A CHRONOLOGICAL VIEW OF WESTERN MUSIC HISTORY IN THE CONTEXT OF WORLD EVENTS

January 1, 1871 – December 31, 1871

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January 1, 1871: Pursuant to the Irish Church Act of 1869, the Church of Ireland is officially disestablished.
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January 2, 1871: The newly elected King Amadeo I of Spain swears to uphold the constitution, in Madrid.
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January 4, 1871: Johann Rudolf Thorbecke replaces Peter Philip van Bosse and Cornelius Fock as chief minister of the Netherlands.
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January 4, 1871: Francisco Serrano y Domínguez, duque de la Torre, conde de San Antonio replaces Juan Bautista Topete y Carballo as Prime Minister of Spain.
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January 4, 1871: Giuseppe Verdi (57) writes to Francesco Florimo, archivist of the Naples Conservatory, declining their offer of the directorship of the school.
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January 5, 1871: Frederick Shepherd Converse is born at the home of his parents on Centre Street on the corner of Cabot Street in Newton, Massachusetts, USA, the youngest of seven children born to Edmund Winchester Converse, a successful businessman in dry goods importation, and Charlotte Augusta Shepherd Albree.
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January 5, 1871: Franco-Prussian War: On the ramparts at Issy, Corporal Vincent d’Indy (19) narrowly escapes being hit by German shells.
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January 6, 1871: Henry M. Stanley of the New York Herald arrives in Zanzibar to begin his search for Dr. David Livingstone, who has not been heard from since 1867.
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January 6, 1871: Botschaft op.47/1, a song by Johannes Brahms (37) to words of Hafis, is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
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January 7, 1871: Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleyev publishes a new edition of his periodic table of the elements, this time predicting that new elements will be discovered.
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January 11, 1871: Franco-Prussian War: National Guard member Jules Massenet (28) writes to his wife from the Paris front, “Abel and I were sentries on the terrace near the Tuileries’s river banks about five in the morning when we heard the first shells moaning and shrieking. This particular noise is so nerve-wracking, and it was also so new and so strange…I am finishing my second orchestral suite as I sit by the fireplace and hear the boom-boom and bang-crash of 94-kilo shells…” (Massenet, 36)
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January 12, 1871: The request of Johann Strauss, Jr. (45) to be released from his position as Hofballmusik-Direktor is granted by Emperor Franz Joseph. The grounds of the request are ill health, but he probably wants to devote himself more to stage composition. Strauss is awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Franz Joseph.
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January 14, 1871: Sonata for cello and piano no.1 op.38 by Johannes Brahms (37) is performed for the first time, in the Gewandhaus, Leipzig.
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January 17, 1871: An international conference opens in London which will open the Black Sea to warships once again.
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January 18, 1871: King Wilhelm of Prussia is crowned Emperor of Germany in the Palace of Versailles.
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January 19, 1871: Franco-Prussian War: French forces attempt a break out of Paris toward Bozenval. Among them is a corporal in the National Guard named Vincent d’Indy (19). Killed in this battle is the painter Henri Regnault, only recently returned from his Prix de Rome stay.
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January 19, 1871: Franco-Prussian War: French forces are defeated by the Germans at St. Quentin.
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January 20, 1871: Don Quixote op.87 for orchestra by Anton Rubinstein (41) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.
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January 20, 1871: Franco-Prussian War: The French attempt to break out of Paris is stopped by the Germans.
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January 21, 1871: National Guard units in Paris revolt, calling for a commune.
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January 22, 1871: Workers and National Guard units calling for a commune are fired on by government troops in front of the Hôtel de Ville in Paris. Many are killed.
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January 26, 1871: A meeting of 21 rugby teams at the Pall Mall Restaurant in London creates Rugby Union Football.
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January 26, 1871: Giulio Ricordi writes to Giuseppe Verdi (57) that he recently met with Arrigo Boito (28). He reports that Boito would be thrilled to write the libretto to a projected Nerone to be composed by Verdi. Verdi never writes the opera but this is the beginning of a working relationship between the two.
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January 26, 1871: Franco-Prussian War: An armistice is signed between Germany and the French Republic.
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January 28, 1871: Franco-Prussian War: Paris capitulates to the Germans.
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February 1, 1871: The Italian Chamber of Deputies votes to move the capital of the country from Florence to Rome.
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February 1, 1871: Franco-Prussian War: The French eastern army crosses into Switzerland and is disarmed.
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February 2, 1871: Muss es eine Trennung geben op.33/12, a song by Johannes Brahms (37) to words of Tieck, is performed for the first time, in Leipzig.
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February 5, 1871: Richard Wagner (57) completes the full score to Siegfried at Tribschen.
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February 6, 1871: Karl Siegmund, Count Hohenwart becomes acting Chancellor of Austria.
