Program Archives

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...

Franz Schubert: Symphony No. 3 in D
03/26/18

In 1815, when Franz Schubert was only 18-years old, he was working full-time, year-round as a school teacher, taking twice-weekly composition lessons, and teaching his own students privately on...

George W. Chadwick: Symphony No. 2 in B-flat Op. 21
03/22/18

George W. Chadwick’s music is distinctly American – and his music was catalyzed by the “American sounding” music of Dvorak. One of the truest hallmarks of Chadwick’s output was the scherzo, and...

Ferde Grofe: Grand Canyon Suite
03/21/18

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...

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Op. 60
03/20/18

Beethoven’s even-numbered symphonies are often overshadowed by their odd-numbered neighbors. Robert Schumann even referred to Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony as a “slender Greek maiden between two...

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 4 in g-minor
03/19/18

Rachmaninoff settled down in the United States in 1921 after leaving revolutionary Russia, and something about the United States must have been uninspiring to the composer: between 1918 and 1926,...

Edouard Lalo: Symphonie Espagnole in d Op. 21
03/19/18

Edouard Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole is a quirky sort of piece as far as its structure goes: it is part symphony but mostly concerto. It’s also filled with Spanish-type idioms, as one would expect...

Edouard Lalo: Symphonie Espagnole in d Op. 21
03/19/18

Edouard Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole is a quirky sort of piece as far as its structure goes: it is part symphony but mostly concerto. It’s also filled with Spanish-type idioms, as one would expect...

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in c Op. 67
03/14/18

There may not be a classical masterwork more iconic than Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. But it took a while for the piece to reach its current status. In his lifetime, Beethoven was known more for...

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 36 in C K 425 “Linz”
03/13/18

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...

03/12/18

On this date in 1845, Felix Mendelssohn’s only Violin Concerto was premiered. He completed the work in 1844, and to this day it is one of the most frequently performed of all violin concerti. The...

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 in b Op. 74 “Pathetique”
03/12/18

There is much intrigue surrounding Tchaikovsky’s final symphony. In it, Tchaikovsky had developed a “private” and unpublished program – a narrative that only the composer knew about, but he drew...

Johann Nepomuk Hummel: Piano Concerto No. 3 in b-minor Op. 89
03/08/18

Johann Hummel’s piano sonatas are usually considered his most interesting compositions, but the piano concertos he produced are also an important part of the composer’s output. He completed the...

Gang Chen / Zhanhao He: The Butterfly Lovers (Concerto for Violin)
03/06/18

Long before Shakespeare wrote Romeo & Juliet, a similar story of star-crossed lovers emerged from China. It’s the story of forbidden love that ends in suicide, except in this version, after...

Camille Saint-Saens: Symphony No. 3 in c Op 78 “Organ”
03/05/18

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...

Hector Berlioz: Harold in Italy Op. 16
03/05/18

In the early 1830s, French composer Hector Berlioz won the Prix de Rome, a prize instituted by the French government, which allowed him to spend more than a year in Italy, studying in an...

Houston Symphony: Matthew Halls - Conductor
03/02/18

Matthew Halls - Conductor
Johannes Moser - Cello [Photo: Uwe Arens]

Cellist Johannes Moser shines in a performance of Haydn's elegant Cello Concerto No. 1.

SCHUBERT:...

Robert Schumann: Cello Concerto in a Op. 129
03/01/18

Our evening masterwork tonight is Robert Schumann’s Cello Concerto, which kind of has an interesting origin. During the time Schumann was coming of age, it was the era of piano virtuosi, such as...

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Clarinet Concerto in A K 622
02/27/18

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...

Sergei Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C, Op. 26
02/27/18

The Third Piano Concerto by Prokofiev was completed while he was on a vacation in France in the summer of 1921 right after the premiere of his Scythian Suite in Paris. At that point, he had been...

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A Op. 92
02/26/18

The premiere of Beethoven’s seventh symphony was perhaps the most wildly successful of his career, and the work received repeat performances 3 times in the 10 weeks following the concert. The work...

Listeners Favorite Composers
02/20/18

During our Winter Campaign, we asked you about your favorite composer – and the votes are in!  All this week we’ll be unveiling your picks, one Evening Masterwork at a time – each night at 7 o’...

Giuseppe Verdi: I Vespri Siciliani: Four Seasons
02/14/18

Tonight on our Evening Masterwork, we feature a sort of piece within a piece. It is the Four Seasons ballet music from Verdi’s opera I Vespri Siciliani. It’s a part of the opera that is actually...