Classical Archives

Mozart: The Adagio and Allegro in f minor
06/22/18
Today’s Midday Mozart has a curious history.  The Adagio and Allegro in f minor was catalogued as being written for an organ and a clock.  But that...
Then & Now 6/22:  Why Music?  No.  yMusic!
06/22/18
On this date in 1871, Wagner’s "Kaiser March" had its American premiere at a Theodore Thomas Orchestra concert at Central Park Garden in New York...
Then & Now 6/21:  Now This is Just Gross!
06/22/18
On this date in 1980, Peter Maxwell Davies "Farwell to Stromness" had its premiere at the St. Magnus Festival in Orkney, performed by the composer...
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 39 in E-flat K 543
06/20/18
Mozart’s final two symphonies, the 40th and 41st, receive quite a bit of attention, but those two are actually part of a trio of the composer’s last...
Vassili Kalinnikov: Symphony No. 2 in A
06/19/18
The story of Russian composer Vasily Kalinnikov is a tragically short one, not unlike the story of many artists throughout the ages. He lived a...
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Clarinet Quintet in A K 581
06/18/18
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...
Arnold Schoenberg: Verklarte Nacht (Transfigured Night)
06/18/18
Arnold Schoenberg is perhaps best known for his revolutionary twelve-tone technique, a systematic approach to composition that utilized all 12 notes...
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 26 “Coronation”
06/14/18
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...
Franz Schubert: String Quintet in C Op. 163
06/13/18
The String Quintet in C by Franz Schubert was composed in the final weeks of his life. It’s rather unique in that rather than writing for a string...
Then & Now 6/12: King of Prussia
06/12/18
It was on this date on June 12th, 1733 that the King of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great, married Duchess Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-...
Antonin Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 in e Op. 95 “From the New World”
06/11/18
Antonin Dvorak was born in what is now the Czech Republic, but in 1892, when he was about 50 years old, the composer moved to America to be the...
Alexander von Zemlinsky: Die Seejungfrau (The Mermaid)
06/11/18
The Mermaid by Alexander von Zemilinsky was premiered on a concert in January of 1905 alongside a piece by the composer’s brother-in-law, Arnold...
Then & Now 6/11: Summer from Vivaldi
06/11/18
The movie, “2001: A Space Odyssey” helped to cement the fame of Composer Richard Strauss’ music with the use of his tone poem, “Also Sprach...
Sunday Baroque 6/10: George Frideric Handel
06/09/18
Hour 1: According to one legend, George Frideric Handel substituted for the regular church organist after services one day. But Handel’s playing was...
New York Philharmonic: Alan Gilbert - Conductor
06/08/18
Alan Gilbert - Conductor [Photo: NPR/ Andrew Toth/Getty Images] Emanuel Ax - Piano It doesn't get any better than this - Emanuel Ax playing Brahms...
Clarinet, Viola and Piano Trio
06/08/18
Long before there was a candy named Skittles, there was a game named skittles.  It started in Europe as a lawn bowling game and still survives these...
Max Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 in g Op. 26
06/07/18
Max Bruch’s First Violin Concerto had quite the evolution, having first been completed and performed in 1866, but withdrawn by the composer out of...
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 5 in D
06/06/18
Between 1938 and 1943, Ralph Vaughan Williams was quite busy on a variety of musical projects, including his earliest film scores, an opera, and...
Edouard Lalo: Cello Concerto in d minor
06/05/18
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...
Felix Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No. 2 in d-minor
06/04/18
The Second Piano Concerto by Mendelssohn is a characteristic work from the composer: dramatic themes, virtuosic displays, and even some meditative...
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D Op. 35
06/04/18
The story goes that Tchaikovsky once had a childhood nightmare in which he was violently being rubbed against a giant brick of rosin, and this...
Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
06/01/18
Maureen Nelson – Violin [Photo: Courtesy of the artist] The musician-led Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra gives a sunny performance of Mendelssohn's...
Mozart: Oboe Quartet in F, K. 370
05/31/18
Mozart created a real showpiece for the oboe in this work.  It was written in Munich, where he had met an oboist who is described as extraordinary. ...
Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Violin Concerto in D Op. 35
05/29/18
The story goes that when Erich Korngold was a young boy, his father showed his first compositions to Gustav Mahler – who responded to the young...
Alexander Borodin: Symphony No. 2 in b
05/29/18
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...