Gabriel Fauré

Composer full Name: Gabriel Urbain Fauré
Date of Birth: 12 May 1845
Date of Death: 04 November 1924
Nationality: French
Period/Era/Style: Late Romantic
Contribution(s): Fauré was a French composer, organist, pianist and teacher. He was one of the foremost French composers of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th-century composers. Among his best-known works are his Pavane, Requiem, nocturnes for piano and the songs “Après un rêve” and “Clair de lune”. Although his best-known and most accessible compositions are generally his earlier ones, Fauré composed many of his most highly regarded works in his later years, in a more harmonically and melodically complex style.

Fauré was born into a cultured but not especially musical family. His talent became clear when he was a small boy. At the age of nine, he was sent to a music college in Paris, where he was trained to be a church organist and choirmaster. Among his teachers was Camille Saint-Saëns, who became a lifelong friend. After graduating from the college in 1865, Fauré earned a modest living as an organist and teacher, leaving him little time for composition. When he became successful in his middle age, holding the important posts of organist of the Église de la Madeleine and director of the Paris Conservatoire, he still lacked time for composing; he retreated to the countryside in the summer holidays to concentrate on composition. By his last years, Fauré was recognised in France as the leading French composer of his day. An unprecedented national musical tribute was held for him in Paris in 1922, headed by the president of the French Republic. Outside France, Fauré’s music took decades to become widely accepted, except in Britain, where he had many admirers during his lifetime.

Fauré’s music has been described as linking the end of Romanticism with the modernism of the second quarter of the 20th century. When he was born, Chopin was still composing, and by the time of Fauré’s death, jazz and the atonal music of the Second Viennese School were being heard. The Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, which describes him as the most advanced composer of his generation in France, notes that his harmonic and melodic innovations influenced the teaching of harmony for later generations. During the last twenty years of his life, he suffered from increasing deafness. In contrast with the charm of his earlier music, his works from this period are sometimes elusive and withdrawn in character, and at other times turbulent and impassioned.

Biography: Early years   |   Organist and composer   |   Middle years   |   Head of Paris Conservatoire   |   Last years and legacy


Playlists: 

Piano Works
Chamber Works
Vocal Works
Choral Works
Orchestral Works

 


Quick Buttons To External Info Sites:


wiki2    imslp  


Most Recent Maestro68 Postings: 

        


Audio Store Items Featuring This Composer:


 

Jules Massenet

Composer full Name: Jules Émile Frédéric Massenet
Date of Birth: 12 May 1842
Date of Death: 13 August 1912
Nationality: French
Period/Era/Style: Late Romantic
Contribution(s): Massenet was a French composer of the Romantic erabest known for his operas, of which he wrote more than thirty. The two most frequently staged are Manon (1884) and Werther (1892). He also composed oratorios, ballets, orchestral works, incidental music, piano pieces, songs and other music.

While still a schoolboy, Massenet was admitted to France’s principal music college, the Paris Conservatoire. There he studied under Ambroise Thomas, whom he greatly admired. After winning the country’s top musical prize, the Prix de Rome, in 1863, he composed prolifically in many genres, but quickly became best known for his operas. Between 1867 and his death forty-five years later he wrote more than forty stage works in a wide variety of styles, from opéra-comique to grand-scale depictions of classical myths, romantic comedies, lyric dramas, as well as oratorios, cantatas and ballets. Massenet had a good sense of the theatre and of what would succeed with the Parisian public. Despite some miscalculations, he produced a series of successes that made him the leading composer of opera in France in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Like many prominent French composers of the period, Massenet became a professor at the Conservatoire. He taught composition there from 1878 until 1896, when he resigned after the death of the director, Ambroise Thomas. Among his students were Gustave Charpentier, Ernest Chausson, Reynaldo Hahn and Gabriel Pierné.

By the time of his death, Massenet was regarded by many critics as old-fashioned and unadventurous although his two best-known operas remained popular in France and abroad. After a few decades of neglect, his works began to be favourably reassessed during the mid-20th century, and many of them have since been staged and recorded. Although critics do not rank him among the handful of outstanding operatic geniuses such as Mozart, Verdi and Wagner, his operas are now widely accepted as well-crafted and intelligent products of the Belle Époque.

