September 27, 2010
September Birthdays. We’d like to commemorate several composers who had their birthdays in September. Jean-Philippe Rameau was born on the 25th of the month in 1683. He followed (and surpassed) Jean-Baptiste Lully in developing the French "Classique" style of music. Rameau composed operas, instrumental music, and music for the harpsichord. You can hear Chicago’s Baroque Band period-instrument orchestra perform his Les Indes Galantes opera suite here.
The great Russian composer Dmitry Shostakovich was also born on the 25th, in 1906. Here is his Violin Concerto No. 1, performed by Albert Markov and the Moscow State Orchestra. The concerto was written in 1947-48 during a period in which Shostakovich fell under heavy criticism from the Soviet press. The first performance of the concerto had to wait till 1955, after Stalin’s death.
One of the giants of modernism, Arnold Schoenberg was born on September 13, 1874. You can hear the short Piano Piece No. 3 played by Irina Klyuev.
And finally, the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt was born on the 11th of the month in 1935. His Speigel Im Spiegel is performed by Janus Trio (click here). This music was written in 1978, while Pärt still lived in Estonia (he emigrated in 1980, moved to Vienna, then Berlin, but later returned to Estonia and now lives in Tallinn).
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