Classical Archives

Ludwig van Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D Op. 61
04/26/18
When Beethoven was composing his only Violin Concerto, there was a bit of foot-dragging on the composer’s part. This casualness was apparently a...
Anton Bruckner: Symphony No. 8 in c
04/25/18
The Symphony No. 8 by Anton Bruckner would be the last symphony the composer would complete. And while he came close to completing the finale of his...
John Field: Piano Concerto No. 3 in E-flat
04/24/18
It’s hard to tell whether or not John Field’s third piano concert was originally meant to be a multi-movement concerto or not: it’s in two movements...
Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 5 in E-flat
04/23/18
There is a moment in the first movement of Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony that is akin to a sunrise, and the composer described it better than anyone else...
Franz Schubert: Symphony No. 5 in B-flat
04/23/18
The year 1816 was a busy time for the 19-year old Franz Schubert. He was highly productive, writing about 125 songs, and then over 50 works for...
Berlin Philharmonic: Marek Janowski - Conductor
04/20/18
Marek Janowski - Conductor {Photo: Courtesy of the artist] It's music perhaps more suited for a cathedral than a concert hall - Anton Bruckner's...
Carl Goldmark: Violin Concerto No. 1 in a Op. 28
04/19/18
Carl Goldmark was actually a self-taught composer – his formal musical studies actually focused on the violin, which he began playing at the age of...
Then and Now 4/20: Sousa’s “El Capitan”
04/19/18
On this date 1896, the first public showing of John Philip Sousa’s “El Capitan” premiered in New York City.  Sousa was a kind of rock star in his day...
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 in e Op. 64
04/19/18
One of the first critics to write about Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony noted that the orchestration was “essentially modern, and even ultra-modern.”...
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 2 “London”
04/17/18
Ralph Vaughan Williams began work on his Second Symphony as early as 1908, and shared the first two movements with friends four years later, playing...
Manuel De Falla: Nights in the Gardens of Spain
04/16/18
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...
Felix Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4 in A Op. 90 “Italian”
04/16/18
In October of 1830, Mendelssohn went to Italy, a trip that last 10 months, and a trip in which he found himself starting out in Venice and travelling...
Mozart: Piano Concerto
04/15/18
When Mozart first struck out on his own in Vienna, he set up a subscription concert series that showed off his great talent as composer and performer...
Bach’s Flute Sonata
04/14/18
Hour 1: A SICILIANO is a musical form that evokes a pastoral mood … the middle movement of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Flute Sonata in E-flat is a...
Houston Symphony: Ludovic Morlot - Conductor
04/13/18
Ludovic Morlot - Conductor Jonathan Biss - Piano   Superstar pianist Jonathan Biss teams up with the Houston Symphony for a thrilling performance of...
Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat, K297b
04/13/18
Not a symphony, not a concerto, it’s something that contains elements of both. There’s some debate over whether this work actually fully belongs to...
04/11/18
On this date in 1814, Beethoven’s "Archduke" Piano Trio had its first performance in Vienna, with the composer at the piano. This was the last time...
Henryk Gorecki: Symphony No. 3, “The Symphony of Sorrowful Songs”
04/11/18
Composer Henryk Gorecki grew up in a town not far from the notorious World War Two concentration camp, Auschwitz, in Poland. Historians believe more...
Schubert: Piano Quintet in A, Op. 114, “Trout.”
04/11/18
Franz Schubert was well known for his songs, set to poetry.  One of the most famous of these is his song, “The Trout.”  The words of the song were...
Haydn: Symphony No. 100 in G, “Military”
04/09/18
Haydn was kind of down in the dumps around the time he wrote this. He was still Kapellmeister for Prince Esterhazy, but there were no duties to go...
Then & Now 4/9: The Great Outdoors
04/09/18
On this date in 1939, First lady Eleanor Roosevelt sponsored an Easter Sunday concert by Marian Anderson at the Lincoln Memorial to protest racial...
Jean Sibelius: Violin Concerto in d-minor, Op. 47
04/09/18
It took decades and the great violinist Jascha Heifitz to record it before the Sibelius Violin Concerto caught on after its premiere in the early...
Isaac Albeniz: Iberia Suite
04/04/18
Iberia was originally a solo piano work by Isaac Albeniz that features a “wealth of imagery,” according to the composer’s French contemporaries. The...
Max Bruch: Symphony No. 3
04/03/18
Max Bruch’s third and final Symphony may have been composed when he was 45-years old, but he said much of the work is based on material from “my...
Johannes Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Op. 83
04/02/18
In his own words, Brahms described his Second Piano concerto as “very small,” featuring a “very small and pretty scherzo.” “Very small” is a bit off...