300 Years of European Music

  • Bach Composes "The Well-Tempered Clavier"

    Bach Composes "The Well-Tempered Clavier"
    This seminal set of pieces of 48 preludes and fugues will become the "daily bread" of nearly all musicians for generations to come, laying the foundations for the new styles that followed. Glenn Gould plays Bach prelude in c minor:
    https://youtu.be/_3MVZfLReo0 J.S. Bach: 'The Well-tempered Clavier',
    British Library Add. MS 35021, f.14.
    Copyright © The British Library Board
    British Library Add. MS 35021, f.14.
    Copyright © The British Library Boar
  • Haydn's Triumph In London

    Haydn's Triumph In London
    Franz Joseph Haydn, the musical face of the Enlightenment, arrives in London for a grand concert tour which will generate some of the most memorable pieces of the Classical period, and grant him international celebrity and wealth. Haydn, Symphony no. 104, "London"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Imxw Hardy, Thomas, "Portrait of Joseph Haydn", 1791, Royal College of Music Museum of Instruments, http://www.cph.rcm.ac.uk/Virtual Exhibitions/Haydn/
  • The Death of Chopin

    The Death of Chopin
    Frederic Chopin was the ultimate symbol of the Romantic era. In his music, poetic, inventive and imbued with emotion, and in his tumultuous liaison with George Sand, he perfectly encapsulated the spirit of Romanticism. This portrait's expressive style reflects the passion and emotion of his music. Fantaisie Impromptu, Arthur Rubinstein
    https://youtu.be/75x6DncZDgI Delacroix, Eugene, "Frederic Chopin", 1838,Muse du Louvre
  • Premiere of Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde"

    Premiere of Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde"
    This musically groundbreaking opera is an important marker in the development of German nationalism. Wagner's works greatly influenced philosophy, political thought, and was even appropriated by the Nazis as the ideal of culture. Richard Wagner, "Tristan Und Isolde"- Prelude
    https://youtu.be/J-qoaioG2UA Albert, Joseph, " Ludwig and Malwine Schnorr von Carolsfeld in the title roles of the original production of Richard Wagner's Tristan und Isolde in 1865", 1865,
  • Claude Debussy: Impressionistic "Reverie"

    Claude Debussy: Impressionistic "Reverie"
    Claude Debussy was the musical link to the broader symbolist movement that included symbolist poets such as Verlaine and Mallarmé. He was an active participatnt in the bohemian society of cafes that dominated French culture in the fin de siècle. His piece "Reverie" is an example of his free, expressive style, mimicking the poetry of his contemporaries. Debussy, Reverie-
    https://youtu.be/y5ot-88UV-Y Debussy, Claude, "Reverie", autograph manuscript, May 1893, The Morgan Library and Museum
  • Shostakovich: "Muddle Instead of Music"

    Shostakovich: "Muddle Instead of Music"
    In the wake of the "Great Terror", Dmitry Shostakovich was denounced following a performance of his opera, "Lady Macbeth of the Mtensk Distrct" for its dissonance and bourgeois "formalism". Censorship, imprisonment, or even death was a reality for many musicians and artists under Stalin. Dmitry Shostakovich, "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District"
    https://youtu.be/Qdo9e6gOGyw Unknown, "Muddle Instead of Music", 28 January 1936, Pravda