08-27: Terrorizer : World Downfall 1989 - Josquin L'homme armé Masses : Tallis Scholars - Ella Fitzgerald Whisper Not 1967 - Beethoven Choral Fantasy : Serkin / Bernstein 1962

To represent Joan Cererols, I used the Basilica of Montserrat, his place of burial. Tagged image here.

1521 – Josquin des Prez (Franco-Flemish composer)
1680 – Joan Cererols (Spanish composer & Benedictine monk)
1746 – Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer (German composer & keyboardist)
1841 – Ignaz von Seyfried (Austrian conductor & composer, pupil of Mozart, friend of Beethoven)
1846 – Frantiszek Ścigalski (Polish composer, violinist & conductor)
1846 – Gottfried Wilhelm Fink (German theologian, poet, composer, writer & lecturer on music & music editor)
1855 – Francisco Eduardo da Costa (Portuguese pianist & composer)
1865 – Józef Nowakowski (Polish composer, pianist & teacher, friend of Chopin)
1867 – Karol Kątski (Polish violinist & composer)
1868 – Franz Xaver Schnyder von Wartensee (Swiss composer, pianist, conductor & writer on music)
1883 – August Friedrich Pott (German violinist & composer)
1887 – Wilhelm Volkmar (German organist & composer)
1922 – Carl Fuchs (German cellist, composer, teacher & writer on music)
1948 – Oscar Lorenzo Fernández (Brazilian composer, violinist, pianist, cellist & academician)
1948 – Oley Speaks (American songwriter & baritone singer)
1953 – Nicolai Berezowsky (Russian-born American violinist, composer & conductor)
1958 – Nina Garelli (Italian operatic soprano)
1962 – Carlos Lavín (Chilean composer & musicologist)
1964 – Aleksey Zhivotov (Russian composer)
1965 – Otto Reinhold (German composer)
1967 – Brian Epstein (English music entrepreneur & manager of The Beatles)
1976 – Mukesh (Indian Bollywood playback singer)
1979 – Bolesław Szabelski (Polish composer)
1981 – Joan Edwards (American jazz singer & philanthropist)
1990 – Stevie Ray Vaughan (American blues guitarist & singer)
1991 – Vince Taylor (English rock singer & songwriter, The Playboys, "Brand New Cadillac")
1994 – El Polaco [Roberto Goyeneche] (Argentine tango singer)
1994 – Thomas Hayward (American operatic tenor & teacher)
1995 – Marty Paich (American jazz arranger, pianist, composer & conductor)
1997 – Sotiria Bellou (Greek rebetiko singer)
2005 – Giorgos Mouzakis (Greek songwriter, trumpeter & composer of light music)
2006 – Jesse Pintado (Mexican-born American metal guitarist, Napalm Death)

On August 27th we remember one of history's greatest composers, Josquin; the greatest Spanish composer of Josquin's century, Victoria (who may have died on the 20th, not the 27th - I opted for the earlier date to remember him, considering how full-up the 27th is - I mean, just LOOK at that list); Beatles manager Brian Epstein; Bollywood playback singer Mukesh; Texas blues great Stevie Ray Vaughan; jazz arranger Marty Paich; grindcore guitar pioneer Jesse Pintado of Napalm Death; and a whole lot of other tuneful stiffs...

Such as Gottfried Wilhelm Fink. Fink was, among many other things, both a poet and a composer. Thus, many of his compositions are Lieder for which he set his own poems to music. I have no idea if they're any good. But, it is kind of interesting, and something you don't see every day in a 19th-century composer. Of course, much earlier, you had your medieval poet-composers: your troubadours, your trouvères, your Minnesänger. But eventually a division of labor between writing of lyrics and music became pretty standard, at least for professional songwriters.

Now, for folk musicians - itinerant minstrels, jongleurs, country blues singers and the like - it's always been a little different. But even up until the mid-20th century, lyrics and music of published songs were usually written by separate persons. Songwriters who did both, like Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, and (sometimes) Frank Loesser and Hoagy Carmichael were definitely exceptions to the rule. And that's for pop songwriting. In the classical world, such exceptions are still almost unheard-of, which is why Fink is quite remarkable. Rotten about his surname. With a name like Fink you don't get very far in the English-speaking world. Although in German, it merely means "finch," which is quite lovely. Seriously, take a look at these guys and tell me they aren't the most delightful creatures you've ever seen:

As you can see, some of them are more colorful than others.

