Classical Music Timeline: 1840s

This is one of a series of postings of important classical music dates, from the 17th century to the present. Included are the date and location of the birth and death of composers, and the premiere date and location of the first public performance of works. When the premiere date and location is unknown, the date or year of completion of the work is given. Though reasonably comprehensive, this is a subjective list, so the choice of composers and works is mine. If you find any errors, or if you can offer a premiere date and location for a work where only the completion date or year is listed, please post a comment here.

1840
May 7 – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) was born in Votkinsk, Russia

September 30 – Johan Svendsen (1840-1911) was born in Oslo, Norway

1841
January 18 – Emmanuel Chabrier (1841-1894) was born in Ambert, France

March 31 – Symphony No. 1 in B♭ major, op. 38, “Spring”, by Robert Schumann (1810-1856) was first performed in Leipzig, Germany

September 8 – Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) was born in Nelahozeves, Czech Republic

October 17 – Symphony No. 5 in B♭ major, D. 485, by Franz Schubert (1797-1828) was first performed in Vienna, Austria

December 6 – The 1st version of Symphony No. 4 in D minor, op. 120 (much preferred by Johannes Brahms) by Robert Schumann (1810-1856) was first performed in Leipzig, Germany

1842
Louise Farrenc (1804-1875) completed Symphony No. 1 in C minor, op. 32

March 3 – Symphony No. 3 in A minor, op. 56, “Scottish”, by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) was first performed in Leipzig, Germany

March 9 – Sinfonia from the opera Nabucco by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) was first performed in Milan, Italy

May 12 – Jules Massenet (1842-1912) was born in Saint-Étienne, France

December 9Ruslan and Lyudmila, opera by Mikhail Glinka (1804-1857), was first performed in Saint Petersburg, Russia

1843
January 8 – Piano Quintet in E♭ major, op. 44 by Robert Schumann (1810-1856) was first performed in Leipzig, Germany

June 15 – Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) was born in Bergen, Norway

1844
Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) completed Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor, op. 58

February 21 – Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937) was born in Lyon, France

March 10 – Pablo de Sarasate (1844-1908) was born in Pamplona, Spain

March 18 – Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908) was born in Tikhvin, Russia

1845
Charles Auguste de Bériot (1802-1870) completed the Violin Concerto No. 8 in D major, op. 99

Mikhail Glinka (1804-1857) completed Capriccio brillante on the Jota aragonesa, Spanish Overture No. 1

March 13 – Violin Concerto in E minor, op. 64, by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) was first performed in Leipzig, Germany

May 12 – Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) was born in Pamiers, France

December 4 – Piano Concerto in A minor, op. 54 by Robert Schumann (1810-1856) was first performed in Dresden, Germany

1846
November 5 – Symphony No. 2 in C major, op. 61 by Robert Schumann (1810-1856) was first performed in Leipzig, Germany

1847
Louise Farrenc (1804-1875) completed Symphony No. 3 in G minor, op. 36

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) completed Waltz in C♯ minor, op. 64, no. 2

November 4 – Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) died in Leipzig, Germany

1849
Robert Schumann (1810-1856) completed the Romances and Ballads, op. 75, for SATB choir a cappella

March – Robert Schumann (1810-1856) completed the Romances, op. 69, for female voices (SSAA) a cappella

March – Robert Schumann (1810-1856) completed the Romances, op. 91, for female SSAA choir a cappella

October 17 – Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) died in Paris, France

November 19 – Symphony No. 4 in C minor, D. 417, “Tragic”, by Franz Schubert (1797-1828) was first performed in Leipzig, Germany

December 8 – Sinfonia from the opera Luisa Miller by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) was first performed in Naples, Italy

1830s

1850s

Classical Music Timeline: 1830s

This is one of a series of postings of important classical music dates, from the 17th century to the present. Included are the date and location of the birth and death of composers, and the premiere date and location of the first public performance of works. When the premiere date and location is unknown, the date or year of completion of the work is given. Though reasonably comprehensive, this is a subjective list, so the choice of composers and works is mine. If you find any errors, or if you can offer a premiere date and location for a work where only the completion date or year is listed, please post a comment here.

