Program Archives

Edvard Grieg: Piano Concerto in a Op. 16
04/30/18

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 even...

Ludwig van Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D Op. 61
04/26/18

When Beethoven was composing his only Violin Concerto, there was a bit of foot-dragging on the composer’s part. This casualness was apparently a regular occurrence with commissions the composer...

Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 in c
04/25/18

The Symphony No. 8 by Anton Bruckner would be the last symphony the composer would complete. And while he came close to completing the finale of his ninth symphony, he must have known that the...

John Field: Piano Concerto No. 3 in E-flat
04/24/18

It’s hard to tell whether or not John Field’s third piano concert was originally meant to be a multi-movement concerto or not: it’s in two movements, rather than three, and this decision may have...

Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 5 in E-flat
04/23/18

There is a moment in the first movement of Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony that is akin to a sunrise, and the composer described it better than anyone else: “… God opens His door for a moment and His...

Franz Schubert: Symphony No. 5 in B-flat
04/23/18

The year 1816 was a busy time for the 19-year old Franz Schubert. He was highly productive, writing about 125 songs, and then over 50 works for various ensembles large and small. Amongst those 50...

Carl Goldmark: Violin Concerto No. 1 in a Op. 28
04/19/18

Carl 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...

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 in e Op. 64
04/19/18

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...

Ralph Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 2 “London”
04/17/18

Ralph Vaughan Williams began work on his Second Symphony as early as 1908, and shared the first two movements with friends four years later, playing it on a battered upright piano. The Symphony...

Manuel De Falla: Nights in the Gardens of Spain
04/16/18

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....

Felix Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4 in A Op. 90 “Italian”
04/16/18

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...

Mozart: Piano Concerto
04/15/18

When Mozart first struck out on his own in Vienna, he set up a subscription concert series that showed off his great talent as composer and performer. Within four years, he’d written more than a...

Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat, K297b
04/13/18

Not a symphony, not a concerto, it’...

Henryk Gorecki: Symphony No. 3, “The Symphony of Sorrowful Songs”
04/11/18

Composer Henryk Gorecki grew up in a town not far from the notorious World War Two concentration camp, Auschwitz, in Poland.

Historians believe more than a million people died or were...

Schubert: Piano Quintet in A, Op. 114, “Trout.”
04/11/18

Franz Schubert was well known for his songs, set to poetry.  One of the most famous of these is his song, “The Trout.”  The words of the song were written by a man with a similar-sounding last...

Haydn: Symphony No. 100 in G, “Military”
04/09/18

Haydn was kind of down in the dumps around the time he wrote this. He was still Kapellmeister for Prince Esterhazy, but there were no duties to go along with that.  His dear friend Mozart had died...

Jean Sibelius: Violin Concerto in d-minor, Op. 47
04/09/18

It took decades and the great violinist Jascha Heifitz to record it before the Sibelius Violin Concerto caught on after its premiere in the early 20th Century.  Now it’s firmly established in the...

Isaac Albeniz: Iberia Suite
04/04/18

Iberia was originally a solo piano work by Isaac Albeniz that features a “wealth of imagery,” according to the composer’s French contemporaries. The work took three years to compose, totaling...

Max Bruch: Symphony No. 3
04/03/18

Max Bruch’s third and final Symphony may have been composed when he was 45-years old, but he said much of the work is based on material from “my freshest and happiest of youth.” He had also...

Johannes Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Op. 83
04/02/18

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 No...

Aaron Copland: Symphony No. 3
04/02/18

In 1944, Aaron Copland set out to compose, in his own words, a piece that would “reflect the euphoric spirit of the country” at that time – that was his Symphony No. 3. This also happened to be at...

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2 in c Op. 17 “Little Russian”
03/29/18

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...

Franz Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 103 in E-flat, “Drum Roll”
03/28/18

The Symphony No. 103 was the second-to-last symphony Franz Joseph Haydn ever wrote, and audiences and critics loved it. One newspaper reported that the symphony, “as usual, had continual strokes...

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Guitar Concerto No. 2
03/27/18

The concerto as a genre seemed to speak to composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco much more than the symphony: he once said, “I found that the form of the Concerto did better correspond to my...

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade Op. 35
03/27/18

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, a work...