Daily Listening Assignment ~ June 3

 

Today we’re going to listen and learn about the opera Carmen.

I chose this for today since it’s the anniversary of French composer Georges Bizet‘s death.

Georges Bizet was born in Paris, France. Both his parents were musicians, and they actually wanted their son to become a composer when he grew up! Bizet loved music, but he also loved to read books. His parents wound up hiding his books so that he would spend more time on his music.

When Georges was 10 years old, his father enrolled him in the Paris Conservatory. While he was there, he wrote his only symphony, but it wasn’t performed until many years after he died. Bizet graduated from the Conservatory with awards in both composition and piano.

Bizet also composed operas. His most famous opera is Carmen. When Carmen first opened in Paris, the reviews were terrible. Many critics said there were no good tunes in it, so audiences stayed away.

In the middle of the night during the first round of Carmen performances, Bizet died. He was only 36. Four months later, Carmen opened in Vienna, Austria, and was a smash hit. It is now one of the most popular operas ever written. Bizet never knew that audiences would come to consider it his masterpiece.

 

Vladimir Horowitz made Carmen his own by turning it into a fantasy (or the more musical spelling – fantasie).

The fantasia (Italian; also English: fantasy, fancy, fantazy, phantasy, German: Fantasie, Phantasie, French: fantaisie) is a musical composition with its roots in the art of improvisation. Because of this, like the impromptu, it seldom approximates the textbook rules of any strict musical form.

When you play wrong notes for an audience, just tell the audience it’s a “Fantasie”, not the original work!

As you can see, Carmen is a popular work. Here it is for two pianos, played by Anderson and Roe.

The Canadian Brass tell the story of Carmen in their own humorous words.

If you want to learn this, just let me know!

May 29 ~ This Day in Music History

memorial-day

• 1680 ~ Abraham Megerle, Composer, died at the age of 73

• 1680 ~ Luca Fumagalli (1837) Composer

• 1730 ~ William Jackson, Composer

• 1731 ~ Orazio Mei, Composer

• 1741 ~ Johann Gottfried Krebs, Composer

• 1750 ~ Giuseppe Porsile, Composer, died at the age of 70

• 1753 ~ Joseph Haydn’s “Krumme Teufel,” premiered

• 1791 ~ Pietro Romani, Composer

• 1833 ~ William Marshall, Composer, died at the age of 84

• 1860 ~ Isaac Albéniz, Spanish composer
More information about Albéniz

• 1843 ~ Emile Pessard, Composer

• 1862 ~ Franciszek Wincenty Mirecki, Composer, died at the age of 71

• 1881 ~ Frederik Septimus Kelly, Composer

• 1883 ~ William Beatton Moonie, Composer

• 1889 ~ August Strindberg’s “Hemsoborna,” premiered in Copenhagen

• 1890 ~ Francis de Bourguignon, Composer

• 1897 ~ Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Austrian-born American composer
More information about Korngold

• 1897 ~ Ignace Lilien, Composer

• 1899 ~ Frantz Jehin-Prume, Composer, died at the age of 60

• 1903 ~ Bob Hope, Entertainer

• 1905 ~ Fela Sowande, Composer

• 1905 ~ Leon Francis Victor Caron, Composer, died at the age of 55

• 1906 ~ Hans Joachim Schaeuble, Composer

• 1910 ~ Mily Alexeyevich Balakirev, Russian Composer, died at the age of 73

• 1911 ~ Sir William Gilbert, English librettist who together with the composer Sir Arthur Sullivan collaborated on many operettas, died of a heart attack after rescuing a woman from drowning. He was 74.

• 1911 ~ Carl M Story (1916) Fiddler

• 1912 ~ Fifteen women were dismissed from their jobs at the Curtis Publishing Company in Philadelphia, PA — for dancing the Turkey Trot while on the job!

