Timeline of World History TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY



1800 - 1899
1800-09 1810-19 1820-29 1830-39 1840-49 1850-59 1860-69 1870-79 1880-89 1890-99
1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890
1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891
1802 1812 1822 1832 1842 1852 1862 1872 1882 1892
1803 1813 1823 1833 1843 1853 1863 1873 1883 1893
1804 1814 1824 1834 1844 1854 1864 1874 1884 1894
1805 1815 1825 1835 1845 1855 1865 1875 1885 1895
1806 1816 1826 1836 1846 1856 1866 1876 1886 1896
1807 1817 1827 1837 1847 1857 1867 1877 1887 1897
1808 1818 1828 1838 1848 1858 1868 1878 1888 1898
1809 1819 1829 1839 1849 1859 1869 1879 1889 1899
  BACK-1873 Part II NEXT-1873 Part IV    
An Unfortunate Experiment
1870 - 1879
History at a Glance
1870 Part I
Alfonso XII
Leopold of Hohenzollern
"Ems Telegram"
Franco-Prussian War
Lenin Vladimir
Vladimir Lenin
Smuts Jan
1870 Part II
Adler Alfred
Keble College
Papal infallibility
Ludwig Anzengruber: "Der Pfarrer von Kirchfeld"
Bunin Ivan
Disraeli: "Lothair"
Kuprin Aleksandr
Ivan Goncharov: "The Precipice"
Jules Verne: "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea"
1870 Part III
Barlach Ernst
Ernst Barlach
Corot: "La perle"
Dante Gabriel Rossetti: "Beata Beatrix"
Borisov-Musatov Victor
Victor Borisov-Musatov
Benois Alexandre
Alexandre Benois
Denis Maurice
Maurice Denis
Soldiers and Exiles
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Delibes: "Coppelia"
Tchaikovsky: "Romeo and Juliet"
Wagner: "Die Walkure"
Lehar Franz
Franz Lehar - Medley
Franz Lehar
Balfe Michael
Michael Balfe - "The Bohemian Girl"
1870 Part IV
Przhevalsky Nikolai
Peaks and Plateaus
Johnson Allen
Gloucestershire County Cricket Club
Luxemburg Rosa
Standard Oil Company
Lauder Harry
Lloyd Marie
1871 Part I
Siege of Paris
Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Frankfurt
Paris Commune
Treaty of Washington
Law of Guarantees
British North America Act, 1871
Ebert Friedrich
1871 Part II
Old Catholics
Charles Darwin: "The Descent of Man"
Jehovah's Witnesses
Russell Charles Taze
John Ruskin: "Fors Clavigera"
Lewis Carroll: "Through the Looking Glass"
Crane Stephen
Dreiser Theodore
George Eliot: "Middlemarch"
Mann Heinrich
Morgenstern Christian
Ostrovsky: "The Forest"
Proust Marcel
Valery Paul
Zola: "Les Rougon-Macquart"
1871 Part III
Gabriele Rossetti: "The Dream of Dante"
White Clarence
History of photography
Clarence White
Rouault Georges
Georges Rouault
Feininger Lyonel
Lyonel Feininger
Balla Giacomo
Giacomo Balla
Sloan John
John Sloan
The 'Terror'of the Commune
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Royal Albert Hall
"The Internationale"
Verdi: "Aida"
1871 Part IV
Schweinfurth Georg August
Quotations by Georg August Schweinfurth
Stanley Henry
Henry Morton Stanley
Further Exploration of the Nile
Heinrich Schliemann begins to excavate Troy
Ingersoll Simon
Rutherford Ernest
The Industrialization of War
The Industrialization of War
Bank Holiday
Great Chicago Fire
1872 Part I
Third Carlist War
Carlist Wars
Burgers Thomas Francois
Ballot Act 1872
Amnesty Act of 1872
Blum Leon
Coolidge Calvin
1872 Part II
Russell Bertrand
Klages Ludwig
Beerbohm Max
Samuel Butler: "Erewhon, or Over the Range"
Alphonse Daudet: "Aventures prodigieuses de Tartarin de Tarascon"
Alphonse Daudet
"Tartarin de Tarascon"
Diaghilev Sergei
Duse Eleonora
Thomas Hardy: "Under the Greenwood Tree"
Turgenev: "A Month in the Country"
Jules Verne: "Around the World in 80 Days"
Lever Charles
1872 Part III
Bocklin: "Self-Portrait with Death"
Whistler: "The Artist's Mother"
Mondrian Piet
Piet Mondrian
Beardsley Aubrey
Aubrey Beardsley
The Rise of Durand-Ruel
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Scriabin Alexander
Scriabin - Etudes
Alexander Scriabin
Williams Vaughan
Williams - Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
Vaughan Williams
1872 Part IV
Bleriot Louis
Tide-predicting machine
Westinghouse George
Elias Ney
Hague Congress
Scotland v England (1872)
Scott Charles Prestwich
Nansen Ski Club
1873 Part I
First Spanish Republic
Mac-Mahon Patrice
Financial Panic of 1873
League of the Three Emperors
Bengal famine of 1873–1874
1873 Part II
Moore G. E.
Barbusse Henri
Ford Madox Ford
Maurier Gerald
Reinhardt Max
Rimbaud: "Une Saison en enfer"
Tolstoi: "Anna Karenina"
Bryusov Valery
1873 Part III
Cezanne: "A Modern Olympia"
Gulbransson Olaf
Manet: "Le bon Bock"
Gathering of the Future Impressionists
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Bruckner: Symphony No. 2
Carl Rosa Opera Company
Caruso Enrico
Enrico Caruso - Pagliacci No!
The greatest opera singers
Enrico Caruso
Chaliapin Feodor
Feodor Chaliapin - "Black Eyes"
The greatest opera singers
Feodor Chaliapin
Reger Max
Max Reger - Piano Concerto in F-minor
Max Reger
Rachmaninoff Sergei
Rachmaninoff plays Piano Concerto 2
Sergei Rachmaninov
Rimsky-Korsakov: "The Maid of Pskov"
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2
Slezak Leo
Leo Slezak "Wenn ich vergnugt bin" 
The greatest opera singers
Leo Slezak
1873 Part IV
James Clerk Maxwell: "Electricity and Magnetism"
Euler-Chelpin Hans
Frobenius Leo
Payer Julius
Weyprecht Karl
Franz Josef Land
Cameron Verney Lovett
E. Remington and Sons
Remington Eliphalet
Hansen Gerhard Armauer
World Exposition 1873 Vienna
Wingfield Walter Clopton
1874 Part I
Anglo-Ashanti Wars (1823-1900)
Brooks–Baxter War
Swiss constitutional referendum, 1874
Colony of Fiji
Hoover Herbert
Weizmann Chaim
Churchill Winston
1874 Part II
Berdyaev Nikolai
Cassirer Ernst
Chesterton Gilbert
G.K. Chesterton quotes
G.K. Chesterton 
Flaubert: "La Tentation de Saint Antoine"
Frost Robert
Robert Frost
Thomas Hardy: "Far from the Madding Crowd"
Hofmannsthal Hugo
Hugo von Hofmannsthal
Victor Hugo: "Ninety-Three"
Maugham Somerset
Stein Gertrude
1874 Part III
Roerich Nicholas
Nicholas Roerich
Max Liebermann: "Market Scene"
Renoir: "La Loge"
The Birth of Impressionism
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Schmidt Franz
Franz Schmidt "Intermezzo" Notre Dame
Franz Schmidt
Schoenberg Arnold
Schoenberg: Verklarte Nacht
Arnold Schoenberg
Holst Gustav
Gustav Holst - Venus
Gustav Holst
Ives Charles
Charles Ives - Symphony 3
Charles Ives
Moussorgsky "Boris Godunov"
Johann Strauss II: "Die Fledermaus"
Verdi: "Requiem"
1874 Part IV
Bosch Carl
Marconi Guglielmo
Curtius Ernst
Shackleton Ernest
Stanley: Expedition to the Congo and Nile
Still Andrew Taylor
Bunker Chang and Eng
Universal Postal Union
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
Gerry Elbridge Thomas
Outerbridge Mary Ewing
1875 Part I
Guangxu Emperor
Herzegovina Uprising of 1875–77
Public Health Act 1875
Congregations Law of 1875
Theosophical Society
Jung Carl
Congregations Law of 1875
Buchan John
Deledda Grazia
Mann Thomas
Rejane Gabrielle
Rilke Rainer Maria
1875 Part II
Bouguereau William-Adolphe
William-Adolphe Bouguereau
Monet: "Woman with a Parasol"
An Unfortunate Experiment
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Bizet: "Carmen"
Brull Ignaz
Ignaz Brull - Das goldene Kreuz
Coleridge-Taylor Samuel
Coleridge Taylor Samuel - Violin Concerto
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor
Karl Goldmark: "Die Konigin von Saba"
Ravel Maurice
Ravel - Rapsodie espagnole
Maurice Ravel
Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No.1
Boisbaudran Lecoq
Schweitzer Albert
Webb Matthew
1876 Part I
Japan–Korea Treaty of 1876
Ethio-Egyptian War
April Uprising
Batak massacre
Murad V
Abdulhamid II
Serbian–Ottoman War (1876–78)
Montenegrin–Ottoman War (1876–78)
Tilden Samuel Jones
Hayes Rutherford Birchard
Ottoman constitution of 1876
Groselle Hilarion Daza
Adenauer Konrad
1876 Part II
Bradley Francis Herbert
Trevelyan George Macaulay
Pius XII
Felix Dahn: "Ein Kampf um Rom"
London Jack
Mallarme: "L'Apres-Midi d'un faune"
Mark Twain: "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer"
Modersohn-Becker Paula
Paula Modersohn-Becker
Renoir: "Le Moulin de la Galette"
Impressionism Timeline
1876 Part III
Brahms: Symphony No. 1
Casals Pablo
Leo Delibes: "Sylvia"
Falla Manuel
Manuel de Falla - Spanish dance
Manuel de Falla
Ponchielli: "La Gioconda"
Wagner: "Siegfried"
Walter Bruno
Wolf-Ferrari Ermanno
Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari - "Intermezzo"
Alexander Bell invents the telephone
Johns Hopkins University
Hopkins Johns
Bacillus anthracis
Macleod John James Rickard
Brockway Zebulon Reed
Centennial International Exhibition of 1876
1877 Part I
Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78
Siege of Plevna
Satsuma Rebellion
1877 Part II
Granville-Barker Harley
Hesse Hermann
Hermann Hesse
Ibsen: "The Pillars of Society"
Henry James: "The American"
Zola: "L'Assommoir"
Praxiteles: "Hermes"
Dufy Raoul
Raoul Dufy
Winslow Homer: "The Cotton Pickers"
Kubin Alfred
Alfred Kubin
Manet: "Nana"
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
1877 Part III
Brahms: Symphony No. 2
Dohnanyi Ernst
Erno Dohnanyi - Piano Concerto No. 1
Camille Saint-Saens: "Samson et Delila"
Tchaikovsky: "Francesca da Rimini"
Ruffo Titta
Titta Ruffo: Di Provenza
Aston Francis William
Barkla Charles
Cailletet Louis-Paul
Pictet Raoul-Pierre
Liquid oxygen
Schiaparelli observes Mars' canals
Martian canal
German patent law
Madras famine of 1877
Maginot Andre
1878 Part I
Umberto I
Ten Years War 1868-1878
Battle of Shipka Pass
Epirus Revolt of 1878
Treaty of San Stefano
Treaty of Berlin 1878
Anti-Socialist Laws
Italian irredentism
Stresemann Gustav
1878 Part II
Buber Martin
Romanes George John
Treitschke Heinrich
Stoecker Adolf
Christian Social Party
Thomas Hardy: "The Return of the Native"
Kaiser Georg
Masefield John
Sandburg Carl
Sinclair Upton
1878 Part III
Malevich Kazimir
Kazimir Malevich
Kustodiev Boris
Boris Kustodiev
Petrov-Vodkin Kuzma
Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin
Multiple Disappointments
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Ambros August Wilhelm
Boughton Rutland
Boughton: The Queen of Cornwall
1878 Part IV
Mannlicher Ferdinand Ritter
Pope Albert Augustus
Watson John
Blunt and Lady Anne traveled in Arabia
Blunt Anne
Benz Karl
New Scotland Yard
Deutscher Fussballverein, Hanover
Paris World Exhibition 1878
1879 Part I
Anglo-Zulu War
Alexander of Battenberg
Second Anglo–Afghan War (1878-1880)
Treaty of Gandamak
Tewfik Pasha
Stalin Joseph
Joseph Stalin
Trotsky Leon
1879 Part II
Beveridge William
Henry George: "Progress and Poverty"
Giffen Robert
Forster Edward Morgan
Ibsen: "A Doll's House"
Henry James: "Daisy Miller"
Meredith: "The Egoist"
Stevenson: "Travels with a Donkey"
Strindberg: "The Red Room"
Valera Juan
1879 Part III
Picabia Francis
Francis Picabia
Steichen Edward Jean
Edward Steichen
Cameron Julia Margaret
Cameron Julia
Klee Paul
Paul Klee
Renoir: "Mme. Charpentier"
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Suppe: "Boccaccio"
Tchaikovsky: "Eugene Onegin"
Respighi Ottorino
Respighi - Three Botticelli Pictures
Ottorino Respighi
Bridge Frank
Frank Bridge - The Sea
Einstein Albert
Albert Einstein
Aitken Maxwell

