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
November 10
Can You Guess?
We read about Gene Autry's Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and its gold record below.  Can You Guess why Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was originally written?

Look at the Bottom of the Page for the Answer.
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1483 - Birth of German hymn composer, flutist and religious reformer Martin Luther in Eisleben.

1821 - Death of German violinist and composer Andreas Jacob Romberg, at 54 in Gotha.

1862 - Premiere of Verdi's opera La Forza del Destino, commissioned by the Russian Imperial Opera, in St. Petersburg.

1888 - American debut of 13 year old violinist Fritz Kreisler at Old Steinway Hall in New York City.

1896 - First performance of Antonin Dvorák's String Quartet No. 12 in Ab, Op. 105

1957 - First performance of Aaron Copland's incidental music for The World of Nick Adams based on text by Ernest Hemingway, for a live CBS television broadcast.

1969 - Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Gene Autry received a gold record, 20 years after its release.

1994 - First performance of Stephen Albert's Symphony No. 2. New York Philharmonic, with Hugh Wolff conducting.

1993 - The musical revival of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Click the Link for Sound Samples, Then Click Here to Hear the Original.) opened.
November 10, 1910 was the premiere of Elgar's Violin Concerto. Fritz Kreisler, soloist at Queens's hall in London.

Edward Elgar was born in Lower Broadheath, on June 2, June 1857.  His father had a music shop and tuned pianos.  Elgar, therefore, had the advantage of growing up in a thoroughly practical musical atmosphere. He studied the music available in his father's shop and taught himself to play a wide variety of instruments.
Elgar's first big success came with the Variations on an Original Theme (Enigma) in 1899. Then came a great religious composition, The Dream of Gerontius.  Richard Strauss praised Elgar as the first English progressive musician.

In 1901 Elgar produced his first two Pomp and Circumstance Marches.  By this time, Elgar's works were being performed both in Europe and in the USA In 1905, came the Introduction and Allegro for Strings.

Symphony No. 1 in A flat was first performed in December, 1908. The work was received with tremendous enthusiasm and there were 100 performances of it in Europe, America, Australia and Russia in just over a year.

The Violin Concerto in B minor followed in 1910. Dedicated to Fritz Kreisler, who gave the first performance, its last movement has a unique feature - an accompanied cadenza.  The strings are instructed that the pizzicato tremolando should be thrummed with the soft part of three fingers while the violin muses over ideas recalled from the earlier movements. (See the video below at time marker 1:40)

The First World War depressed Elgar deeply, and he did not produce a great deal of music  until 1918 and 1919 that his final great period produced the three chamber works - the Violin Sonata and the String Quartet, both in E minor, the Piano Quintet in A minor and theCello Concerto in E minor, his last great masterpiece. Audiences were quick to note the change - no longer the pomp and swagger of earlier days.

In 1920, Lady Elgar died. With her died much of Elgar's inspiration and will to compose. She had organized his household and ministered to his comforts. For a long time she saved him hours of drudgery, for instance by ruling bar lines on score paper. She walked miles in all sorts of weather to mail  parcels of manuscript and proofs. Early in their marriage she even collaborated with him to produce such works as Scenes from the Bavarian Highlands (1896), which were Elgar's settings of her poems inspired by vacations in Germany. When success seemed elusive, she never lost faith. In short, she had been the driving force behind his genius encouraging him and proclaiming his talents at every opportunity.

In 1928 he was honored as a Knight Commander of the Victorian Order (K.C.V.O). In 1933 he conducted Yehudi Menuhin in his violin concerto.

That year he was found to be suffering from a malignant tumour which pressed on the sciatic nerve. He died February 23, 1934.
Sir Edward Elgar
1857-1934
Edward Elgar
Elgar Salut d'Amour
Download Elgar's
Salut d' amour
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16-year old
Yehudi Menuhin
in a historic
performance of
the Elgar Concerto
Menuhin plays Elgar
Hilary Hahn plays Elgar
One of the Best Young Violinists is Hilary Hahn, who plays Elgar's Concerto in this great album!
Click Picture to Search for Music by Sir Edward Elgar at Amazon
From age 16 Egar worked as a violinist, organist, bassoonist, conductor and teacher. Many of his early works were written for St. George's Roman Catholic Church, where he succeeded his father as organist in 1885. He composed wind quintets for a local group in which he was bassoonist, also polkas and quadrilles for the band at Powick Lunatic Asylum.

Throughout the 1880s 90s his experience grew and his style matured as he conducted and composed for local musical organisations. He also taught the violin.
In 1889 he married one of his pupils, Caroline Alice Roberts, who had a dogged faith in his emerging genius.  She played a vital part in the development of Elgar's career.
Did You Guess?
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was originally a character in a coloring book published as a promotion by Montgomery Ward.  Rudolph was a
store ad.

Did you see the C
olor Clues?
Festive Christmas Ornaments featuring Violin, Viola, Cello and More!
Enter the Holiday Season Fiddling with this Violinist Cap Sleeve T-Shirt
Vineta Sareika plays the Third Movement of the

Elgar Violin Concerto