Chamber music is a form of classical music that is composed for a small group of instruments—traditionally a group that could fit in a palace chamber or a large room. Most broadly, it includes any art music that is performed by a number of performers. However, by convention, it usually does not include solo instrument performances, because of its intimate nature, chamber music has been described as the music of friends. Playing chamber music requires special skills, both musical and social, that differ from the skills required for playing solo or symphonic works, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe described chamber music as four rational people conversing. The analogy to conversation recurs in descriptions and analyses of chamber music compositions, from its earliest beginnings in the Medieval period to the present, chamber music has been a reflection of the changes in the technology and the society that produced it. During the Middle Ages and the early Renaissance, instruments were used primarily as accompaniment for singers, String players would play along with the melody line sung by the singer.
There were purely instrumental ensembles, often of stringed precursors of the violin family, some analysts consider the origin of classical instrumental ensembles to be the sonata da camera and the sonata da chiesa. These were compositions for one to five or more instruments, the sonata da camera was a suite of slow and fast movements, interspersed with dance tunes, the sonata da chiesa was the same, but the dances were omitted. These forms gradually developed into the trio sonata of the Baroque – two treble instruments and an instrument, often with a keyboard or other chording instrument filling in the harmony. Both the bass instrument and the instrument would play the basso continuo part. During the Baroque period, chamber music as a genre was not clearly defined, works could be played on any variety of instruments, in orchestral or chamber ensembles. The Art of Fugue by Johann Sebastian Bach, for example, sometimes composers mixed movements for chamber ensembles with orchestral movements.
Telemanns Tafelmusik, for example, has five sets of movements for various combinations of instruments, Baroque chamber music was often contrapuntal, that is, each instrument played the same melodic materials at different times, creating a complex, interwoven fabric of sound. Because each instrument was playing essentially the same melodies, all the instruments were equal, in the trio sonata, there is often no ascendent or solo instrument, but all three instruments share equal importance. In the second half of the 18th century, tastes began to change, many preferred a new, lighter Galant style. And clearly defined melody and bass to the complexities of counterpoint, now a new custom arose that gave birth to a new form of chamber music, the serenade. Patrons invited street musicians to play evening concerts below the balconies of their homes, their friends and musicians commissioned composers to write suitable suites of dances and tunes, for groups of two to five or six players. These works were called serenades, divertimenti, or cassations, the young Joseph Haydn was commissioned to write several of these
The Holocaust, referred to as the Shoah, was a genocide in which some six million European Jews were killed by Adolf Hitlers Nazi Germany, and the World War II collaborators with the Nazis. The victims included 1.5 million children, and represented about two-thirds of the nine million Jews who had resided in Europe, killings took place throughout German-occupied Europe, as well as within Nazi Germany, and across all territories controlled by its allies. Other victims of Nazi crimes included ethnic Poles and other Slavs, Soviet citizens and Soviet POWs, homosexuals, Jehovahs Witnesses, some 42,500 detention facilities were utilized in the concentration of victims for the purpose of gross violations of human rights. Over 200,000 people are estimated to have been Holocaust perpetrators, the persecution was carried out in stages, culminating in the policy of extermination of European Jews termed the Final Solution to the Jewish Question. Following Hitlers rise to power, the German government passed laws to exclude Jews from civil society, starting in 1933 the Nazis began to establish a network of concentration camps.
After the outbreak of war in 1939 both German and foreign Jews were herded into wartime ghettos, in 1941, as Germany began to conquer new territory in the East, all anti-Jewish measures radicalized. Specialized paramilitary units called Einsatzgruppen murdered around two million Jews in mass shootings actions in less than a year, by mid-1942, victims were being regularly transported by freight trains to extermination camps where, if they survived the journey, most were systematically killed in gas chambers. This continued until the end of World War II in Europe in April–May 1945, the most notable exception was the Warsaw Ghetto uprising of 1943, when thousands of poorly-armed Jewish fighters held the Waffen-SS at bay for four weeks. An estimated 20, 000–30,000 Jewish partisans actively fought against the Nazis, French Jews took part in the French Resistance, which conducted a guerilla campaign against the Nazis and Vichy French authorities. Over a hundred armed Jewish uprisings took place, the term holocaust comes from the Greek adjective holókaustos, a variant of holókautos, referring to an animal sacrifice offered to a god in which the whole animal is completely burnt.