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February 7, 1871: Accepting changes by the Senate, the Italian Chamber of Deputies passes for the final time the movement of the capital from Florence to Rome.
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February 7, 1871: Shawl-Polka française op.343 by Johann Strauss (45) is performed for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna.
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February 8, 1871: Elections take place for a French national assembly to meet in Bordeaux and make peace for France with Germany. Parties on the right, especially monarchists, fare best.
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February 10, 1871: Indigo und die vierzig Räuber, an operetta by Johann Strauss (45) to words of Steiner, is performed for the first time, before a glittering audience in the Theater an der Wien, Vienna. The evening is a smashing success and is seen as the opening night of the golden age of Viennese operetta.
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February 13, 1871: The French National Assembly meets in Bordeaux dominated by conservatives who desire to sue for peace. Denis Emmanuel, comte Benoist d’Azy, President of the Assembly, becomes acting head of state.
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February 14, 1871: Auf freiem Fuße op.345, a polka française by Johann Strauss (45), is performed for the first time, in the Redoutensaal, Vienna.
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February 15, 1871: National Guard units in Paris unify and elect a Provisional Central Committee.
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February 15, 1871: François Jules Paul Grévy replaces Denis Emmanuel, comte Benoist d’Azy as President of the National Constituent Assembly and head of state.
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February 17, 1871: Marie Joseph Louis Adolphe Thiers is elected Chief of the Executive Power of the French Republic by the National Assembly at Bordeaux.
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February 19, 1871: Jules Armand Stanislas Dufaure is named Prime Minister of France.
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February 19, 1871: Benjamin Franklin Goodrich begins making rubber products such as fire hoses and bicycle tires in Akron, Ohio. His company will be incorporated in 1880 as BF Goodrich.
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February 22, 1871: A board of musicians, assembled by the Imperial Theatre Directorate, rejects Modest Musorgsky’s (31) opera Boris Godunov for performance, complaining that it does not have an important female role.
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February 23, 1871: Six weeks of voting conclude in the New Zealand general election. For the first time in a general election, Maori candidates take part.
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February 24, 1871: The Descent of Man by Charles Darwin is published in London.
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February 25, 1871: The Société National de Musique is founded in the Paris home of Henri Duparc by César Franck (48), Camille Saint-Saëns (35), Georges Bizet (32), Jules Massenet (28), Gabriel Fauré (25), Henri Duparc (23), Vincent d’Indy (19), and others. The concerts of the Society are to be limited to living French composers.
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February 26, 1871: At the home of Sir Julius Benedict in London, Charles Gounod (52) meets the violinist Mrs. Georgina Weldon for the first time.
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February 26, 1871: Franco-Prussian War: A preliminary peace agreement is signed at Versailles by representatives of France and Germany.
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February 28, 1871: The United States Congress passes the second Force Act designed to stop racial violence in the south.
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March 1, 1871: In an attempt to forestall a projected production in Munich, Richard Wagner (57) writes to King Ludwig of Bavaria that he can not bring himself to finish Siegfried. In fact, he finished it at Tribschen on 5 February.
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March 1, 1871: Franco-Prussian War: The Bordeaux Assembly agrees to preliminary peace terms. Accordingly, the German army enters Paris, protected from the crowds by the French National Guard, which includes Georges Bizet (32).
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March 3, 1871: The German army moves out of Paris into the suburbs.
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March 3, 1871: Voting takes place today for the first Reichstag of the German Empire. The National Liberal Party wins the most seats. Eleven parties are represented.
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March 4, 1871: Franz Liszt (59) writes to Princess Carolyne Sayn-Wittgenstein from Pest, “What a dreadful and heartrending thought it is that eighteen centuries of Christianity, and a few more centuries of philosophy and of moral and intellectual culture, have not delivered Europe from the scourge of war!”
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March 4, 1871: The 42nd Congress of the United States convenes in Washington. Republicans lose seats in both houses, but retain control of both.
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March 5, 1871: Indigo-Quadrille op.344 by Johann Strauss (45) is performed for the first time, in the Musikverein, Vienna.
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March 6, 1871: Gunfire erupts at a court hearing in Meridian, Mississippi for several blacks and Republicans. The judge and two blacks are killed and a riot ensues. More people are killed over the next several days.
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March 8, 1871: Fantasia in c minor D.48 for two pianos by Franz Schubert (†42) is performed for the first time, by the Vienna Musikverein, 58 years after it was composed.
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March 8, 1871: There is a Green Hill Far Away, a sacred song by Charles Gounod (52) to words of Alexander, is performed for the first time, in London.
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March 9, 1871: Gabriel Fauré (25) is discharged from the French army.
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March 10, 1871: The Bordeaux Assembly votes to move to Versailles.
