Program Archives

Johann Sebastian Bach
03/21/19

Today is the birth anniversary of Johann Sebastian Bach, and we are celebrating with his expansive and ambitious solo keyboard work, the Goldberg Variations. The Variations were actually not even...

Johannes Brahms
03/20/19

In his own words, Brahms described his Second Piano concerto as “very small,” featuring a “very small and pretty scherzo.” “Very small” is a bit off the mark – Johannes Brahms’s Piano Concerto...

Edward Elgar: Enigma Variations Op. 36
03/18/19

The story goes that after a long day of teaching, Edward Elgar arrived at his home and sat down at the piano to play a little bit… and what he came up with would become the Enigma Variations...

Antonin Dvorak
03/14/19

The Symphony No. 5 by Dvorak was, in fact, a turning point for the composer. It is the true mark that the composer had left the days of his symphonic apprenticeship behind him, finally...

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
03/13/19

The year 1784 was the busiest year of Mozart’s life, and it was the same year that prompted Mozart to start cataloging his works in detail. It’s also the year that he composed the Piano...

Tuesday Masterwork with the Sarasota Orchestra
03/12/19

This week’s Tuesday Masterwork with the Sarasota Orchestra was recorded in January of this year and features a program called Summer to Winter, with Music Director Anu Tali...

Johannes Brahms
03/11/19

For Johannes Brahms, the symphony was the ultimate test of a composer’s abilities and the most suitable way of creating a legacy. And at one point the composer even said that he would never write...

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
03/08/19

Tchaikovsky was pretty busy during the autumn of 1880. He was working on two pieces back-to-back, and to the composer, they were total opposites. One was an overture that he said he wrote “without...

Edvard Grieg
03/07/19

Edvard Grieg composed one of his most important masterpieces at age 25: the Piano Conerto in a minor. It’s rather fitting, since the composer’s primary instrument was the piano, and he...

Jean Sibelius
03/06/19

The Symphony No. 6 in d minor by Jean Sibelius is often overlooked compared to his other symphonies, but to many that are truly familiar with the composer’s work, it is his finest...

Louis Spohr
03/01/19

The Nonet by Louis Spohr was composed under unusual conditions. Spohr wrote the work for the wealthy Viennese cloth manufacturer Johann von Tost, who had also commissioned several string...

Franz Schubert
02/28/19

Out of all of Franz Schubert’s string quartets, the String Quartet No. 13 is the only one that was published in the composer’s lifetime. It is actually a fairly dark work, at least at the...

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 1 in d Op. 13
02/27/19

While Rachmaninoff’s First Symphony is seen as a masterwork today, the story surrounding its premiere left a bit of a shadow on Rachmaninoff’s career. The story goes that during the premiere, the...

02/26/19

Classical WSMR is proud to present the Sarasota Orchestra’s 70th anniversary season on our Tuesday Masterwork with the Sarasota Orchestra. This week it’s the first Masterworks concert of...

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
02/25/19

One of the first critics to write about Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony noted that the orchestration was “essentially modern, and even ultra-modern.” This was ten years after the composer completed...

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances
02/22/19

For a big part of his career, Rachmaninoff was criticized for being a 20th-century composer still rooted in 19th-century style. But towards the end of his life, he began to integrate modernist...

Antonin Dvorak
02/21/19

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 somber, the Eighth is generally upbeat. In a lot of...

Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in c Op. 37
02/20/19

Sometimes composers like to cut it close when it comes to finishing pieces, and in the case of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3, he didn’t really cut it at all. The first rehearsal was at...

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
02/19/19

Mozart completed his only clarinet concerto just two months prior to his death and it has become one of the most enduring works in the solo clarinet repertoire. He composed the piece just shortly...

Felix Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 in a Op. 56 “Scottish”
02/07/19

Felix Mendelssohn first got the idea for his third symphony while on a trip to Scotland. He was 20 years old at the time, and he wasn’t in any hurry to finish the symphony – he took 13 years to...

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
02/06/19

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, in March of 1881 Russian pianist Nikolai...

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade Op. 35
02/05/19

This Evening’s Masterwork is the story of The Thousand and One Nights, the collection of Middle Eastern and Indian tales, turned into music. Rimsky-Korsakov completed Scheherazade in 1888...

Karl Goldmark
02/04/19

Karl Goldmark was actually a self-taught composer – his formal musical studies actually focused on the violin, which he began playing at the age of 11. It’s fitting, then, that his most performed...

Franz Joseph Haydn
02/01/19

Sometimes music gets lost for a while… and in the best cases it gets rediscovered. That was the case with Franz Joseph Haydn’s A-Major Violin Concerto, which was discovered in 1949, and...

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovksy
01/31/19

Tchaikovsky had hoped that his First Piano Concerto would be premiered by Director of the Moscow Conservatory, Nicolai Rubinstein, but that did not happen. Tchaikovsky recounted the exchange with...