Program Archives

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 Symphony “Winter Dream.” He even went further...

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 known as Neoclassicism. One composer to do this...

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 Rachmaninoff and Brahms are two great examples. Both...

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 in E. What Schubert did finish was a sketch of...

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 final composition. He decided that piece would be...

Joaquin Rodrgio: Concierto Madrigal for two guitars
01/16/18

This evening’s masterwork is Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Concierto Madrigal” for two guitars, based on an anonymous Renaissance madrigal “Felices ojos mios,” or Happy eyes of mine. We know of the...

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat for violin & viola
01/16/18

The sinfonia concertante is an interesting genre that was popular mostly at the end of the 18th Century, heading into the 19th Century. It’s a type of work that features multiple soloists –...

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...