Category: Composers

Mozart’s “Haydn Quartets”

Mozart’s “Haydn Quartets”

The “Haydn” Quartets by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart are a set of six string quartets published in 1785 in Vienna, dedicated to the composer Joseph Haydn. Haydn was already a famous composer when Mozart was still a child.   “Papa Haydn” was known as the father of the string quartet, and was revered by the musical elite […]

Berg’s Violin Concerto: A Fusion of Serialism and Bach

Berg’s Violin Concerto: A Fusion of Serialism and Bach

One of my favorite pieces of 20th century music is Alban Berg’s hauntingly beautiful Violin Concerto.  The Violin Concerto is in 4 sections, with no break between them.  We’re only going to look at the last section, where an unusual Bach chorale speaks to us in a 20th century voice.  Berg combines serialism from modern […]

Guide to pronunciation

Guide to pronunciation

Guide to pronunciation You’re an advanced music student, or you are a very well-informed parent.  You’ve been invited backstage after a wonderful concert, and you’re happily chatting with the musicians.  “Your interpretation of the eye-burt was superb”, you gush, happy that you remembered the names from the program notes.  “I also enjoyed the mill-howd”, you […]

Two Sisters – Nadia and Lili Boulanger

Two Sisters – Nadia and Lili Boulanger

TWO SISTERS – NADIA AND LILI BOULANGER: Their contrasting pictures, their rhythmic names, and their achingly different dates begin to weave a story … Two sisters. One soft and dreamy, poetic and very young. The other, photographed at a much older age, seems to be made of sterner stuff. We hardly remember Nadia as a […]

Joseph Boulogne, Chavalier de Saint Georges

Joseph Boulogne, Chavalier de Saint Georges

Joseph Boulogne, Chavalier de Saint Georges   A picture is worth a thousand words, but it would take many more than a thousand words to describe this amazing man: Joseph Boulogne, Chavalier de Saint Georges. The music in the background of his portrait indicates his status as composer, conductor, and court musician.   He was sought out […]

Samuel Barber, American Composer (1910 – 1981)

Samuel Barber, American Composer (1910 – 1981)

Samuel Barber, American Composer (1910 – 1981) Samuel Barber didn’t concern himself with the various arguments of American music:  tonal vs. atonal, Stravinsky vs. Schoenberg, old-guard vs. modern.  He didn’t belong to any particular camp or school.  He just wrote music.   To paraphrase Barber himself, he quietly did his own thing and let others worry […]

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