Classical Archives

Frederic Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1 in e minor, Op. 11
03/22/17
Chopin wrote only two piano concertos in his lifetime, and they were composed as virtuoso showpieces for the travelling pianist. This showy-ness...
Isaac Albeniz: Iberia Suite
03/22/17
Iberia was originally a solo piano work by Isaac Albeniz that features a “wealth of imagery,” according to the composer’s French contemporaries. The...
Stephen Sondheim
03/22/17
Today’s date is a pretty good one for Broadway!  March 22 marks the birthdays of two major composers.  Stephen Sondheim was born in 1930 in New York...
Antonin Dvorak: Symphony No. 8 in G Op. 88
03/21/17
Dvorak’s second-to-last symphony, the 8th Symphony, was a departure from the one that came before it. Whereas Dvorak’s Seventh was dramatic and...
Johann Sebastian Bach
03/21/17
On this date in 1685, perhaps the greatest composer of the Baroque period, and the man who is responsible for setting the path of classical music was...
Ludwig van Beethoven: Violin Sonata No. 5 in F Op. 24 “Spring”
03/20/17
On this first day of Spring, we will hear the “Spring” Sonata by Beethoven, the Violin Sonata No. 5 in F. While we may think of a work like this as...
Sergei Rachmaninoff
03/20/17
On this date in 1873, the great composer and pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff was born.  This date also saw the premiere of his symphonic fantasy "The...
Oregon Symphony: Carlos Kalmar - Conductor
03/17/17
Carlos Kalmar - Conductor Susan Platts - Mezzo-soprano Portland State University & Pacific Youth Choirs We're heading to Portland, Oregon, for a...
St. Patrick's Day
03/17/17
Today is St. Patrick’s Day, and two “Irish” works got premieres in the Celtic city of Boston.  The first was in March of 1922, when Pierre Monteux...
Hamilton Harty: Irish Symphony
03/16/17
Irish composer Hamilton Harty composed his Irish Symphony as part of a 1904 competition that awarded a special price for a suite or symphony on...
Tchaikovsky
03/16/17
Two Tchaikovsky works had their premieres on this date.  In 1870, the Romeo and Juliet Fantasy-Overture had its first performance in Moscow, with...
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 38 in D K 504, “Prague”
03/15/17
Three years separated Mozart’s 37th Symphony and his 38th, but at the age of 30, towards the end of 1786, he started composing his Symphony No. 38...
Gioachino Rossini
03/15/17
On this date in 1895, legendary Italian tenor Enrico Caruso made his operatic debut at the age of 22 at the Teatro Nuovo in Naples, singing the lead...
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio in a, Op. 50
03/14/17
Tchaikovsky only has one chamber work featuring piano and strings: a Piano Trio, and initially, he had no interest in writing such a work. However,...
Frederick Delius: Florida Suite
03/13/17
Frederick Delius spent some time in Florida, and he composed his Florida Suite in 1886 while working on an orange plantation not far from...
Ludwig van Beethoven: Piano Concert No. 1 in C, Op. 15
03/13/17
Like a lot of works in the 18th and 19th Century, Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto in C Major was misnumbered. He completed the concerto after what...
George Crumb
03/13/17
On this date in 1970, George Crumb completed his "Black Angels" for electric string quartet, percussion and water-tuned musical glasses. The score is...
Franz Joseph Haydn: Symphony No. 85 in B-flat “La Reine”
03/11/17
While most of Haydn’s nicknamed symphonies earned their nickname because of the music, the nickname of his Symphony No. 85 is because of who loved it...
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Serenade No. 10 for Winds in B-flat “Gran Partita”
03/11/17
In Mozart’s time, the serenade was defined as “an evening piece, because such works are usually performed on quiet and pleasant nights.” His Serenade...
03/10/17
It may come as a surprise that Joaquin Rodrigo wasn’t a guitarist – despite his contributions to the guitar repertoire, the composer was actually a...
Alexander Borodin
03/10/17
On this date in 1877, Alexander Borodin’s Symphony No. 2 had its premiere in St. Petersburg, played by the Russian Musical Society. You can hear...
Nicolo Paganini
03/09/17
On this date in 1831, Italian violin virtuoso Nicolo Paganini made his Parisian debut. He was one of the most charismatic performers of his time, and...
George Enescu
03/08/17
On this date in 1903, George Enescu conducted the first performance of his two "Rumanian Rhapsodies", which today are certainly his best known works...
Daniel Pinkham
03/07/17
On this date in 1980, Daniel Pinkham’s "Serenades" for trumpet and winds had its premeier at Harvard University's Sanders Theater with one of the...
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No .1 in D “The Titan”
03/06/17
Gustav Mahler completed his First Symphony in 1888, and he didn’t call it a symphony at first: he actually referred to the work as a “symphonic poem...