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

January 1, 1875 – December 31, 1875

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January 1, 1875: Serialized publication of Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy begins this month in Russian Herald.
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January 5, 1875: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (34) plays his Piano Concerto no.1 for Nikolay Rubinstein at the Moscow Conservatory. In 1878, Tchaikovsky will relate the now-famous scene to his patron, Nadezhda von Meck. “It turned out that my concerto was altogether unsuitable, to play it was impossible, that passages were so trite, awkward and clumsy that they could not be corrected, that as a composition it was bad, vulgar, that I had stolen this from that place, and this from another, that there were only two or three pages that could stay, while the rest had either to be thrown out or completely rewritten…In a word, a passerby could have thought I was a maniac, an ungifted and unthinking scribbler who had come to a famous musician to pester him with nonsense.” (Wiley, 89) See 25 October 1875.
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January 5, 1875: The new Paris Opéra, designed by Charles Garnier, is inaugurated in the Palais Garnier, 13 years after the laying of the cornerstone. It is a gala evening. President Mac-Mahon, the Lord Mayor of London, and King Alfonso XII of Spain attend.
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January 8, 1875: Antonín Dvorák (33) is awarded his first state scholarship of 400 gulden.
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January 8, 1875: A third setting of Heimweh, a song by Johannes Brahms (41) to words of Groth, is performed for the first time, in Hamburg.
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January 9, 1875: Alfonso XII lands at Barcelona and is recognized as king.
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January 10, 1875: Scènes dramatiques d’après Shakespeare, the third suite for orchestra by Jules Massenet (32), is performed for the first time, at the Paris Conservatoire.
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January 12, 1875: HMS Dido arrives in Levuka, Fiji carrying measles. It sparks an epidemic through the islands which will kill 36,000 people, or about one-fourth of the total population.
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January 13, 1875: Emperor T’ung-chih (Tongzhi) of China dies and is succeeded by his two-year-old cousin Kuang-hsü (Guangxu) under regency.
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January 13, 1875: A reciprocity treaty is signed in Washington by representatives of Hawaii and the United States.
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January 14, 1875: King Alfonso XII arrives in Madrid to take his throne.
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January 15, 1875: Publisher Antoine de Choudens buys the score to Carmen from Georges Bizet (36) for FF25,000.
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January 17, 1875: Arthur Foote (21) is elected a member of the Harvard Musical Association.
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January 22, 1875: A Violin Sonata in a minor by Antonín Dvorák (33) is performed completely for the first time, in Prague. See 19 March 1874.
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January 23, 1875: Symphony no.4 “Dramatic” by Anton Rubinstein (45) is performed for the first time, in St. Petersburg, conducted by the composer.
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January 24, 1875: Danse macabre op.40, a symphonic poem by Camille Saint-Saëns (39) is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. The composer’s mother faints from the amount of boos and whistles.
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January 25, 1875: Demon, a fantastic opera by Anton Rubinstein (45) to words of Viskovatov and Maykov after Lermontov, is performed for the first time, in the Mariinskiy Theatre, St. Petersburg.
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January 28, 1875: Julián Antonio Carrillo Trujillo is born in Ahualulco, San Luis Potosí, Mexico, the last of 19 children born to Nabor Carrillo and Antonia Trujillo, Indian farmers. The child is born prematurely due to an earthquake in the region.
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January 31, 1875: Frühlingstrost op.63/1, a song by Johannes Brahms (41) to words of von Schenkendorf, is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
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February 1, 1875: The overture to Johann Strauss’ (49) unperformed operetta Cagliostro in Wien is heard for the first time, in the Sophiensaal, Vienna. See 27 February 1875.
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February 3, 1875: Danilo Stevanovic replaces Acim Cumic as Prime Minister of Serbia.
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February 3, 1875: Third Carlist War: Spanish government forces are routed by Carlists at Lácar, east of Estella. Newly arrived King Alfonso XII is almost captured.
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February 3, 1875: Camille Saint-Saëns (39) marries Marie Laure Emile Truffot in the Mairie of Le Cateau, northern France.
