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 Asunto: Re: La otra ópera
NotaPublicado: 14 Nov 2014 23:41 
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Giuseppe Sellitto (1700-1777) He was born in Naples. Sellitto spent most of his life in Naples but he is known to have visited Venice, where he wrote two operas, in 1733, and Rome, where he had a hand in the composition of three operas, in 1742 and 1746. The exact number of works by Sellitto has yet to be determined. In two petitions dated November and December 1771 written to the King of Naples, Sellitto claimed that he had written 46 operas in all, 32 for Naples and 14 for Rome, Venice, Bologna and Florence, as well as oratorios and other secular and sacred compositions. He may have been in Florence in 1765 and he perhaps passed through Bologna on his way to and from Venice between 1732 and 1733. In 1760 he was appointed organist of S Giacomo degli Spagnuoli, Naples, a post he held until his death. In his later years he also taught singing.

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Drusilla e Strabone Intermezzo (1735). Aria. Dovrei svenarti.

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 Asunto: Re: La otra ópera
NotaPublicado: 21 Nov 2014 23:30 
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Viktor Ullmann (1898-1944) He was born in Těšín (Teschen), modern Český Těšín / Cieszyn. It belonged then to Silesia in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and is now divided between Cieszyn in Poland and Český Těšín in Czechoslovakia. Both his parents were from families of Jewish descent, but had converted to Roman Catholicism before Viktor's birth. As an assimilated Jew, his father, Maximilian, was able to pursue a career as a professional officer in the army of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In World War I he was promoted to colonel and ennobled. Beginning in 1909 Viktor attended a grammar school (Gymnasium) in Vienna. His musical talents and inclinations soon gave him access to Arnold Schönberg and his circle of pupils. Upon finishing school, he volunteered for military service. After deployment on the Italian Front at Isonzo, he was granted study leave, which he used to start studying law at Vienna University. There he also attended the lectures of Wilhelm Jerusalem. At the beginning of 1918 he was accepted in Schönberg's composition seminar. With Schönberg he studied the theory of form, counterpoint and orchestration. Ullmann was an excellent pianist, although he had no ambitions for a career as a soloist.

In May 1919, he broke off both courses of study and left Vienna in order to devote himself fully to music in Prague. His mentor was now Alexander von Zemlinsky, under whose direction he served as a conductor at the New German Theatre of Prague (now the Prague State Opera) until 1927. In the following season, 1927–28, he was appointed head of the opera company in Aussig an der Elbe (Ústí nad Labem), but his repertoire, including operas by Richard Strauss, Krenek and others, was too advanced for local tastes, and his appointment was terminated. In 1923 with the Sieben Lieder mit Klavier (7 Songs with Piano) he witnessed a series of successful performances of his works, which lasted until the beginning of the 1930s. At the Geneva music festival of the International Society for New Music in 1929, his Schönberg Variations, a piano cycle on a theme by his teacher in Vienna, caused something of a stir. Five years later, for the orchestral arrangement of this work, he was awarded the Hertzka Prize, named in honor of the former director of Universal Editions. In the meantime he had been appointed conductor in Zürich for two years. As a result of his interest in anthroposophy, a movement founded by Rudolf Steiner, he spent another two years as a bookseller in Stuttgart, but was forced to flee Germany in mid-1933 and returned to Prague as a music teacher and journalist.

During this period he worked with the department of music at Czechoslovak Radio, wrote book and music reviews for various magazines, wrote as a critic for the Bohemia newspaper, lectured to educational groups, gave private lessons, and was actively involved in the program of the Czechoslovak Society for Music Education. At about this time Ullmann made friends with the composer Alois Hába, whom he had known for some time. Ullmann enrolled in Hába's department of quarter tone music at the Prague Conservatory, where he studied from 1935 to 1937. While his works of the 1920s still clearly show the influence of Schönberg's atonal period, especially the Chamber Symphony Op. 9, the George Songs Op. 15 and Pierrot Lunaire, Op. 21, Ullmann's compositions from 1935 onwards, like the String Quartet No. 2 and Piano Sonata No. 1, are distinguished by his independent development of Schönberg's inspirations. Similarly the opera Der Sturz des Antichrist develops the issues raised by Alban Berg's opera Wozzeck. Dissonant harmonics, highly charged musical expression, and masterly control of formal structure are characteristic of Ullmann's new and henceforth unmistakable personal style.

On September 8, 1942 he was deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Up to his deportation his list of works had reached 41 opus numbers and contained an additional three piano sonatas, song cycles on texts by various poets, operas, and the Piano Concerto Op. 25, which he finished in December 1939, nine months after the entry of German troops into Prague. Most of these works are missing. The manuscripts presumably disappeared during the occupation. Thirteen printed items, which Ullmann published privately and entrusted to a friend for safekeeping, have survived. The particular nature of the camp at Theresienstadt enabled Ullmann to remain active musically: he was a piano accompanist, organized concerts ("Collegium musicum", "Studio for New Music"), wrote critiques of musical events, and composed, as part of a cultural circle including Karel Ančerl, Rafael Schachter, Gideon Klein, Hans Krása, and other prominent musicians imprisoned there. He wrote: "By no means did we sit weeping on the banks of the waters of Babylon. Our endeavor with respect to arts was commensurate with our will to live." On October 16, 1944 he was deported to the camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, where on October 18, 1944 he was killed in the gas chambers.

