Program Archives

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 20th Century.  Now it’s firmly established in the...

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 work took three years to compose, totaling...

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 freshest and happiest of youth.” He had also...

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 the mark – Johannes Brahms’s Piano Concerto No...

Aaron Copland: Symphony No. 3
04/02/18

In 1944, Aaron Copland set out to compose, in his own words, a piece that would “reflect the euphoric spirit of the country” at that time – that was his Symphony No. 3. This also happened to be at...

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2 in c Op. 17 “Little Russian”
03/29/18

Tchaikovsky’s Second Symphony, or the “Little Russian” as it has come to be known as, is the shortest of Tchaikovsky’s symphonies. However, its distinction is not the length of the work – it is...

Franz Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 103 in E-flat, “Drum Roll”
03/28/18

The Symphony No. 103 was the second-to-last symphony Franz Joseph Haydn ever wrote, and audiences and critics loved it. One newspaper reported that the symphony, “as usual, had continual strokes...

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Guitar Concerto No. 2
03/27/18

The concerto as a genre seemed to speak to composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco much more than the symphony: he once said, “I found that the form of the Concerto did better correspond to my...

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade Op. 35
03/27/18

This Evening’s Masterwork is the story of The Thousand and One Nights, the collection of Middle Eastern and Indian tales, turned into music. Rimsky-Korsakov completed Scheherazade in 1888, a work...

Franz Schubert: Symphony No. 3 in D
03/26/18

In 1815, when Franz Schubert was only 18-years old, he was working full-time, year-round as a school teacher, taking twice-weekly composition lessons, and teaching his own students privately on...

George W. Chadwick: Symphony No. 2 in B-flat Op. 21
03/22/18

George W. Chadwick’s music is distinctly American – and his music was catalyzed by the “American sounding” music of Dvorak. One of the truest hallmarks of Chadwick’s output was the scherzo, and...

Ferde Grofe: Grand Canyon Suite
03/21/18

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...

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Op. 60
03/20/18

Beethoven’s even-numbered symphonies are often overshadowed by their odd-numbered neighbors. Robert Schumann even referred to Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony as a “slender Greek maiden between two...

Sergei Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 4 in g-minor
03/19/18

Rachmaninoff settled down in the United States in 1921 after leaving revolutionary Russia, and something about the United States must have been uninspiring to the composer: between 1918 and 1926,...

Edouard Lalo: Symphonie Espagnole in d Op. 21
03/19/18

Edouard Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole is a quirky sort of piece as far as its structure goes: it is part symphony but mostly concerto. It’s also filled with Spanish-type idioms, as one would expect...

Edouard Lalo: Symphonie Espagnole in d Op. 21
03/19/18

Edouard Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole is a quirky sort of piece as far as its structure goes: it is part symphony but mostly concerto. It’s also filled with Spanish-type idioms, as one would expect...

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in c Op. 67
03/14/18

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. In his lifetime, Beethoven was known more for...

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 36 in C K 425 “Linz”
03/13/18

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...

03/12/18

On this date in 1845, Felix Mendelssohn’s only Violin Concerto was premiered. He completed the work in 1844, and to this day it is one of the most frequently performed of all violin concerti. The...

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 in b Op. 74 “Pathetique”
03/12/18

There is much intrigue surrounding Tchaikovsky’s final symphony. In it, Tchaikovsky had developed a “private” and unpublished program – a narrative that only the composer knew about, but he drew...

Johann Nepomuk Hummel: Piano Concerto No. 3 in b-minor Op. 89
03/08/18

Johann Hummel’s piano sonatas are usually considered his most interesting compositions, but the piano concertos he produced are also an important part of the composer’s output. He completed the...

Gang Chen / Zhanhao He: The Butterfly Lovers (Concerto for Violin)
03/06/18

Long before Shakespeare wrote Romeo & Juliet, a similar story of star-crossed lovers emerged from China. It’s the story of forbidden love that ends in suicide, except in this version, after...

Camille Saint-Saens: Symphony No. 3 in c Op 78 “Organ”
03/05/18

Although Camille Saint-Saens is often considered a conservative composer for his time, his Third Symphony is all but conservative. It’s highly original and innovative in many ways, such as how the...

Hector Berlioz: Harold in Italy Op. 16
03/05/18

In the early 1830s, French composer Hector Berlioz won the Prix de Rome, a prize instituted by the French government, which allowed him to spend more than a year in Italy, studying in an...