Often used substantively in apposition with the noun thysia, the term appears in a fragment of pseudo-Callisthenes, writing in Latin, Jerome Latinized the Greek word as a neuter noun holocaustum, using it to translate references to the Jewish burnt offering in his translations of Exodus and Leviticus. In his Chronicon de rebus gestis Ricardi Primi, Richard of Devizes, the English poet John Milton had used the word to denote a conflagration in his 1671 poem Samson Agonistes and the word gradually developed to mean a massacre thereon. The term was used in the 1950s by historians as a translation of the Jewish word shoah to refer specifically to the Nazi genocide of Jews, the television mini-series Holocaust is credited with introducing the term into common parlance after 1978. The biblical word shoah, meaning calamity became the standard Hebrew term for the Holocaust as early as the 1940s, especially in Europe and Israel. Shoah is preferred by some Jews for several reasons including the offensive nature of the word holocaust which they take to refer to the Greek pagan custom.
The Nazis used the phrase Final Solution to the Jewish Question, all branches of Germanys bureaucracy were engaged in the logistics that led to the genocides, turning the Third Reich into what one Holocaust scholar, Michael Berenbaum, has called a genocidal state. Every arm of the countrys sophisticated bureaucracy was involved in the killing process, as prisoners entered the death camps, they were made to surrender all personal property, which was catalogued and tagged before being sent to Germany to be reused or recycled. Berenbaum writes that the Final Solution of the Jewish question was in the eyes of the perpetrators, through a concealed account, the German National Bank helped launder valuables stolen from the victims
Alban Maria Johannes Berg was an Austrian composer of the Second Viennese School. His compositional style combined Romantic lyricism with twelve-tone technique, Berg was born in Vienna, the third of four children of Johanna and Conrad Berg. His family lived comfortably until the death of his father in 1900 and he was more interested in literature than music as a child and did not begin to compose until he was fifteen, when he started to teach himself music. In late February or early March 1902 he fathered a child with Marie Scheuchl and his daughter, was born on December 4,1902. Berg had little formal education before he became a student of Arnold Schoenberg in October 1904. With Schoenberg he studied counterpoint, music theory, and harmony, by 1906, he was studying music full-time, by 1907, he began composition lessons. His student compositions included five drafts for piano sonatas and he wrote songs, including his Seven Early Songs, three of which were Bergs first publicly performed work in a concert that featured the music of Schoenbergs pupils in Vienna that year.
The early sonata sketches eventually culminated in Bergs Piano Sonata, Op.1, Berg studied with Schoenberg for six years until 1911. Berg admired him as a composer and mentor, and they remained lifelong friends. Among Schoenbergs teaching was the idea that the unity of a musical composition depends upon all its aspects being derived from a basic idea. The Piano Sonata is a whole composition is derived from the works opening quartal gesture. Berg was a part of Viennas cultural elite during the fin de siècle period. His circle included the musicians Alexander von Zemlinsky and Franz Schreker, the painter Gustav Klimt, the writer and satirist Karl Kraus, the architect Adolf Loos, and the poet Peter Altenberg. In 1906, Berg met the singer Helene Nahowski, daughter of a family, despite the outward hostility of her family. In 1913, two of Bergs Five Songs on Picture Postcard Texts by Peter Altenberg were premièred in Vienna, settings of aphoristic poetic utterances, the songs are accompanied by a very large orchestra.
The performance caused a riot, and had to be halted, the full score remained unpublished until 1966. From 1915 to 1918, Berg served in the Austro-Hungarian Army and during a period of leave in 1917 he accelerated work on his first opera, after the end of World War I, he settled again in Vienna, where he taught private pupils. Berg had a particular interest in the number 23, using it to several works
Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich was a Russian pianist and composer of the Soviet period. He is regarded as one of the composers of the 20th century. Shostakovich achieved fame in the Soviet Union under the patronage of Soviet chief of staff Mikhail Tukhachevsky, nevertheless, he received accolades and state awards and served in the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union. A polystylist, Shostakovich developed a voice, combining a variety of different musical techniques into his works. Shostakovichs orchestral works include 15 symphonies and six concerti and his chamber output includes 15 string quartets, a piano quintet, two piano trios, and two pieces for string octet. His solo piano works include two sonatas, an set of preludes, and a set of 24 preludes and fugues. Born at Podolskaya street in Saint Petersburg, Shostakovich was the second of three children of Dmitri Boleslavovich Shostakovich and Sofiya Vasilievna Kokoulina, Shostakovichs paternal grandfather, originally surnamed Szostakowicz, was of Polish Roman Catholic descent, but his immediate forebears came from Siberia.
