Program Archives

Antonin Dvorak
08/13/18

The serenade, as a genre, can sometimes lead to disappointing pieces: compositions often produced by composers still figuring things out creatively. Not so with Antonin Dvorak. In the composer’s...

Reinhold Gliere
08/10/18

Reinhold Gliere started work on his first symphony while he was a student at the Moscow Conservatory, and the work is unmistakably Russian. In a lot of ways it is closer in character to the music...

William Alwyn
08/09/18

English composer William Alwyn was a bit of a Renaissance artist: not only was he a composer, he also wrote poetry and painted at an exceptional level. He began his studies in composition at the...

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
08/08/18

The Piano Concerto No. 27 by Mozart is the finale piano concerto that the composer would write, being completed in early 1791 and premiered by the composer just a couple months later. In fact, a...

Ludwig van Beethoven
08/07/18

At the time of writing his Second Symphony, Beethoven had not yet transformed into the mythic, dramatic Romantic composer we know him as today… but he was definitely on his way. It was during this...

Franz Schubert
08/06/18

In his own words, Schubert essentially said that the only reason he started out to write his Octet for Strings & Winds was so he could prepare himself for the task of composing a full-scale...

Richard Strauss
08/03/18

The Sonatina No. 1 for winds by Richard Strauss is a work the composer completed late in his life – in 1943 – at a time when he was recovering from an illness, which is why he subtitled the...

Johannes Brahms
08/02/18

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
08/01/18

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 south to Rome, and then onward to Naples. The...

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
07/31/18

In his lifetime, Mozart composed 27 piano concertos – and out of all of those, only two of them are in a minor key. This evening’s masterwork, the Piano Concerto No. 20 in d minor, is probably the...

Reinhold Gliere
07/30/18

Reinhold Gliere was only two years younger than Rachmaninoff, and in a lot of ways, his music shows it. Gliere’s music is firmly rooted in the Russian cosmopolitan style – but one major difference...

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
07/27/18

The Souvenir of Florence by Tchaikovsky originated as a string sextet in the latter part of the 1880s. He composed it while in Italy, but later revised it in Russia, and it’s the last chamber work...

Alexander Borodin
07/26/18

Alexander Borodin was a notoriously slow worker, so it’s no wonder that it took the composer five years to compose his first extended work, the Symphony No. 1. Although the audience did not...

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
07/25/18

Mozart’s 25th Piano Concerto was composed around the same time as his Marriage of Figaro and his Symphony No. 38. In fact, Mozart first performed this concerto on December 5, 1786, the day after...

William Grant Still
07/24/18

William Grant Still is probably best known for the Symphony No. 1, titled the “Afro-American” symphony, and we’ll be hearing it tonight as our evening masterwork. Still composed the work in 1930,...

Vincent d’Indy
07/23/18

The Symphony on a French Mountain Air by Vincent d’Indy does not enjoy the popularity it did in the composer’s life time – it is now all too rare to hear the work featured on a program. But it was...

07/20/18

Joaquin Rodrigo is probably best known for his Concierto de Aranjuez for guitar and orchestra, but he produced quite a few pieces featuring the guitar in that setting. One, a lesser known work but...

Ferde Grofe: Grand Canyon Suite
07/19/18

When asked about his “Grand Canyon Suite” in a radio interview some-forty years after it was composed, American Composer Ferde Grofe reminisced about the moment the idea for the piece was born. He...

Johannes Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 in d Op. 15
07/18/18

In 1854, Johannes Brahms began to compose a two-piano sonata, and soon realized that it needed more. He would transform the opening of that work into the first movement of a First Piano Concerto;...

Frederic Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1 in e minor, Op. 11
07/16/18

It's a bit absurd now to imagine having to defend Chopin's two astounding piano concertos, but early on in the 20th century, the works were coming under fire. One critic wrote that the concertos...

Zoltan Kodaly: Hary Janos Suite
07/13/18

Folk music is often regarded as the heart of a nation's identity, and for Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodaly, folk music became a mission. He traveled all throughout the remote regions of Central...

Georges Bizet: Symphony No. 1 in C
07/12/18

Georges Bizet composed his First Symphony at the age of seventeen, and although the work enjoys regular performances today, the composer didn't do much in his lifetime to promote the work. The...

Franz Schubert: Guitar Quartet in G
07/10/18

As a teenager, Franz Schubert began to play guitar, and he later spent time playing guitar with Italian guitarist and composer Mauro Giuliani. So, in the early part of the 19th century when there...

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 36 in C K 425 “Linz”
07/09/18

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. 36, which he composed from start to finish and...

Franz Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 99 in E flat
07/05/18

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...