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February 5, 1875: A papal encyclical nullifies all Prussian laws which “contradict the divine institution of the church.”
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February 7, 1875: Symphonie Espagnole op.21 for violin and orchestra by Edouard Lalo (52) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
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February 12, 1875: Piano Concerto no.5 by Anton Rubinstein (45) is performed for the first time, in Berlin.
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February 13, 1875: Fragen op.64/3 for vocal quartet and piano by Johannes Brahms (41) to anonymous Turkish words translated by Daumer is performed for the first time, in Mannheim.
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February 20, 1875: Pursuaded by Richard D’Oyly Carte, WS Gilbert visits Arthur Sullivan (33) at his home in Victoria Street, London. He reads to Sullivan his libretto to an operetta called Trial By Jury “in the manner of a man considerably disappointed with what he had written . As soon as he had come to the last word he closed up the manuscript violently, apparently unconscious of the fact he had achieved his purpose so far as I was concerned, inasmuch as I was screaming with laughter the whole time.”
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February 22, 1875: Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot dies in Paris at the age of 78.
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February 24, 1875: SS Gothenburg out of Darwin strikes the Great Barrier Reef in heavy weather.
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February 24, 1875: The first of three Constitutional Laws governing the Third Republic of France is adopted.
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February 24, 1875: Der Abend op.64/2, a vocal quartet by Johannes Brahms (41) to words of Schiller, is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
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February 25, 1875: The Gothenburg goes down taking about 100 people with her. 22 eventually will be rescued.
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February 25, 1875: The second of three Constitutional Laws governing the Third Republic of France is adopted.
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February 25, 1875: Menus-Plaisirs by Jacques Offenbach (55) to words of Crémieux is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre de la Gaîté, Paris.
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February 27, 1875: The expedition of Henry Stanley reaches Lake Victoria.
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February 27, 1875: Cagliostro in Wien, an operetta by Johann Strauss (49) to words of Zell and Genée, is performed for the first time, in Theater an der Wien, Vienna. The work proves a succès d’estime.
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March 1, 1875: The United States government guarantees the rights of blacks in public places.
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March 1, 1875: The secretary of the Société National de Musique, Gabriel Fauré (29), is censured by the society for his “deplorable unpunctuality.”
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March 1, 1875: Richard Wagner (61) conducts a performance of his music in Vienna. For the first time, Wagner tubas are heard, playing Siegfried’s Funeral Music. The sound causes a sensation and the audience requires the musicians to play it again.
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March 2, 1875: Béla, Baron Wenckheim replaces István Bittó de Sárosfalva as Prime Minister of Hungary.
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March 2, 1875: Georges Bizet (36) visits César Franck’s (52) organ class at the Paris Conservatoire and gives away two Carmen tickets. One recipient, Vincent d’Indy (23), later will remember that of the eight members of the class, no one recognized Bizet by sight. In fact, he has been auditing the class anonymously for some time. Lamenting the fact that he has only two tickets, Bizet remarks, “Unfortunately that is too few; but you know even the most beautiful girl in the world can give no more than she has.”
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March 3, 1875: The announcement comes that Georges Bizet (36) is to be created a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor.
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March 3, 1875: Carmen, an opéra comique by Georges Bizet (36) to words of Meilhac and Halévy after Mérimée, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Favart, Paris. Present are Ambroise Thomas (63), Charles Gounod (56), Léo Delibes (39), Jacques Offenbach (55), Jules Massenet (32) and Vincent d’Indy (23). The work is not a success but will produce a good reception on the second night. Reviews are mixed. Carmen will enjoy 48 performances but the hall will never be filled.
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March 4, 1875: A Piano Trio in G by Charles Villiers Stanford (22) is performed for the first time, at Cambridge University.
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March 6, 1875: Quartet for piano and strings op.41 by Camille Saint-Saëns (39) is performed for the first time, at Salle Pleyel, the composer at the keyboard.