When his term of exile ended, Szostakowicz decided to remain in Siberia and he eventually became a successful banker in Irkutsk and raised a large family. His son, Dmitri Boleslavovich Shostakovich, the father, was born in exile in Narim in 1875 and studied physics and mathematics in Saint Petersburg University. He went to work as an engineer under Dmitri Mendeleev at the Bureau of Weights, in 1903 he married another Siberian transplant to the capital, Sofiya Vasilievna Kokoulina, one of six children born to a Russian Siberian native. Their son, Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich, displayed significant musical talent after he began lessons with his mother at the age of nine. In 1918 he wrote a march in memory of two leaders of the Kadet party, murdered by Bolshevik sailors. In 1919, at the age of thirteen, he was allowed to enter the Petrograd Conservatory, headed by Alexander Glazunov, Shostakovich attended Alexander Ossovskys history of music classes. Steinberg tried to guide Shostakovich in the path of the great Russian composers and he suffered for his perceived lack of political zeal, and initially failed his exam in Marxist methodology in 1926.
His first major achievement was the First Symphony, written as his graduation piece at the age of nineteen. After graduation, Shostakovich initially embarked on a career as concert pianist and composer. He nevertheless won a mention at the First International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 1927. He explained the disappointment at the competition to suffering from appendicitis and he had his appendix removed in April 1927
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a union of national republics, but its government. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 and this established the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic and started the Russian Civil War between the revolutionary Reds and the counter-revolutionary Whites. In 1922, the communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Ukrainian, following Lenins death in 1924, a collective leadership and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all opposition to his rule, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization which laid the foundation for its victory in World War II and postwar dominance of Eastern Europe. Shortly before World War II, Stalin signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, in June 1941, the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history.
Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin in 1945, the territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged by 1947 as the Soviet bloc confronted the Western states that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalins death in 1953, a period of political and economic liberalization, known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchevs Thaw, the country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took a lead in the Space Race with Sputnik 1, the first ever satellite, and Vostok 1. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, the war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost.
The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing the economic stagnation, the Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well, in August 1991, a coup détat was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a role in facing down the coup. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states
Gstaad is a village in the German-speaking section of the Canton of Bern in southwestern Switzerland. It is part of the municipality of Saanen and is known as a ski resort and a popular destination amongst high society. The winter campus of the Institute Le Rosey is located in Gstaad, Gstaad has a population of about 9,200 and is located 1,050 metres above sea level. During the Middle Ages it was part of the district of Saanen belonging to the Savoyard county of Gruyère, the village core developed at the fork in the trails into the Valais and Vaud. It had an inn, a warehouse for storing trade goods, the St. Nicholas chapel was built in the village in 1402, while the murals are from the second half of the 15th century. The village was dominated by farming and agriculture until the great fire of 1898. It was rebuilt to support the tourism industry. The construction of the Montreux-Oberland Bernois rail road in 1905 and the construction of ski runs, the first ski school in Gstaad open in 1923. In a short time there were more than 1,000 hotel beds in the region, the residents, hoteliers and tourist offices helped to promote Gstaad to international attention.
They supported the construction of ice rinks, tennis courts, swimming pools, ski jumps and ski, the first ski lifts at Funi opened in 1934-44, and was followed by a number of gondolas and chair lifts. The Gstaad Palace opened in 1913 as Gstaads first luxury hotel, in 1942 the Saanen-Gstaad airfield was opened for military and civil aviation. Helicopter rides were added and in 1980 balloon flights became available as well, during the World Wars and the Great Depression, the tourism industry suffered and many hotels closed. After World War II, many of the large hotels remained closed, most of the modern resorts and small hotels are built out of wood and retain traditional design elements. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Gstaad has a continental climate. Situated in the Berner Oberland, Gstaad is home to one of the largest ski areas in the Alps, the middle of the village features a picturesque promenade bounded by numerous shops, art galleries, and hotels. Long known for its walking and hiking trails of varying degrees of difficulty, Gstaad is known for its ski and cross-country slopes and winter hiking trails.
