In Praise of Drinking

1815 was an extraordinarily creative year for Franz Schubert. Aged 18, working as a schoolteacher and receiving composition lessons from Antonio Salieri, in the same year he composed four operas, two symphonies, 150 songs (nine in one day!), liturgical music (including two masses), one string quartet and several piano pieces.

Murder, He Wrote …

In his day, Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa (c1561 – 1613) was known as “il musical macellaio di Venosa” (the musical butcher of Venosa), not for his provocative musical harmonies but for his unseemly penchant for murder.