Claude Debussy lived between 1862 and 1918. He is considered to be a impressionistic composer, because he tried to capture the mood of the action instead of the action itself, and was known as the Father of Impressionistic Music. Debussy's work influenced another Impressionistic composer, Maurice Ravel.
The French Impressionistic painters like Auguste Renoir were painting at the same time that Debussy was composing and that influenced his music. "Clair de Lune" is a famous example of this as it creates the feeling of rippling water.
Debussy liked to create tonal "impressions" rather than conventional melodies. "Rêverie" was one of his first successes, although the critics of the 1890's said things like "strangeness", "dissonance", "ugliness" and "difficulties" about it, missing the fragile loveliness and vague shimmer which were stylistic innovations.
Debussy was playing piano and composing by the time he was 12.
Lee DeForest was born in 1873 in Council Bluffs, Iowa. We’re sure his
parents had big plans for him; but they could never have realized how their son, Lee,
would change the world.
DeForest seemed to be a born inventor. He held patents for hundreds of different items
including the photoelectric cell and the surgical radio knife. But none had as much impact
on the world as his invention of the electron tube, specifically the triode, a three element
vacuum tube, which later became the audion tube ~~ possibly the most significant invention
that made radio possible.
Wireless radio broadcasting was unthinkable in the early 1900s and DeForest was
considered a fraud. He was arrested for selling stock to underwrite the development of his invention, which no
one believed would work. He was forced into selling the rights to his patent to American Telephone and
Telegraph for $500,000; considered by most to be foolish of AT&T. The rest is history.
Lee DeForest’s 1950 autobiography is called "Father of Radio".
Frederick Delius was born in Bradford, England. His father owned a wool company and hoped that his son would follow a career in business. Delius, however, wanted to study music. In 1884, he left England for Florida, where he worked on a plantation as an orange grower. Delius proved to be a failure as an orange grower, and began supporting himself as a musician. During 1886 - 1887, he composed Florida Suite.
Josquin Des Préz was born around 1440 and he died: August 27, 1521 in Condé-sur-l-Escaut, France.
He was a French/Franco-Flemish composer and generally acknowledged as the greatest
composer of the High Renaissance.
Martin Luther, who had a good knowledge of music, said of Josquin Desprez, "he
alone is the master of the notes, they have to do as he bids them." Indeed, Josquin
was acknowledged by nearly all his contemporaries as the greatest composer of his
time. If so, he stands as the first among many great musicians, for the composers
of what we often term the Netherlands School created one of the richest periods in
Western musical history. His contemporaries -- including Antoine Brumel
(c.1460-c.1515), Pierre de la Rue (c.1460-1518) and Loyset Compčre
(c.1445-1518) -- and the previous generation -- led by Johannes Ockeghem
(c.1410-1497) -- created a style of music that can rightly be compared to the art
of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.
As for Josquin himself, we know surprisingly little of his early life. We know that in
the 1470s he began service in the court of Cardinal Ascanio Sforza, and that by
1489 he was a member of the papal choir in Rome. But we know nothing of his early
training, or even when he came to Italy (it was believed that he came in 1459 as a
choirboy in the Milan cathedral, but it seems that this was a case of mistaken
identity). Later in his life he served Duke Ercole d'Este in Ferrara, and possibly King
Louis XII of France. The final years of his life were spent in the town of
Condé-sur-l'Escaut in northern France (possibly his birthplace). The rest of his
biography is still subject to scholarly speculation.
What we do know is just what Josquin's contemporaries knew: that he created
wonderful music. What stands out most in this music is his care for the words. This
is seen in part by the way he uses imitation to allow each voice to present the text
before the texture becomes too dense to be clear. He also made use of
homophonic textures to give the text an added clarity. Some of his works,
especially his Masses, use the older cantus firmus technique. Here he uses the
borrowed melody to create a huge scaffolding upon which he constructs the other
melodies. Some of these pieces display a high level of technical complexity. At the
same time, he could create pieces of marvelous simplicity and elegance, as he did
so often in his motets and chansons.
Inviolata, integra et casta es Maria
Miserere mei, Deus
Missa "La sol fa re mi" (Agnus Dei II)
Tu solus, qui facis mirabilia
Sacred works, including 18 masses (Missa "La sol fa re mi", 2 L'homme armé
Masses, Missa "Pange lingua"), more than 100 motets
Secular works, including nearly 70 French chansons and settings of German,
Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev lived from 1872 until 1929. He was a ballet impresario, born in Novgorod, Russia. Diaghilev obtained a law degree, but was preoccupied with
the arts. In 1898 he became editor of Mir Iskousstva (World of Art), and during the next few years
arranged exhibitions and concerts of Russian art and music. His permanent company was founded in
1911, and remained perilously in existence for 20 years, triumphantly touring Europe. Many of the
great dancers, composers, and painters of his period contributed to the success of his Ballets Russes.
