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On This Day – January 11

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.

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On This Day – January 7

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.

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On This Day – January 5

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 On This Day – January 5

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On This Day – January 2

Today we look at an opera that shows early attempts of the styles that would characterise the composers later works. Inspired through a stormy sea crossing, and a retelling by Heinrich Heine in a satirical novel "The Memoirs of Mister von Scnabelewopski" this opera focusses on a ship captain, condemned to sail until Judgement Day. Der fliegende Holländer, or The Flying Dutchman, by Richard Wagner, premiered on this day in 1843.

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