired from the insurance business for reasons of health, such as diabetes, and continued revising previous works but wrote nothing new until his death in 1954 in New York City. A minor composer, Ives wrote largely for chamber, orchestra, keyboard and song.

Charles Ives   1888 - 1926

 Piano Sonata 2 (Concord Sonata)

    1915   Piano: Gilbert Kalish

 Songs of Charles Ives   [Selection]

Mezzosoprano: Susan Graham

Piano: Pierre-Laurent Aimard


1926   Final composition

Piano: Michael Stewart

    Soprano: Lucy Shelton

Violin: Itamar Zorman

 Symphony 1 in D minor

1898-1902   4 movements

Perm Theatre Orchestra/Valeriy Platonov

 Symphony 2

1897 1901   5 movements

    New York Philarmonic Orchestra

    Leonard Bernstein

 Symphony 3 (The Camp Meeting)

    1901 Revised 1911   B flat major

    Movement 1: 'Old Folks Gatherin'

    Northern Sinfonia

Conductor: James Sinclair

 Symphony 3 (The Camp Meeting)

1901 Revised 1911   B flat major

Movement 2: 'Children's Day'

Northern Sinfonia

    Conductor: James Sinclair

 Symphony 3 (The Camp Meeting)

    1901 Revised 1911   B flat major

Movement 3: 'Communion'

Northern Sinfonia

    Conductor: James Sinclair

 Symphony 4


Detroit Symphony Orchestra & Chorus

    Leonard Slatkin

 Three Places in New England

'Orchestral Set 1'

1903-14 Revised 1929   3 movements

BBC National Orchestra of Wales

    Nicholas Collon


Birth of Classical Music: Charles Ives

Charles Ives   Circa 1946

Photo: Halley Erskine/Yale Music Library

Source:  Well-Tempered Ear
Birth of Classical Music: Arnold Schoenberg

Arnold Schoenberg

Source:  All Music
Born in 1874 in Vienna, Austria, Arnold Schoenberg was a Jewish expressionist composer born to a shopkeeper for a father. He was also an expressionist painter. With the exception of Alexander Zemlinsky, Schoenberg was self-taught. He began composing in the romantic manner in about 1894, his expressionist period also to follow. In 1898 he converted to Christianity. About 1908 he began examining the atonality that put him at the avant-garde of the modern period. He attempted to enter the Austrian army as an officer during World War I but was medically unfit for respiratory causes. His third period began in 1923, commencing with his dodecaphonic or "twelve-tone" compositional method. (Among the technical developments in modern classical was serialism, a chromatic scale of 12 notes [dodecaphonic] to replace the seven notes of the major and minor scales, Schoenberg's system the most influential. George Perle developed a dodecaphonic system as well.) Upon the 1924 death of Ferruccio Busoni, Schoenberg succeeded him as a teacher of composition at the Prussian Academy of Arts in Berlin. In 1933 upon vacation in France he was cautioned to not return to that post. He then converted back to Judaism (later granting credence to astrology) and moved to America in 1934, first Boston, then Los Angeles where he taught at the University of Southern California. He became a citizen in 1941. He died in 1951, having largely written for chamber, orchestra, keyboard and voice in addition to several operas.

Arnold Schoenberg   1894 - 1951

 3 Pieces

   1909   Op 11   3 pieces for piano

   Piano: Matthew Edwards

 5 Pieces

   1920-23   Op 23   5 pieces for piano

   Piano: Glenn Gould

 Pelleas and Melisande

   1902-03 Revised 1911 1920

   Op 5   Symphonic poem

   Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester

   Claudio Abbado


   1923   Op 24   7 movements

   ISCM Concert Group/Dimitri Mitropoulos

 String Quartets 1-4

   1904-5 Op 7   1907-08 Op 10

   1927 Op 30   1936 Op 37

   Arditti Quartet

 Suite Op 25

    1921–1923   Op 25   6 pieces for piano

   Piano: Paul Jacobs

 Suite Op 29

   1926   Op 29   4 movements

   Ensemble InterContemporain

   Piano: Cristian Petrescu

 Verklärte Nacht

   1899   'Transfigured Night'

   Op 4   String sextet

   NEC Contemporary Ensemble Concert

   John Heiss

Birth of Classical Music: Blue Self Portrait by Schoenberg

Blue Self Portrait by Schoenberg

Source:  Wkipedia
  Born in Pozsony, Austria-Hungary, in 1874, Franz Schmidt was a largely Hungarian Roman Catholic. Moving to Vienna with his family in 1888, he there entered the Vienna Conservatory, graduating in 1896. He then played cello with the Vienna Court Opera Orchestra until 1914 when he became a professor of piano at the Vienna Conservatory (Imperial Academy of Music and the Performing Arts at the time). He also played cello Vienna Court Opera Orchestra. He became Director of the Academy in 1825, Rector from 1927 to 1931. He taught piano, cello, counterpoint and composition. Health issues wrought his retirement from the Academy in 1937, the same year he completed his oratorio, 'The Book with Seven Seals', 1937. That work is believed to be the first oratorio to address the 'Book of Revelation' by John. As to whether he was a Nazi, working in Vienna in an Austria annexed by Germany made that a complex situation already. Said to have given the Nazi salute on at least one occasion, he was also said to be but politically naive, neither anti-Semitic nor Nazi, having a number of Jewish musical associates to their benefit. Still, Schmidt's last work was 'German Resurrection', commissioned by Hitler with Nazi text. He left it intentionally incomplete while finishing other works. Its music was too good to destroy, but with dubitable theme, thus making 'Clarinet Quintet in A major' and 'Toccata in D minor' his last two finished works. Schmidt died in February of 1939. The greatest number of his works were for organ, though his catalogue is full with the regular repertoire of the regular composer. More a composer keeping abreast during the early modern period than any sort of modernist, Schmidt was most assuredly a Romantic (with a little mysticism mixed into his brew). He'd not have been lauded in Nazi Austria otherwise. 

Franz Schmidt   1890 - 1939

  Piano Concerto in E flat major

    1934   3 movements

    Wiener Jeunesse Orchester/Herbert Böck

    Piano: Karl-Andreas Kolly

 Symphony 1 in E major

    1896–1899   4 movements

    Malmö Symphony Orchestra

    Vassily Sinaisky

  Symphony 2 E flat major

    1911–13   3 movements

    Wiener Philharmoniker/Erich Leinsdorf

  Symphony 3 in A major

    1928   4 movements

    Malmö Symphony Orchestra

    Vassily Sinaisky

  Symphony 4 in C major

    1932-33   4 movements

    Wiener Philharmoniker/Zubin Mehta

  Toccata in C major

    1924   For organ

    Organ: Péter Szeles

  Variationen über ein Husarenlied

    1931   Theme - 15 variations - Coda

    Wiener Philharmoniker

    Hans Knappertsbusch

Birth of Classical Music: Franz Schmidt

Franz Schmidt

Source:  Kultur Tirol
  Born in 1875, the same year as Ravel, in Vienna, violinist Fritz Kreisler studied at both the Vienna and Paris conservatories. A bridge figure spanning late Romantic and early Modern, he first visited the United States in 1888. Returning to Austria the next year, he switched from music to medicine upon inability to obtain a position with the Vienna Philharmonic. Also spending time in the military, he returned to violin in 1899, also beginning to compose about that time, though not with any emphasis to detract from his focus on performing. Concerts in Berlin and the United States around the turn of the century brought his career firmly about, first recording in 1904. Kreisler joined the Austrian Army during World War I. Upon being wounded he was discharged, whence he returned to New York to publish 'Four Weeks in the Trenches' in 1915. He recorded a Bach concerto with violinist, Efrem Zimbalist, in 1915 as well. 1924 found him in Berlin again, then leaving for France in 1938. The outbreak of World War II found Kreisler back in America, becoming a citizen in 1943. He delivered his last public concert in 1947. He died in NYC in 1962 and was buried in Bronx. Kreisler was far more celebrated as a virtuoso than a composer. He nevertheless wrote a strong number of works, especially for piano and violin. Though his main love was pulling material out of the past, he arranged some modern compositions as well. He plays violin on a number of pieces below, all composed by Kreisler unless otherwise noted.

Fritz Kreisler   1905 - 1962

 Chanson sans paroles

   Composer: Tchaikovsky   1867   Op 2:3

   Piano piece [arranged with violin]

   Violin: Fritz Kreisler   Recorded 1904

 Chamber Symphony

   'In the style of Vivaldi'   3 movements

   RCA Victor String Orchestra

 Liebesfreud (Love's Joy)


   Piano: Franz Rupp   Violin: Fritz Kreisler

   Recorded 1938

 Liebesleid (Love's Sorrow)


   Violin: Fritz Kreisler

   Recording 1: 1930 Berlin

   Recording 2: 1942 Philadelphia

 Sarabande for violin and piano

   Composer: Sulzer   Op 8   Published 1888

   Violin: Fritz Kreisler   Recorded 1904

 Praeludium and Allegro


   'In the style of Pugnani'   For piano & violin

   Double bass: Catalin Rotaru

   Isolda Crespi: Piano

 Tempo di Minuetto


   'In the style of Pugnani'   For piano & violin


 Viennese Rhapsodic Fantasietta


   Conductor: Donald Voorhees

   Violin: Fritz Kreisler

Birth of Classical Music: Fritz Kreisler

Fritz Kreisler

Source:  Richard Hacken
Birth of Classical Music: Pau Casals

Pau Casals   1965

Source:  Britannica
Born Pau Casals i Defilló in 1876 in El Vendrell, Catalonia, Spain, Pablo Casals wasn't so much a composer as conductor and not so much a conductor as a cello virtuoso. Casals' father had been an organist and choir master. He began playing violin, piano and flute at age four, then chose the cello at eleven. Casals composed 'The shepherds in Bethlehem' with the assistance of his father in 1883. He entered the Escola Municipal de Música in Barcelona in 1888. He gave his first public recital on cello in 1891. Beginning in 1893 he studied composition at the Real Conservatorio de Música y Declamación in Madrid. Casals tried working in Paris briefly before returning to Escola Municipal de Música as a faculty member. He also joined the orchestra at the Liceu, an opera house in Barcelona. In 1899 Casals played in London at the Crystal Palace as well as for Queen Victoria at her Osborne House. He next toured Paris, Spain and Netherlands before his first trip to America in 1901. He performed for Theodore Roosevelt in 1904 as well as at Carnegie Hall. In 1905 Casals formed a trio with pianist, Alfred Cortot, and violinist, Jacques Thibaud, with whom he worked until 1937. Casals made his first recordings for Columbia in 1915. Like other composers who made early acoustic recordings, such were as much imposed by the existence of the gramophone as any desire to record for dissemination or posterity because acoustic recordings sounded horrible. Like other composers, he made his initial obligatory gramophone recordings, but would not record again until development of studio electronics in the twenties made recording more worth the while (1926 for Casals). Casals didn't begin conducting until 1919 when he formed the Pau Casals Orchestra. Its first performance in 1920, it ceased existence upon the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in 1936 (Casals a Republican). In 1926 he composed 'La Sardana'. During World War II Casals settled in Prades in the French Pyrenees. In 1950 he organized the first Prades Festival, over which he would annually preside until 1966. In 1955 he toured Puerto Rico where the first annual Casals Festival was inaugurated in 1956. Casals founded the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra in 1958 and the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico in 1959. Appearing in the documentary film, 'Windjammer', in 1958, his 'El Pessebre' premiered in 1960. In 1961 he performed for President, John Kennedy. A number of his master classes during the sixties were televised. Among his last compositions was 'Hymn of the United Nations', premiering at the United Nations in 1971. Casals died in 1973 in Puerto Rico from complications following a heart attack three weeks prior. Having refused to perform in Spain during the Franco regime (1939-75), Casals wasn't there honored but posthumously in 1976 by King Juan Carlos I. He began performing 'Song of the Birds' (below) to begin each concert in 1939 upon his exile from Spain, thought to have never returned. The six Brandenburg concertos (BWV 1046-51) by Johann Sebastian Bach (below) are example of Casals conducting (Marlboro Festival Orchestra). Bach composed them in 1721. 'El Pessebre' (below) is an oratorio that Casals composed to premier in 1960. The libretto is by Joan Alavedra. It was performed at the Centre Artístic Musical de Bétera, Spain, in 2012. The rest of the list consists of either his own compositions and/or performances.

Pau Casals  1893 - 1973

 Brandenburg Concerto 1

 Brandenburg Concerto 2

 Brandenburg Concerto 3

 Cello Sonata in F major

   Composer: Beethoven   1796   Op 5:1

   Piano: Mieczysław Horszowski

   Violin: Pablo Casals   Recorded 1939

 Cello Suite 6 in D major

   Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach

   1720?   BWV 1012   7 movements

   Cello: Pablo Casals

 A Concert at the White House   Side 1

   Recorded 1961   Released 1962

   Cello: Pablo Casals

   Piano: Mieczysław Horszowski

 A Concert at the White House   Side 2

   Recorded 1961   Released 1962

   Cello: Pablo Casals

   Piano: Mieczysław Horszowski

 El Pessebre   [Part 1]

 El Pessebre   [Part 2]

 El Pessebre   [Part 3]

 El Pessebre   [Part 4]

 Hymn to United Nations

   Premiere 1971   United Nations

   Bolshoj Opera Theatre of Belarus

   Choirmaster: Nina Lamanovich

   Conductor: Vyachaslau Bartnouski

 La Sardana

   1926   For cello   Conductor: Geoffrey Simon

 Song of the Birds

   'El Cant dels Ocells'

   Traditional Catalan Christmas lullaby

   Cello: Pablo Casals

   Performance: 1971   United Nations

  Born in 1876 in Cádiz in southern Spain, Manuel de Falla began taking formal lessons in piano at age nine. He composed a lost stage work in 1887 titled, 'El conde de Villamediana'. In 1896 he entered the Real Conservatorio de Música y Declamación in Madrid. He entered into a serious stage of composing in 1900, teaching the meanwhile. It was about that time that Andalusian Flamenco became of interest to him. (Andalusia is Spain's southernmost autonomous community.) Among his compositions during that period were a number of zarzuelas. In 1907 Falla moved to Paris where he aligned himself with the more modern composers such as Ravel. He received a grant in 1908 form King Alfonso XIII to complete 'Cuatro piezas españolas'. In 1911 he began a tour of London, Brussels and Milan. During World War I he left Paris for Madrid, there coming something into his own during the War. He composed 'The Bewitched Love' in 1915, 'Nights in the Gardens of Spain' in 1916 and worked with Pablo Picasso on 'The Three-Cornered Hat' in 1917. Moving to Granada in 1921. He there began working on a cantata called 'Atlántida' in 1927 which grew over the decades into the opera, 'Atlántida', finally premiering posthumously in Barcelona in 1962, though left unfinished. (Falla considered 'Atlántida' to be his best work.) In 1939 he moved to Argentina, Franco having been victorious upon the Spanish Civil War. He was knighted by Alfonso X of Castile in 1940. He died of cardiac arrest in November of 1946 in Alta Gracia, Argentina.