• 1919 ~ (Walter) (Wladziu Valentino) Liberace, American concert pianist and showman. His trade mark was a candelabra on his piano.
More information about Liberace

• 1922 ~ Iannis Xenakis, Rumanian-born French theorist and composer
More information on Xenakis

• 1923 ~ Eugene Wright, Jazz musician, bass with Dukes of Swing, played with Brubeck

• 1935 ~ Josef Suk, Czech violinist and composer, died at the age of 61

• 1930 ~ Eleanor Fazan, Opera and show choreographer

• 1937 ~ Peter Kolman, Composer

• 1941 ~ Roy Crewsdon, Guitarist with Freddie and The Dreamers

• 1942 ~ The biggest selling record of all time was recorded. A little out of season, perhaps, but White Christmas, the Irving Berlin classic, was recorded by Bing Crosby for Decca Records. The song was written for the film “Holiday Inn”. More than 30-million copies of Crosby’s most famous hit song have been sold and a total of nearly 70-million copies, including all versions of the standard, have been sold.

• 1943 ~ Hermann Hans Wetzler, Composer, died at the age of 72

• 1943 ~ “The Million Dollar Band” was heard for the first time on NBC radio. Charlie Spivak was the first leader of the band that featured Barry Wood as vocalist. The unusual feature of the show was the awarding each week of five diamond rings!

• 1945 ~ Gary Brooker, Keyboard player, singer

• 1948 ~ Linda Esther Gray, opera singer

• 1948 ~ Michael Berkley, Composer and broadcaster

• 1949 ~ Francis Rossi, Guitarist

• 1949 ~ Gary Brooker, Rock keyboardist with Procol Harum

• 1950 ~ Rebbie (Maureen) Jackson, Singer, oldest member of the Jackson family

• 1951 ~ Dimitrios Levidis, Composer, died at the age of 66

• 1951 ~ Fanny Brice, Ziegfeld Girl (Baby Snooks Show), died at the age of 59

• 1951 ~ Josef Bohuslav Foerster, Composer, died at the age of 91

• 1951 ~ Robert Kahn, Composer, died at the age of 85

• 1951 ~ Danny Elfman (1953) Singer with Oingo Boingo;, composer of soundtracks to Batman, Beetlejuice and The Simpsons

• 1956 ~ LaToya Jackson, Singer

• 1956 ~ Hermann Abendroth, German conductor (Gewandhausorkest), died at the age of 73

• 1956 ~ Arnold Schoenberg’s “Modern Psalm,” premiered

• 1960 ~ Everly Brothers Cathy’s Clown hit #1

• 1961 ~ Melissa Etheridge, Singer

• 1961 ~ Uuno Kalervo Klami, Composer, died at the age of 60

• 1961 ~ Ricky Nelson reached the top spot on the “Billboard” singles chart withTravelin’ Man. It was was Nelson’s second chart-topping hit. Poor Little Fool made it to the top in August of 1958.

• 1962 ~ Barbra Streisand appeared on “Garry Moore Show”

• 1967 ~ Geronimo Baqueiro Foster, Composer, died at the age of 69

• 1971 ~ Max Trapp, Composer, died at the age of 83

• 1972 ~ The Osmonds received a gold record for the album, “Phase III”.

• 1975 ~ Melanie “Scary Spice” Brown, Singer

• 1976 ~ One Piece At A Time by Johnny Cash hit #29

• 1977 ~ Goddard Lieberson, Composer, died at the age of 66

• 1989 ~ Danielle Riley Keough, grand daughter of Elvis Presley

• 1991 ~ “Les Miserables” opened at ACTEA Theatre, Auckland NZ

• 1992 ~ Peter John “Ollie” Halsall, Guitarist, died of a heart attack at 43

• 1994 ~ Oliver “Bops Junior” Jackson, drummer, died at the age of 61

• 1994 ~ “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” closed at Minskoff Theater NYC after 223 performances

• 1996 ~ James George “Jimmy” Rowles, Jazz pianist, died at the age of 77

• 1997 ~ Jeff Buckley, Musician, drowned at age 30

• 2003 ~ Janet Collins, the first black prima ballerina to appear at the Metropolitan Opera and one of a few black women to become prominent in American classical ballet, died. She was 86. In 1951, Collins performed lead roles in “Aida” and Bizet’s Carmen and danced in “La Gioconda” and “Samson and Delilah” at the Met in New York City. That was four years before Marian Anderson made her historic debut as the first black to sing a principal role at the Met. Collins left the Met in 1954. During the 1950s, she toured with her own dance group throughout the United States and Canada and taught. Collins also danced in films, including the 1943 musical “Stormy Weather” and 1946’s “The Thrill of Brazil.” The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in 1974 paid homage to Collins and Pearl Primus as pioneering black women in dance.

