Classical Archives

Richard Strauss: Oboe Concerto in D
03/28/17
Believe it or not, it was an American soldier serving in World War II that prompted Richard Strauss to compose an oboe concerto. At the time, the...
03/27/17
Today is the birth anniversary of American composer Ferde Grofe, born on this day in 1892, and we’re celebrating tonight with his Grand Canyon Suite...
Sergei Rachmaninoff
03/27/17
On this date in 1897, Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 1 had its premiere in St. Petersburg, in a notoriously bad performance conducted by Alexander...
Robert Schumann: Piano Concerto in a minor Op. 54
03/25/17
Robert Schumann’s only piano concerto was not always a concerto: in 1841 the composer produced a Fantaisie in a-minor for piano and orchestra, which...
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 4 in B-Flat Op. 60
03/24/17
Beethoven’s even-numbered symphonies are often overshadowed by their odd-numbered neighbors. Robert Schumann even referred to Beethoven’s Fourth...
Los Angeles Philharmonic: Gustavo Dudamel
03/24/17
Gustavo Dudamel Leif Ove Andsnes - Piano Los Angeles Master Chorale Grant Gershon - Music Director Amanda Woodbury - Soprano So Young Park - Soprano...
Franz Schubert: Symphony No. 3 in D
03/23/17
In 1815, when Franz Schubert was only 18-years old, he was working full-time, year-round as a school teacher, taking twice-weekly composition lessons...
Frederic Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1 in e minor, Op. 11
03/22/17
Chopin wrote only two piano concertos in his lifetime, and they were composed as virtuoso showpieces for the travelling pianist. This showy-ness...
Isaac Albeniz: Iberia Suite
03/22/17
Iberia was originally a solo piano work by Isaac Albeniz that features a “wealth of imagery,” according to the composer’s French contemporaries. The...
Stephen Sondheim
03/22/17
Today’s date is a pretty good one for Broadway!  March 22 marks the birthdays of two major composers.  Stephen Sondheim was born in 1930 in New York...
Antonin Dvorak: Symphony No. 8 in G Op. 88
03/21/17
Dvorak’s second-to-last symphony, the 8th Symphony, was a departure from the one that came before it. Whereas Dvorak’s Seventh was dramatic and...
Johann Sebastian Bach
03/21/17
On this date in 1685, perhaps the greatest composer of the Baroque period, and the man who is responsible for setting the path of classical music was...
Ludwig van Beethoven: Violin Sonata No. 5 in F Op. 24 “Spring”
03/20/17
On this first day of Spring, we will hear the “Spring” Sonata by Beethoven, the Violin Sonata No. 5 in F. While we may think of a work like this as...
Sergei Rachmaninoff
03/20/17
On this date in 1873, the great composer and pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff was born.  This date also saw the premiere of his symphonic fantasy "The...
Oregon Symphony: Carlos Kalmar - Conductor
03/17/17
Carlos Kalmar - Conductor Susan Platts - Mezzo-soprano Portland State University & Pacific Youth Choirs We're heading to Portland, Oregon, for a...
St. Patrick's Day
03/17/17
Today is St. Patrick’s Day, and two “Irish” works got premieres in the Celtic city of Boston.  The first was in March of 1922, when Pierre Monteux...
Hamilton Harty: Irish Symphony
03/16/17
Irish composer Hamilton Harty composed his Irish Symphony as part of a 1904 competition that awarded a special price for a suite or symphony on...
Tchaikovsky
03/16/17
Two Tchaikovsky works had their premieres on this date.  In 1870, the Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture had its first performance in Moscow, with...
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 38 in D K 504, “Prague”
03/15/17
Three years separated Mozart’s 37th Symphony and his 38th, but at the age of 30, towards the end of 1786, he started composing his Symphony No. 38...
Gioachino Rossini
03/15/17
On this date in 1895, legendary Italian tenor Enrico Caruso made his operatic debut at the age of 22 at the Teatro Nuovo in Naples, singing the lead...
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio in a, Op. 50
03/14/17
Tchaikovsky only has one chamber work featuring piano and strings: a Piano Trio, and initially, he had no interest in writing such a work. However,...
Frederick Delius: Florida Suite
03/13/17
Frederick Delius spent some time in Florida, and he composed his Florida Suite in 1886 while working on an orange plantation not far from...
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concert No. 1 in C, Op. 15
03/13/17
Like a lot of works in the 18th and 19th Century, Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto in C Major was misnumbered. He completed the concerto after what...
George Crumb
03/13/17
On this date in 1970, George Crumb completed his "Black Angels" for electric string quartet, percussion and water-tuned musical glasses. The score is...
Franz Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 85 in B-flat “La Reine”
03/11/17
While most of Haydn’s nicknamed symphonies earned their nickname because of the music, the nickname of his Symphony No. 85 is because of who loved it...