Manuel de Falla   1900 - 1946

 El amor brujo (Spell-bound Love)

   1914–1925   Ballet

   Orquesta de Postsmout/John Rosten

   Contralto: Dolores Arriaga

  Fantasia Baetica

   1919   For piano to Arthur Rubinstein

Aldo Ciccolini

 Nights in Spanish Gardens

1915   Three gardens

   Chicago Symphony Orchestra

   Piano: Daniel Barenboim

 Pour le tombeau de Claude Debussy

   1920   For guitar

   Guitar: Julian Bream

 Pour le tombeau de Paul Dukas

   1935   For piano

   Piano piece [arranged with violin]

   Violin: Fritz Kreisler   Recorded 1904

 The Three-Cornered Hat

   1917   Ballet

   BBC Philharmonic/Juanjo Mena

   Mezzosoprano: Clara Mouriz

 Serenata Andaluza

   1899   For piano

   Piano: Azumi Nishizawa

Birth of Classical Music: Manuel de Falla

Manuel de Falla

Source:  Britannica
Birth of Classical Music: Franz Schreker

Franz Schreker

Source:  NAXOS
Born in 1878 in Monaco, Franz Schreker was a Jew born to a court photographer. His family moving to Vienna in 1888, Schreker entered the Vienna Conservatory in 1892 with a scholarship. He there studied violin and composition, began conducting with a group of associates he called the Dobling Friends of Music in 1895, then graduated in 1900. He completed his first opera, 'Flammen', in 1902, but it was never performed in Schreker's lifetime. He formed the Vienna Philharmonic Chorus in 1907. Schreker became a professor at the Vienna Music Academy in 1913. In 1920 he was appointed director of the Hochschule für Musik (Berlin University of the Arts). The rise of National Socialism in Germany saw Schreker stripped of his teaching posts as of 1933, the year before he died of stroke on Berlin. He had written largely operas and orchestral works.

Franz Schreker   1898 - 1934

 Chamber Symphony


   Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

   Gerard Schwarz


Premier: 1933   Opera   2 acts

   Kiel Opera Chorus

   Kiel Philharmonic Orchestra/Ulrich Windfuhr


1902   Op 11

   WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln und Chor

   Peter Gulke

 Ein Tanzspiel


   WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln/Peter Gulke

 Vorspiel zu einem Drama


   Gürzenich-Orchester Kölner/James Conlon

 Das Weib des Intaphernes

   1932–1933   Melodrama

   Sprecher: Gerd Westphal

 Der Wind


   Grupo Encuentros/Alicia Terzian

  Born in 1879 in Bologna, Ottorino Respighi had a piano teacher for a father. He was more a romantic who composed during the Early Modern period than a modernist of any sort. Graduating from studies in Bologna in composition, music history, viola and violin in 1900, Respighi went to St. Petersburg where he became a violist at the Russian Imperial Theatre. He also studied composition with Rimsky-Korsakov. He spent a brief time in Germany in 1908 before returning to Italy in 1909. In 1913 Respighi began teaching at the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia in Rome. He began making his name in Europe with the premier of his symphonic poem, 'Fountains of Rome', in 1917. The first performance of his 'Brazilian Impressions' was in 1928 in Rio de Janeiro. Though said to be apolitical, Respighi became a member of the Royal Academy of Italy in 1932, a Fascist organization of academics, artists and intellectuals (1926-43) in which atmosphere he worked until his death of cardiac infection in 1936. He had composed largely chamber, choral, dramatic and orchestral works. P numbers below per Potito Pedarra.

Ottorino Respighi   1900 - 1936

 Fontane di Roma

   1916   P 115   Symphonic poem   4 movements

   National Youth Orchestra of Canada

 Impressioni brasiliane

  1928 P 153 3 pieces

   1: Tropical Night

   2: Butantan

   3: Song and Dance

   The London Symphony Orchestra

   Antal Dorati

 Lauda per la Natività del Signore

   1930   P 166   Song

   City of London Sinfonia/Richard Hickox

 Sonata in B minor

   1917   P 110

   Violin: Leonidas Kavakos

Yuja Wang

 Trittico botticelliano

1927   P 151   3 paintings

   1: La primavera

   2: L'adorazione dei Magi

   3: La nascita di Venere

   Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

 Gli uccelli (The Birds)

   1928   P 154

   Prelude - Dove - Hen - Nightingale - Cuckoo

   Atlanta Symphony Orchestra/Louis Lane

Birth of Classical Music: Ottorino Respighi

Ottorino Respighi

Source: Bach Cantatas
Birth of Classical Music: Edgar Bainton

Edgar Bainton

Source: Tchaikovsky Research
Born in London in 1800, Edgar Leslie Bainton was raised in Coventry, the son of a minister. His first public appearance at piano was at age nine. In 1896 he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music. Among his first compositions was a prelude an fugue in 1898. He began teaching at the Newcastle upon Tyne Conservatory of Music in 1901. Bainton was in Germany in 1914 to attend the Bayreuth Festival when World War I began. He was arrested and interned at a detention camp for the next four years. Returning to the Conservatory after the War, he began touring internationally in 1930, visiting Australia and Canada, then India in 1932. In 1934 Bainton became director at the New South Wales State Conservatorium of Music in Sydney in 1934. His opera, 'The Pearl Tree', premiered in Sydney in 1944. In addition to conducting the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Bainton also briefly conducted the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. He lectured in Canada for a time, until a heart attack took his life in 1956 while at the beach in Sydney. He had composed works for orchestra, including symphonies, chamber and chorus, as well as church music and songs.

Edgar Bainton   1898 - 1956

 And I Saw a New Heaven


   Guildford Cathedral Choir/Barry Rose

 Into the Silent Land/The Goddess' Glory

   Adelaide Singers/Patrick Thomas

 Pavane, Idyll and Bacchanal

   BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Paul Daniel

 String Quartet in A major


   Austral String Quartet

 Symphony 2 in D minor


   Sydney Symphony Orchestra

   Edgar Bainton

 Symphony 3 in C minor

   1956   4 movements

   BBC Concert Orchestra/Vernon Handley

 Three Pieces for Orchestra

   1: Elegy   2: Intermezzo   3: Humoresque

   Sydney Symphony Orchestra/Joseph Post

  Born in Parma, Italy, in 1880, Ildebrando Pizzetti had a pianist and piano teacher for a father. Pizzetti enrolled at the entered the Conservatorium of Parma in 1895. He was Director at the Conservatory of Florence from 1917 to 1923, the Milan Conservatory in 1923 and at the Academy of St. Cecilia in Rome from 1936 to 1958. In 1939 he became a member of the Royal Academy of Italy, a Fascist organization of academics, artists and intellectuals (1926-43) in which climate he worked through World War II. Which is about all we know about that. Of interest, however, is the recording below of 'Symphony in A', composed for recording in 1940 in celebration of 2600 years of Japanese Empire, major ally of Fascist Italy. (It also happens to be the earliest recording by Japanese musicians in this entire history. I think.) He died in 1968, not well known beyond Italy. Pizzetti had composed largely chamber, orchestral and dramatic works (operas).

Ildebrando Pizzetti   1895 - 1968

 Assassinio nella cattedrale

    1958   Opera

    C & Odel Teatro alla Scala di Milan

    Gianandrea Gavazzeni


    1952   Opera

    C & OS di Torino della RAI

    Cagliostro: Aldo Bertocci

 Concerto dell'estate


    Orchestra della Suisse Romande

    Lamberto Gardelli

  Piano sonata

1942   Piano: Fabio Rosai

 Sinfonia del fuoco

1914   For the silent film 'Cabiria'

    Baritone: Boris Statsenk

    Städtischer Operncho


    Oleg Caetani

 Lo straniero

1930   Opera   2 acts

    Coro dell'Oratorio dell'Immacolata

    C & OS della Rai di Milano

    Armando La Rosa Parodi

 Symphony in A


    Imperial 2600th-Years Festeval SO

   Gaetano Komeri   Recorded 1940

Birth of Classical Music: Ildebrando Pizzetti

Ildebrando Pizzetti

Source: Citazioni
Birth of Classical Music: Bela Bartok 

Bela Bartok

Source: Pax On Both Houses
Born in 1881 in a town in Hungary (presently Sânnicolau Mare, Romania) Béla Bartók had learned to play forty tunes on the piano by age four and began formal training the next year. His father dying when he was seven, Bartok's mother took him to live in present-day Ukraine, then present-day Bratislava, Slovakia. He there gave his first public recital at age eleven of a piece he had composed two years earlier called 'The Course of the Danube'. Bartok began studies at the Royal Academy of Music (now the Franz Liszt Academy of Music) in Budapest in 1899. His first major orchestral work was the symphonic poem, 'Kossuth', completed in in 1903. Upon graduation he began touring Europe until taking a teaching position at the Academy in 1907. In 1908 he traveled about Hungary with Zoltán Kodály to study and record Magyar folk songs. He wrote his only opera, 'Bluebeard's Castle', in 1911, revised in 1917 for its premier the next year. Bartok had been raised Roman Catholic, became an atheist, then a Unitarian in 1916. His ballet, 'The Miraculous Mandarin', premiered in 1926. As the Nazis rose to power in the thirties Bartok ceased performing and publishing in Germany, eventually immigrating to New York City in 1940. He became a citizen in 1945. Having recorded in Hungary, he also recorded for Columbia Records in the States. In addition to touring and teaching, Bartok studied Croatian and Serbian folk songs with his wife, Ditta, on a fellowship from Columbia University. He died in NYC in 1945 of leukemia and was buried in Budapest. Bartok had written for chamber, orchestra, stage, piano and voice. Per below, bagatelles are simply brief and light piano pieces. 'Bluebeard's Castle' and 'Miraculous Mandarin' (each below) are examples of Expressionist composing. Bartok had revised his own opus numbers three times, complicating their actual sequence. A few systems later arose, those cited below by László Somfai (BB) and András Szőllősy (SZ).

Béla Bartók   1890 - 1945

 14 Bagatelles

    1908   BB 50   SZ 38   Op 6

    14 piano pieces

    Piano: Zoltán Kocsis

 Bluebeard's Castle

    1911 Revised 1917   SZ 48   Opera

    BBC National Orchestra of Wales

    Mark Elder

 Concerto for Orchestra

    1943   BB 123   SZ 116   5 movements

    Orchestra of the University of Music

    Nicolás Pasquet

 The Miraculous Mandarin

    1916   Op 16   Opera   1 act

    London Philharmonic Orchestra

    Vladimir Jurowski

    Soprano (Bianca): Heike Wessels

 Piano Concerto 3 E major

    1945   BB 127   SZ 119

    Indiana University Concert Orchestra

    Scott Sandmeier

    Piano: Clare Longendyke

 String Quartet 1

    1908-1909   BB 52   SZ 40   Op 7

    Parker Quartet

 String Quartet 4

    1928   SZ 91   C major

    Quatuor Ebène

 Suite 1 for Orchestra

    1905 Revised 1920?   SZ 31   Op 1

    Hungarian State Orchestra/Janos Farencsik

  Born in 1881 in Warsaw, Poland, then part of Russia, Nikolai Yakovlevich Myaskovsky was the son of an Army officer and engineer. He was in his teens when taken with his family, minus his mother who had died, to St. Petersburg. Myaskovsky learned piano and violin as a youth but joined the military. He studied music formally a bit while in the military, then enrolled into the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1906. Graduating in 1911, he then taught at the Conservatory while building a career as a music critic. He won the Glinka Prize in 1916. Fighting in the Red Army at the Austrian Front during World War I, he developed shell-shock, then worked on naval fortifications at Talinin (Estonia) where he produced his fourth and fifth symphonies. Upon release from military service in 1921 Myaskovsky became a professor at the Moscow Conservatory. (His father, a Tsarist general, had been killed by Red Army soldiers during the winter of 1918-19.) Completing his sixth symphony in 1923, he also began publishing, acquiring international fame during the twenties. His 'Salutation Overture' was dedicated to Stalin on the latter's sixtieth birthday (1938). During World War II Myaskovsky completed his 22nd and 23rd symphonies. In 1947 Myaskovsky's work was condemned alongside Shostakovich, Khachaturian and Prokofiev for formalism (conformity to European classical forms, such as Mozart), modernism (decadence) and anti-proletariat sentiment (elitism). Refusing to make an appearance of apology to the Composer's Union, one might think of his 27th symphony as a response, completed before his death in August 1950, though premiering four months posthumously. Ironically, it won him his third Stalin Prize. Myaskovsky left a lasting impression on an impressive list of students. Among his chamber works are thirteen string quartets, 27 symphonies among his orchestral pieces, and nine piano sonatas among his instrumental works. He had also composed a bit of choral music.

Nikolai Myaskovsky   1906 - 1950

 Cello Sonata 1 in D major

    1911 Revised 1935   Op 12

    Cello: Jan-Erik Gustafsson

   Piano: Graham Jackson

 Cello Sonata 2 in A minor

1948   Op 81

Cello: Natalia Gutman

    Piano: Viacheslav Poprugin

 String Quartet 13 in A minor

    1950   Op 86   Borodin Quartet

 Symphony 1 in C minor

    1908   Revised 1921   Op 3

    State SO of the Ministry of Culture

    Gennady Rozhdestvensky

 Symphony 6 in E flat minor

    1921-1923   Op 23

    London Philharmonic Choir

    Vladimir Jurowski

 Symphony 10 in F minor

    1927   Op 30

    Boston Symphony Orchestra

    Oliver Knussen

 Symphony 22 in B minor

    1941   Op 54   'Symphony-Ballad'

    St. Petersburg State Academic SO

    Alexander Titov

 Birth of Classical Music: Bela Bartok

Nikolai Myaskpvsky

Source: Belcanto
Birth of Classical Music: Zoltan Kodaly

Zoltan Kodaly

Source: Famous People
Born in 1882 in Kecskemét, Hungary, Zoltán Kodály was a violinist and pedagogue who in 1905 began traveling about Hungary to make gramophone recordings of Magyar folk songs sung by local peasants. Albeit a highly talented composer, Kodaly enjoyed small success until his 1923 premier of 'Psalmus Hungaricus'. He died in Budapest in 1967, having written largely chamber, choral and orchestral works.

