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On the Bochsa Requiem

After Napoleon was first defeat­ed by a coali­tion of Euro­pean pow­ers in 1814, the coali­tion restored the throne of France to Louis XVIII on 6 April 1814. Louis XVIII returned to Paris on 24 April 1814 and the sub­se­quent cel­e­bra­tion of the Bour­bon Restora­tion was the occa­sion for a Motet, by Bochsa, “Com­posed for the cel­e­bra­tion of the Apothéose of Louis XVI and the Hap­py Return of the Bour­bons”.

After “The Hun­dred Days,” dur­ing which Napoleon attempt­ed to regain con­trol, anoth­er, much larg­er cel­e­bra­tion was held on 15 Jan­u­ary 1815 cen­tered on the rebur­ial of the remains of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. It was for this cel­e­bra­tion that Bochsa and Cheru­bi­ni com­posed Requiems in hon­or of Louis XVI.

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On the Weber March in C

This orig­i­nal march for wind band, scored for flute, 2 oboes, 2 clar­inets, 2 horns, 2 bas­soons, 2 trum­pets and a trom­bone, may be the final com­po­si­tion of this famous Ger­man com­pos­er, who died on 5 June 1826 in Lon­don. Already seri­ous­ly ill, Weber went to Lon­don for the 12 April 1826 pre­miere of his opera, Oberon.1 The fol­low­ing month, on 13 May, there was an annu­al din­ner of the Roy­al Soci­ety of Musi­cians. The famous pianist, and teacher of Mendelssohn, Ignaz Moscheles (1794–1870), wrote of this din­ner,

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  1. Many musi­cians will be sur­prised to know that the orig­i­nal libret­to of this most famous opera by Weber was in Eng­lish. []
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On the Schumann Abschied zu singen

This won­der­ful work for cho­rus and winds was com­posed after Schu­mann and his fam­i­ly moved to Dres­den in Decem­ber 1844. It was soon after this move that the health of Schu­mann began to sink. His doc­tor, Dr. Hel­big, record­ed that Schu­mann suf­fered from exhaus­tion, insom­nia, audi­to­ry delu­sions, depres­sion, tremors and var­i­ous pho­bias. All this the doc­tor attrib­uted to Schumann’s con­cen­tra­tion on com­po­si­tion which the doc­tor urged Schu­mann to aban­don. For­tu­nate­ly Schu­mann did not fol­low this advice for this became a very pro­duc­tive peri­od of six years in which more than one third of his com­po­si­tions were cre­at­ed.

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