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Known as the Dean of Afro-American Composers, William Grant Still wrote a variety of music, from symphony, opera, ballet, to popular song, and more. Gayle Murchinson, Associate Professor of Music at William and Mary, joins John Banther to discuss Still's life and explore his music across three aesthetics that she describes as Ultramodern, Racial, a…
 
Composed in his final year, this concerto is one of Mozart's last and most enduring works. Nicole and John explore the origins of the concerto, which was originally for a slightly different and more obscure instrument. They also talk about what to listen for in each movement and even give a little music theory lesson to explore some unintended cons…
 
Linda and John uncover details about Rachmaninoff's life, like early influences that stayed with him his entire career, his comeback story after a disastrous symphony premiere, and what led to him emigrating to the United States. Plus, we hear some recordings of Rachmaninoff himself at the piano from the early 1900s. See omnystudio.com/listener for…
 
It's a popular instrument, but how much do you really know about the clarinet? Principal Clarinet of the National Symphony Orchestra, Lin Ma, joins John Banther to talk all about the clarinet. Lin tells us everything, from what it's made of, its predecessor, how it was used over time, and he even plays some of his favorite examples! See omnystudio.…
 
This symphony is one of the most popular and triumphant in the repertoire, and for good reason! It takes us on a journey using a simple melody that appears in every movement, transforming from the opening in E minor to the triumphant E Major finale. John and Bill go through Tchaikovsky's personal correspondence during the months he was writing the …
 
It's been a nice summer break, but we are excited to be back with your favorite classical music podcast! We kick things off on September 7 as Matthew Dayton joins John Banther to explore the life and music of Leonard Bernstein. The following episode, September 21, is all about one of the most popular symphonies, the No. 5 by Tchaikovsky. Bill Bukow…
 
We wrap up Season 2 of Classical Breakdown with some recommended recordings for you to explore this summer. These recently released albums feature a diverse range of composers, styles, ensembles, and even world premiere recordings. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.Di Classical WETA
 
The viola is somewhat of an enigma and from a distance can be hard to tell apart from the violin. Daniel Foster explains how composers used the viola over the centuries, what his role as Principal Viola entails, and plays for us some extraordinary parts written for the viola. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.…
 
He's considered one of the greatest composers of the 19th century. But can you hum a tune by Brahms? We dive into the life and music of Brahms to better understand what set him apart from others, how his personality affected his music, and how he still appears in popular music and commercials today. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy informati…
 
This masterpiece, originally for piano, was inspired by the tragic loss of a friend, and Ravel's orchestration is a work of art in itself. While roughly half of the original pictures have been lost, we do have descriptions of the originals that give insight to Mussorgsky's music and Ravel's orchestration. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy inf…
 
How does a bassoon make a sound and what is its purpose? Principal Bassoonist of the National Symphony Orchestra Sue Heineman doesn't just tell us; she also plays her favorite moments and discusses how it all fits together in the orchestra. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.Di Classical WETA
 
There is a lot you may not know about the origins, inspirations and influencers when it comes to this masterpiece by Dvorak. We get into the details and music with examples from the latest recording from the National Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Noseda. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.…
 
It's one of the most competitive positions in all of classical music. Learn more about the role of a concertmaster from Nurit Bar-Josef, Concertmaster of the National Symphony Orchestra. She plays her favorite concertmaster solos See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.Di Classical WETA
 
His music is celebrated today, especially around New Year's, and his waltzes are bound to put a smile on your face. Learn about Strauss Jr.'s life, his music, and a surprising answer he gave a New York reporter about his visit to Boston. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.Di Classical WETA
 
Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 was revolutionary, but if all you know is the "Ode to Joy" you are missing out! From it's opening notes to the final crescendo, join Bill Bukowski and John Banther for a musical deep dive into Beethoven's final symphony. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.Di Classical WETA
 
Discover the life and works of one classical music's greatest composers! His life was full of groundbreaking music, but it was also tragic as he dealt with family problems and hearing loss. We explore the details of his life and listen to samples of his music, from his first composition to his final Symphony No. 9. See omnystudio.com/listener for p…
 
Haydn's 1st cello concerto was lost for 200 years and is now considered one of the greatest cello concertos of the 18th century. Dr. Greenwald tells us how music can go missing, we examine musical examples that set this concerto apart, and we enjoy a full performance! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.…
 
Debussy's La Mer is as imaginative and playful as it was in 1905, and while the original audience wasn't as receptive, it's become an orchestra staple over the last century. The final movement is called "Dialogue du vent et de la mer" (Dialogue of the Wind and the Sea) and features a theme originating in the oboe. We'll hear from Nicholas Stovall, …
 
An orchestral staple today, this work about "the sea" wasn't well received at it's premiere. Audiences may have expected a Strauss-esque symphonic poem to bring the sea to life, but Debussy was more interested in the abstract. This is part 1 of our 3 part series on Debussy's enchanting orchestral work, La Mer. See omnystudio.com/listener for privac…
 
She was America's first woman composer to have a symphony performed by a major orchestra and the first American composer fully educated in the United States. She was praised and recognized but her journey to success was an uphill battle with obstacles and challenges. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.…
 
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's life was kind of complicated. His childhood as a musical prodigy was filled with practicing, writing music, and performing for royalty throughout Europe. He later struggled at times finding suitable employment and wanted to find his own path. It was a life lived under the watchful eye of his father, Leopold Mozart, and cut…
 
Kian talks about bringing people together in music, changing tempos, karate, and more. He is one of today's most celebrated young cellists and has risen the ranks as one of today's great cello soloists. His collaboration with conductor Daniel Barenboim has taken him around the world, he's performed with some of the worlds greatest orchestras. and r…
 
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