Zoltán Kodály   1900 - 1967

 Concerto for Orchestra


    Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Paavo Jarvi

 Dances of Galánta


    London Philharmonic Orchestra

    Vladimir Jurowski

 Háry János Suite

    1926   6 movements

    Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra

    Juraj Valčuha

 Pange lingua

    1931 Praeludium for organ

    Cantus Arcis Chor/Dániel Dombó

    Orgel: Romuald Daems

 Psalmus Hungaricus

    1923   Op 13   Sir Georg Solti

 Sonata for Solo Cello

    1915   Op 8   B minor   3 movements

   London Philharmonic Orchestra

   Vladimir Jurowski

   Cello: Yo-Yo Ma

 Variations on a Hungarian Folkson

    1939   'The Peacock'

    Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra

    Phil Weller

  Born in 1891 in Liveni, Romania, George Enescu was composing as early as age five for piano and violin, 'Romanian Land' among his pieces. The next year (1887) a waltz appeared at the least. He entered the Vienna Conservatory at age seven in 1888, the youngest student to ever attend there. (Students were generally required to be at least fourteen years of age.) He performed at the Court of Vienna for Emperor Franz Joseph in 1891, the same year he began intent endeavors with orchestral pieces. Graduating at age 12, Enescu then studied at the Paris Conservatoire from 1895 to '99. His Opus 1 was the symphonic suite, 'Poème roumaine' composed in 1897, premiering the next year. His first trip to America was to conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in New York City in 1923. He would make future trips to America to conduct and record. His solitary opera, 'Œdipe', premiered in Paris in 1936. During World War II he worked in Paris and Bucharest, remaining in Paris upon Soviet occupation of Romania in 1944. He died in 1955 in Paris. Largely a champion of Romanian music, both folk and contemporary, Enescu composed mostly chamber and orchestral works, also leaving behind quite a number of lieder and solos for piano. A couple of Enescu's Romanian rhapsodies may be found under Eugene Ormandy. Enescu plays violin on recordings of 'Albumblatt' and 'Partita 2' below.

George Enescu
   1891 - 1955

 Albumblatt in E flat major

    Composer: Wagner   1875   Recorded 1924

    Violin: George Enescu


    1931   Op 23   Tragic opera   4 acts

    Chor und Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper

    Dirigent: Michael Gielen

 Study Symphony 4 in E flat major

    1898   WoO   3 movements

    Romanian National Radio Orchestra

    Horia Andreescu

 Octet for Strings in C major

    1900   Op 7   Violin: Ernst Kovacic &

 Partita 2 in D minor

    Composer: Bach   1720   BWV 1004

    Recorded: 1948-49

    Violin: George Enescu

 Poème roumaine

    1897   Op 1   Symphonic suite

    Romanian Radio and Television C & O

    Iosif Conta

 Symphony 2 in A major

    1912-14   Op 17   3 movements

    Romanian National Radio Orchestra

    Tiberia Soare

 Symphony 3 in C major

    1916–1918   Op 21

    Mariinsky Orchestra and Choir

    Valery Gergiev

 Violin Sonata 3

    1926   Op 25

    Piano: Mihaela Ursuleasa

    Violin: Patricia Kopatchinskaja

 Vox maris in G major

    1954   Symphonic Poem   3 parts

    Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus

    Conductor: Gennady Rozhdestvensky

Birth of Classical Music: George Enescu 

George Enescu

Source: C Muse
Birth of Classical Music: Gian Malipiero

Gian Malipiero

Source: NMC Recordings
Born in 1882 in Venice, Gian Francesco Malipiero there enrolled at the Liceo Musicale in 1899. He also studied with Max Bruch in Berlin from 1905 to 1909. It was 1913 that he went to Paris. He there met with major modernist composers such that he decided everything he'd written up to that time, with the exception of 'Impressioni dal vero' (1910-11), was worthless. He fled Venice for Rome in 1917 upon the Austro-Hungarian invasion of Caporetto. In 1821 he became a teacher of composition at the Parma Conservatory.In 1923 he made Asolo his permanent residence. He became a professor at the Liceo Musicale in 1932 (it's Director in 1939). In 1936 Malipeiro dedicated his 'Giulio Cesare' to Mussolini. He died in 1973. What draws attention to Malipiero is largely his symphonies, composed with intent to free them from standard German forms to give them a distinctly Italian manner. (Some have titled his works as sinfonias rather than symphonies to reflect such.) Also of interest is his awareness of the avant-garde modernists of his time while yet editing the complete works of Renaissance musician, Claudio Monteverdi, from 1926 to 1942. (He later edited concerti by Vivaldi at the Istituto Italiano.) Malipiero had composed works for chamber, orchestra, opera, piano and voice.

Gian Francesco Malipiero   1899 - 1973


   1966   Freon Ensemble/Stefano Cardi

 Fantasie di ogni giorno


   Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma

   Francesco La Vecchia

 Impressioni dal vero (Prima parte)


   Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma

   Francesco La Vecchia

 Impressioni dal vero (Seconda parte)


   Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma

   Francesco La Vecchia

 La Passione

   1935   Mystery play

   C & OS di Milano della RAI/Nino Sanzogno

 Sette Invenzioni

1933   7 pieces for orchestra

   Orchestra Filarmonica del Veneto

   Peter Maag

 Sinfonia del silenzio e de la morte


   Orchestra Sinfonica di Mosca

   Antonio de Almeida

 Sinfonia 1 (In quattro tempi)


   Orchestra Sinfonica di Mosca

   Antonio de Almeida

 Sinfonia 2 (Elegiaca)


   Orchestra Sinfonica di Mosca

   Antonio de Almeida

 Sinfonia 6 (Degli archi)


   Orchestra Filarmonica Italiana

   Dario Bisso Sabàdin

 Sinfonia 7 (Delle canzoni)


   Orchestra Sinfonica di Mosca

   Antonio de Almeida

 Sinfonia 11 (Delle cornamuse)


   Moscow Symphony Orchestra

   Antonio de Almeida

 Torneo notturno

   1929   Opera

   C & O del Teatro dell'Opera di Roma

   Ettore Gracis

  An Irish Pole born in London in 1882, Leopold Stokowski wasn't a composer. But he was among the stronger conductors of the early modern period and, in association with Walt Disney Studios, brought classical music to everyman. He entered the Royal College of Music in 1896. In 1900 he became choirmaster and organist at St Mary's Church, at St. Jame's in 1902. 1905 found him in the same capacities in New York City at St. Bartholomew's. Stokowski studied conducting in Paris before his conducting debut in May of 1909 with the Colonne Orchestra. He became conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra the same year. His debut as conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra was in October of 1912. Stokowski ceased conducting with a baton in 1929. He first appeared in film in 1937 in 'The Big Broadcast of 1937'. 1940 saw the release of the animation extravaganza, 'Fantasia', by Walt Disney Studios, of which he was musical director. He separated from the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1941 to conduct the NBC Symphony Orchestra for the next three years. He conducted a variety of orchestras before returning to the Philadelphia Orchestra as guest conductor from 1960 to 1969, also recording with that orchestra during that decade. Stokowski made his last appearance in 1975 at the Venice Music Festival in southern France, conducting Bach with the Rouen Chamber Orchestra. He made his last recordings in London with the Philadelphia Orchestra (symphonies by Bizet and Mendelssohn) shortly before his death in 1977 of heart attack in Nether Wallop, Hampshire. Stokowski conducted everything from Baroque to Modern. He is also largely responsible for the seating plan that most orchestras use, experimenting with such until he got the best sound. Though criticized for his liberal interpretations, his conducting has otherwise become a standard to achieve. 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' (below) is one of the tracks in the Disney film, 'Fantasia'. Other tracks from that film may be found under Johann Sebastian Bach, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Beethoven, Ponchielli and Mussorgsky.

Leopold Stokowski

 El amor brujo

   'The Love Witch'

   Composer: Manuel de Falla

   1914-15 Revised 1916-20

   Leningrad Symphonic Orchestra

   Leopold Stokowski

   Recorded 1958

 Clair de Lune

Composer: Claude Debussy   1890

   Philadelphia Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski

   Recorded April 1937

 Dives and Lazarus

Composer: Vaughan Willams

   Premier: 1939 Carnegie Hall

   Conductor: Stokowski   Recorded 1954

 The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Composer: Paul Dukas   1896–97

   Symphonic poem

   Philadelphia Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski

   Film: 'Fantasia'   1940

 Symphony 5 in D minor

Composer: Shostakovich   1937

   4 movements

   London Symphony Orchestra

   Leopold Stokowski

   Recorded 1964

Birth of Classical Music: Leopold Stokowsk

Leopold Stokowski

Source: Parterre
Birth of Classical Music: Igor Stravinsky

Igor Stravinsky

Source: Carnegie Hall
Born in 1882 in Saint Petersburg, Igor Stravinsky played piano and composed as a young boy. By age fifteen he was composing seriously. He entered the University of St. Petersburg in 1901 to study law, but meeting Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov the next year resulted in even less interest in a legal profession than he had had before. He studied beneath Rimsky-Korsakov from 1905 until the latter's death in 1908. Stravinsky's career began taking off in a large way in 1909 as of the premier of his fantasy, 'Fireworks', followed in 1910 by the ballet, 'Firebird', in Paris. He soon after began spending his summers in Russia and his winters in Switzerland. He was in Switzerland when World War I began in 1914. Making a quick trip back to the homeland to retrieve important items, he then left Russia, to not return for another 48 years. During the twenties he produced piano rolls for Pleyel et Cie and Aeolian, such as 'The Rite of Spring', 'Petrushka', 'The Firebird' and 'Song of the Nightingale'. By 1924 his income was sweet enough to purchase a home in Nice. Stravinsky and his wife became French citizens in 1934. Following his wife's death in 1939 he lectured for a year at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, marrying again the next year. He soon after made West Hollywood his home and became a U.S. citizen in 1945. Contrary to the myth, Stravinsky was never arrested for his arrangement of the 'Star-Spangled Banner'. He was only warned by police that rearrangements of the national anthem could be subject to a fine of $100. He was awarded the Sonning Award by Denmark in 1961, the year before finally returning to Russia to deliver concerts in Leningrad and Moscow. He moved to the Marriott Essex House in Manhattan in 1969, dying in 1971 of heart failure. Stravinsky had written more than 100 works for chamber, chorus, orchestra, stage, piano and voice. He is the conductor of his suite, 'The Firebird', below. He also features on the piano rolls below of 'Piano Sonata'. His 'Rite of Spring' was featured in the 1940 animation extravaganza, 'Fantasia' (another version below). He dabbles in Expressionism with 'Three Japanese Lyrics', also below.

Igor Stravinsky   1905 - 1971

 The Firebird

   1910   Ballet   2 tableau

   Conductor: Igor Stravinsky

 Les Noces (The Wedding)

   1914–17 1919–23 Premier 1923   Ballet

   Pokrovsky Ensemble/Dimitri Pokrovsky


   1911   Ballet   4 parts

   OS de Radiotelevisión Española

   Sergiu Comissiona

 Piano Sonata

   1924 Recorded 1925   3 movements

   Piano rolls

   Piano: Igor Stravinsky


   1920   Ballet   Boulder Chamber

 Rite of Spring

   1913   Ballet

   Radio Filharmonisch Orkest

   Jaap van Zweden

 Three Japanese Lyrics

   1913   3 songs

   Ensemble Intercontemporain

   Conducting: Robert Craft

   Sopran: Phyllis Bryn-Julson

 Violin Concerto in D

   1931   4 movements

   BBC Symphnoy Orchestra/David Robertson

   Violin: Gil Shaham

Birth of Classical Music: Anton Webern

Anton Webern

Source:  Bach Cantatas
Born in 1883 in Vienna, pianist Anton Friedrich Wilhelm von Webern was a Roman Catholic with a civil servant for a father. "Von" was removed from his name by decree of the Austrian government after World War I, abolishing traces of nobility. His first compositions are said to be a couple pieces for cello and piano in 1899. Webern attended Vienna University in 1902. He studied twelve-tone composition under Arnold Schoenberg before the appearance of his Op 1 in 1908: 'Passacaglia'. Upon graduation in Vienna he conducted at various theatres in what are now the Czech Republic and Poland. From 1918 to 1922 he assisted Schoenberg with the Society for Private Musical Performances, then conducted the Vienna Workers Symphony Orchestra until 1934. Webern's work was banned from the Nazi regime as degenerate in 1938, the year Germany annexed Austria (the Anschluss). Webern yet remained in Vienna, not able to publish and hardly eking a living in a complex situation not addressable here. In general, Weber early welcomed, and not, National Socialism, alike the populace, at least until its realities gradually became more apparent. He is known to have assisted Jews, and attended the premier of his Op 30 in Switzerland in 1943, where his music was legal, as compared to not, due that he maintained his musical integrity, preferring silence to compromise on that score and composing nothing to please the Nazi regime. Yet he worked for the police in an air raid capacity, and fled Vienna for Salzburg upon Russian forces nearing Austria in 1945. Just what was the case with Webern and Nazism wants lucidity, seeming veiled in a paradox or so. His death shortly afterward was a bit ironic as well, shot by accident, upon stepping out of his house to smoke a cigar, by an American GI, September 15, 1945, thirteen days after Japanese surrender had put an end to World War II. '5 Pieces for Orchestra', below, is an example of Expressionistic composition.

Anton Webern   1906 - 1945

 5 Pieces for Orchestra

1911-13   Op 10

   Berliner Philharmoniker/Pierre Boulez

 Fugue 2 (Ricercata)

1934-35   WoO

   London Symphony Orchestra/Pierre Boulez

 Im Sommerwind

1904   WoO   Idyll

   Cole Conservatory Orchestra

   Johannes Müller-Stosch


   1908   Op 1   Passacaglia

   London Symphony Orchestra/Pierre Boulez

 Rondo for string quartet

   1906   WoO   Cuarteto Quiroga

 String Quartet

1936-1938   Op 28   3 movements

   Juilliard String Quartet


   1928   Op 21   2 movements

   Berliner Philharmoniker/Pierre Boulez

 Variations for Piano

   1936   Op 27   Piano: Paola Visconti

  Born in 1885 in Vienna, Alban Berg began formal training under Arnold Schoenberg in 1904. His opus one was a piano sonata composed in 1907-08, published in 1910. From 1915 to 1918 Berg served in the Austro-Hungarian army, then began teaching in Vienna. Berg's music found little, even hostile, audience, until the premier of his opera, 'Wozzeck', in 1925. He died on Christmas Eve of 1935 from blood poisoning caused by an insect sting that developed into a carbuncle on his back. He had composed largely lieder for piano with voice, but also left behind works for chamber and orchestra, as well as a couple of operas. Both 'Lulu' and 'Wozzeck' below are examples of expressionist composition.