May 16 ~ This Day in Music History

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• 1813 ~ Stephen Heller, Hungarian pianist, teacher and composer whose career spanned the period from Schumann to Bizet, and was an influence for later Romantic composers.

• 1892 ~ Richard Tauber (Ernst Seiffert), Austrian-born British tenor. He sang a wide range of music and was as equally at home in opera, notably Mozart, as in Austrian operetta.

• 1913 ~ Woody (Woodrow Charles) Herman, American jazz clarinetist, bandleader and composer

• 1922 ~ Eddie Bert, Jazz musician, trombone

• 1929 ~ The first Academy Awards were presented on this night, hosted by Douglas Fairbanks and William C. de Mille. This first awards ceremony of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles. It attracted an audience of 200 people.

• 1929 ~ Paul Whiteman and his orchestra backed Bing Crosby for the tune, Sposin’, which ‘Der Bingle’ recorded for Columbia Records. Betty Carter (Lillie Mae Jones) (1930) Jazz singer: toured with Lionel Hampton & Miles Davis

• 1946 ~ The Irving Berlin musical, Annie Get Your Gun, at New York’s Imperial Theatre. Once of the most successful shows presented on a Broadway stage, the show ran for 1,147 performances.

• 1947 ~ Barbara Lee, Singer with The Chiffons

• 1947 ~ Darrel Sweet, Drummer, singer

• 1953 ~ Bill Haley and His Comets made it to the Billboard music charts for the first time with Crazy Man Crazy. The tune went to number six and became the first rock ’n’ roll record to make the pop music chart.

• 1965 ~ The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd, a Broadway musical starring Anthony Newley, made its premiere at the Shubert Theatre in New York City. Cyril Ritchard appeared in the production which entertained audiences for 231 performances.

• 1966 ~ Janet Jackson, Singer

• 1990 ~ Jim Henson, the famous creator who of the Muppets, a cast of puppets including Kermit the Frog, Big Bird, Elmo, Ernie and Bert, died at the age of 54.

• 1990 ~ The entertainer who could do it all, Sammy Davis, Jr., died this day, in Beverly Hills, California, USA. From vaudeville at age three (with his father and uncle) to the star of Broadway’s “Mr. Wonderful”, from Las Vegas nightclubs to hit records, the actor, singer, dancer, impersonator, and musician performed his way into the hearts of young and old everywhere. The world mourned the passing of Sammy Davis, Jr. at age 64 of throat cancer.

• 1993 ~ Marv Johnson passed away.  He was an American R&B and soul singer.

• 1995 ~ Lola Flores, fiery Spanish dancer and singer, died. She made many films but was best known for her flamenco movements and passionate songs.

April 8 ~ This Day in Music History

today

Buddha’s Birthday

. 1848 ~ Gaetano Donizetti (born in 1797), died in Bergamo. He was an Italian composer.

. 1889 ~ Sir Adrian Boult, British conductor. In 1918 Gustav Holst asked him to conduct the first performance of “The Planets.”

. 1922 ~ Carmen McRae, Singer

. 1923 ~ Franco Corelli, Italian tenor, debut: Spoleto (Italy) as Don Jose in Bizet’s Carmen in 1951; in films: Great Moments in Opera, Franco Corelli in Tosca, The Great Tenors – Voice of Firestone Classic Performances

. 1929 ~ Jacques Brel, Belgian-born French singer and songwriter

. 1941 ~ Peggy Lennon, Singer with The Lennon Sisters

. 1950 ~ Vaslav Nijinsky, legendary Russian ballet dancer, died. He is generally regarded as the 20th century’s greatest male dancer.

. 1963 ~ Julian Lennon, Singer, son of John and Cynthia Lennon

. 1968 ~ The Beatles went gold again, receiving a gold record for the single, Lady Madonna.

. 1971 ~ Chicago became the first rock group to play Carnegie Hall in New York City.

