Today in Music History
A Daily Look at Music History For Violin Students
A Look at What Happened on Today's Date
Long, Long Ago . . . Or Maybe Just Last Year
April 14
1676 - Ernst Christian Hesse, German viola de gamba virtuoso, was born. He taught his son, Ludwig Christian Hesse, who became one of the last great viola da gamba virtuosi. The son, using two different names, studied under two teachers in Paris. Each teacher bragged to the other about his star pupil.

1789 - First performance of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 6, in D.

1922 - First radio concert broadcast from an airplane.  Soprano Jeanette Vreeland sang as she flew over New York City.  (Why would anyone do this?  I don't know either.  I guess just to show that it could be done.)

1933 - Songwriter Buddy Knox (Party Doll) was born.

1944 - Premiere of Roy Harris's Symphony No. 6 Gettysburg. Boston Symphony, Serge Koussevitzky conducted.

1949 - First performance of Frederick Loew's musical Brigadoon.

1951 - Julian Lloyd Webber, English cellist, was born.  Brother of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.

1967 - Premiere of Anton Webern's Three Pieces for orchestra. Performed posthumously by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy conducted.

1996 - Premiere of Ellen T. Zwilich's Jubilation for orchestra.

1999 - Singer Burl Ives died.
Can You Guess?
We read below about the death of Burl Ives.  I'm sure you've listened  his character playing the banjo on a Christmas show that is on every year. Can You Guess what show that is?

To see the answer look at the bottom of the page.
What Else
Georg Friedrich Handel died on this date in 1759.

Handel was born February 23, 1685.  By age 11 Handel was playing the violin, oboe, harpsichord and organ. He was appointed organist of the Calvinist Cathedral in Halle, Germany.

Georg Friedrich Handel
When he was 12, Handel became the assistant organist at the cathedral of Halle, where the principal organist, Friedrich Wilhelm Zachau, became his teacher.  He moved to Hamburg, one of the principal musical centers of Germany, in 1703. There he played violin in the opera orchestra, directed by composer Reinhard Keiser. Handel composed two operas for the Hamburg theater, Almira and Nero ( both in 1705).

Handel went to Italy, where he remained until 1710. His travels took him to Florence, Venice, Rome, and Naples. Here he composed his first two oratorios,
Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (1707, later revised and translated as The Triumph of Time and Truth) and La Resurrezione (1708), as well as the opera Agrippina in 1709.

In 1710, Handel returned to Germany and became musical director to the elector of Hanover. Late that year he visited England, where his opera
Rinaldo was performed with great success. After another brief stay in Hanover, Handel received a leave of absence to return to London. In 1714 his former Hanover employer became King George I of England, and the new king bestowed special favors on Handel, who made London his permanent home and. In 1727, Handel became an English citizen.

While continuing to work in the Italian style, Handel began to be influenced by English music, especially choral music.  He was musical director of the Royal Academy of Music (1719 to 1728) and of the In England Handel continued to compose in the Italian style, but he also absorbed the characteristics of English music, especially English choral music. As musical director of the Royal Academy of Music from 1719 to 1728 and of the so-called Second Academy from 1728 to 1734--both organizations for the performance of Italian opera--Handel became London's leading composer and director of Italian operas. In fact, he was among the most important opera composers of the baroque period. Most of the texts of his approximately 40 operas are based on stories about heroic historical figures, but some are fantasies with magical scenes, and others are light "antiheroic" works. Musically, Handel's operas are outstanding for their imaginative use of the conventions of serious opera. A number of his operas have been recently revived, among them Giulio Cesare (1724), Tamerlano (1724), Orlando (1733), Alcina (1735), and Serse (1738).

Today Handel is far better known as a composer of English oratorios than of Italian operas. Of his 17 English oratorios, the earliest date from the period in which he was still composing Italian operas: Esther (1718; rev. 1732), Deborah (1733), Athalia (1733), Saul (1738), and Israel in Egypt (1738). From 1740 on, however, he abandoned Italian opera and concentrated on English oratorio. From this later period dates Messiah (1741), the most influential and widely performed oratorio of all time. Among his other outstanding oratorios of this period are Samson (1741), Belshazzar (1744), Solomon (1748), Theodora (1749), and Jephtha (1751). Mostly based on Old Testament stories, Handel's oratorios are three-act dramatic works, somewhat like operas but performed in concert, without staging or action. They are unusual in their prominent use of the chorus.

A prolific composer in many genres, Handel is well known for his outstanding contributions to English church music, secular vocal music, and instrumental music of various types, particularly the concerto.
Handel, Water Music and Royal Fireworks
Handel's Water Music and Royal Fireworks Music on one Very Good Album
Phantasia by Sarah Chang
Very Nice Album where Julian Lloyd Webber is joined by violinist Sarah Chang to play works based on those by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Look inside this title
George Frideric Handel: Six Sonatas - Piano / Violin - sheet music at
George Frideric Handel: Six Sonatas - Piano / Violin Composed by George Frideric Handel, arranged by Adolfo Betti. Set of performance parts for violin and piano. Schirmer Library Vol.1545. With solo part and piano accompaniment. 51 pages. Published by G. Schirmer, Inc. (HL.50259960)
See more info...
Handel a Violin Shirt
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Did You Guess?
Burl Ives played the narrator, Sam the Snowman in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Click for the DVD
Also Available
It Takes a Real Man to Handel a Violin
and a Great Handel Quote Design
Handel is So Great and So Simple that No One but a Professional Musician is Unable to Understand Him