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Der Sturz des Antichrist, Bühnenweihefestspiel en tres actos (1935). Comienzo.

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Der Kaiser von Atlantis, ópera en un acto (1943-1944). Comienzo.

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 Asunto: Re: La otra ópera
NotaPublicado: 28 Nov 2014 22:31 
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Grigory Samuilovich Frid (1915-2012) Born in Petrograd, now St. Petersburg, Frid studied in the Moscow Conservatory with Heinrich Litinsky and Vissarion Shebalin. He was a soldier in the Second World War. The style of his early music may be explained as conventional, written in the tradition of so-called "Socialist realism". At the age of 55 he changed his style radically, turning to the twelve-tone and other more contemporary techniques of music composition. Frid was a prolific composer. His most notable works are his two chamber operas, both to his own libretti. The Diary of Anne Frank is a monodrama in 21 scenes for soprano and chamber orchestra, lasting about one hour. It was composed in 1968 and given a first performance with piano accompaniment at the All-Union House of Composers in Moscow on either 17 or 18 May 1972. The Letters of Van Gogh is a mono-opera in two parts for baritone and chamber ensemble, based on the letters of Vincent Van Gogh to his brother Theo. The opera was composed in 1975 and given its premiere in concert form at the same venue, on 29 November 1976. Frid was known as having been a music propagandist and organiser of a series of lectures-concerts for young people at the "Moscow House of Composers" that were popular in 1970s. He was also a visual artist, having had a series of exhibitions of his paintings. Frid authored a few volumes of recollections, two of which first were published in Moscow in 1987 and 1991.

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Дневник Анны Франк, ópera-monólogo en dos actos (1969). Comienzo.

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 Asunto: Re: La otra ópera
NotaPublicado: 05 Dic 2014 22:39 
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Hans Krása (1899-1944) He was born in Prague. He studied the piano with Terèse Wallerstein and composition with Zemlinsky. There is no evidence to suggest that he received any other formal musical education. He spent a short period of time as répétiteur at the Neues Deutsches Theater, Prague, where his Symphony for Small Orchestra and his String Quartet received successful performances. The Symphony was later performed at the Zürich ISCM Festival (1926), under Zemlinsky in Prague (1927) and under Koussevitzky in Boston and New York (1926–1927). In 1927 Krása accompanied Zemlinsky to the Kroll Opera, Berlin. Although he received conducting offers from Berlin, Paris and Chicago, he could not bring himself to accept a foreign post and returned to Prague before the end of the year.

As a member of the Literarisch-Künstlerischer Verein, Krása threw himself into German musical life in Prague. He began work on his first opera, Verlobung im Traum, in 1928. Although his psalm-cantata Die Erde ist des Herrn was given its première by Heinrich Swoboda in 1932 and received two subsequent broadcast performances in Prague and Hamburg, Verlobung im Traum was not performed until 1933. By this time the National Socialists had come to power in Germany and despite the opera’s acclaim (it won the Czechoslovakian State Prize in 1933) it was not performed in any German opera house. Krása’s second opera, Lysistrata, remained unfinished.

Feeling a growing sympathy with Czech artists and intellectuals, Krása included his Music for Harpsichord and Seven Instruments for performance at a concert of Manés, the Czech artists’ association (1936). After writing incidental music and song settings for Adolf Hoffmeister's Mládî v hře (‘Youth in Play’), the two collaborated on the children's opera Brundibár (‘Bumble-bee’). The opera was rehearsed and performed by Rudolf Freudenfeld and the children of Prague's Jewish orphanage in 1942 despite the German occupation. By the time the performance took place, however, Krása had been sent to Terezín concentration camp with the deportation transport of 10 August 1942.

At first the camp’s administration merely tolerated artistic activity; later it was encouraged, as it could be used for propaganda. Krása served as director of the music section of the so-called Freizeitgestaltung, a group that organized the prisoners’ ‘leisure’ time. In an act of enormous significance for the Freizeitgestaltung, a piano-vocal score of Brundibár reached the camp, enabling Krása to reconstruct the opera for the available forces. It was performed in the camp on 23 July 1943 in the first of 55 performances. Krása was taken to Auschwitz on 16 October 1944 as part of the so-called Künstlertransport. He died in the gas chamber two days later.

Krása’s early works reveal the influence of Zemlinsky, early Schoenberg, neo-classical Stravinsky and French Impressionism. His music characteristically displays subversive humour, grotesque gestures, formal confidence and melodic lyricism. If in the 1920s he was seen by his colleagues as a bohemian, fond of playing chess and demonstrating little ambition as a composer, in the 1930s and especially during his month in Terezín he became an artist who remained true to his ethical and aesthetic principles even in the most arduous circumstances. In the mid-1980s, after a long period of oblivion, Brundibár was rediscovered along with many of Krása’s other works. Verlobung im Traum, Chamber Music for Harpsichord and Seven Instruments, and Die Erde ist des Herrn were the last compositions to reappear, reintroduced to the musical world in 1994 and 1995.

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Verlobung im Traum, ópera (1933). Fragmento del acto primero.

