Program Archives

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...

Houston Symphony: Matthew Halls - Conductor
03/02/18

Matthew Halls - Conductor
Johannes Moser - Cello [Photo: Uwe Arens]

Cellist Johannes Moser shines in a performance of Haydn's elegant Cello Concerto No. 1.

SCHUBERT:...

Robert Schumann: Cello Concerto in a Op. 129
03/01/18

Our evening masterwork tonight is Robert Schumann’s Cello Concerto, which kind of has an interesting origin. During the time Schumann was coming of age, it was the era of piano virtuosi, such as...

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Clarinet Concerto in A K 622
02/27/18

Mozart completed his only clarinet concerto just two months prior to his death and it has become one of the most enduring works in the solo clarinet repertoire. He composed the piece just shortly...

Sergei Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C, Op. 26
02/27/18

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

Listeners Favorite Composers
02/20/18

During our Winter Campaign, we asked you about your favorite composer – and the votes are in!  All this week we’ll be unveiling your picks, one Evening Masterwork at a time – each night at 7 o’...

Giuseppe Verdi: I Vespri Siciliani: Four Seasons
02/14/18

Tonight on our Evening Masterwork, we feature a sort of piece within a piece. It is the Four Seasons ballet music from Verdi’s opera I Vespri Siciliani. It’s a part of the opera that is actually...

Edvard Grieg: Piano Concerto in a Op. 16
02/12/18

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...

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 resulted in an uneasy relationship with the violin...

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 for Prague. This was a city where Mozart was all...

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 work. The two corresponded by mail, and when...

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 sheer dissatisfaction. It would then take two...

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 happen. Tchaikovsky recounted the exchange with...

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 director of the St. Petersburg Conservatory, his...

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 principals who, through fate, ultimately reach the...

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 that kept him from being a sailor was...

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...