ClassicalConnect is a English-speaking blog specialized in the field of classical music and opera. As such, ClassicalConnect is a qualified source of soclassiq, like The Classical Review or Joe's Concert Reviews and many others. The oldest article indexed by soclassiq is dated 2017-11-20. Since then, a total of 156 articles have been written and published by ClassicalConnect.
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With 13 articles published in the last 90 days, ClassicalConnect is currently a not very active news source. "Not very active" does not mean that ClassicalConnect is less interesting than another more prolific source. Each blog follows a specific editorial line, publishing according to its own rhythm.
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The last article in ClassicalConnect, "Penderecki, 2020", is dated 2020-11-23. By 2019, this source had published 50 articles (47 since the beginning of 2020). Over the past 12 months, ClassicalConnect has published an average of 4 articles per month.
ClassicalConnect in the last 36 months
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This Week in Classical Music: November 23, 2020. Penderecki. When three year ago we published an entry on , the great Polish composer was alive and, as we thought then, well. Penderecki died earlier this year, on March 29th, not of Covid-19, but after a long illness. Our previous entry stopped at 1975 and we mentioned that around that time Penderecki’s music changed in many significant ways: before that he was an exponent of the avant-garde, exploring new sonorities, new instruments and textures, whereas after 1975 he moved to much more traditional, melodic 19-century idiom. It’s interesting to note that the Grove article on Penderecki is divided into “Music up to 1974” and “Music after 1975.” By the mid-1970s Penderecki was spending much of his time in the US, where he held a Yale University residence. This was a life unknown to regular Polish citizens. Despite all the censorship and […]
This Week in Classical Music: November 2, 2020. Scheidt, Bellini and two Pianists. Samuel Scheidt, one of the three German composers of the early Baroque (the other two being the better known Heinrich Schütz and Johann Hermann Schein) was born in Halle on November 3rd of 1587. All three of them were born withing two years of each other and worked together; Scheidt was the godfather to one of Schein’s daughters, while Schütz and Schein were good friends. Around 1607 Scheidt went to Amsterdam to study with the famous Dutch composer Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck. Upon his return to Halle, Scheidt was appointed the court organist to the Margrave of Brandenburg. At that time Michael Praetorius was the official court Kapellmeister but he was mostly absent, working in Dresden; Scheidt would have an opportunity to work with him in 1616, and two years later, in 1618, with both Praetorius and Schütz. […]
This Week in Classical Music: November 16, 2020. Hindemith at 125. Paul Hindemith was born on November 16th of 1895 in Hanau, near Frankfurt. We’ll pick up where we left off four years ago when we wrote about his life until about 1923. He was then living in Frankfurt, already well known both as a composer and a violist (he organized the Amar Quartet where he played the viola), performing in Salzburg and working at the new music Donaueschingen Festival. (A brief note about the festival: it was organized in 1921, it’s the oldest and probably the most prestigious festival of contemporary music in existence, and Hindemith’s music was played there during its first season). Hindemith also got married to an actress and singer named Gertrud Rottenberg; Gertrud came from a prominent Frankfurt family (her grandfather was the mayor of Frankfurt) and was partly Jewish, which affected Hindemith’s life later […]
This Week in Classical Music: October 19, 2020. Liszt, etc. Good news: Ned Rorem is still with us and on October 23rd he will turn 97. Rorem may be better known for his revealing diaries, The Paris Diary of Ned Rorem, published in 1966, in which he described his own gay life and his relationships with many well-known personalities, in what would these days be considered “outing”, but he is also a fine composer. Rorem is at his best in art songs and is rightly famous for them. Here’s his song The Lordly Hudson on a text by Paul Goodman; it was called “the best song of 1948” and indeed it’s lovely (the mezzo-soprano Susan Graham is accompanied by Malcolm Martineau). In addition to hundreds of songs, Rorem’s output includes more than a dozen operas, which are rarely performed these days, several symphonies, and some very good chamber music. To […]