Biography: Early years   |   Early works   |   Operatic successes and failures, 1879–96   |   Later years, 1896–1912


Playlists: 

Piano Works
Orchestral Works
Incidental Music
Opera Excerpts
Oratorios
Operas

Quick Buttons To External Info Sites:


wiki2    imslp  


Most Recent Maestro68 Postings: 

        


Audio Store Items Featuring This Composer:


 

Johannes Brahms

Composer full Name: Johannes Brahms
Date of Birth: 07 May 1833
Date of Death: 03 April 1897
Nationality: German
Period/Era/Style: Romantic
Contribution(s): Brahms was a German composer and pianist of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg into a Lutheran family, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria. His reputation and status as a composer is such that he is sometimes grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven as one of the “Three Bs” of music, a comment originally made by the nineteenth-century conductor Hans von Bülow.

Brahms composed for symphony orchestra, chamber ensembles, piano, organ, and voice and chorus. A virtuoso pianist, he premiered many of his own works. He worked with some of the leading performers of his time, including the pianist Clara Schumann and the violinist Joseph Joachim (the three were close friends). Many of his works have become staples of the modern concert repertoire. An uncompromising perfectionist, Brahms destroyed some of his works and left others unpublished.

Brahms has been considered, by his contemporaries and by later writers, as both a traditionalist and an innovator. His music is firmly rooted in the structures and compositional techniques of the Classical masters. While many contemporaries found his music too academic, his contribution and craftsmanship have been admired by subsequent figures as diverse as Arnold Schoenberg and Edward Elgar. The diligent, highly constructed nature of Brahms’s works was a starting point and an inspiration for a generation of composers. Embedded within his meticulous structures, however, are deeply romantic motifs.

Biography: LifeEarly years (1833–1850)   |   Early career (1850–1862)   |   Maturity (1862–1876)   |   Years of fame (1876–1890)   |   Last years (1890–1897)


Playlists: 

Symphonies
Serenades
Individual Orchestral Works
Concertos
Choral & Vocal Works
Chamber Works
Solo Piano Works
The Best of Brahms

Quick Buttons To External Info Sites:


wiki2    imslp  


Most Recent Maestro68 Postings: 

        


Audio Store Items Featuring This Composer:

   


 

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Composer full Name: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Date of Birth: 07 May 1840
Date of Death: 06 November 1893
Nationality: Russian
Period/Era/Style: Romantic
Contribution(s): Tchaikovsky was a Russian composer of the romantic period, some of whose works are among the most popular music in the classical repertoire. He was the first Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally, bolstered by his appearances as a guest conductor in Europe and the United States. He was honored in 1884 by Emperor Alexander III, and awarded a lifetime pension.

Although musically precocious, Tchaikovsky was educated for a career as a civil servant. There was scant opportunity for a musical career in Russia at that time and no system of public music education. When an opportunity for such an education arose, he entered the nascent Saint Petersburg Conservatory, from which he graduated in 1865. The formal Western-oriented teaching he received there set him apart from composers of the contemporary nationalist movement embodied by the Russian composers of The Five, with whom his professional relationship was mixed. Tchaikovsky’s training set him on a path to reconcile what he had learned with the native musical practices to which he had been exposed from childhood. From this reconciliation he forged a personal but unmistakably Russian style—a task that did not prove easy. The principles that governed melody, harmony and other fundamentals of Russian music ran completely counter to those that governed Western European music; this seemed to defeat the potential for using Russian music in large-scale Western composition or for forming a composite style, and it caused personal antipathies that dented Tchaikovsky’s self-confidence. Russian culture exhibited a split personality, with its native and adopted elements having drifted apart increasingly since the time of Peter the Great. This resulted in uncertainty among the intelligentsia about the country’s national identity—an ambiguity mirrored in Tchaikovsky’s career.

Despite his many popular successes, Tchaikovsky’s life was punctuated by personal crises and depression. Contributory factors included his early separation from his mother for boarding school followed by his mother’s early death, the death of his close friend and colleague Nikolai Rubinstein, and the collapse of the one enduring relationship of his adult life, which was his 13-year association with the wealthy widow Nadezhda von Meck who was his patron even though they never actually met each other. His homosexuality, which he kept private, has traditionally also been considered a major factor, though some musicologists now downplay its importance. Tchaikovsky’s sudden death at the age of 53 is generally ascribed to cholera; there is an ongoing debate as to whether cholera was indeed the cause of death, and whether his death was accidental or self-inflicted.