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March 12, 1871: Ruhe, schönstes Glück der Erde D.657 for male vocal quartet by Franz Schubert (†42) is performed for the first time, in the Vienna Musikverein. Also premiered is Tausend und eine Nacht op.346, a waltz by Johann Strauss (45).
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March 13, 1871: A great power conference in London decides to change the Treaty of Paris of 1856 and allow Russia to deploy naval forces on the Black Sea.
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March 15, 1871: Manuel-Achille Debussy, father of Claude (8), is released from his job working to supply the headquarters of the First Arrondissement. He enlists in the National Guard as a private.
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March 17, 1871: The National Association of Professional Baseball Players, the first fully professional baseball league, is formed by ten clubs in New York.
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March 18, 1871: Insurrection breaks out in Paris. Much of the city, including French troops sent to subdue them, join the rebellion. Two generals are killed by their own men. Adolphe Thiers, Chief of the Executive Power, withdraws his troops and officials from the city as the Central Committee of the National Guard takes power.
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March 19, 1871: Gabriel Fauré (25) is employed as organist at Saint-Honoré-d’Eylau but will soon be forced to flee the Commune.
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March 19, 1871: Former Emperor Napoléon III crosses to Dover and exile.
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March 20, 1871: The French National Assembly sets up operations outside of Paris, at Versailles.
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March 21, 1871: Leading an expedition of 2,000, New York Herald reporter Henry Stanley departs the shores of east Africa heading inland to find Dr. David Livingstone, who hasn’t been heard from since 1867.
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March 21, 1871: At a low ebb in his career and on the anniversary of his mother’s death, Mily Balakirev (34) is, in his own words, “converted to religion” at home in St. Petersburg.
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March 21, 1871: Otto, Prince Bismarck-Schönhausen, Chancellor of Prussia becomes the first Chancellor of Germany.
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March 22, 1871: The City of Lyon announces for Paris and declares a commune.
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March 23, 1871: A commune is declared in Marseille.
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March 24, 1871: Lascar Catargiu replaces Prince Ion Ghica as Prime Minister of Romania.
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March 24, 1871: The Lyon commune collapses virtually without shooting.
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March 24, 1871: Incidental music to Shakespeare’s play Hamlet by Stanislaw Moniuszko (51) is performed for the first time, in Warsaw.
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March 25, 1871: Desperate Remedies by Thomas Hardy is published. It is his first published novel.
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March 26, 1871: Elections to a municipal council in Paris return socialists over moderates 2-1.
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March 27, 1871: The first Rugby International game is played at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh between England and Scotland.
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March 28, 1871: New works by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (30) are performed for the first time, in Moscow: String Quartet no.1, Nature and Love for female chorus and piano to his own words, To Forget So Soon, a song for voice and piano to words of Apukhtin, and two works for piano solo, Rêverie op.9/1, and Mazurka de salon op.9/3. The performance is very successful.
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March 29, 1871: The Paris Commune, the first government organized along Marxist lines, is proclaimed.
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March 29, 1871: The Royal Albert Hall opens in London. Queen Victoria is overcome with emotion and the Prince of Wales fulfills the ceremonial duties.
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March 29, 1871: Die Allmacht von Franz Schubert for tenor, male chorus, orchestra, and organ by Franz Liszt (59) is performed for the first time, in Budapest, directed by the composer.
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March 30, 1871: The Commune eliminates the draft and a standing army.
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April 2, 1871: The Commune: The Army of Versailles seizes Courbevoie, just west of Paris, thus initiating a civil war. Chief of the Executive Power Adolphe Thiers asks Bismarck for permission to add French prisoners of war held by the Germans to his army. The Commune declares a separation of Church and State. All Church property becomes national property.
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April 3, 1871: The Commune: Parisian forces attack toward Versailles but are defeated. French troops begin the second siege of Paris.
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April 4, 1871: Republican troops take Marseille after some street fighting.
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April 4, 1871: The Commune: Paris communards arrest Georges Darboy, Archbishop of Paris.
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April 6, 1871: Friedrich, Baron Lindelhof becomes Prime Minister of Hesse.
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April 6, 1871: The Commune: National Guard units produce the guillotine in Paris and publicly burn it. Crowds cheer.
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April 7, 1871: The Commune: Units of the Army of Versailles capture the Seine bridge at Neuilly.
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April 7, 1871: On Good Friday in Bremen Cathedral, Johannes Brahms (37) conducts a complete performance of Ein deutsches Requiem and the premiere of the first part of Triumphlied for baritone, chorus, and orchestra to words from the Bible. The music is dedicated in mourning and triumph following the Franco-Prussian War.
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April 9, 1871: Indigo-Marsch op.349 by Johann Strauss (45) is performed for the first time, in the Musikverein, Vienna.
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April 10, 1871: PT Barnum's Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan, and Circus opens in Brooklyn.
