Listen closely and soon you will hear, coming from out back of the timpani, the sound of dogs in classical music. Many of the Great Composers kept dogs. Some put dogs into their music.
The Mozart family dog, a fox terrier, was named Bimbes, though the prodigy Wolfy changed her name to the southern German diminutive Bimperl. So pleased was he with this clever dog-eared ornamentation that he similarly re-christened his sister Anna to Nannerl.
Correspondence by the Mozart family is tracked with mentions of Bimberl. Whenever traveling, Wolfy seldom failed to send "a thousand kisses to Bimberl."
At twenty-one, Mozart went with his mother to Paris where the young genius hoped to land a job. But his was a long, dark stay in the City of Lights, and turned tragic when Frau Mozart died.
Back in Salzburg, Nannerl kept her brother informed as to his dear Bimberl, describing how ...
Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a cool way for us to understand the psychology of music, how dozens of receptors in the brain respond to rhythm, tempo, tone, and other aspects of music. Take a look and see how your brain responds to music, the benefits of listening to music, and what your brain may derive from a music education.
Are you like me when it comes to music? I think I hear music well, its intricacies and subtleties. I believe that music plays an essential role in my inner life, but anyone who has heard me try to sing, or witnessed my fumbling attempts to play an instrument of any kind no matter how elementary – from drum to tambourine, never mind piano or clarinet – would never mistake me for someone musical.
Yet music strikes an innate chord in me, and I feel musical. I also feel that I do certain things musically. Somewhere there is music in me, even if it does not come out of me in song.
If this sounds familiar, you may be interested in findings from research conducted at Ohio State University regarding a “music gene.” Scientists and musicologists have proposed that the musicality of humans has evolved right along with our ability ...
Of all the Great Composers, Debussy's personal life was among the most turbulent, that is, he scores among the highest in life-stress tests. One such episode involved Mme Emma Bardac, the wife of a wealthy banker and an amateur singer. Having just reached forty, and married four years, Debussy had a love affair with Emma Bardac.
With Lily Lilo, a few months before
his affair with Emma Bardac
His wife Rosalie Texier, whom Debussy called "Lily-Lilo," attempted suicide by shooting herself with a revolver, inflicting a wound near her heart. She was in the hospital when Debussy came to see her only once. He left as soon as he learned she would survive the gunshot wound. His friends were brutal in their criticism, and some became estranged from Debussy. He described this time as "strange and bizarre."
Debussy and Emma Bardac
Soon, Debussy moved into an apartment ...
Why did Madame Franck "emphatically dislike" the Piano Quintet by her husband Cesar? She refused to attend performances of the work, the first of which took place on this date in 1880, and heard it only when he played it on the piano at their Boulevard St. Michel apartment. She told friends, "His organ pieces are everything that is admirable, but that Quintet! Ugh!"
Did she object to its densely packed texture, or the unnerving tonal curve early in the first movement – a theme centered on a B natural in the key of F-Minor? Did the aesthetically cautious Madame Franck consider her husband's radical use of cyclical form a small scandale musique?
No. What so perturbated Felicite Franck about the F-Minor Quintet was its inspiration: Franck's beautiful young student Augusta Holmès (pictured above.)
Many friends viewed Franck as an organist-mystic, wearing pants too short and box coat too long, ...
Showing the rosy health of a ballet half its age, The Nutcracker, still comes around every Christmas, arriving in a flourish of pizzicato strings and tinkling triangles, exuding homey warmth, innocence, and sugary good cheer. It proceeds to the holiday’s center stage and dances for audiences in the millions. And yet -- kind reader, beware -- beneath its divertissement (shimmering!), beneath its perfumed pageantry, The Nutcracker also harbors a disconsolate spirit.
Before embarking on the ballet, Tchaikovsky was enjoying a rare period of fleeting happiness. It was the summer of his fiftieth year. Peter Ilyich told his friends he felt more at ease and sure of his talents than at any time in years. His music, including five symphonies, was receiving praise across Europe. Recently, Sleeping Beauty had scored a great success at the Imperial Theatre in St. Petersburg. He was flattered, as one is flattered by the praise of ...