Alban Berg   1905 - 1935

 3 Orchesterstücke

    1914-15   Op 6   3 movements

    Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra

    Claudio Abbado


1929–35   Opera   3 acts

    O du Théâtre National de l'Opéra Paris

    Lulu: Teresa Stratas

 Sonata in B minor

    1907–1909?   Op 1

    Piano: Helene Grimaud

 Der Wein

    1929 Premier 1930   Aria

    Vienna Philharmonic/Pierre Boulez

    Soprano: Dorothea Roeschmann

  Violin Concerto

    1935   2 movements

    North German Radio S O

    Conducting: Thomas Hengelbrock

    Violin: Ivry Gitlis


    1914–22   Op 7   Opera

    Chorus of the Hamburg State Opera

    Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra

    Bruno Maderna

    Wozzeck: Toni Blankenheim

Birth of Classical Music: Alban Berg

Alban Berg

Source:  Mariinskiy
Birth of Classical Music: Otto Klemperer

Otto Klemperer

Source: More Than the Notes
Born in 1885 in Breslau, Germany (now Wrocław, Poland), Otto Klemperer never attained to reputation as a composer, but as a conductor his name looms as large as any other classical musician of the twentieth century. He studied at several institutions before becoming conductor at the German Opera in Prague in 1907. He worked for several German opera houses before leaving for the United States in 1933 upon the rise of National Socialism (he being Jewish). He became director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, then a U.S. citizen in 1937. Klemperer was diagnosed with a large brain tumor in 1939, resulting in partial paralysis and loss of his position with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In 1947 he returned to Europe to work at the Budapest Opera, also working as an itinerant conductor. Klemperer became conductor of the Philharmonia (founded 1945 in London) in 1959, then made Switzerland home base. He gave performances in Jerusalem a few years before dying in Zurich in 1973.

Otto Klemperer

 Merry Waltz (Lustiger Waltzer)

   1915   From 'Das Ziel'

   Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz

   Alun Francis

 String Quartet 7   Movement 1

   Fuga (Moderato)

   Philharmonia Quartet

 String Quartet 7   Movement 2

   Scherzo (Vivace)

   Philharmonia Quartet

 String Quartet 7   Movement 3

   Intermezzo (Alla marcia)

   Philharmonia Quartet

 String Quartet 7   Movement 4


   Philharmonia Quartet

 Symphony 2   [Part 1]

   1914-15   Op 6   3 movements

   New Philharmonia Orchestra/Otto Klemperer

 Symphony 2   [Part 2]

   1914-15   Op 6   3 movements

   New Philharmonia Orchestra/Otto Klemperer

  Born in Paris in 1887, Juliette Nadia Boulanger was a pianist and violinist more a teacher than composer. Though composing occupied only the earlier portion of her life she is the first female classical composer to see these histories. Nadia Boulanger was six years the elder of her sister, Lili Boulanger. Her father was composer, Ernest Boulanger. She entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1896 (quite young at age nine) and became a Catholic at age twelve. Boulanger began playing professionally about 1903 and studied composition under Gabriel Fauré before beginning her pedagogical career in 1904, teaching at her apartment. In 1908 she began performing duets with pianist, Raoul Pugno. She began conducting in 1912, leading the Société des Matinées Musicales orchestra. During World War I she and her sister, Lili, organized Comité Franco-Américain du Conservatoire National de Musique et de Déclamation, a charity providing relief to soldiers who had been musicians. She ceased composing in 1918 to concentrate on teaching. Her sister, Lili, also died that year. After the War she taught at the new École normale de musique de Paris and began contributing articles to 'Le Monde Musical'. She began instructing at the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau in Paris in 1921. Her first tour of the United States began in late 1924. BBC began recording her lectures and recitals in 1936. The following year Boulanger recorded six discs of madrigals by Monteverdi for HMV (His Master's Voice). Her return to America in 1938 saw her touring and broadcasting for NBC. HMV also released two more of her recordings that year (a concerto by Francaix that she conducted and a piano piece by Brahms). She fled the German invasion of France in November of 1940, arriving to Massachusetts to teach at Cambridge. Boulanger was back in France in January of 1946 to teach at the Paris Conservatoire. In 1956 she handled the music for the wedding of actress, Grace Kelly, and Prince Rainier of Monaco. 1958 saw her back in America. She toured Turkey in 1962, then performed for President, John Kennedy. In 1966 Boulanger visited Moscow. She died in Paris in 1979. The greater number of her compositions for the brief period she had committed herself to that had been for voice, though she also wrote chamber, orchestral and keyboard pieces.

Nadia Boulanger   1903 - 1918

 3 Pieces for Cello and Piano


   Cello: Dora Kuzmin   Piano: Petra Gilming

 Fantaisie variée

   1912   Piano: David Greilsammer

 Improvisation in E flat minor

   1911   Piano: Emile Naoumoff

 Prélude in F Minor

   1911   Organ: Dragan Trajer

Birth of Classical Music: Nadia Boulanger

Nadia Boulanger

Source:  Britannica
Birth of Classical Music: Heino Eller

Heino Eller

Source:  Kino Soprus
Heino Eller would have to have been a large baby to have been born on Tartu in Estonia in 1887. He played in several ensembles and as a solo violinist before entering the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1907. He graduated in 1920 after Saint Petersburg was renamed the Petrograd Conservatory. He taught composition and music theory for the next couple decades at the Tartu Higher School for Music. In 1940 he switched to the Talinin Conservatory. His career put Estonia on the map of classical music, both as a composer and teacher, among his pupils, another Estonian composer, Arvo Pärt. Eller died in 2007.

Heino Eller
   1907 - 2007

 5 Pieces for string orchestra


   Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra

   Juha Kangas

 12 Bagatelles

   1961   For piano   Recorded 1962

   Piano: Heljo Sepp

 The Bells (Kellad)

   1929   Piano: Sten Lassmann

 Dawn (Koit)

  1915-18 1920   Tone poem

   Estonian State Symphony Orchestra

   Neeme Jarvi

 Phantoms (Viirastusi)

   1924   For orchestra  Direction: Peeter Lilje

 Symphony 2 in E minor

   1928   Direction: Toenu Kaljuste


   1921   Piano: Sten Lassmann

  Born in 1887 in Łódź, Congress Poland (part of Russia at the time), Arthur Rubinstein wasn't a composer, but a virtuosic pianist without mention of whom would leave a large gap in any history at all of early modern classical music. Another history could be done of the fine pianists that the early modern period produced. We hope we can do an homage instead with a fundamental mention of Rubinstein. His father, thought by long process to be as Jewish as Rubinstein was, owned a small textile factory, and was well aware that he had a kid who liked to play piano by the time Rubinstein gave his first public performance in 1894. In 1897 he was sent to Berlin to study, performing with the Berlin Philharmonic in 1900. His first performance in America was at Carnegie Hall in NYC in 1906. He also attempted to hang himself that year, experiencing financial desperation. He thereafter toured the States, Austria, Italy and Russia. In 1910 he made his first recording for a Polish label, Favorit, Franz Liszt's 'Hungarian Rhapsody 10'. Like most acoustic recordings it was unfit, so Rubinstein didn't record again until the advent of the electric microphone. But upon his debut in London in 1912 things began to better flow. He spent World War I in London, giving his last performance in Germany in 1914, thereafter severing all ties with that nation. Commencing a tour of Spain and South America in 1916, he thereafter toured Great Britain and the United States. During the twenties he recorded piano rolls for both Aeolian and the American Piano Company. He spent World War II in California where he became a U.S. citizen in 1946. While in California he provided soundtracks for several films and appeared in a couple himself. His autobiography, 'My Young Years', appeared in 1973. Rubinstein gave his last performance at London's Wigmore Hall in 1976, his eyesight failing. His next memoir, 'My Many Years', was published in 1980. He died in his home his sleep in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1982. Rubenstein played music largely by composers of the Romantic period. He had much in common with Sergei Rachmaninoff in that he possessed a remarkable memory. He was fluent in eight languages as well. Both agnostic and a notable philanthropist, amidst his counsel to young pianists is to practice no more than three hours a day, it better to pretend that you know what you're doing than risk revealing the blood, sweat and tears, so to speak, that you put into something. He himself called a long work day about six to nine hours, and that was only for several months in 1934. Making it look easy on a whim was Rubenstein's attitude.

Arthur Rubinstein

 Beethoven Piano Concerto 5

   Composed 1809-10   Op 15   3 movements

   Philharmonic Orchestra

   Conductor: Eugene Ormandy

 Brahms Piano Concerto 1

   Composed 1854-59   Op 15   3 movements

   Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam

   Bernard Haitink

   Live in Amsterdam 1973

 Chopin Mazurka

   Composed 1841-42   Op 50:3

   3rd of 3 movements

 Chopin Nocturne

   Composed 1841   Op 48:1

   1st of 2 movements

 Chopin Piano Concerto 2 in F minor

   Composed 1829-30   Op 21

   London Symphony Orchestra/André Previn

   Live 1975

 Grieg Piano Concerto in A minor

   Composed 1868   Op 16   3 movements

   London Symphony Orchestra/André Previn

 Liszt Liebestraum 3

   Published 1850   R 211   S 541

   Live 1954

 Liszt Sonata in B minor

   Composed 1853   3 movements

   Recorded 1965

 Live in Moscow

   Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire


 Mendelssohn Piano Trio 1

   Composed 1839   Op 49   D minor

   Movement 1 of 4   Molto Allegro agitato

   Cello: Gregor Piatigorsky

   Violin: Jascha Heifetz

 Mendelssohn Piano Trio 1

   Composed 1839   Op 49   D minor

   Movement 3 of 4

   Scherzo (Leggiero e vivace)

   Cello: Gregor Piatigorsk

   Violin: Jascha Heifetz

  Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto 2

   Composed 1900–01   Op 18   3 movements

   Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Fritz Reiner

   Recorded 1956

 Rachmaninoff Rhapsody

   'Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini'

   1934   Op 43   A minor

   Filmed live

 Rachmaninoff Rhapsody

   'Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini'

   1934   Op 43   A minor

   Chicago Symphony Orchestra

   Fritz Reiner

   Recorded 1956

 Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto

  Composed 1868   Op 22   G minor

   London Symphony Orchestra

   André Previn

   Live performance

 Schubert Impromptu 4

   Composed 1827   Op 90

Birth of Classical Music: Arthur Rubinstein

Arthur Rubinstein

Source: Find a Grave
Birth of Classical Music: Heitor Villa-Lobos

Heitor Villa-Lobos

Source: Bach Cantatas
Born in 1887 in Rio de Janeiro, Heitor Villa-Lobos is the first composer from South America to find these histories. Nigh completely self-taught, he played as a youth in street bands, his first compositions guitar improvisations and attempts at opera. He began to compose intently the year of his marriage in 1912, first publishing the next year. Having explored both Brazilian folk music and European composition, he decidedly went Brazilian in 1916 with his symphonic poem, 'Amazonas' and 'Uirapurú' in 1917 (though neither would see stage for more than a decade, 1929 and 1935 respectively). In 1918 he met Arthur Rubinstein, who would be one of his most important musical relationships, together with Andrés Segovia. In 1932 he became Director at Superintendência de Educação Musical e Artística (SEMA) in São Paulo. He toured internationally after World War II: Paris, the United States, Great Britain, Israel. He scored the film, 'Green Mansion', in 1958, dying in Rio de Janeiro the next year. Villa-Lobos had been a prolific composer, producing a high number of pieces for guitar and piano, as well as dramatic, chamber and orchestral works. He also developed his own forms. He spent the twenties adding orchestra to a good number of choros (street music, from Portuguese for "to cry" or "weep"). Between 1930 and 1945 he composed a number of Bachianas Brasileiras, that is, Baroque with a Brazilian twist. W numbers below are David Appleby, 1988.

Heitor Villa-Lobos
   1904 - 1959

 Bachianas Brasileiras 3

   1938   W 388   For piano   4 movements

   Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira

   Isaac Karabtchevsky

   Piano: Nelson Freire

 Bachianas Brasileiras 4

For piano 1930–41   W 264

   For orchestra 1941   W 424

   4 movements

   Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar

   Roberto Tibiriçá

   Roberto Tibiriçá

 Bachianas Brasileiras 5

   Movement 1: 1938   Movement 2 1945

   W 389-391   For voice

   Nardo Poy   Soprano: Nancy Allen Lundy

 Cello Concerto 1


   Victor Pablo Pérez   Cello: Antonio Meneses

 Chôro 1

   1920   W 161   For guitar

   Guitar: David Russell

 Chôro 10

   'Rasga o coração' ('It Tears Out the Heart')

   1926   W 209

   Sinfónica de la Juventud Venezolana

   Isaac Karabtchevsky

 Symphony 6

   1944   'The Mountains of Brasil'

   Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra

   Claudio Abbado


1917   Premier 1935 Buenos Aires

   W 133   Ballet   1 act

   Orquesta Sinfonica de RTVE/Carlos Kalmar

  Born in 1888 in Paris, Louis Durey was the sin of a businessman. Durey didn't pursue a career in music until he was nineteen and was largely self-taught with the exception of private tutoring under Leon Saint-Requier. In 1914 he produced 'L'Offrande Lyrique', a twelve-tone composition preceding those of Arnold Schoenberg who is generally thought to be the originator of dodecaphony in 1921. World War I also put Durey into the army in 1914. Durey was a member of Les Six, an important group of avant-garde composers who rallied about Érik Satie. Yet Durey dropped away from Les Six before the appearance of their collaborative ballet, 'Les mariés de la tour Eiffel' in 1921. He finished his solitary opera, 'L'occasion' in 1929, the year he married and returned to Paris to become a Communist, worked with the French Resistance during World War II, then became a music critic for a Communist newspaper in 1950. During the sixties he produced music with Vietnamese themes (Vietnam had been French Indochina from 1945 to 1954) and was no sympathizer with the Vietnam War (1955-75). As a Communist he set music to poems by Ho Chi Minh and Mao Zedong. He died at Saint-Tropez in 1979. Durey had written for chamber, orchestra, stage, piano and voice. An obscure composer drawn more to theory in politics than music, Durey can't be said to have produced overmuch, his major claim to fame being the brief time that he was with Les Six.

