Antonin Dvořák
Famous Composers: Antonin Dvořák

Observant tourists with a bent for sociology may have noticed that in many continental countries the village pub is often combined with a retail shop of some sort: in Italy one finds perhaps an osteria/alimentari, in central Europe more likely a Gasthaus/Metzgerei - or a hostinec/feznicky. Giuseppe Verdi was the son of the innkeeper-grocer of Roncole; Antonin Dvořák was born on 8th September 1841 to the innkeeper-butcher of Nelahozeves on the banks of the river Vltava - by trunk road no. 8 about eighteen miles north of Prague. He showed early promise in music but when the family moved to Zlonice, a nearby mining village, he was obliged to work as assistant butcher-cum-bartender, since his father (despite musical inclinations) did not take his artistic aspirations very seriously.

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Felix Mendelssohn
Famous Composers: Felix Mendelssohn

Almost alone among famous composers Felix Mendelssohn underwent no struggle to achieve fame or fortune. Born in 1809 in the outskirts of Hamburg and brought up in Berlin, he was the son of Abraham Mendelssohn, a wealthy banker who was better placed than the impecunious Franz Weber to attend to the requirements of a child prodigy in the Mozart class. Whereas in boyhood Carl Maria von Weber had picked up hints from strolling musicians, young Felix Mendelssohn was sent to the most expensive teachers in Berlin and Paris - and moreover was supplied by his fond parents with a private orchestra which he could conduct whenever he wished; he was soon composing sonatas, symphonies, cantatas, operas even, some of which are still preserved in manuscript.

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Famous Composers: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

In the 1750s when Joseph Haydn, expelled from school, was still a struggling Viennese street-busker, there lived a hundred and fifty miles away to the west at Salzburg (on the third floor of the house now numbered 9 Getreidegasse) a worthy musician named Leopold Mozart and his wife Anna Maria, nee Pertl. Of their six children only two survived for more than a few months: one was a girl, the other a boy. The girl, born in July 1751 and christened Maria Anna, was a clever child who had already learnt to play the harpsichord by the time her brother Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart joined the family circle on 27th January 1756.

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Camille Saint-Saëns
Famous Composers: Camille Saint-Saëns

Chronologically speaking CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835-1921) was a ‘bridge figure’: he began to compose music during the lifetime of Luigi Cherubini - who was only five years younger than Mozart - and was still hard at it after the death of Claude Debussy in 1918. In no other sense, however, did he build a bridge or even venture to cross one, preferring to remain in a comfortable tent on his own side of the stream; he took careful note of the activities on the opposite bank of such eminent contemporaries as Hector Berlioz, Richard Wagner, Cesar Franck and Gabriel Faure (one of his own pupils), but he felt no inclination to join in them

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Please Support sonatica.fm
Please Support sonatica.fm

It's a challenge to maintain a listener supported radio station that’s free of the endless promotional messages and advertisements we usually endure.

At sonatica, we pride ourselves on our commercial free schedule so our listeners can enjoy great classical music without constant interruptions. Nevertheless, it’s a costly business keeping our broadcast on the air, which means we frequently only just perform above our operational budget. Since all of our revenue is provided by our listeners, we rely entirely on you to keep us broadcasting.

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George Frideric Handel
Famous Composers: George Frideric Handel

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL (1685 - 1759), his own final choice of spelling, was born at Halle on 23rd February 1685; his father was a doctor (a ‘barber-surgeon’) and his mother, Dorothea nee Taust, the daughter of a Protestant priest. One is at liberty to shrug aside the romantic legend of a curly-headed six year-old being discovered late at night divinely playing the harpsichord by moonlight in a cold attic, but the fact remains that Handel was a child prodigy. His natural instincts were encouraged by his aunt Anna Taust rather than by his parents, but eventually his father consented to music lessons and even allowed him, at the age of eleven, to go by himself to Berlin (a week’s journey in those days) in order to attend the unconventional court of Electress Sophia Charlotte, to whom music was all that mattered.

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Antonio Vivaldi
Famous Composers: Antonio Vivaldi

During the late seventeenth century and the early eighteenth Italy was not only the land of opera but also the land of the violin, an instrument whose potentialities were developed to a hitherto undreamt-of degree by such exponents as Corelli (whose name was closely associated with the School of Rome), Torelli (Bologna), Vivaldi (Venice), Somis (Turin) and Tardni (Padua). As well as playing the violin they composed plenty of music for it: Vivaldi’s lay neglected for a century or so after his death, but began to attract attention when in 1829, during the revival of interest in J. S. Bach largely stimulated by Mendelssohn, it was found that the great man had based an organ piece upon one of Vivaldi’s concertos. Presently many other ‘lost’ works were rediscovered, and over the years they have been played with increasing frequency.

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BBC Proms 2017
Full Programme of BBC Proms 2017 Revealed

The BBC Proms have announced their return to the Royal Albert Hall in 2017 for the 123rd season and have revealed the full programme of concerts from 14 July to 9 September in London.

Held primarily at the Royal Albert Hall, the BBC Proms is the world's most prestigious and longest-running classical music festival, always attracting an impressive selection of artists and orchestras from the UK and around the world.

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imslp.org
Thousands of Free PDF Sheet Music Scores to Download At imslp.org

Whether you have just decided to take up a musical instrument or are a seasoned professional, if you play a musical instrument we want to introduce you to an amazing online resource which hosts hundreds of thousands of public-domain PDF sheet music scores to download for free.

The IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library at imslp.org describes itself as a “community-built library of public domain sheet music" with an "extensive collection of original scores scanned to PDF”. Think of it as a ‘Project Gutenberg for sheet music’ which provides a varied and comprehensive archive which will be of use to anyone with an interest in classical music.

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Henry Purcell
Famous Composers: Henry Purcell

The sixteenth century was extraordinarily productive of composers, among them such important figures as Palestrina and Monteverdi from Italy, Heinrich Schütz from Saxony, Orlande de Lassus from Flanders, Tomas Luis de Victoria from Spain and a crowd of Englishmen. By sad contrast the only composer of real historical significance born during the first half of the seventeenth was Jean Baptiste Lully (1632-87, Italian by birth and French by naturalization) whose ballets and operas earned him fame and favour at the court of King Louis XIV, established major/minor tonality on a sound basis, and helped to bridge the chronological gap between the death of Monteverdi in 1643 and the advent to maturity of Henry Purcell and Alessandro Scarlatti some forty years later.

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Bach To The Future: Computer Generated Musical Compositions
Bach To The Future: Computer Generated Musical Compositions

“A good composer does not imitate; he steals” - a phrase attributed to composer Igor Stravinsky and the age-old retort of all imitators and plagiarists of art.

But the idea of imitation of goes far beyond the realm of merely art – it surrounds the world around us. Mother Nature, for example, is the most capable imitator and we see the same successful patterns of natural selection reproduced in living beings separated by millions of years of evolution.

In the same way, the great composers we know and listen to today, continue to be celebrated because of their ability to compose music that is aesthetically pleasing to a great many people. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven et al, are of course still renowned because the genius of their music endures. Celebrated musical works lives on, the rest fade into the distance of the past and obscurity.

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The Mozart Effect
Does ‘The Mozart Effect’ really boost your brainpower?

Listening to Mozart can give your brainpower a boost, according to a study conducted by Sapienza University of Rome.

In a series of controlled group experiments, listeners of the classical composer's music showed an increase in the construction of alpha waves in the brain, which are conducive in promoting positive learning ability and are linked to memory, understanding and problem solving.

Interesting however, no such performance increases were found when the group listened to classical music by Beethoven, suggesting Mozart's music has a specific effect on our minds.

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