Dynamic Duos of Music

Greatest Musical Collaborations

Many chart-topping songs and award-winning stage productions are the results of creative collaborations among brilliant composers, musicians, librettists and lyricists. Here we will look at 5 dynamic duos of music whose works are very much appreciated to this day.

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Vincenzo Bellini (1801 - 1835) was an Italian composer of the early 19th century whose specialty was writing bel canto operas. Bellini collaborated with the librettist Felice Romani on six of his nine operas; these include "Il pirata," "I Capuleti ed i Montecchi" (The Capulets and the Montagues), "La sonnambula" (The Sleepwalker), "Norma" and "Beatrice de Tendo."

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Kurt Julian Weill (1900 - 1950) was a German composer of the 20th century known for his collaborations with writer Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht (1898 - 1956). The Weill/Bertolt collaboration produced a new type of opera using caustic wit to address social follies of their time. Their collaborations include

Die Dreigroschenoper
Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny

("Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny").

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was a British conductor, teacher and composer who was especially known for his operettas. His successful collaborations with librettist Sir William Schwenk Gilbert (1836 - 1911) helped establish the English operetta. Gilbert and Sullivan's famous works are collectively known as the "Savoy Operas."

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Rodgers/Hart and Rodgers/Hammerstein

Richard Charles Rodgers (1902 - 1979) is known for his musical comedies and his successful collaborations with librettists Lorenz Hart (1895 - 1943) and Oscar Hammerstein II (1895 - 1960). His collaborations with Hart produced around 1,000 songs including "With a Song in My Heart," "The Lady Is a Tramp," "Pal Joey," "Blue Moon," "My Funny Valentine" and "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered." When Hart died in 1943, Rodgers worked with Oscar Hammerstein II. The Rodgers & Hammerstein tandem resulted in several successful works including "Oklahoma!" and "South Pacific" which both won a Pulitzer Prize.

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George and Ira Gershwin

George Gershwin (1898 - 1937) was one of the prominent composers and songwriters of the 20th century. He composed scores for Broadway musicals and wrote some of the most memorable songs of our time. Most of the lyrics of Gershwins' songs were written by his older brother Ira Gershwin (1896 - 1983). Their song collaborations include “The Man I Love,” “I Got Rhythm,” “Embraceable You,” "But Not For Me," "They Can't Take That Away From Me" and lyrics to several songs for the opera "Porgy and Bess."