Classical Archives

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
08/22/18
Mozart’s keyboard concertos are the most personal of his works: many of them were composed as a way of showcasing the composer’s own piano playing in...
Then & Now 8/21: BBC Proms
08/21/18
It's that time of year again when the BBC organizes the biggest classical music festival in the world, the BBC Proms, which runs from mid-July to...
Modest Mussorgsky
08/21/18
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...
Ludwig van Beethoven
08/20/18
While Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is dark and driven, the Symphony No. 6 is like walking down the sunnier side of the same street. He did most of the...
Victor Herbert
08/17/18
Victor Herbert was not just a composer; he was also a world-class virtuoso cellist, and he composed two cello concertos for himself to perform. The...
Then & Now 8/16: Thank You. Thank You Vera Much
08/16/18
On this date in 1977, Rock superstar Elvis Presley died at the young age of 42, in Memphis, TN. Thousands are making their annual pilgrimage to the...
Nicolo Paganini
08/16/18
Classical Music history has a long tradition of great instrumental soloists composing great works to showcase their instrument: composers like...
Then & Now 8/15: From Russia With Love
08/15/18
On this date in 1896, Russian inventor Lev Termen (which he later anglicized to Leon Theremin) was born in St. Petersburg.  He invented the Theremin...
Franz Joseph Haydn
08/15/18
Franz Joseph Haydn’s 45th Symphony, the “Farewell” Symphony, is one of the more theatrical and problem-solving symphonies from the 18th century… At...
Then & Now 8/13: Labors of Love
08/14/18
On this date in 1841 Robert Schumann's "Concert Fantasy" for Piano and Orchestra, had its first performance at a closed rehearsal of the Leipzig...
Franz Schubert
08/14/18
No one really knows why Franz Schubert subtitled his Fourth Symphony “tragic:” some believe it was perhaps an attempt to attract a publisher, or...
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....
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...
Then & Now: Beethoven's 9th
08/09/18
On this date in 1781, Austrian composer, violinist, and conductor Michael Umlauff, was born in Vienna. He conducted the premiere of Beethoven's Ninth...
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...
Then & Now: Fingal's Cave
08/08/18
On this date in 1829, Mendelssohn visited Fingal's Cave in the Hebrides Islands west of Scotland’s coast and started composing the 'Hebrides'...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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,...
Then & Now: Carson Cooper
08/01/18
On this date ... and just about every weekday for the past 18 years, listeners to WUSF 89.7 woke up to the voice of our Morning Edition host Carson...
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...
Then & Now: John Philip Sousa
07/31/18
On this date in 1892, John Philip Sousa ended his 12-year tenure with the Marine Band, one of the finest touring ensembles of the day. Sousa was...
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...