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Music History Monday: My Favorite Things!

8/13/2018
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A little inside information about me. Since I was a kid, I have loved architecture and home design magazines: house porn, to be honest. The one constant in my reading has been Architectural Digest, to which I’ve been addicted since I was a teenager. Other mags have floated in and out of my consciousness over… Continue Reading…

Duration:00:13:03

Music History Monday: Chubby Checker, Dick Clark, and the Power of the Tube!

8/6/2018
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On this day 58 years ago – August 6, 1960 – the 18 year-old singer and dancer Chubby Checker performed The Twist on American TV for the first time on the rock ‘n’ roll variety show American Bandstand. Dick Clark in 1961, looking young For reasons we will discuss, American Bandstand was, both artistically and… Continue Reading…

Duration:00:11:40

Music History Monday: The Other Mozart Kid

7/30/2018
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Today we mark the birth – 267 years ago, on July 30, 1751 – of the “other” surviving Mozart child. Four-and-a-half years older than her brother Wolfgang, her full name was Maria Anna Walburga Ignatia Mozart; she was known as “Marianne” and went by the nickname of “Nannerl.” Nannerl was something of a musical prodigy… Continue Reading…

Duration:00:09:32

Music History Monday: Domenico Scarlatti

7/23/2018
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We mark the death of the composer Domenico Scarlatti 261 years ago today, on July 23, 1757 in the Spanish capital of Madrid. The year 1685 was something of an annus mirabilis – a “miraculous year” – in the history of Western music as it saw the births of three of the greatest composers ever… Continue Reading…

Duration:00:11:25

Music History Monday: Émigrés

7/16/2018
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We mark the birth – on July 16, 1901, 117 years ago today – of the Austrian composer and conductor Fritz Mahler. While we might not recognize his first name, we surely recognize his surname, and Fritz’ father was indeed a cousin of the great composer and conductor Gustav Mahler. His present obscurity aside, Fritz… Continue Reading…

Duration:00:12:22

Music History Monday: A Decidedly Politically-Incorrect Rant

7/9/2018
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As events in music history go, July 9 is definitely on the lighter side. (Although, for me – personally – it is an important day, and I would use this opportunity to wish the happiest of birthdays to my beautiful daughter Rachel Amy, who was born in Berkeley, California 32 years ago today!) But back… Continue Reading…

Duration:00:11:04

Music History Monday: Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Enlightened Opera

7/2/2018
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240 years ago today – on July 2, 1778 – the Swiss-born philosopher, novelist, educator, music theorist and critic, and composer Jean-Jacques Rousseau died at age 66 in the township of Ermenonville, roughly 25 miles north-east of Paris. Rousseau was one of the greatest and most significant thinkers ever born to our species. According to… Continue Reading…

Duration:00:14:58

Music History Monday: The Firebird

6/25/2018
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On June 25, 1910 – 108 years ago today – Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird received its premiere at the Paris Opera House, in a ballet performance produced by Serge Diaghilev, staged by the Ballets Russes, and conducted by Gabriel Pierné. With choreography by Michel Fokine and the Firebird herself danced by the great Tamara Karsavina,… Continue Reading…

Duration:00:13:10

Music History Monday: There’s No Software Without the Hardware!

6/18/2018
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Today we celebrate the birthday of the piano builder and composer Ignaz Joseph Pleyel, who was born in Ruppertsthal, Austria on June 18, 1757: 261 years ago today. It’s entirely understandable if you’ve never heard of Pleyel or his music, because his music – despite being extremely attractive and technically sound – has fallen into… Continue Reading…

Duration:00:12:51

Music History Monday: Richard Strauss

6/11/2018
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We celebrate the birth of the composer Richard Strauss, who was born on June 11, 1864, 154 years ago today. I will pull no punches here: in my humble (but happily expressed) opinion, Richard Strauss was one the greatest composers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He was a melodist and musical dramatist on near… Continue Reading…

Duration:00:12:29

Music History Monday: Leopold Mozart

5/28/2018
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On this day in 1787 – 231 years ago – Leopold Mozart, the father of Wolfgang Mozart, died in Salzburg at the age of 67. For all of his talents as a violinist, violin teacher, conductor and composer, history would have forgotten Johann Georg Leopold Mozart almost entirely had he not fathered and trained one… Continue Reading…

Duration:00:11:23