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 Asunto: Re: La otra ópera
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Ferdinando Bertoni (1725-1813) Nació en Saló, y comenzó sus estudios de música en Brescia, no muy lejos de su lugar de nacimiento. Hacia 1740 se marcha a Bolonia, donde estudia hasta 1745 con el famoso teórico de la música Giovanni Battista Martini. Después se traslada a Venecia, donde en 1752 llega e ser primer organista en la Basílica de San Marcos. Desde 1755 a 1777 fue director de coro en la Ospedale dei Mendicanti, también en Venecia, ciudad donde presentó en 1767 su ópera Ezio, con libreto de Metastasio. Durante los años de 1778 a 1783 se marchó a Londres, donde compuso operas para el Teatro Real. Volviendo a Venecia en 1784 donde sucede a Baldassare Galuppi en 1785 como maestro de capilla de San Marcos conservando esta posición hasta su retiro en 1808. Murió en Desenzano del Garda en 1813.Prolífico compositor de música sacra, Bertoni también compuso 70 operas, que han caído en el olvido, excepto Orfeo (Venecia, Teatro San Benedetto, 1776). Bertoni compuso esta obra especialmante para su amigo, el castrato, Gaetano Guadagni, que interpretaría el papel de Orfeo.Otras óperas de Bertoni fueron: Demetrio (Londres, 1763); Semiramide riconosciuta (Nápoles, 1767); Artaserse (Milán, 1777); Demofoonte (Londres, 1778); Nitteti (Venecia, 1789); todas ellas con libreto de Pietro Metastasio. Bertoni compuso al menos 200 obras sacras, incluyendo 50 oratorios y cantatas, obras instrumentales y música de cámara.

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Orfeo, azione teatrale in tre atti (1776). Del acto tercero, Che fiero momento!.

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 Asunto: Re: La otra ópera
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Heinz Holliger (*1939) He was born in Langenthal, Switzerland, canton of Berne. During his grammar-school education he already studied oboe with Emile Cassagnaud at the Conservatoire of Berne and composition with Sándor Veress. From 1958 he continued his studies with Yvonne Lefébure (piano) and Pierre Pierlot (oboe) in Paris. Between 1961 and 1963 he studied composition with Pierre Boulez at the Music Academy of Basel. After winning first prizes at international music competitions (Geneva 1959, International Music Competition of the ARD 1961), Holliger began to give worldwide concert performances as an oboist. Contemporary composers such as Hans Werner Henze, Krzysztof Penderecki, György Ligeti, Elliott Carter, Witold Lutoslawski, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Luciano Berio wrote compositions specially for him. Among his outstanding achievements is the rediscovery of forgotten works by 18th-century composers such as Jan Dismas Zelenka and Ludwig August Lebrun.

Holliger's oeuvre covers all genres – from stage works via orchestral, solo and chamber music works to numerous vocal pieces. Almost all compositions bear testimony to a tireless search for the limits of sound and language. His music is often preceded by an intensive examination of artists' or poets' lives and lyrical texts. He has always been fascinated by artists living on the edge of society or at the edge of life. At this point, the Scardanelli Cycle (1975-1985) has to be emphasized, in which Holliger turns the last poems of Friedrich Hölderlin into a cycle of 2.5 hours duration for different instrumentations. For this work, the composer was awarded the Premio Abbiati of the Biennale di Venezia in 1995. In Gesänge der Frühe for choir, orchestra and tape, premiered in 1988, Heinz Holliger combined poems by Friedrich Hölderlin with music by Robert Schumann. In the two song cycles Drei Liebeslieder (1960) and Fünf Lieder (1992-2006) for contralto voice and orchestra, he concentrated on poems by Georg Trakl. In the cycle Glühende Rätsel for contralto voice and 10 instrumentalists (1964) Holliger set verses by Nelly Sachs to music. Even poems by Christian Morgenstern were set to music by Heinz Holliger (Sechs Lieder for soprano and orchestra, composed in 1956-1957, orchestrated in 2003).

For the stage, Holliger wrote the opera Schneewittchen which was premiered at the Zurich Opera in 1998. The composer adapted the text from the work of Robert Walser in which, in contrast to Grimm's fairytale, the shadows of the characters meet after the actual story. The examination of texts by Samuel Beckett resulted in the composition of three other short stage works: Come and go (1976-1977), Not I (1978-1980), and What Where (1988). Holliger's concert pieces too often refer to biographies or literary works: Concerto 'Hommage à Louis Soutter' for violin and orchestra (1993-1995, revised 2002) portrays the life of the Swiss painter. In Siebengesang (1966-1967) for oboe, orchestra, singing voices and loudspeaker, he incorporates a poem by Georg Trakl. Holliger has composed numerous chamber music works, including the early wind quintet (1968), Romancendres for violoncello and piano (2003), Contrechant sur le nom de Baudelaire for (bass) clarinet (2008) as well as two string quartets and solo pieces for almost every instrument.

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Der magische Tänzer, Versuch eines Ausbruchs (1963-1965). Fragmento.

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Schneewittchen, ópera en cinco escernas, un prólogo y un epílogo (1997-1998). Fragmento.

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 Asunto: Re: La otra ópera
NotaPublicado: 27 Dic 2014 0:08 
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Blas de Laserna (1751-1816) Nació en Corella, Navarra. Fue uno de los más destacados compositores de música para teatro. No hay muchas noticias sobre sus primeros años, y en 1774 se encuentra ya en Madrid como "músico de compañia" y tres años después como "compositor de compañía" trabajando para compañías teatrales de la capital. En 1790, tras la jubilación de Esteve, quedó como único compositor titular de las compañías de los teatros del Príncipe y de la Cruz. Durante la Guerra de la Independencia trabajó como copista musical y maestro de música.

