Immortal Beloved: Musical Love Letters From the Great Composers

By |2021-02-12T14:22:54-06:00February 13th, 2017|Categories: Audio/Video, Gustav Mahler, Hector Berlioz, Love, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music, Richard Wagner, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

Love has inspired countless composers, some of whom have written pieces dedicated to, or directly inspired by, their own beloveds. Here are ten of the best musical love letters ever composed. 1.  Wagner: Siegfried Idyll Though his reputation rests on his big, long, and loud mythological operas, Richard Wagner was also capable of composing on a [...]

Mozart’s Music: The Culminating Point of Beauty

By |2019-11-19T16:19:55-06:00January 27th, 2017|Categories: Audio/Video, Beauty, Music, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

"When I listen to his music, it is as if I am doing a good deed. It is difficult to convey what exactly his beneficial influence on me consists of, but it is undoubtedly beneficial, and the longer I live, the closer I get to know him, the more I love him"... Editor's Note: Unlike [...]

Is This the World’s Oldest Mozart Recording?

By |2021-02-18T17:37:15-06:00January 26th, 2017|Categories: Audio/Video, Culture, Featured, Music, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

Recorded in Denmark between 1889 and 1897 on a wax cylinder is what is almost certainly the oldest existing Mozart recording in the world. Peter Schram In a climate-controlled section in the basement of Statsbiblioteket, you can find a couple of old solid wooden boxes. These boxes used to contain some of the [...]

Neville Marriner: The Last of the Beloved Gentleman-Conductors

By |2016-12-11T13:23:40-06:00October 22nd, 2016|Categories: Featured, Music, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

Few conductors are loved. It could be as well, for music’s sake, that most conductors are loathed. Any impressive level of attendance at their obsequies readily calls to mind the witticism—attributed both to George Jessel and to Red Skelton—regarding the crowds at a universally abhorred Hollywood tycoon’s funeral: “Well, it proves what they always say. [...]

The Glory of Chamber Music

By |2018-10-11T17:30:06-05:00August 16th, 2016|Categories: Antonin Dvorak, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

When I first heard chamber music, it seemed an acquired taste, and subsequently a taste I acquired. So I will recite some personal history without any illusion that it matters because it was my experience. On the contrary: I think the story I know could be related to everyone’s exploration of music, because however you [...]

Mozart’s Muse: The Remarkable Life of Lorenzo Da Ponte

By |2019-11-19T16:00:15-06:00July 21st, 2016|Categories: Music, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

"Seldom, if ever indeed, has a more interesting personality come to these shores from Europe." —Joseph Russo, Lorenzo Da Ponte: Poet and Adventurer Opera aficionados will know Lorenzo Da Ponte's name because of his authorship of the libretti of Wolfgang Mozart's three great Italian comic operas: Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cosi fan [...]

The Depths of Mozart’s Imagination

By |2017-01-26T23:14:40-06:00January 27th, 2016|Categories: Imagination, Quotation, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

Mozart wrote everything with a facility and rapidity, which perhaps at first sight could appear as carelessness or haste; and while writing he never came to the klavier. His imagination presented the whole work, when it came to him, clearly and vividly…. In the quiet repose of the night, when no obstacle hindered his soul, [...]

The Top Ten Greatest Requiem Masses

By |2021-03-05T17:10:32-06:00January 26th, 2016|Categories: Audio/Video, Camille Saint-Saëns, Hector Berlioz, Michael Haydn, Music, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

“Should not church music be mostly for the heart?” —Joseph Martin Kraus The Roman Catholic Mass for the Dead—the Requiem, sometimes called Missa pro Defunctis (or Defuncto) or Messe des Morts—is surely the most dramatic of liturgical forms and has inspired countless composers, from medieval times to the present. What the Czech composer Antonin Dvořák, a devout [...]

A Model for Mozart? Michael Haydn’s Requiem

By |2021-02-01T18:58:42-06:00December 5th, 2015|Categories: Audio/Video, Featured, Joseph Haydn, Michael Haydn, Music, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

Michael Haydn's Requiem—like the composer himself—has receded into the historical mists. But this astounding work heavily influenced Mozart's own Requiem and is worthy of comparison with every other setting of the Mass for the Dead ever composed. The 1984 film Amadeus brought to the general public's attention that many minor composers of music—such as Antonio [...]

The Top Ten Greatest Violin Concertos

By |2020-07-20T20:45:52-05:00December 31st, 2014|Categories: Audio/Video, Camille Saint-Saëns, Felix Mendelssohn, Jean Sibelius, Johannes Brahms, Ludwig van Beethoven, Music, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

The violin concerto as a form of music has endured for some 300 years and remains, alongside the piano concerto, the most popular type of concerto played in modern concert halls and committed to recording. The genre was first developed during the Baroque era, when the concerto was conceived as a tripartite structure, running about fifteen [...]

The Night Salieri Bested Mozart

By |2020-08-17T23:33:55-05:00March 28th, 2014|Categories: Audio/Video, Music, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

This is the story of one unique night on which rivals Wolfgang Mozart and Antonio Salieri truly went head-to-head, performing newly-composed, short operas back-to-back, at the request of Emperor Joseph himself. The rivalry between Antonio Salieri and Wolfgang Mozart is well known, being the subject of Alexander Pushkin’s play, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera, and most famously [...]

Ten Mozart Works You Don’t Know… But Should

By |2019-11-19T16:45:48-06:00January 27th, 2014|Categories: Audio/Video, Music, Stephen M. Klugewicz, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

There is really no “unknown” Mozart these days. For the 225th anniversary of his death, the Universal record company released the newest of several (!) complete editions of every note Mozart wrote. So, everything we have written by the “miracle which God let be born in Salzburg” is readily available to twenty-first century listeners. Nevertheless, even Mozart fans [...]

The Musical Universe and Mozart’s “Magic Flute”

By |2020-07-29T16:00:13-05:00October 19th, 2013|Categories: Music, Peter Kalkavage, St. John's College, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|

“The Magic Flute” has been called Mozart’s “Masonic opera,” and so it is. Mozart was a serious Freemason. But the Masonic influence is of secondary importance to the power and precision of Mozart’s music, which, like all great music, is inexhaustible. Every act of listening to this work brings new discoveries. “Feelings are ‘vectors’; for [...]

Richard Strauss for Everyman

By |2018-10-15T17:38:49-05:00September 13th, 2013|Categories: Literature, Music, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart|Tags: , |

Richard Strauss Richard Strauss: A Musical Life, by Raymond Holden. Yale University Press. The Cambridge Companion to Richard Strauss, by Charles Youmans, Cambridge University Press. I am not a first-rate composer, I am a first-rate second-rate composer. —Richard Strauss I was never a revolutionary. The real revolutionary was Richard Strauss. —Schoenberg Richard Strauss [...]

Go to Top