Oscar Lorenzo Fernández was a Brazilian composer of Spanish descent. His nationalistic opera Malazarte (1931–33) is considered the first successful Brazilian opera of this type. Its Portuguese libretto by Graça Aranha was for some reason translated into Italian for its 1941 premiere at the Teatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro. In 1936, Fernández founded the Conservatório Brasiliero de Música in Rio, which he directed until you-know-what happened.

Nicolai Berezowsky recalled in his memoire Duet with Nicky that as a young chorister in the Imperial Capella in St. Petersburg, the choir sometimes sang for the family of Tsar Nicholas and Rasputin. He says the choirboys would tear pages from their hymnals to make spit-balls which they would aim at Rasputin. After settling in New York, Berezowsky attended Juilliard and played in the 1st Violin section of the New York Philharmonic. He was a protégé of Serge Koussevitzky, who premiered his symphonies to great acclaim. In his lifetime, he was apparently a better-known composer than Aaron Copland.

Do you know who wrote the music to "On the Road to Mandalay," with words by Rudyard Kipling, that Frank Sinatra recorded for his 1958 album Come Fly With Me? - Oley Speaks. - That's nice, but what was the name of the composer? - Oley Speaks. - Okay, fine. You don't want to tell me his name. But could you at least tell me what this guy Oley is saying? - He's not saying anything. He's been dead for 63 years....

Josquin des Prez. Cribbing from the Wikipedia. Look, I said this blog would contain text. I never claimed it would be my own:
Josquin des Prez [...], often referred to simply as Josquin, was a Franco-Flemish composer of the Renaissance. [...] He was the most famous European composer between Guillaume Dufay and Palestrina, and is usually considered to be the central figure of the Franco-Flemish School. Josquin is widely considered by music scholars to be the first master of the high Renaissance style of polyphonic vocal music that was emerging during his lifetime.

During the 16th century, Josquin gradually acquired the reputation as the greatest composer of the age, his mastery of technique and expression universally imitated and admired. Writers as diverse as Baldassare Castiglione and Martin Luther wrote about his reputation and fame; theorists such as Heinrich Glarean and Gioseffo Zarlino held his style as that best representing perfection. He was so admired that many anonymous compositions were attributed to him by copyists, probably to increase their sales. At least 374 works are attributed to him; it was only after the advent of modern analytical scholarship that some of these mistaken attributions have been challenged, on the basis of stylistic features and manuscript evidence. Yet in spite of Josquin's colossal reputation, which endured until the beginning of the Baroque era and was revived in the 20th century, his biography is shadowy, and we know next to nothing about his personality. The only surviving work which may be in his own hand is a graffito on the wall of the Sistine Chapel, and only one contemporary mention of his character is known, in a letter to Duke Ercole I of Ferrara. [...]

Prior to hiring Josquin, one of Duke Ercole's assistants recommended that he hire Heinrich Isaac instead, since Isaac was easier to get along with, more companionable, was more willing to compose on demand, and would cost significantly less (120 ducats vs. 200). Ercole, however, chose Josquin.
And Heinrich Isaac was no slouch, either. Very great composer. But the Duke didn't want a very great composer, he wanted the very best composer... (Read more below)

Ignaz von Seyfried. Wikipedia again:
His memoirs offer accounts of the first production [...] of Mozart's The Magic Flute, as well as a curious anecdote concerning the composer's s death a few weeks later; see Death of Mozart.[3]

In 1805, Seyfried conducted the première of the original version of Beethoven's Fidelio. Seyfried's memoirs also include some striking tales about Beethoven; see Piano Concerto No. 3 (Beethoven) and Choral Fantasy (Beethoven).
Death of Mozart:
An 1840 letter from the composer Ignaz von Seyfried says that on his last night Mozart was also mentally occupied with his opera The Magic Flute, which was continuing a very successful run following its premiere on September 30. Mozart is said to have whispered the following to Konstanze, mentioning Konstanze's sister Josepha Hofer, the coloratura soprano who premiered the role of the Queen of the Night:

