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No discussion of this period in opera’s history would be complete without looking at Gustav Mahler (1860–1911). Although he is known primarily for his expansive, neurotically tinged symphonies and orchestral song cycles, he contributed hugely to the development of opera through his work as a conductor. Mahler was born in 1860 and he began his conducting career at Bad ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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(Goos’-taf Ma’-ler) 1860–1911 Austrian composer and conductor Gustav Mahler bestrode the world of music at the end of the nineteenth century. ‘My time will come’, he remarked about his often misunderstood compositions. For Mahler the conductor, due recognition did come during his lifetime, but another half-century had to pass before a fully sympathetic appreciation of his creative achievement was possible ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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The invention of valves meant that brass instruments could now explore the bass register, and soon after 1835 bass tubas started being manufactured in Germany. Essentially a keyed bugle by descent, the bass tuba (confusingly, the name tuba comes from the Latin word for trumpet) has a very wide conical bore and as a result requires a good ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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The celesta is a type of keyboard glockenspiel, with a range of four octaves upwards from middle C, and a damping pedal like a piano. Inside the body of the instrument is a series of chromatically tuned metal bars, which are struck with felt hammers when the performer plays the keyboard. Creation of the Celesta The celesta was ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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however. Since then, the bass clarinet has been an ever-present member of the orchestral wind section, and has been used to great effect by composers such as Gustav Mahler (1860–1911), Schoenberg, Stravinsky and Leoš Janáček (1854–1928). The bass clarinet’s size necessitates changes to the keywork of its smaller siblings. Not only do the keys have to reach further ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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highly expressive settings of German romantic poetry, often grouped together to form song cycles. They were followed by a long line of composers of songs including Brahms, Gustav Mahler (1860–1911), Claude Debussy (1862–1918) and Benjamin Britten (1913–76), who formed a highly successful partnership with the tenor Peter Pears. The combination of voice and piano is also very popular in ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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ever had the same impact, much to the composer’s annoyance. Other important guitar music has been written by Britten, Walton and Arnold. In addition, composers such as Mahler and Schoenberg have included it in chamber ensemble or orchestral works. The guitar was a central part of the personal iconography of Pablo Picasso. The most famous example of this ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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of a lull during the early nineteenth century, the mandolin soon regained popularity. Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901) used it in Otello (1884–86), Ruggero Leoncavallo (1857–1919) in Pagliacci (1892) and Gustav Mahler (1860–1911) used it his seventh and eighth symphonies and in Das Lied von der Erde (1907). The Modern Mandolin By the beginning of the twentieth century, the mandolin’s popularity ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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appeal had diminished significantly by the 1760s, but it experienced a revival in the later nineteenth century, when a new key mechanism enabled its use by Strauss, Mahler, Debussy and even Ligeti. Oboe da Caccia The oboe da caccia was developed around the same time as the oboe d’amore. A tenor oboe, keyed in F and ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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use in the late classical age, making an appearance in Beethoven’s Fifth and Sixth Symphonies and the ‘Egmont’ Overture. It was written for by Verdi in his Requiem and Mahler in his First Symphony, both of whom seem to have overestimated how low it could play. Perhaps its most famous appearance is in Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker (‘Chinese Dance’). Styles & ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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English composer The finest English composer of his generation, Britten reacted against the folksong-derived pastoralism of his elder compatriots, finding inspiration in Purcell and influences as various as Mahler and Stravinsky. The international success of his opera Peter Grimes (1945) brought financial security, but he continued to appear as a pianist, accompanying his partner and outstanding interpreter ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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1857–1934 English composer Elgar was born at Broadheath, near Worcester. His father ran a music shop in Worcester, where Elgar embarked on a course of self-instruction that made him total master of music’s craft and one of the world’s greatest orchestrators. Brought up a Roman Catholic in a Protestant community and a tradesman’s son, Elgar never felt socially ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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, Mahler’s influence on him remained strong. His first published work, the Piano Sonata op. 1 (1907–08), confidently uses a multiplicity of themes in a manner that strongly recalls Mahler, but in his next work, the Four Songs op. 2 (1909–10), he is already following Schoenberg in his explorations of atonality. In the remarkable String Quartet op. 3 ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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concert aria Der Wein (‘Wine’, 1930), and he was not compelled to write it until the untimely death of Manon Gropius, the daughter of Gustav Mahler’s (1860–1911) widow Alma Mahler Gropius. Berg’s final completed work, it was not performed until after his death on Christmas Eve, 1935, from blood poisoning caused by an insect bite. Operas 1917–22 ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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(A-lek-san’-der Zem-lin’ske) 1871–1942 Austrian composer Zemlinsky was a friend, teacher and (for a while) brother-in-law of Schoenberg; unlike him he never severed his stylistic roots in the music of Strauss and Mahler. His work was long neglected or ignored, but recent interest in his four string quartets, his operas – notably Eine florentinische Tragödie (‘A Florentine Tragedy’, 1917) ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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