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March 7, 1875: 22:00 Joseph Maurice Ravel is born at 12 quai de la Nivelle (27 quai Maurice Ravel) in Ciboure, Basses-Pyrénées (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), the first of two children of Pierre Joseph Ravel, a Swiss engineer and amateur pianist, and Marie Delouart, a Basque woman, the daughter of an unwed fish seller.
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March 10, 1875: Die Glocken des Strassburger Münsters for mezzo-soprano, baritone, chorus, and orchestra by Franz Liszt (63) to words of Longfellow, is performed for the first time, in Pest. The work is dedicated by the composer to the poet.
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March 12, 1875: Ernest Chausson (20) receives a baccalaureate degree.
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March 13, 1875: Muzydalnyi listok, St. Petersburg, advertises as “just published” the song cycle Sunless by Modest Musorgsky (35).
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March 14, 1875: Vysehrad, a symphonic poem from Ma Vlast by Bedrich Smetana (51) is performed for the first time, in Prague. The audience calls for the entire work to be repeated.
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March 15, 1875: John McCloskey, Archbishop of New York, is created the first Roman Catholic cardinal from the United States.
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March 15, 1875: The second and final version of César Franck’s (52) symphonic poem Rédemption for soprano, female chorus, speaker, and orchestra to words of Blau is performed for the first time, at the Paris Conservatoire. It has a better response this time. See 10 April 1873 and 16 May 1874.
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March 17, 1875: Modest Musorgsky (35) is made senior head clerk in the Russian Department of Forests.
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March 18, 1875: Eve, a mystère by Jules Massenet (32) to words of Gallet is performed for the first time, at the Cirque d’Été, Paris.
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March 20, 1875: Barcarolle op.7/3 for solo voice and piano by Gabriel Fauré (29) to words of Monnier is performed for the first time, by the Société National de Musique, Paris.
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March 21, 1875: Impressed with Eve, three days ago, Charles Gounod (56) writes to Jules Massenet (32), “Prepare yourself for the martyr’s role: it is given to those who descend from on high and disturb those who mount from below. Never bemoan your fate, and do not be sad. Remember that when God said, ‘This one is a chosen vessel’ he added, ‘and I will show him how he must suffer in my name.’” (Massenet, 47)
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March 24, 1875: The Board of Overseers of Harvard University makes it possible for the attainment of a Doctor of Philosophy degree in music. However, this degree will not be conferred for another 30 years.
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March 25, 1875: Excerpts from Götterdämmerung by Richard Wagner (61) are performed for the first time, in the Musikverein, Vienna, conducted by the composer.
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March 25, 1875: Trial By Jury, an operetta by Arthur Sullivan (32) to words of Gilbert, is performed for the first time, at the Royalty Theatre, London conducted by the composer. It is actually the third work on the program being preceded by a one-act farce called Cryptoconchoidsyphonostomata and a complete performance of La Périchole by Jacques Offenbach (55). Despite the programming, it is an immediate success and runs for 131 performances. The part of the judge is played by the composer’s brother, Frederic.
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March 26, 1875: The first act of Camille Saint-Saëns’ (39) unstaged opera Samson et Dalila, to words of Lemaire, is performed for the first time, in a concert setting, in Paris. It is not well received. See 2 December 1877.
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March 30, 1875: Minister Agoston Trefort confers on Franz Liszt (63) the title of President of the proposed Academy of Music in Budapest.
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April 2, 1875: Agnes op.59/5, a song by Johannes Brahms (41) to words of Mörike, is performed for the first time, in Hamburg.
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April 4, 1875: Vltava (Die Moldau), a symphonic poem from Ma Vlast by Bedrich Smetana (51) is performed for the first time, before a Prague audience which includes Leos Janácek (20). “My memory of Smetana is like that of a child’s imagining God: in the clouds.” (Tyrrell I, 94)
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April 8, 1875: An article appears in the Berliner Post entitled “Is War in Sight?” It is anonymously written by Bismarck and is intended to convince France to scale back its rearmament. It backfires.
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April 10, 1875: Two songs for vocal duet and piano by Gabriel Fauré (29) are performed for the first time, by the Société National de Musique, Paris: Puisq’ici-bas toute âme op.10/1 to words of Hugo and Tarantelle op.10/2 to words of Monnier.
