It is scary to realize that some of our planet's great art is there for what at the time was an accidental circumstance.
In 1819 Moritz Schlesinger, a music publisher, met with Beethoven and bargained for 60 songs and 3 piano sonatas. These were his last three piano sonatas - the pinnacle of his Late period - and took longer because of illness and other work.
Because of these circumstances there was talk of dropping the sonatas from the contract. The Piano Sonata No. 31 was finished Christmas Day 1821.
If you're older than thirty you may know something of the unlikely and extremely rare probability of a baroque opera being performed at the Metropolitan Opera. This was sometime in the late eighties, but in musical terms seems a lifetime ago.
To quote Inspector Morse, the opera loving sleuth, "I was horrified to discover that the tickets I had received for Wagner were in fact for Handel!"
I can think of no opera composer of the first rank who has undergone so radical a transformation of fortune as Handel.
Music from St. Mark’s presents their annual Fiesta celebration this Sunday at 4 p.m. It showcases the music of Francis Poulenc, including the "Concerto for Organ in G minor" and his grand choral symphony "Gloria."
Members of the San Antonio Symphony will augment musicians of the St. Mark’s Choir and featured soloist Joseph Causby.
Causby is the music director and conductor at St. Marks. He chuckles at the question: Is being a soloist and then conductor like juggling?
My piano teacher told me about the story of Ludwig van Beethoven's creation of his biggest Piano Sonata the "Hammerklavier."
It goes back to John Broadwood sending him his best and biggest piano, and Beethoven's reply was this groundbreaking work. When I looked up to confirm what I was told, I found out the story was even more amazing.
What is a musical genius to do? Ludwig van Beethoven had been composing piano sonatas with his own technical prowess in mind since he was eleven years old, and thirty five years later he hits a brick wall.
The new ideas and experimentation that stimulated so much of his music wasn't happening. This was the situation Beethoven found himself in 1816. The composer was a crotchety and difficult man at the best of times and after 1815 his physical problems and lack of energy brought his compositional growth to a standstill.