Classical Archives

William Walton
06/02/17
On today’s date in 1953, the Coronation of Elizabeth II took place in London.  William Walton was asked to write two new pieces. The first was a “...
Chen Gang and He Zhanhao: The Butterfly Lovers, concert for violin
06/01/17
Long before Shakespeare wrote Romeo & Juliet, a similar story of star-crossed lovers emerged from China. It’s the story of forbidden love that...
Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in e
06/01/17
When Brahms completed his fourth and final symphony, many of his contemporaries didn’t quite understand the work. His closest companions got it,...
Peter Maxwell Davies
06/01/17
On this date in 1991, the "Ojai Festival Overture," by Peter Maxwell Davies had its premiere in the Ojai Valley north of Los Angeles, by the Scottish...
Franz Joseph Haydn
05/31/17
On this date in 1809, Austrian composer Franz Joseph Haydn, died at the age of 77, in Vienna. And thanks to you, Haydn’s music is still heard today...
Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 4, Op. 29 “The Inextinguishable”
05/30/17
Danish composer Carl Nielsen believed that music is life – and his Symphony No. 4 is a musical manifesto to that belief. It was composed between 1914...
Gabriel Faure: Requiem
05/28/17
Gabriel Faure famously once said that he composed his Requiem “for no reason at all… but for fun.” However, the death of Faure’s parents bookended...
Richard Strauss’ Death and Transfiguration
05/27/17
Richard Strauss’ third tone poem tells of a man who, in his dying hours, goes over the many memories of his efforts to achieve high, artistic ideals...
Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 14
05/26/17
Saturday night’s masterwork is a chamber work that is said to be Beethoven's favorite of his late quartets, and apparently it got the attention of...
Henry Brant
05/26/17
On this date in 2002, Henry Brant’s "Ghosts and Gargoyles" for solo flute and flute ensemble had its premiere in Toronto, by soloist Robert Aitken...
George W. Chadwick: Symphony No. 2 in B-flat Op. 21
05/25/17
George W. Chadwick’s music is distinctly American – and his music was catalyzed by the “American sounding” music of Dvorak. One of the truest...
05/24/17
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...
Ludwig Van Beethoven
05/24/17
On this date in1803, violinist George Polgreen Bridgetower, and pianist and composer Ludwig van Beethoven, gave the first performance of a new Sonata...
Vincent d’Indy: Symphony on a French Mountain Air
05/23/17
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...
William Grant Still
05/23/17
On this date in 1937, the premiere of William Grant Still’s "Lenox Avenue" for narrator and orchestra, was broadcast over the CBS radio network....
Maurice Ravel: Mother Goose Ballet
05/22/17
The Mother Goose Ballet suite by Ravel went through quite the evolution, starting out as a five-movement suite for piano four hands that the composer...
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 in e Op. 64
05/22/17
One of the first critics to write about Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony noted that the orchestration was “essentially modern, and even ultra-modern.”...
Richard Wagner
05/22/17
On this date in 1813, German composer Richard Wagner was born in Leipzig.  And on his 59th birthday in 1872, he laid the cornerstone of his Festival...
Alexander Glazunov’s Symphony No. 1
05/19/17
Alexander Glazunov’s Symphony No. 1 was written in 1881, when he was 16 years old, and is known as his Slavonian Symphony.  At its premiere in St....
Alexander Glazunov’s Symphony No. 1
05/19/17
Alexander Glazunov’s Symphony No. 1 was written in 1881, when he was 16 years old, and is known as his Slavonian Symphony.  At its premiere in St....
Nashville Symphony: Giancarlo Guerrero - Conductor
05/19/17
Giancarlo Guerrero - Conductor Anne Akiko Meyers - Violin Anne Akiko Meyers shines in a dazzling performance of Bernstein's Serenade with the...
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Suite No. 1 in d Op. 43
05/18/17
Today we remember Tchiakovsky’s symphonies as the pinnacle of his symphonic output – and that may be the case – but he also composed four large-scale...
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Clarinet Quintet in A K. 581
05/18/17
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...
Paul Dukas
05/18/17
On this date in 1897, Paul Dukas’ tone-poem "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," had its premiere in Paris, with the composer conducting.  The work went on...
Leonard Bernstein
05/17/17
On this date in 1969, it was Leonard Bernstein's last concert as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, having conducted 939 concerts with the...