Good Friday 1727 in Leipzig was a particularly good Friday. When Bach had first arrived, four years earlier, he had no doubt wowed his employers – not to mention the congregation – with that year’s Easter offering, the St. John Passion. Bach was ushered to Leipzig on the promise of a very large salary indeed,…
This piece is the stuff of legends. Mozart himself, allegedly, once heard Allegri’s Miserere being performed in the Sistine Chapel. The precocious young composer apparently rushed home and wrote down the entire work from memory. The work itself is a sublime nine-voice setting of Psalm 51: Miserere mei, Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam tuam (‘Have mercy…
The Wizard of Oz Musical Selection: From the 1939 musical film, The Wizard of Oz songs are among the most famous and recognisable American tunes of all time. ‘Over the Rainbow’ is perhaps the most famous song ever written for film. The music and lyrics were written by Harold Arlen and E.Y ‘Yip’ Harburg who…
James Hook (1746-1827) was an English composer and organist. He displayed a remarkable musical talent at an early age, playing the harpsichord by the age of four and performing concertos in public at the age of six. Hook was appointed organist and composer to Marylebone Gardens in 1768. In addition to his performances as an…
Composed in 1929 for Austrian pianist Paul Wittgenstein, who lost his right arm during World War 1. The concerto had its premier in January 1932 with Wittgenstein performing with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. Paul Wittgenstein plays Ravel – Piano Concerto For the Left Hand (Solo Excerpts)
The tortured chords at the opening of Elgar’s Cello Concerto sound as if they have to be excavated from the cello face; it would be a similar situation if Shakespeare had started Hamlet at ‘To be or not to be.’ Most concertos take a little time to come to the main point but Elgar was…
Pachelbel’s Canon is a musical work for three violins and ground bass by German composer Johann Pachelbel, admired for its serene but joyful character. It is Pachelbel’s best-known work and one of the most widely performed pieces of music from the Baroque Period. Although it was composed about 1680–90, the piece was not published until…
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