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April 11, 1871: The Commune: The Versailles Army attacks Paris from the south but is repulsed.
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April 14, 1871: Kaisermarsch by Richard Wagner (57) is performed for the first time, privately, in Berlin. See 23 April 1871.
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April 16, 1871: The Commune issues orders for the creation of workers cooperatives to operate factories previously closed by capitalists.
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April 16, 1871: A Constitution for the German Empire is adopted by the Reichstag, to take effect 4 May.
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April 18, 1871: Anton Bruckner (46) participates in a competition in Vienna to determine who will represent Austria in demonstration concerts on the new Willis organ in Albert Hall, London.
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April 19, 1871: On their way to Berlin, Richard (57) and Cosima Wagner inspect the opera house in Bayreuth. They have been led to believe that it has one of the largest stages in Germany. It does not. Wagner approves of the town, but not the opera house. A decision is made to build a new one.
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April 20, 1871: United States President Ulysses Grant signs the third Force Act, authorizing him to use force against the Ku Klux Klan and other terrorists.
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April 23, 1871: Kaisermarsch by Richard Wagner (57) is performed publicly for the first time, in the Leipzig Stadttheater.
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April 24, 1871: Anton Bruckner (46) is informed that he has won a competition in Vienna to determine who will represent Austria in demonstration concerts on the new Willis organ in Albert Hall, London.
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April 27, 1871: The American Museum of Natural History first opens its doors in New York City.
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April 27, 1871: Sigismond Fortuné François Thalberg dies at the villa of his father-in-law, Luigi Lablache, on Via Posillipo in Posillipo, near Naples, Kingdom of Italy, aged 59 years, three months, and 19 days.  His mortal remains will be laid to rest in the Cimitero Monumentale di Poggioreale, Naples.
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April 28, 1871: Richard Wagner (57) reads his installation thesis, On the Destiny of Opera, at the Berlin Royal Academy of Arts.
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April 30, 1871: Whites from Tucson raid an Apache village (in Pima County, Arizona) and kill 144 men, women, and children. The bodies are stripped and mutilated. 27 children are captured and sold into slavery.
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May 1, 1871: In the first important musical evening in Royal Albert Hall, Gallia: lamentation, a motet for soprano, chorus, orchestra, and organ by Charles Gounod (52) to his own words, is performed for the first time, for the opening of the London International Exhibition. Also on the program is the premiere of On Shore and Sea, a cantata by Arthur Sullivan (28) to words of Taylor. Both composers conduct their own works.
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May 2, 1871: In Prague, Franz Liszt (59) hears Bedrich Smetana (47) play through excerpts from his opera Dalibor and then a performance of the overture to The Bartered Bride arranged for him.
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May 3, 1871: Richard Wagner (57) receives an audience with Chancellor Otto von Bismarck in Berlin in an attempt to gain funding for his Festspielhaus in Bayreuth. He leaves with no promises.
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May 3, 1871: The Commune: Manuel Debussy assumes the rank of captain of the 2nd Company of the 13th Federate Batallion, among the most radical of the communard units.
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May 5, 1871: The Commune orders the destruction of the Chapel of Atonement, built to apologize for the execution of King Louis XVI.
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May 8, 1871: The Commune: Manuel Debussy, father of Claude (8), leads an attack on the fort at Issy, manned by loyalists. Among his company is Paul Verlaine. The attack fails and Debussy is captured.
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May 8, 1871: Representatives of Great Britain and the United States sign a treaty in Washington. Britain expresses regret for damage done by Confederate ships built in British ports and opens Canadian waters to US fishermen north of 39° latitude. Both sides submit a border dispute involving the San Juan Islands to the arbitration of Emperor Wilhelm of Germany. They also create a five-person international committee to discuss claims by the US against Britain for damages done by Confederate ships.
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May 10, 1871: Manuel Debussy is released from prison.
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May 10, 1871: The Treaty of Frankfurt ends the Franco-Prussian War. France is forced to give up Alsace, Lorraine, and 5,000,000,000 francs. German troops will remain in northern France pending payment of the indemnity.
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May 12, 1871: In Leipzig, Richard Wagner (57) publicly announces that Der Ring des Nibelungen will be performed in 1873 in Bayreuth. He has not yet brought up the idea of a new theatre with the town fathers, confident they will not refuse.
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May 12, 1871: Daniel-François-Esprit Auber dies at his home at 22 rue Saint-Georges in the Ninth Arrondissement of Paris, Republic of France, aged 89 years, three months, and 14 days.
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May 13, 1871: The Italian government limits the temporal power of the Pope to the Vatican and Lateran palaces and the villa of Castel Gandolfo. The Pope’s person is considered inviolable. Pope Pius IX refuses to recognize this arrangement.
