The musical career of the very prolific Czech composer Antonín Leopold Dvořák was slow to start, but the 15 pieces he submitted to an 1874 competition finally didn’t only bring him victory and recognition but also the friendship of Brahms. From then on, his work was rated in Europe and even in America.
Ernő Dohnányi, who has been discovered in recent decades, primarily considered himself to be a composer, although he also worked as a concert pianist, conductor and teacher. This is not surprising: he had been writing music since the age of 7, and even at 83, he wrote experimental pieces.
Sándor Szabó (1956 – ) is a contemporary acoustic guitar artist. He was the first in Hungary to play modern solo acoustic guitar music. The composition called Waves was inspired by a Buddhist notion about the essence of water and waves: without water, there are no waves, the water is the primary essence, while the wave is a phenomenon of its movement. The undulating rhythm of the sparkling notes that ring together in the piece creates a texture that is evocative of the experience of waves, rendered even stronger by the large, spacious, echoing venue.
As a band that’s eponymous with rock music, and officially known as the loudest band in the world, Deep Purple’s best-known hit tells a true story: in 1971, there was a Frank Zappa concert at the Montreux Casino, where a member of the audience started a fire. Everyone got out safely, but the building, which was surrounded by water, burnt to the ground. The members of Deep Purple watched the flames swallow the casino. The smoke spreading over the water inspired only a title at first, but a few days later, when they entered the studio to make their next album, Machine Head, it turned into an entire song.
28-year-old Adele is one of the most successful singers of recent years. Immediately after graduating from an arts school she got a record deal, and her three studio albums so far have broken many records. Along with many Grammies and other awards, one of her latest hits, the song Hello on the album entitled 25 became the first British song that was purchased digitally by a million people in the first week after its publication. Water Under the Bridge is on the same album; it is a song about the period when a relationship reaches a turning point: the couple do not know as yet whether they have a future anymore, but it doesn’t really matter: it is, as the song’s title says, water under the bridge.
Lee Ru-ma, stage name Yiruma (meaning: “I reach you”, “I steal into your heart”) was born in South Korea, but he went to live in Britain as a child after starting to play piano at the age of 5 and proving to be an extraordinary talent.
Frédéric Chopin, born in Poland and raised as a child prodigy, settled in Paris in his early twenties, and shortly afterwards began a liaison that was to last over a decade with the Marquise of Dudevant, known ad George Sand.