Music

saint-saens

Saint-Saens Piano Concertos 1-5

A few weeks ago I shared with my readers Saint-Saens’ Piano Concerto No. 1. To my surprise, I received a lot more ...

Casta Diva

Casta Diva

Norma premiered in La Scala (the Mecca of opera in Millan Italy) in 1831. Casta Diva is one of the most challenging arias ever written for soprano. During the rehearsals before the premier Italian soprano Giuditta Pasta refused to sign it she said it was “ill adapted to her vocal abilities”.

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9

I wanted to share with you Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. It is not a traditional symphony, because it uses voices in addition to instruments; thus it is called a choral symphony. Beethoven composed it when he was completely deaf.

Cavalleria Rusticana

I wanted to share with you music that you may have heard in the movie Godfather. No, not Godfather 1 (though you can listen to that here), but Godfather 3. It is an opera by Pietro Mascagni called Cavalleria Rusticana (loosely translated: Peasant’s Honor).

Great Conductors

On Saturday I was browsing TED talks and stumbled on this incredible talk by Itay Talgam, “Lead like the great ...

Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

Today I want to share with you Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.” Niccolo Paganini, Italian violin virtuoso and ...

Macbeth

Today I wanted to share with you aria from Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth. I saw this opera for the first (and ...

Netrebko & Garanca

I wanted to share with you an aria from opera Lakme by French composer Leo Delibes (click here) . Ironically ...

Warsaw Concerto

Today I wanted to share with you the Warsaw Concerto, a piano concerto in one movement written by British composer Richard ...

Musical Note: Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4

Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6

A good friend asked me if I thought Tchaikovsky was overrated or underappreciated. A few years ago I probably would have said overrated; now I say both.

Mahler - Symphony No. 5

Mahler – Symphony No. 5

Today I want to point you to a piece by the Austrian Jewish composer Gustav Mahler, whose music I learned to love only recently.

Wagner's Lohengrin

Wagner’s Lohengrin

I’ve been conflicted about listening to Wagner’s music for a long time. He was a raging anti-Semite and a horrible human being.

Musical Note: Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4

Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto

Just like Tchaikovsky’s piano concerto, this violin concerto became a tremendous success and is now among the most beloved violin concertos.

Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1

Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1

There is a great lesson from Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto Number 1. It was common to dedicate a piece of music to the musician whom you wanted to perform the music.

Tchaikovsky - Eugene Onegin

Tchaikovsky – Eugene Onegin

I’ll dedicate the next few musical notes to Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. I have always had a difficult relationship with his music.

Grieg Piano Concerto

Beethoven’s Piano Concerto Number 5

Today I want to share with you Beethoven’s Piano Concerto Number 5, also called the Emperor Concerto, performed by Rubenstein.

Grieg Piano Concerto

Grieg Piano Concerto

Today I wanted to share with you the Piano Concerto in A Minor by Norwegian composer Edward Grieg, the only piano concerto he wrote.

La Traviata - Joan Southerland

La Traviata – Joan Southerland

Pavarotti needs no introduction, but Joan Sutherland, who passed away in 2010, is maybe less known to the younger generation.

Franz Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1

Franz Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1

As one of my favorite childhood memories, I remember walking home with my father on a sunny Sunday afternoon. I was maybe nine years old. There was the sound of classical music coming from the fourth-floor window of our apartment building.

Beethoven’s Triple Concerto

I wanted to share with you probably the most unique performance ever recorded: Beethoven’s Triple Concerto.

Opera and I

Opera and I

When I was young there were a few things I could not understand – probably more than a few, but these stood out: why would anyone drink coffee or beer, since they both tasted awful; and why anyone willingly would listen to opera? My mother had a great voice and sang in a chorus, but I don’t remember my parents listening to opera at home.

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