Gstaad, named The Place by Time magazine in the 1960s, is known for its famous part-time residents. Buckley, Jr. and various members of the House of Cavendish, many British bands and musicians would play at LAtelier, a club in Gstaad, in the 1960s and 1970s, one such band was Merlin Q, who stayed a whole winter
Brussels, officially the Brussels-Capital Region, is a region of Belgium comprising 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels which is the capital of Belgium. The Brussels-Capital Region is a part of both the French Community of Belgium and the Flemish Community, but is separate from the region of Flanders or Wallonia. The region has a population of 1.2 million and an area with a population of over 1.8 million. Brussels is the de facto capital of the European Union as it hosts a number of principal EU institutions, the secretariat of the Benelux and the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are located in Brussels. Today, it is considered an Alpha global city, historically a Dutch-speaking city, Brussels has seen a language shift to French from the late 19th century onwards. Today, the majority language is French, and the Brussels-Capital Region is a bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. All road signs, street names, and many advertisements and services are shown in both languages, Brussels is increasingly becoming multilingual with increasing numbers of migrants and minority groups speaking their own languages.
The most common theory of the origin of Brussels name is that it derives from the Old Dutch Broekzele or Broeksel, meaning marsh, Saint Vindicianus, the bishop of Cambrai made the first recorded reference to the place Brosella in 695 when it was still a hamlet. The origin of the settlement that was to become Brussels lies in Saint Gaugericus construction of a chapel on an island in the river Senne around 580. The official founding of Brussels is usually situated around 979, when Duke Charles of Lower Lotharingia transferred the relics of Saint Gudula from Moorsel to the Saint Gaugericus chapel, Charles would construct the first permanent fortification in the city, doing so on that same island. Lambert I of Leuven, Count of Leuven gained the County of Brussels around 1000 by marrying Charles daughter, as it grew to a population of around 30,000, the surrounding marshes were drained to allow for further expansion. The Counts of Leuven became Dukes of Brabant at about this time, in the 13th century, the city got its first walls.
After the construction of the city walls in the early 13th century, to let the city expand, a second set of walls was erected between 1356 and 1383. Today, traces of it can still be seen, mostly because the small ring, Brabant had lost its independence, but Brussels became the Princely Capital of the prosperous Low Countries, and flourished. In 1516 Charles V, who had been heir of the Low Countries since 1506, was declared King of Spain in St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral in Brussels. Upon the death of his grandfather, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor in 1519 and it was in the Palace complex at Coudenberg that Charles V abdicated in 1555. This impressive palace, famous all over Europe, had expanded since it had first become the seat of the Dukes of Brabant. In 1695, during the Nine Years War, King Louis XIV of France sent troops to bombard Brussels with artillery, together with the resulting fire, it was the most destructive event in the entire history of Brussels
Astor Pantaleón Piazzolla was an Argentine tango composer, bandoneon player, and arranger. His oeuvre revolutionized the traditional tango into a new style termed nuevo tango, incorporating elements from jazz, a virtuoso bandoneonist, he regularly performed his own compositions with a variety of ensembles. In 1992, American music critic Stephen Holden described Piazzolla as the worlds foremost composer of tango music, Piazzolla was born in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in 1921, the only child of Italian immigrant parents, Vicente Nonino Piazzolla and Asunta Manetti. His mother was the daughter of two Italian immigrants from Lucca in Tuscany and his parents worked long hours and Piazzolla soon learned to take care of himself on the streets despite having a limp. At home he would listen to his fathers records of the orchestras of Carlos Gardel and Julio de Caro. He began to play the bandoneon after his father spotted one in a New York pawn shop in 1929, after their return to New York City from a brief visit to Mar del Plata in 1930, the family moved to Little Italy in lower Manhattan.
In 1932 Piazzolla composed his first tango, La Catinga, the following year he took music lessons with the Hungarian classical pianist Bela Wilda, a student of Rachmaninoff who taught him to play Bach on his bandoneon. In 1934 he met Carlos Gardel, one of the most important figures in the history of tango, Gardel invited the young bandoneon player to join him on his tour. Much to Piazzollas dismay, his father decided that he was not old enough to go along, the disappointment of being forbidden to join the tour proved to be fortunate, as it was on this tour in 1935 that Gardel and his entire orchestra perished in a plane crash. In years, Piazzolla made light of this near miss, joking that if his father had not been so careful, Piazzolla would be playing the harp rather than the bandoneon. In 1936, he returned with his family to Mar del Plata, Vardaro’s novel interpretation of tango made a great impression on Piazzolla and years he would become Piazzolla’s violinist in his Orquesta de Cuerdas and his First Quintet.
