Classical KUSC


The Child is Father to the Papa

Posted By: Dennis Bartel · 4/21/2015 2:25:00 PM

Beethoven, on his deathbed, was shown a painting of Joseph Haydn’s birthplace in the village Rohrau. This market town was set down in the monotonous marshlands along the Leitha River in Lower Austria. (Rohrau is translated from the German for reedy meadow.) Every few years in spring the river flooded the low-lying countryside. In the dry season the townspeople were fearful of their thatched roofs catching fire. When the mosquitoes rose from the swamps they were plentiful, and disease was never far behind. Rohrau also had a history haunted by invasions. The town was near the Hungarian border, so the military tug & pull of 18th century Central Europe often wrenched the lives of the modest citizens of Rohrau, whom history records as honest Croatian rubes.

In 1732, born among them, there was baby Franciscus Josephus Haydn; and ninety-five years later, here was Beethoven, looking back through the intersecting planes ...

Le Duel! (A Free Transcription)

Posted By: Dennis Bartel · 4/2/2015 4:10:00 AM

Liszt snorted and stomped.  He vowed to cross swords with a man he’d never met, and in so doing bandy with the Parisian salonisti.  At the stoked-pipe age of twenty-five, Liszt considered himself the undisputed pianistic champ of Europe, 1836.  Had he not achieved greatness in Paris but eighteen months ago?  Now Paris had turned her back on him in favor of another virtuoso, and to this affront he, Franz Liszt, the virtuoso, would respond with all due harshness.

He gave the salonisti this much.  He had been away from Paris too long, traveling Europe with the Countess he stole on his way out of town – the calm and alabaster Marie d’Agoult, wife of the Count.  Theirs was a wondrous thing of naught, the two lovers electric with sin, triumph and amore.  Or could it be, thought Liszt, the salonisti had tossed him over for the love of the ...

Ravel Photo Essay

Posted By: Dennis Bartel · 3/23/2015 12:30:00 AM
Ravel's family heritage can be traced to the Collogessous-Saleve, a village in France's Haute-Savoie, home to Ravel's grandfather Aime Ravel. Aime moved his family to Versoix, outside of Geneva, and became a Swiss citizen. Ravel's father, Pierre Joseph Ravel, was born there in 1832, one of five children. He pursued a career as an engineer, and would eventually play a role in France's developing automobile industry. He also maintained an interest in music. Ravel's mother, Marie Delouart, was of Basque descent. She spoke French well, but never learned to write it. Ravel was her first child, born when she was thirty-five. Her second and final child was Edouard, and it was no secret in the Ravel home that Maurice was his mother's favorite. She is said to have sung Spanish folk melodies to him in his cradle, and mother and child were very close all their life together. Three years ...
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