Was 1876 classical music’s most important year?

Mike Ashman writes:

1876 was a melting-point for music, a watershed year in both concert hall and opera house. With the premiere of Wagner’s four-evening Ring cycle, and the composition of Bruckner’s 65‑minute Fifth Symphony, it saw great peaks of Romantic operatic and symphonic writing. The appearance of Mahler’s first significant score, a Piano Quartet, the development of the one-movement Lisztian tone-poem by Tchaikovsky and the more realistic bourgeois drama of operas by Bizet, Ponchielli and Smetana, introduced the newer, less ......

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