Sunday, January 10, 2010

Composer anniversaries, 2010

Sure, 2010 is the year for Schumann, Chopin, and Mahler. But how many other composers whose anniversaries fall this year will we see in cheap complete-works box sets from the major labels this year?

Died 800 years ago:
Jehan Bodel (c1165-1210) Your fascinating fact about this French trouvere is that he would have gone on the Fourth Crusade in 1202 but he contracted leprosy.
Died 550 years ago:
Gilles Binchois (c1400-1460) One of the "big three" of the early 15th century (along with Dufay and Dunstable).
Born 500 years ago:
Antonio de Cabezon (1510-1566) Music teacher to the future Philip II of Spain, who, according to Grove, "favoured him perhaps over any other artist except Titian".
Born 450 years ago:
Hieronymus Praetorius (1560-1629) Not Michael Praetorius.
Born 350 years ago:
André Campra (1660-1744) He's between Lully and Rameau.
Johann Joseph Fux (1660-1741) The celebrated author of Gradus ad Parnassum, beloved by generations of Greek mountaineers.
Johann Kuhnau (1660-1722) Bach's predecessor at Leipzig, and author of a satirical novel.
Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725) Not known as "the cantata king", but he did write over 600 of them so I say we adopt this epithet immediately.
Born 300 years ago:
Domenico Alberti (1710-1740) Of Alberti bass fame.
Thomas Arne (1710-1778) The leading British composer of the 18th century. OK, name another one...
Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (1710-1784) Not to be confused with his nephew WFE Bach, or his confused nephew WTF Bach.
Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736) Stravinsky's Pulcinella was based on music not by Pergolesi.
Died 250 years ago:
Christoph Graupner (1683-1760) You probably remember him from such albums as "Graupner: Partitas for harpsichord, volume 6" and "Graupner: Partitas for harpsichord, volume 7".
Born 250 years ago:
Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842) This portrait looks like he's three seconds away from saying "Get OFF! Stop doing that!"
Jan Ladislav Dussek (1760-1812) Haydn once described him as "one of the most upright, moral, and, in music, most eminent of men". Now you feel obliged to pay attention to him, don't you?
Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle (1760-1836) He wrote The Marseillaise.
Johann Rudolf Zumsteeg (1760-1802) Long ago lodged in my brain as the end of my alphabetised composer list (since superceded, though).
Born 200 years ago:
Frederic Chopin (1810-1849) Did you know he was once played in a film by Hugh Grant?
Felicien David (1810-1876) Not to be confused with his German contemporary Ferdinand.
Ferdinand David (1810-1873) To be confused with his French contemporary Felicien.
Hans Christian Lumbye (1810-1874) The waltz king of Denmark. So famous that Johann Strauss was known as "the Lumbye of the south".
Otto Nicolai (1810-1849) Composer of the operas Enrico II, Il templario, Gildippe ed Odoardo, and Il proscritto.
Robert Schumann (1810-1856) Played by Paul Henreid; with Katharine Hepburn as Clara!
Born 150 years ago:
Isaac Albeniz (1860-1909) He didn't write guitar music. Really.
Gustave Charpentier (1860-1956) One word: Louise.
Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) Probably best known as the first husband of Alma Schindler.
Ignacy Jan Paderewski (1860-1941) The only composer on this list to have signed the Treaty of Versailles.
Emil Nikolaus von Reznicek (1860-1945) Four words: Overture to Donna Diana.
William Wallace (1860-1940) Played by Mel Gibson (You're fired! - Ed).
Hugo Wolf (1860-1903) He once believed he was Jupiter (the god, not the planet).
Died 100 years ago:
Mily Balakirev (1837-1910) The evil mastermind behind sinister Russian organization The Five, whose dangerous schemes were constantly being foiled by our hero Tchaikovsky, P.I.
Mikolajus Ciurlionis (1875-1910) He also painted.
Carl Reinecke (1824-1910) Owner of some of the most impressive facial hair in classical music (scroll down the page).
Pauline Viardot-Garcia (1821-1910) The token woman, I'm afraid.
Born 100 years ago:
Samuel Barber (1910-1981) I can't think of anything clever to say about him that doesn't involve the word "adagio". Sorry.
William Schuman (1910-1992) Named William Howard after US president Taft.
Died 50 years ago:
Erno Dohnányi (1877-1960) Not to be confused with Ernst von Dohnányi. Oh - wait...

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