1831
Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) completed Étude in C minor, op. 10, no. 12, “Revolutionary”

1832
Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) completed Three Nocturnes, op. 9

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) completed Étude in E major, op. 10, no. 3, “Tristesse”

May 14 – Overture to The Hebrides, in B minor, op. 26, by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) was first performed in London, England

1833
Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) completed Four Mazurkas, op. 17

May 7 – Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) was born in Hamburg, Germany

November 12 – Alexander Borodin (1833-1887) was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia

1834
Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) completed Fantasie Impromptu in C♯ minor, op. 66

November 23Harold in Italy, op. 16, H. 68, by Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) was first performed in Paris, France

1835
October 9 – Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) was born in Paris, France

November 9 – Piano Concerto in A minor, op. 7, by Clara Schumann (1819-1896) was first performed in Leipzig, Germany

1836
Robert Schumann (1810-1856) completed Fantasie in C major, op. 17

January 30 – Octet for Strings in E♭ major, op. 20, by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) was first performed in Leipzig, Germany

December 9A Life for the Tsar, opera, by Mikhail Glinka (1804-1857) was first performed in Saint Petersburg, Russia

1837
Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) completed Étude in C minor, op. 25, no. 12, “Ocean”

January 2 – Mily Balakirev (1837-1910) was born in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

June 23 – Ernest Guiraud (1837-1892) was born in New Orleans, Louisiana

1838
Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) completed Prelude in A minor, op. 28, no. 2

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) completed Prelude in E minor, op. 28, no. 4

Robert Schumann (1810-1856) completed Scenes from Childhood, op. 15

January 6 – Max Bruch (1838-1920) was born in Cologne, Germany

October 25 – Georges Bizet (1838-1875) was born in Paris, France

1839
Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) completed Prelude in D♭ major, op. 28, no. 15, “Raindrop”

Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) completed Prelude in C minor, op. 28, no. 20

March 21 – Symphony No. 9 in C major, D. 944 “The Great” by Franz Schubert (1797-1828) was first performed in Leipzig, Germany

March 21 – Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881) was born in Karevo, Russia

1820s

1840s

Classical Music Timeline: 1820s

This is one of a series of postings of important classical music dates, from the 17th century to the present. Included are the date and location of the birth and death of composers, and the premiere date and location of the first public performance of works. When the premiere date and location is unknown, the date or year of completion of the work is given. Though reasonably comprehensive, this is a subjective list, so the choice of composers and works is mine. If you find any errors, or if you can offer a premiere date and location for a work where only the completion date or year is listed, please post a comment here.

1820
December – Franz Schubert (1797-1828) completed Quartettsatz (Movement for String Quartet) in C minor, D. 703

1821
October 16 – Franz Doppler (1821-1883) was born in Lviv, Ukraine

1822
December 10 – César Franck (1822-1890) was born in Liège, Belgium

1823
January 27 – Édouard Lalo (1823-1892) was born in Lille, France

1824
March 2 – Bedřich Smetana (1824-1884) was born in Litomyšl, Czech Republic

September 4 – Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) was born in Ansfelden, Austria

1825
April – Franz Schubert (1797-1828) completed Ave Maria, op. 52, no. 6

October 25 – Johann Strauss II (1825-1899) was born in Vienna, Austria

1826
August 26 – Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream in E major, op. 21 by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) was first performed in Berlin, Germany

October – Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) completed String Quartet No. 16 in F major, op. 135

1827
March 26 – Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) died in Vienna, Austria

November – Franz Schubert (1797-1828) completed Piano Trio in E♭ major, D. 929

1828
March 23 – String Quartet No. 16 in F major, op. 135 by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) was first performed in Vienna, Austria

May – Franz Schubert (1797-1828) completed Three Piano Pieces, D. 946

November 19 – Franz Schubert (1797-1828) died in Vienna, Austria

December 14 – Symphony No. 6 in C major, D. 589 by Franz Schubert (1797-1828) was first performed in Vienna, Austria

1829
Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) completed Étude in C major, op. 10, no. 1, “Waterfall”

October 4 – Mass No. 6 in E♭ major, D. 950 by Franz Schubert (1797-1828) was first performed in Vienna, Austria

1810s

1830s

Classical Music Timeline: 1800s

This is one of a series of postings of important classical music dates, from the 17th century to the present. Included are the date and location of the birth and death of composers, and the premiere date and location of the first public performance of works. When the premiere date and location is unknown, the date or year of completion of the work is given. Though reasonably comprehensive, this is a subjective list, so the choice of composers and works is mine. If you find any errors, or if you can offer a premiere date and location for a work where only the completion date or year is listed, please post a comment here.