. 1986 ~ It took 18 years of singing the U.S. national anthem, but on this day, at long last, baritone Robert Merrill of the Metropolitan Opera became the first person to both sing the anthem and throw out the first ball at Yankee Stadium for the Yanks home opener.

. 2001 ~ Van Stephenson, a hit Nashville songwriter who also earned onstage success as a member of the trio BlackHawk, died after suffering from cancer at the age of 47. Stephenson released two albums as a solo pop artist in the 1980s, and scored the hit Modern Day Delilah in 1984. Moving back to Nashville from Los Angeles, Stephenson partnered with songwriter Dave Robbins to write a string of hits for Restless Heart, Dan Seals, and others. Stephenson and Robbins teamed up with former Outlaws singer Henry Paul at the suggestion of record executive Tim DuBois. The trio has had a string of hits since 1993, including Goodbye Says it All and Down in Flames.

March 4 ~ This Day in Music History

 

March Forth is also known as Marching Music Day.  Find out more at http://www.maryo.co/march-forth-on-marching-music-day/

Today is also  National Grammar Day.

. 1678 ~ Antonio Lucio Vivaldi, Italian baroque composer. The creator of hundreds of spirited, extroverted instrumental works, Vivaldi is widely recognized as the master of the Baroque instrumental concerto, which he perfected and popularized perhaps more than any of his contemporaries. A group of four violin concerti from Vivaldi’s Op. 8, better known as “The Four Seasons”, may well be the most universally recognizable musical work from the Baroque period. Perhaps the most prolific of all the great European composers, he once boasted that he could compose a concerto faster than a copyist could ready the individual parts for the players in the orchestra.
More information about Vivaldi

(MaryO’Note:  Spring from The Four Seasons is available in the Piano Maestro App for piano students)

. 1801 ~ The U.S. Marine Band performed for the first time at a presidential nomination. That president was Thomas Jefferson.

. 1875 ~ Bizet’s Carmen premier, Paris

. 1877 ~ The ballet of Swan Lake, composed by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, was performed for the first time in the famous Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Russia

and

. 1915 ~ Carlos Surinac, Catalan Spanish-born composer and conductor

. 1918 ~ Frank Wigglesworth, American composer

. 1925 ~ Enzo Stuarti, Opera singer

. 1928 ~ Samuel Adler, German-born American composer

. 1929 ~ Bernard Haitink, Dutch conductor

. 1932 ~ Miriam (Zensile) Makeba, South African born singer who was the first black South African to attain international stardom.

. 1934 ~ Barbara McNair, Singer, TV hostess of The Barbara McNair Show, actress

. 1942 ~ Dick Jurgen’s orchestra recorded One Dozen Roses on Okeh Records in Chicago.

. 1942 ~ The Stage Door Canteen opened on West 44th Street in New York City. The canteen became widely known as a service club for men in the armed forces and a much welcomed place to spend what would otherwise have been lonely hours. The USO, the United Service Organization, grew out of the ‘canteen’ operation, to provide entertainment for American troops around the world.

. 1943 ~ Irving Berlin picked up the Best Song Oscar for a little ditty he had written for the film, Holiday Inn: White Christmas at the 15th Academy Awards.

. 1944 ~ Bobby Womack, Songwriter, singer

. 1948 ~ Chris Squire, Bass with Yes

. 1948 ~ Shakin’ Stevens (Michael Barratt), Singer, actor

. 1951 ~ Chris Rea, Guitarist with these groups Chris Rea Band and Ambrosia; singer, songwriter

. 1969 ~ Chastity Bono, Singer, daughter of Sonny & Cher

. 1978 ~ Andy Gibb reached the top of the music charts as (Love is) Thicker ThanWater reached #1 for a two-week stay. The Bee Gees also set a record on this day as their single, How Deep Is Your Love, from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack stayed in the top 10 for an unprecedented 17 weeks.

. 1981 ~ Lyricist E.Y. ‘Yip’ Harburg died in an auto accident in Hollywood, CA at the age of 82. Two of his most successful hits were Over the Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz and It’s Only a Paper Moon, popularized by Nat King Cole and many others.

