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  • 2016 March 13: Mozart's Remains

    March 13, 2016 10:30

    At three o'clock in the afternoon of December 6, 1791, the body of Mozart received the final benediction in the transept chapel on the north side of St. Stephen's Church in Vienna. A violent storm of snow and rain was raging, and a half-dozen friends — including Salieri, and Mozart's student Sussmayer (who completed his teacher's unfinished Requiem for us) — stood under umbrellas around the bier, which was then carried to the churchyard of St. Mark's. The storm continued to rage so fiercely that the mourners decided to turn back before they reached their destination, and not a friend stood by when the body of Mozart was lowered into the grave. Due to poverty no grave had been bought, and his body was consigned to a common vault made to contain from fifteen to twenty coffins, which were dug up every ten years or so to make room for new. So no stone marks Mozart's final resting place — indeed his mortal remains are completely lost. 

  • 2016 March 6: Love Divine

    March 06, 2016 10:30

    After their marriage, Charles Wesley (1707-1788) and his wife Sally set up housekeeping in Bristol, England, heading up the Methodist activities there. Later they moved to London so Charles could work more closely with his brother John. All the while he was writing hymns. There are few stories behind specific hymns because Charles was just always writing them, needing neither events to inspire him nor stretches of meditative time to develop his ideas. He was just always writing hymns. (more )

  • 2016 February 28: "Moonlight Sonata"

    February 28, 2016 10:30

    The "Moonlight Sonata" has become standard fare for beginning piano students (including yours truly!) so we've all heard it played — um — less than skillfully. I thought you might enjoy hearing it played well. In this piece it never ceases to amaze me how Ludwig uses such simple musical materials to weave so enchanting a spell. (more )

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