What do you get when you put the best four composers ever to come out of London in a room together?
-Two Germans, one Italian, and a Bohemian.
By the end of the 19th century, English culture had become the butt of every nationalist joke. They were known to Germans as Das Land ohne Musik, a people without a music—and by extension without a culture—of their own (III, 802). England was undergoing a dry spell. A centuries-long dry spell in fact—”since the death of Purcell in 1695, the English had been without a native-born composer of wide international repute” (III, 804).*
But my poor excuse for a joke above is not the “riddle” that I refer to in the title of this post. I’m of course talking about Continue reading “The Riddle that Broke History’s Back”