Cezanne: "A Modern Olympia"
YEAR BY YEAR:  1800 - 1899
1873 Part III
Cezanne: "A Modern Olympia"

Cezanne Paul, A Modern Olympia, c. 1873-1874
  Paul Cezanne

Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
  Neoclassicism and Romanticism
Realism, Impressionism and
Gulbransson Olaf
Olaf Leonhard Gulbransson (26 May 1873 in Oslo – 18 September 1958 in Tegernsee, Germany) was a Norwegian artist, painter and designer. He is probably best known for his caricatures and illustrations.

Olaf Leonhard Gulbransson
From 1890, he worked for many Norwegian magazines, including Tyrihans, Pluk, Paletten, Fluesoppen, Sfinx and Trangviksposten (1899–1901). In 1900 he studied at the Académie Colarossi in Paris.

In 1902 he moved to Germany to work for the satirical magazine Simplicissimus in Munich after editor Albert Langen had been in contact with author Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson looking for Norwegian talent.

With publicity increasing Gulbransson's fame, and even though he lived in Germany between 1923 and 1927, he drew for Tidens tegn in Oslo.

In 1929 he became Professor at the art academy in Munich. In 1933 the art academy in Berlin arranged a special exhibition to celebrate Gulbransson's 60th birthday, which was shut down by the Nazi party after only two days.
Simplicissimus editors Franz Schoenberner and Thomas Theodor Heine have claimed that Gulbransson actively cooperated with the Nazis from 1933 on, and this co-operation was sharply criticized by the writer Klaus Mann. During World War II, after his own home country was occupied by the Germans, he produced caricatures against the Allies, in particular against Winston Churchill. In 1941 he was made an honorary member of the Society of Berlin Artists and in 1942 of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
On the occasion of his 70th birthday in 1943 he was awarded the Goethe Medal for Art and Science and was made Emeritus Professor of the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich.

Gulbransson illustrated many books, including the children's books Det var engang (Once upon a time), which was published simultaneously in Norway and Germany in 1934, and Und so weiter (And so on) which was published in Germany in 1954.

Gulbransson's cartoons contain a clear, precise streak, and reject portrait art in the decorative style of the time. He became known as one of the foremost caricaturists of the century by most Norwegians.

Gulbransson was married three times. His 1906 marriage to Grete Jehly produced a son, Olaf Andreas Gulbransson, who became a noted church architect. His third marriage was with Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson's niece, Dagny Bjørnson.

Gulbransson also gave his name to the Olaf Gulbransson Prize, won by cartoonists such as Volker Kriegel and Michael Sowa. In 2004 the artists Lars Fiske and Steffen Kverneland published the book Olaf G., a retrospective comic book about Olaf Gulbransson.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Caricature by Olaf Gulbransson 1909: "Manoeuvre: Emperor William II explains the enemy's positions to Prince Ludwig of Bavaria"

Caricature by Olaf Gulbransson
  Art of the 20th century

Art of the 20th century Timeline (1900-1999)
Manet: "Le bon Bock"

Manet Edouard. Le Bon Bock (Portrait of Emile Bellot)
Oil on canvas, 94 x 83 cm
Museum of Art, Philadelphia
This painting was presented at the 1873 Salon. It is somewhat classical in manner, Hals-like in its virtuosity and relatively dark in tone. It won a "mention honorable" at the Salon.

The painting was widely identified as a French Alsatian patriot drinking his regional beer. The picture came to serve as a popular symbol of the recent loss of the Alsace-Lorraine region by France to the Germans and a liberal political symbol of national introspection. This association of Le Bon Bock with democratic ideals inspired Emile Bellot, a printmaker and the model for Manet's corpulent beer drinker, to organize the Bon Bock Society in 1875. For almost fifty years this group hosted monthly dinners in and around Montmartre for its membership, which consisted mostly of artists, writers, and performers.

  Edouard Manet

Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
  Neoclassicism and Romanticism
Realism, Impressionism and
Impressionism Timeline (1863-1899)
Gathering of the Future Impressionists
Despite thefaet that an increasing number of the future Impressionists are still working outside Paris, there is a growing sense of common purpose among the artists, which culminates in the formation of the Sociite Anonyme des Artistes, the primary aim of which is to mount group exhibitions free from selection by a jury.
Theodore Duret buys Renoir's Study in Summer for 400 francs from a dealer, and then Lise with a Parasol from the artist for 1200 francs.

Cezanne stays with Dr Gachet at his new house in Auvers-sur-Oise.

Inspired by Gachet, who is an enthusiastic engraver, Pissarro decides to takes up etching again.
The sixth exhibition of Durand-Ruels Society of French Artists opens in London, including work by Degas, Manet, Monet, Pissarro and Sisley.

Chrysanthemums In A Chinese Vase

Morisot paints at Fecamp in Normandy. Durand-Ruel buys several paintings from Monet and pays Degas 1000 francs for unspecified works.

MAY Opening of the Salon.

Renoir's Riding in the Bois de Boulogne is rejected.

Riding in the Bois de Boulogne

Intended for the Salon of 1873, this painting was, to Renoir's chagrin, rejected by the jury. In size - it was the largest picture he had ever painted — and in subject matter, it seemed suitable for that institution, and its rejection was one of the factors that inclined Renoir towards the idea of an independent exhibition.

