Music Anniversaries in 2018

1818: 200 years ago

The Christmas carol, "Silent Night (Stille Nacht)," was first performed on Christmas Eve in 1818, in Oberndorf, Germany. The lyrics were first written by Joseph Mohr as a poem in 1816, but the melody was composed by Franz Xaver Gruber in 1818, shortly before the first performance. 

Beethoven was already a well-known artist when Thomas Broadwood, of John Broadwood & Son, gave him a six-octave Broadwood fortepiano. Broadwood shipped it from London to Vienna and it arrived midway through 1818. The piano remained in Beethoven's home until his death, and now resides in the Hungarian National Museum. That same year Beethoven composed his "Hammerklavier Sonata" Op. 106, a sonata for the piano.