Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

The Robert Greenberg Blog

Haydn by Thomas Hardy

Music History Monday: An Anthem to Remember

February 12th, 2018

On this day 221 years ago – February 12, 1797 – Joseph Haydn’s String Quartet in C Major, Op. 76, No. 3 received its premiere. The quartet’s nickname – “Emperor” – stems from the theme of its second movement, a theme composed a few months before the string quartet. Background In 1761, the 29 year-old… 

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Arrigo Boito and Giuseppe Verdi

Music History Monday: The Opera that Almost Wasn’t

February 5th, 2018

On this day 131 years ago – February 5, 1887 – Giuseppe Verdi’s 25th and penultimate opera, Otello, received its premiere at the Teatro alla Scala (“La Scala”) in Milan. The premiere was the single greatest triumph in Verdi’s sensational career. But it was a premiere – and an opera – that almost didn’t happen.… 

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Vienna Trip — Schubert Birth Spot - literally

Music History Monday: Death and the Maiden

January 29th, 2018

192 years ago today – on January 29, 1826 – Franz Schubert’s String Quartet No. 14 in D Minor, better known as Death and the Maiden, received its premiere at the home of Karl and Franz Hacker in Vienna. The quartet comes by its nickname honestly, as its second movement is a theme and variations… 

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A signed photograph of Shostakovich

Music History Monday: A Very Dangerous Opera

January 22nd, 2018

84 years ago today – on January 22, 1934 – Dmitri Shostakovich’s second opera, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, received its premiere in Leningrad (St. Petersburg), and opened two days later in Moscow. Lady Macbeth was, from day one, a smash hit. It was declared a masterpiece, the best Russian opera since Musorgsky; one… 

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Robert Greenberg Music

Robert Greenberg’s The Great Courses Available for Direct Download!

January 15th, 2018

Dr. Robert Greenberg, best selling creator of audio and video courses for The Teaching Company/The Great Courses since 1993, is now offering those courses for direct download, right here on RobertGreenbergMusic.com! These courses are crafted and produced for lifelong learners and offer a learning experience that goes far beyond anything that can be achieved merely… 

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Robert Schumann in 1839

Music History Monday: The Compositional Jag

January 8th, 2018

On January 8, 1843 – 175 years ago today – Robert Schumann’s magnificent Piano Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 44 received its public premiere in the Saxon city of Leipzig. Dedicated to his wife, the pianist Clara Wieck Schumann, the quintet was written during what can only be called a manic, three-year compositional jag. Check… 

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Johann Christian Bach

Music History Monday: Like Father, Like Son

January 1st, 2018

236 years ago today – on January 1, 1782 – Johann Christian Bach died in London at the age of 47. The youngest surviving son of the great Johann Sebastian Bach (who himself had died 32 years before, in 1750), J. C. Bach attained a level of fame and respect in his lifetime that was… 

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Richard and Cosima Wagner

Music History Monday: A Gift to Music

December 25th, 2017

On Christmas day of 1870 – 147 years ago today – Richard Wagner’s twenty minute-long instrumental tone poem Siegfried Idyll received its premiere under circumstances to be discussed below. Originally scored for a chamber orchestra of 13 players (flute, oboe, two clarinets, bassoon, two horns, trumpet, two violins, viola, cello and bass), Wagner expanded the… 

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Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13 Premiere

Music History Monday: The Show Will Go On!

December 18th, 2017

On December 18, 1962 – 55 years ago today – Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13 received its premiere in Moscow. It was a premiere that almost didn’t take place, one that did indeed take place even though officially it did not really take place! Here’s what happened Joseph Stalin – the “great leader and teacher”… 

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Music History Monday: Not So Happily-Ever-After

December 11th, 2017

On this day in 1721 – 296 years ago – Johann Sebastian Bach’s employer, the 27 year-old Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cöthen married the 19 year-old Friederica Henrietta of Anhalt-Bernburg. It was, for Bach, the final nail in the coffin lid of what had once been his dream job: that of Kapellmeister (master-of-music) for the court… 

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