Bing Crosby, Virginia Dale, Fred Astaire, and Marjorie Reynolds in the 1942 film, Holiday Inn.

Let’s Start the New Year Right

(Above: Bing Crosby, Virginia Dale, Fred Astaire, and Marjorie Reynolds in the 1942 film, Holiday Inn.)

Happy New Year!

The first day of January may be a time to sweep up the confetti and put away the party hats, but take a moment and listen to Irving Berlin’s Let’s Start the New Year Right. This suave melody, sung  by the golden-toned Bing Crosby, was written for the 1942 Paramount Pictures classic, Holiday Inn. (White Christmas became the smash hit from this film).

The attack on Pearl Harbor and the subsequent entrance of the United States into the Second World War occurred halfway through Holiday Inn‘s production. Berlin’s lyric suggests relief at the prospect of closing the door on the old year, while looking ahead with optimism at the possibility of something better.

A Snapshot of Music Across 400 Years

2016 will mark the following anniversaries:

1916 

completed works:

Births: Milton Babbitt, Alberto Ginastera, composers, Robert Shaw, conductor, Yehudi Menuhin, violinist.

The Baltimore Symphony presented its first concert.

1816

completed works:

  • Piano Sonata No. 28, Ludwig van Beethoven
  • String Trio in B-flat Major, Stabat Mater in F minor, Litanei aug das Fest Aller Seelen, Franz Schubert
  • The Barber of Seville, Gioachino Rossini

Violinists Louis Spohr and Niccolò Paganini met in Venice. Goethe gave Schubert permission to set his poems to music.

1716

completed works:

1616

completed works:

  • Peccavi super numerum, motet for 3 voices and basso continuo, Girolamo Frescobaldi
  • Tirsi e Clori, (ballet score), Le nozze di Tetide (lost opera), Claudio Monteverdi

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