The composers of Spring
As we spring into Tuesday's classical music, you'll hear several vernal favorites by such well-known composers as Mendelssohn, Vivaldi, Debussy and Schumann. Some of the other names, however, may leave you asking "where'd you dig this guy up"? Well, here's where.
The gentleman above vies for the coveted title of "Norway's Most Important Romantic Composer After, Of Course, Edvard Grieg". Prolific in almost every genre, from song and piano music up to chamber music, cantata, concerto and symphony, he's remembered today for only two works: The Suite "In the Old Style" for violin and orchestra, and the third of his 6 Stücke (Six Pieces), Op. 32, the ever-popular...OK, once-popular "Frühlingsrauschen" ("Rustle of Spring").
Meanwhile, this son of an impoverished Hungarian synagogue cantor became of mainstay of Vienna's musical life as a composer, critic and teacher. Not nearly as prolific as our last composer, this one can be credited with at least four semi-hits: The Violin Concerto, the "Rustic Wedding" Symphony, the opera The Queen of Sheba, and the concert overture "Im Frühling" ("In Springtime"), which we'll hear this morning from Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops.
Dubbed "The Finnish Chopin", this pianist and composer toured widely in Europe and the U.S., taught briefly at the Eastman School and for a longer spell at the Sibelius Academy, and turned out about 250 piano miniatures. One of them, the lovely "May Night" (from the collection "Spring", Op. 57), is just about the only work by him you'll hear nowadays.
Finally, there's the Italian composer, violinist, conductor and teacher whose "O primavera!" will be heard as sung by the great tenor Carlo Bergonzi this morning. Would you like to know more about him? I hope you read Italian!