Louis Durey   1908 - 1979

 Deux Études

    1921   Op 29

    Piano: Françoise Petit

 Deux Pièces pour piano à 4 mains

    Carillons (à Erik Satie)   Op 7:1

    Piano: Madeleine Chacun & François Petit

 Deux Pièces pour piano à 4 mains

    Neige (à Maurice Ravel)   Op 7:2

    Piano: Madeleine Chacun & François Petit

 Nocturne in D flat

    1928   Op 40

    Piano: Gustavo Díaz-Jerez

 Sonatine for flute and piano

    1929   Op 25

    Flute: Daniela Dottori

    Piano: Luca Moscardi

 Trio per Oboe Clarinetto e Fagotto

    1: Animé   2: Lento   3: Très animé

    Paris Opera Ballet

    Arundo-Donax Ensemble

Birth of Classical Music: Louis Durey

Louis Durey

Source:  Find a Grave
Birth of Classical Music: Max Steiner

Max Steiner

Source: Wikipedia
Born in 1888, Maximilian Raoul Steiner is an example of classical music applied to film. This history largely bypasses composers who wrote for the new media of film and television as a genre all to itself. But as a limb of classical music, also heavily popularizing the same, film scoring should see a few examples on this page. After Hollywood, perhaps Italian composers have produced some of the most notable work in that genre, alike opera where that began 300 years prior. But Steiner, oft described as the so-called "father" of film music, had been born in Austria. He conducted his first operetta at age twelve, and was working professionally as an arranger, composer and conductor at age fifteen. He studied at the Vienna University of Technology the Imperial Academy of Music. Steiner worked in England, then on Broadway, before moving to Hollywood in 1929, the same year his score to 'Rio Rita' appeared (based on Harry Tierney's Broadway musical by the same title), followed by 'Hit the Deck' the same year and 'Dixiana' in 1930, 'Symphony of Six Million' in 1932 and 'King Kong' in 1934. After 'The Informer' appeared in 1935, winning him an Oscar, Steiner moved from RKO to Warner Brothers, scoring 'Charge of the Light Brigade' in 1936 and 'Gone with the Wind' in 1939. Steiner's second Oscar was for 'Now, Voyager' in 1942. In 1944 he received his third and final Oscar for 'Since You Went Away'. Stener died of congestive heart failure in 1971 in Hollywood.

Max Steiner   1900 - 1971


    1942   Soundtrack suite   Recorded 1993

    Westminster Philharmonic Orchestra

    Kenneth Alwyn

 Gone with the Wind

    1939   Soundtrack suite

    MGM Studio Orchestra/Max Steiner

 Helen of Troy

    1956   Soundtrack suite   Recorded 1993

    Westminster Philharmonic Orchestra

    Kenneth Alwyn

 King Kong

    1933   Soundtrack


    1961   Soundtrack suite

    Conductor: Max Steiner

 Since You Went Away

    1944   Soundtrack suite

 They Died with Their Boots On

    1942   Soundtrack suite

 Those Calloways

    1965   Soundtrack suite

    Conductor: Max Steiner

Birth of Classical Music: Arthur Bliss

Arthur Bliss   1922

Source: University of Cambridge
Born in 1891 in London to an American businessman and English mother who died in 1895, Arthur Bliss was to become one of Great Britain's premier composers. He was raised with two brothers toward attending Pembroke College, then Cambridge where he studied antiquities (Greece, Rome) while training under composer, Charles Wood. He had composed 'Trio for Piano, Clarinet and Cello' in 1909, and a number of compositions of dubitable date in 1910, though 'May Zeeh' for piano is certain. 'Intermezzo' and 'Suite' for piano were produced in 1912. 'Valse Fantastiques' for piano was composed in 1913, the year he graduated from Cambridge to attend the Royal Academy of Music in London. But World War I (1914-18) intervened, whence he joined the British Army as an officer. He became a Roman Catholic in 1918. Bliss had composed 'Tis time I think by Wenlock Town' for voice and piano in 1914. 'Piano Quartet in A Minor', 'String Quartet in A Major' and 'The Hammers' for voice and piano surfaced in 1915. In 1916 Bliss finished 'Fugue for String Quartet', 'Two Pieces for Clarinet', 'The Tramps' for voice and piano, and  'Pastoral' for clarinet and piano. The latter, however, was the only work prior to 1918 that Bliss found acceptable, the year he considered himself to have begun composing (completing 'Madam Noy' for voice and ensemble that year). Works began surging forth in rapid succession in 1919: an arrangement from an Elizabethan source for 'As You Like It' (incidental music), 'Piano Quintet', 'Rhapsody' for voice and ensemble, and 'La Serva Padrona' for voice and piano. Bliss spent the next twenty years writing largely works for chamber, orchestra, piano and voice. Ballets and fanfares were also numerous. 1925 saw him getting married in California during his first visit to the United States. Come World War II he had attended the premier of 'Piano Concerto in B Flat' at the World's Fair in New York in June of '39 and was vacationing afterward in California when the war ignited. He thought to stay in America to teach at Berkeley, but instead left his family in CA and returned to Great Britain to work for the BBC. His last composition during the war years was 'String Quartet' in 1941. Upon his family's return to England in 1944 he resumed composing such as the ballet, 'Miracle in the Gorbals', the march, 'The Phoenix - Homage to France', and the fanfares, 'Birthday Fanfare for Henry Wood' and 'Peace Fanfare for Children'. Bliss was knighted in 1950, then appointed Master of the Queen's Music in 1953. His duties in that post included such as ceremonial music and musical delegations to the Soviet Union. He continued composing steadily another twenty years until his death at his home in London in March of 1975, having created 'Spirit of the Age' for television that year. Among his last works were those of 1974: the fanfare, 'Lancaster', 'Wedding Suite' for piano, and the choral works, 'Shield of Faith' and 'Sing, Mortals'. Concerning 'God Save the Queen' below, the original author of 'God Save the Queen' is unclear. It may have developed through a string of musicians as much as it might have been composed by any singular personality. The period, however, was the early 17th century and things would seem to point to Scotland. It was first published in 1744 in the 'Thesaurus Musicus' and became Great Britain's National Anthem during the early nineteenth century. Below, F numbers are per the catalogue of Lewis Foreman. 'May-Zeeh' and 'Valse Fantastiques' are per the LP: 'The Complete Piano Music of Sir Arthur Bliss Vol 1'.

Arthur Bliss   1918 - 1975

 Adam Zero

     1946   F 1   Ballet

     English Northern Philharmonia

     Director: David Lloyd-Jones

 Cello Concerto

     1970   F 107

     English Northern Philharmonia

     Director: David Lloyd-Jones

     Violoncello: Tim Hugh


     1937   F 2   Ballet

     Royal Scottish National Orchestra

     Director: David Lloyd-Jones

 A Colour Symphony

     1921/1932   F 106

     English Northern Philharmonia

     Director: David Lloyd-Jones

  God Save the Queen

     1969   This recording: 1972   F 29

     London Philharmonic

     Royal Choral Society

  The Lady of Shallot

     1958   F 5   Ballet

 Madam Noy

     1918   F 160   For voice

     Ebony Ensemble

     Conducting: Michel Havenith

     Soprano: Irene Maessen


     1910   F 142

     Piano: Mark Bebbington

  Men of Two Worlds

     1945   F 121   Film score

 Metamorphic Variations

     1972   F 122

     Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

     Director: David Lloyd-Jones

  Music for Strings

     1935   F 123

     English Northern Philharmonia

     Director: David Lloyd-Jones


     1916   For clarinet & piano

     Clarinet: John Diamanti

     Piano: Francesco Maria Moncher

  Piano Quartet in A

     'Poco adagio e espres'

     1915   F 18   3 movements

     This Filmed performance: 2007

     Chamber Domaine

  Sonata for Viola & Piano

     1933   F 91   Filmed performance

     Piano: Tal-Haim Samnon

     Viola: Matan Noussimovitch

  String Quartet in A Major

     1915   F 23

  Things to Come

     1934   F 131   Film score

     London Symphony Orchestra

     Conducting: Arthur Bliss

  Two Studies for Orchestra

     1920   F 133

     English Northern Philharmonia

      Director: David Lloyd-Jones

  Valse Fantastiques

     'Allegretto Amabile'

     1913   4 movements   F 152


Birth of Classical Music: Sergey Prokofiev

Sergey Prokofiev

Source:  Britannica
Born in 1891 in Sontsovka in what is now eastern Ukraine, Sergey Prokofiev had an agronomist for a father. Learning piano from his mother, he began experimenting with composition at age five. He wrote the libretto to his first opera, 'The Giant', at age nine, his mother helping him with the music. He began formal studies in 1902, endeavoring his first symphony at eleven as well. Prokofiev entered the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in 1904. He gave his first professional performances at age seventeen for the St Petersburg Evenings of Contemporary Music. Prokofiev was a revolutionary composer from the begin, a delight to modernists all the more because he left pianos smoking when he performed. He completed his first piano concerto in 1912, before touring Europe in 1913, first Paris, then London. Graduating from the Conservatory in 1914, he returned to London to work with impresario, Sergei Diaghilev. During World War I Prokofiev enrolled into the Conservatory again, studying organ to avoid conscription into the army. He completed his first symphony and in 1917, intentionally classical and named thus: 'The Classical'. It premiered the next year. Prokofiev finished his first violin concerto in 1917 as well, though it didn't premier until 1923. Prokofiev visited America in 1918, then left for Paris in 1920. In 1922 he moved to the Bavarian Alps with his mother, returning to Paris where he became a Christian Scientist (Mary Baker Eddy) in 1924. In 1927 Prokofiev toured the Soviet Union. In 1930 he toured the States again, to greater success than his first trip had been. Prokofiev made his first recording in 1932 with the London Symphony Orchestra (his third piano concerto). In 1933 he composed the score to the Soviet film, 'Lieutenant Kijé'. Settling in Moscow in 1936, he began writing works for children. Composing in the Soviet Union presented him the problem of writing Stalin-praising music for a Stalin he didn't like, but he eventually won six Stalin Prizes anyway, among others. He weathered World War II well, able to compose more to his liking. In 1948, however, eight of his works were banned by the Politburo, being too modern and not enough classical: 'The Year 1941', 'Ode to the End of the War' (below), 'Festive Poem', 'Cantata for the Thirtieth Anniversary of October', 'Ballad of an Unknown Boy', 'Thoughts', 'Piano Sonata 6' (below) and 'Piano Sonata 8'. His second wife was also arrested that year for espionage, having attempted to send money to her mother in Spain. (She was released in 1953 after Stalin's death.) Prokofiev died in Moscow the same day as Stalin, March 5, 1953. Having worked ill for the last eight years, the cause of his death is generally given as cerebral hemorrhage. Prokofiev wrote largely orchestral works including several symphonies, as well as piano works including concertos, sonatas and solos. He also composed a strong number of operas, ballets and film scores in addition to pieces for chamber and voice, some incidental music and a few marches. He had been, and is yet, considered among the greatest composers, not only of modern, but the entire history of classical music. In addition to music, Prokofiev was a chess master, defeating José Capablanca in 1914. Prokofiev's 'Concerto 2' may be found under Eugene Ormandy.

Sergey Prokofiev   1902 - 1953


   1944   Op 87   Ballet   3 acts

   USSR Radio & TV S & O

   Gennadi Rozhdestvensky


1911–13   Op 13   Opera   1 act

   Rostov-on-Don State Musical Theatre C & O

   Maddalena: Ekaterina Krasnova

 Ode to the End of the War

1945   Op 105

   UNT Wind Symphony & Harp Ensemble

   Eugene Corporon

 Peter and the Wolf

1936   Op 67   Symphonic poem   15 sections

   Philadelphia Orchestra/Eugene Ormandy

   Narration: David Bowie

 Piano Concerto 3 in C major

1917-21   Op 26   3 movements

   Russian National Orchestra/Andrey Rubtsov

   Piano: Daniil Trifonov

 Piano Sonata 3 in A minor

   1907 Revised 1917   Op 28   Allegro tempesto

   Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra

   Piano: Tami Lin

 Piano Sonata 6 in A major

   1939–40   Op 82   4 movements

   Piano: Yuja Wang

 Piano Sonata 7 in B flat major

   1939–42   Op 83   3 movements

   Piano: Glenn Gould

 String Quartet 2 in F major

   1941   Op 92   3 movements

   Emerson String Quartet/Eugeniy Drucker

 Symphony 1 in D major

   'The Classical'

   1916–17 Op 25 4 movements

   Dresdner Philharmonie/Kurt Masur

 Symphony-Concerto in E minor

   1933–8   Op 125   3 movements

   Orchestra of the University of Music

   Nicolás Pasquet

   Cello: Emanuel Graf

 Violin Concerto 2 in G minor

   1935   Op 63   3 movements

   New Philharmonia Orchestra

   Conducting: Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos

   Violin: Nathan Milstein

 Violin Sonata 1 in F minor

   1946   Op 80   4 movements

   Piano: Agnese Eglina   Violin: Jana Ozolina

 Visions   [Selection]

   1915–17   Op 22   20 piano pieces

   Piano: Ilan Tsikman

  Born in 1891 in Madrid, Federico Moreno Torroba was the son of an organist who taught at the National Conservatory of Music. Torroba there studied, as well as at the Real Conservatorio de Música. Among Torroba's most important musical associations was guitarist, Andrés Segovia.  He was at one time the manager of four opera houses, including one his own. Torroba died in 1982. Together with works for guitar and piano, Torroba wrote orchestral works, as well as for stage, such as ballets, operas and zarzuelas.

Federico Torroba   1920 - 1982

 Concerto de Castilla Movement 1

   1960   Recorded 1962

   Adagio: Allegro moderato

   Orquestra de Conciertos de Madrid

   Jesús Arámbarri   Guitar: Renata Tarragó

 Concerto de Castilla Movement 2

   1960   Recorded 1962


   Orquestra de Conciertos de Madrid

   Jesús Arámbarri   Guitar: Renata Tarragó

 Concerto de Castilla Movement 3

   1960   Recorded 1962

   Andante: Allegro moderato

   Orquestra de Conciertos de Madrid

   Jesús Arámbarri   Guitar: Renata Tarragó

 Luisa Fernanda

   1932   Zarzuela

   Performance unknown


   1976?   Guitar: Álex Sánchez


   1924   Guitar: Edel Muñoz

 Suite castellana

   1926   1: Fandanguillo   2: Arada   3: Danza

   Guitar: Pepe Romero

Birth of Classical Music: Federico Torroba

Federico Torroba

Source:  Maestros of the Guitar
Birth of Classical Music: Arthur Honegger

Arthur Honegger

Source:  Bach Cantatas
Born to Swiss parents in Le Havre, France, in 1892, Arthur Honegger studied at the Zurich Conservatory until enrolling into the Paris Conservatoire in 1911. Graduating in 1918, he also completed the ballet, 'Le dit des jeux du monde', that year. In 1920 he was named one of Les Six, a group of avant-garde composers that rallied about composer, Éric Satie. (The name refers to The Five, an earlier group of Russian Romantic composers whose interest was breaking away from conservatory standards.) The work that brought his career about was 'Le roi David', an oratorio/psalm composed in two months in 1921, premiering that year as well. He wrote the score to the film by Abel Gance, 'Napoleon', in 1927. Upon the Nazi invasion of Paris he was unable to flee and joined the French Resistance. His career was otherwise largely unaffected by the Nazi occupation. He taught composition at the École Normale de Musique de Paris with German uniforms on the streets, composing his second symphony (below) during World War II. His last composition was 'A Christmas Cantata' in 1953. Honegger died of heart attack at his home in Paris in 1955. A prolific composer, he left behind largely orchestral, chamber and dramatic works (: ballets, operas, film scores), quite a list of incidental music, as well as oratorios, songs and several works for radio. H numbers below per Harry Halbreich.