Su trabajo como compositor se centra casi exclusivamente en la música escénica, siendo uno de los principales impulsores del género de la tonadilla escénica, que alcanza con él uno de sus momentos de máximo esplendor. Laserna se apoyó en los géneros "hispánicos" frente a la influencia italianizante que dominaba la escena musical, proponiendo incluso la creación de una escuela de cantantes de tonadillas, para enseñar a cantar a los cómicos, propuesta que no prosperó.

Compuso además de tonadillas, conciertos, óperas, zarzuelas y muchos sainetes con libretos de D. Ramón de la Cruz. Algunas de sus canciones, como las seguidillas del Triunfo de las mujeres, o la Tirana del Trípili, adquirieron tanta fama y popularidad que pasaron al patrimonio popular. Murió en Madrid. Su abundante obra, de la que cabe destacar El majo y la italiana fingida, La cita al ensayo, La lección de música y bolero, Las murmuraciones del Prado, etc. fue copiada para el archivo real, de donde pasó a la biblioteca del Real Conservatorio de Madrid. También se conserva en la Biblioteca Municipal de Madrid, y en la Biblioteca Nacional.

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El mundo al revés, tonadilla escenica (1782). Fragmento.


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 Asunto: Re: La otra ópera
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James Sidney Jones (1861-1946) Jones was born in Islington, London. His father, James Sidney Jones, Sr. (1837–1914) originally of Suffolk, was a military bandmaster. His mother was Ann Jones, née Eycott. As a child, Jones moved frequently as his father was transferred to new military stations in England and Ireland. The young Jones learned to play a variety of instruments in the band. In Dublin, he studied with Sir Robert Stewart (1825–1894) of Trinity College. The family later moved to Leeds, where his father became conductor of the Leeds Rifles, was the musical director of the Leeds Grand Theatre and later conducted a band and the Spa Orchestra at Harrogate. Jones was the eldest son and second of six children. His youngest brother, Guy Sidney Jones (1875–1959), also became a conductor and composer whose musical scores included The Gay Gordons (1907). In 1885, Jones married Kate Linley, an actress, and the couple produced five children. Jones gained his first professional experience playing the clarinet in his father's band and orchestra. He also gave piano lessons. In 1882, he was hired as a conductor for tours of musical theatre pieces, such as Robert Planquette's Les Cloches de Corneville[2] and a popular American musical show, Fun on the Bristol. He next toured with the Vokes family and also composed incidental music and songs for their farcical entertainment In Camp. In 1886, actress/producer Kate Santley engaged Jones as musical director for the tour of her musical Vetah.

Jones then worked for Henry Leslie for nearly four years as conductor of tours of Alfred Cellier's comic opera hit Dorothy (starring Lucy Carr Shaw, sister to George Bernard Shaw), Doris and The Red Hussar. He was then music director for a tour of the Gaiety Theatre piece Little Jack Sheppard under the management of comedian J. J. Dallas. After that, George Edwardes hired him as musical director for the Gaiety Theatre's 1891 tour of America and Australia, conducting the burlesques Ruy Blas and the Blasé Roué and Cinder-Ellen Up-too-Late. He briefly returned to conducting in the British provinces, but in 1892, after nine years of touring, Edwardes hired Jones to conduct the musical In Town at the Prince of Wales Theatre on London's West End. He next was musical director for another West End musical, Morocco Bound (1893), and for the London production of The Gay Parisienne (1896). At the same time as these conducting engagements, Jones had begun composing incidental music and songs as needed for the shows he conducted. In 1889, he wrote the musical score for the pantomime Aladdin II, which played at Leeds. When Edwardes's touring company produced Cinder Ellen in Australia, Jones wrote a dance number that was added to Meyer Lutz's score. Jones also composed an operetta, Our Family Legend (1892), with a libretto by Reginald Stockton, which was produced at Brighton. In 1893, one of his songs, "Linger Longer, Loo" was added to Lutz's 1892 burlesque Don Juan at the Gaiety Theatre. The song became popular throughout the English-speaking world and inspired a drawing by Toulouse-Lautrec of Yvette Guilbert singing it.

In 1893, for A Gaiety Girl (1893), with a libretto by Owen Hall, Edwardes gave Jones the opportunity to write the music, and the result was a hit show that enjoyed a long run and toured internationally, setting the trend for a new genre of popular musical theatre that came to be known as Edwardian musical comedy. The ballad "Sunshine above" from the show was popular parlour song. Jones's style was similar in technique to the music of Arthur Sullivan and Cellier, which Jones had conducted for so long, but it was lighter and breezier, appealing to the popular tastes of the time. Jones soon became house composer and music director for George Edwardes's new Daly's Theatre. After A Gaiety Girl, Jones again collaborated with Hall and lyricist Harry Greenbank to produce another success, An Artist's Model (1894), which ran for fifteen months. This was followed by three of the most successful musical comedies of the 1890s: The Geisha (1896), A Greek Slave (1898), and San Toy (1899). Jones's musical plays were "written in a more musically substantial style than the featherweight entertainment given at the Gaiety. Their librettos sported a solid and serious romantic backbone (confided to the baritone hero Hayden Coffin and the soprano Marie Tempest) alongside their comic and soubrette elements, and the scores which Jones provided included, alongside the lighter material, numbers sentimental and dramatic, as well as some impressive and vocally demanding concerted ensembles and finales...."