He also encouraged several major choreographers (eg Fokine, Nijinsky, Balanchine), and gave them
opportunities for artistic collaboration.
Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf lived from 1739 until 1799. He was a composer and violinist.
He had composition lessons from Giuseppe Bonno in his
native Vienna and served as a violinist in the orchestra of the
Prince of Sachsen-Hildburghausen, followed by a position in the
imperial theatre. There followed a period as Kapellmeister to the
Bishop of Grosswardein, where, in 1762, he succeeded Michael Haydn. In 1769 he became
Kapellmeister to the Prince-Bishop of Breslau, at this period acquiring the patent of nobility that
added to the name of Ditters the honorific von Dittersdorf. Conditions in Johannisberg, the seat
of the Prince-Bishop, deteriorated in the political circumstances of the time, and on the death of
his employer in 1795, he moved with his family to join the household of a nobleman in Bohemia.
Gaetano Donizetti was born in in Bergamo, November 29, 1797 and died in Bergamo, April 8, 1848.
Inheriting the bel canto tradition from Rossini, Donizetti's operas are today mostly admired for their
many attractive melodies and fine ensembles. Although he composed over seventy operas, only a
handful have remained in the general repertory, but those are generally regarded as outstanding
examples of the Italian Bel Canto period. Donizetti's most famous opera is surely Lucia di
Lammermoor, based on a novel by Sir Walter Scott. The plot concerns a young girl who is tricked
by her brother into thinking her lover has been unfaithful to her and forces her into a marriage of
political convenience. During the wedding scene, Lucia's lover makes an unexpected entrance, and all
the protagonists give vent to their varied emotions in the celebrated Sextet from Lucia di Lammermoor. As was popular in Italian
opera of the time, Lucia then goes mad, giving the prima donna an opportunity to display great acting and vocal skill in an
The Italian operatic tradition was continued and taken to sublime heights later in the nineteenth century in the works of Giuseppe Verdi.
Guillaume Du Fay was born on August 5, 1397(?) in Cambrai, France and died on November 27, 1474 in Cambrai, France. He was a French composer and was considered the leading composer of the early
The fifteenth century saw the rise of a new musical style, one in which harmonies
began to center on full triads and the setting of the text became an important
concern to composers.
Guillaume Du Fay is one of the most important figures in the
transition from the medieval to Renaissance style, which took place mainly among
composers associated with the rich court of Burgundy. For this reason, Du Fay and
his contemporaries are usually referred to as the "Burgundian School."
Guillaume Du Fay probably received his early musical training in the cathedral choir
at Cambrai, in northern France. But his career took a decidedly international turn
early on. By the age of twenty-five he had gone to Italy. During his years there, he
worked for courts in Pesaro, Ferrara and sang in the Papal choir in Rome. During
that time he also earned a degree in canon law, probably at the University of
Bologna. He spent the latter part of his life back at the cathedral in Cambrai. Du
Fay wrote both sacred and secular music; he is perhaps best known for his cantus
firmus Masses. Before he died, he composed a Requiem Mass (now lost) to be sung
at his funeral, and asked that four of the best singers from the cathedral sing his
motet Ave regina caelorum (Hail, Queen of Heaven) to him on his deathbed.
Du Fay's music set the tone for the Renaissance (one scholar credits him with
defining the "central style" of the period). His triad-based harmonies and arching
melodies create a pleasant balance of melody and harmony. In his sacred music, he
changed the overall sound by a more regular use of four-voice textures. At the
same time, we can still find the medieval concern with structure and isorhythm in
his sacred music, especially his cantus firmus Masses.
Sacred works including at least 7 complete Mass settings, numerous Mass
movements and pairs, 30 motets and 60 other sacred works (hymns, etc.)
Secular works including more than 50 rondeaux, 10 ballades, 4 virelais, 15
Antonín Dvorák's piece, "Humoresque" became one of the most famous pieces ever written nearly overnight. It was later discovered that this could be played simultaneously with Steven Foster's "Way Down Upon the Swanee River".
Dvorák, a native of Bohemia, traveled in the United States in 1892 and found American music to be "magical" and "spacious". When Dvorák visited the United States, he encouraged American composers to use their native music. He himself incorporated folk
melodies into 19th
century Romantic music. His compositions include Slavonic Dances, Fifth Symphony, The Water Nymph, Carnival, Gypsy Melodies.