Classical Archives

Franz Joseph Haydn
02/01/19
Sometimes music gets lost for a while… and in the best cases it gets rediscovered. That was the case with Franz Joseph Haydn’s A-Major Violin...
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovksy
01/31/19
Tchaikovsky had hoped that his First Piano Concerto would be premiered by Director of the Moscow Conservatory, Nicolai Rubinstein, but that did not...
Sergei Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2 in e Op. 27
01/30/19
The premiere of Rachmaninoff’s First Symphony was so disastrous that it left the composer in a state of chronic depression for the following three...
Mozart
01/29/19
On this date in 1781, Mozart’s opera Idomeneo had its premiere in Munich, and to say it was a success would be an understatement for sure!  Europe's...
Richard Strauss: Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life)
01/29/19
Ein Heldenlaben in English is “a hero’s life,” and it is self-referential. Strauss received criticism for this upon the work’s premiere: critics...
Robert Schumann: Piano Concerto in a minor Op. 54
01/28/19
Robert Schumann’s only piano concerto was not always a concerto: in 1841 the composer produced a Fantaisie in a-minor for piano and orchestra, which...
John Field: Piano Concerto No. 2 in A-flat
01/25/19
It’s hard to pin down when Irish composer John Field composed his Second Piano Concerto – most likely it happened between 1805 and 1811, and it may...
Zoltan Kodaly: Peacock Variations
01/24/19
Zoltan Kodaly is perhaps best known for his work in ethnomusicology, particularly studying the folk music of Eastern Europe and creating pieces...
Cesar Franck: Piano Quintet in f minor
01/23/19
Precision plays a key role in Cesar Franck’s Piano Quintet: the music clearly reveals the artistic lineage of Franck – mostly the Germanic tradition...
William Alwyn
01/18/19
English composer William Alwyn was a bit of a Renaissance artist: not only was he a composer, he also wrote poetry and painted at an exceptional...
Antonin Dvorak
01/17/19
About fifty years ago, Dvorak’s symphonies were reshuffled a bit and numbered the way we know now. In Dvorak’s time, his Symphony in D was originally...
Music Education
01/16/19
On this date in music history, the very first U.S. music school was established. The Boston Academy of Music was founded on this date, January 16th,...
Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 1 in f-sharp minor Op. 1
01/16/19
Believe it or not, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1 was actually a student work by the composer:  it was composed when he was just 18 years old....
Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 2 in D Op. 73
01/15/19
Johannes Brahms took quite a bit of time to compose his first symphony – nearly 20 years – so it may have been a shock when he churned out his second...
Reinhold Gliere
01/11/19
On this date in Kiev, Ukraine in 1875, Russian-Soviet composer Reinhold Gliere was born. And around town, for the next SILL’s Music Mondays, Soprano...
Ludwig van Beethoven
01/10/19
At the time of writing his Second Symphony, Beethoven had not yet transformed into the mythic, dramatic Romantic composer we know him as today… but...
Sherrill Milnes
01/10/19
On this date in 1935, the great American opera baritone Sherrill Milnes was born in Downers Grove, Illinois. His “Voice Experience” program continues...
Sergei Rachmaninoff
01/10/19
Perhaps one of Rachmaninoff’s most popular works, the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini is a work for solo piano featuring Paganini’s 24th Violin...
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 26 “Coronation”
01/09/19
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...
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 8 in F Op. 93
01/08/19
The Symphony No. 8 by Beethoven is a work that draws heavily on the Classical period, despite Beethoven himself ushering in the Romantic period. The...
Manuel De Falla: Nights in the Gardens of Spain
01/07/19
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...
Victor Herbert
01/01/19
Victor Herbert was not just a composer; he was also a world-class virtuoso cellist, and he composed two cello concertos for himself to perform. The...
Antonin Dvorak
12/17/18
The Symphony No. 7 by Antonin Dvorak holds a special status amongst the composer’s nine symphonies. Compared to its neighbors, the sixth and eighth...
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
12/14/18
Though it’s no mystery that Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for 4 Winds is charming, there is quite a bit of mystery surrounding it. The main problem...
Jean Sibelius
12/13/18
In the early-part of the 20th Century, composers like Richard Strauss, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, and Bartok were doing pioneering work in forms outside...