On This Day – January 21

Today we look at a piece commissioned by Paul Sacher to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Basel Chamber Orchestra. Bela Bartok’s Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, premiered on this day in 1937.

On This Day – January 19

Today we look at one of Mozart’s Late symphonies. Written in 1786, it was written to thank the people of Prague who devoutly followed his work. Mozart’s Prague symphony, Symphony No. 38, premiered on this day in 1787.

On This Day – January 13

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,…

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.

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…

On This Day – January 1

Welcome back to the On This Day series. We welcome the new series with a new site design, and a promise from me to have an “On This Day” post every day of the year. Today we look at one of the major works of the violin repertoire, one according to violinist Joseph Joachim that…

On This Day… October 23

Brahms has often been criticised for never really using new forms in his compositions. However, in the piece we look at today, it could be said that he saved an old form that would have been lost otherwise. Brahms’ 3rd Piano Sonata, Op. 5, premiered on this day in 1854.

On This Day… October 16

In my most recent WA Youth Orchestra concert, we performed the piece that we look at today. Our conductor talked about the special moments that we could have in our musical careers, and the Last movement of this symphony was one of them. Tchaikovsky’s Pathetique, Symphony Number 6, premiered on this day in 1893.

On This Day… October 15

Today we look at a piece that did a lot to introduce the magnificent instrument of the orchestra to young people. It also ended up being one of his most popular works. Benjamin Britten’s <em>The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra</em>, premiered on this day in 1946.<!–more–> Originally written as accompanying music for a BBC…