Jones song from The Geisha, "The Amorous Goldfish" became an oft-sung hit, as did several of his other songs for these shows. The Geisha took advantage of the fad for oriental settings in musical theatre that had been established by Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado in 1885. The Geisha and San Toy were frequently revived, recorded and widely toured in Europe as well as throughout the English-speaking world. The former became the most frequently-performed English-language work of musical theatre in Europe for many decades. The piece figures prominently in Anton Chekhov's popular short story, The Lady with the Dog, and it was adapted as a Russian film in 1959 that featured its music, including "The Amorous Goldfish". Other musicals followed, but Jones's only real successes during this period were My Lady Molly (produced by Jones) in 1902 and King of Cadonia in 1908 (produced by Frank Curzon), although See See (with a book by Charles Brookfield and lyrics by Adrian Ross) did reasonably well in 1906 at the Prince of Wales Theatre. As musical director at the Empire Theatre, Jones wrote the ballets, The Bugle Call (1905) and Cinderella (1906), which was danced at Christmas-time. Later, back at the light-hearted Gaiety Theatre, with The Girl from Utah in 1913, and at Daly's Theatre, with The Happy Day in 1916, Jones achieved two last successes. However, Jones, like his sometime collaborator Lionel Monckton, fell victim to changing musical fashions around the time of World War I, such as syncopated dance rhythms like ragtime, and retired from composition.

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The Geisha, a japanese musical play (1896). Del acto primero, Chon kina.

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Friedrich Daniel Rudolf Kuhlau (1786-1832) He was born in Uelzen, near Hanover. Kuhlau was the son of a poor military bandsman and moved with his family to Lüneburg about 1793, where in 1796 he lost his right eye in a fall in the street. After brief periods in Altona and Brunswick, the family settled in Hamburg in 1802 or 1803. Here Kuhlau received his first serious musical tuition, partly from C.F.G. Schwencke, the Stadtkantor and Musikdirektor of Hamburg and a learned scholar who had been taught by C.P.E. Bach and Kirnberger. Kuhlau gave several piano recitals from 1804, and the same year his earliest known compositions, songs and pieces for flute and piano, were published. When Hamburg was invaded by Napoleon's troops in 1810 Kuhlau fled to Copenhagen, where he gave the first of many concerts in January 1811, performing among other works his C major Piano Concerto. He began to earn his living as a piano teacher and composer, and in 1813 was appointed court chamber musician, though he received no salary for this first position until 1818. In 1814 his first stage success, the Singspiel Røverborgen (‘The Robbers’ Castle’), was given at the Kongelige Teater (the Royal Theatre). He was chorus master at the theatre in 1816–1817 and had his second opera Trylleharpen (‘The Magic Harp’) produced there in 1817. He enjoyed an enormous success with his fairy tale opera Lulu (1824), and his incidental music to the play William Shakespeare (1826) was also well received. But the greatest triumph of his career was the incidental music to Heiberg's Romantic national play Elverhøj (‘The Elf Hill’), first produced in 1828. As a direct result of this Kuhlau was made a professor the same year. His other stage works were failures. He went on concert tours as a pianist in Scandinavia, especially in Sweden, and made several visits to Germany and Austria. In 1816 he conducted a successful performance of Røverborgen in Hamburg, and in 1825 met Beethoven in Vienna, exchanging impromptu canons with him. Kuhlau's last years were clouded by financial problems, illness, excessive drinking and the deaths of both of his parents, who had lived with him from 1814. As a result of a fire that swept his house in 1831 he suffered a chest ailment from which he never recovered, and died the following year.

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Lulu, ópera romántica en tres actos (1823-1824). Comienzo del acto primero.

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Ernest Reyer, the adopted name of Louis Étienne Ernest Rey (1823-1909). He was born in Marseilles. Having attended a music school in Marseilles from the age of six, he was sent in 1839 to Algiers to work with an uncle, Louis Farrenc, in a government department. There he composed, without the benefit of tuition, a number of minor works, including a mass for the visit of the Duke of Aumale in 1847. In 1848 he defied his parents' and uncle's objections to a musical career and went to Paris, where his kinship with Aristide and Louise Farrenc was an invaluable introduction to a wide musical circle; Louise Farrenc took charge of his musical studies on an informal basis. Equally important was his early association with a number of literary figures, especially Gautier, Mιry and de Cormenin, whose tastes were similar to his own. Reyer had thus had little formal musical training when Le sιlam, an ‘oriental symphony in four parts to a text by Gautier, was successfully performed in Paris in 1850. Closely modelled on Fιlicien David's then popular Le dιsert, it won the praise of Berlioz and established Reyer's inclination towards exotic subject matter, repeated in Sacountalâ, a ballet by Gautier played at the Opιra in 1858, and in La statue (1861), an opera comique based on the 1001 Nights. Maître Wolfram (1854), an opera comique, was a tacit homage to Weber; Erostrate, commissioned for the new theatre in Baden-Baden in 1862, tells the legend of how the Venus de Milo lost her arms.