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April 12, 1875: Giuseppe Verdi (61) leaves Milan on a tour during which he will conduct his Messa da Requiem in Paris, London, and Vienna.
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April 14, 1875: Incidental music to Porto-Riche’s play Un drame sous Philippe II by Jules Massenet (32) is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre de l’Odéon, Paris.
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April 17, 1875: Colonel Neville Chamberlain invents Snooker while serving with the British Army at Jubbulpore (Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh), India.
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April 17, 1875: Die Maccabäer, an opera by Anton Rubinstein (45) to words of Mosenthal after Ludwig, is performed for the first time, in the Berlin Königlichetheater, the composer conducting.
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April 18, 1875: Johannes Brahms (41) conducts his last concert with the Vienna Gesellschaftskonzerte, claiming personal differences with advisory board member Johann Herbeck. Brahms will never have a steady job again.
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April 20, 1875: Quasimodo, an opera by Felipe Pedrell (34) to words of Barret after Hugo, is performed for the first time, in the Liceo, Barcelona.
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April 22, 1875: Les hannetons, a revue de printemps by Jacques Offenbach (55) to words of Grangé and Millaud, is performed for the first time, at the Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris.
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April 25, 1875: Mehmed Esad Pasha replaces Hüseyin Avni Pasha as Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire.
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April 29, 1875: Prelude and fugue in e minor by Charles Villiers Stanford (22) is performed for the first time, in Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge.
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April 29, 1875: Henry James publishes Transatlantic Sketches.
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April 30, 1875: Isaac Albéniz (14) departs Spain for the Caribbean with his father where a concert tour is planned.
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May 1, 1875: Two years after its destruction by fire, Alexandra Palace reopens in London. It covers almost three hectares.
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May 5, 1875: Henry Stanley completes his circumnavigation of Lake Victoria and establishes it as the principal source of the Nile.
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May 7, 1875: Representatives of Russia and Japan sign a treaty in St. Petersburg. Japan renounces all claims to Sakhalin Island. Russia renounces all claims to the Kurile Islands.
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May 7, 1875: Ten days out of New York, the SS Schiller strikes ground in the Scilly Islands in fog. 335 passengers and crew are lost. 37 survive.
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May 8, 1875: Charilaos Spiridonou Trikoupis replaces Demetrios Georgiou Voulgaris as Prime Minister of Greece.
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May 8, 1875: 15 Neue Liebeslieder Waltzes op.65 arranged for vocal quartet and piano-four hands by Johannes Brahms (42) to words of Daumer is performed for the first time, in the Museumsaal, Karlsruhe.
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May 10, 1875: Louis Joseph Buffet replaces Ernest Louis Octave Courtot de Cissey as Prime Minister of France.
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May 10, 1875: Tsar Alyeksandr II and Foreign Minister Prince Alyeksandr Gorchakov visit Berlin as part of a joint UK-Russia effort to stop Bismarck from starting a pre-emptive war against France. They are successful.
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May 10, 1875: The US Treasury Department, under orders of Secretary of the Treasury Benjamin Bristow, and acting without the knowledge of President Grant or the Attorney General, conduct raids in several cities, arresting hundreds of people in connection with the Whiskey Ring, a conspiracy between the whiskey industry, Republican politicians, and civil servants which has diverted millions of dollars in tax revenue. 240 people will be indicted.
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May 11, 1875: Louis Gerhard de Geer af Finspång replaces Eduard Carleson as Prime Minister for Justice of Sweden.
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May 15, 1875: Burdened by debts, Jacques Offenbach (55) sells the Théâtre de la Gaîté to Albert Vizentini, his former partner.
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May 15, 1875: Lénore, a symphonic poem by Henri Duparc (27), is performed for the first time, by the Société National de Musique, Paris.
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May 16, 1875: An earthquake in Venezuela and Colombia kills 16,000 people.