This Week in Classical Music: November 9, 2020. Couperin and Borodin. François Couperin, the great French composer, harpsichordist and organist of the Baroque era, was born in Paris on November 10th of 1668. He was a member of an incredible musical dynasty, which flourished from the late 16th century to the mid-19th, or more than 250 years. His family came from Chaumes-en-Brie, a town in the Brie region famous for its cheese, and that’s where several generations of Couperins were born, even though all of them would then move to work in Paris; François was the first one to be born in Paris (there was at least one other, older, composer François Couperin, so to distinguish them, in France “our” Couperin is called Le Grand (the Great). Probably the most famous of François’s ancestors was Louis Couperin, born in 1626, who was also a viol and keyboard player. He was […]
This Week in Classical Music: October 12, 2020. Galuppi, Marenzio, Pavarotti. Baldassare Galuppi was born on October 18th of 1706. Last year we published a detailed entry about this rather underrated late Baroque Italian composer (here). Though he was mostly known for his operas, one of his major works was Messa per San Marco composed in 1766. Here’s the first movement, Gloria in excelsis Deo. Vocal Concert Dresden is conducted by Peter Kopp. The English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams was born on this day in 1872. We know that he’s considered one of the best British symphonists of the early 20th century and is much beloved in that country. Unfortunately, we cannot share the sentiment. The German composer Alexander von Zemlinsky was also born this week. We cannot do better than this. Also, Luca Marenzio, one of the best madrigalists on the late 16th century, was born on October 18th […]
This Week in Classical Music: October 26, 2020. Singers of the past. Two Italian singers, Giuditta Pasta, possibly the greatest soprano of the first half of the 19th century, and a legendary contralto castrato and Handel’s favorite, Senesino, were born this week. Giuditta Pasta was born in Saronno, near Milan, on October 26th of 1797. She made her debut in Milan at the age of 19, and soon after appeared in Paris’s Théâtre Italien; she sung Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni and several contemporary Italian operas. Her greatest Paris triumph was the role of Desdemona in Rossini’s Otello; she later repeated that success in London. She was Rossini’s favorite singer, making his operas Tancredi and Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra famous around Europe. Both Donizetti and Bellini wrote their greatest operas for Pasta: she premiered as Imogene in Il pirate, Amina in La sonnambula and Norma for Bellini; and for Donizetti […]
This Week in Classical Music: September 7, 2020. Cherubini. Luigi Cherubini may have been born on this day in 1760, in Florence, or he may have been born on the 8th, we’ll never know for sure. What we do know is that Beethoven held him in high esteem, proclaiming him to be the greatest composer – other than himself, of course. This is especially interesting considering that Cherubini, ten years his elder, openly disliked Beethoven’s opera Fidelio, which he heard during its premier in Vienna in 1805, and considered his piano music “rough.” And Beethoven was not his only admirer: Haydn and Rossini liked him too. Cherubini, who moved to Paris permanently in 1786, was for a time considered the premier opera composer. During his life he wrote almost 40 pieces in this genre, very few of which are performed these days. Later in his career Cherubini turned to church […]
This Week in Classical Music: October 5, 2020. An unusual week. Last week, unfortunately, we had two days of outages. This had to do with our hosting provider updating some software, but part of the problem was with us: we also need to keep up with evolving technology. For that we’ll need some help from our listeners. More on this tropic to come. This coming week is quite bountiful: three composers, three pianists, one cellist (but what a cellist!) and a conductor. First, the composers - a German, an Italian, and a Frenchman: Heinrich Schütz, Giuseppe Verdi and Camille Saint-Saëns. We’ve celebrated all of them many times, Schütz, probably the most important German composer before Bach, here and here; Verdi – many times (take a look here and here). We were more circumspect about Saint-Saëns: a fine composer, quite conservative at that: he died in 1921, ten years after Mahler, when […]
This Week in Classical Music: September 28, 2020. Instrumentalists. While there are no significant dates associated with composers this week, there are plenty of wonderful names to celebrate among the people who interpret composers’ music. Let’s start with the pianists. Vladimir Horowitz was born on October 1st of 1903 in Kiev, Ukraine, (then the Russian Empire) into a well-off Jewish family (Horowitz’s grandfather had a special merchant rank that allowed him to live outside of the Pale of Settlement; after the Revolution their assets were expropriated and the family impoverished). At the age of nine Horowitz entered the Kiev Conservatory where he studied with Felix Blumenfeld, among others. He made his solo debut in 1920; around that time, he met the violinist Nathan Milstein, who was the same age and showed great talent. They played together in concerts (Vladimir’s sister Regina was Milstein’s accompanist). Both Horowitz and Milstein left Russia […]