. 2001 ~ Glenn Hughes, a singer who performed as the mustachioed, leather-clad biker in the disco band the Village People, died at the age of 50. The group, which was the brainchild of producer Jacques Morali, featured men dressed as an Indian, a soldier, a construction worker, a police officer, a cowboy and Hughes’ character, a biker. The band released its first single, San Francisco (You’ve Got Me), in 1977. It followed the next year with its first hit, Macho Man. The band then produced a string of hits, including Y.M.C.A., In the Navy and Go West. Collectively the Village People sold 65 million albums and singles. Although disco fell out of fashion in the 1980s, Hughes stayed with the band until 1996, when he left to sing in Manhattan cabarets.

. 2003 ~ Fedora Barbieri, a mezzo-soprano whose passionate singing sometimes stole the scene from opera diva Maria Callas, died. She was 82. Born in Trieste in 1920, Barbieri performed on stages ranging from Milan’s La Scala to New York’s Metropolitan Opera House to London’s Covent Garden. Barbieri’s career started in 1940 and for her 80th birthday, she sang the role of Mamma Lucia in Pietro Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana” in Florence. Her repertoire included roles in operas by Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini. Barbieri died in Florence, which she had adopted as her home and where she gave many performances.

. 2003 ~ Emilio Estefan Sr., father of the Latin music mogul, died at the age of 83. Estefan Sr. played the plump and comical ambassador in a music video for the Miami Sound Machine’s hit song Conga, which featured singer Gloria Estefan, wife of Estefan Jr. The Miami Sound Machine’s office was once located in Estefan Sr.’s garage. His son later built a home for his parents on his Star Island compound. Estefan Sr. was born in Santiago de Cuba and moved to Spain with Estefan Jr. in 1966. His wife and another son stayed in Cuba because the boy was of military draft age and couldn’t leave until 1980. Estefan Sr. came to Miami in 1968, a year after Estefan Jr., and opened a clothing business in Hialeah.

March 3 ~ This Day in Music History

today

Can it be that not much happened in the world of music today?  I’ll be editing this post as I find items!

In the meantime, please enjoy this video:

.1875 ~ The Georges Bizet opera Carmen premiered in Paris.

.1931 ~ The “Star Spangled Banner” was adopted as the American national anthem. The song was originally known as “Defense of Fort McHenry.”

.1931 ~ The first jazz album to sell a million copies was recorded. It was “Minnie The Moocher” by Cab Calloway.

.1940 ~ Artie Shaw and his orchestra recorded “Frenesi”.

.1945 ~ Bing Crosby recorded “Temptation” with John Scott Trotter’s Orchestra. He had recorded it before on October 22, 1933, with Lennie Hayton’s orchestra.

.1957 ~ Samuel Cardinal Stritch banned rock ‘n’ roll from Chicago archdiocese Roman Catholic schools.

December 11, 2016 ~ Today in Music History

today

 

Christmas Music, Part 11 ~ Ding Dong! Merrily On High

OCMS 1803 ~ Louis-Hector Berlioz, French composer, conductor, music critic and major force in the development of musical form during the Romantic Era
More information about Berlioz

• 1876 ~ Mieczyslaw Karlowicz, Polish composer and conductor

• 1882 ~ The Bijou Theatre in Boston, MA became the first theatre to be lighted by electricity.

• 1908 ~ Elliot Cook Carter, Jr., American composer

• 1916 ~ (Damaso) Perez Prado, Piano, organ

• 1926 ~ Willie Mae ‘Big Mama’ Thornton, Blues singer

• 1931 ~ Rita Moreno (Rosita Alverio), Dancer, Academy and Emmy Award-winning actress

• 1934 ~ Curtis Williams, Singer with The Penguins

• 1935 ~ Tom Brumley, Steel guitar with Buck Owens and the Buckaroos, Stone Canyon Band

• 1939 ~ Marlene Dietrich recorded Falling In Love Again on the Decca label.

• 1940 ~ David Gates, Guitarist, keyboard, singer with Bread

• 1944 ~ Brenda Lee (Tarpley), American singer of popular music

• 1944 ~ “The Chesterfield Supper Club” debuted on NBC radio. Perry Como, Jo Stafford and many other stars of the day shared the spotlight on the 15-minute show that aired five nights a week. The show was sponsored by Chesterfield cigarettes.

