Today in musical history
Famous composers' birthdays and fantastic facts about them (molto emphasis on fantastic, non troppo emphasis on facts). If you want to know something worthwhile about your favorite composer, well then, you're on-line--go look them up. Otherwise, if you just want to kill time, click away here.
Today in 1742, in Dublin, Ireland, George Frideric Handel's oratorio Messiah was first performed. (An oratorio is like an opera, but without the supertitles and sans the horned helmets.) How apropos that the Messiah was first performed in wet-weather April, huh? "And it shall rain for-e-ver and e-e-e-e-ver." T.S. Eliot, by the way, liked April rains. He wrote, "April is the coolest month." (And got paid for it.)
Film scorer and songwriter Enrico Nicola "Hank" Mancini born today in 1924. (His friends called him "Mr. Mancini.") He penned such immortal numbers as Spoon River from the movie Breakfast Bowl at Tiffany's and The Pink Panther Theme from Touch of Evil (I think I got that right...)
The opera Iphegenia in Aulis by Christoph Willibald Gluck premiered today in Paris in 1774. Some people consider Gluck's operas to be the "...foreshadowing of the romantic movement that would engulf Germanic central Europe and emanate world-wide in the decades to come." (Pithy quote that I just made up.)