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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

Mozart and Salieri: Not Characters in a Movie

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Alain Gheerbrant, a Frenchman who explored the Amazon and wrote about his experiences there in The Impossible Adventure (1955), told an incidental story that bears on Mozart’s appeal.

Gheerbrant says that when he and his companions entered a certain village inhabited by Maquiritare Indians in northern Brazil, they had a lot of difficulty encouraging the locals to trust and interact with them. So the Frenchmen stayed in the village clearing, and began to play various records on their gramophone. Most of their … Continue Reading