Classical Archives

Richard Strauss: In Italy Symphonic Fantasy
09/05/17
Richard Strauss’s symphonic fantasy In Italy was a first important step towards the tone poem, a genre of orchestral writing that the composer would...
Sergei Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 3 in a Op. 44
09/05/17
Sergei Rachmaninoff was a quintessential pianist-composer, and because of that his concert works that did not involve piano often flew under the...
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
09/01/17
On this date in 1785, Mozart dedicated his six latest string quartets to his friend and older colleague, Franz Joseph Haydn. Earlier that year, Haydn...
Robert Schumann: Cello Concerto in a Op. 129
08/31/17
Part of the reason Robert Schumann became a composer was because he permanently damaged two of the fingers on his right hand at an early age, which...
Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in c Op. 68
08/31/17
For Johannes Brahms, the symphony was the ultimate test of a composer’s abilities and the most suitable way of creating a legacy. And at one point...
Kurt Weill
08/31/17
On this date in 1928, Kurt Weill's "Three Penny Opera" had its premiere in Berlin. "The Three Penny Opera" was a huge success, and was being...
Ludwig van Beethoven: Triple Concerto in C Op. 56
08/29/17
What’s ironic about Beethoven’s Triple Concerto is that it isn’t actually a concerto at all: no real dialogue occurs between the orchestra and...
John Cage
08/29/17
On this date in 1952, “Water Music” by John Cage had its premiere at the Maverick Concert Hall in Woodstock, New York.  "Water Music," is written for...
John Cage
08/29/17
On this date in 1952, “Water Music” by John Cage had its premiere at the Maverick Concert Hall in Woodstock, New York.  "Water Music," is written for...
Charles Ives: Symphony No. 1
08/28/17
American Composer Charles Ives did not spend his career composing music on commission – he spent his career as an insurance salesman. That’s probably...
George Gershwin
08/28/17
On this date in 1922, George Gershwin’s one-act opera "Blue Monday" opened and closed on the same day. Gershwin tried something different: a modern,...
Johannes Brahms: Piano Quintet in f Op. 34
08/28/17
The Piano Quintet in f minor by Johannes Brahms had a bit of a rocky history. First, Brahms imagined the work as a string quintet, but violinist...
Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 3
08/25/17
Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 3 was written a few months after his eighteenth birthday. Like his other early symphonies, it was not published during...
Leonard Bernstein
08/25/17
On this date in 1959, on his 41st birthday, Leonard Bernstein conducted a performance by the New York Philharmonic in Moscow. The program included...
Ludwig van Beethoven: String Quartet No. 1 in F Op. 18 No. 1
08/24/17
There’s a little bit of Shakespeare in Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 1 from his Op. 18 set. In the second movement, sketches indicate that Beethoven...
Rafael Kubelik
08/24/17
On this date in 1968, Czech conductor and composer Rafael Kubelik launched an appeal to world musicians to boycott performances in the five nations...
Edward Elgar: Cello Concerto in e-minor Op. 85
08/23/17
In many ways, Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto is a reaction to the First World War He composed it in 1919, and it embodies a realization that life in...
Henry Hadley
08/23/17
On this date in 1934, the Berkshire Symphonic Festival was founded in Stockbridge, Mass., by American composer and conductor Henry Hadley, with the...
From the BBC Proms: Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen
08/23/17
Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen Paavo Jarvi - Conductor Vilde Frang - Violin Lawrence Power - Viola We're at the BBC Proms for a mixture of light...
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 36 in C K 425 “Linz”
08/23/17
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...
George Frederic Handel
08/22/17
On this date in 1741, Handel began work on his famous oratorio, "Messiah," which he finished on September 14, yes the entire masterwork was composed...
08/21/17
Clara Schumann had quite a bit of influence over the creation of Robert Schumann’s Fantasy for solo piano. Prior to their marriage, the relationship...
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in c minor, Op. 67
08/21/17
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....
08/21/17
It’s that time of year again when the BBC organizes the biggest classical music festival in the world, the BBC Proms, which runs from mid-July to...
Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 4
08/18/17
Robert Schumann wrote 4 Symphonies, so it’s safe to assume that the Symphony No.4 in D minor, is his last, right?  Well, not really. It was...