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August 12, 2009 7:09 AM
The mass is scored for 2 flutes; 2 oboes, 2 clarinets; 2 bassoons; contrabassoon; 4 horns (basso, ; 2 trumpets; alto, tenor, and bass trombone; timpani; organ continuo; strings (violins I and II, violas, cellos, and basses); soprano, alto, tenor, and bass soloists; and soprano, alto, tenor, and bass chorus.
Ludwig van Beethoven (December 17. 1770 March 26 1827) was a German composer and pianist.
Today in 1845, the sleepy little German town of Bonn played host to some 5000 visitors. These ranged from curious natives and opportunistic pickpockets to famous composers, performers, and music lovers from many countries, including their royal highnesses, the British monarch Queen Victoria and her royal consort, Prince Albert.
The occasion was the gala unveiling of a bronze stature of the great German composer, Ludwig van Beethoven, who had been born in Bonn 75 years earlier. A Beethoven Festival was in progress, and before the unveiling of the Beethoven statue, the German composer Ludwig Spohr had conducted a performance of Beethoven's "Missa solemnis" at the Bonn Cathedral.
On August 12th the big day had finally arrived. Alas, the Festival planning committee was totally unprepared for the huge crowd that descended on Bonn, and woefully incompetent in managing just about every aspect of the Festival. How incompetent? Well, consider this: as their majesties Queen Victoria and King Wilhelm the IV of Prussia looked on, with great fanfare the shroud fell from Beethoven's statue....only to reveal the statue's BACK facing the vast assembled crowd.
Missa Solemnis is rarely performed. It's eclipsed by the better-known Ninth Symphony. But taken together, the two works shed light on the composer's spiritual world view.
The Missa Solemnis may be the greatest piece never heard. Nearly 90 minutes long, it requires a large chorus, an orchestra and four soloists
But the answer comes in the Ninth Symphony, with its chorale finale based on Schiller's "Ode to Joy," written in a time of revolution.
Those words and Beethoven's music call for humankind to kneel before the creator, but for answers to turn to one another. The path to peace, he suggests, is bestowed not from above, but from within us and among us, in universal brotherhood.
Missa Solemnis is Latin for solemn mass, and is a name which has been applied to a number of musical settings of the mass, especially particularly serious or large-scale ones.
Hot Butter was an instrumental cover band fronted by the keyboard player Stan Free. The other band members were Dave Mullaney, John Abbott, Bill Jerome, Steve Jerome, and Danny Jordan. They are best known for their 1972 cover of the Moog synthpop instrumental, "Popcorn", originally recorded by its composer, Gershon Kingsley in 1969.
Today marks the birthday of a much-loved American musical tradition: the Boston "Pops." On July 11, 1885, the "Promenade" Orchestra (later dubbed the "Pops") gave their first concert at Boston's old Music Hall. The German conductor Adolf Neuendorff led a program that included Franz von Suppé's "Morning, Noon and Night in Vienna" Overture and Johann Strauss's "Pizzicato Polka" among other selections.
Henry Lee Higginson, the founder of the Boston Symphony, had proposed this new series in the hopes of re-creating the ambience of summer evenings in the concert gardens in Vienna, where he had been a music student. He also hoped to provide summer employment for the members of the Boston Symphony, who at that point had to search for other work six months out of the year. By 1929 the American-born conductor Arthur Fiedler had started the first outdoor "Esplanade Concerts" in Boston, and the following year assumed the post of Pops director, a position he would hold until his death in July of 1979.
And we should note that it was also on today's date in 1940 that a 22 year-old musician named Leonard Bernstein made his first appearance as conductor of a professional orchestra, leading the Boston Pops at an open-air Esplanade Concert.
Suppé was born Francesco Ezechiele Ermenegildo Cavaliere Suppé Demelli in 1819 in Split, Dalmatia, a descendant of a Belgian family that probably emigrated there in the 18th century.
On today's date in 1882, George Percy Aldridge Grainger was born in Brighton, Victoria. Although born in Australia, Grainger died in America, at the age of 79, in White Plains, New York, in 1961.
Percy Grainger led a long and remarkable life as composer, concert pianist and educator. He counted among his friends the Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg and the British composer Frederic Delius, and Grainger shared their enthusiasm for collecting and transforming folk music themes. From 1917 to 1919 he served in the US Army, first playing oboe and saxophone, and later as a band instructor. "Country Gardens," a piano setting of a Morris dance tune, was completed during Grainger's Army years, and became his best-known composition after its publication in 1919.
Born in Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, he emigrated to Canada with his family when he was five years old. At 17, he began playing at coffeehouses in Toronto's Yorkville area and later attended Central Tech as an art student before deciding to become a full-time musician. He is best known in Canada for his Canadian smash hits "The Farmer's Song" and "Down by the Henry Moore", which was about a sculpture in front of Toronto's city hall, where students met in the '60s and early 1970's.
Once, when someone asked JFK what his favorite song might be, the waggish former president responded: "Well, 'Hail to the Chief' has a nice ring to it." As most people know, "Hail to the Chief" is the tune traditionally played to announce presidential arrivals at public events.
What most people don't know is that the composer of the tune was British: one James Sanderson, to be exact. Sanderson was an early 19th century violinist and the conductor of the Surrey Theatre in London. Sanderson wrote incidental music for a stage adaptation of Sir Walter Scott's romantic poem, "The Lady of the Lake," which was published in 1810. The tune we know as "Hail to the Chief" must have been the hit from that London show, as it even made its way to America in short order.
Sanderson's original tune "Wreaths for the Chieftain," with a new text and a new title, "Hail to the Chief," was first sung in Boston in 1815, at a memorial service on Washington's Birthday.
It was on today's date in 1828, however, that the U.S. Marine Band first performed the song for a living President. The occasion was the ground-breaking ceremony for the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal attended by President John Quincy Adams. Subsequent First Ladies Julia Tyler and Sara Polk continued the tradition, asking the Marine Band to play "Hail to the Chief" to announce the arrival of their Presidential spouses.
By 1954, the Department of Defense established the tune as the official musical salute to their "Commander in Chief."
The Everly Brothers (Don Everly, born IsaacDonald Everly February 1, 1937, Brownie, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, Phil Everly, born Phillip Everly, January 19, 1939, Chicago, Illinois) are brothers and top-selling country-influenced rock and roll performers, known for steel-string guitar playing and close harmony singing. The Everlys are the most successful U.S. rock and roll duo on the Hot 100. Their greatest period came between 1957 and 1964.
Big Mountain was an American reggaeband, most famous for their cover version of Peter Frampton's "Baby, I Love Your Way," which became a Top 10 hit in the U.S.A. in early 1994 reaching #6 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #2 in the UK shortly afterwards.