"Quiet, quiet! Hofer is just taking her top F; — now my sister-in-law is singing her second aria, 'Der Hölle Rache'; how strongly she strikes and holds the B-flat: 'Hört! hört! hört! der Mutter Schwur'"[20]

Mozart had heard the opera several times, as he enjoyed taking friends and relatives[21] and would have known in rough terms the times his sister-in-law was singing.
Piano Concerto No. 3 (Beethoven):
The score was incomplete at its first performance. Beethoven's friend, Ignaz von Seyfried, who turned the pages of the music for him that night, later wrote:[1]

 "I saw almost nothing but empty pages; at the most, on one page or another a few Egyptian hieroglyphs wholly unintelligible to me were scribbled down to serve as clues for him; for he played nearly all the solo part from memory since, as was so often the case, he had not had time to set it all down on paper."
Choral Fantasy (Beethoven):
The premiere performance seems to have been a rather troubled one; according to the composer's secretary, Anton Felix Schindler, it "simply fell apart," a result most likely attributable to insufficient rehearsal time. Because of a mistake in the execution of the piece, it was stopped half way through and restarted.[3] In Ignaz von Seyfried's words:[4][5]

"When the master brought out his orchestral Fantasia with choruses, he arranged with me at the somewhat hurried rehearsal, with wet[6] voice-parts as usual, that the second variation should be played without repeat. In the evening, however, absorbed in his creation, he forgot all about the instructions which he had given, repeated the first part while the orchestra accompanied the second, which sounded not altogether edifying. A trifle too late, the Concertmaster, Unrath, noticed the mistake, looked in surprise at his lost companions, stopped playing and called out dryly: ‘Again!’ A little displeased, the violinist Anton Wranitzky asked ‘With repeats?’ ‘Yes,’ came the answer, and now the thing went straight as a string."
That's all they got out of the Bee was a 'Yes'? No flying into one of his famous rages? And just why did he say 'Yes' when he'd already decided 'No'? Very strange... (Read more below)
And will you look at that... more "avant-garde metal." The 26th it was Piggy from Voivod, now the 27th it's Jesse Pintado from Napalm Death. Like I was saying to Wes, a lot of bands that aren't all that much alike get thrown into the "avant-garde" subgenre. Voivod is more toward the progressive metal end of things, while Napalm Death is more in the death metal and grindcore range. In fact, it was Jesse Pintado who apparently coined the term "grindcore" in 1983, before joining Terrorizer, where he played alongside drummer Pete Sandoval, later of Morbid Angel. Both Pintado and Sandoval said "later" to Terrorizer after the band had released only one full-length studio album, 1989's grindcore landmark World Downfall.

Then, after their long runs with Napalm Death and Morbid Angel, the two re-formed Terrorizer in 2005, although they were the only two original members who participated (the group also included bassist Tony Norman of Morbid Angel and Anthony Rezhawk on vocals). But once again, after releasing just one album, Darker Days Ahead, the diabetic Pintado promptly pooped (liver failure), leading to the band's second disbanding. However, in 2009, Terrorizer re-formed once again, with Resistant Culture guitarist Katina Culture replacing Pintado. They signed to the Season of Mist label just a couple months ago, and are set to release their third studio album in 2012. So, let's see... formed in 1986... that's an average of one album every 104 months. Terrorizer. They will core no grind before its time... (Read more below)



  1. I am a Voivod fanatic, but I have not heard much Napalm Death or Terrorizer. I can't think of a reason why not, there's just too much music out there to hear. I think ND is credited for writing the shortest song ever; too short for a cd's blue book standard . Another reason to listen to vinyl. Oh, and thanks for mentioning me in your blog by name. :-)

  2. I was going to write: "Leave a comment, and I'll mention you by name too," but I thought that would be kinda douchey. :D

    You know, I came across some rather disturbing facts about Mozart's death when I was researching, er, stealing from Wikipedia for the bit about Fink. His body became big and swollen, and there was a terrible smell, like he was rotting from the inside, and at the very end Kostanze says he expressed extreme concern to her that he would die without her and their children being provided for, and then finally he projectile-vomited a big arc of brown vomit, and then he was dead. Then when the coroner got to him, his insides were so disintegrated, it wasn't possible to do an autopsy.

  3. Mozart died a very metal death. :-P