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The reputation that Paris enjoyed for elegance and culture also attracted many foreign visitors to the city, who carried the French style to their own countries. While Italian opera was occasionally performed, French-language serious and comic opera predominated. The city’s most famous concert series was the Concert Spirituel, founded by Anne-Danican Philidor (1681–1728) in 1725. By the middle ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie

The Paris Conservatoire revolutionized music education in France. For most of the eighteenth century such education in Paris was rooted in church choir schools, but as these gradually closed as the century progressed the Ecole Royal de Chant was founded (1783), largely thanks to Gossec. This institution became the Institut National de Musique in 1793. By 1794 there were 80 ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie

The Académie Royale de Musique (now known as the Paris Académie de Musique or the Paris Opéra), has had many homes. The Académie opened in 1671, and from 1672–87 was largely controlled by Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632–87). In 1763, the building was destroyed by fire, as was the next building in 1781. The Opéra moved to rue de Richelieu ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie

In the twentieth century, Paris regained its place as the centre of musical innovation, especially in the years either side of World War I. In the late nineteenth century, Debussy’s influential musical innovations and explicitly anti-Wagnerian stance made Paris the centre of post-Wagnerian modernity. This was confirmed in the early modern period by the arrival of Serge Diaghilev ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie

The very name, ‘Classical Era’, speaks for itself: it proclaims a period that is regarded as ‘Standard, first-class, of allowed excellence’, with manifestations that are ‘simple, harmonious, proportioned, finished’, to quote a dictionary definition. The period from 1750 to roughly 1820 is widely recognized as one of exceptional achievement in music – it is the ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie

As part of the Renaissance (literally ‘rebirth’), which began in Italy in around 1450, the Baroque era was a revolution within a revolution. It saw a break from the Medieval view of humanity as innately sinful. Instead, Renaissance thinking cast individuals as a dynamic force in their own right and gave free rein to human imagination, ingenuity and ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie

In 1891, when the Irish playwright Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) wrote his famous words ‘Life imitates art far more than art imitates life’, he had somehow managed to overlook the artistic realities of the late nineteenth century. By that time, after some 50 years of the High Romantic era, music and opera had brought real life on stage and ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie

The late Baroque era (1700–50) was a time of major political change throughout Europe, involving a shift in the balance of power between sovereign states. Across the continent it was a period of almost continuous warfare, the effects of which were later felt in other parts of the world as a result of conflicting ambitions among the various trading ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie

By the beginning of the eighteenth century, opera was established in some form in most major European centres. The basic types of serious and comic opera in both Italian and French traditions shared similarities, although the content and style of an operatic entertainment could vary according to whether it was intended to flatter a private patron, resound with ...

Source: Definitive Opera Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie

The political structure of Europe changed greatly during the second half of the nineteenth century. Germany and Italy became united countries under supreme rulers. The Habsburgs’ Austrian Empire, ruled from Vienna, became fragmented into Austria-Hungary. The borders of this new confederation contained the cauldron of difficulties that eventually developed into the confrontations which culminated in World War I in ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie

‘Medieval’ as a concept is very hard to define, and the period itself is just as difficult to delineate. It was a term invented by Renaissance writers who wished to make a distinction between their modernity and what had gone before. Although the onset of the Renaissance is often taken to be around the beginning of the fourteenth century, ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie

‘Renaissance’ is a French word meaning ‘rebirth’. It has been used since the nineteenth century to describe the period between c. 1300 and 1600. Three hundred years is a long time for a single historical or cultural period, and the strain shows in any attempt to define the term ‘Renaissance’. The cultural phenomenon central to the Renaissance was a revival ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie

While in the US and several European countries there is a tradition of mixed wind bands, Britain developed bands made up of brass instruments with saxophone and percussion. The repertory of such ensembles tended to be arrangements of dance music, opera overtures and marches. (Twentieth-century British composers have pioneered original music for brass band.) The brass band developed ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie

The history of opera is dominated by Italian and Austro-German composers. It is in Italy and Germany that we find the greatest number of opera houses. La Scala in Milan lays claim to be the most famous opera house in the world, and its opening night every season is a major event in the country’s social calendar. The theatre, ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie

An important aspect of Romanticism was its focus on individual feeling and expression, in contrast to the universal strictures of classical form and style. This led inevitably to a concept of the artist as a misunderstood genius, battling against the world. The second generation of English Romantic poets, including Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron, contributed significantly ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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