Classical Archives

Houston Symphony: Beethoven
01/26/18
Andres Orozco-Estrada - Conductor It's big music from Houston! These back-to-back symphonies are the conclusion to the orchestra's three-season...
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...
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...
Then & Now 1/25:  Robert Burns - "Auld Lang Syne"
01/24/18
The favorite son and bard of Scotland, Robert Burns was born on this day, January 25th in 1759 in Alloway, Scotland.  He wrote so much that touched...
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...
Then & Now 1/23:  The Barber of Seville
01/23/18
On this date in history, the man with perhaps the most famous autograph in U.S. history was born in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1737.  That was John...
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...
Then & Now 1/22: Lord Byron
01/22/18
Today is Monday, January 22nd, 2018, it’s the anniversary of the birth of George Gordon, Lord Byron.  He was born on this date in London in 1788 and...
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...
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...
Then & Now 1/17:  Amadeus
01/18/18
On this date in 1773, Mozart was just a few days from his seventeenth birthday and was in Italy with his father, Leopold. He was there for the...
Then and Now: Shostakovich’s opera -Jan 18th
01/17/18
On this date in musical history, Shostakovich’s opera, “The Nose,” based on the Gogol story, premiered in Leningrad. And today, it’s the first...
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,”...
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...
01/13/18
Hour 1: SOME of Antonio Vivaldi’s hundreds of Concertos have descriptive nicknames – the Four Seasons are probably the best example. And Vivaldi may...
Oregon Symphony: Violinist Augustin Hadelich
01/12/18
Carlos Kalmar - Conductor Augustin Hadelich - Violin [Photo: NPR.org/Rosalie O'Connor] Overcoming a horrendous accident from childhood, the Grammy...
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’...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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,...
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...
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...