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May 18, 1875: The Radiant Dark op.1/8 for voice and piano by Charles Villiers Stanford (22) is performed for the first time, at Cambridge University.
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May 18, 1875: John Philip Sousa (20) is discharged from the US Marine Corps in Washington.
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May 20, 1875: Representatives of 17 countries sign a treaty in Paris establishing an International Bureau of Weights and Measures.
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May 20, 1875: Cagliostro-Quadrille op.369 by Johann Strauss (49) is performed for the first time, in Schwender’s “Neue Welt”, Vienna.
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May 21, 1875: The Resurrection op.5, for tenor, chorus, orchestra, and organ by Charles Villiers Stanford (22) to words of Klopstock, is performed for the first time, in Cambridge. At this concert, Stanford also gives the British premiere of Part III of Faust by Robert Schumann (†19). This brings him to the attention of the musical world outside of Cambridge.
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May 21, 1875: Isaac Albéniz (14) performs for the first time in the Western Hemisphere, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He will also play in Mayaguez and Cáguas.
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May 24, 1875: Bedrich Smetana (51) enters the clinic of Dr. Zaufal where he undergoes a month’s therapy to cure his deafness including a dark isolation room and foul-smelling dressings smeared on his body. The treatment fails.
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May 27, 1875: A six-day socialist congress concludes in Gotha, Germany. The Socialist Workers Party of Germany is founded (later called the Social Democratic Party).
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May 28, 1875: Georges Bizet (36) and his wife move from Paris to Bougival as he convalesces.
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May 30, 1875: Georges Bizet (36) suffers an “acute rheumatic attack.” He is in great pain and his limbs are paralyzed.
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May 31, 1875: The Congregations Law is enacted in Prussia. Part of Chancellor Bismarck’s Kulturkampf, it abolishes religious orders, except those which care for the sick, and ends state subsidies for the Roman Catholic Church.
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June 1, 1875: A little after midnight, Georges Bizet (36) suffers a heart attack and is in great pain.
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June 2, 1875: Georges Bizet (36) suffers a second heart attack.
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June 2, 1875: James Augustine Healy is consecrated Bishop of Maine in Portland. He is the first African-American Catholic bishop in the United States.
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June 2, 1875: A group of Commanche lead by Quanah Parker surrender at Fort Sill, Indian Territory (Oklahoma). This ends the Red River War and and serious resistance by Indians in the southern Plains.
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June 3, 1875: 02:00 Georges Alexandre-César-Léopold Bizet dies at Bougival, Seine-et-Oise, Republic of France, of a heart attack, aged 36 years, seven months, and nine days.
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June 4, 1875: Eduard Mörike dies in Stuttgart at the age of 70.
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June 5, 1875: The Zoo, an operetta by Arthur Sullivan (33) to words of Rowe (pseud. of Stephenson), is performed for the first time, at St. James’ Theatre, London. Also on the program is Tom Cobb, a play by WS Gilbert.
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June 5, 1875: A funeral for the remains of Georges Bizet is held at the Montmartre church of La Trinité attended by 4,000 people. Among the pallbearers are Ambroise Thomas (63) and Charles Gounod (56). The earthly remains of the composer are laid to rest in the Cimetière Père-Lachaise.
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June 6, 1875: The Netherlands adopts the gold standard.
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June 11, 1875: Jakob Brønnum Scavenius Estrup replaces Christian Andreas Gonnesbech as Prime Minister of Denmark.
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June 13, 1875: Hommage à Boieldieu, a cantata for male chorus, brass, and woodwinds by Ambroise Thomas (63), is performed for the first time, in Rouen.
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June 16, 1875: Cagliostro Waltz op.370 by Johann Strauss (49) is performed for the first time, in the Gartenbau, Vienna.
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June 17, 1875: Three works by Franz Liszt (63) are performed for the first time, in Weimar: Die heilige Cäcilia for mezzo-soprano, chorus, and orchestra to words of de Girardin, Hymne de l’enfant à son réveil for female chorus, piano, and harp to words of Lamartine, and Erste Elegie for cello, piano, harp, and harmonium.
