Program Archives

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Clarinet Quintet in A K. 581
07/19/17

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,...

Manuel de Falla: Nights in the Gardens of Spain
07/18/17

Manuel De Falla composed his work for piano and orchestra, Nights in the Gardens of Spain, during the First World War, but the conception of the piece took place earlier during a stay in France....

Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 4 in a Op. 63
07/18/17

From the very beginning, Jean Sibelius regarded his fourth symphony as the start of a new direction for his work. As he began writing the work in 1910, he proclaimed in his diary, “I am...

Modest Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition
07/17/17

When Modest Mussorgsky completed his Pictures at an Exhibition in 1874, it wasn’t the version for orchestra we hear most often. It was actually an incredibly difficult suite for solo piano. The...

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2 in c Op. 17 “Little Russian”
07/13/17

Tchaikovsky’s Second Symphony, or the “Little Russian” as it has come to be known as, is the shortest of Tchaikovsky’s symphonies. However, its distinction is not the length of the work – it is...

Richard Strauss: Sonatina No. 1 for Winds “From an Invalid’s Workshop”
07/12/17

The Sonatina No. 1 for winds by Richard Strauss is a work the composer completed late in his life – in 1943 – at a time when he was recovering from an illness, which is why he subtitled the...

Franz Schubert: Symphony No. 1 in D Op. 82
07/11/17

Franz Schubert was just 16 when he completed his First Symphony, and it was one of the composer’s best pieces to date. The Symphony No. 1 came after earlier efforts to compose a symphony – both...

Edouard Lalo: Cello Concerto in d minor
07/10/17

Although Edouard Lalo was a Frenchman, he was of Spanish of decent: he’s most famous for his Symphonie Espagnole for violin and orchestra, and Spanish idioms also fill the three movements of his...

Johannes Brahms: Trio for Clarinet, Piano & Cello in a-minor
07/10/17

Johannes Brahms completed his String Quartet in G major halfway through 1890, when he was 57 years old, and at the time he thought it would be his final composition. He decided that piece would be...

Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 3
07/09/17

You’re going to hear music that sounds like it’s telling you a story. Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 3 is so rich that it conjures images and characters of an unknown story. So give your creativity...

Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25
07/07/17

Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 25 is the last of his twelve great piano concertos written in Vienna between 1784 and 1786. Mozart performed it on several occasions, but it was not performed again in...

Felix Mendelssohn: String Quartet No. 2 in a minor, Op. 13
07/06/17

Beethoven died in 1827, and that very same year was when his final five string quartets were printed. One teenage composer who got a hold of these quartets was Felix Mendelssohn, who excitedly...

Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 3 in F Op. 90
07/05/17

There is something about the Brahms Symphony No. 3 in F that may come across as truly serene. Each of the four movements ends quietly, an unusual, yet pleasant, feature to the work. Even the final...

Mark O’Connor: Americana Symphony “Variations on Appalachia Waltz”
07/03/17

We’ll be celebrating Independence Day tonight with our Evening Masterwork: Mark O’Connor’s Americana Symphony, a work that evokes images of the American expansion westward while fusing O’Connor’s...

Camille Saint-Saens: Symphony No. 3 in c Op. 78 “Organ”
07/03/17

Although Camille Saint-Saens is often considered a conservative composer for his time, his Third Symphony is all but conservative. It’s highly original and innovative in many ways, such as how the...

Vaughn Williams Symphony No. 5
06/30/17

The Vaughn Williams Symphony No. 5 contains fragments from an opera he was working on at the time called The Pilgrim's Progress. The composer was heading into his 70’s when he began the...

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 26 in D “Coronation”
06/29/17

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...

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings in C Op. 48
06/28/17

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...

Alexander Borodin: Symphony No. 2 in b
06/28/17

It took Alexander Borodin nearly 8 years to complete his Second Symphony, and even after its premiere in 1877, the composer had to revise it because of its unpopularity. Nowadays, though, Bordin’s...

Mozart’s “Prague” symphony
06/26/17

The popularity of composers waxes and wanes and that was the case with Mozart, too.  During his lifetime, demand for his work rose and fell, but the music lovers of Prague never wavered in their...

Howard Hanson: Symphony No.2
06/24/17

A symphony by the American composer Howard Hanson that was written in honor of the Boston Symphony’s 50th anniversary in 1930. A work that is “young in spirit and direct in expression”, according...

Stravinsky: Petrushka
06/23/17

Saturday night’s Masterwork features the music Stravinsky wrote for his ballet Petrushka.  It’s the story of the loves and jealousies of three puppets that are brought to life during the 1830 fair...

Edvard Grieg: Symphony in c-minor
06/22/17

Edvard Grieg composed his Symphony in c-minor at the age of 20, and you may recognize some of the melodies in the second and third movements from his Two Symphonic Pieces for piano duet – a work...

Richard Strauss: Don Quixote
06/22/17

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,...

Franz Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 101 in D “Clock”
06/20/17

This evening’s masterwork is Haydn’s 101st Symphony, nicknamed the “Clock” symphony. As is normally the case, the nickname did not come from the composer. The symphony acquired its nickname...