Classical Archives

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4
10/04/17
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...
Then and now for Wednesday, October 4th.
10/04/17
The great Canadian pianist Glenn Gould died on this day in 1982 at the age of 50 years old.  He possessed prodigious musical talent and was known as...
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat K. 297b
10/04/17
Though it’s no mystery that Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante for 4 Winds is charming, there is quite a bit of mystery surrounding it. The main problem...
Isaac Albeniz: Suite Espanola Op. 47
10/02/17
The Suite Espanola by Isaac Albeniz is a bit of a musical tour through Spain: each of the eight movements is named after and influenced by a region...
Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 4 in e Op. 98
10/02/17
Brahms completed his fourth and final symphony in 1885, and many of his contemporaries and audience-goers didn’t understand the work. The Fourth...
Then & Now 10/2:  Nobel Music
10/02/17
On this date in 2001, Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, commissioned American composer Steve Heitzeg to write his "Nobel Symphony”...
Last Night of the BBC Proms
09/29/17
BBC Symphony Orchestra BBC Symphony Chorus BBC Singers Sakari Oramo - Conductor Nina Stemme - Soprano Lucy Crowe - Soprano Christine Rice - Mezzo-...
Then & Now 9/29:  One Last Time
09/29/17
On this date in 1918, Gustav Holst’s The Planets had its premiere at a private concert at Queen's Hall, London, under the direction of Adrian Boult....
Franz Schubert: String Quintet in C
09/28/17
The String Quintet in C by Franz Schubert was composed in the final weeks of his life. It’s rather unique in that rather than writing for a string...
Then & Now 9/28:  New Music
09/28/17
On this date in 2007, Conductor Philip Brunelle was presented with the "Champion of New Music" Award by the American Composers Forum at their Annual...
Igor Stravinsky: Pulcinella Suite
09/27/17
The story of Pulcinella did not originate with Stravinsky, nor did it really originate with the great Russian impresario Sergei Diaghilev (though he...
Franz Schubert: Symphony No. 4 in c “Tragic”
09/26/17
No one really knows why Franz Schubert subtitled his Fourth Symphony “tragic:” some believe it was perhaps an attempt to attract a publisher, or...
Then & Now 9/26:  On Broadway
09/26/17
On this date in 1957, Leonard Bernstein’s musical "West Side Story," premiered at the Winter Garden in New York City. A trial run of the musical had...
Vassili Kalinnikov: Symphony No. 2 in A
09/25/17
The story of Russian composer Vasily Kalinnikov is a tragically short one, not unlike the story of many artists throughout the ages. He lived a...
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 21 in C Op. 53 “Waldstein”
09/25/17
Beethoven completed his 21st Piano Sonata in 1804, dedicating it to his friend and patron Count Ferdinand von Waldstein - hence the sonata’s nickname...
Then & Now 9/25:  Parlez-vous Français?
09/25/17
On this date in 1997, French composer and pianist Jean Françaix, died at the age of 85, in Paris. The composer himself said that his family name is...
Then & Now 9/22:  Jewish Themed Music
09/22/17
On this date in 1964, Jerry Bock’s musical "Fiddler On the Roof" opened on Broadway.  It would ran for 3,242 performances before closing. This Sunday...
Then & Now 9/21:  From Holst to Holt
09/22/17
On this date in 1874, English composer Gustav Holst was born in Cheltenham. He was born Gustavus Theodore von Holst, and his early works were...
Franz Schubert: Piano Trio No. 1 in B-Flat, Op. 99
09/21/17
Little is known about Franz Schubert’s Piano Trio No. 1 in B-flat, except for the fact that in his life time, the first trio was overshadowed by its...
William Alwyn: Lyra Angelica
09/20/17
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 9/18: Discover the Flute!
09/20/17
On this date in 1954, Virgil Thomson’s Concerto for flute, strings and percussion, had its premiere in Venice. You can hear a concert featuring the...
Then & Now 9/20: Music From London
09/20/17
On this date in 1930, the first public performance of Elgar’s "Pomp and Circumstance" March No. 5 took place at Queen's Hall in London, with Sir...
Then & Now 9/19: Romance of the Cello
09/20/17
On this date in 1894, the Brahms two Clarinet Sonatas were premiered at a private performance in the home of the sister of the Duke of Meiningen with...
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 1 in C, Op. 21
09/19/17
When the 29-year-old Beethoven composed and published his First Symphony, many listened on, oblivious to how the composer would soon transform the...
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 16 in D, K. 451
09/18/17
Mozart’s time in Vienna kept him busy with concerts, commissions, and teaching engagements, and naturally all of this and more made him the local...