1881

Birth of Béla Bartók

25 March 1881

Béla Bartók was born in Nagyszentmiklós, Hungary, which is now part of Romania. Béla Bartók is one of the chief figures in Hungarian art music. Not only was he a prolific composer, but also a very distinguished ethnomusicologist, pianist and teacher. A founding figure of 20th century Hungarian musical culture, he is most remembered for his later works which are highly influenced by the folk music of Hungarian, Romanian and Slovak peasants. Bartók’s later works, especially his orchestral and chamber music were fast accepted into the concert repertoire during his own lifetime.

    I. Molto moderato

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    II. Allegretto

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    I. Tempo di ciaccona

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1918

Death of Claude Debussy

25 March 1918

Claude Debussy died of cancer, aged 55. His death coincided with the German Spring Offensive of World War I, in which the Germans carried out a series of attacks along the Western Front. Paris was in the midst of artillery fire and the situation did not allow for a public funeral. Debussy was one of the principal progressive figures in late 19th and early 20th century composition, whose harmonic innovations had a profound effect on generations of musicians and composers.

    I. Anime et tres decide

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    II. Assez vif et bien rythme

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    III. Andantino doucement expressif

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1911

Premiere of Claude Debussy's Children's Corner

25 March 1911

Claude Debussy's Children's Corner was premiered. The six-movement suite for solo piano had been published in 1908 and dedicated to Debussy's daughter Claude-Emma (known as "Chou-Chou"), who was 3 years old at the time. Like Schumann's Kinderszenen, the work is evocative of childhood but not intended to be performed by children. The pieces in Debussy's suite are inspired by childhood themes and some refer to toys in Claude-Emma's toy collection. The work bears the following dedication: "To my dear Chou-Chou, with the tender apologies of her father for what is to follow." Originally meant as an innocent, playful joke, these words acquired a somewhat darker tone following Claude-Emma's death from diphtheria a year after Debussy's own death in 1918.

    Nocturne

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    I. Prelude

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    II. Menuet

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1738

Death of Turlough Carolan

25 March 1738

Irish harper and music collector Turlough Carolan died in Ireland.

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