Max Derrickson

Writing Music Program Notes for Over 20 Years

Category: Sidepiece

Verdi – Egyptomania, Aida and Trumpets [sidepiece article]

Egyptomania, Aida and Trumpets  Sometimes creative genius presages scientific discovery.  Such, indeed, was the case for one of Verdi’s most remarkable musical inventions in Aida. When Napoleon and his armies invaded Egyptian 1798, preoccupation with all things Egypt escalated into a near obsession throughout Europe and the Americas.  By the middle of the 19th Century, […]

Verdi – The Commissioning of Verdi’s Aida [sidepiece article]

The Commissioning of Verdi’s Aida  The opening of the Suez Canalin 1869 was an event that astonished the world, both by its engineering audacity and its lavish ceremonies.  It was, as Walt Whitman penned, a “Passage to India!” linking Old to New, East to West.  The Viceroy of Egypt, Khedive Ismail, had been planning the […]