Arthur Honegger   1915 - 1953


   1924-17   H 65   Opera   Tragedy

   Choeurs de la RTF/René Alix

   Orchestre National de France

   Maurice Le Roux

   Antigone: Geneviève Serres

 Une Cantate de Noël

   'A Christmas Cantata'

   1953   H 212   Oratorio

   Göttinger Stadtkantorei

   Göttinger Symphonie Orchester

   Organ: Maria Mokhova

 Concertino for Piano and Orchestra

   1924   H 55   1 movement 3 sections

   Orchestra Sinfonica della Radio di Praga

   Zdeněk Košler   Piano: Boris Krajný


   1925   H 57B   Opera

   Mezzosoprano (Judith): Brigitte Balleys

   C & O della Fondazione Gulkenkian

   Michel Corboz

 Sonata for Viola & Piano

   1920   H 28

   Piano: Josef Hala   Viola: Karel Spelina

 Symphony 2 in D

   1941   H 153   For strings

   Orchestre National de l'ORTF

   Jacques Houtmann

 Symphony 5 D minor

   1950   H 202   3 movements

   Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Serge Baudo

  Born in 1892 in Marseilles, Darius Milhaud was a violinist before turning to composition at the Paris Conservatoire in 1909 where he met Arthur Honegger and Germaine Tailleferre, future members of Les Six. His Op 1 was 'Poèmes de Francis Jammes', composed for piano and voice from 1910 to '12. During World War I Milhaud was secretary to dramatist, Paul Claudel, French ambassador to Brazil at the time. He then composed music with Brazilian themes (sampled below with 'The Ox on the Roof'). His involvement with Les Six is sampled below on 'Les mariés de la tour Eiffel', a ballet on which five of the six (Durey absent) collaborated in 1921. Milhaud visited Harlem in 1922, his ballet, 'La création du monde' (below), incorporating jazz elements. Being Jewish, Milhaud had a good reason to emigrate to the States in 1940, the year Nazi Germany invaded France. He there landed employment teaching at Mills College in Oakland, CA. Both jazz pianist, Dave Brubeck and popular pianist and vocalist, Burt Bacarak, also studied at Mills beneath Milhaud. Popular pianist and vocalist, Burt Bacharach, also studied beneath Milhaud. He began teaching at the Paris Conservatoire in 1947, thereafter teaching at Mills and the Conservatory in alternating years. Milhaud died in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1974. He had composed above 440 works, ballets, operas and symphonies among his most significant. He also composed an impressive list of concertantes, chamber works, pieces for keyboard or voice, incidental music, film scores and radio scores.

Darius Milhaud   1910 - 1974

 Concerto 5 for piano and orchestra

   1955   Op 346

   SWR Rundfunkorchester Kaiserlautern

   Alun Francis

   Piano: Michael Korstick

 La création du monde

   1923   Op 81

   Orquesta Nacional de Francia

   Leonard Bernstein

 Divertissement for wind quintet

   1958   Op 299b

   After the film score 'Gauguin' Op 299

   The Athena Ensemble

 Duo Concertante

   1956   Op 351   For clarinet and piano

   Clarinet: Andrea Wilger

   Piano: Nathan Froese

 Les mariés de la tour Eiffel

   Les Six   1921   Ballet

   Philharmonia Orchestra/Geoffrey Simon

 The Ox on the Roof

   1920   Op 58   Ballet

   Lille National Orchestra

   Jean-Claude Casadesus

 Sinfonia 12   [Part 1]

   'Rurale'   1961   Op 390

   Radio-Sinfonieorchester Basel/Alun Francis

 Sinfonia 12   [Part 2]

   'Rurale'   1961   Op 390

   Radio-Sinfonieorchester Basel/Alun Francis

Birth of Classical Music: Darius Milhaud

Darius Milhaud

Source:  All Music
Birth of Classical Music: Germaine Tailleferre

Germaine Tailleferre

Source:  Classique News
Born Marcelle Taillefesse in the southeast suburbs of Paris in 1892, Germaine Tailleferre is the fourth female classical composer to see these histories, preceded by Kassia(9th century Constantinople), Hildegard (12th century Germany) and Nadia Boulanger (five years her senior). Tailleferre changed her name from Taillefesse as a young woman to distinguish herself from her father who didn't support her musical ambitions. She played piano and composed short pieces with her mother while young. Tailleferre won early entry to the Paris Conservatoire in 1904 and had been a highly distinguished student for several years before meeting other members of the future Les Six in 1913. Upon the premiere of her 'Jeux de Plein Air' in 1917 Érik Satie invited her to join his group of avant-garde composers, the Nouveaux Jeunes, which Satie rather quickly left, the group then redubbed The Six. In 1925 Tailleferre married an artist and moved to Manhattan for a couple of years. Upon their return to France in '27 they were divorced. The thirties brought her to remarkable success before forced to flee to Philadelphia upon the outbreak of World War II. Returning to France in 1946, she enjoyed a flourishing career, including operas and scores for film and television. In 1976 she became an accompanist at a children's private school, arthritis giving her troubles by then. She continued composing until circa 1982, dying the next year in Paris, leaving behind an impressive number of works.

Germaine Tailleferre   1904 - 1982

 Ballade pour piano et orchestre


   Direction: Arthur Benjamin

   Pianiste: Lamar Crowson

 Concertino for harp and orchestra


   Direction: Arthur Benjamin

   Pianiste: Lamar Crowson



   Direction: Arthur Benjamin

   Pianiste: Lamar Crowson

 Jeux de plein air


   Direction: Arthur Benjamin

   Pianiste: Lamar Crowson

 Pancarte pour une porte d'entrée


   Direction: Arthur Benjamin

   Pianiste: Lamar Crowson

 Petite suite


   Direction: Arthur Benjamin

   Pianiste: Lamar Crowson

 Sonate 1 for violin and piano


   Direction: Arthur Benjamin

   Pianiste: Lamar Crowson

  Born in 1893 in Sydney, Arthur Benjamin is the first Australian composer to grace these histories. He was raised after age three in Brisbane where he first played piano in public at age six. He began formal training with a church organist at age nine, then won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London in 1911, there to study composition, harmony, counterpoint and piano. During World War I he joined the Officer Training Corps in 1914, took his commission as 2nd Lieutenant in the infantry, then joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1917. It just so happens that his plane was shot down in 1918 by future Nazi leader, Hermann Göring, he also a pilot during the First War. He spent the remainder of his service as a prisoner of war with Edgar Bainton, having been interned since 1914. After the War he returned to Sydney to work as a piano professor, then London in 1921 to teach at the Royal College of Music. He there taught a nice list of admirable musicians as he continued to focus on chamber works. His first published work, a string quartet, appeared in 1924. 1932 found him conducting the BBC Orchestra, 1935 touring Europe. It was a visit to the West Indies (not to perform) that resulted in 'Two Jamaican Pieces' in 1938. The Jamaican government rewarded him a free barrel of rum each year in a gesture of thanks. Benjamin spent World War II in Vancouver, Canada, becoming conductor of the new Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) Symphony Orchestra in 1941. He also worked for radio in the United States and college in Portland, Oregon. Unaffected by World War II, it was one his most productive periods. He returned to England after the War in 1946 to teach at the Royal College of Music. He then fulfilled a commission from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and toured that nation in 1950. He died in 1960 of either cancer or hepatitis in London. Benjamin had written largely for chamber and orchestra. His dramatic works include operas and film scores.

Arthur Benjamin   1911 - 1960

 Concertino pour piano et orchestre


   Direction: Arthur Benjamin

   Pianiste: Lamar Crowson

 Harmonica Concerto


   Direction : Morton Gould

   Harmonica : Larry Adler

 Jamaican Rumba

   1938   For 2 pianos

   Pianos: Richard Bosworth & Laura Fernando

 The Man Who Knew Too Much

   1934   Film score

   Conductors: Louis Levy & Wynn Reeves

 Romantic Fantasy

   Premier 1938

   RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra

   Izler Solomon

Birth of Classical Music: Arthur Benjamin

Arthur Benjamin   1929

Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Birth of Classical Music: Lili Boulanger

Lili Boulanger

Source: L'Art Lyrique Francais
Born in 1893 in Paris, Marie-Juliette Olga Lili Boulanger was six years younger than her sister, the pedagogue, Nadia Boulanger. Lili Boulanger is the fifth female composer to find these histories of classical music, preceded by Kassia(9th century Constantinople), Hildegard (12th century Germany), her sister and Germaine Tailleferre. Boulanger's father was composer, Ernest Boulanger. She played piano, violin, cello and harp, and was composing seriously about 1910. In 1912 she competed for the Prix de Rome (highest French musical scholarship), but collapsed of ill health during her performance. The next year, however, she became the first woman to win the prize with her cantata, 'Faust et Hélène'. She did study in Italy per the Prix de Rome but was forced back to Paris, again, by ill health. During World War i Boulanger and her sister, Nadia, organized the Comité Franco-Américain du Conservatoire National de Musique et de Déclamation, a relief effort for soldiers who were musicians. Unfortunately she died of Crohn's disease at age 24 in March of 1918, leaving her opera, 'La princesse Maleine', unfinished.

Lili Boulanger
   1910 - 1918

 D'un matin de printemps

   'On a Spring Morning'   1917-18   Trio Anfalia

 D’un soir triste (On a Sad Night)

1917-18   Trio Anfalia

 Faust et Hélène

1913   Cantata

   Faust: Jacques le Roux

   Hélène: Marianne Andersen

   Méphistophélès: Boris Grappe

 Pour les funérailles d’un soldat

1912-13   Coral Zíper na Boca/OS da Unicamp

 Psaume 24 in E minor


   The Monteverdi Choir

   London Symphony Orchestra

   John Eliot Gardiner

 Psaume 130 (Du fond de l'abîme)

   'From the Depths of the Abyss'   1914–1917

   Chorale Elisabeth Brasseur

   Orchestre de la Société des Concerts Lamoureux

   Igor Markevitch

   Contralto: Oralia Dominguez

   Tenor: Raymond Amade

 Soir Sur La Plaine

   1913   USC Thornton Chamber Singers

 Thème et variations

   1911-14   Piano: Ariane Gray Hubert

  Born in 1893 in Kremenchuk, Ukraine (under Imperial Russian Rule until 1917), Jewish pianist Leo Ornstein studied at the Imperial School of Music in Kiev before enrolling at the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1904. He emigrated with his family to NYC's Lower East Side in 1906, then enrolled in Juilliard. His professional debut in 1911 was successful, after which he began to record piano pieces by other composers. About 1913-14 he produced his violent tone cluster 'Danse Sauvage'. In 1914 Ornstein picked up the "futurist" label in association with an Italian art movement that more broadly came to mean simply modernistic. 1916 found him in New Orleans to experience some jazz. An enormously popular performer, he packed concert halls until the early twenties, during which Ornstein started producing piano rolls for the Ampico label, compositions both his own and by others. He taught at the Philadelphia Musical Academy during the twenties. Though he continued composing privately, he made his last public performance in the thirties. He later founded the Ornstein School of Music in Philadelphia with his wife, Pauline. The eighties saw his compositions emerging to much success again. Ornstein died of age at his home in February 2002, 108 years old. He had composed largely for piano, though completed pieces for strings and winds as well.

Leo Ornstein   1904 - 2002

 4 Impromptus 1-2

   1952-76   SO 300a

   Piano: Arsentiy Kharitonov

 4 Impromptus 3-4

   1952-76   SO 300a

   Piano: Arsentiy Kharitonov

 Danse Sauvage

   1913?   S 54   'Wild Men's Dance'

   Tone cluster piece

   Piano: Marc-André Hamelin

 Piano Concerto

   1923-25   S 824

   American Symphony Orchestra

Leon Botstein

   Piano: Alain Feinberg

 A Morning in the Woods

   1971   S 106   Piano: Marthanne Verbit

 Nocturne for Clarinet

   1952   S 600

   Clarinet: Kathy Matasy   Piano: Steve Yenger

 Suicide in an Airplane

   1918-19?   S 6   Tone cluster piece

   Piano: Francesco Ruocchio


   1963   S 155   Tarantelle

   Piano: William Westney

Birth of Classical Music: Leo Ornstein

Leo Ornstein

Source: Bruce Duffie
Birth of Classical Music: Andres Segovia

Andres Segovia

Source:  Bach Cantatas
Born in Linares in 1893, Andrés Segovia was neither a composer nor conductor. But he requires mention as the preeminent force (Spain producing fine guitarists like olives) during the early Modern that has arrived to Spanish classical guitar, ever romantic, as it is known today. Segovia first played violin but soon came to prefer guitar. Self-taught, he gave his first public performance in 1909. His first professional concert occurred a few years later, quite before making his first tour abroad in 1919 to South America. Segovia toured Mexico for the first time in 1923. He first arrived to the United States in 1928. From the early thirties until World War II Segovia largely toured South America. After the War he spent a few decades touring Europe and America. He was made an hereditary Marqués by King Juan Carlos I in 1981. He died in Madrid in 1987. Segovia's largest rival in classical guitar had been Australian guitarist, John Williams, born in 1941.

