E. Nevin: La Pastorella Op.21 N.6

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Nevin was an American composer and pianist. He was born on November 25, 1862, at Vineacre, in Edgeworth, Pennsylvania. From a young age, he was musically inclined. He began playing the piano at the age of four and studied in Dresden under Von Böhme. In 1878, he attended Western University but that left at the end of his freshman year. Later he studied piano for two years at Boston, under B.J. Lang and composition under S. A. Emery. In 1882 Nevin moved back to Pittsburgh, where he gave lessons and saved money enough to take him to Berlin. There he spent the three follow years studying with Karl Klindworth. Nevin used to insist that a man does not become a musician by practising so many hours a day at the piano, but by absorbing an influence from all the arts and all the interests of life, from architecture, painting, and even politics. In 1885, Nevin studied under Hans von Bülow that joined the best four pupils of his friend Klindworth into his art class. Nevin also performed at the unique public concert of that year, dedicated to the works of Brahms, Liszt, and Raff. Nevin returned to America in 1887 and took up his residence in Boston, where he taught and played at sporadic concerts. Klindworth said of him that he has a touch on the piano that brings tears and it is in interpretation rather than in bravura that he excels. He went to live in Florence to allow himself to focus on his work and there he composed his suite May in Tuscany Op. 21. After a year in Venice, he went to Paris for one year. Returned to America, remained there until his death. He was married to Anne Nevin with whom he had two children. He died on February 17, 1901, in New Haven, Connecticut.

Thanks for your attention and good listening!

Nevin La Pastorella Op.21 N.6

 

Gustav Merkel: Wiegenlied, Cradle Song, Berceuse Op.18 N.4

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Gustav Merkel was a German organist and composer. He was born on November 12, 1827, in Oberoderwitz, Kingdom of Saxony and was dead on October 30, 1885, in Dresden. He studied piano with Schumann’s father in law, Friedrich Wieck. He spent most of his career in Dresden, concentrating on organ-playing from 1858. A Lutheran himself, he nevertheless held an appointment at one of Dresden’s main Catholic churches from 1864 until his death. During the same period, he taught the organ at Dresden’s Conservatorium. His compositions include nine organ sonatas, and several dozen miniatures, some of them based on Protestant chorale melodies. In these works his style is conservative, very much influenced by Mendelssohn and Schumann, and with similarities to the output of his younger contemporary Josef Rheinberger. He also produced choral and piano pieces: is particularly well-known his salon piece “Schmetterling” (in English”Butterfly”), Op. 81, No. 4.

Berceuse

A Berceuse is a musical composition usually in 6/8 time that resembles a lullaby. Tonally most berceuses are simple, often merely alternating tonic and dominant harmonies. The effect is to put a baby to sleep, so chromatism is out of character of the piece. This piece Op. 18 N. 4 is in 6/8 time and with “Delicate and intimate” expression and melody “Cantando”.

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Merkel Berceuse Op.18 N.4

Chopin: Waltz in A-flat major, Op. 69, N. 1

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The Waltz Op. 69 n. 1 is a waltz for solo piano was written by Frédéric Chopin in September 1835 and is also known by the title apocryphal Waltz farewell. According to Wodzinski’s book in the volume Le Trois Romans De Frédéric Chopin, the piece was inspired by the composer Maria Wodzińska when he was about to leave the musician after a long holiday together. At the stroke of ten, with the diligence ready at the door, the young woman gave him the gift of a rose and the composer improvised the song on the piano who later baptized as Maria Waltz farewell. Beyond the anecdote, the waltz certainly retains an aura vague and loving. The original manuscript is now retained in the National Library of Poland in Warsaw. The waltz is in A-flat major with a time signature of 3/4 and tempo is marked at tempo di valse or a waltz tempo.

Thanks for your attention and good listening!

Chopin Waltz Op.69 N.1

Gustav Lange: Blumenlied Op. 39 (Flower Song)

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Gustav Lange was a German composer known mainly for his wonderful melodious salon music. He was born in Schwerstedt near Erfurt, August,13 in 1830 and was dead in Wernigerode July,20 in 1889. He received initial musical training from his father on the piano and organ, followed by conservatory studies in piano, organ, thorough bass, and composition. His teachers included August Wilhelm Bach, Eduard Grell, and Albert Löschhorn. Lange produced a large number of works, most of which were light and popular piano pieces of which he wrote around 500. Edelweiss op. 31 and Blumenlied op. 39 (alternatively known as Flower Song in English) are perhaps two of his best-known works today.