While his music has remained popular among audiences, critical opinions were initially mixed. Some Russians did not feel it was sufficiently representative of native musical values and expressed suspicion that Europeans accepted the music for its Western elements. In an apparent reinforcement of the latter claim, some Europeans lauded Tchaikovsky for offering music more substantive than base exoticism and said he transcended stereotypes of Russian classical music. Others dismissed Tchaikovsky’s music as “lacking in elevated thought,” according to longtime New York Times music critic Harold C. Schonberg, and derided its formal workings as deficient because they did not stringently follow Western principles.

Biography: Childhood   |   Civil service; pursuing music   |   Relationship with The Five   |   Growing fame; budding opera composer   |   Personal life   |   Years of wandering   |   Return to Russia   |   Belyayev circle and growing reputation   |   Death


Playlists: 

Piano Works
Chamber works
Individual Ochestral Works
Orchestral Suites
Ballets Suites
Overtures & Opera
Incidental Music
Symphonies
Piano & Orchestra
Violin & Orchestra
Cello & Orchestra
Vocal & Choral Works

Quick Buttons To External Info Sites:


wiki2    imslp  


Most Recent Maestro68 Postings: 

        


Audio Store Items Featuring This Composer:


 

 

Hugo Alfvén

Composer full Name: Hugo Emil Alfvén
Date of Birth: 01 May 1872
Date of Death: 08 May 1960
Nationality: Swedish
Period/Era/Style: Romantic / 20th century
Contribution(s): Alfvén was a Swedish composer, conductor, violinist, and painter.

Biography: Alfvén was born in Stockholm, Sweden, and studied at the Royal College of Music (Kungliga Musikhögskolan) from 1887 to 1891 with the violin as his main instrument while receiving lessons from Lars Zetterquist. He also took private composition lessons from Johan Lindegren, a leading counterpoint expert. He earned a living by playing the violin at the Royal Opera in Stockholm. He also played the violin in the Royal Swedish Orchestra.

Starting in 1897, Alfvén travelled much of the next ten years in Europe. He studied violin technique in Brussels with César Thomson and learned conducting in Dresden as sub-conductor under Hermann Ludwig Kutzschbach. In 1903-4 he was professor of composition at the Royal Conservatory, Stockholm. From 1910 Alfvén was Director musices (music director) at the University of Uppsala (a post he held until 1939). There he also directed the male voice choir Orphei Drängar (or ‘O.D.’) (until 1947). He conducted in festivals at Dortmund (1912), Stuttgart (1913), Gothenburg (1915), and Copenhagen (1918–1919). He toured Europe as a conductor throughout his life. He received a Ph.D. honoris causa from Uppsala in 1917 and became a member of the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm in 1908. Alfvén recorded some of his orchestral music in stereo late in 1954 (the first classical stereo recordings made in Sweden); the recordings were issued on LP in the U.S. by Westminster Records. A three-CD collection of Alfvén’s recordings as a conductor has been issued.

Hugo Alfvén, plaque at the Stockholm City Hall

Music: Alfvén became known as one of Sweden’s principal composers of his time, together with his contemporary Wilhelm Stenhammar. Alfvén’s music is in a late-Romantic idiom. His orchestration is skillful and colorful, reminiscent of that of Richard Strauss. Like Strauss, Alfvén wrote a considerable amount of program music. Some of Alfvén’s music evokes the landscape of Sweden.

Among his works are a large number of pieces for male voice choir, five symphonies and three orchestral “Swedish Rhapsodies.” The first of these rhapsodies, Midsommarvaka is his best known piece.

Alfvén’s five symphonies, the first four of them now several-times recorded (with another cycle in progress), give a picture of the composer’s musical progress. The first, in F minor, his Op. 7 from 1897, is an early work, tuneful in a standard four movements. The second, in D major (1898–99), his Op. 11 (and in a way his graduation piece, as interestingly recounted) concludes with a substantial, even powerful chorale-prelude and fugue in D minor. The third symphony in E major, Op. 23 (1905), also in four movements, more mature in technique though light in manner was inspired by a trip to Italy. The fourth symphony in C minor, Op. 39, of 1918–9 “From the Outermost Skerries” (there is also a tone-poem, A Legend of the Skerries) is a symphony in one forty-five-minute movement using wordless voices, inspired by Carl Nielsen’s Sinfonia Espansiva. The 5th in A minor, begun 1942, is one of the composer’s last works, and has only been recorded twice in full (recordings and performances of the 5th, while rare enough, are usually of its quarter-hour first movement).