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June 17, 1875: String Quartet no.7 op.16 by Antonín Dvorák (33) is performed for the first time, privately, in Prague. See 29 December 1878.
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June 19, 1875: An uprising by Christians begins in Herzegovina against Turkish rule.
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June 21, 1875: Melting snow and four days of rain causes the Garonne River to flood at Toulouse. Over the next four days, 540 people are killed while parts of Toulouse and several surrounding villages are destroyed.
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June 24, 1875: A German appeals court rules that Bismarck opponent Count von Arnim in fact did make off with state papers and extends his prison sentence from three to nine months.
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June 25, 1875: Hoch Österreich! op.371, a march by Johann Strauss (49), is performed for the first time, in the Volksgarten, Vienna.
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July 1, 1875: Vocal rehearsals for Das Rheingold begin at Wahnfried. The rehearsals are also auditions.
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July 7, 1875: Third Carlist War: Government forces defeat Carlists at Treviño in Navarre. This allows them to enter Vitoria.
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July 9, 1875: The Native Share & Stock Brokers' Association (Bombay Stock Exchange) is founded. It is the first stock exchange in India.
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July 14, 1875: George Grove writes to Hubert Parry (27) asking him to contribute to his new dictionary of music.
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July 16, 1875: The third of three Constitutional Laws governing the Third Republic of France is adopted.
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July 23, 1875: Chorale Fantasia for organ by Leos Janácek (21) is performed for the first time, by the composer during his final examination at the Prague Organ School.
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July 24, 1875: Leos Janácek (21) is awarded a final certificate from the Prague Organ School.
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August 2, 1875: Richard Wagner (62) hears an orchestra in the Bayreuth Festspielhaus for the first time and is pleased by the acoustical results.
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August 2, 1875: The Belgravia Roller Skating Rink opens in London. It is the first public rink for roller skating.
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August 4, 1875: Hans Christian Andersen dies near Copenhagen at the age of 70.
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August 11, 1875: Vincent d’Indy (24) marries his cousin, Isabelle de Pampelonne, in the parish church of Boffres. She is the daughter of an ex-naval officer. The church is so small a harmonium is used for the service. Played by a fellow student, d’Indy criticizes him for modulating to the subdominant during his improvisation on the Offertory.
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August 17, 1875: The Rákóczy March for orchestra by Franz Liszt (63) is performed for the first time, in Pest.
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August 21, 1875: Mahmud Nedim Pasha replaces Mehmed Esad Pasha as Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire.
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August 25, 1875: Matthew Webb swims from Dover to Calais in 22 hours, the first person known to have crossed the English Channel under their own power.
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August 27, 1875: Paul-Émile (François) Lecoq de Boisbaudran discovers the element gallium in his Paris laboratory. It is the first element discovered by the use of the spark spectrum.
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August 30, 1875: The President and Fellows of Harvard University appoint John Knowles Paine (36) Professor of Music. It is the first music professorship at an American college.
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September 1, 1875: Stevca Mihailovic replaces Danilo Stevanovic as Prime Minister of Serbia.
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September 3, 1875: Two occasional works by Franz Liszt (63) are performed for the first time, in Weimar: Der Herr bewahret die Seelen seiner Heiligen, Festgesang zur Enthüllung des Carl-August-Denkmals in Weimar, and Carl August weilt mit uns, Festgesang zur Enthüllung des Carl-August-Denkmals in Weimar, for male chorus, brass, drums, and organ.
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September 4, 1875: During a Republican rally in Clinton, Mississippi a race riot erupts. 20-30 blacks are killed by whites.
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September 4, 1875: The Florence Rivista Independente publishes the first of five articles revealing intimate details of the professional and private life of the soprano Teresa Stolz, accusing her of immoral relationships with the conductor Angelo Mariani and the composer Giuseppe Verdi (61).
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September 8, 1875: In Munich, Clara Schumann (55) witnesses a performance of Wagner’s (62) Tristan und Isolde for the first time. “It is the most repulsive thing I ever saw or heard in my life.”
