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Mission Chamber Orchestra Season Finale at Examiner.com


Click here to see the article at my Examiner.com

Mission Chamber Orchestra Presents – Passionate Finale for a Great 15th Season!

Composer born on October 12. (Yes, I know – I’m late) Ralph Vaughan Williams


Aw, heck. I missed Ralph’s birthday. It was the 12th. He was/is one of my favorite composers. I wrote about him here last May. He was a violist as well as a composer which explains his luscious viola parts.  See the earlier blog at https://carolyndonnell.wordpress.com/2010/05/18/ralph-vaughan-williams-played-viola/

Here’s a “duet” with two small string orchestras. I don’t know a better example of lush.

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Ralph Vaughn Wiliam from Wikipedia:

12 October 1872 – 26 August 1958 was an English composer of symphonies, chamber music, opera, choral music, and film scores. He was also a collector of English folk music and song which influenced his editorial approach to the English Hymnal, beginning in 1904, containing many folk song arrangements set as hymn tunes, in addition to several original compositions.

Ralph Vaughan Williams was born on 12 October 1872 in Down Ampney, Gloucestershire, where his father, the Revd Arthur Vaughan Williams (the surname Vaughan Williams is an unhyphenated double-barrelled name), was vicar. Following his father’s death in 1875 he was taken by his mother, Margaret Susan née Wedgwood (1843–1937), the great-granddaughter of the potter Josiah Wedgwood, to live with her family at Leith Hill Place, a Wedgwood family home in the North Downs. He was also related to the Darwins, Charles Darwin being a great-uncle. 

Composer born today: September 8. Antonin Dvořák


Antonin Dvořák

He played the viola and he studied with Brahms. Two reasons why he is one of my all time favorite composers.

In 1857 he went to the capital or Czechoslovakia, Prague, to study at the Organ School, where he studied composition, the playing of chorales and improvising, while attending also the secondary school. He played viola in the music society orchestra. In 1859, as a viola player, he joined a dance band that played in restaurants and for balls, remaining there for some years. In 1862 he was principal violist with a Czech opera house theatre orchestraWhile Dvorak was studying composition, he went through a sort of “practical training” about instrumental music, playing viola in orchestra from the age of 16 to the age of 30,  learning first hand how to write for the viola. He believed that “no instrument should be playing a part that is merely filling in, every instrument speaks a language of its own.” His first first official opus was a quintet with two violas.

Born September 8, 1841, in Nelahozeves, Bohemia (now Czech Republic); (died May 1, 1904, in Prague); son of Frantisek (a butcher and innkeeper) and Anna Zdenek Dvorak; married Anna Cermakova, November, 1873; children: Otakar, Otilie Suk, Aloisie, Anna, Antonin, Magda. Education: Prague Organ School, 1857-59.

Considered the greatest composer that the Czech nation ever produced, Antonin Dvorak wrote a career’s worth of classical works for orchestra, symphony, and choir that survive as some of the most majestic and acclaimed works of nineteenth-century Romantic music.

Dvorak entered the Austrian State Stipendium competition. Brahms sat on its jury, and was greatly impressed by the young Czech and his ability to integrate Bohemian folk melodies into a serious classical opus. Dvorak was awarded a respectable prize that year, and Brahms helped him find a publisher for his music.

Read more: Antonin Dvorak Biography http://www.musicianguide.com/biographies/1608002312/antonin-dvorak.html#ixzz0ysgyoNVT

Composer born August 22. Claude Debussy


Claude Debussy (1908)

Claude-Achille Debussy (French pronunciation: [klod aʃil dəbysi]) (August 22, 1862 – March 25, 1918) was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he was one of the most prominent figures working within the field of impressionist music, though he himself intensely disliked the term when applied to his compositions.

Watch his music. Yes, that’s correct.  Watch. O-O

See more of this type of thing at http://www.youtube.com/user/smalin

Composer born August 18. No it’s not Mozart. It’s Salieri.


No it’s not Mozart. It’s Salieri. Poor guy, still taking second to Mozart. Or maybe he would have been forgotten entirely if it hadn’t been for his association with Wolfgang. Remember Amadeus.

Antonio Salieri (Legnago, 18 August 1750 – Vienna, 7 May 1825) was a Venetian classical composer, conductor and teacher born in the Republic of Venice, but who spent his adult life and career as a faithful subject of the Habsburg Monarchy.

…..In the 1780s while Mozart lived and worked in Vienna, he and his father Leopold wrote in their letters that several “cabals” of Italians led by Salieri were actively putting roadblocks in the way of Mozart’s obtaining certain posts or staging his operas.[citation needed] At the beginning of the 19th century, increasing German nationalism led to a tendency to exalt the Austrian Mozart’s character, while the Venetian Salieri was given the role of his evil antagonist.[39] Carl Maria von Weber, a relative of Mozart by marriage[40] whom Wagner has characterized as the most German of German composers, is said to have refused to join Ludlams-Höhle, a social club of which Salieri was a member and avoided having anything to do with him.[41] These rumors then made their way into popular culture. Albert Lortzing’s Singspiel Szenen aus Mozarts Leben LoWV28 (1832) uses the cliché of the jealous Salieri trying to hinder Mozart’s career.

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Women composers and the Community Women’s Orchestra in Oakland


Women composers and the Community Women’s Orchestra in Oakland

See the article at examiner.com

CWO Logo

Composer born August 8. A woman for a change. Cécile Chaminade


Cécile Louise Stéphanie Chaminade (August 8, 1857 – April 13, 1944) was a French composer and pianist.

Born in Paris, she studied at first with her mother, then with Félix Le Couppey, Augustin Savard, Martin Pierre Marsick and Benjamin Godard, but not officially, since her father disapproved of her musical education.

Her first experiments in composition took place in very early days, and in her eighth year she played some of her sacred music to Georges Bizet, who was much impressed with her talents.

.Ambroise Thomas, the celebrated French composer and writer, once said of Chaminade: “This is not a woman who composes, but a composer who is a woman.” In 1913, she was awarded the Légion d’Honneur, a first for a female composer.

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Read more at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C%C3%A9cile_Chaminade

You probably think of the flute concertinom but this is a little different.