 Naxos Records and BIS Records among others have either collections or groups of individual recordings covering all of his symphonies and a range of his works. Brilliant Classics has licensed and re-issued the 5-CD set from BIS devoted to Alfvén that includes the symphonies and other orchestral works.

Swedish Rhapsody No. 1: The first rhapsody – Swedish Rhapsody No. 1, also known as Midsommarvaka (Midsummer Vigil) – was written in 1903 and is often simply called the “Swedish Rhapsody.” It is the best-known piece composed by Alfvén, and also one of the best-known pieces of music in Sweden.


Playlists: 

Symphonies
Swedish Rhapsodies
Orchestral Suites
Individual Orchestral Works
Cantatas

Quick Buttons To External Info Sites:


wiki2    imslp  


Most Recent Maestro68 Postings: 

        


Audio Store Items Featuring This Composer:


 

Randall Thompson

Composer full Name: Randall Thompson
Date of Birth: April 21, 1899
Date of Death: July 9, 1984
Nationality: American
Period/Era/Style: 20th-century
Contribution(s): Thompson was an American composer, particularly noted for his choral works.

Biography: Randall attended The Lawrenceville School, where his father was an English teacher. He then attended Harvard University, became assistant professor of music and choir director at Wellesley College, and received a doctorate in music from the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music. He went on to teach at the Curtis Institute of Music (serving as its Director 1941/1942), at the University of Virginia, and at Harvard University. He is particularly noted for his choral works. He was an honorary member of the Rho Tau chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity at Appalachian State University.

Thompson composed three symphonies and numerous vocal works including AmericanaThe Testament of FreedomFrostiana, and The Peaceable Kingdom, inspired by Edward Hicks’s painting. His most popular and recognizable choral work is his anthem, Alleluia, commissioned by Serge Koussevitzky for the opening of the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood. He also wrote the operas Solomon and Balkis and The Nativity According to St. Luke.

Americana, a song cycle, is written in a 20th-century musical art style known as “News Items”—compositions that parody newspaper layout and content, or whose lyrics are lifted from media of the day. The lyrics are lifted from the “Americana” section of H. L. Mencken’s American Mercury magazine, which would reprint quotes and stories from U.S. publications. The song cycle’s texts come from such publications as the Seattle, Washington, Post-Intelligencer, the Little Rock, Arkansas, Gazette, and a leaflet issued by the National Women’s Christian Temperance Union.

Leonard Bernstein was one of Thompson’s students both at Harvard and at Curtis, according to his own testimony in a speech he gave at Curtis Institute’s 75th Anniversary Banquet. Thompson’s other notable students include Samuel Adler, Leo Kraft, Juan Orrego-Salas, John Davison, Thomas Beveridge, Charles Edward Hamm, George Lynn, William P. Perry, Christopher King, Joel Cohen, Frederic Rzewski, Richard Edward Wilson and David Borden.

In honor of Thompson’s vast influence on male choral music, on May 2, 1964 he became the first recipient of the prestigious University of Pennsylvania Glee Club Award of Merit. Established in 1964, this award sought “to bring a declaration of appreciation to an individual each year that has made a significant contribution to the world of music and helped to create a climate in which our talents may find valid expression.” He was also a recipient of Yale University’s Sanford Medal.


Playlist: 

 


Quick Buttons To External Info Sites:


wiki2      


Most Recent Maestro68 Postings: 

        


Audio Store Items Featuring This Composer:


 

Robert Volkmann

Composer full Name: Friedrich Robert Volkmann
Date of Birth: 06 April 1815
Date of Death: 30 October 1883
Nationality: German
Period/Era/Style: Early Romantic
Contribution(s): Volkmann was a German composer and companion of Johannes Brahms.