Manet exhibits Repose: A Portrait of Berthe Morisot and Le Bon Bock, which is enthusiastically received. Other works hung include a pastel by Berthe Morisot and a painting by Mary Cassatt.

Monet, Pissarro and Sisley do not submit.

Repose: A Portrait of Berthe Morisot

Exhibited at the Salon of 1873, this was the second portrait by Vianet of Berthe Morisot, painted when she was thirty. Its loose, sketchy style aroused considerable criticism, mixed with some praise for its 'modernity'. Morisot later told her daughter that she was in considerable discomfort while sitting for the portrait as her left leg was drawn up underneath her, and Manet would not let her alter its position.

15th The Exposition Artistique des Oeuvres Refuses (organized, like the Salon des Refuses of 1863, on the initiative of the artists themselves) opens in a disused drill hall. It arouses a great deal of interest, and Renoir's Riding in the Bois de Boulogne is well received.


Monet is introduced to Gaillebotte. He builds a studio boat at Argenteuil, where Renoir visits him.
Courbet - who had been imprisoned for presiding over the demolition of the column to Napoleon in the Place Vendome  during the Commune — is released from jail because of ill health. Shortly afterwards he flees to Switzerland.

14th Van Gogh joins the London branch of Goupil's gallery. Sisley paints in Louveciennes and Pontoise.

Manet and his family spend the summer in Etaples, a fishing village near Boulogne.

Woman with Fans
Oil on canvas
Musée d’Orsay, Paris

Renoir rents a studio at 35 rue St-Georges, in Montmartre.


14th Manet makes sketches of the trial of Marshal Bazaine, court-martialled for surrendering to the Prussians at Metz in 1870. Bazaine receives a twenty-year sentence.

28th Faure commissions The Dancing Examination  from Degas, reputedly for 5000 francs.

The Dancing Examination

This, the first large-scale painting by Degas of a group of dancers, was one of six works commissioned by the singer Faure. It is noticeable that the dancers are paying little attention to the maitre de ballet, the renowned Jules Perrot, and it is now thought that his figure was added at a later date.


18th Manet sells five paintings to Faure at prices ranging from 2500 to 6000 francs.

Cezanne meets Pere Tanguy, the dealer and supplier of artist's materials, who starts to sell his work and gives him valuable encouragement.

16th Degas buys Pissarro's Market Gardens at Osny from Durand-Ruel.

27th A group of artists, including all the future Impressionists, meets in Renoir's studio to ratify the constitution of the Societe Anonyme des Artistes - an association set up to promote sales through group exhibitions.


In 1873 Durand-Ruel brought out a lavish catalogue in the form of a three-volume album of engravings reproducing 300 works of art that he currently had in stock. In his preface the critic Armand Silvestre attempted to analyse the appeal of the Impressionists:

At first sight one is hard put to distinguish between the works of Monet, those of Sisley, and the style of the last of them, Pissarro. After a little study, however, one comes to realize that M. Monet is the most skilful and the most daring, M. Sisley the most harmonious, and the most timid, M. Pissarro the most direct and the most naive. These nuances are not, however, our only concern. What is certain is that the painting of these three landscapists bears no relation at all to that of the other [non-Impressionist] masters whose works we have been considering, and that we can trace its ancestry to a point which is distant and indirect, except for a closer temporal relation to the works ofM. Manet. It is a form of painting that states its premises with conviction and with a power that imposes on us the duty of recognizing and defining what one may call its indeterminate direction.

What immediately strikes one when looking at a painting of this kind is the immediate caress which the eye receives; above all else it is harmonious, and what really distinguishes it is the simplicity of the means whereby it achieves this harmony. In fact one very quickly discovers that its secret is based on a fine and exact observation of the relation of one tone to another. In reality it is the scale of tones, reconstructed after the great colourists of the century, a sort of analytical process, which does not change the palette into a kind of banal percussion instrument, as one might first be tempted to believe. The meaning of these relationships in their precise accuracy, is a very special gift, and one which constitutes the real genius of a painter. The art of landscape runs no risk of vulgarity from this sort of study...
It is M. Monet who, by the choice of the subjects themselves, betrays his preoccupations most clearly. He loves to juxtapose on the lightly ruffled surface of the water the multicoloured reflections of the setting sun, of brightly coloured boats, of changing clouds. Metallic tones given off by the smoothness of the waves which splash over small even surfaces are recorded in his works, and the image of the shore is mutable - the houses are broken up as they are in a jigsaw puzzle. This effect, which is absolutely true to experience, and may have been borrowed from the Japanese school, strongly attracts the young painters, who surrender to it absolutely.

The rustic interiors of M. Pissarro are considerably more complex than one might have expected. Do the painters cancel each other out? Certainly not, since nobody knows who will insert, in its proper place, that stone which each of them contributes to the great edifice of art. This uncertainty gives to art its real unity. Each one has his part to play.

What could help to secure the eventual success of these young painters is the fact that their pictures are done in a singularly bright tonal range. A blond light pervades them, and everything is gaiety, clarity, spring festivals, golden evenings, or apple trees in blossom — once again an inspiration from Japan. Their canvases, uncluttered, medium in size, are open in the surface they decorate; they are windows opening on the joyous countryside, on rivers full of pleasure-boats stretching into the distance, on a sky which shines with light mists, on the outdoor life, panoramic and charming.

Faure in the Role of Hamlet
Collector and singer

Photograph of Faure in the role of Hamlet.
  Faure (1830-1914) was one of the most popular baritones of his day. A friend of Durand-Ruel, they spent 1870 to 1871 together in London, where Faure"s singing was very well received, and lived in Brompton Road. An admirer of the Impressionists, in 1873 he bought a group of Manets at prices ranging from 2500 to 6000 francs; he also became friendly with Degas and purchased eleven paintings from him.

A year later the singer bought back six paintings, with which Degas was dissatisfied, from Durand-Ruel for 8000 francs. Faure handed them over to the artist, together with 1500 francs, on the understanding that Degas would give him four paintings on which he was currently working.

The artist finished two of these in 1876, but did not deliver the other two until 1887 - and then only as a consequence of legal action. The dispute soured their friendship. Faure stopped buying the artist's work, and three years later sold all the pictures by Degas that he had collected.

On his retirement from the stage in 1880, Faure commissioned Manet to paint a portrait of him as Hamlet in Ambroise Thomas's opera of that name. During one period his collection included sixty-eight works by Manet, twenty-three by Monet, thirty' by Sisley, and a smaller number of Renoirs and Pissarros. In April 1878 he sent forty-two of his pictures for sale at the Hotel Drouot, but withdrew most of them when they failed to reach their reserve prices.
  Impressionism Timeline
1863 1864 1865 1866 1867 1868 1869 1870
1871 1872 1873 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878
1879 1880 1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886
1887 1888 1889 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894
1895 1896 1897 1898 1899      
Bruckner: Symphony No. 2
Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 2 in C minor was completed in 1872, and revised, like most of Bruckner's other symphonies, at various points thereafter. This work is sometimes known as the "Symphony of Pauses".
It was composed after the Symphony "No. 0" in D minor (which was itself composed after the Symphony No. 1 in C minor). It is the only "official" Bruckner Anton symphony (that is to say, excluding "No. 0") without a dedication: Franz Liszt tacitly rejected the dedication, and Richard Wagner chose the Symphony No. 3 in D minor instead. The premiere was given with Bruckner himself conducting in 1873.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bruckner: Symphony No.2
Symphony No.2 in C minor, WAB102
Riccardo Muti
Wiener Philharmoniker
Musikverein, Vienna, 13 4/2008
Anton Bruckner
  Classical Music Timeline

Instruments Through the Ages

Classical Music History - Composers and Masterworks
Carl Rosa Opera Company

The Carl Rosa Opera Company was founded in 1873 by Carl August Nicholas Rosa, a German-born musical impresario, to present opera in English in London and the British provinces. The company premiered many operas in the UK, employing a mix of established opera stars and young singers, reaching new opera audiences with popularly-priced tickets.


Carl August Nicholas Rosa
  It survived Rosa's death in 1889, and continued to present opera in English on tour until 1960, when it was obliged to close for lack of funds. The company was revived in 1997, presenting mostly lighter operatic works including Gilbert and Sullivan. The company "was arguably the most influential opera company ever in the UK".


Carl Rosa was born Karl August Nikolaus Rose in Hamburg, Germany, the son of a local businessman. A child violin prodigy, Rosa studied at the Conservatorium at Leipzig and in Paris. In 1863 he was appointed Konzertmeister at Hamburg, where he had occasional opportunities to conduct. He soon had considerable success as a conductor both in England and the United States.
During an American tour in 1866–67 as conductor of a concert troupe that included the Scottish operatic soprano Euphrosyne Parepa, Rosa and Parepa were married.

From 1869 to 1872, Rosa and his wife toured their own opera company through America, with Parepa as the star and Rosa as the conductor. It brought opera to places that had never seen any, performing Italian operas in English, which made them more accessible to American audiences.