Piazzolla was employed as a replacement for Toto Rodríguez who was ill. Apart from playing the bandoneon, Piazzolla became Troilo’s arranger, by 1941 he was earning a good wage, enough to pay for music lessons with Alberto Ginastera, an eminent Argentine composer of classical music. During his five years of study with Ginastera he mastered orchestration and that same year he married his first wife, Dedé Wolff, an artist, with whom he had two children and Daniel. As time went by Troilo began to fear that the musical ideas of the young bandoneonist might undermine the style of his orchestra. Tensions mounted between the two bandoneonists until, in 1944, Piazzolla announced his intention to leave Troilo and join the orchestra of the tango singer and bandoneonist Francisco Fiorentino. Piazzolla would lead Fiorentinos orchestra until 1946 and make recordings with him. Having disbanded his first orchestra in 1950 he almost abandoned tango altogether as he continued to study Bartok and Stravinsky and he spent a lot of time listening to jazz and searching for a musical style of his own beyond the realms of tango
Lockenhaus is a town in the district of Oberpullendorf in the Austrian state of Burgenland. The town is known for the annual Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival founded by violinist Gidon Kremer. The town was part of Hungary since the foundation of the kingdom in the year 1000, since 1898 the name Léka had to be used because of the Magyarization by the government in Budapest. After World War I Deutsch-Westungarn became part of Austria when the Treaty of Trianon deprived Hungary of about 70% of the territory which it had held for more than nine centuries, burg Lockenhaus Church of St. Nikolaus, Lockenhaus Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival
Martha Argerich is an Argentine virtuoso pianist, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest pianists of the second half of the 20th century. Argerich was born in Buenos Aires and her paternal ancestors were Catalans based in Buenos Aires since the 18th century. The provenance of the name Argerich is Catalonia and she started playing the piano at age three. At the age of five, she moved to teacher Vincenzo Scaramuzza, Argerich gave her debut concert in 1949 at the age of eight. The family moved to Europe in 1955, where Argerich studied with Friedrich Gulda in Austria, juan Perón, the president of Argentina, made their decision possible by appointing her parents to diplomatic posts in the Argentine Embassy in Vienna. She studied with Stefan Askenase and Maria Curcio, Argerich seized opportunities for brief periods of coaching with Madeleine Lipatti, Abbey Simon, and Nikita Magaloff. In 1957, at sixteen, she won both the Geneva International Music Competition and the Ferruccio Busoni International Competition, within three weeks of each other and her greatest influence was Gulda, with whom she studied for 18 months.
Argerich gave her debut concert at the age of 8, playing a concerto by Mozart, Argerich rose to international prominence when she won the seventh International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 1965, at age 24. In that same year, she debuted in the United States in Lincoln Centers Great Performers Series. In 1960, she had made her first commercial recording, which included works by Chopin, Ravel, Prokofiev, in 1967, she recorded Chopins Polonaise, Op.53. Argerich has often remarked in interviews of feeling lonely on stage during solo performances, since the 1980s, she has staged few solo performances, concentrating instead on concertos and, in particular, chamber music, and collaborating with instrumentalists in sonatas. She is noted especially for her recordings of 20th-century works by such as Rachmaninoff, Messiaen. One notable compilation pairs Rachmaninoffs Piano Concerto No.3 with Tchaikovskys Piano Concerto No.1, Argerich is famous for her interpretation of Prokofievs Piano Concerto No.
3, Ravels Piano Concerto in G, and Bachs Partita No.2 in C minor, Argerich has promoted younger pianists, both through her annual festival and through her appearances as a member of the jury at international competitions. She has supported artists including Gabriela Montero, Mauricio Vallina, Sergio Tiempo, Gabriele Baldocci, Christopher Falzone. Argerich is president of the International Piano Academy Lake Como and performs each year at the Lugano Festival and she created and has been General Director of the Argerich Music Festival and Encounter in Beppu, since 1996. Her aversion to the press and publicity has resulted in her out of the limelight for most of her career. Nevertheless, she is recognized as one of the greatest pianists of her time