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  • 2019 January 13: Bach & Bannister

    January 13, 2019 10:30

    One of the unique features of the organ is a keyboard played by the feet to supply the bass. The pipe organ goes back to Roman days (in a primitive form) but a keyboard for the feet was a much later development. Along the eons there were various intermediary forms of pedal keyboards (e.g. only an octave, the pedal keys so short that only the toes could play them), but by the 18th century attention turned to a full-fledged keyboard for the feet — particularly in northern Germany which was Bach's (pedal-)stomping ground. (more )

  • 2018 December 23: Brahms "Lo How a Rose E'er Blooming"

    December 18, 2018 22:30

    Johannes Brahms was born into a poor family. He showed musical aptitude, and his father provided music lessons. Brahms himself later told stories about earning money for his family by playing piano in bars and houses of ill-repute (there being no recorded music at the time, so if music was wanted, someone had to play it). (more )

  • 2018 December 16: Mikael Franzen

    December 16, 2018 10:30

    Frans Mikael Franzen (1772-1847) was a Swedish poet born in Finland. At thirteen he entered the university of Abo, where he attended the lectures of H. G. Porthan (1739-1804), a pioneer in the study of Finnish history and legend. Franzen graduated age 17. Three years later he embarked on a tour of Denmark, Germany, France and England, returning in 1796 (age 24) to accept the office of university librarian at Abo. In 1801 he became professor of history and ethics, and in 1808 (age 36) was elected a member of the Swedish Academy. (more )

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