Program Archives

07/20/18

Joaquin Rodrigo is probably best known for his Concierto de Aranjuez for guitar and orchestra, but he produced quite a few pieces featuring the guitar in that setting. One, a lesser known work but...

Ferde Grofe: Grand Canyon Suite
07/19/18

When asked about his “Grand Canyon Suite” in a radio interview some-forty years after it was composed, American Composer Ferde Grofe reminisced about the moment the idea for the piece was born. He...

Johannes Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 in d Op. 15
07/18/18

In 1854, Johannes Brahms began to compose a two-piano sonata, and soon realized that it needed more. He would transform the opening of that work into the first movement of a First Piano Concerto;...

Frederic Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1 in e minor, Op. 11
07/16/18

It's a bit absurd now to imagine having to defend Chopin's two astounding piano concertos, but early on in the 20th century, the works were coming under fire. One critic wrote that the concertos...

Zoltan Kodaly: Hary Janos Suite
07/13/18

Folk music is often regarded as the heart of a nation's identity, and for Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodaly, folk music became a mission. He traveled all throughout the remote regions of Central...

Georges Bizet: Symphony No. 1 in C
07/12/18

Georges Bizet composed his First Symphony at the age of seventeen, and although the work enjoys regular performances today, the composer didn't do much in his lifetime to promote the work. The...

Franz Schubert: Guitar Quartet in G
07/10/18

As a teenager, Franz Schubert began to play guitar, and he later spent time playing guitar with Italian guitarist and composer Mauro Giuliani. So, in the early part of the 19th century when there...

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 36 in C K 425 “Linz”
07/09/18

We, of course, know that Mozart was a remarkable composer, but this evening’s masterwork was a remarkable feat for even Mozart. It’s his Symphony No. 36, which he composed from start to finish and...

Franz Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 99 in E flat
07/05/18

As Franz Joseph Haydn was approaching the age of 60, he accepted an offer to compose an opera, half a dozen symphonies, and other works to be premiered in London under his baton. This was at a...

Aaron Copland: Appalachian Spring
07/04/18

On this Independence Day's Evening Masterwork, we are celebrating with the music of American Composer Aaron Copland and his Appalachian Spring. The work is now one of the most inspiring...

Antonin Dvorak: Legends Op. 59
07/03/18

Dvorak’s piece, “Legends,” was originally composed as a suite of ten short pieces for four-hand piano, and was conceived around the same time Dvorak was writing his Sixth Symphony. In a...

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 5 in A K 219
06/27/18

Mozart composed all five of his violin concertos in a matter of months – between April and December of 1775. Each one is longer and seems to be more epic than the one that came before it, so it’s...

Robert Schumann: Piano Quartet in E-flat Op. 47
06/26/18

The year 1842 was a year of chamber music for Robert Schumann: he completed three string quartets, a piano trio, a piano quartet, and a piano quintet all in a short span of time. It makes sense...

Richard Strauss: Don Quixote
06/26/18

When Richard Strauss composed his tone poem Don Quixote, subtitled Fantastic Variations on a Theme of Knightly Character, he intended for it to be a companion piece to his other heroic tone poem,...

Ernest Chausson: Symphony in B-flat Op. 20
06/25/18

Towards the end of the 19th century, French composers were churning out symphonies: the “Organ” symphony by Saint-Saens, the Symphony in g-minor by Lalo, the Symphony in D minor by Cesar Franck,...

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 39 in E-flat K 543
06/20/18

Mozart’s final two symphonies, the 40th and 41st, receive quite a bit of attention, but those two are actually part of a trio of the composer’s last symphonies: the other one, the least studied...

Vassili Kalinnikov: Symphony No. 2 in A
06/19/18

The story of Russian composer Vasily Kalinnikov is a tragically short one, not unlike the story of many artists throughout the ages. He lived a troubled life, growing up in poverty and dealing...

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Clarinet Quintet in A K 581
06/18/18

No one is sure why Mozart was tasked to compose his Clarinet Quintet in A, though it was first premiered at the end of 1789 at a benefit concert for musicians’ widows and orphans. Interestingly,...

Arnold Schoenberg: Verklarte Nacht (Transfigured Night)
06/18/18

Arnold Schoenberg is perhaps best known for his revolutionary twelve-tone technique, a systematic approach to composition that utilized all 12 notes of the octave to create the music he wrote. But...

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 26 “Coronation”
06/14/18

Mozart composed his 26th Piano Concerto around the same time he was writing dramatic operas such as The Marriage of Figaro and The Abduction from the Seraglio, and in a lot of ways, the concerto...

Franz Schubert: String Quintet in C Op. 163
06/13/18

The String Quintet in C by Franz Schubert was composed in the final weeks of his life. It’s rather unique in that rather than writing for a string quartet with an extra viola, which was common in...

Antonin Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 in e Op. 95 “From the New World”
06/11/18

Antonin Dvorak was born in what is now the Czech Republic, but in 1892, when he was about 50 years old, the composer moved to America to be the director of the National Conservatory of Music in...

Alexander von Zemlinsky: Die Seejungfrau (The Mermaid)
06/11/18

The Mermaid by Alexander von Zemilinsky was premiered on a concert in January of 1905 alongside a piece by the composer’s brother-in-law, Arnold Schoenberg. While it is a richly orchestrated tone...

Max Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 in g Op. 26
06/07/18

Max Bruch’s First Violin Concerto had quite the evolution, having first been completed and performed in 1866, but withdrawn by the composer out of sheer dissatisfaction. It would then take two...

Ralph Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 5 in D
06/06/18

Between 1938 and 1943, Ralph Vaughan Williams was quite busy on a variety of musical projects, including his earliest film scores, an opera, and music for the war effort. He was also composing his...