Music

painting of man sitting at a piano with

Prelude in Gothenburg, finale in Prague: the Swedish adventure of Bedřich Smetana

While Antonín Dvorák is sometime considered as the greatest composer ever to have lived in the Czech Republic, in the eyes of the Czechs only one man deserves that epithet: Bedřich Smetana.

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From the New World: American music from a Czech maestro

Czech composer Antonín Dvořák brought his sensibility and musical genius from his homeland to the United States.

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Josephine Baker – dancer, spy and freedom fighter 

Born into poverty, Josephine Baker reached heights beyond what could have been possible for an African-American woman between the 20s and 60s. She was a polarising force throughout her life as a performer and activist. Seen as a threat to the United States for speaking out against race discrimination, she was loved in France – […]

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Queen of Arts: Christina of Sweden’s Roman reign

Anyone who wanted to see the musical avant-garde at work around 1600 went south of the Alps. With figureheads such as Monteverdi, Peri and Caccini and their work in the new opera genre, Italy pioneered an innovative repertoire and ‘modern’ styles and became the mecca for musicians in the early days of the baroque era. […]

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Austrian Composers in Exile

For the month of June on Europeana Music, Austrian Mediathek takes a look at the lives and works of three composers – Korngold, Weigl and Krenek – who escaped persecution in the 1930s and sought refuge in the United States. In Austria, the year 2018 is an opportunity to re-examine the turning points of 20th-century […]

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Autographs, operas and tubas: Richard Wagner on Europeana

When it comes to the life and works of the influential composer Richard Wagner (1813 – 1883), Europeana, once again, is able to bring together so much interesting material from many cultural institutions across Europe. First of all, there is his music: early recordings of Wagner’s epic four-part Ring cycle, starting with Das Rheingold, then […]

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From Georg Friedrich to George Frideric: Händel’s miraculous migration

In the early 18th century, London was the eldorado for musicians, offering fame and fortune to anyone who had something new or exclusive to boast. Foreign musicians were regarded as exotic, special and prestigious, and therefore very popular both with rich patrons and the general public.

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Percy Grainger: shanties, folksongs and letters to Grieg

This blog tells the story of how digitisation for cultural heritage institutions can bring collections of material back together again, after over a century of separation. These collections concern the Australian-born composer and pianist, Percy Grainger. The first collection comprises the recordings of British folksongs and sea shanties that Percy Grainger made onto wax cylinder […]

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