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Music History

               Music History Film Clips

Composer Leo Ornstein (Vanity Fair, 1920)

A profile of Futurist composer Leo Ornstein (1893 – 2002). Ornstein appeared on the New York music scene at a very young age; hailed as a genius by many, he performed to packed houses. In 1917, music critic James Huneker(1860-1921) remarked:

"I never thought I should live to hear Arnold Schoenberg sound tame, yet tame he sounds—almost timid and halting—after Ornstein who is, most emphatically, the only true-blue, genuine, Futurist composer alive."

Leo Ornstein left the public eye by 1925 and was soon forgotten until the 1970s. This Vanity Fair article was written by James L. Buchanan, who had written a number of pieces on Ornstein and his music throughout his career.


Pianists and Piano Playing (Vanity Fair, 1915)

William James Henderson (1855 - 1937) was believed by many to be the greatest music critic of his day, and in this VANITY FAIR article he turns his nib in the direction of the pianists Ignace Paderewski (1860 - 1941), Harold Bauer (1873 - 1951), Ferruccio Busoni (1866 – 1924) and Josef Hofmann (1876 - 1957).

A 1938 article about Paderewski can be read HERE...


Giacomo Puccini (Vanity Fair, 1915)

A two page profile of the fifty seven year-old opera composer, Giacomo Puccini (1858 - 1924). Published at a time when his most popular work was behind him, the article centers on the composer's career; from Puccini's first opera, La Ville (1884) to his most recent, The Little Wooden Shoes.


Phonograph Advocate: Sir Edward Elgar (Current Opinion, 1921)

"Sir Edward Elgar (1857 – 1934), the noted composer, recently presided at the opening of the new headquarters of a gramophone company in London. Elgar is a great believer in the mechanical reproduction of music, and always conducts for records of his own works."

"What musicians want," he said, "is more listeners."


Sergie Rachmaninoff (Vanity Fair Magazine, 1919)

An uncredited interview with the celebrated Russian composer, Sergie Rachmaninoff (1873 - 1943); his education, family and his work at the Moscow Conservatory as well as the Moscow Grand Theater. Attention is paid to his activities in the United States following his flight from the 1917 Russian Revolution.


Soprano Dorothy Kirsten (Click Magazine, 1943)

Illustrated with a black and white photograph of the 33 year-old soprano was this small notice announcing the discovery of Dorthy Kirsten (1910 - 1992) of Montclair, New Jersey. Kirsten went on to great heights, performing with the Metropolitan Opera for the next thirty years, she would also enjoy some popularity singing duets on the radio with Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Nelson Eddy, and Perry Como.


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