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Colin Davis found power in humility later in his career — and one astonished music journalist.
April 17, 2013 What impressed most about Colin Davis wasn't his extraordinarily broad view of music and art, his eloquent turns of phrase, or even his naughty sense of humor, but it was instead something less tangible — his sense of self.
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The late Colin Davis conducting the last night of Proms at London's Royal Albert Hall in September 1968.
George Freston/Getty Images
April 14, 2013 The English conductor was knighted in 1980 and won three Grammys — but did not reach the real heights of his career until he was in his sixties and seventies. Famed for his interpretations of Berlioz, Sibelius and Mozart as well as contemporary composers, he died at age 85 on Sunday.
October 27, 2009 It may have been written in 1830, but Berlioz's groundbreaking music provides the soundtrack to some wild nights — complete with dancing, drugs, an execution and a rowdy party of witches. The symphony's unusual effects and instruments tell the story of a wild-eyed musician in love.
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In his diary, Sibelius noted the inspiration for the grand theme in his Fifth Symphony: "Today I saw 16 swans. God, what beauty! They circled over me for a long time. Disappeared into the solar haze like a silver ribbon."
October 6, 2009 Finnish composer Jean Sibelius introduces some of his most memorable ideas in his fifth symphony. Inspired by swans in flight, the symphony ends in a magnificent blaze of glory.
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Portrait of Austrian composer Franz Joseph Haydn.
Kean Collection/Getty Images
May 26, 2009 Late in his career, Joseph Haydn spent some leisure time in London, lapping up the wealth of praise and composing a formidable set of 12 symphonies. Critic Ted Libbey recommends the best recordings.
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