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
May 27
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What Else
Happened
Today?
Joseph Joachim Raff was born May 27, 1822 in the small town of Lachen, Switzerland. His father had been organist and music teacher in a monastery in Wettingen, then moved to a monastery in Lucerne.  He then set himself up as a schoolmaster in Lachen. 

1819 - Julia Ward Howe, who wrote lyrics Battle Hymn of the Republic, was born.

1840 - Death of master violinist Niccolo Paganini.
(I didn't disregard him, he's coming up in a couple days!)

1906 - First performance of Mahler's Sixth Symphony.

1962 - Bob Dylan released The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan LP, with Blowin' in the Wind and A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall.

1981 - Premiere of Leonard Berstein's Halil for Flute and Orchestra. Israel Philharmonic conducted by the composer, with Jean-Pierre Rampal

2001 - Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya and Pink start a 5-week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with Lady Marmalade.
Joseph Joachim Raff
1822-1882

Click Photo to see Raff's Music at Amazo
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His father recognised Joseph's intellectual ability and sought to foster it with a strict study regime, trying to turn him into a child prodigy. At six Joseph could read German, at by age eight could translate Latin. His father was a keen musician and the lad was soon playing the violin and organ and singing in the church choir. By ten years of age he was regularly replacing his frequently ill father as the church's organist.

When Raff had completed his education he became a teacher, but his true love was music and composition, and he was torn between continuing to teach and compose, his friends Abt and Curtis persuaded him to send some of his works to Felix Mendelssohn to seek advice as to whether or not to abandon teaching. Mendelssohn's reply was very encouraging and suggested that Raff should abandon his teaching job and travel to Germany as soon as he could. In the meantime, he sent Raff's pieces to his own publishers, Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig with his recommendation. They eventually published 13 of Raff's earliest piano works.

June 19, 1845 (some sources say June 18, 1844) Raff's idol, Franz Liszt, was giving a concert. Raff had no money, so he walked the 80 km. to the concert arriving just before the concert in a driving rain.  Liszt's manager was so moved that even though there were no tickets left he invited Raff to attend the concert and sit on the stage. This began an 11 year relationship between Raff and Liszt.

Finally out from under Liszt's wing Raff became recognized as a good composer in his own right.   Raff wrote piano and chamber music with some success, but his operas were not well received. 

Hoch Conservatory, in Frankfurt named Raff director in 1877, and he proved to be a good administrator.

In addition to his 216 official opus numbers there are a number of other pieces which he hadn't numbered in his official catalogue at the time of his death. Some of these are substantial - operas, suites, a concerto, orchestral overtures and sets of piano studies.  It appears that he actually composed more than 290 works.

Joseph Joachim Raff died the night of June 24/25, 1882.
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Violin Pieces The Whole World Plays - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com
Violin Pieces The Whole World Plays For violin and piano. Format: set of performance parts (includes separate pull out violin part). With solo part and piano accompaniment. Baroque, Classical Period and Romantic Period. Series: Whole World Series, No. 5. 304 pages. 9x12 inches. Published by Amsco. (MS.AM42532) Includes Cavatina D Major, composed by Joseph Joachim Raff
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Violin Meets Piano 1 - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com Violin Meets Piano 1 compiled and edited by Lajos Vigh. For violin. solos. Koenemann. Classic. Level: Intermediate-Advanced. Book. Size 9.25x12.25. 152 pages. Published by Koenemann. (800182) Includes Cavatina, Op 85 No 3 by Joseph Joachim Raff
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Lady Marmalade.  This platter  has had at least two entries into music fame.  The last time was because of Baz Luhrmann's musical Moulin Rouge.  (See the sound track here.) Can You Guess who sang the song the first time around?

Go to the bottom of the Page for the Answer.
The first time around, Lady Marmalade was sung by Patti LaBelle.

Did you see the c
olor clues?
    Nicolo Paganini: 24 Caprices, Op. 1 - Violin  (Violin Solo) Composed by Nicolo Paganini (1782-1840), edited by Harold Berkley. Opus 1. For violin. Schirmer Library, Vol.1663. Format: violin solo book. With introductory text and performance notes. Romantic Period. 46 pages. 9x12 inches. Published by Schirmer.
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      Serge Rachmaninoff: Eighteenth Variation From Rapsodie On A Theme Of Paganini  Composed by Serge Rachmaninoff, arranged by Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962). For violin and piano. Format: piano/violin single (includes separate pull out performance part for violin). 20th Century and Romantic Period. 4 pages. 9x12 inches. Published by Carl Fischer.
      Quartet No. 12 in F major, Op. 96 ('American') (PAGANINI QUARTET) (parts)  (parts only unless otherwise specified). By Antonin Dvorak. String ensemble without piano: STRING QUARTETS Two Violins, Viola and Cello. Published by International Music Co.
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    Niccolo Paganini: Caprices (24)  Composed by Niccolo Paganini, edited by Carl Flesch. Opus 1. For violin (unaccompanied). Format: violin solo book. With fingerings. Romantic Period. 45 pages. 9x12 inches. Published by C.F. Peters.
    Nathan Milstein: Paganiniana Variations - Violin  Composed by Nathan Milstein. For violin. Format: violin solo single. 20th Century. A Minor. 6 pages. 9x12 inches. Published by G. Schirmer, Inc.
      10 Sonates - Violon Et Guitare- D'apres Manuscrit  By Paganini N. Rev.abbott A. Violon et guitare (violin and guitar). Published by Editions Combre (French import).
    Niccolo Paganini: 24 Caprices, Opus 1  Composed by Niccolo Paganini, edited by Ivan Galamian. Op. 1. For violin solo. Format: violin solo book. With standard notation, bowings and fingerings. Romantic period. 9x12 inches. Published by International Music Co.
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    Niccolo Paganini: Grand Sonata (M.S.3) for Guitar and Violin  by Niccolo Paganini. For Guitar (Classical). chamber. Chanterelle. Classic. Level: Intermediate-Advanced. Book. Size 9x12. 48 pages. Published by Chanterelle.
      Quartet in F major (PAGANINI QUARTET) (parts)  (parts only unless otherwise specified). By Maurice Ravel. String ensemble without piano: STRING QUARTETS Two Violins, Viola and Cello. Published by International Music Co.
      Carnival of Venice, 20 Variations, Op. 10. Editing and new piano accompaniment by FRANCESCATTI  By Paganini, Niccolo (1782-1840). Violin and piano. Published by International Music Co.
And for music by Paganini . . .
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