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
TODAY IS
August 24
Can You Guess?
Below we read about Leonard Bernstein's song cycle I Hate Music (a cycle of "5 Kid Songs").  The lyrics of one of the songs includes.  "A big Indian and a little Indian were walking down the street.  The little Indian was the son of the big Indian, but the big Indian was not the father of the little Indian." Can You Guess who the big Indian might have been?

Look at the Bottom of the Page for the Answer.
What Else
Happened
Today?
1748 - Handel finished the score of his oratorio Susanna.

1907 - First performance of Sir Edward Elgar's Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4, in London.

1934 - Rachmaninoff finished his Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.

1943 - First performance of Leonard Bernstein's song-cycle I Hate Music! with mezzo-soprano Jennie Tourel and Bernstein, piano, at the Public Library in Lenox, MA.

1969 - Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant premiered in both New York and Los Angeles.

1989 - The Who performed Tommy at the Universal Amphitheatre with special guests Steve Winwood, Elton John, Phil Collins, Patti LaBelle and Billy Idol.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart finished his Violin Sonata in A Major violin sonata, K 526 on August 24, 1787.

Mozart was born on January 27, 1756 in Salzburg Austria. He was the youngest and only surviving son of orchestra leader Leopold Mozart (author of A Treatise on the Fundamental Principles of Violin Playing), who was his first teacher.  Wolfgang showed remarkable musical ability early. He played the harpsichord by age 4.  He also wrote his first piano sonata that year.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
1756-1791
By age 6 he was touring Europe with his father and his immensely talented sister, Maria Anna "Nannerl." The children played for the French and English royal families delighting audiences everywhere with their performances on the harpsichord.  It was at this time that Wolfgang had his first music published and he wrote his earliest symphoniesThey delighted audiences everywhere they went with their harpsichord performances.

They spent 1769 in Salzburg; 1770-73 saw three visits to Italy, where Mozart wrote two operas (Mitridate, Lucio Silla) and a serenata to be performed in Milan.  It was here that Mozart acquainted himself with Italian styles of opera.

Mozart spent 1774 to mid-1777 in Salzburg, where he worked as Konzertmeister at the Prince- Archbishop's court.  His compositions during this period included Masses, symphonies, all ofhis violin concertos, six piano sonatas, several serenades and divertimentos and his piano concerto, K271.

Throughout his childhood, Wolfgang was always in the news and was greatly praised. He knew how special he was, and was unable to keep his opinions to himself about any lesser talents he encountered. He wrote many humorous critiques of  court musicians he met in his travels.  He spent his life looking for a well paying high court job that was certainly his due, but his naive arrogance and impulsive behavior undid him at every turn.

Despite personality flaws we find that Mozart was an enormous talent.  The number of compositions alone is staggering.  There are more than 600 that have been assigned Köchel numbers, and probably countless others produced for local musicians that have never been cataloged, or heard since.  These works cover almost every conceivable type of music produced at the time.  Masses, requiems, litanies, vespers, oratorios, cantatas, operas, stage music, arias with orchestra, songs, symphonies, serenades and divertimenti, piano concerti, violin concerti, concerti for wind instruments, string quartets, string quintets, piano sonatas, piano variations and sonatas for other Instruments are all enumerated.

In spite of the huge amount of work he composed, Mozart died in poverty.  He was buried in an unmarked grave upon his death December 5, 1791.

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