Early years
In 1872, the Rosas returned to England and also visited Europe and Egypt. In September the next year, they inaugurated the "Carl Rosa Opera" with a performance of William Vincent Wallace's Maritana in Manchester, on 1 September, and then toured England and Ireland. Rosa's policy was to present operas in English, and that remained the company's practice. Parepa died in childbirth in January 1874, and Rosa married a second time in 1881, to Josephine (d. 1927), with whom he had four children. In November 1874, Carl Rosa Opera made its first of many visits to Scotland with a two-week season at Glasgow's Prince of Wales Theatre. The company's first London season opened at the Princess's Theatre in September 1875, playing Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro, with Charles Santley as Figaro and Rose Hersee as Susanna.

Cartoon from the Entr'acte, 1887
  In 1876, Rosa staged a second London season, which featured the first performance in English of Wagner's The Flying Dutchman, with Santley in the title role.

For the next fifteen years, the company prospered and earned good notices, with provincial tours and London seasons, frequently in conjunction with Augustus Harris at the Drury Lane Theatre. Such was the success of the company that at one point three Carl Rosa touring troupes were set up. In October 1892, Rosa's Grand Opera Company received the royal accolade, with a command performance of Donizetti's La fille du régiment at Balmoral Castle.
The French-American soprano Zélie de Lussan sang the heroine, Marie, and Aynsley Cook "vastly amused Queen Victoria as Sergeant Sulpice". In 1880, George Grove, editor of the authoritative musical reference work, Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, wrote: "The careful way in which the pieces are put on the stage, the number of rehearsals, the eminence of the performers and the excellence of the performers have begun to bear their legitimate fruit, and the Carl Rosa Opera Company bids fair to become a permanent English institution."

The company introduced many works of important opera repertoire to England for the first time, performing some 150 different operas over the years. Besides Santley and Hersee, Blanche Cole, Minnie Hauk, Georgina Burns, Joseph Maas, Barton McGuckin, Giulia Warwick and William Ludwig were some of the famous singers associated with the company during its early years. I

ts successes included productions of Cherubini's Les deux journées (1875), The Flying Dutchman (1876), with Santley in the title role, the first English-language production of Carmen (1879), starring Selina Dolaro in the title role and Durward Lely as Don José, Rienzi (1879), Lohengrin (1880) and Tannhäuser (1882). Alberto Randegger served as musical director of the company from 1879 to 1885.

The company also encouraged and supported new works by English composers. Pauline in 1876 (Frederic Hymen Cowen), Esmeralda in 1883 (Arthur Goring Thomas), Colomba in 1883 and The Troubabour (Alexander Mackenzie), and The Canterbury Pilgrims in 1884 (Charles Villiers Stanford) were five of the operas commissioned by the company. Earlier English operas by Wallace, Michael Balfe and Julius Benedict were also included in the company's repertoire – not just standard works like The Bohemian Girl and Maritana, but less-familiar operas such as Balfe's Satanella (1858) and Wallace's Lurline (1860).

Rosa's death; survival of the company
Carl Rosa died suddenly in Paris, on 30 April 1889, and was buried in Highgate Cemetery, London. Two years before his death, Rosa had turned his opera enterprise into a limited company, and it was in good financial and artistic shape at the time of his death. Hamilton Clarke was appointed conductor of the company in 1893. In 1897, the company gave the first British performance of Puccini's La bohème in Manchester under the supervision of the composer. The company then gave a season at Covent Garden, at reduced prices, aimed at attracting "the masses" to opera. By 1900 the company was facing financial problems from which it was rescued by the conductor Walter van Noorden and his brother Alfred, who took over and restored financial and artistic standards. The company presented two seasons at Covent Garden in 1907–08 and 1909, including new productions of Tannhäuser and Tristan and Isolde conducted by Eugène Goossens II. The company survived World War I and the sudden death of Walter van Noorden in 1916, touring the British provinces. Many young British singers joined the company, including Olive Gilbert, Parry Jones, and Eva Turner, who sang Cio-Cio-San and Santuzza when the company presented three postwar seasons at Covent Garden. In 1924, after another financial crisis, H. B. Phillips became the company's owner and director, and placed it once more on a sound financial footing. Regular London seasons alternated with large-scale provincial tours during the 1920s and 1930s. Although some productions had to be curtailed during World War II, the company nevertheless presented seasons in London and the provinces. Singers of the 1930s and 1940s included Dora Labbette, Joan Hammond, Heddle Nash, Norman Allin and Otakar Kraus. Conductors included the refugees Walter Susskind (1942–44) Vilém Tauský (1945–49) and Peter Gellhorn.
Carl Rosa startled by the bogey of Italian Opera in an 1886 cartoon by Alfred Bryan
End of the old company and birth of the new
Phillips died in 1950.[15] In 1953 the Carl Rosa Trust was formed in association with the Arts Council, who agreed to subsidise the company, now directed by Phillips's widow, Annette. The company gave seasons at Sadler's Wells in 1955 and 1956. In the 1950s, the musical director was Arthur Hammond. Singers during this period included the dramatic soprano Ruth Packer and tenor Charles Craig. The productions were traditional, but the repertory included some operatic rarities such as Puccini's Manon Lescaut and Berlioz's Benvenuto Cellini.

Annette Phillips retired as director of the company in 1957 and was replaced by Professor Humphrey Procter-Gregg. At the same time, the board of Sadler's Wells Opera made an approach to merge the two opera companies. This approach caused outrage in some operatic quarters, and Sadler's Wells's musical director (Alexander Gibson) and administrative heads (Norman Tucker and Stephen Arlen) resigned in protest. In response to the outcry, the board of the Welsh National Opera also made an attempt to merge with Carl Rosa Opera. In the ensuing furore, Procter-Gregg resigned, as did the chairman of the Carl Rosa Trust, Sir Donald Wolfit, and trustees Astra Desmond and Norman Allin. The Arts Council, which was accused in the House of Lords of "doing their level best to kill [the Carl Rosa company off altogether", withdrew its grant. The Carl Rosa Trust raised money privately, and promoted a month's season at the Prince's Theatre in 1960, but the company's final curtain descended after Don Giovanni on 17 September 1960. Sadler's Wells took over some of the company's members and many of its touring dates.

The new Carl Rosa Opera Limited was revived in 1997 under the artistic direction of Peter Mulloy. Since then, it has performed West End seasons and toured in the UK and internationally, offering a new repertoire of Gilbert and Sullivan,[26] continental operettas and a few serious operas such as La bohème, often performed in the original languages. Recent conductors have included David Russell Hulme and Martin Handley. Directors include Timothy West.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Caruso Enrico

Enrico Caruso (February 25, 1873 – August 2, 1921) was an Italian operatic tenor. He sang to great acclaim at the major opera houses of Europe and the Americas, appearing in a wide variety of roles from the Italian and French repertoires that ranged from the lyric to the dramatic. Caruso also made approximately 290 commercially released recordings from 1902 to 1920. All of these recordings, which span most of his stage career, are available today on CDs and as digital downloads.


Enrico Caruso, 1907
  Life and career
Early life

Enrico Caruso came from a poor but not destitute background. Born in Naples in the Via San Giovannello agli Ottocalli 7 on February 25, 1873, he was baptised the next day in the adjacent Church of San Giovanni e Paolo. Called Errico in accordance with the Neapolitan language, he would later adopt the formal Italian version of his given name, Enrico (the equivalent of "Henry" in English). This change came at the suggestion of a singing teacher, Guglielmo Vergine, with whom he began lessons at the age of 16.

Caruso was the third of seven children and one of only three to survive infancy. There is a story of Caruso's parents having had 21 children, 18 of whom died in infancy. However, on the basis of genealogical research (amongst others conducted by Caruso family friend Guido D'Onoforio), biographers Pierre Key, Francis Robinson, and Enrico Caruso Jr. & Andrew Farkas, have proven this to be an urban legend. Caruso himself and his brother Giovanni may have been the source of the exaggerated number. Caruso's widow Dorothy also included the story in a memoir that she wrote about her husband. She quotes the tenor, speaking of his mother, Anna Caruso (née Baldini): "She had twenty-one children. Twenty boys and one girl – too many. I am number nineteen boy."

Caruso's father, Marcellino, was a mechanic and foundry worker. Initially, Marcellino thought his son should adopt the same trade, and at the age of 11, the boy was apprenticed to a mechanical engineer named Palmieri who constructed public water fountains.


(Whenever visiting Naples in future years, Caruso liked to point out a fountain that he had helped to install.) Caruso later worked alongside his father at the Meuricoffre factory in Naples. At his mother's insistence, he also attended school for a time, receiving a basic education under the tutelage of a local priest. He learned to write in a handsome script and studied technical draftsmanship. During this period he sang in his church choir, and his voice showed enough promise for him to contemplate a possible career in music.

Caruso was encouraged in his early musical ambitions by his mother, who died in 1888. To raise cash for his family, he found work as a street singer in Naples and performed at cafes and soirees. Aged 18, he used the fees he had earned by singing at an Italian resort to buy his first pair of new shoes. His progress as a paid entertainer was interrupted, however, by 45 days of compulsory military service. He completed this in 1894, resuming his voice lessons with Vergine upon discharge from the army.