Salon music

It was a popular music genre in Europe during the 19th century. It was usually written for solo piano in the romantic style, and often performed by the composer at events known as “Salons”. Salon compositions are usually fairly short and often focus on virtuoso pianistic display or emotional expression of a sentimental character. Common subgenres of salon music are the operatic paraphrase or Fantasia, in which multiple themes from a popular opera are the basis of the composition, and the musical character-piece, which portrays in music a particular situation or narrative.

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Oginski, M. Polonaise: Les Adieaux à la patrie

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Michał Kleofas Ogiński was born in Guzów, Żyrardów County near Warsaw September,25 in 1765 and was dead in Florence, Italy October, 15 in 1833. He was buried in the Pantheon of great personalities in the Church of Santa Croce in Florence near to Galileo, Michelangelo, Rossini, Machiavelli, Czartoryski Princesses. He was a Polish diplomat and politician Grand Treasurer of Lithuania and a senator of Tsar Alexander I. He was also a composer of the earliest romantic music and this polonaise explains very well his composition’s style. The polonaise Farewell to my Homeland was written in 1794 on the occasion of his emigration to western Europe after the failure of the Kościuszko Uprising, an insurrection against Imperial Russia and the Kingdom of Prussia in the Commonwealth of Poland and the Prussian partition in 1794. This piece, with its melancholic melodies and fantasia-like passages, can be considered among the earliest examples of romantic music. Totally, he composed 20 polonaises, piano pieces, mazurkas, marches, romances, and waltzes.

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Les Ruines de Hapsal – Méditation par Antoine de Kontski

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Anton de Kontski was a Polish pianist and composer born October 27, 1817, in Kraków and deceased in Ivanychi, Ukraine December 7, 1889. In polish language, his name is written: Antoni Kątski and in French, Antoine de Kontski. Sometimes he was also called “Chevalier.” Anton was a student of John Field in Moscow and was considered a child prodigy. An unknown fact from his life is that he performed a concert together with Chopin in 1845 in Paris.

“Les ruines de Hapsal” piece is a Meditation about the history of the Ungru Castle Ruines.

The history of Ungru Castle Ruins

The Ungru manor was founded in 1523 and was given as a gift to Otto von Ungern-Sternberg by Swedish King Gustav II Adolf in 1629. The surrounding park is considered one of the most beautiful parks in the whole of Estonia. In 1830 the manor was bought by Magnus de la Gardie and after his death, a certain gentleman named Evald Ungern-Sternberg bought the manor. Some rumours said that his son, Count Ewald Adam Gustav Paul Constantin von Ungern-Sternberg had visited the renaissance style castle of Merseburg in Germany in the beginning of the last decade of the 19th century, where he fell in love with the daughter of the castle’s owner. 

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One day the man asked the woman to marry him, but she answered to be so much in love with her father’s castle that she would never go away. Nevertheless, she promised to marry him only if he built an identical castle. In 1893 the construction was begun. When the frame and the roof of the house were ready, he received a message informing about the death of the beloved lady. The Count himself fell ill during a trip to St.Petersburg and in 1908 he died as well. His last wish was to be brought to Haapsalu so his body would be transported to the manor where he could spend, even if dead, his only night at the castle.

Thanks for your attention and good listening!

De Kontski Les Ruines de Hapsal Op.174

 

F. Chopin: Nocturne in C-sharp minor, Op. post.

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The Nocturne No. 20 in C-sharp minor, Op. posth.Lento con gran espressione, P 1, No. 16, KKIVa/16, is a solo piano piece composed by Frédéric Chopin in 1830 and published in 1870.
Chopin dedicated this work to his older sister, Ludwika Chopin, with the statement: “To my sister Ludwika as an exercise before beginning the study of my second Concerto“.
First published 26 years after the composer’s death, the piece is usually referred to as Lento con gran espressione, from its tempo marking. It is sometimes also called Reminiscence.
The piece was played by Holocaust survivor Natalia Karp for the Nazi concentration camp commandant Amon Goeth, with Goeth being so impressed with the rendition that he spared Karp’s life.

 

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Chopin Nocturne in C-sharp minor Op. Post.

 

F. Chopin Praeludium Op. 28 N. 7

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Chopin’s 24 Preludes Op. 28 were originally published in 1839 and are a set of short pieces for the piano, one in each of the major and minor keys. He wrote them between 1835 and 1839 partly at Valldemossa and partly at Majorca where he spent the winter of 1838–39 and where he had fled with George Sand and her children to escape from damp Paris weather. This Prelude Op. 28 n.7 is written in style of a Mazurka tempo Andantino in A major. The manuscript carries a dedication to the German pianist and composer Joseph Christoph Kessler. The French edition was instead dedicated to the piano-maker and publisher Camille Pleyel who had commissioned the work for 2,000 francs the equivalent of $30,000 nowadays. The German edition was instead dedicated to Kessler.

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