Program Archives

Antonin Dvorak: Symphony No. 8 in G Op. 88
03/21/17

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: Violin Sonata No. 5 in F Op. 24 “Spring”
03/20/17

On this first day of Spring, we will hear the “Spring” Sonata by Beethoven, the Violin Sonata No. 5 in F. While we may think of a work like this as featuring the violin with piano accompaniment,...

Hamilton Harty: Irish Symphony
03/16/17

Irish composer Hamilton Harty composed his Irish Symphony as part of a 1904 competition that awarded a special price for a suite or symphony on traditional Irish airs. He not only won, but also...

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 38 in D K 504, “Prague”
03/15/17

Three years separated Mozart’s 37th Symphony and his 38th, but at the age of 30, towards the end of 1786, he started composing his Symphony No. 38 for Prague. This was a city where Mozart was all...

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio in a, Op. 50
03/14/17

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...

Frederick Delius: Florida Suite
03/13/17

Frederick Delius spent some time in Florida, and he composed his Florida Suite in 1886 while working on an orange plantation not far from Jacksonville. Delius actually only heard the work once in...

Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concert No. 1 in C, Op. 15
03/13/17

Like a lot of works in the 18th and 19th Century, Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto in C Major was misnumbered. He completed the concerto after what would become his 2nd piano concerto… evidently...

Franz Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 85 in B-flat “La Reine”
03/11/17

While most of Haydn’s nicknamed symphonies earned their nickname because of the music, the nickname of his Symphony No. 85 is because of who loved it – La Reine, or The Queen, of France. At the...

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Serenade No. 10 for Winds in B-flat “Gran Partita”
03/11/17

In Mozart’s time, the serenade was defined as “an evening piece, because such works are usually performed on quiet and pleasant nights.” His Serenade No. 10, written only for winds, managed to...

03/10/17

It may come as a surprise that Joaquin Rodrigo wasn’t a guitarist – despite his contributions to the guitar repertoire, the composer was actually a pianist. His Concierto de Aranjuez in particular...

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No .1 in D “The Titan”
03/06/17

Gustav Mahler completed his First Symphony in 1888, and he didn’t call it a symphony at first: he actually referred to the work as a “symphonic poem in two sections.” But after an unsuccessful...

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 34 in C K 338 “Salzburg”
03/05/17

Mozart’s Symphony No. 34 was the final symphony he composed before moving to Vienna from Salzburg. This move would end up being the main turning point in the composer’s adult life, and this...

Claude Debussy: The Toy Box
03/03/17

The Toy Box by Claude Debussy is a suite of ballet music that is one of the later works of the composer. The story involved life, love, and conflict inside of a toybox, a rare opportunity for...

Antonin Dvorak: Piano Concerto in g, Op. 33
03/02/17

In 1876, Johannes Brahms lent Antonin Dvorak a bit of a helping hand: Brahms had his publisher look at Dvorak’s second book of Moravian Duets, which they published, leading to Dvorak’s first...

Franz Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 99 in E-flat
03/01/17

As Franz Joseph Haydn was approaching the age of 60, he accepted an offer to compose an opera, half a dozen symphonies, and other works to be premiered in London under his baton. This was at a...

Frederic Chopin: Les Sylphides
02/28/17

It’s the birth anniversary of Frederic Chopin, born on March 1st, 1810, and we’re celebrating with his ballet music, Les Sylphides. The music was adapted for the Ballet Russes from several of...

Johannes Brahms: Violin Concerto in D Op. 77
02/27/17

When working on his Violin Concerto, Johannes Brahms enlisted the help of his violin virtuoso friend, Joseph Joachim, who would go on to premiere the work.  The two corresponded by mail, and when...

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23
02/27/17

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

George Gershwin: Piano Concerto in F
02/26/17

Shortly after the success of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, he was commissioned to compose a piano concerto. The big difference between his Concerto and the Rhapsody in Blue, though, is that...

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 29 in A, K 201
02/24/17

Mozart completed his 29th Symphony at the age of 18, shortly after returning from Vienna to his home in Salzburg. This return to Salzburg led to the young composer being exposed to important new...

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat “Eroica”
02/23/17

Not many pieces of music, even masterworks, are regarded as unequivocal turning points in musical history.  Beethoven’s Third Symphony, the “Eroica,” not only marked a turning point for the...

Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in c
02/22/17

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 8 in the...

Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in e minor
02/21/17

When Brahms completed his fourth and final symphony, many of his contemporaries didn’t quite understand the work. His closest companions got it, though, and they knew very well that the composer...

Schubert Piano Quintet in A Major “The Trout”
02/20/17

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...

Camille Saint-Saens: Symphony No. 3 in c minor, Op. 78 “Organ”
02/20/17

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...