Early career
At the age of 22, Caruso made his professional stage debut in serious music. The date was March 15, 1895 at the Teatro Nuovo in Naples. The work in which he appeared was a now-forgotten opera, L'Amico Francesco, by the amateur composer Domenico Morelli. A string of further engagements in provincial opera houses followed, and he received instruction from the conductor and voice teacher Vincenzo Lombardi that improved his high notes and polished his style. Three other prominent Neapolitan singers taught by Lombardi were the baritones Antonio Scotti and Pasquale Amato, both of whom would go on to partner Caruso at the Met, and the tenor Fernando De Lucia, who would also appear at the Met and later sing at Caruso's funeral.

Money continued to be in short supply for the young Caruso. One of his first publicity photographs, taken on a visit to Sicily in 1896, depicts him wearing a bedspread draped like a toga since his sole dress shirt was away being laundered. At a notorious early performance in Naples, he was booed by a section of the audience because he failed to pay a claque to cheer for him. This incident hurt Caruso's pride. He never appeared again on stage in his native city, stating later that he would return "only to eat spaghetti".

During the final few years of the 19th century, Caruso performed at a succession of theaters throughout Italy until, in 1900, he was rewarded with a contract to sing at La Scala in Milan, the country's premier opera house. His La Scala debut occurred on December 26 of that year in the part of Rodolfo in Giacomo Puccini's La bohème with Arturo Toscanini conducting. Audiences in Monte Carlo, Warsaw and Buenos Aires also heard Caruso sing during this pivotal phase of his career and, in 1899–1900, he appeared before the Tsar and the Russian aristocracy at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg and the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow as part of a touring company of first-class Italian singers.

  The first major operatic role that Caruso was given the responsibility of creating was Loris in Umberto Giordano's Fedora, at the Teatro Lirico, Milan, on November 17, 1898. At that same theater, on November 6, 1902, he would create the role of Maurizio in Francesco Cilea's Adriana Lecouvreur. (Puccini considered casting the young Caruso in the role of Cavaradossi in Tosca at its premiere in 1900, but ultimately chose the older, more established Emilio De Marchi instead.)

Caruso took part in a "grand concert" at La Scala in February 1901 that Toscanini organised to mark the recent death of Giuseppe Verdi. Among those appearing with him at the concert were two other leading Italian tenors of the day, Francesco Tamagno (the creator of the protagonist's role in Verdi's Otello) and Giuseppe Borgatti (the creator of the protagonist's role in Giordano's Andrea Chénier). He embarked on his last series of La Scala performances in March 1902, creating along the way the principal tenor part in Germania by Alberto Franchetti.

A month later, on April 11, he was engaged by the Gramophone & Typewriter Company to make his first group of acoustic recordings, in a Milan hotel room, for a fee of 100 pounds sterling. These 10 discs swiftly became best-sellers. Among other things, they helped to spread 29-year-old Caruso's fame throughout the English-speaking world.

The management of London's Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, signed him for a season of appearances in eight different operas ranging from Verdi's Aida to Don Giovanni by Mozart. His successful debut at Covent Garden occurred on May 14, 1902, as the Duke of Mantua in Verdi's Rigoletto. Covent Garden's highest-paid diva, the Australian soprano Nellie Melba, partnered him as Gilda. They would sing together often during the early 1900s.
In her memoirs, Melba praised Caruso's voice but considered him to be a less sophisticated musician and interpretive artist than Jean de Reszke—the Met's biggest tenor drawcard prior to Caruso.

The Metropolitan Opera
The following year, 1903, Caruso traveled to New York City to take up a contract with the Metropolitan Opera. (The gap between his London and New York engagements was filled by a series of performances in Italy, Portugal and South America.) Caruso's Met contract had been negotiated by his agent, the banker and impresario Pasquale Simonelli. Caruso's debut at the Met was in a new production of Rigoletto on November 23, 1903. This time, Marcella Sembrich sang opposite him as Gilda. A few months later, he began a lasting association with the Victor Talking Machine Company. He made his first American records on February 1, 1904, having signed a lucrative financial deal with Victor. Thereafter, his recording career ran in tandem with his Met career, the one bolstering the other, until his death in 1921.

Enrico Caruso, c. 1910
  Caruso purchased the Villa Bellosguardo, a palatial country house near Florence, in 1904. The villa became his retreat away from the pressures of the operatic stage and the grind of travel. Caruso's preferred address in New York City was a suite at Manhattan's Knickerbocker Hotel. (The Knickerbocker was erected in 1906 on the corner of Broadway and 42nd Street.) Caruso commissioned the New York jewelers Tiffany & Co. to strike a 24-carat-gold medal adorned with the tenor's profile. He presented the medal in gratitude to Simonelli as a souvenir of his many well-remunerated performances at the Met.

In addition to his regular New York engagements, Caruso gave recitals and operatic performances in a large number of cities across the United States and sang in Canada. He also continued to sing widely in Europe, appearing again at Covent Garden in 1904–07 and 1913–14; and undertaking a UK tour in 1909. Audiences in France, Belgium, Monaco, Austria, Hungary and Germany heard him, too, prior to the outbreak of World War I. In 1909, Melba asked him to participate in her forthcoming tour of Australia; but he declined the invitation because of the significant amount of travel time that such a trip would entail.

Members of the Met's roster of artists, including Caruso, had visited San Francisco in April 1906 for a series of performances. Following an appearance as Don Jose in Carmen at the city's Grand Opera House, a strong jolt awakened Caruso at 5:13 on the morning of the 18th in his suite at the Palace Hotel. He found himself in the middle of the San Francisco earthquake, which led to a series of fires that destroyed most of the city. The Met lost all the sets, costumes and musical instruments that it had brought on tour but none of the artists was harmed.

Holding an autographed photo of President Theodore Roosevelt, Caruso ran from the hotel, but was composed enough to walk to the St. Francis Hotel for breakfast. Charlie Olson, the broiler cook, made the tenor bacon and eggs. Apparently the quake had no effect on Caruso's appetite, as he cleaned his plate and tipped Olson $2.50. Caruso made an ultimately successful effort to flee the city, first by boat and then by train. He vowed never to return to San Francisco and kept his word.

In November 1906, Caruso was charged with an indecent act allegedly committed in the monkey house of New York's Central Park Zoo. The police accused him of pinching the bottom of a married woman. Caruso claimed a monkey did the bottom-pinching. He was found guilty as charged, however, and fined 10 dollars, although suspicions linger that he may have been entrapped by the victim and the arresting officer. The leaders of New York's opera-going high society were outraged initially by the incident, which received widespread newspaper coverage, but they soon forgot about it and continued to attend Caruso's Met performances. Caruso's fan base at the Met was not restricted, however, to the wealthy. Members of America's middle classes also paid to hear him sing—or buy copies of his recordings—and he enjoyed a substantial following among New York's 500,000 Italian immigrants.

Caruso created the role of Dick Johnson in the world premiere of Puccini's La fanciulla del West on December 10, 1910. The composer conceived the music for the tenor hero with Caruso's voice specifically in mind. With Caruso appeared two more of the Met's star singers, the Czech soprano Emmy Destinn and baritone Pasquale Amato. Toscanini, then the Met's principal conductor, presided in the orchestra pit.

Later career and personal life
From 1916 onwards, Caruso began adding heroic parts such as Samson, John of Leyden, and Eléazar to his repertoire.

Caruso toured the South American nations of Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil in 1917, and two years later performed in Mexico City. In 1920, he was paid the then-enormous sum of 10,000 American dollars a night to sing in Havana, Cuba.

The United States had entered World War I in 1917, sending troops to Europe. Caruso did extensive charity work during the conflict, raising money for war-related patriotic causes by giving concerts and participating enthusiastically in Liberty Bond drives. The tenor had shown himself to be a shrewd businessman since arriving in America. He put a sizable proportion of his earnings from record royalties and singing fees into a range of investments. Biographer Michael Scott writes that by the end of the war in 1918, Caruso's annual income tax bill amounted to $154,000.

Prior to World War I, Caruso had been romantically tied to an Italian soprano, Ada Giachetti, who was a few years older than he was. Though already married, Giachetti bore Caruso four sons during their liaison, which lasted from 1897 to 1908. Two survived infancy: Rodolfo Caruso (born 1898) and singer/actor Enrico Caruso, Jr. (1904–1987). Ada had left her husband, manufacturer Gino Botti, and an existing son to cohabit with the tenor. Information provided in Scott's biography of Caruso suggests that she was his vocal coach as well as his lover.

  Statements by Enrico Caruso, Jr. in his book tend to substantiate this. Her relationship with Caruso broke down after 11 years and they separated. Giachetti's subsequent attempts to sue him for damages were dismissed by the courts.

Towards the end of the war, Caruso met and wooed a 25-year-old socialite, Dorothy Park Benjamin (1893–1955). She was the daughter of a wealthy New York patent lawyer. In spite of the disapproval of Dorothy's father, the couple wed on August 20, 1918. They had a daughter, Gloria Caruso (1919–1999). Dorothy lived until 1955 and wrote two books about Caruso, published in 1928 and 1945. The books include many of Caruso's letters to his wife.

A fastidious dresser, Caruso took two baths a day and liked good Italian food and convivial company. He forged a particularly close bond with his Met and Covent Garden colleague Antonio Scotti – an amiable and stylish baritone from Naples. Caruso was superstitious and habitually carried good-luck charms with him when he sang. He played cards for relaxation and sketched friends, other singers and musicians. Dorothy Caruso said that by the time she knew him, her husband's favorite hobby was compiling scrapbooks. He also amassed a valuable collection of rare postage stamps, coins, watches and antique snuffboxes. Caruso was a heavy smoker of strong Egyptian cigarettes, too. This deleterious habit, combined with a lack of exercise and the punishing schedule of performances that Caruso willingly undertook season after season at the Met, may have contributed to the persistent ill-health which afflicted the last months of his life.