Within 14 years Reyer had established himself as a minor celebrity and composed a substantial body of music, but though he lived another 46 years, only two significant works appeared: the operas Sigurd and Salammbô together represent his highest achievement as a composer. Both were first produced at the Théâtre de la Monnaie, Brussels, whose management was at that time considerably more adventurous than that of the Paris Opιra. Sigurd was begun in the 1860s but had to wait until 1884 to be heard, when the fact that its subject was close to that of Wagner's Ring was still not the handicap it might have been a year or two later. Reyer had chosen his material independently of Wagner and from different sources. The success of Sigurd was considerable and it put Reyer's name high in public esteem. Salammbô (1890), brought his friend Flaubert's highly coloured novel to the stage and enjoyed equal success, both in Brussels and in France a success also due to the sumptuousness of its settings and the singing of Rose Caron. Both works survived in the repertory for 50 years.

Reyer's preferred music was that of Gluck, Weber, Schumann and Berlioz. He had been close to Berlioz in his last years and remained a staunch advocate of his music at a time when it was almost unheard in Paris. He also held Wagner's music in admiration (after early doubts) and made repeated efforts to obtain hearings of the operas in the 1870s. Yet he did not imitate Wagner's style; ‘the only composer who can write Wagnerian music is Wagner, he once said, and although he used a clear leitmotif technique it is truly closer to Weber in origin than to Wagner. Nor did he consciously imitate Berlioz, for the same reason. Reyer's music draws on the French tradition of delicately coloured scoring, with its oriental flavour, to be seen also in David, Gounod, Delibes and Bizet; at the same time it has, especially in the last two operas, a breadth and weight that relate more closely to Meyerbeer and Verdi. His fondness for triplets and static bass lines is almost a mannerism. He took particular pains over his orchestration, which is some compensation for his lack of true melodic distinction. Indeed all his work was painstaking and disciplined, despite being accused of amateurishness by his critics. He had a sternly independent spirit and a scorn for what he saw as debased styles. As a composer he was perhaps too conscious of what he did not want to be to establish a positive individuality.

In this respect one can see Reyer's work as a critic in fundamental opposition to his work as a composer, despite the sincerity and constancy of his ideas, for which he earned the widest respect. Undoubtedly, too, his activity as a critic accounts for the small output of his later years. His articles appeared over a span of 40 years, in Revue française, La presse, Moniteur universel, Courrier de Paris and especially Journal des dιbats, to which he contributed articles from 1866 to 1898. Some of his articles are in his compilation Notes de musique (Paris, 1875), which contains an account of his journeys to Germany in 1863 and to Cairo, for Aida, in 1871. (After 1870 he refused to visit Germany again and he never went to Bayreuth.) A posthumous collection, Quarante ans de musique (Paris, 1909), contains his essays on Wagner's and Berlioz's operas, and also, interestingly, on his own. Its editor, Emile Henriot, said of Reyer the critic: His writing is, like his music, very literary, more literary than musical, more poetic than technical. There lies, perhaps, the source of his genius. He was more a poet than a musician, perhaps even more a painter than a poet. He distrusted progressive ideas, especially uncritical Wagnerism. He opposed, for example, the introduction of valved brass instruments. He was extremely shy of public appearance and earned a reputation for waspishness, which Adolphe Jullien insisted was false. He was elected to the Institute in 1876 and from 1866 until his death was librarian of the Opera, a duty to which he seems to have paid scant attention.

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Sigurd, ópera en cuatro actos (1884). Fragmento del acto primero.

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Yuri Alexandrovich Shaporin (1887-1966) Shaporin was born in Hlukhiv in Russian Empire. A cellist in the local Gymnasium orchestra, he composed salon pieces throughout his youth, but, under his stepfather's influence, he initially decided against a musical career and in 1906 enrolled at the philological faculty of Kiev University. There he pursued his musical interests as an accompanist to the student choir and as a theory and composition pupil of Lyubomirsky. Two years later, on the advice of the composer Lysenko, he moved to the more stimulating atmosphere of St Petersburg and entered the university as a law student. An attempt to enrol simultaneously at the conservatory failed, so it was not until after his graduation in 1912 that, encouraged by Glazunov, he became a full-time music student. At the St Petersburg Conservatory (1913–18) he studied composition with Sokolov, orchestration with Steinberg and score-reading with Nikolay Tcherepnin. His compositional style was thus formed in the nationalist tradition, and, more particularly, within the school of Rimsky-Korsakov.

After graduating from the conservatory Shaporin became actively involved in the progressive artistic life of Petrograd: he allied himself with the revolutionary trends in drama and stage production, and, along with Gorky, Lunacharsky and Blok, he founded the Grand Drama Theatre (1919), with which he worked, eventually as musical director, until 1928. Thereafter, until 1934, he was associated with the Academic Theatre of Drama (now the Pushkin Theatre). This period of work for the theatre was the most dynamic of his creative career, and his intense compositional activity, some of it fairly experimental, was stimulated by his close friendships with the innovatory writers of the time: Aleksey Tolstoy, Blok, Zamyatin, Mayakovsky, Fedin, Gorky and others. In collaboration with Gork'y he planned an opera based on Mat' (‘The Mother’), but the project was abandoned after the writer's death. In return, the young Soviet theatre received invaluable assistance from Shaporin as adviser, conductor and composer of incidental music to plays by Aleksey Tolstoy, Zamyatin, Trenev and Bill'Belotserkovsky, as well as many Western classics.