Biography: Robert Volkmann was born in Lommatzsch, Saxony, Germany. His father, a music director for a church, trained him in music to prepare him as a successor. Thus Volkmann learned to play the organ and the piano with his father, studied violin and cello with Friebel, and by age 12 he was playing the cello part in string quartets by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. In 1832 he entered the Freiberg Gymnasium for the purpose of becoming a teacher. There he studied music with August Ferdinand Anacker, who encouraged him to devote himself to music more fully. From there he went on to Leipzig in 1836 to study with Carl Ferdinand Becker. In Leipzig he met Robert Schumann, who encouraged him in his studies. They met again several times after that.

When he finished his studies, he began working as voice teacher at a music school in Prague. He did not stay there long, and in 1841 he moved to Budapest, where he was employed as a piano teacher and a reporter for the Allgemeine Wiener Musik-Zeitung.

After a short period of freelance work, he became the choirmaster and organist of a Reform synagogue in 1848. He composed in virtual obscurity until 1852, when his Piano Trio in B-flat minor caught the ears of Franz Liszt and Hans von Bülow, who proceeded to play it several times all over Europe. In 1854 Volkmann moved to Vienna, only to return to Budapest in 1858.

Thanks to the publisher Gustav Heckenast, who in 1857 bought the rights to publish all Volkmann’s works in exchange for regular income regardless of sales, Volkmann was able to fully dedicate himself to composition, until Heckenast closed down his Budapest publishing house in the early 1870s.

While visiting Vienna in 1864, Volkmann became acquainted with Johannes Brahms, and they became close friends. In letters they addressed each other as “lieber Freund” (“dear friend”).

From the 1870s Volkmann slowed down and composed very little. From 1875 until his death, he was professor of harmony and counterpoint at Budapest’s National Academy of Music, where Liszt was the director. Volkmann died in Budapest on 30 October 1883.


Playlist: 


Quick Buttons To External Info Sites:

wiki2    imslp  


Most Recent Maestro68 Postings & Downloads: 

      


Audio Store Items Featuring This Composer:


Albert Roussel

Composer’s full name: Albert Charles Paul Marie Roussel
Date of Birth: 05 April 1869
Date of Death: 23 August 1937
Nationality: French
Period/Era/Style: 20th Century, Impressionism, Neo=Classical
Contribution(s): Roussel was a French composer. He spent seven years as a midshipman, turned to music as an adult, and became one of the most prominent French composers of the interwar period. His early works were strongly influenced by the impressionism of Debussy and Ravel, while he later turned toward neoclassicism.

Biography: Life: Albert (Charles Paul Marie) Roussel was an outstanding French composer and teacher. Orphaned as a child, he was educated by his grandfather, mayor of his native town, and after the grandfather’s death, by his aunt. He studied academic subjects at the College Stanislas in Paris and music with the organist Stoltz; then studied mathematics in preparation for entering the Naval Academy; at the age of 18, he began his training in the navy; from 1889 to August 1890 he was a member of the crew of the frigate Iphigénie, sailing to Indochina. This voyage was of great importance to Roussel, since it opened for him a world of oriental culture and art, which became one of the chief sources of his musical inspiration. He later sailed on the cruiser Devastation; received a leave of absence for reasons of health, and spent some time in Tunis; was then stationed in Cherbourg, and began to compose there. In 1893 he was sent once more to Indochina.

Albert Roussel resigned from the navy in 1894 and went to Paris, where he began to study music seriously with Eugène Gigout. In 1898 he entered the Schola Cantorum in Paris as a pupil of Vincent d’Indy; continued this study until 1907, when he was already 38 years old, but at the same time he was entrusted with a class in counterpoint, which he conducted at the Schola Cantorum from 1902 to 1914; among his students were Satie, Golestan, Le Flem, Roland-Manuel, Lioncourt, and the young Edgard Varèse. In 1909 Roussel and his wife, Blanche Preisach-Roussel, undertook a voyage to India, where he became acquainted with the legend of the queen Padmavati, which he selected as a subject for his famous opera-ballet. His choral symphony Les Evocations was also inspired by this tour.

At the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Albert Roussel applied for active service in the navy but was rejected, and volunteered as an ambulance driver. After the Armistice of 1918, he settled in Normandy and devoted himself to composition. In the autumn of 1930 he visited the USA. Another student of Roussel’s was Bohuslav Martinů (after the war and his own apprenticeship, and starting in 1923). Roussel died in the town of Royan, (Charente-Maritime department), in western France, in 1937, the same year that his countrymen Maurice Ravel and Gabriel Pierné died.