1800
March 28 – Trumpet Concerto in E-flat major, Hob. VIIe/1 by Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) was first performed in Vienna, Austria

April 2 – Symphony No. 1 in C major, op. 21 by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) was first performed in Vienna, Austria

1801
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) completed Piano Sonata No. 14 in C♯ minor, op. 27, no. 2 “Moonlight”

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) completed Romance No. 1 in G major for violin and orchestra, op. 40

1802
February 20 – Charles Auguste de Bériot (1802-1870) was born in Leuven, Belgium

1803
Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) left uncompleted his last composition, the String Quartet No. 68 in D minor, op. 103, Hob. III:83

April 5 – Symphony No. 2 in D major, op. 36 by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) was first performed in Vienna, Austria
April 5 – Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, op. 37 by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) was first performed in Vienna, Austria

December 11 – Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) was born in La Côte-Saint-André, France

1804
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) completed Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major, op. 53 “Waldstein”

May 31 – Louise Farrenc (1804-1875) was born in Paris, France

June 1 – Mikhail Glinka (1804-1857) was born in Novospasskoye, Russia

1805
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) completed Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, op. 57 “Appassionata”

April 7 – Symphony No. 3 in E♭ major, op. 55 “Eroica” by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) was first performed in Vienna, Austria

May 28 – Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805) died in Madrid, Spain

1806
March 29 – Leonore Overture No. 3 in C major, from the opera Fidelio, op. 72, by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) was first performed in Vienna, Austria

December 23 – Violin Concerto in D major, op. 61 by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) was first performed in Vienna, Austria

1807
March – Symphony No. 4 in B♭ major, op. 60 by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) was first performed in Vienna, Austria

1808
December 22 – Symphony No. 5 in C minor, op. 67 by Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) was first performed in Vienna, Austria

1809
February 3 – Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) was born in Hamburg, Germany

May 31 – Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) died in Vienna, Austria

1790s

1810s

Sibelius Violin Concerto

The Finnish composer Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) aspired to be a virtuoso violinist, but abandoned that career because he felt that he had begun his “training for the exacting career of a virtuoso too late.” But it must have been some consolation that his violin concerto of 1904/1905—his only concerto—is one of the most inspired works of that genre in the repertoire.

There are many fine recordings of the Sibelius Violin Concerto, but one I am especially fond of is a 1951 recording with Isaac Stern and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Sir Thomas Beecham.

Here’s the conclusion of the work, nicely illustrating the passion and energy of this performance by Stern and Beecham’s Royal Philharmonic despite the primitive recording technology available at the time. Just goes to show that there were some remarkable recordings made more than 70 years ago!

Conclusion of the 1951 recording of Isaac Stern playing the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Thomas Beecham, conducting

While we’re on the topic of violin concertos, here are the best I’ve heard, in chronological order of their composition. Seek them out and enjoy!

Concerto for 2 Violins in D minor, BWV 1043 – Johann Sebastian Bach (c. 1730)

Violin Concerto in D major, op. 61 – Ludwig van Beethoven (1806)

Violin Concerto in E minor, op. 64 – Felix Mendelssohn (1844)

Violin Concerto No. 8 in D major, op. 99 – Charles-Auguste de Bériot (c. 1845)

Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor, op. 26 – Max Bruch (1867)

Violin Concerto in D major, op. 77 – Johannes Brahms (1878)

Violin Concerto in D major, op. 35 – Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1878)

Violin Concerto in A minor, op. 53 – Antonín Dvořák (1879)

Violin Concerto in D minor, op. 47 – Jean Sibelius (1905)

Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major, op. 19 – Sergei Prokofiev (1917)

Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, op. 63 – Sergei Prokofiev (1935)

Violin Concerto, op. 14 – Samuel Barber (1939)

Violin Concerto in D minor – Aram Khachaturian (1940)

Violin Concerto in D major, op. 35 – Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1945)

Violin Concerto in C major, op. 48 – Dmitry Kabalevsky (1948)

And, outstanding violin concerto movements:

Intermezzo (Poco adagio) [2nd & final movement] from Violin Concerto, op. 33 – Carl Nielsen (1911)

Sicilienne (Andantino) [2nd movement] from Concierto de estío, for violin and orchestra – Joaquín Rodrigo (1943)

Curious as to why so many violin concertos are written in the key of D major? I was.

“D major is well-suited to violin music because of the structure of the instrument, which is tuned G D A E. The open strings resonate sympathetically with the D string, producing a sound that is especially brilliant. This is also the case with all other orchestral strings.” – Wikipedia entry for D major