Ten historical anecdotes about musicians and composers

1. Gioacchino Rossini, having learned that the members of the municipal council of Pesaro intended to dedicate a monument to him, said to them: - Give me the 20,000 and I'll stand on the pedestal myself!

2. The conductor Leopold Stokowski didn't want to hear any noise during the concerts. Once, at the limit of tollerance, he stopped directing and turned to the audience, particularly annoyed: - Händel created this composition for string and brass instruments. In the score there is not even a note for coughs and colds.

3. During the rehearsals for a concert, the soloist was not able to interpret his part well, continuing to make mistakes and to be out of tune. Not wanting to take his responsibilities, he told Joseph Haydn: - Conductor, the orchestra is so loud, I can not hear myself.
Haydn replied: - In that case you are really lucky!

4. For the inauguration of the monument to Ludwig van Beethoven many European personalities were invited and came to Bonn. Unfortunately, the tribune for the most illustrious guests was positioned so that the statue appeared from behind. At the time of discovering the monument everyone was stunned, but the master of ceremonies did not lose heart and said:
Gentlemen, forgive him! In life he was a little boorish and such remained even after his death!

5. A beginner and presumptuous pianist asked the composer Franco Alfano:

- Above the piano should I hang the portrait of Chopin or Mozart?
- Better the one of Beethoven.
- Why Beethoven and not Chopin or Mozart?
- Because Beethoven was deaf!

6. In the nineteenth century the Italian patriots, to exalt the king, wrote on the walls of the cities VIVA VERDI, the acronym of “Vittorio Emanuele Re D'Italia” (Vittorio Emanuele King of Italy).

7. The composer and violinist Giuseppe Tartini one day dreamed of having sold his soul to the devil, who, with a violin, played a marvelous sonata. When he awoke, Tartini tried to transcribe what he remembered of the composition. Thus his famous "Devil's Trill Sonata" was born.

8. One evening it happened to Brahms to play with a rather mediocre cellist. The exasperated musician began to push the keys of his piano harder and harder, until the cellist said:
My dear Brahms, if you keep it up, I'll end up not hearing myself anymore.
And Brahms: Lucky you.

9. Many times Beethoven made excursions into the woods and, to move freely, left the dress on the grass and returned home in shirt sleeves. One day in Neustadt he was arrested as a vagabond, for his sloppy clothing, and no one believed him when he claimed to be the famous musician. He remained in prison until he was released thanks to the intervention of the conductor.

10. Vincenzo Bellini, like most of the artists, also believed in bad luck and tried to keep it away wearing a brooch, made of a large rock crystal and two black cornelian horns.

Original article by Martina Corona

Translated by Dario Medaglia