At the same time Shaporin had a variety of contacts with the musical world of Leningrad, and in particular with Asaf'yev. Both were founder-members of the Leningrad Association for Contemporary Music (1926–30), which promoted professionalism, experiment and (not uncritical) interest in new Western ideas. This period witnessed a concentration on instrumental music that produced two piano sonatas and the orchestral suite Blokha (‘The Flea’). With the dissolution of the ACM, however, and a subsequent involvement with the Leningrad branch of the Soviet Composers' Union, his career took a new direction. The incidental music apart, his scores always tended to grow slowly to their final forms; from the 1930s his rate of composition became still slower, and in his last 30 years he completed only a handful of major works, many of which occupied him over several years. Of these later works the best known is the opera Dekabristï (‘The Decembrists’), which was partly responsible for his move away from Leningrad. This work, based on an idea of Aleksey Tolstoy, had been started as early as 1920, and in its first, incomplete form, Polina Gebl (‘Paulina Goebbel’), it was performed in Leningrad in 1925. Ten years later, with the work still in progress, Shaporin received a commission from the Moscow Bolshoy; he settled for a time in Klin, and thereafter resided in Moscow. In 1939 he was appointed professor of instrumentation at the Moscow Conservatory, where he was made professor of composition after the war; his pupils included Shchedrin and Volkonsky.

With The Decembrists still unfinished, in 1939 Shaporin completed the symphony-cantata Na pole Kulikovom (On the Field of Kulikovo), dealing with the Russian-Tatar war of 1380. The Romantic idiom of the score brought it immediate popularity, and Shaporin followed it with a series of epic-heroic works on themes of national struggle. Symphonic suites from the film scores for Minin i Pozharsky (1939), Suvorov (1941) and Kutuzov (1943) entered the repertory; the oratorio Skazaniye o bitve za russkuyu zemlyu (The Story of the Battle for the Russian Land), written during a wartime evacuation to Tbilisi, was acclaimed at its Moscow première in 1944 and is possibly his most impressive score; and the ‘battle’ series concluded with the less successful Dokole korshunu kruzhit? (‘How Long Shall the Kite Soar?’). All three of his oratorios show Shaporin's mastery of an essentially Romantic nationalist style, whose refined lyricism has had a continuing appeal.

Shaporin devoted the immediate postwar years to song composition, perhaps in preparation for a final assault on The Decembrists, which was directly anticipated in the subject matter of Chaadayevu (‘To Chaadayev’). The opera, his most famous composition and his life's work, eventually reached completion and performance in 1953. It has remained firmly established in the Soviet repertory, but has not exported. Wholly in the great Russian tradition, it is a work of nobility and strong lyricism, despite its rather static and oratorio-like presentation; perhaps it has most in common with Prince Igor, whose composer Shaporin most closely resembles. After this achievement Shaporin's creative career waned considerably. His last years were devoted to the composition of small-scale works – songs, the Five Pieces for cello and piano, and the piano Ballad and to further revision of the larger scores. He continued to teach almost until his death, and in this sphere he won the respect of the youngest Russian composers. His collected essays were published as Izbrannïye stati (Moscow, 1969).

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Dekabristï, ópera en cuatro actos (1920–1953). Fragmento del acto primero.

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Al leer la reseña de Shaporin he recordado, de repente que yo tenía esta ópera en esta versión que, en su momento presté a alguien. Voy a intentar recuperarla. Me sorprende haberla olvidado así.

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Yo no le presto mis CDs ni a mi madre. :lol:

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Enrique Granados y Campiña (1867-1916) Nació en Lérida. Era hijo de padre cubano y de madre gallega. Su disposición para la música se reveló ya en su niñez; estudió los primeros elementos de solfeo y teoría en su ciudad natal con José Junceda. Niño aún, pasó a Barcelona, donde entró en la Escolanía de la Merced, dirigida por Francisco Jurnet; luego recibió lecciones de Juan Pujol (piano) y Felipe Pedrell (armonía). A los diez años de edad empezó a dar conciertos públicos. En 1887 pasó a París, donde estudió con C. de Bériot; en la capital francesa vivió con su amigo y coterráneo, el pianista Ricardo Viñes. Regresó a Barcelona en 1889, donde dio un memorable concierto en el Teatro Lírico. En 1892 obtuvo un nuevo triunfo como concertista y como compositor al dar a conocer sus tres primeras Danzas. Como pianista fue excelente colaborador de grandes violinistas como Manén, Isaye, Crikboom y Thibaud. También actuó al lado de Risler, Saint-Sáens y Malats en la interpretación pública de obras escritas para dos pianos. En una de las primeras "Festes de la Música Catalana", obtuvo el primer premio; su Allegro de concierto fue laureado en un concurso nacional.

En 1910 envió sus composiciones para piano Goyescas al pianista Montoriol Tarrés, que residía en París. Tarrés estudió la obra y se entusiasmó con ella. La divulgó y pronto, ganado el apoyo de Vuillermoz, logró que la Société Musicale Independante organizara el 4 de abril de 1914 un concierto enteramente dedicado a Enrique Granados. El éxito fue rotundo y constituyó la consagración del joven compositor. A raíz de este concierto le fue concedida la Legión de Honor y recibió de Rouché, director de la ópera parisiense, el encargo de convertir las Goyescas en ópera, para su representación en París. Enrique Granados puso manos a la obra y concluyó la partitura sobre un libreto de F. Periquet; pero estalla la conflagración mundial y el proyecto se vuelve irrealizable. Así las cosas, Schirmer, el editor neoyorquino, enterado de la dificultad, se apresura a hacer proposiciones a Granados: él está dispuesto a editar la obra y la hará representar en Nueva York. Nuestro autor acepta y se traslada a América con su esposa.