Music: Albert Roussel began his work under the influence of French Impressionism, with its dependence on exotic moods and poetic association. He eventually found a personal style which was more formal in design, with a strong rhythmic drive, and with a more distinct liking for functional tonality than is evident in the work of his more famous contemporaries (for instance Debussy, Ravel, Satie, and Igor Stravinsky). The sense of formal design asserted itself in his symphonic works; his Suite (1926) signalizes a transition toward neo-Classicism; the thematic development is vigorous, and the rhythms are clearly delineated, despite some asymmetrical progressions; the orchestration, too, is in the Classical tradition. Roussel possessed a keen sense of the theater; he was capable of fine characterization of exotic or mythological subjects, but also knew how to depict humorous sitUations in lighter works.

Image result for Albert RousselAlbert Roussel’s training at the Schola Cantorum, with its emphasis on rigorous academic models such as Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and J.S. Bach, left its mark on his mature style, which is characterized by contrapuntal textures. In comparison with the subtle and nuanced style of other French composers like Gabriel Fauré or Claude Debussy, Roussel’s orchestration is rather heavy. While the stylistic and orchestral aesthetic of so-called “French” music was one which Roussel did not fully share, it is nevertheless true that Roussel was never a mere copyist of Teutonic models. Certainly, in contrast with the sound of the German romantic orchestral tradition (such as Anton Bruckner or Gustav Mahler), Roussel’s manner could hardly be called heavy at all.

Roussel was also interested in jazz, and wrote a piano-vocal composition entitled Jazz dans la nuit, similar in its inspiration to other jazz-inspired works such as “Blues” second movement of Maurice Ravel’s Violin Sonata, or Darius Milhaud’s La Création du Monde).

Roussel’s most important works are the ballets Le festin de l’araignée, Bacchus et Ariane, and Aeneas and the four symphonies (of which the Third, in G minor, and the Fourth, in A major, are highly regarded and epitomize his mature neoclassical style). His other works include numerous ballets, orchestral suites, a piano concerto, a concertino for cello and orchestra, a psalm setting for chorus and orchestra, incidental music for the theatre, and much chamber music, solo piano music, and songs.

Arturo Toscanini included the suite from the ballet Le festin de l’araignée in one of his broadcast concerts with the NBC Symphony Orchestra. René Leibowitz recorded this suite in 1952 with the Paris Philharmonic, and Georges Prêtre recorded this same music with the Orchestre National de France for EMI in 1984.


Playlist: 


Quick Buttons To Info Sites:


wiki2      imslp   YOUTUBE      


Most Recent Maestro68 Postings: 

         


Audio Store Items Featuring This Composer:

 


 

Sergei Rachmaninoff

Composer full Name: Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff
Date of Birth: 01 April [O.S. 20 March] 1873
Date of Death: 28 March 1943
Nationality: Russian
Period/Era/Style: Romantic / 20th Century
Contribution(s): Rachmaninov was a Russian pianist, composer, and conductor of the late Romantic period, some of whose works are among the most popular in the Romantic repertoire.

Born into a musical family, Rachmaninoff took up the piano at age four. He graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 1892 having already composed several piano and orchestral pieces. In 1897, following the negative critical reaction to his Symphony No. 1, Rachmaninoff entered a four-year depression and composed little until successful therapy allowed him to complete his enthusiastically received Piano Concerto No. 2 in 1901. For the next sixteen years, Rachmaninoff conducted at the Bolshoi Theatre, relocated to Dresden, Germany, and toured the United States for the first time.

Following the Russian Revolution, Rachmaninoff and his family left Russia; in 1918, they settled in the United States, first in New York City. With his main source of income coming from piano and conducting performances, demanding tour schedules led to a reduction in his time for composition; between 1918 and 1943, he completed just six works, including Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Symphony No. 3, and Symphonic Dances. By 1942, his ailing health led to his relocation to Beverly Hills, California. One month before his death from advanced melanoma, Rachmaninoff was granted American citizenship.

In Rachmaninoff’s work, early influences of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Balakirev, Mussorgsky, and other Russian composers gave way to a personal style notable for its song-like melodicism, expressiveness and rich orchestral colors.[3]Rachmaninoff often featured the piano in his compositions, and he explored the expressive possibilities of the instrument through his own skills as a pianist.