• 1952 ~ An audience of 70,000 people watched from 31 theatres as Richard Tucker starred in Carmen. The event was the first pay-TV production of an opera. Ticket prices ranged from $1.20 to $7.20.

• 1954 ~ Jermaine Jackson, Singer with The Jackson Five, brother of Michael, Janet,La Toya, Tito, Randy, Marlon and Jackie

• 1973 ~ Karen and Richard Carpenter received a gold record for their single, Top of the World.

• 1982 ~ Toni Basil reached the #1 one position on the pop music charts for the first time, with her single, Mickey.

• 2000 ~ Ruth Martin, a writer whose translations of both popular and obscure operas were widely used in American opera houses, died at the age of 86. Martin collaborated with her husband Thomas Martin in translating the librettos of some of the world’s most famous operas, including Mozart’s Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro, as well as Puccini’s Boheme, and Bizet’s Carmen. Martin and her husband also translated some of the rarest operas, such as Offenbach’s Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, and Dvorák’s Rusalka. The Martins’ translations were marked by their clarity and singability, and despite the increasing use of closed-captioning systems in major opera houses, their translations are still used widely. Martin contributed articles on opera for Opera News, Aria, and Theater Arts. She also served on the boards of the New York Federation of Music Clubs, the Liederkranz Foundation and the National Opera Foundation.

• 2001 ~ Erik Johns, who wrote the libretto for Aaron Copland’s only full-length opera, The Tender Land, died in a fire at his home in Fishkill, N.Y. He was 74. Born Horace Eugene Johnston in Los Angeles, Johns began his career in music as a dancer. He met Copland when he was 19 at a New Year’s Eve party in New York. In 1952 the two began collaborating on an opera based on Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, a book by writer James Agee and photographer Walker Evans that describes the lives of several Southern sharecropper families during the Depression. Copland composed the music and Johns wrote the libretto, or the words. The work was originally commissioned as a television opera by NBC but was subsequently rejected by the network. The New York City Opera performed it at its premiere at City Center in April 1954 in a short two-act version. The two later added a third act.

• 2001 ~ Jose Fajardo, a Cuban flutist who was one of the most influential bandleaders in Latin music, died an aneurysm. He was 82. The Cuban native had emigrated from Cuba in 1961, when he refused a request from the Cuban government to continue a musical tour to other communist countries. During his lengthy career, Fajardo recorded more than 40 albums and performed around the world. He was credited with expanding the audience for charanga, a Cuban musical style that backs a singer with flute, violins, piano, bass and percussion. Fajardo started his first group, Fajardo y sus Estrellas, in the 1940s. He later led three bands by the same name. After moving to the United States, he founded bands in New York and Miami and began performing in new style called pachanga, featuring a slightly more assertive rhythm. Fajardo was featured on “Cuban Masters: Los Originales,” an album of performances by leading Cuban musicians that was released November 2001.

• 2002 ~ Kay Rose, the first woman to win an Academy Award for sound editing, died. She was 80. Rose won the statuette for her work on the 1984 film The River. A native of New York, Rose was recognized in March with a career achievement award from the Cinema Audio Society. The Motion Picture Sound Editors gave her a similar lifetime achievement award in 1993. In October 2002, directors George Lucas and Steven Spielberg endowed the Kay Rose Chair in the Art of Sound and Dialogue Editing at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema-Television. The chair is the first of its kind in the country. After studying film at Hunter College, she became a civilian film apprentice for the Army Signal Corps during World War II. There, she helped create such training films as How to Erect a Double Apron Barbed Wire Fence and the John Huston documentary Report from the Aleutians. She moved to Hollywood in 1944 and found a job as an assistant to an editor at Universal studios. In 1951, she married film editor Sherman Rose. Together, they produced the 1954 sci-fi cult classic, Target Earth. They later divorced. During her five-decade career, Rose received sound editing credits on such films as The Rose, Ordinary People, On Golden Pond, The Milagro Beanfield War,The Prince of Tides, For the Boys and Speed.