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September 10, 1875: Gustav Mahler (15) begins his first term at the Conservatorium der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna.
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September 12, 1875: Joaquín Jovellar Jover replaces Antonio Cánovas del Castillo as Prime Minister of Spain.
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September 12, 1875: A private concert in honor of Franz Liszt (63) is given in Leipzig. Among those in attendance is Charles Villiers Stanford (22). “The moment his fingers touched the keys, I realized the immense gap between him and all other pianists.” (Williams, 521)
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September 15, 1875: Jeanne-Louise (Dumont) Farrenc dies in Paris, Republic of France, aged 71 years, three months, and 15 days.
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September 16, 1875: A hurricane comes ashore at Indianola, Texas and moves up the coast causing around 800 deaths.
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October 4, 1875: A revised version of Mefistofele by Arrigo Boito (33) to his own words after Goethe, is performed, much more successfully than the premiere, in Teatro Comunale, Bologna. See 5 March 1868.
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October 9, 1875: Ljubomir Kaljevic replaces Stevca Mihailovic as Prime Minister of Serbia.
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October 12, 1875: The Abolition of Provinces Act is given royal assent in New Zealand. It centralizes government in the colony.
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October 16, 1875: The Ottoman government decrees that it will pay only half of the principal and interest of all its debt at five percent in cash. They pledge to pay the rest within ten years with debenture bonds. The bankruptcy of the government is now public.
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October 17, 1875: Licht und Schatten op.374, a polka mazurka by Johann Strauss (49), is performed for the first time, in the Musikverein, Vienna.
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October 19, 1875: La boulangère a des écus, an opéra-bouffe by Jacques Offenbach (56) to words of Meilhac and Halevy is performed for the first time, at the Variétés, Paris. The press likes it, as does the audience.
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October 20, 1875: Kálmán Tisza de Borosjenö et Szeged replaces Béla, Baron Wenckheim as Prime Minister of Hungary.
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October 21, 1875: Having returned from Prague, Leos Janácek (21) is once again asked to direct the choir of the men’s organization Svatopluk in Brünn (Brno).
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October 25, 1875: “Electrotherapy” begins to be applied to Bedrich Smetana (51) as a last resort.
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October 25, 1875: Concerto for piano and orchestra no.1 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (35) is performed for the first time, in the Music Hall, Boston by Hans von Bülow who is currently on a tour of the United States. The audience demands that the finale be encored. See 5 January 1875.
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October 26, 1875: Le voyage dans la lune, an opéra-féerie by Jacques Offenbach (56) to words of Leterrier, Vanloo, and Mortier, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre de la Gaité, Paris.
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October 27, 1875: Alexandros Koumoundouros replaces Charilaos Spiridonou Trikoupis as Prime Minister of Greece.
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October 28, 1875: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (35) wins a competition for an opera set to a libretto by Yakov Petrovich Polonsky entitled Vakula the Smith based on a story by Gogol. The sponsors, the St. Petersburg Committee of the Russian Musical Society, finds that Tchaikovsky’s entry is the only one fulfilling their requirements.
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October 30, 1875: Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy is published in Boston.
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October 31, 1875: Modest Musorgsky (36) writes to Vladimir Stasov, “the mighty kuchka has degenerated into soulless traitors.”
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October 31, 1875: Lamento, pour orchestre, suite à l’occasion de la mort de G. Bizet by Jules Massenet (33) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
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October 31, 1875: Concerto for piano and orchestra no.4 op.44 by Camille Saint-Saëns (40) is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre du Châtelet, in Paris, the composer at the keyboard.
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November 3, 1875: La créole, an opéra-comique by Jacques Offenbach (56) to words of Millaud and Meilhac, is performed for the first time, at the Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris.
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November 4, 1875: The American SS Pacific, out of Victoria, strikes S/V Orpheus 65 km southwest of Cape Flattery, Washington Territory. It goes down within 20 minutes with the loss of about 275 passengers and crew. Only two survive. Orpheus will reach land at Barkley Sound but will run aground. However, there are no casualties.