Illness and death
On September 16, 1920, Caruso concluded three days of Victor recording sessions at Trinity Church in Camden, New Jersey. He recorded several discs including the Domine Deus and Crucifixus from the Petite messe solennelle by Rossini. These recordings were to be his last.

Dorothy Caruso noted that her husband's health began a distinct downward spiral in late 1920 after he returned from a lengthy North American concert tour. In his biography, Enrico Caruso, Jr. points to an on-stage injury suffered by Caruso as the possible trigger of his fatal illness. A falling pillar in Samson and Delilah on December 3 had hit him on the back, over the left kidney (and not on the chest as popularly reported). A few days before a performance of Pagliacci at the Met (Pierre Key says it was December 4, the day after the Samson and Delilah injury) he suffered a chill and developed a cough and a "dull pain in his side". It appeared to be a severe episode of bronchitis. Caruso's physician, Philip Horowitz, who usually treated him for migraine headaches with a kind of primitive TENS unit, diagnosed "intercostal neuralgia" and pronounced him fit to appear on stage, although the pain continued to hinder his voice production and movements.

During a performance of L'elisir d'amore by Donizetti at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on December 11, 1920, he suffered a throat haemorrhage and the performance was canceled at the end of Act 1. Following this incident, a clearly unwell Caruso gave only three more performances at the Met, the final one being as Eléazar in Halévy's La Juive, on December 24, 1920. By Christmas Day, the pain in his side was so excruciating that he was screaming. Dorothy summoned the hotel physician, who gave Caruso some morphine and codeine and called in another doctor, Evan M. Evans.


Enrico Caruso
  Evans brought in three other doctors and Caruso finally received a correct diagnosis: purulent pleurisy and empyema.
Caruso's health deteriorated further during the new year. He experienced episodes of intense pain because of the infection and underwent seven surgical procedures to drain fluid from his chest and lungs. He returned to Naples to recuperate from the most serious of the operations, during which part of a rib had been removed. According to Dorothy Caruso, he seemed to be recovering, but allowed himself to be examined by an unhygienic local doctor and his condition worsened dramatically after that. The Bastianelli brothers, eminent medical practitioners with a clinic in Rome, recommended that his left kidney be removed. He was on his way to Rome to see them but, while staying overnight in the Vesuvio Hotel in Naples, he took an alarming turn for the worse and was given morphine to help him sleep.

Caruso died at the hotel shortly after 9:00 a.m. local time, on August 2, 1921. He was 48. The Bastianellis attributed the likely cause of death to peritonitis arising from a burst subphrenic abscess. The King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel III, opened the Royal Basilica of the Church of San Francesco di Paola for Caruso's funeral, which was attended by thousands of people. His embalmed body was preserved in a glass sarcophagus at Del Pianto Cemetery in Naples for mourners to view. In 1929, Dorothy Caruso had his remains sealed permanently in an ornate stone tomb.


Historical and musical significance
Caruso's 25-year career, stretching from 1895 to 1920, included 863 appearances at the New York Metropolitan Opera before he died at the age of 48. Thanks in part to his tremendously popular phonograph records, Caruso was one of the most famous personalities of his day and his fame has endured to the present. He was one of the first examples of a global media celebrity. Beyond records, Caruso's name became familiar to millions through newspapers, books, magazines, and the new media technology of the 20th century: cinema, the telephone and telegraph. Caruso toured widely both with the Metropolitan Opera touring company and on his own, giving hundreds of performances throughout Europe, and North and South America. He was a client of the noted promoter Edward Bernays, during the latter's tenure as a press agent in the United States. Beverly Sills noted in an interview: "I was able to do it with television and radio and media and all kinds of assists. The popularity that Caruso enjoyed without any of this technological assistance is astonishing."

Caruso biographers Pierre Key, Bruno Zirato and Stanley Jackson attribute Caruso's fame not only to his voice and musicianship but also to a keen business sense and an enthusiastic embrace of commercial sound recording, then in its infancy. Many opera singers of Caruso's time rejected the phonograph (or gramophone) owing to the low fidelity of early discs. Others, including Adelina Patti, Francesco Tamagno and Nellie Melba, exploited the new technology once they became aware of the financial returns that Caruso was reaping from his initial recording sessions.

Caruso made more than 260 extant recordings in America for the Victor Talking Machine Company (later RCA Victor) from 1904 to 1920, and he earned millions of dollars in royalties from the retail sales of the resulting 78-rpm discs. (Previously, in Italy in 1902–1903, he had cut five batches of records for the Gramophone & Typewriter Company, the Zonophone label and Pathé Records.) He was also heard live from the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House in 1910, when he participated in the first public radio broadcast to be transmitted in the United States.


Enrico Caruso as Lionel in Martha
  Caruso also appeared in two motion pictures. In 1918, he played a dual role in the American silent film My Cousin for Paramount Pictures. This film included a sequence depicting him on stage performing the aria Vesti la giubba from Leoncavallo's opera Pagliacci. The following year Caruso played a character called Cosimo in another film, The Splendid Romance. Producer Jesse Lasky paid Caruso $100,000 each to appear in these two efforts but My Cousin flopped at the box office and The Splendid Romance was apparently never released. Brief candid glimpses of Caruso offstage have been preserved in contemporary newsreel footage.

While Caruso sang at such venues as La Scala in Milan, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in London, the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, he was also the leading tenor of the Metropolitan Opera in New York City for 18 consecutive seasons. It was at the Met, in 1910, that he created the role of Dick Johnson in Giacomo Puccini's La fanciulla del West.

Caruso's voice extended up to high D-flat in its prime and grew in power and weight as he grew older. At times, his voice took on a dark, almost baritonal coloration. He sang a broad spectrum of roles, ranging from lyric, to spinto, to dramatic parts, in the Italian and French repertoires. In the German repertoire, Caruso sang only two roles, Assad (in Karl Goldmark's The Queen of Sheba) and Richard Wagner's Lohengrin, both of which he performed in Italian in Buenos Aires in 1899 and 1901, respectively.


During his lifetime, Caruso received many orders, decorations, testimonials and other kinds of honors from monarchs, governments and miscellaneous cultural bodies of the various nations in which he sang. He was also the recipient of Italian knighthoods. In 1917, he was elected an honorary member of the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the national fraternity for men involved in music, by the fraternity's Alpha chapter of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. One unusual award bestowed on him was that of "Honorary Captain of the New York Police Force". In 1960, for his contribution to the recording industry, Caruso received a star located at 6625 Hollywood Boulevard on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Caruso was posthumously awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987. On February 27 of that same year, the United States Postal Service issued a 22-cent postage stamp in his honor. He was voted into Gramophone Magazine's Hall of Fame in 2012.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Enrico Caruso - Pagliacci No!
  The greatest opera singers

Enrico Caruso
  Classical Music Timeline

Instruments Through the Ages

Classical Music History - Composers and Masterworks
Chaliapin Feodor

Feodor Chaliapin, in full Feodor Ivanovich Chaliapin, also spelled Fyodor Shalyapin (born Feb. 1 [Feb. 13, New Style], 1873, near Kazan, Russia—died April 12, 1938, Paris, France), Russian operatic basso profundo whose vivid declamation, great resonance, and dynamic acting made him the best-known singer-actor of his time.


Feodor Chaliapin
  Chaliapin was born to a poor family. He worked as an apprentice to a shoemaker, a sales clerk, a carpenter, and a lowly clerk in a district court before joining, at age 17, a local operetta company.

Two years later he went to study in Tiflis (now Tbilisi, Georgia), and in 1896 he became a member of the private Mamontov opera company, where he mastered the Russian, French, and Italian roles that made him famous. In 1895 he debuted at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre as Mephistopheles in Charles Gounod’s Faust. In 1901 he sang at La Scala under Arturo Toscanini, alongside Enrico Caruso.

Chaliapin’s interpretation of the title role in Modest Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov was his most famous. His other major dramatic parts included Philip II in Giuseppe Verdi’s Don Carlos, Ivan the Terrible in Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Maid of Pskov, and the title (and, for him, the signature) role in Arrigo Boito’s Mefistofele. His great comic characterizations were Don Basilio in Gioachino Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia and Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

Chaliapin appeared at the major opera houses in Milan (1901, 1904), New York City (1907), and London (1913). A man of lower-class origins, Chaliapin was not unsympathetic to the Bolshevik Revolution. He left Russia in 1922 as part of an extended tour of western Europe. Although he would never return, he remained a tax-paying citizen of Soviet Russia for several years.

