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The Proms – Historical Newspaper Reports of the Promenade Concerts in 1941

‘If music be the food of life, then play on.’ The 118th season of the Proms starts tonight at the Royal Albert Hall. To celebrate this wonderful event, we’ve posted two newspaper reports about the 1941 Proms. Due to fire damage during ‘the Blitz, the Proms were moved that year from Queen’s Hall to the Royal Albert Hall. In the first of these reports, you can read about the concerns that were raised regarding the inferior acoustics of the Royal

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The Death of Clara Schumann – 20 May 1896

‘This child has a great future before her, and she will put many great musicians in the shade’ – Paganini The German pianist and composer, Clara Schumann, suffered a stroke and died in Frankfurt on 20 May 1896, aged 76. We’ve been reading stories about Madame Schumann in the Archive and we especially liked this first report, as it contains a terrific comment from Paganini about her brilliant piano playing. The second report contains a description of her funeral in Bonn,

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Beethoven – Portrait, Description and His Views on England

With the Beethoven cycle taking place at the Proms this week, we thought we’d post another story to complement the wonderful tale about the muse for the ‘Moonlight Sonata’. The portrait/description and story included below come from ‘The Beethoven Centennial’ in 1927. At this time, there was a major reappraisal of his work. In the description of Beethoven that accompanies the portrait, we loved learning that although ‘no beauty’, he could still make ‘Adonises fume in the background’! It was

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The Muse for the ‘Moonlight Sonata’ or a “Shaggy Beethoven’s Tale”?…

With the Proms taking place at the moment, we thought we’d post a historical newspaper story about Beethoven. The report tells the story of how Beethoven received his inspiration to write the beautiful ‘Moonlight Sonata’ The thing is, we’re not sure if it’s true – for it does seem to be one of those famous “Shaggy Beethoven’s Tales”. We dearly wish it to be true, though! But even if it’s not true, it’s still a wonderful tale. Perhaps some music

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