Andrés Segovia

 Asturias (Leyenda)

   Composer: Isaac Albéniz

 Capricho Diabolico

Composer: Niccolò Paganini


   Composer: Isaac Albéniz


   1: Prelude for Lute (Bach)

   2: Variations on a Theme of Mozart (Sor)

   3: Sonatina (Toroba

   Live performance

 Recital Intimo

   Album   Released 1975

 Recuerdos de la Alhambra

   Composer: Francisco Tàrrega


Composer: Isaac Albéniz   Recorded 1955

Birth of Classical Music: Arthur Fiedler

Arthur Fiedler

Source: Bach Cantatas
Born in 1894 in Boston, Arthur Fiedler was neither a composer nor what is meant by "early modern" classical music. He was, however, a strong arranger, conducted during the early modern period and examples orchestration applied to popular American music of the 20th century. His father was a violinist in the Boston Symphony Orchestra. His mother was a professional pianist. Upon his family moving to Berlin he studied there at the Royal Academy of Music from 1911 to 1915. He then returned to Boston and joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra as a violinist, pianist, organist and percussionist. In 1924 he formed the Boston Sinfonietta, a chamber orchestra. He became the eighteenth conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra (formed 1885 by Henry Lee Higginson) in 1930 with which he would attain to the fame for which he came to be known. His first recording with the Boston Pops was for RCA in July of 1935, Jacob Gade's 'Jalousie', selling more than a million copies. From that time onward Fiedler and the Boston Pops would make more recordings than any other orchestra in the world, most for RCA and amounting to more than $50,000,000 in sales. Fiedler also conducted other orchestras during his career, notably the San Francisco Pops for 26 seasons. He conducted the opening of Walt Disney World in Bay Lake, Florida, in 1971. Fiedler also made innumerable television appearances, notably 'Evening at Pops' produced by PBS. He died of cardiac arrest in 1979 at his home in Brookline, Massachusetts, while working on scores. Among Fiedler's hobbies was chasing fires to observe firemen at work.

Arthur Fiedler

 Country Medley

   Released 1966   With Chet Atkins


1935   Composer: Jacob Gade


1969   Composer: Jacob Gade

 Rhapsody in Blue

   Recorded 1959   Composer: George Gershwin

 Overture Medley

   Released 1971

 Sound Of Music Medley


   Composers: Oscar Hammerstein II

                   Richard Rodgers

  Born in 1894 in Rockland, Maine, Walter Hamor Piston Jr. studied fine art at the Massachusetts Normal Art School until 1916, after which he made a living playing piano in dance bands and violin in an orchestra run by Georges Longy. During World War I he joined the U.S. Navy and played in a Navy band. He entered Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to study music in 1920. Upon graduation he studied in Paris a couple of years, first publishing in 1925 with 'Three Pieces for Flute'. He began teaching at Harvard in 1926, where he remained until retirement in 1960. Piston began experimenting with twelve-tone form a la Schoenberg as early as 1930, using aspects of it in his first of eight symphonies in 1937. He used it here and there during his career, more frequently in the sixties and seventies. Piston's third symphony in 1947 won him the Pulitzer Prize. He died in 1976, having composed largely works for chamber and orchestra as well as concertantes. He had published four books on music theory.

Walter Piston   1920 - 1976

 Flute Sonata


   Flute: Julius Baker Piano: Anthony Makas

 String Quartet 3

   1947   3 movements   Portland String Quartet

 Symphony 2

   1943   Seattle Symphony Orchestra

 Symphony 3


   Eastman-Rochester Symphony Orchestra

   Howard Hanson

 Symphony 4

   1950   Seattle Symphony Orchestra

 Symphony 6

   1955   Seattle Symphony Orchestra

 Violin Concerto 1

   National SO of Ukraine/Theodore Kuchar

   Violin: James Buswell

Birth of Classical Music: Walter Piston

Walter Piston

Source: Wikipedia
Birth of Classical Music: Paul Hindemith

Paul Hindemith

Source:  All Music
Born in 1895 in Hanau, Germany, violinist Paul Hindemith studied at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt. Among his first professional positions was as deputy leader of the Frankfurt Opera Orchestra in 1914, as well as second violin in the Rebner String Quartet. He became leader of the Frankfurt Orchestra in 1917, until touring Europe with the Amar Quartet in 1921. He began teaching at the Berliner Hochschule für Musik in 1927, composing his first film score (now lost) the next year for the avant-garde 'Ghosts Before Breakfast'. During the thirties he visited Cairo, worked in Ankara and toured the United States as a solo violist. The weather as of Nazi Germany found him emigrating to Switzerland in 1938, then the United States in 1940 where he taught at Yale and lectured at Harvard, becoming a U.S. citizen in 1946. Yet he returned to Europe in 1953 to teach at the University of Zurich. He did some recording in his later years until dying in Frankfurt of pancreatitis in 1963. Along with 12 operas he had written concertantes, instrumentals and works for chamber, orchestra, voice, piano and organ. Hindemith's Op 1 was in 1915. But he was likely composing with intent beyond juvenile experiments while attending the Hoch Conservatory, reflected in the actively composing dates below.

Paul Hindemith   1912 - 1963

 Die Harmonie der Welt Symphony

   1951  3 movements

   Spanish Radio & Television SO/Arturo Tamayo

 Die junge Magd

   1922   Op 23b   6 poems by Georg Trakl

   Mezzosopran: Katrin Wundsam

 Kammermusik 1

   1922   Op 24:1   4 movements

   Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra

   Peter Eotvos

 Kammermusik 7

   1927   Op 46:2   3 movements

   Norbert Kaiser   Organ: Konstantin Volostnov

 Piano Sonata 3 in B flat major

   1936   Piano: Maria Yudina

 Symphonic Dances

1937   4 movements

   Queensland Symphony Orchestra Brisbane

   Werner Andreas Albert

 Trombone Sonata

1941   4 movements

   Trombone: Carsten Svanberg

 Das Unaufhörliche

1931   Secular oratorio

   C & O della RAI di Torino/Mario Rossi

   Sopran: Adriana Martino

  Born in 1895 in Florence, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco proved you didn't have to be Spanish to know your way with guitar. His father was a heavywight Jewish banker. His mother taught him piano, he composing by age nine. He studied piano at the Institute Musicale Cherubini from 1909 to 1914. He further studied composition until 1918, his name soon becoming known throughout Europe as a young talent to watch. His first major work was the opera, 'La Mandragola', premiering in 1926. Castelnuovo-Tedesco began composing for guitar upon meeting Andrés Segovia in 1932. Being Jewish, his works were banned in fascist Italy in the latter thirties, he then immigrating to the United States in 1939. He there landed in Hollywood to compose for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. He would write about 200 scores in addition to his other nigh 100 works. Becoming a U.S. citizen in 1946, his opera, 'The Merchant of Venice', premiered in 1961. He wrote an autobiography ('Una vita di musica') shortly before his death in 1968. Other than film scores and works for guitar, Castelnuovo-Tedesco composed concertantes and works for chamber, orchestra and voice.

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco   1914 - 1968

 24 Caprichos de Goya

   1961   Op 195

   Guitar: Giulio Tampalini


   1920   Op 17

   Piano: Mariaclara Monetti

 Guitar Concerto 1 in D major

   1939   Op 99

   Guitar: John Williams

 Guitar Concerto 2 in C major

   1953   Op 160

   Guitar: Johan Fostier

 I Nottambuli

   1927   Op 47:1

   Cello: Luca Paccagnella

   Piano: Raffaele D'Aniello

 Quintet for Guitar and String

   Op 147

   Cello: Sebastian Diezig

   Guitar: Maria Efstathiou

 Sonatina canonica

   1961   Op 196

   Dúo L'Encouragement

Birth of Classical Music: Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco

Source:  Art Song Project
Birth of Classical Music: Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco

Carl Orff

Source: Stockton Symphony
Born in 1895 in Munich, Carl Orff began piano at age five, organ and cello as well. At age ten a short story of his was published in a children's magazine. He began writing songs by the time he was an adolescent. With the exception of his mother helping him with scoring he was self-taught. His music was first published in 1911. He was studying at the Munich Academy of Music in 1914 when World War I found him in a German trench. After the War he returned to the Munich Academy, also employed at various opera houses. In 1924 he and Dorothee Günther founded the Günther School for gymnastics, music and dance in Munich, which he would head, teaching children, until his death. His famous cantata trilogy, 'Carmina Burana', premiered in Frankfurt in 1937. 'Carmina Burana' was taken from the 'Codex Buranus', containing above 200 texts by largely anonymous composers before year 1250. (The 'Codex Buranus' folios may be viewed by PDF at IMSLP.) He continued working in Germany during the Nazi regime, coming to considerable guilt for not attempting to intercede for Karl Huber (a founder of the Nazi resistance movement called the White Rose) before his execution, fearing such would ruin his career. Nuremburg denazification, however, found him not guilty of being a Nazi. Much of his later work drew material from antiquity. His last composition was the mystery play, 'De Temporum Fine Comoedia', written between 1962 and 1972, revised in 1979. He died in Munich in 1982, having written largely operas.

Carl Orff   1910 - 1972   1979


   1949   Opera

   Chor der Wiener Staatsoper

   Der Winer Philharmoniker/Ferenc Fricsay

   Contralto (Antigonae): Res Fischer

 Carmina Burana

   Premier: Frankfurt 1937   Cantata trilogy

   Pacific Boychoir Academy: Kevin Fox

   University Chorus & Alumni Chorus

   Jeffrey Thomas

   UC Symphony Orchestra/Dallas Kern Holoma

   Soprano: Shawnette Sulker

 De Temporum Fine Comoedia

   1962-72 Revised 1979   Opera

   Kölner Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchester

   Herbert von Karajan

 Trionfo di Afrodite

   1953   Cantata

   Novosibirsk Philharmonic/Gintaras Rinkevičius

  Born in 1896 in Brooklyn, Roger Huntington Sessions enrolled at Harvard to study music at age fourteen. He wrote for and edited the 'Harvard Musical Review' before graduating at age eighteen. Sessions further studied at Yale before beginning to teach at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. His first notable compositions occurred while he was traveling Europe with his wife in the twenties and thirties. Returning to the States in 1933, Sessions began teaching at Princeton in New Jersey in 1936. A few years later he moved to California to teach at its university in Berkeley from 1945 to 1953. He then returned to Princeton to teach until 1965. From 1966 to 1983 he taught at Juilliard part time. He received the Pulitzer Prize in 1974, as well as the annual Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1981 for his 'Concerto for Orchestra'. He died in 1985 in Princeton. Sessions had begun composing in the neoclassical style. He began writing atonal works in 1946. His first examination of serial composing was in 1953 with his 'Sonata for Solo Violin' (unfound).

Roger Sessions   1910 - 1985

 6 Pieces for Violoncello

   1966   Violincello: Luca Fels

 The Black Maskers Orchestral Suite


   American Recording Society Orchestra

   Walter Hendl

 Duo for Violin and Piano

   1942   Performance 1950

   Piano: Otto Herz Violin: Patricia Travers

 From My Diary

   1937-40   4 movements for piano

   Piano: Robert Helps

 Piano Concerto


   Munich Philharmonic Orchestra/James Levine

 Piano Sonata 1

   1930   Piano: Robert Helps

 Piano Sonata 2

   1946   Piano: Robert Helps

 Symphony 1 in E minor

   1927   3 movements

   Japan Philharmonic Orchestra/Akeo Watanabe

 Symphony 2


   New York Philharmonic/Dimitri Mitropoulos

 Symphony 3

   1957   4 movements

   Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Igor Buketoff

 Symphony 4

   1958   3 movements

   Columbus Symphony Orchestra

   Christian Badea

 Symphony 5   [Part 1]


   Columbus Symphony Orchestra/Christian Badea

 Symphony 5   [Part 2]


   Columbus Symphony Orchestra/Christian Badea

 Symphony 5   [Part 3]


   Columbus Symphony Orchestra/Christian Badea

 Symphony 7

   1967   3 movements

   Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Jean Martinon

 Symphony 8

   1968   2 movements

   American Symphony Orchestra/Leon Botstein

 Symphony 9


   BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra

   Frederick Prausnitz

 Violin Concerto


   Orchestre Philharmonique de l'ORTF

   Gunther Schuller

   Violin: Paul Zukofsky

Birth of Classical Music: Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco

Roger Sessions

Source: American Century Music
Birth of Classical Music: Henry Cowell

Henry Cowell   Circa 1913

Photo: Sydney Cowell Collection/NYPL

Source: Wikipedia
Born in 1897 in Menlo Park, California, Henry Cowell had in Irish immigrant for a father, his mother from Iowa. Entering the University of California, Berkeley, in 1914, he studied further in New York before returning to California to compose 'The Tides of Manaunaun' in 1917. During the twenties Cowell toured North America and Europe as a pianist. It was during the latter twenties and early thirties that he came fore as a major modernist who could do little wrong in the view of his modernist contemporaries. He invented the Rhythmicon in 1930 with Léon Theremin (inventor of the theremin, a favored instrument of Les Baxter). The Rhythmicon produced 16 different rhythms electronically, making possible to, say, a keyboardist, what wasn't before. A Guggenheim Fellowship in 1931 sent him to Berlin to study musicology, Carnatic theory and gamelan. Though Cowell didn't identify as a homosexual (he married in 1941) he found himself at San Quentin (north of San Francisco) for fours years in 1936 as a result of oral sex with a seventeen year-old male (Cowell age 39). He there directed the prison band. It's been said that upon release in 1940 Cowell exhibited symptoms of paranoia developed while incarcerated. He nevertheless had a protector in John Hendricks. Incarcerated for murder, Hendricks also played violin and respected Cowell who made Hendricks his conductor. While in San Quentin Cowell composed, all in 1939: 'Amerind Suite', 'Pulse', 'Return' and 'Ritournelle'. His music underwent a marked change from his earlier modernist period upon his release. The more conservative, though yet progressive, Cowell began his next career creating radio programs for broadcast overseas by the United States Office of War Information. He thereafter wrote the majority of his twenty symphonies and taught at various institutions. 1955 saw the publishing of his first biography of Charles Ives in collaboration with his wife, Sydney. The next year the Rockefeller Foundation sent him to Iran, India and Japan. In 1961 he represented Kennedy at conferences in Tehran and Tokyo. Cowell died in December of 1965.

Henry Cowell   1914 - 1965

 Homage to Iran

   1963   Continuum/Joel Sachs


   1957   Louisville Orchestra/Jorge Mester


   1939   The Kroumata Percussion Ensemble

 Sinister Resonance

   1930?   Internal piano piece

   Piano: Fausto Bongelli

 Suite for Violin and Piano

   1925   6 pieces

   Piano: Cheryl Seltzer   Violin: Mia Wu

 Symphony 4

   1946   'Short Symphony'   4 movements

   Eastman-Rochester Symphony Orchestra

   Howard Hanson

 Symphony 5

   1948   4 movements

   American Recording Symphony Orchestra

   Dean Dixon

 Symphony 11

   1956   'Seven Rituals of Music'   7 movements

Louisville Orchestra/Robert Whitney

 The Tides of Manaunaun

   1927   Tone cluster piece

Piano: Maria Fernanda Zapata

  Born in Łódź, Russia (now Poland) in 1897, Alexandre Tansman studied music at the Łódź Conservatory, but graduated in law and philosophy at the University of Warsaw. In 1919 he headed for Paris. He declined opportunity to become a member of the avant-garde group of composers known as Les Six, preferring to be more independent yet. A Jew, he left Europe for Los Angeles in 1941 where he began writing film scores. Returning to Paris after the War, he there died in 1986. Albeit Tansman had spent the majority of life in Paris he identified as a Polish composer. A virtuosic pianist, much of his career was spent touring internationally.

