Music

Beethoven's only opera was performed for the first time on May 23rd, 1814.

Joanna Richardson describes how after he had moved to Paris, Jacques Offenbach, the son of a cantor at the synagogue in Cologne, created an operatic epitome of the Second Empire.

The history of the Bayreuth Festival, the annual celebration of the music of Richard Wagner, is mired in controversy and scandal, as Mark Ronan reports.

J.S. Curtis charts the development of stringed keyboard instruments from the virginal and spinet, to the ‘forte-piano’.

Aileen Ribeiro describes the masquerades and concerts that took place in eighteenth century Soho, as devised by the socialite, opera singer, and adventuress from Vienna. 

Aram Bakshian Jr. profiles a true Venetian, Lorenzo Da Ponte, who, like his associate Casanova, had an extravagant and boldly adventurous career.

Robert Hermstorff describes how Goethe moved to Weimar in 1775 and during the rest of his long life made the small Saxon town the centre of German letters and learning.

Owain Edwards profiles one of the most eminent Italian composers and performers.

Ian Bradley traces the development of the Salvation Army's brass sections.

Jonathan Conlin finds a surprising story of Anglo-French exchange behind the frothing petticoats and high kicks of this most Parisian of dances.