Music

Beethoven

History of Beethoven: 250th Anniversary — 5 Things You Didn’t Know

By billpetro / December 17, 2020 /

HISTORY OF BEETHOVEN: 250TH ANNIVERSARY — 5 THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW The renowned German composer and virtuoso pianist Ludwig van Beethoven celebrates his 250th anniversary today. Anniversary of what? Here are 5 things you may not have known about the famous composer who came to fame between the Classical and Romantic periods of European music.  …

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History of Christmas Music: More than just Carols?

By billpetro / December 4, 2020 /

HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS MUSIC Music early became a marked feature of the Christmas season. But the first chants, litanies, and hymns were in Latin and deemed too theological for popular use. Under Francis of Assisi’s influence in the 13th century, we began to see the rise of the carol written in the vernacular. The word carol comes…

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Covent Garden Theatre inside

History of A Sacred Oratorio: How was popular Christmas music considered scandalous and profane?

By billpetro / December 3, 2020 /

HISTORY OF A SACRED ORATORIO The genteel reception accorded the original debut performance stood in marked contrast to the savage hostility which greeted the work less than a year later in the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, London. The English aristocracy and churchmen began an unrelenting campaign against the work and its creator. They labeled…

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History of Woodstock: Over 50 Years Ago

By billpetro / August 15, 2020 /

HISTORY OF WOODSTOCK August 15 marks the anniversary of the “3 Days of Peace & Music” held in 1969 at Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm in the rural town of Bethel, New York, southwest of the village of Woodstock. I’d like to share with you what it was like to be there — the music,…

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Hamilton -- The Musical

History of Hamilton – The Musical

By billpetro / July 3, 2020 /

HISTORY OF HAMILTON – THE MUSICAL Hamilton – The Musical, how accurate historically is the recent Broadway blockbuster, currently available on Disney+ TV?  It’s based on the 2004 biography of Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow, but does Hamilton – The Musical compare favorably to the actual history? The Set-Up As an aficionado of musical theatre…

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AH

History of Alexander Hamilton

By billpetro / July 2, 2020 /

HISTORY OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON Alexander Hamilton has gained new popularity recently, in large part due to the 2015 Broadway musical “Hamilton” by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Birth of Alexander Hamilton He was born in Charlestown, Nevis, in the Caribbean, out of wedlock to Rachel Faucette, of British & French Huguenot descent. She had been married to and…

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History of the Summer of Love — 1967: Part 4, Rock & Roll

By billpetro / June 29, 2020 /

HISTORY OF THE SUMMER OF LOVE — 1967: PART 4, ROCK & ROLL It was twenty years ago today Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play They’ve been going in and out of style But they’re guaranteed to raise a smile Rock & roll in the ’60s was exemplified when The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper’s…

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History of the Summer of Love — 1967: Part 3, Drugs

By billpetro / June 28, 2020 /

HISTORY OF THE SUMMER OF LOVE — 1967: DRUGS When I was a Resident Assistant at Berkeley in the early ’70s, a local police officer I knew gave me a tour down Telegraph Avenue. He told me: “All the major drug deals on the West Coast go down within a two-block stretch of Telegraph Avenue.…

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History of the Summer of Love — 1967: Part 1 – Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll

By billpetro / June 26, 2020 /

HISTORY OF THE SUMMER OF LOVE — 1967: SEX, DRUGS, AND ROCK & ROLL The Summer of Love was fifty-three years ago, the Summer of 1967, with its epicenter in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. It was a summer of sex, drugs, and rock & roll. Both San Francisco and Liverpool celebrated it in 1997. While…

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