Jean-Philippe Rameau (9/25/1683 Dijon - 9/12/1764 Paris)
Rameau was the leading French composer of his time, in particular after the death of Couperin in 1733. He made a significant and lasting contribution to musical theory. Born in Dijon, two years before the year of birth of Handel, Bach and Domenico Scarlatti, Rameau spent the earlier part of his career principally as organist at Clermont Cathedral. In 1722 or 1723, however, he settled in Paris, publishing further collections of harpsichord pieces and his important Treatise on Harmony, written before his removal to Paris. From 1733 he devoted himself largely to the composition of opera and to his work as a theorist, the first under the patronage of a rich amateur, in whose house he had an apartment.
In the later part of his career Rameau also wrote a series of suites, the Pieces de clavecin en concerts, for harpsichord, flute or violin and second violin or tenor viol.
Dmitrij Šostakovič (9/25/1906 St. Petersburg - 8/9/1975 Moscow)
Dmitri Shostakovich was born in St. Petersburg (now Leningrad) and died in Moscow. His entire musical career was therefore spent within Russia's Communist system, and in many ways it is clear that he had to strike a balance between his own artistic inclinations and the demands of the state. He was taught by Glazunov among others, learning piano and composition and graduating from the St. Petersburg (Petrograd) Conservatory at the age of 19 with his first symphony. This is a youthful, precocious work demonstrating his musical talents in no uncertain terms, with some similarities in approach to Prokofiev's Classical Symphony.
Though this was an early success, his music didn't always enjoy the approval of the Soviet authorities. His opera "The Nose" received some criticism and "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District" received oven more. In later years he was to enjoy more artistic freedom, but under Stalin composers and other artists ran the risk of their work being labelled anti-state "formalism". In some cases this could lead to "disappearances" so the threat was very real indeed. Shostakovich withdrew his 4th symphony before its premier for this reason and it wasn't performed until later under more liberal times. Some of Shostakovich's work seems to be simply paying his dues as an upright citizen but in many cases, although his music might outwardly be conforming with the party line, there is nevertheless the feeling that he is rebelling against this.
The list of all composers
217 (since 21 of September, 2019)
|Pièces de Clavecin en concerts: Concert No. 1|
Kateřina Bílková, Harpsichord
Pavel Fajtl – Violin
Jan Škrdlík, Cello
Pièces de Clavecin en concerts: Concert No. 3
Pièces de Clavecin en concerts: Concert No. 5
|String Quartet No. 8, Op. 110|
Sonata for cello and piano in D minor, Op. 40