His first open break with the regime occurred in 1927 when the Soviet government, as part of its campaign to pressure him into returning to Russia, stripped him of his title of “The First People’s Artist of the Soviet Republic” and threatened to deprive him of Soviet citizenship. Prodded by Stalin, Maksim Gorky, Chaliapin’s longtime friend, tried to persuade him to return to Russia but broke with him after Chaliapin published his memoirs, Man and Mask: Forty Years in the Life of a Singer (trans. from French 1932, reissued 1973; originally published in Russian, Maska i dusha, 1932), in which he denounced the lack of freedom under the Bolsheviks. After leaving the Soviet Union, Chaliapin performed frequently with the Metropolitan and Chicago opera companies in the United States and with Covent Garden in London. He also toured every continent, frequently with his own opera company. Although occasionally considered unorthodox, he was admired as a versatile and expressive recitalist, remembered for his repertoire of Russian songs. He made some 200 recordings from 1898 to 1936, starred in the movie Don Quixote (1933), and published the autobiographical Pages from My Life (1926). In 1984 his remains were disinterred from Batignolles Cemetery in Paris and reburied in the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow, alongside Russia’s most revered cultural figures.

Encyclopædia Britannica


Portrait by Boris Kustodiev, 1921
Feodor Chaliapin - "Black Eyes"
  The greatest opera singers

Feodor Chaliapin
  Classical Music Timeline

Instruments Through the Ages

Classical Music History - Composers and Masterworks
Reger Max

Johann Baptist Joseph Maximilian Reger (19 March 1873 – 11 May 1916) was a German composer, conductor, pianist, organist, and academic teacher.

Born in Brand, Bavaria, Reger studied music in Munich and Wiesbaden with Hugo Riemann. From September 1901 he settled in Munich, where he obtained concert offers and where his rapid rise to fame began. During his first Munich season, Reger appeared in ten concerts as an organist, chamber pianist and accompanist. He continued to compose without interruption. From 1907 he worked in Leipzig, where he was music director of the university until 1908 and professor of composition at the conservatory until his death. In 1911 he moved to Meiningen where he got the position of Hofkapellmeister at the court of Georg II, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen. In 1915 he moved to Jena, commuting once a week to teach in Leipzig. He died in May 1916 on one of these trips of a heart attack at age 43.

He had also been active internationally as a conductor and pianist. Among his students were Joseph Haas, Sándor Jemnitz, Jaroslav Kvapil, Ruben Liljefors, George Szell and Cristòfor Taltabull.

Reger was the cousin of Hans von Koessler.


Johann Baptist Joseph Maximilian Reger
Reger produced an enormous output over little more than 25 years, nearly always in abstract forms. Few of his compositions are well known in the 21st century. Many of his works are fugues or in variation form, including what is probably his best known orchestral work, the Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Mozart based on the opening theme of Mozart's Piano Sonata in A major, K. 331.
He also wrote a large amount of music for organ, the most famous being his Toccata and Fugue in D Minor and the Fantasy and Fugue on BACH. While a student under Hugo Riemann in Wiesbaden, Reger met and became friends with the famous German organist, Karl Straube who premiered many of Reger's works for that instrument.

Reger was particularly attracted to the fugal form and created music in almost every genre, save for opera and the symphony. A similarly firm supporter of absolute music, he saw himself as being part of the tradition of Beethoven and Brahms. His work often combines the classical structures of these composers with the extended harmonies of Liszt and Wagner, to which he added the complex counterpoint of Bach. His organ music, though also influenced by Liszt, was provoked by that tradition.

Some of the works for solo string instruments turn up often on recordings, though less regularly in recitals. His solo piano and two-piano music places him as a successor to Brahms in the central German tradition.

He pursued intensively, and to its limits, Brahms's continuous development and free modulation, often also invoking, like Brahms, the aid of Bach-influenced polyphony.

Reger was a prolific writer of vocal works, Lieder, works for mixed chorus, men's chorus and female chorus, and extended choral works with orchestra such as Psalm 100 and the Requiem. He composed music to texts by poets such as Otto Julius Bierbaum, Adelbert von Chamisso, Joseph von Eichendorff, Emanuel Geibel, Friedrich Hebbel, Nikolaus Lenau, Friedrich Rückert and Ludwig Uhland.

His works could be considered retrospective as they followed classical and baroque compositional techniques such as fugue and continuo. The influence of the latter can be heard in his chamber works which are deeply reflective and unconventional.

In 1898 Caesar Hochstetter, an arranger, composer and critic, published an article entitled "Noch einmal Max Reger" in a music magazine (Die Redenden Künste 5 nr. 49, s. 943 f). Caesar recommends Reger as "a highly talented young composer" to the publishers. Reger then thanks Hochstetter with the dedications of his Op. 25 and 34.


Max Reger at work, painting of Franz Nölken, 1913
He had an acrimonious relationship with Rudolf Louis, the music critic of the Münchener Neueste Nachrichten, who usually had negative opinions of his compositions. After the first performance of the Sinfonietta in A major, Op. 90, on 2 February 1906, Louis wrote a typically negative review on 7 February. Reger wrote back to him: "Ich sitze in dem kleinsten Zimmer in meinem Hause. Ich habe Ihre Kritik vor mir. Im nächsten Augenblick wird sie hinter mir sein!" ("I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me!").

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Max Reger - Piano Concerto in F-minor
Piano Concerto in F-minor, Op.114 (1910)

Mov.I: Allegro moderato 00:00
Mov.II: Largo con gran espressione 20:47
Mov.III: Allegretto con spirito 33:11

Pianist: Love Derwinger

Orchestra: Norrköping Symphony Orchestra

Conductor: Leif Segerstam

Max Reger
  Classical Music Timeline

Instruments Through the Ages

Classical Music History - Composers and Masterworks
Rachmaninoff Sergei

Sergey Rachmaninoff, in full Sergey Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff, Rachmaninoff also spelled Rakhmaninov, or Rachmaninov (born March 20 [April 1, New Style], 1873, Oneg, near Semyonovo, Russia—died March 28, 1943, Beverly Hills, California, U.S.), composer who was the last great figure of the tradition of Russian Romanticism and a leading piano virtuoso of his time. He is especially known for his piano concerti and the piece for piano and orchestra titled Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (1934).


Sergei Vassilievich Rachmaninoff
  Early life
Rachmaninoff was born on an estate belonging to his grandparents, situated near Lake Ilmen in the Novgorod district. His father was a retired army officer and his mother the daughter of a general. The boy was destined to become an army officer until his father lost the entire family fortune through risky financial ventures and then deserted the family. Young Sergey’s cousin Aleksandr Siloti, a well-known concert pianist and conductor, sensed the boy’s abilities and suggested sending him to the noted teacher and pianist Nikolay Zverev in Moscow for his piano studies. It is to Zverev’s strict disciplinarian treatment of the boy that musical history owes one of the great piano virtuosos of the 20th century. For his general education and theoretical subjects in music, Sergey became a pupil at the Moscow Conservatory.

At age 19 he graduated from the conservatory, winning a gold medal for his one-act opera Aleko (after Aleksandr Pushkin’s poem Tsygany [“The Gypsies”]). His fame and popularity, both as composer and concert pianist, were launched by two compositions: the Prelude in C-sharp Minor, played for the first time in public on September 26, 1892, and his Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, which had its first performance in Moscow on October 27, 1901. The former piece, although it first brought Rachmaninoff to public attention, was to haunt him throughout his life—the prelude was constantly requested by his concert audiences.

The concerto, his first major success, revived his hopes after a trying period of inactivity.

In his youth, Rachmaninoff was subject to emotional crises over the success or failure of his works as well as his personal relationships. Self-doubt and uncertainty carried him into deep depressions, one of the most severe of which followed the failure, on its first performance in March 1897, of his Symphony No. 1 in D Minor. The symphony was poorly performed, and the critics condemned it. During this period, while brooding over an unhappy love affair, he was taken to a psychiatrist, Nikolay Dahl, who is often credited with having restored the young composer’s self-confidence, thus enabling him to write the Piano Concerto No. 2 (which is dedicated to Dahl).


Rachmaninoff in the early 1900s, before he
graduated from the Moscow Conservatory
  Major creative activity
At the time of the Russian Revolution of 1905, Rachmaninoff was a conductor at the Bolshoi Theatre. Although more of an observer than a person politically involved in the revolution, he went with his family, in November 1906, to live in Dresden.

There he wrote three of his major scores: the Symphony No. 2 in E Minor (1907), the symphonic poem The Isle of the Dead (1909), and the Piano Concerto No. 3 in D Minor (1909).

The last was composed especially for his first concert tour of the United States, highlighting his much-acclaimed pianistic debut on November 28, 1909, with the New York Symphony under Walter Damrosch. Piano Concerto No. 3 requires great virtuosity from the pianist; its last movement is a bravura section as dazzling as any ever composed.

In Philadelphia and Chicago he appeared with equal success in the role of conductor, interpreting his own symphonic compositions. Of these, the Symphony No. 2 is the most significant: it is a work of deep emotion and haunting thematic material. While touring, he was invited to become permanent conductor of the Boston Symphony, but he declined the offer and returned to Russia in February 1910.

The one notable composition of Rachmaninoff’s second period of residence in Moscow was his choral symphony The Bells (1913), based on Konstantin Balmont’s Russian translation of the poem by Edgar Allan Poe.

This work displays considerable ingenuity in the coupling of choral and orchestral resources to produce striking imitative and textural effects.

