Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for The Rite of Spring

Music History Monday: A Riotous Rite

May 29 was an incredibly rich day in music history. So much to write about, so little space! Check it out. On May 29, 1801 – 216 years ago today – Joseph Haydn’s final masterwork, The Season, received its public premiere at the Redoutensaal: the still-extant great ballroom in the Imperial Palace (Hofburg) in central Vienna. (FYI: Wikipedia gives the date of this premiere as being May 19. Incorrecto!) For our further information, among the audience was Haydn’s one-time “student”, Ludwig van Beethoven. 157 years ago today – on May 29, 1860 – the composer Isaac Albéniz was born in Camprodón, Spain. Albéniz was a brilliant pianist and as evidenced by his suite for piano Iberia (written between 1905-1909), a composer of genius. May 29, 1910 saw the death of Mily Balakirev in St. Petersburg; May 29, 1922 saw the birth of the composer Iannis Xenakis in Braila, Roumania. Finally – because I cannot not mention it before going on – May 29 marks the 320 anniversary of the assassination of the 44 year-old Italian castrato Giovanni Grossi (known popularly as “Siface”). One of the most famous singers of the entire Baroque era, Siface met his end on May 29, […]

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