Biography: Ancestry and early years, 1873–1885   |   Moscow Conservatory and first compositions, 1885–1894   |   Symphony No. 1, depression, and conducting debut, 1894–1900   |   Recovery, emergence, and conducting, 1900–1906   |   Move to Dresden and first US tour, 1906–1917   |   Leaving Russia, emigration to the US, and concert pianist, 1917–1925  |   Touring, final compositions, and Villa Senar, 1926–1942   |   Illness, move to California, and death, 1942–1943


Playlist: 

 

 


Quick Buttons To Info Sites:


wiki2      imslp   YOUTUBE      


Most Recent Maestro68 Postings: 

         


Audio Store Items Featuring This Composer:

Orchestral Works:

     

Choral & Vocal Works:

           

Chamber Works:

        

Solo Piano Works:

  


 

Johann Sebastian Bach

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Date of Birth: 31 March [O.S. 21 March] 1685
Date of Death: 28 July 1750
Nationality: German
Period/Era/Style: Baroque
Contribution(s): J. S. Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He is known for instrumental compositions such as the Brandenburg Concertos and the Goldberg Variations, and vocal music such as the St Matthew Passion and the Mass in B minor. Since the 19th-century Bach Revival he has been generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.

The Bach family already counted several composers when Johann Sebastian was born as the last child of a city musician in Eisenach. Having become an orphan at age 10, he lived for five years with his eldest brother, after which he continued his musical formation in Lüneburg. From 1703 he was back in Thuringia, working as a musician for Protestant churches in Arnstadt and Mühlhausen and, for longer stretches of time, at courts in Weimar—where he expanded his repertoire for the organ—and Köthen—where he was mostly engaged with chamber music. From 1723 he was employed as Thomaskantor (cantor at St. Thomas) in Leipzig. He composed music for the principal Lutheran churches of the city, and for its university’s student ensemble Collegium Musicum. From 1726 he published some of his keyboard and organ music. In Leipzig, as had happened in some of his earlier positions, he had a difficult relation with his employer, a situation that was little remedied when he was granted the title of court composer by the Elector of Saxony and King of Poland in 1736. In the last decades of his life he reworked and extended many of his earlier compositions. He died of complications after eye surgery in 1750.

Bach enriched established German styles through his mastery of counterpoint, harmonic and motivicorganisation, and his adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach’s compositions include hundreds of cantatas, both sacred and secular. He composed Latin church music, Passions, oratorios and motets. He often adopted Lutheran hymns, not only in his larger vocal works, but for instance also in his four-part chorales and his sacred songs. He wrote extensively for organ and for other keyboard instruments. He composed concertos, for instance for violin and for harpsichord, and suites, as chamber music as well as for orchestra. Many of his works employ the genres of canon and fugue.

Throughout the 18th century Bach was primarily valued as an organist, while his keyboard music, such as The Well-Tempered Clavier, was appreciated for its didactic qualities. The 19th century saw the publication of some major Bach biographies, and by the end of that century all of his known music had been printed. Dissemination of scholarship on the composer continued through periodicals and websites exclusively devoted to him, and other publications such as the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis(BWV, a numbered catalogue of his works) and new critical editions of his compositions. His music was further popularised through a multitude of arrangements, including for instance the Air on the G String, and of recordings, for instance three different box sets with complete performances of the composer’s oeuvre marking the 250th anniversary of his death.

Biography: 
Life: 
Childhood (1685–1703)   |   Weimar, Arnstadt, and Mühlhausen (1703–1708)   |   Return to Weimar (1708–1717)   |   Köthen (1717–1723)   |   Leipzig (1723–1750)

Musical style: Four-part harmony   |   Modulations   |   Ornamentation   |   Giving soloist roles to continuo instruments   |   Instrumentation   |   Counterpoint   |    Structure, lyrics

Compositions: Passions and oratorios   |   Cantatas   |   A cappella music   |   Church music in Latin   |   Keyboard music   |   Orchestral and chamber music   |   Copies, arrangements and works with an uncertain attribution

Reception: 18th century   |   19th century   |   20th century   |   21st century   |   Burial site   |   Recognition in Protestant churches


Playlists: 

Quick Buttons To Info Sites:


wiki2      imslp   YOUTUBE      


Most Recent Maestro68 Postings: 

         


Audio Store Items Featuring This Composer:

 


 

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: