Program Archives

Ernest Chausson
11/30/18

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,...

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
11/29/18

The Piano Concerto No. 2 by Tchaikovsky often sits in the shadow of the composer’s mega-popular First Concerto, but there are some circles who believe the second is superior to the first...

Franz Schubert
11/27/18

In 1817, Franz Schubert composed a short song called “The Trout,” which told the story of an onlooker on a riverbank watching a “happy little fish” swimming in the river. The fish, a trout, is...

Felix Mendelssohn
11/26/18

In October of 1830, Mendelssohn went to Italy, a trip that last 10 months, and a trip in which he found himself starting out in Venice and travelling south to Rome, and then onward to Naples. The...

11/22/18

Tonight we are celebrating Thanksgiving with the Symphony No. 9 in e by Antonin Dvorak, From the New World, a work that is filled with American impressions. Dvorak was born in what is now...

Felix Mendelssohn
11/21/18

The Second Piano Concerto by Mendelssohn is a characteristic work from the composer: dramatic themes, virtuosic displays, and even some meditative moments. The work was premiered in 1837 with the...

Edvard Grieg
11/20/18

Throughout his career, Edvard Grieg tended to concentrate on smaller forms of music, as evident in a few of his more-popular works like the Lyric Pieces and Norwegian Dances....

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
11/16/18

For Mozart, the piano concerto was an opportunity to combine his two talents: In composing for the genre, he could be both Mozart the composer, and Mozart the pianist. It was also a way of making...

Richard Strauss
11/15/18

It may come as a bit of a shock, but Richard Strauss’s tone poem Also Sprach Zarathustra wasn’t always as popular as it is today. Well, Strauss can thank Stanley Kubrick for the boost in...

Ludwig van Beethoven
11/14/18

Beethoven’s Third Symphony, the Eroica, not only represented a turning point in the composer’s career, but is one of the few pieces of music that forever changed music history. At the...

Antonin Dvorak
11/13/18

Folk music, or at least folk-like style, is a focal point in much of the music Dvorak produced, and this is quite evident in his final piano trio, the Piano Trio No. 4 in e minor, or “...

Ludwig van Beethoven
11/09/18

Beethoven composed six pieces for his Opus 18 set of string quartets, and while it may be obvious that the Sixth quartet was the final one Beethoven composed, the numbers assigned to these pieces...

Antonin Dvorak
11/08/18

The Symphony No. 3 in E-flat by Dvorak comes at a time when the composer was falling out of the influence of Richard Wagner and more into his own unique voice, but there are still some...

Igor Stravinsky
11/07/18

The story of Pulcinella did not originate with Stravinsky, nor did it really originate with the great Russian impresario Sergei Diaghilev (though he is that one that brought it to Stravinsky’s...

Ludwig van Beethoven
11/06/18

In May of 1809, Napoleon’s army began to besiege Vienna. Despite this, a 39-year old Beethoven refused to leave the city, instead seeking shelter underground. Once the bombardment had ended,...

Nikolai Miaskovsky
11/05/18

The Violin Concerto in d-minor was the first concerto that Nikolai Miaskovsky composed. This was in 1938, and the composer had finished this work after studying the violin concertos of...

Felix Mendelssohn
11/02/18

Felix Mendelssohn composed his Octet in E-flat when he was only 16 years old, a work that is at times symphonic, and other times intimate. One way of looking at the instrumentation of the work is...

Hector Berlioz
10/31/18

We are getting spooky this evening for Halloween starting at 6 PM with the perfect musical accompaniment to your trick-or-treating: favorites like Bach’s Toccata & Fugue, Wagner’s Ride of the...

Erich Wolfgang Korngold
10/30/18

The story goes that when Erich Korngold was a young boy, his father showed his first compositions to Gustav Mahler – who responded to the young composer’s music by simply saying “A genius!”...

Charles Ives
10/29/18

American Composer Charles Ives did not spend his career composing music on commission – he spent his career as an insurance salesman. That’s probably how he was able to write music about, for...

Ludwig van Beethoven
10/26/18

Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, whether he wanted it to or not, pushed the envelope forward in the world of Western Classical Music. Wagner once argued that Beethoven’s Ninth pointed the way to the “...

Robert Schumann
10/24/18

Robert Schumann suffered all kinds of ailments throughout his lifetime – auditory hallucinations, depression, and even bipolar disorder. But in 1845, some of that changed – at least temporarily –...

Franz Schubert
10/23/18

Franz Schubert has two symphonies in the key of C-Major… his final symphony, the 9th , the “Great” C-major symphony, and the sixth, which is now known as his “Little C-Major” symphony. Well the...

Max Bruch
10/22/18

When you think about concert music based off of Scottish fiddle tunes, you probably wouldn’t think that one of the best known pieces using those tunes is by a German composer. Well, it is - it’s...

Beethoven
10/19/18

Tonight on Classical WSMR, we’ll feature the only work Beethoven ever wrote for more than one solo instrument. His “Triple Concerto” for Violin, Cello and Piano has been recorded by some of the...