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May 13, 1871: The Commune appoints Francisco Salvador-Daniel to replace Daniel Auber as director of the Conservatoire. Auber died yesterday.
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May 16, 1871: The Victory Column in Place Vendôme is destroyed by order of the Commune. It was cast from guns captured by Napoleon’s army.
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May 19, 1871: Im Sturmschritt op.348, a polka schnell by Johann Strauss (45), is performed for the first time, in the Volksgarten, Vienna.
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May 21, 1871: The first mountain rack (cog) railway in Europe opens from Arth-Goldau to Vitznau.
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May 21, 1871: Mme Charles Gounod leaves her husband (52) in London because of his liaison with Georgina Weldon. Mme Gounod and their son return to France.
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May 21, 1871: The Commune: Troops of the Versailles government enter Paris and begin a week of fighting. Today, the Théâtre-Lyrique is badly damaged by fire.
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May 22, 1871: Duke Leopold IV of Anhalt dies in Dessau and is succeeded by his sone, Friedrich I.
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May 22, 1871: The Commune: Troops of Marshal Mac-Mahon reach the Arc de Triomphe. Heavy fighting continues along the Champs Elysées.

The Army of Versailles converts the Paris Opéra into a prison. Manuel Debussy is rearrested for his communard activities.

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May 23, 1871: The Commune: The Tuileries Palace is set on fire by Communards. The fire will burn for two days and consume the building. The nearby library of the Louvre, along with its 40,000 volumes and manuscripts, is blown up by the Communards. For this cultural atrocity, the man responsible, Victor Benot, will be condemned for life to New Caledonia.
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May 24, 1871: The Commune: By this day, most of the important buildings of Paris including the Royal Palace, Hôtel de Ville, Prefecture of Police, Palais de la Justice, and Théâtre Lyrique are all aflame.

National Guardsmen and Vergeurs de la Commune execute Georges Darboy, Archbishop of Paris by firing squad in the prison of La Roquette.

Loyalist soldiers execute Francisco Salvador-Daniel by firing squad in the Rue Jacob. He was appointed by the Commune as director of the Conservatoire a week ago.

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May 27, 1871: The Commune: After a week of bloody, desperate block by block fighting, the Paris Commune is defeated. Approximately 5,000 people have died in battle but reprisals and atrocities by both sides brings the total loss of life nearer 40,000. Within a year, 17,000 more people will be executed.
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May 28, 1871: The Commune: The body of George Darboy, Archbishop of Paris, is found.  Loyalists take 147 men to Père Lachaise Cemetery and shoot them.
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June 1, 1871: Five US warships arrive off Ganghwa Island, Korea and are fired upon by the Koreans. The ships withdraw.
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June 1, 1871: The first Wagner(58)-Verein is founded, in Mannheim.
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June 2, 1871: Aus der Heimath op.347, a polka mazur by Johann Strauss (45), is performed for the first time, in the Volksgarten, Vienna.
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June 5, 1871: Charles Villiers Stanford (18) is elected to the post of assistant conductor of the Cambridge University Musical Society.
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June 6, 1871: Georges Bizet (32) and his family return to Paris from Le Vesinet.
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June 8, 1871: Mme Manuel Debussy writes to the authorities, pleading that they release her husband due to financial hardship (her four children) and claiming that he only joined the National Guard to help feed them. This last plea is rejected but in a year he will be released.
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June 10, 1871: Having failed to receive an apology for the action of 1 June, US ground forces go ashore on Ganghwa Island, capturing the fortress and other Korean defenses. Over 200 people are killed.
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June 12, 1871: A parade by Orangemen to celebrate the Battle of the Boyne begins in New York. Originally denied a permit because of the riot of last 12 June, the authorities give in after charges by the Protestant elite of the city of the undue influence of Irish Catholics. Over 6,000 police and National Guard troops surround the marchers, attempting to protect them from thousands of angry Catholics. For almost the entire route of the march, the Orangemen and their protectors are assailed by flying missiles. They respond with gunfire which produces gunfire in return. Over 60 people are killed and 150 injured.
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June 13, 1871: Emperor Franz Joseph II, King Ferenc József I of Hungary, confers on Franz Liszt (59) the title of Royal Hungarian Councilor with a salary.
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June 16, 1871: The University Test Act is approved, allowing entry into Oxford or Cambridge without a religious test.
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June 16, 1871: Lust’ger Rath op.350, a polka française by Johann Strauss (45), is performed for the first time, in the Volksgarten, Vienna. Also premiered is Strauss’ Die Bajadere op.351, a polka schnell.
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June 19, 1871: Charles Gounod (53) moves into Tavistock House, Georgina Weldon’s home in London.
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June 27, 1871: Japan adopts the Yen as its unit of currency.
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June 29, 1871: The Trade Union Act is given royal assent by Queen Victoria. Workers are now free to make and join unions.