Later years
After the Russian Revolution of 1917, Rachmaninoff went into his second self-imposed exile, dividing his time between residences in Switzerland and the United States. Although for the next 25 years he spent most of his time in an English-speaking country, he never mastered its language or thoroughly acclimatized himself. With his family and a small circle of friends, he lived a rather isolated life. He missed Russia and the Russian people—the sounding board for his music, as he said. And this alienation had a devastating effect on his formerly prolific creative ability. He produced little of real originality but rewrote some of his earlier work. Indeed, he devoted himself almost entirely to concertizing in the United States and Europe, a field in which he had few peers. His only substantial works from this period are the Symphony No. 3 in A Minor (1936), another expression of sombre, Slavic melancholy, and the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini for piano and orchestra, a set of variations on a violin caprice by Niccolò Paganini. Rachmaninoff’s last major work, the Symphonic Dances for orchestra, was composed in 1940, about two years before his death.

Rachmaninoff at the piano (1936 or before)
Rachmaninoff’s music, although written mostly in the 20th century, remains firmly entrenched in the 19th-century musical idiom. He was, in effect, the final expression of the tradition embodied by Tchaikovsky—a melodist of Romantic dimensions still writing in an era of explosive change and experimentation.

Victor Ilyich Seroff
Richard Taruskin

Encyclopædia Britannica

Sergei Vassilievich Rachmaninoff.
Portrait by Donald Sheridan.

Rachmaninoff plays Piano Concerto 2
The Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18, is a concerto for piano and orchestra composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff between the autumn of 1900 and April 1901. The second and third movements were first performed with the composer as soloist on 2 December 1900. The complete work was premiered, again with the composer as soloist, on 9 November 1901, with his cousin Alexander Siloti conducting. This video contains all three movements played by Rachmaninoff.
Sergei Rachmaninov
  Classical Music Timeline

Instruments Through the Ages

Classical Music History - Composers and Masterworks
Rimsky-Korsakov: "The Maid of Pskov"

The Maid of Pskov (Russian: Псковитянка, Pskovityanka), is an opera in three acts and six scenes by Rimsky-Korsakov Nikolay. The libretto was written by the composer, and is based on the drama of the same name by Lev Mei. The story concerns the Tsar Ivan the Terrible and his efforts to subject the cities of Pskov and Novgorod to his will. The original version of the opera was completed in 1872, and received its premiere in 1873 in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The third and final version was completed in 1892, and is considered "definitive". This version was made famous by Chaliapin in the role of Ivan the Terrible. It was introduced to Paris in 1909 by Diaghilev under the title Ivan the Terrible, on account of the dominance of his role, and because of European audience's familiarity with his name.

Rosa Newmarch has characterized the music for the solo singers as mainly of "'mezzo-recitative' of a somewhat dry quality, but relieved by great variety of orchestral color in the accompaniments".

Composition history

The first product of the composer's interest in this work was a lullaby composed in 1866. Rimsky-Korsakov then set to work in full earnest on an operatic treatment in the winter of 1867-1868. There are 3 versions of the opera. The original version was composed in the years 1868–1872, and received its premiere in 1873. The composer revised the opera in the years 1876–1877. Later he completed a final version in the years 1891–1892.


The Veche Scene by Matvey Shishkov.
Design for the premiere of The Maid of Pskov.
(Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, 1873).
Performance history
The world premiere was given in St. Petersburg on 13 January (O.S. 1 January), 1873 at the Mariinsky Theatre, conducted by Eduard Nápravník.

Other notable performances included those in 1895 in St. Petersburg's Panayevsky Theatre given by the Society of Musical Gatherings. The Russian Private Opera performances in Moscow in 1896, conducted by Bernardi, with scenery by Korovin and Vasnetsov, included Feodor Chaliapin as Ivan the Terrible.

In 1909 at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, in a Sergei Diaghilev production, the opera was conducted by Nikolai Tcherepnin and Chaliapin sang Ivan.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Feodor Chaliapin as Ivan IV and V. A. Eberle as Olga
(Russian Private Opera, 1896)
Svetlanov conducts Rimsky-Korsakov - Overture to 'The Maid of Pskov'
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
  Classical Music Timeline

Instruments Through the Ages

Classical Music History - Composers and Masterworks
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's (Tchaikovsky Peter Ilich ) Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Op. 17 was composed in 1872. One of Tchaikovsky's joyful compositions, it was successful right from its premiere and also won the favor of the group of nationalistic Russian composers known as "The Five", led by Mily Balakirev. Because Tchaikovsky used three Ukrainian folk songs to great effect in this work, it was nicknamed the "Little Russian" (Russian: Малороссийская, Malorossiyskaya) by Nikolay Kashkin, a friend of the composer as well as a well-known musical critic of Moscow. Ukraine was at that time frequently called "Little Russia".

The premiere of the complete symphony took place in Moscow under Nikolai Rubinstein on February 7, 1873.

Despite its initial success, Tchaikovsky was not satisfied with the symphony. He revised the work extensively in 1879-80, substantially rewriting the opening movement and shortening the finale. This revision is the version of the symphony usually performed today, although there have also been supporters of the original version. Among those advocates was the composer's friend and former student, Sergei Taneyev, who was himself a noted composer and pedagogue.

1. Andante sostenuto—Allegro vivo (C minor).
A solo horn playing a Ukrainian variant of "Down by Mother Volga" sets the atmosphere for this movement. Tchaikovsky reintroduces this song in the development section, and the horn sings it once more at the movement's conclusion. The rather vigorous second subject utilises a melody which would also be used subsequently by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov in his Russian Easter Festival Overture. The end of the exposition, in the relative E-flat major, leads straight into the development, in which material from both themes is heard. A long pedal note leads back to the second subject. Unusually, Tchaikovsky does not repeat the first subject theme in its entirety in this section, as is conventional, but instead uses it solely for the coda.
2. Andantino marziale, quasi moderato (E-flat major).
This movement was originally a bridal march Tchaikovsky wrote for his unpublished opera Undine. He quotes the folk song "Spin, O My Spinner" in the central section.
3. Scherzo. Allegro molto vivace (C minor).
Fleet and scampering, this movement does not quote an actual folk song but sounds folk song-like in its overall character. It takes the form of a da capo scherzo and trio with a coda.
4. Finale. Moderato assai—Allegro vivo (C major).
After a brief but expansive fanfare, Tchaikovsky quotes the folk song "The Crane", subjecting it to an increasingly intricate and colorful variations for orchestra. A more lyrical theme from the strings provides contrast before the symphony ends in a rousing C major conclusion.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Tchaikovsky : Symphony No.2 in C minor, Op.17 "Little Russian"
Symphony No. 2 "Little Russian"
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Bernard Haitink
Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky
  Classical Music Timeline

Instruments Through the Ages

Classical Music History - Composers and Masterworks
Slezak Leo

Leo Slezak (18 August 1873 – 1 June 1946) was a world-famous Moravian tenor. He was associated in particular with Austrian opera as well as the title role in Verdi's Otello. He is the father of actor Walter Slezak and grandfather of the actress Erika Slezak.

Life and work

Born in Šumperk (Mährisch-Schönberg) the son of a miller, Slezak worked briefly as a blacksmith,[3][4] an engineer's fitter and served in the army before taking singing lessons with the first-class baritone and pedagogue Adolf Robinson. He made his debut in 1896 in Brno (Brünn) and proceeded to sing leading roles in Bohemia and Germany, appearing at Breslau and, in 1898-99, at Berlin. From 1901 onwards he was a permanent member of the Vienna State Opera's roster of artists, achieving star status.

Leo Slezak
  International career
Slezak's international career commenced in London at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where he sang Siegfried (a punishing role that he would soon drop from his repertoire) and Lohengrin in 1900. (He would return to Covent Garden in 1909 after undertaking further vocal studies in Paris the previous year with a great tenor of a previous era, Jean de Reszke.)

Slezak secured a three-year contract with the New York Metropolitan Opera in 1909. Met audiences acclaimed him in performances of works by Wagner and Verdi.

Along with Italy's Giovanni Zenatello, he became the most famous Otello of his generation, famously performing the role at the Met with Arturo Toscanini conducting.

He was a convivial person, and many anecdotes reveal his amiable sense of humour. The best-known example is as follows: during a performance of Wagner's Lohengrin, a stage hand sent the swan out too early, before the tenor could hop aboard. Seeing his feathered transportation disappear into the wings, Slezak ad-libbed to the audience: "Wann fährt der nächste Schwan?" ("When does the next swan leave?").

Slezak had a versatile repertory which embraced 66 roles. They included notably Rossini's Guillaume Tell, Manrico, Radames, Walter, Tannhäuser, Hermann and, as we have seen, Otello and Lohengrin.
He sang 44 roles in Vienna alone, where he chalked up 936 appearances in 1901-12 and 1917–27 and became an idol of audiences.

Vocal characteristics
A tall barrel-chested man, Slezak possessed a large and attractive lyric-dramatic voice which enabled him to undertake all but the very heaviest Wagnerian parts such as Siegfried or Tristan. He had a distinctive tonal quality, too, which became markedly darker after his studies with de Reszke in 1908. Slezak was a master of mezza-voce singing and he could also deliver haunting head notes. Unfortunately, with time and hard use, his top register developed a strained and unsteady quality when used at full volume, as can be heard on some of his recordings.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Frances Alda as Desdemona and Slezak in the title
role of Verdi's Otello at the Metropolitan Opera in 1909.
Leo Slezak"Wenn ich vergnugt bin" 
  The greatest opera singers

Leo Slezak
  Classical Music Timeline

Instruments Through the Ages

Classical Music History - Composers and Masterworks

  BACK-1873 Part II NEXT-1873 Part IV