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
June 3
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Alexandre Cesar Leopold Bizet was born October 25, 1838.  He was called Georges after his uncle.

Georges Bizet grew up in a very musical family.His father was a hairdresser who also taught singing, and his mother was musically inclined as well.
1746 - Birth of English composer James Hook.

1832 - Birth of French composer Charles Alexandre Lecocq.

1851 - Birth of American hymnist and musicologist Theodore Baker

1887 - Birth of Moravian composer Emil Axman.

1896 - First performance of Camille Saint-Saens's Piano Concerto No. 5.  The composer was the soloist.

1899 - Death of Austrian composer Johann Strauss II. He earned the title "The Waltz King" because of the number of waltzes he wrote and frequent international tours with his own orchestra.

1967 - Aretha Franklin's song Respect went to #1 on the charts and the Doors' Light My Fire is released.

1972 - Jimi Hendrix's album Band of Gypsies went gold.
Georges Bizet
Georges Bizet
At age ten he was admitted to the Paris Conservatoire,and became a brilliant pianist.  In fact, no less a musician than Franz Liszt called Bizet one of the three finest pianists in Europe.  But Bizet turned his attention to composition.  By age 17 he had written his Symphony in C.  Interestingly, the piece was never publicly performed until 1935.  He won numerous prizes, the most important of which was the Prix de Rome, which allowed him to study  at the Académie de France in Rome, Italy for 3 years.

While in Rome he composed several works, but returned to Paris.   where he turned to opera, which is where he truly made his mark. 

Bizet's triumph is generally thought to be
Carmen.  The opera is based on an 1846 novel of the same name by Prosper Mérimée.  At first the work was not well received.  Bizet became depressed.  It was only after praise from such composers as  Camille Saint-Saëns, Peter Tchaikovsky and Claude Debussy that the public began to embrace the opera.

A wonderful arrangement of music from this opera was written by Pablo de Sarasate and another written by Henry Waxman.

June 3, 1875, on his sixth wedding anniversary, Georges Bizet died of heart failure.
Violinist Heifetz plays Waxman's Carmen Fantasy
Violinist Ann-Sophie Mutter plays Sarasate's Carmen Fantasy
It's worth clicking on this link just to listen to the samples of Mutter having fun with her violin as she plays Sarasate's Carmen Fantasy.
Heifetz playing Bizet.  It just doesn't get much better than this!
As Always, The Amazon Links Below Have Excerpts so You Can Hear Some of the Music We Talked About.
Theodore Baker wrote a hymn often sung around Thanksgiving. Can You Guess what Turkey Day Classic he wrote?

Go to the Bottom of the Page for the Answer.
Theodore Baker wrote How Great Our Joy and Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming.  But the classic Thanksgiving hymn he wrote was We Gather Together.
Angel Violin -- Praise Him With Strings Button
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Easy Classics for Violin - With Piano Accompaniment - sheet music at
Easy Classics for Violin - With Piano Accompaniment Selected and arranged by Peter Spitzer. For violin. Solos. Classic. Level: Beginning. Book. Size 8.75x11.75. 72 pages. Published by Mel Bay Publications, Inc. (96302)
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Pablo de Sarasate: Carmen Fantasy, Opus 25 - sheet music at
Pablo de Sarasate: Carmen Fantasy, Opus 25 (after Bizet's Opera) Composed by Pablo de Sarasate (1844-1908), edited by Zino Francescatti. Instrumental solo book for violin and piano accompaniment. With bowings and fingerings. 33 pages. Published by International Music Co. (IM.2624)
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Christian Fiddlers--Fretless and Forgiven
Musicians Friend Warehouse Sale