Alexandre Tansman   1917 - 1982

 Concerto pour clarinette

    1957   3 movements

Silesian Chamber Orchestra

    Mrosław Jacek Błaszczyk

    Clarinet: Jean-Marc Fessard

 Concertino pour guitare


    Royal Ballet Sinfonia/Andrew Penny

    Guitar: Frédéric Zigante

 Sonatina 3

    Piano: Daniel Blumenthal

 Sonatine for Bassoon and Piano

    Bassoon: Yuki Katayama   Piano: Xi Chen

 Sonatine Transatlantique

    1940   Piano: Daniel Blumenthal

 Symphony 2


    Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

   Oleg Caetani

 Symphony 4


    Bamberger Symphoniker/Israel Yinon

  Symphony 8


    Concertgebouw Orchestra/Rafael Kubelík

Birth of Classical Music: Alexandre Tansman

Alexandre Tansman

Source: Musicologie
  Born in Chandler, Oklahoma, in 1898, to farmers, Roy Harris grew up in California upon his father selling his homestead to purchase land in Covina east of Los Angeles. He played piano and clarinet as a youth, but studied nonmusical topics at the University of California when he enrolled there in 1919. He began to study composition apart from UC in 1922, becoming serious under the tutelage of Arthur Farwell in 1924. He was with Farwell when he completed the Andante to his first symphony, 'Our Heritage', in 1925. That was revised the next year, though the rest of that symphony was abandoned. In 1926 Harris was able to get to Paris to study Renaissance music with Nadia Boulanger. He that year completed 'Concerto for Piano, Clarinet and String Quartet'. Since that time he completed above 170 works, largely for orchestra, including thirteen numbered symphonies amidst other symphonic works. Having returned to the United States from France in 1929, Harris began a lifelong partnership with pianist, Beula Duffey, in 1936 by marrying her, she to become Johana Harris (changing her first name as well, in honor of Johann Sebastian Bach). The next year Harris completed the symphony that made his name, 'No 3'. His last, the 'Bicentennial Symphony' ('No 13'), arrived in 1976. Harris instructed at the University of California Los Angles (UCLA) during the sixties. Starting in 1970 he began teaching at California State University in Los Angeles. Having founded the International String Congress, co-founded the American Composers Alliance ('37) and toured the Soviet Union numerous times, Harris died in October of 1979.

Roy Harris   1924 - 1979

 Concerto for Piano . . . Quartet

   1926   Revised 1927/28

   Long Island Chamber Ensemble

 Fantasy for Piano

   1954   Director: Izler Solomon

   MGM Symphony Orchestra

 Piano Quintet

   1936   This performance 1939

   Coolidge String Quartet

   Piano: Johana Harris

 Symphony No 3

   1937–38   Revised 1939

   BBC Symphony Orchestra

   Conducting: Grant Llewellyn

 Symphony No 4

   1939   'Folk Song Symphony'

   Colorado Symphony O & C

 Symphony No 7

   1951–52   Revised 1955

   BBC Symphony Orchestra

   Director: Andrew Litton

 Symphony No 8


   San Francisco Symphony

 Symphony No 9


   BBC National Orchestra of Wales

   Director: Eric Stern

 Symphony No 11

   1967   Sinfonia Varsovia

Birth of Classical Music: Roy Harris

Roy Harris
Birth of Classical Music: Georges Auric

Georges Auric

Source: Find a Grave
Born in Lodève, France, in 1899, Georges Auric came out of the gate strong at age fourteen, performing his first piano recital at the Société Musicale Indépendante. Songs he'd composed were performed at the Société Nationale de Musique the next year. He enrolled into the Paris Conservatoire in 1913 where he met other members of Érik Satie's future Nouveaux Jeunes, which would spawn Les Six, an important group of avant-garde composers thus dubbed in a manner after The Five in earlier Romantic Russia. In 1920 Les Six published 'L'Album des Six', but had only five members when they collaborated on 'Les mariés de la tour Eiffel' the next year (Durey not contributing). Auric began writing for film in 1930, his score to 'A Nous, la Liberté!' appearing in 1931. Among his most important collaborators in composition for film was Jean Cocteau. Having first met Cocteau in the days of Les Six, they made eleven films together. He ceased writing for film in 1962 when he became director of Opéra National de Paris. Though he became Chairman of SACEM he continued composing up to his death. He died in Paris in 1983. Per below, 'Le Mystere Picasso' was composed in 1956. It is conducted by Jacques Métehen.

Georges Auric   1913 - 1983

 La belle et la Bête [Part 1]

   1946   Film score

   Moscow Symphony Orchestra/Adriano

 La belle et la Bête [Part 2]

   1946   Film score

   Moscow Symphony Orchestra/Adriano

 Le Mystère Picasso: Ouverture


   1949   Film score

   Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra/Adriano



   Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra

   Antal Dorati


   1949   Symphonique suite

   Orchestre National de l'ORTF

   Manuel Rosenthal


   1922   For piano   3 movements

   Pianoforte: Daniel Blumenthal

 Trio for Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon

   1938   3 movements

   Arundo-Donax Ensemble

  Born in 1899 in Mexico City, Carlos Chavez finds Mexico but a heartbeat behind the United States in producing major talent in the classical genre. His father was a rich inventor, a plough of his used in the United States. Chavez studied piano as a child but his first real employment was as a writer for the newspaper, 'El Universal', in 1924, where he would remain for more than three decades producing more than 500 pieces. Chavez had already traveled in Europe before his first visit to the States in 1923 as the latter segment of an extended honeymoon lasting several months. Chavez brought Mexico its first permanent orchestra in 1928 with the Orquesta Sinfónica Mexicana, later renamed the Orquesta Sinfónica de México. He was appointed Director of Mexico's National Conservatory of Music that year as well. Chavez began recording for Victor in the thirties. In 1937 he published 'Toward a New Music', followed the next year by his next visit to the States, conducting the NBC Symphony Orchestra. In 1940 Chavez produced concerts at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1947 he became General Director of the National Institute of Fine Arts in Mexico City. That same year he dissembled the Orquesta Sinfónica de México to reform it as the National Symphony Orchestra. Chavez died in 1978 in Mexico City. He had originally been a Romantic, atop which he'd developed a nationalistic style a la Mexico even as his contemporary, Aaron Copland, was doing the same in the United States.

Carlos Chavez
   1921 - 1978

 Concerto for piano and orchestra


Vienna State Opera Orchestra

   Conductor: Carlos Chávez

   Piano: Eugene List

 Paisajes mexicanos


State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra

   Enrique Bátiz

 Sinfonia 1 (Sinfonía de Antigona)


   Orquesta Filarmónica de la ciudad de México

   Enrique Bátiz

 Symphony 2 (Sinfonia India)


SCM Symphony Orchestra/Eduardo Diazmuñoz

 Sinfonia 5   Movement 1

1953   Allegro molto moderato

London Symphony Orchestra/Eduardo Mata

 Sinfonia 5   Movement 2

   1953   Molto lento

London Symphony Orchestra/Eduardo Mata

 Sinfonia 5   Movement 3

1953   Allegro molto moderato

London Symphony Orchestra/Eduardo Mata

 Sinfonia 6   Movement 1

1961   Allegro energico

London Symphony Orchestra/Eduardo Mata

 Sinfonia 6   Movement 2

1961   Adagio molto cantabile

London Symphony Orchestra/Eduardo Mata

 Sinfonia 6   Movement 3

1961 Allegro energico

London Symphony Orchestra/Eduardo Mata


Birth of Classical Music: Carlos Chavez

Carlos Chavez

Source:  John Craton
Birth of Classical Music: Eugene Ormandy

Eugene Ormandy

Source:  Last FM
Born in 1899 in Budapest, Eugene Ormandy wasn't a composer, but as a conductor and musical director he was a significant interpreter of many important works who fairly requires mention in this history. Ormandy began to study violin at age five at the Royal National Hungarian Academy of Music, gave his first recitals at age seven and graduated at age fourteen. He then took a philosophy degree in 1920. Moving to the United States in 1921, he was employed as a violinist at the Capitol Theatre in New York City, providing accompaniment to silent films. Between 1923 and '29 he made 16 recordings, half acoustic, half with microphone. He first conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1931, filling in for Arturo Toscanini who was ill. But he conducted the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra (with which he conducted several recordings) before assuming his post with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1936, with which he would remain for more than four decades and by which he would make his name. He began as assistant to conductor, Leopold Stokowski, becoming musical director a couple years later. Ormandy interpreted classical, romantic and modern composers. In 1947 he appeared in the film, 'Night Song', with Arthur Rubinstein, with  at piano. Ormandy often toured with the Philadelphia Orchestra, including the People's Republic of China in 1973. He retired in 1980, dying in Philadelphia in 1985. The Philadelphia Orchestra made not a few recordings. Among compositions chosen by Ormandy to be heard on record for the first time were Mahler's 'Symphony 10', Prokofiev's 6th and 7th, and Shostakovich's 'Cello Concerto 1'.

Eugene Ormandy

 2 Roumanian Rhapsodies

Composer: George Enescu

   1901   Op 11:1 & 2

   Philadelphia Orchestra

 Piano Concerto 2 in G minor

   Composer: Sergei Prokofiev

   Version 1: 1912-13 Version 2: 1923

   Op 16 4 movements

   Philadelphia Orchestra   Recorded 1974

 The Planets

Composer: Gustav Holst

1914-16   Op 32   7 movements

   Philadelphia Orchestra   Recorded 1977

 Symphony 5 in D minor

Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich

1937   Op 47

   Philadelphia Orchestra   Recorded 1958

 Symphony 13 in B flat minor

   Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich

'Babi-Yar'   1962   Op 113

Baritone: Tom Krause

   Philadelphia Orchestra   Recorded 1970

 Violin Concerto 2 in C sharp minor

Composer: Dmitri Shostakovich

   1967   Op 129

   Violin: David Oistrakh

   London Symphony Orchestra  

   Recorded 1967

  Born in 1899 in Paris, Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc was 5 weeks older than his future colleague, Georges Auric. Poulenc was the son of a wealthy manufacturer of pharmaceuticals. He began piano lessons at age five. In 1916 he studied beneath pianist, Ricardo Viñes, while hanging out with avant-garde poets at the bookshop of Adrienne Monnier. Through Vines Poulenc met Érik Satie, whose Nouveaux Jeunes he joined, later to be dubbed Les Six, a significant ensemble of avant-garde composers. Poulenc's public debut was his 'Rapsodie nègre' in 1917. From 1918 to 1921 Poulenc served in the military, his last post as a typist. He was meanwhile able to compose and contribute to the collaborative productions of Les Six. It wasn't until 1921 that Poulenc decided he needed help with composition, studying with Charles Koechlin off and on until 1925. In 1926 he met baritone, Pierre Bernac, with whom he would work for the next few decades. The first recordings of Poulenc's compositions appeared in 1928 for French Columbia with mezzo-soprano, Claire Croiza, performing his song cycle, 'La bestiaire'. Poulenc completed the twenties in an overall happy condition, his career successful and having inherited his father's fortune, allowing him to purchase a house in Noizay, about 140 miles from Paris. Poulenc composed his first significant liturgical work, 'Mass in G major' in 1937. He made his first tour of Great Britain with Bernac in 1938 and began working with the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). Poulenc was briefly drafted a second time in 1940, serving in an anti-aircraft unit at Bordeaux for a month, until France surrendered to Germany. He worked in Paris during the occupation. 1945 saw Poulenc back in London, also recording for the BBC. His first opera, 'Les mamelles de Tirésias', taken from a 1917 play by Apollinaire with the same title, premiered in 1947 and was recorded. He made his initial tour of the United States in 1948. While working on his opera, 'Dialogues of the Carmelites', he experienced a nervous breakdown in 1954, the opera premiering in 1957 in Milan at the Teatro alla Scala. Poulnc gave his last performance with Bernac in 1959, the latter retiring. Poulenc passed away of heart attack in his apartment in Paris in January of 1963. He had composed works both spiritual ('Stabat Mater' [1950], 'Dialogues of the Carmelites' [1953-56] and 'Gloria' [1959–60]), and sensual ('Les biches' [1923, premier 1924] and 'Les mamelles de Tirésias' [1944]), being at once Catholic and bisexual, his romantic relationships largely gay. He wrote mostly for piano and song, though also composed chamber works such as sonatas, as well as concertos, choral, operatic and symphonic works.

Francis Poulenc   1917 - 1963

  Dialogues of the Carmelites

    [Part 1]   1953-56   FP 159

    Performance unknown

 Dialogues of the Carmelites

    [Part 2]   1953-56   FP 159

    Performance unknown


   1959-60   FP 177   Gloria   6 movements

   Penn State Philharmonic & Choir

   Soprano: Julia Wolcott

 Les Mamelles de Tirésias   [Part 1]

   1944   FP 125   Opera   2 acts

   Tokio Opera Singers/Takamori Egami

   Saito Kinen Orchestra/Seiji Ozawa

 Les Mamelles de Tirésias   [Part 2]

   1944   FP 125   Opera   2 acts

   Tokio Opera Singers/Takamori Egami

   Saito Kinen Orchestra/Seiji Ozawa

 Les Mamelles de Tirésias   [Part 3]

   1944   FP 125   Opera   2 acts

   Tokio Opera Singers/Takamori Egami

   Saito Kinen Orchestra/Seiji Ozawa

 Les Mamelles de Tirésias   [Part 4]

   1944   FP 125   Opera  2 acts

   Tokio Opera Singers/Takamori Egami

   Saito Kinen Orchestra/Seiji Ozawa

 Rapsodie Negre

   1917 Revised 1933   FP 3

   Rhapsody   5 sections

   Conductor: Banja Luka

   Piano: Sonja Bobrek

 Sonata for Oboe & Piano

   1962   FP 185   3 movements

   Oboe: Maurice Bourgue

   Piano: Jacques Février

 Stabat Mater

   1950–51   FP 148

   Stabat mater   12 movements

   Choeur Régional Vittoria d'Île de France

   Orchestre de la Cité/Michel Piquemal

   Soprano: Danielle Borst

Birth of Classical Music: Eugene Ormandy

Francis Poulenc

Source:  Bach Cantatas

We temporarily suspend this section of the history of early modern classical with Poulenc. Additions may or may not occur.





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