Classical Archives

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D Op. 35
02/12/18
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...
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 38 in D K 504 “Prague”
02/08/18
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...
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 3 in c Op. 37
02/07/18
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...
Johannes Brahms: Violin Concerto in D Op. 77
02/06/18
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...
Sergei Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 1 in d Op. 13
02/05/18
While Rachmaninoff’s First Symphony is seen as a masterwork today, the story surrounding its premiere left a bit of a shadow on Rachmaninoff’s career...
Max Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 in g Op. 26
02/05/18
Max Bruch’s First Violin Concerto had quite the evolution, having first been completed and performed in 1866, but withdrawn by the composer out of...
Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra: Jeremy Denk - Director and Piano
02/02/18
Jeremy Denk - Director and Piano Maiya Papach - Viola Alexander Fiterstein - Clarinet Hyobi Sim - Viola Dazzling pianist, conductor, and MacArthur "...
Then & Now 2/1:  Puccini Anyone?
02/02/18
Puccini must have liked the first day of February, as two of his best known operas were premiered on this date.  In 1893, it was "Manon Lescaut," in...
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor Op. 23
02/01/18
Tchaikovsky had hoped that his First Piano Concerto would be premiered by Director of the Moscow Conservatory, Nicolai Rubinstein, but that did not...
Alexander Glazunov: Piano Concerto No. 1 in f Op. 92
01/31/18
Around the time of the turn of the century, Alexander Glazunov was encountering a kind of artistic crisis. Because of the work required of him as...
01/29/18
The subject of fate, and fate itself, had haunted Tchaikovsky since 1876, when the composer saw Carmen and was struck by the “death of the two...
Then & Now 1/29:  Mozart Operas
01/29/18
On this date in 1781, Mozart’s opera "Idomeneo" had it’s premiere in Munich, and to say it was a success would be an understatement for sure!  The...
Antonin Dvorak: Symphony No. 8 in G Op. 88
01/28/18
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...
Houston Symphony: Beethoven
01/26/18
Andres Orozco-Estrada - Conductor It's big music from Houston! These back-to-back symphonies are the conclusion to the orchestra's three-season...
Claude Debussy: La Mer
01/25/18
Claude Debussy once said, “I was destined for the fine career of a sailor.” He wrote these words to a friend in September 1903, saying the only thing...
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 1 in g “Winter Daydreams”
01/24/18
Unlike Tchaikovsky’s “Little Russian” or “Polish” symphonies, whose nicknames were given by critics at a much later date, Tchaikovsky named his First...
Then & Now 1/25:  Robert Burns - "Auld Lang Syne"
01/24/18
The favorite son and bard of Scotland, Robert Burns was born on this day, January 25th in 1759 in Alloway, Scotland.  He wrote so much that touched...
Igor Stravinsky: Symphony in C
01/23/18
During the 20th Century, composers started looking back to the Classical period for guidance and inspiration, which produced a compositional trend...
Then & Now 1/23:  The Barber of Seville
01/23/18
On this date in history, the man with perhaps the most famous autograph in U.S. history was born in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1737.  That was John...
Nicolo Paganini: Violin Concerto No. 1 in D
01/23/18
Classical Music history has a long tradition of great instrumental soloists composing great works to showcase their instrument: composers like...
Then & Now 1/22: Lord Byron
01/22/18
Today is Monday, January 22nd, 2018, it’s the anniversary of the birth of George Gordon, Lord Byron.  He was born on this date in London in 1788 and...
Franz Schubert: Symphony No. 7 in E
01/22/18
While Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 is rightly regarded as his “Unfinished” Symphony, there was another one that was also unfinished: the Symphony No. 7...
Johannes Brahms: Trio for clarinet, piano, & cello in a-minor
01/18/18
Johannes Brahms completed his String Quartet in G major halfway through 1890, when he was 57 years old, and at the time he thought it would be his...
Then & Now 1/17:  Amadeus
01/18/18
On this date in 1773, Mozart was just a few days from his seventeenth birthday and was in Italy with his father, Leopold. He was there for the...
Then and Now: Shostakovich’s opera -Jan 18th
01/17/18
On this date in musical history, Shostakovich’s opera, “The Nose,” based on the Gogol story, premiered in Leningrad. And today, it’s the first...