Program Archives

Franz Schubert: Symphony No. 2 in B-flat D 125
01/11/18

Franz Schubert’s 2nd Symphony was not necessarily the masterwork to rank alongside Beethoven’s symphonies that it was trying to emulate. However, it’s a remarkable effort by an imaginative, 17-...

Camille Saint-Saens: Piano Concerto No. 5 in F Op. 103
01/10/18

Saint-Saens composed his Fifth Piano Concerto during a winter vacation in Egypt – it’s sometimes called the Egyptian concerto – and he was 60 when he finished it. Besides the more exotic...

Ernst Chausson: Symphony in B-flat Op. 20
01/09/18

Towards the end of the 19th century, French composers were churning out symphonies: the “Organ” symphony by Saint-Saens, the Symphony in g-minor by Lalo, the Symphony in D minor by Cesar Franck,...

Richard Strauss: Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life)
01/09/18

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 noted how the tone poem was “a monstrous...

Frederick Delius: Florida Suite
01/04/18

Our Evening Masterwork tonight is the music of Frederick Delius, his Florida Suite, which he composed in 1886 while working on an orange plantation not far from Jacksonville. Delius actually only...

Nikolai Miaskovksy: Violin Concerto in d-minor, Op. 44
01/03/18

The Violin Concerto in d-minor was the first concerto that Nikolai Miaskovsky composed. This was in 1938, and the composer had finished this work after studying the violin concertos of Tchaikovsky...

Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 3 in F Op. 90
01/03/18

There is something about the Brahms Symphony No. 3 in F that may come across as truly serene. Each of the four movements ends quietly, an unusual, yet pleasant, feature to the work. Even the final...

Felix Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in e Op. 64
12/28/17

Felix Mendelssohn completed his Violin Concerto in 1844, and to this day it is one of the most frequently performed of all violin concertos. The work uses a standard classical structure with a few...

Igor Stravinsky: Firebird Suite
12/27/17

When ballet impresario Sergei Diaghilev was looking for a composer to score his 1910 ballet The Firebird, he tried to give the commission for a new score to well-known and established composers –...

Maurice Ravel: Mother Goose Ballet
12/27/17

Maurice Ravel’s Mother Goose Ballet suite had somewhat humble beginnings: the original version of the piece was only for piano four hands, and it was a set of five-movements the composer wrote as...

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano concerto No. 2 in c Op. 18
12/26/17

Composed at the turn of the 20th century, Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto is often described as the greatest piano concerto of all time. There’s much evidence of this- the piece is virtuosic...

Francis Poulenc: Gloria
12/21/17

Francis Poulenc’s music is often characterized by its good humor and general lightness, even in the case of the sacred Gloria for soprano, chorus and orchestra. The Gloria was actually a...

Antonio Vivaldi: Gloria
12/20/17

Vivaldi’s setting of the Gloria has been a long-time favorite in modern times, especially around the Holiday season. He likely composed the work in 1716 as a way of celebrating the victory against...

John Rutter: Gloria
12/19/17

John Rutter’s Gloria is a concert work that uses centuries-old Latin text drawn from the Ordinary of the Mass, and the entire work is based mainly on one of the Gregorian chants associated with...

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Clarinet Quintet in A K 581
12/18/17

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 musicians’ widows and orphans. Interestingly,...

Franz Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 99 in E-flat
12/18/17

As Franz Joseph Haydn was approaching the age of 60, he accepted an offer to compose an opera, half a dozen symphonies, and other works to be premiered in London under his baton. This was at a...

Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in c Op. 68
12/14/17

Brahms notoriously put off composing his symphonies and string quartets, offering the excuse “You can’t have any idea what it’s like always to hear such a giant marching behind you.” That giant...

Florida Orchestra Broadcast: Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2
12/13/17

Classical WSMR is presenting a series of concerts, recorded live as part of our Evening Masterwork. Join your host, Russell Gant, tonight at 7:00 for Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2 conducted by...

Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4 in G Op. 58
12/12/17

In 1806 Beethoven composed his Fourth Piano Concerto, the final one the composer would premiere as the pianist. At this time, the instrument was in a state of rapid development, and the majority...

12/11/17

When it comes to Mozart’s music, generally speaking, the key of A major was often times used to showcase lyricism and serenity, and his Piano Concerto No. 12 is the perfect example of this. It was...

Modest Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition
12/11/17

When Modest Mussorgsky completed his Pictures at an Exhibition in 1874, it wasn’t the version for orchestra we hear most often. It was actually an incredibly difficult suite for solo piano. The...

Carl Goldmark: Violin Concerto no. 1 in a-minor Op. 28
12/07/17

Karl Goldmark was actually a self-taught composer – his formal musical studies actually focused on the violin, which he began playing at the age of 11. It’s fitting, then, that his most performed...

Edvard Grieg: Piano Concerto in a Op. 16
12/06/17

Edvard Grieg composed one of his most important masterpieces at age 25: the Piano Conerto in a minor. It’s rather fitting, since the composer’s primary instrument was the piano, and he even...

Robert Schumann: Symphony No. 4 in d Op. 120
12/05/17

When it comes to Robert Schumann, his place as one of the masters of mid-nineteenth century piano music sometimes overshadows the work he did in other genres. One genre that was neglected over the...

Sergei Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C, Op. 26
12/05/17

The Third Piano Concerto by Prokofiev was completed while he was on a vacation in France in the summer of 1921 right after the premier of his Scythian Suite in Paris. At that point, he had been...