The Story of the Rossini Crescendo

“Give me the laundress’ bill and I will even set that to music.” – Gioachino Antonio Rossini

Among the many composers and musicians who have left their infallible mark in music, the Rossini crescendo (or Rossini Rocket) has certainly left its mark. This particular sound was originally created by several musical devices, playing together to create a natural crescendo in the music. The Rossini Rocket is a true homage to its creator and remains representative of the temperament of Italian music and culture. (more…)

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Henry Mancini – The Man Who Brought Movies to Life with Music

Our latest episode of Viva Virtuoso was made unforgettable (there’s an Easter egg there for all you Nat King Cole fans) by sax master Chazzy Green. Out of almost three hours of phenomenal footage, we managed to cut the episode down to a full hour. The episode is live on our official YouTube channel, to which you should absolutely subscribe if you’d like to be notified when we release some of the bonus footage from the shoot. (more…)

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The Devil’s Violinist and His One String
Nicolo Paganini, by Richard James Lane (died 1872), published 1831. See source website for additional information. This set of images was gathered by User:Dcoetzee from the National Portrait Gallery.

The Devil’s Violinist and His One String

Nineteenth century composer and violinist Niccolò Paganini remains one of the most influential composers and musicians in history. Paganini was more ‘fondly’ known as the ‘Devil’s violinist’, for both his uniquely brilliant skills and his appearance. (more…)

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‘Maybe I Can Sing’: Remembering the Voice of Anita O’Day
Anita O'Day at Newport Jazz Festival 1958. Still from Jazz on a Summer's Day by Bert Stern.

‘Maybe I Can Sing’: Remembering the Voice of Anita O’Day

When we hear mention of the great female vocals of jazz, most will tend to think of Ella Fitzgerald and the great Lady Bird herself. Less frequently, we think of Lena Horne and Sarah Vaughn. The true aficionado will have their own favorite great lady of jazz come to mind. One of our favorites is the oft forgotten Anita O’Day. (more…)

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Tatum, Horowitz and Tea for Two

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Most know him as one of the jazz greats, while some have flat out called him the greatest jazz pianist ever.

Born in Toledo, Ohio at the turn of the 20th century, Art Tatum, Jr. was almost entirely blind by age four. Not only did this serious impairment not prevent him from having a successful career and very interesting life, it may even have been a contribution to his impeccable hearing and, in turn, his music.

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