March 21 – Mussorgsky, Schubert ‘Great’, Easy Rider, Surfer Rosa


Birthday of Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky.

Famous works include orchestral tone poem Night on Bald Mountain (seen in Disney film Fantasia) and 1874 piano suite Pictures at an Exhibition (as arranged in 1922 by French impressionist composer Maurice Ravel).

Night (from Fantasia)  Kissin:Pictures(piano)  Marin:Pictures(Promenade) 

See also: The Five, Music of Russia, Tchaikovsky and The Five


Felix Mendelssohn conducts the world premiere of Franz Schubert‘s magnificent 1826 symphony, The Great C-major (D.944) in Leipzig.

Vienna, 1758, about to burst with musical genius

In Oct. 1826, Schubert gave the symphony to the Society of Friends of Music with a dedication (they return a small honorarium). There it remains until 1838, when Robert Schumann visits Vienna and the work is shown to him by Schubert’s brother Ferdinand. (Ferdinand sold the majority of Franz’s work to Anton Diabelli‘s music publishing concern (est. 1817) in 1828. The firm systematically published and championed the works.)

Actually the symphony had already been (privately) performed earlier, at a 12 March 1829 Concert Spirituel in Vienna. Schubert heard only two of his symphonies performed during his lifetime. But then he didn’t even own a piano until his last year. (*)

Gardiner:1st mvmt  ▷Schubert symphonies▹


Noir counterculture road-trip film Easy Rider premieres.

It ignites the careers of Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper. The soundtrack album — including Canadian-American hard rock band Steppenwolf‘s major July, 1968 hit Born to Be Wild — is experimental, highly popular & influential.


Boston alt-rock band Pixies masterpiece debut album Surfer Rosa is released by 4AD in the UK.

Engineered by Steve Albini, in 2005 Spin calls it the sixth best album in 20 years. While it doesn’t chart in the UK, all followup albums make top-10 there — while most of the US scratches its head. It eventually sells second-best only to 2nd album Doolittle.

 ( Pixies site Gigantic  Where’s My Mind 
 Best Album Art