Russia, 1944. World War II is still raging, and Sergei Prokofiev is in a safe haven run by the Soviet Union. It has been 14 years since his last symphony, but his has been busy in that time. We have the famous Lieutenant Kije, Romeo and Juliet, Peter and the Wolf, the 3 War Sonatas, Cinderella and War and Peace. But Now he returns to the Symphonic form with his Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major, Op. 100, premiered on this day in 1945.
Today we look at the premiere of a piece commissioned by Princess Edomnd de Polignac. Her original request was for “a piece for soloists, choir, orchestra (perhaps with Polish text) – a king of Polish requiem.” Karol Szymanowski composed his Stabat Mater, premiered on this day in 1929.
Today we celebrate a member of Les Six, who composed music in all major genres including art song, chamber music, oratorio, opera, ballet music and orchestral music. He has been described as “half bad boy, half monk” by critic Claude Rostand. Francis Poulenc, born on this day in 1899.
Today we look at a concerto that inspires humanity. Written for Paul Wittgenstein who lost his right arm during World War 1, it reminds us that music eats at us, and if something gets in the way of us doing it, we will find a way to do it no matter what. Ravel’s Piano Concerto in D Major for the Left Hand, premiered on this day in 1932. Continue reading
Today we look at a composer who is often over looked, but produced some fantastic works. Son-in-law and student of Antonin Dvorak, he was also a fantastic violinist and formed the Czech Quartet. Josef Suk, born on this day in 1874.
The composer we are looking at today has been called one of the most important inter-war composers between World War One and Two, and the most distinguished female composer of her generation. However, most of her works remain unpublished, or only recently published. Rebecca Clarke, died on this day in 1979. Continue reading