Among the most arguably difficult of literary enterprises is the art of translation. Vladimir Nabokov was obsessed about the matter; his complicated and controversial views on the processes of transferring the sensibilities evoked by one language to another have themselves inspired volumes of commentary. The challenge resides in an irresolvable paradox: if the translator aims…

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Born September 1, 1886, in Brunnen, Switzerland Died March 8, 1957, in Zürich, Switzerland Composed in 1915 Premiered on March 5, 1916 at Tonhalle, Zürich, with the Tonhalle-Orchester Performance Time: Approximately 5 minutes The horrors of the First World War intruded upon the Swiss composer Othmar Schoeck personally: the only manuscript copy of one of…

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Born March 2, 1900, in Dessau, Germany Died April 3, 1950, in New York City Composed in 1942–47 Premiered in 1947 for Concert Hall Records, with tenor William Horne and pianist Adam Garner Performance Time: Approximately 18 minutes Unlike some émigrés who fled Europe ahead of the Nazi menace, Kurt Weill never indulged in backward…

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Born March 23, 1878, in Monaco Died March 21, 1934, in Berlin, Germany Composed in 1923 Premiered in 1929 Performance Time: Approximately 20 minutes Franz Schreker was celebrated principally as a dramatic composer during his lifetime: his first success came in 1908 with a pantomime, Der Geburtstag der Infantin, based on The Birthday of the…

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Born October 10, 1872, in Down Ampney, England Died August 26, 1958, in London Composed in 1903–09 Premiered on October 12, 1910 at the Leeds Festival, England Performance Time: Approximately 70 minutes In 1892, Bertrand Russell recommended Walt Whitman’s poetry to a fellow undergraduate at Trinity College, Cambridge: the aspiring young composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.…

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