Classical Archives

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...
Reinhold Gliere
07/30/18
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...
Then & Now: Frederic Augustus, Elector of Saxony
07/29/18
On this date in 1733, J.S. Bach sent a letter to Frederic Augustus, Elector of Saxony, requesting an official title to bolster his reputation in...
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
07/27/18
The Souvenir of Florence by Tchaikovsky originated as a string sextet in the latter part of the 1880s. He composed it while in Italy, but later...
Alexander Borodin
07/26/18
Alexander Borodin was a notoriously slow worker, so it’s no wonder that it took the composer five years to compose his first extended work, the...
Then & Now: Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart
07/26/18
On this date in 1791, Mozart's sixth child, Franz Xaver, was born in Vienna. Mozart nicknamed the new arrival "Wowi" and everyone said the baby was...
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
07/25/18
Mozart’s 25th Piano Concerto was composed around the same time as his Marriage of Figaro and his Symphony No. 38. In fact, Mozart first performed...
William Grant Still
07/24/18
William Grant Still is probably best known for the Symphony No. 1, titled the “Afro-American” symphony, and we’ll be hearing it tonight as our...
Then & Now: Elisabetta Brusa
07/24/18
On this date in 1983, Elisabetta Brusa's  Fables for chamber orchestra, had its premiere given by the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra.  Tanglewood...
Vincent d’Indy
07/23/18
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...
Then & Now: John Harbison
07/23/18
On this date in 1982, John Harbison’s "Variation" for clarinet, violin and piano had its premiere at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival in New...
07/20/18
Joaquin Rodrigo is probably best known for his Concierto de Aranjuez for guitar and orchestra, but he produced quite a few pieces featuring the...
Then & Now: Guglielmo Marconi
07/20/18
On this date in history, the inventor who is credited with bringing us radio, Italian Guglielmo Marconi was born on this date in 1874 in Bologna,...
Ferde Grofe: Grand Canyon Suite
07/19/18
When asked about his “Grand Canyon Suite” in a radio interview some-forty years after it was composed, American Composer Ferde Grofe reminisced about...
Then & Now: Kurt Masur
07/18/18
On this date in musical history, Kurt Masur the great German conductor and humanitarian was born in a town in what is now Poland in 1927. He was the...
Johannes Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 in d Op. 15
07/18/18
In 1854, Johannes Brahms began to compose a two-piano sonata, and soon realized that it needed more. He would transform the opening of that work into...