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July 1, 1871: The government of Italy moves from Florence to Rome.
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July 2, 1871: King Vittorio Emanuele II of Italy enters Rome.
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July 2, 1871: Voting is held today in 114 French constituencies to fill seats left vacant by the February elections. Republicans do very well.
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July 7, 1871: German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck suppresses the Roman Catholic department for spiritual affairs of Prussia, thus beginning his “Kulturkampf” against the Roman Catholic Church.
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July 8, 1871: The New York Times begins a series of articles laying bare the massive fraud, theft, and corruption of William Tweed, “Boss” of the Democratic Party machine of New York City known as Tammany Hall, and his confederates.
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July 11, 1871: Yohannes IV replaces Tekle Giyorgis II as Emperor of Ethiopia.
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July 12, 1871: 39 people are killed and 91 wounded in rioting between Irish Catholics and Protestants in New York City.
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July 15, 1871: A funeral is held in L’Église de la Trinité in memory of Daniel-François-Esprit Auber, two months after his death. His survivors waited until after the fall of the Commune so that he might have a religious service. His mortal remains are laid to rest in Père Lachaise Cemetery.
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July 20, 1871: British Columbia becomes a province of Canada.
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July 22, 1871: Friedrich Adam Justus, Baron Hegnenberg-Dux replaces Otto Cammillus Hugo, Count Bray-Steinberg as Prime Minister of Bavaria.
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July 24, 1871: Manuel Ruiz Zorrilla replaces Francisco Serrano y Domínguez, duque de la Torre, conde de San Antonio as Prime Minister of Spain.
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July 25, 1871: Wilhelm Schneider of Davenport, Iowa receives a US patent for a carousel.
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July 26, 1871: Mikhail Azanchevsky, director of the St. Petersburg Conservatory, invites Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov (27) to teach composition and orchestration. Rimsky-Korsakov accepts.
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July 29, 1871: Anton Bruckner (46) arrives in London. He has been selected to represent his country at the International Exhibition, along with organists from several other nations. In the evening he goes to the hall to practice but is told the fires for the steam engines have been allowed to go out. There is still enough steam for him to practice and, after hearing Bruckner play, the hall manager orders the fires relit. His abilities attract a little audience which listens to him well into the evening. The British press, fuming at the presence of so many foreigners, affords him only faint praise. Ten recitals, however, will produce loud applause.
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August 11, 1871: The Basutoland protectorate is annexed to the Cape Colony.
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August 11, 1871: The Local Government Board Act is given Royal Assent by Queen Victoria. It creates a ministerial department to oversee laws regarding public health and local government.
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August 14, 1871: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (31) signs the preface to his Guide to the Practical Study of Harmony.
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August 20, 1871: A setting of the Ave Maria for male chorus and organ by Gabriel Fauré (26) is performed for the first time, at the Chapel of the Hospice of Saint-Bernard, Switzerland.
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August 29, 1871: Feudal domains are abolished in Japan and replaced with prefectures.
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August 31, 1871: Marie Joseph Louis Adolphe Thiers is elected the first President of the Third French Republic.
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September 2, 1871: Gustav Mahler (11) enters the Prague Gymnasium.
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September 2, 1871: The Comet is crushed in Arctic ice off the north coast of Alaska. It is the first of 33 American whaling ships lost in an early freeze over the next two weeks. However, all 1,219 people aboard the ships will survive.
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September 7, 1871: Mahmud Nedim Pasha replaces Mehmed Emin Ali Pasha as Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire.
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September 12, 1871: The September Rescript, an imperial decree, promises that Emperor Franz Joseph will be crowned King of Bohemia, thus granting home rule and greater autonomy to the region.
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September 13, 1871: António Maria de Fontes Pereira de Melo replaces António José de Avila, marquês de Avila e Bolama, conde de Avila as Prime Minister of Portugal.
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September 13, 1871: At a gathering in Baden-Baden to celebrate the 52nd birthday of Clara Schumann and her 31st wedding anniversary, Johannes Brahms (38) presents her with the autograph manuscript of his Capriccio op.76/1.
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September 15, 1871: Fest-Polonaise op.352 by Johann Strauss (45) is performed for the first time, in the Volksgarten, Vienna.
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September 17, 1871: The Fréjus Rail Tunnel opens for traffic between France and Italy. At 13.7 km, it is the first of the long tunnels in the Alps.
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September 19, 1871: Bridal Procession op.19/2 for piano by Edvard Grieg (28) is performed for the first time, in Christiania (Oslo).
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September 19, 1871: Incidental music to Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice by Arthur Sullivan (29) is performed for the first time, in Prince’s Theatre, Manchester.
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September 23, 1871: Teresa Stolz pays her first visit to Sant’Agata to study her part for Aida with Giuseppe Verdi (57).
