* You are viewing the archive for July, 2011

Romanticism and Beethoven: Part One

Return of the Repressed?

In this year, 2011, we might take a moment to mark an important event in music history, one that took place 230 years ago. For it was at some time in 1781 that Ludwig van Beethoven, who was then 11 years of age, came under the tutelage of Christian Gottlob Neefe.

Neefe, the composer for example of the Allegretto in C Major played by a 5 year old girl in a charming video here, was the court organist … Continue Reading

The Five Greatest Trojan-War Operas

The Five Greatest Trojan-War Operas

A magnetic influence upon the whole of human culture, both through Homer’s texts and through Virgil’s, it remains: the Trojan War. Just to take one recent example of its pull: Philip Roth’s novel, The Human Stain (2003) begins with a classroom discussion of The Iliad, and specifically of the reason for the wrath of Achilles.

Here, then, is a list of what I have deemed the five greatest operas that work from the Iliad, the … Continue Reading