La representación de Goyescas, efectuada en el Metropolitan el 28 de enero de 1916, constituyó un éxito y Granados fue invitado por el presidente de los Estados Unidos para tocar en la Casa Blanca. Esta circunstancia fue causa de que el compositor perdiera el transatlántico que había de volverle a España. Cumplido su compromiso, no quiso esperar la salida de otro buque español y embarcó para Inglaterra; allí, en Folkestone, tomó el "Sussex", el cual, a poco de zarpar, fue torpedeado y hundido por un submarino alemán. Granados y su esposa murieron ahogados. La noticia causó sensación; en Barcelona, en Lérida, en París, en Nueva York, se le tributaron homenajes póstumos. Enrique Granados fue además notable pedagogo; de la academia de música que en Barcelona llevaba su nombre salieron muchos de los mejores pianistas catalanes de estos últimos tiempos. Nuestro autor fue un extraordinario intérprete de la música popular hispánica, a la que estilizó con su alto sentido poético y su fina intuición.

Biografías y vidas

María del Carmen, ópera en tres actos (1898). Final del acto primero.

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Goyescas, ópera en dos actos (1916). Final.

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Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) Nació en Rohrau, Austria, en el seno de una humilde familia. Recibió sus primeras lecciones de su padre, quien, después de la jornada laboral, cantaba acompañándose al arpa. Dotado de una hermosa voz, en 1738 Haydn fue enviado a Hainburg, y dos años más tarde a Viena, donde ingresó en el coro de la catedral de San Esteban y tuvo oportunidad de perfeccionar sus conocimientos musicales. Allí permaneció hasta el cambio de voz, momento en que, tras un breve período como asistente del compositor Nicola Porpora, pasó a servir como maestro de capilla en la residencia del conde Morzin, para quien compuso sus primeras sinfonías y divertimentos. El año 1761 se produciría un giro decisivo en la carrera del joven músico: fue entonces cuando los príncipes de Esterházy –primero Paul Anton y poco después, a la muerte de éste, su hermano Nikolaus– lo tomaron a su servicio. Haydn tenía a su disposición una de las mejores orquestas de Europa, para la que escribió la mayor parte de sus obras orquestales, operísticas y religiosas.

El fallecimiento en 1790 del príncipe Nikolaus y la decisión de su sucesor, Paul Anton, de disolver la orquesta de la corte motivó que Haydn, aun sin abandonar su cargo de maestro de capilla, instalara su residencia en Viena. Ese año, y por mediación del empresario Johann Peter Salomon, el músico realizó su primer viaje a Londres, al que siguió en 1794 un segundo. En la capital británica, además de dar a conocer sus doce últimas sinfonías, tuvo ocasión de escuchar los oratorios de Haendel, cuya impronta es perceptible en su propia aproximación al género con La Creación y Las estaciones. Fallecido Paul Anton ese mismo año de 1794, el nuevo príncipe de Esterházy, Nikolaus, lo reclamó de nuevo a su servicio, y para él escribió sus seis últimas misas, entre las cuales destacan las conocidas como Misa Nelson y Misa María Teresa. Los últimos años de su existencia vivió en Viena, entre el reconocimiento y el respeto de todo el mundo musical.

La aportación de Haydn fue trascendental en un momento en que se asistía a la aparición y consolidación de las grandes formas instrumentales. Precisamente gracias a él, dos de esas formas más importantes, la sinfonía y el cuarteto de cuerda, adoptaron el esquema en cuatro movimientos que hasta el siglo XX las ha caracterizado y definido, con un primer movimiento estructurado según una forma sonata basada en la exposición y el desarrollo de dos temas melódicos, al que seguían otro lento en forma de aria, un minueto y un rondó conclusivo. No es, pues, de extrañar que Haydn haya sido considerado el padre de la sinfonía y del cuarteto de cuerda: aunque ambas formas existían como tales con anterioridad, por ejemplo entre los músicos de la llamada Escuela de Mannheim, fue él quien les dio una coherencia y un sentido que superaban el puro divertimento galante del período anterior. Si trascendental fue su papel en este sentido, no menor fue el que tuvo en el campo de la instrumentación, donde sus numerosos hallazgos contribuyeron decisivamente a ampliar las posibilidades técnicas de la orquesta sinfónica moderna.

Biografías y vidas

Acide e Galatea, festa teatrale en un acto (1762, rev. 1773-1774). Se men gentile.

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La canterina, intermezzo in musica en dos actos (1766). Aria del acto segndo, Non v'è chi mi aiuta.

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L'infedeltà delusa, burletta per musica en dos actos (1773). Aria del acto primero, Non v'è rimedio.

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Philemon und Baucis, Singspiel en un acto (1773). In Wolken, hoch emporgetragen.

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Die Feuersbrunst, Marionetten-Singspiel en dos actos (177?). Nä, nä, nä s'Haus gib i ner her.

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L'isola disabitata, azione teatrale en dos partes (1779). Chi nel cammin d'onore.

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Orlando paladino, dramma eroicomico en tres actos (1782). Mille lampi d'accese faville.

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Armida, dramma eroico en tres actos (1783). Aria del acto primero, Vado a pugnar contento.

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L'anima del filosofo, ossia Orfeo ed Euridice, dramma per musica (1791). Urli orrendi, disperati.

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