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September 26, 1871: David Oliver Saylor of Allentown, Pennsylvania receives a US patent for his “portland” cement mixture of magnesium clay with limestone clay.
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September 29, 1871: Cesar Cui (36), Modest Musorgsky (32), Valdimir Stasov, Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov (27), and Mikhail Azanchevsky gather at Stasov’s to hear Anton (41) and Nikolay Rubinstein play Anton’s recently completed opera The Demon. They are at first unimpressed, later enthusiastic.
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October 1, 1871: Richard, Baron Friesen replaces Johann Paul, Baron Falkenstein as Prime Minister of Saxony.
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October 2, 1871: Mormon leader Brigham Young and several others are arrested in Salt Lake City for polygamy.
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October 5, 1871: José Malcampo y Monge, marqués de San Rafael, conde de Jolo replaces Manuel Ruiz Zorrilla as Prime Minister of Spain.
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October 8, 1871: Croatians led by Eugen Kvaternik revolt in Rakovica against Austro-Hungarian rule.
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October 8, 1871: Fires devastate large swaths of the area around the Great Lakes. A major fire consumes 485,000 hectares of Michigan from the Lake Michigan to the Lake Huron shores, causing 200 deaths. Fire breaks out in Chicago. Over the next four days, 250 people will be killed and 17,450 buildings destroyed. Almost simultaneously, a forest fire breaks out around Peshtigo, Wisconsin, and goes on to kill 1,182 people and 2,000,000,000 trees over 500,000 hectares. (the Peshtigo conflagration remains the deadliest fire disaster in US history)
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October 11, 1871: The Croatian uprising in Rakovica is suppressed. Its leader, Eugen Kvaternik, is killed.
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October 14, 1871: Edvard Grieg (28) along with several leading Norwegian artists, publishes an invitation to create a Music Association with the aim of establishing a permanent orchestra in Christiania (Oslo). See 2 December 1871.
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October 16, 1871: The German Reichstag meets in a renovated porcelain warehouse on the Leipzigerstrasse, Berlin. It will meet here for 23 years.
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October 18, 1871: Schicksalslied for chorus and orchestra by Johannes Brahms (38) to words of Hölderlin is performed for the first time, in Karlsruhe, conducted by the composer from manuscript. Among the audience is Clara Schumann (52).
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October 20, 1871: The first regular Canadian military units are formed. They are two artillery units based in Quebec City and Kingston, Ontario.
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October 24, 1871: An ein Veilchen op.49/2, a song by Johannes Brahms (38) to words of Zappi, is performed for the first time, in Leipzig.
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October 24, 1871: 500 whites attack the Chinese quarter of Los Angeles. They hang 15 people and kill three others by other means. Looters steal $30,000 in cash and property.
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October 25, 1871: Bey Muhammad as-Sadiq of Tunisia ceases to pay tribute to Constantinople, but recognizes nominal Ottoman sovereignty.
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October 26, 1871: Minister for Education Jules Simon addresses the Académie Française, “We have not only material ruins to deplore, but spiritual ruins as well…We have replaced glory with money, work with speculation, loyalty and honor with skepticism, the battles of parties and doctrines with the competition of interests, the school with clubs, Méhul (†54) and Lesueur with chansonnettes.”
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October 27, 1871: Great Britain annexes Griqualand West, 850 km northeast of Cape Town.
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October 29, 1871: The French premiere of Charles Gounod’s (53) Gallia takes place at the Paris Conservatory. Among the performers is the composer’s lover, Georgina Weldon.
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October 30, 1871: Ludwig, Baron Holzgethan replaces Karl Siegmund, Count Hohenwart as Chancellor of Austria.
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November 1, 1871: Angelo Mariani conducts a performance of Lohengrin at Teatro Communale, Bologna, the first performance of a Wagner (58) opera in Italy. Giuseppe Verdi (58) considers Mariani a traitor but this does not preclude him from attending a later performance on 19 November.
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November 1, 1871: For the first time, Richard Wagner (58) writes to the town fathers in Bayreuth, laying out the plans for his new theatre. Their response is enthusiastic.
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November 7, 1871: The town of Bayreuth formally approves of Richard Wagner’s (58) plan for a new theatre.
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November 9, 1871: Thrasivoulos Andreou Zaimis replaces Alexandros Koumoundouros as Prime Minister of Greece.
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November 9, 1871: Henri Duparc (23) marries Ellie MacSwiney at Eglise de missions étrangères, rue de Bac in Paris.
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November 10, 1871: After seven months of search, Henry M. Stanley, sent by the owner of the New York Herald, James Gordon Bennett, finds Scottish missionary Dr. David Livingstone at Ujiji (now in Tanzania). Stanley utters the famous words “Dr. Livingstone, I presume.”
