|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
|1713 - Birth of German composer Johann Krebs.
1727 - Premiere of Handel's Coronation Anthems over several days at Westminster Abbey during the coronation of King George II and Queen Caroline.
1739 - Handel finished his Concerto Grosso in G, Op 6, no. 5.
1791 - Christian Schubart, the poet who inspired Schubert's Trout Quintet, died.
1854 - Birth of Spanish composer, conductor and violinist Jeronimo Gimenez.
1906 - Birth of composer Louise Victoria Talma in Arcachon.
1906 - Birth of American composer Giuseppe Guttovegio, aka Paul Creston (see how the name change came about in the review on this page) in NYC. 3 symphonies here.
1919 - Premiere of Richard Strauss' opera Die Frau Ohne Schatten (The Woman Without a Shadow) at the Vienna Staatsoper.
1924 - Serge Koussevitzky conducts first concert with Boston Symphony Orchestra. Music samples here.
1935 - George Gershwin's Opera Porgy and Bess premiered at the Alvin Theater in New York City.
1938 - Birth of American composer Gloria Coates.
1938 - Premiere of Dimitri Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 1. Glazunov Quartet in Leningrad.
1948 - Premiere of Bernstein's La bonne cuisine, Town Hall, NYC.
1973 - Lera Auerbach, Russian composer, was born. Click here to see her music at Amazon.
1985 - Premiere of Benjamin Lees' Symphony No. 4 Memorial Candles. Pinchas Zukerman.
| Can You Guess?
GIVE PIPER DUES. Can You Guess what that phrase has to do with Giuseppe Verdi? If you practice hard today I might arrange to give you a hint.
Go to the Bottom of the Page for the Answer.
|Giuseppe Verdi was born either October 9 or 10, 1813 in Roncole, Italy.
Verdi's family were "taverners." By the time Verdi was seven years old he was already musically involved, helping out the local church organist. And by the time he was 12 he was named Assistant Organist. Even by this young age Verdi already had completed several compositions.
1813 - 1901
|In 1832 Verdi was sent to Milan to study, but he was refused a place at the conservatory. Instead he studied with Vincenzo Lavigna, a composer who had played at La Scala.
Verdi moved to Busseto where he was passed over as maestro di cappella, but became town music master in 1836. He began an opera, but could not arrange a performance. He did, however, have several songs published.
In 1839 Verdi decided to settle in Milan. His first opera was well received, and he received several commissions for others, but his next opera failed totally. His wife died during its composition. Verdi nearly gave up, but was encouraged by a story and in 1842 saw its successful production, which carried his reputation across Italy, Europe and the New World over the next five years. It was followed by another opera also with marked political messages and again well received. Verdi's gift for stirring melody and tragic and heroic situations was liked in Italy. The country was struggling for freedom and unity, causes with which he was sympathetic; but much opera of this period has political themes.
During the next several years, Verdi began composing a long and demanding series of operas in Paris, France and London, England as well as in Rome, Milan, Naples, Venice, Florence and Trieste, Italy. (He paused from his work in 1846 when his health gave way.) His works were known for their strong, sad stories, vigorous orchestral styles, forceful writing for voices and serious drama. His models included other Italian composers. He was careful with his choice of topics and about the detailed planning of his stories. His use of male voices was predictable, but his female voices had more variation.
Many of his operas were censored. He would rewrite them and then they became huge successes. In 1853 he wrote one of his most loved operas, La Traviata. It was a failure in Venice although, with revisions, it was favorably received the following year at a different Venetian theater.
Later in 1853 he went with his fiancée, who was a soprano, to Paris, France, to prepare another opera, where it was given in 1855 with some success. He remained there for a time to defend against the pirates of the theater (those who stole compositions from successful composers), and to deal with translations of his operas. The next new opera was very somber. A drama about love and politics in medieval Genoa, given in Venice, Italy. Plans for another, about the assassination of a Swedish king, in Naples, was called off because of the censors and it was given instead in Rome in 1859. Verdi was involved in political activity at this time, as representative in the parliament of the town where he lived; later he was elected to the national parliament, and ultimately he was a senator.
Verdi returned to Italy, to live in Genoa and began work on Aida in 1870. It was performed at the opera house in Cairo, Egypt at the end of 1871 to mark the opening of the Suez Canal. Verdi was not present. Aida was written in the grand opera tradition but later he wrote another opera, Othello, a powerful, tragic work, a study in evil and jealousy, which opened in Milan in 1887. He wrote his first comic opera, Falstaff, two years later.
Verdi spent his last years in Milan; rich, authoritarian but charitable, much visited, revered and honored. He died at the beginning of 1901. 28,000 people lined the streets for his funeral.
|It's Not Too Early
to start choosing and practicing your music for the Holiday Season!
Great Selections Here!
| Did You Guess?
Did you arrange to come up with the right answer. If you rearrange the letters of Give Piper Dues you come up with the name Giuseppe Verdi.That is called an anagram.
Go to our Fun Stuff page to find some other interesting music word puzzles.