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November 7, 1875: British explorer Verney Cameron, stricken with scurvy, reaches Katombéla, Angola. Having started his expedition from Zanzibar, he thus becomes the first European to traverse equatorial Africa from sea to sea.
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November 13, 1875: For the first time, teams from Harvard and Yale compete in American football.
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November 14, 1875: The National Hungarian Royal Academy of Music opens its doors under President Franz Liszt (64). The President is currently living in Rome.
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November 15, 1875: Giuseppe Verdi (62) takes the oath of office as an Italian Senator in Rome, one year to the day after he was supposed to be sworn.
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November 16, 1875: Abyssinian forces ambush and smash invading Egyptians at Gundet.
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November 16, 1875: Arthur Sullivan (33) gives his first performance as conductor of the Glasgow Choral Union.
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November 17, 1875: 10:45 Outside the stage door of the Vienna Opera House, wherein a rehearsal of Tannhäuser is in progress, Hugo Wolf (15) meets Richard Wagner (62) for the first time. “With a truly religious awe I gazed upon this great master of Tone...”
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November 18, 1875: Anton Bruckner (51) is informed that he has been appointed an unpaid teacher in harmony and counterpoint at the University of Vienna.
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November 18, 1875: Quartet for piano and strings no.3 op.60 by Johannes Brahms (42) is performed for the first time, in the Musikverein, Vienna, the composer at the keyboard.
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November 19, 1875: Symphony no.3 “Polish” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (35) is performed for the first time, in Moscow.
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November 19, 1875: Incidental music to Barrière’s and Mürger’s play La vie de Bohème by Jules Massenet (33) is performed for the first time, in Théâtre de l’Odéon, Paris.
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November 25, 1875: Almost bankrupt, Khedive Ismail of Egypt puts 176,602 shares in the Suez Canal Company up for sale. Prime Minister Disraeli of Great Britain commits Her Majesty’s government to buy them, giving Britain 44% of the Suez Canal.
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December 2, 1875: Antonio Cánovas del Castillo replaces Joaquín Jovellar Jover as Prime Minister of Spain.
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December 4, 1875: William Marcy (Boss) Tweed escapes from the Ludlow Street Jail in New York and heads for Cuba, then Spain.
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December 4, 1875: The 44th Congress of the United States convenes in Washington. The Republicans continue control of the Senate with a reduced majority. The numbers in the House are completely the reverse of the previous Congress with the electorate blaming Republicans for the Panic of 1873. Democrats hold 177 of 287 seats.
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December 6, 1875: The SS Deutschland out of Bremerhaven strikes ground in the Thames estuary in a snowstorm and begins taking on water.
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December 7, 1875: About 170 passengers and crew of the SS Deutschland are rescued by a paddle tugboat. 57 have died clinging to the rigging.
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December 8, 1875: Woldemar replaces Leopold III as Prince of Lippe.
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December 11, 1875: An explosion rips through the German ship Mosel in Bremerhaven as it is about to begin a trip to New York. 81 people are killed, dozens injured. The culprit is a Canadian-American, a former Confederate blockade runner, Alexander Keith, who placed dynamite in the ship in hopes of collecting insurance from worthless things he put aboard. The bomb, intended to explode in mid-ocean, goes off prematurely. When Keith sees what he has done, he puts two bullets into his head. He will live for five more days, during which time police gain a confession.
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December 13, 1875: Camille Saint-Saëns (40) gives his first concert in Moscow. Among the audience is Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (35).
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December 14, 1875: Tarte à la crème, a valse by Jacques Offenbach (56) to words of Millaud, is performed for the first time, at the Bouffes-Parisiens, Paris.
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December 20, 1875: The International Committee for Relief to the Wounded changes its name to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
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December 25, 1875: In Gloucester Cathedral, Samuel Sebastian Wesley (65) plays the organ for the last time, for Choral Evensong.
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December 30, 1875: Austria-Hungary, Germany, and Russia agree to a note, written by Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister Count Andrassy, to present to the Turkish government. It proposes reforms in the Ottoman Empire which are designed to quiet uprisings by Christians in the Balkans.