Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Wilhelm Fürtwangler

Music History Monday: Furtwängler

We mark the death on November 30, 1954 – 66 years ago today – of the German conductor and composer Gustav Heinrich Ernst Martin Wilhelm Furtwängler, who was one of the most important and controversial musicians of the twentieth century. We will talk all about Maestro Furtwängler in just a moment. But first: November 30 is a busy day in music history, and we have some important births and deaths to mark. We mark the birth on November 30, 1813 – 207 years ago today – of the French pianist, composer, and teacher Charles-Valentin Alkan in Paris. Alkan was a great piano virtuoso and an equally great oddball, who composed some of the most impossibly virtuosic piano music ever put to paper. Tomorrow’s Dr. Bob Prescribes post will celebrate Alkan and his Grande Sonata, Op. 33; his Sonatine, Op. 61; and his “Twelve etudes in all the minor keys” Op. 39, No. 12, an etude entitled “Aesop’s Feast”. The following three November 30th oriented entries all deal with musicians who made a profound impression on me growing up in the 1960s. Long before “Weird Al” Yankovic (born 1959) created satirical songs parodying pop culture, there was Allan Sherman, who was […]

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