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November 10, 1871: Baltzar von Platen replaces Carl Wachtmeister replaces Ludvig Manderström as Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden.
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November 12, 1871: Huldigungsmarsch WWV 97 by Richard Wagner (58) is performed for the first time in the setting for orchestra, at the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Vienna. See 5 October 1864.
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November 14, 1871: Manyhért Count Lónyay de Nagylónya et Vásáros-nameny replaces Gyula, Count Andrássy de Csíkszentkirály et Krasznahorska as Prime Minister of Hungary.
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November 17, 1871: The first performance of the Société National de Musique takes place in the Salle Pleyel, Paris.
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November 19, 1871: Giuseppe Verdi (58) attends a performance of Richard Wagner’s (58) Lohengrin in Bologna, also attended by Arrigo Boito (29). Verdi is recognized after the second act and applauded for 15 minutes, but refuses to show himself to the crowd. He brings with him a copy of the score and makes notes on it throughout the performance. His opinion: “Impression mediocre.”
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November 25, 1871: Adolf Wilhelm Daniel, Prince Auersperg replaces Ludwig, Baron Holzgethan as Chancellor of Austria.
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November 25, 1871: Trio de salon op.1/2 for violin, cello, and piano by César Franck (48) is performed for the first time, by the Société National de Musique, Paris.
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November 26, 1871: Scènes hongroise, the second suite for orchestra by Jules Massenet (29), is performed for the first time, in the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris.
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November 27, 1871: The Italian Parliament meets for the first time in the new capital, Rome.
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November 27, 1871: Johannes Brahms (38) is offered the position of director of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna. He will accept.
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November 30, 1871: A ceremony takes place in Brussels to mark the completion of the covering of the Senne River, an open sewer.
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December 2, 1871: The first concert of the new Music Association orchestra takes place in Christiania (Oslo). See 14 October 1871.
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December 3, 1871: Volkslied op.7/4, a song by Johannes Brahms (38) to traditional words, is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
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December 4, 1871: Germany adopts the gold standard.
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December 6, 1871: Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll is published in London.
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December 7, 1871: Jules Malou replaces Jules Joseph, Baron d’Anethan as head of government for Belgium.
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December 7, 1871: Le Rouet d’Omphale op.31, a symphonic poem by Camille Saint-Saëns (36), is performed for the first time, in a version for two pianos, in the Salle Erard, Paris. The composer performs one part. See 14 April 1872.
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December 8, 1871: Two of the lieder op.41 for unaccompanied chorus by Johannes Brahms (38) are performed for the first time, in Vienna: Ich schwing mein Horn ins Jammertal to anonymous old German words, and Gebt acht! Gebt acht! to words of Lemcke.
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December 10, 1871: Marche héroïque op.34 for orchestra by Camille Saint-Saëns (36) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
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December 10, 1871: Remembrance, a song by Antonín Dvorák (30) to words of Krásnohorská, is performed for the first time, in Prague.
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December 11, 1871: Manuel Debussy, father of Claude (9), is sentenced to four years in prison for his part in the Commune.
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December 14, 1871: Boule de neige, an opéra-bouffe by Jacques Offenbach (52) to words of Nuitter and Tréfeu, is performed for the first time, at the Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris.
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December 15, 1871: Geneva. A United States demand of reparation for damage caused by British-built ships used by the Confederacy is decided by an international group in favor of the United States. The United Kingdom agrees to pay $15,500,000.
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December 16, 1871: Carlos Gomes (35) marries Adelina Peri, a pianist.
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December 21, 1871: Práxedes Mateo-Sagasta Escolar replaces José Malcampo y Monge, marques de San Rafael, conde de Jolo as Prime Minister of Spain.
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December 23, 1871: Ma vie a son secret for voice and piano by Georges Bizet (33) to words of Arvers is performed for the first time, for the Société Nationale de Musique, Paris, the composer at the keyboard. Also premiered by the composer is his Variations chromatiques for piano.
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December 24, 1871: Aida, an opera by Giuseppe Verdi (58) to words of Ghislanzoni after Mariette, is performed for the first time, at the Cairo Opera House. It is very successful. The composer is not present.
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December 26, 1871: Thespis, or The Gods Grown Old, an operetta by Arthur Sullivan (29) to words of Gilbert, is performed for the first time, at the Gaiety Theatre, London. The first night audience does not approve, it will never be revived, never published and the score will be lost. But it does receive 64 performances. This marks the first collaboration in the often stormy association of the two artists who will come to dominate the English musical stage.
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December 31, 1871: John Philip Sousa (17) and several other boys are discharged from their contracts with the US Marine Corps band.
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December 31, 1871: Anton Rubinstein (42) conducts a concert in Vienna which includes the first part of Christus, in the presence of the composer, Franz Liszt (60) and with Anton Bruckner (47) playing the organ part.