Tune in every night at 6 for a two-minute listening adventure packed with
                 fun facts and stories about great classical music! Have questions,
                comments or ideas? Email the Exploring Music host, Lisa Bergman.



       
                                                       RECENT EPISODES
       

           APRIL 16
           Felix Mendelssohn: The Hebrides Overture, Op. 26
           "Fingal's Cave"

             

              In 1830, Mendelssohn sent his sister, also a composer, a letter
              containing the opening phrase of this piece during a trip to Fingal’s
              Cave on an island off the coast of Scotland. The cave is a mass of
              beautiful basalt columns, and one can hear mysterious echoing
              noises from inside. In the letter, Mendelssohn wrote: "In order to
              make you understand how extraordinarily The Hebrides affected me,
              I send you the following, which came into my head there.”

                  

              (Learn more about Fingal's Cave in Scotland and stay at the area's
              best B&B.)

 

           APRIL 15
           Carl Maria von Weber: Hungarian Fantasy, Op. 35
           J.158

             

              The bassoon is a soulful, humble instrument. It seems to have
              found its niche buried in the back of the orchestra, and it is often
              the butt of jokes: it was once said the bassoon is nothing more
              than a bedpost with indigestion! So it’s a pleasant surprise to hear
              seldom-composed bassoon solos like this one.

                  

              (Learn more about the bassoon and the International Double Reed
              Society.)

 

           APRIL 14
           Gustav Holst: The Planets, Op. 32: IV. Jupiter, the
           Bringer of Jollity

             

              Gustav Holst originally wrote “The Planets” for a piano duet, but he
              couldn’t bear to hear his “Neptune” movement played this way. He
              believed Neptune was too distant and mysterious a planet to be
              represented by a piano, so he composed this movement for an
              organ. Later, he decided to score the whole work for an orchestra.
              Hear this performance, conducted by Eugene Ormandy—do you
              think it sounds as mysterious as Holst wanted it to sound? 

                  

              (Learn more about the conductor André Previn, listen to another 
              performance of this piece, and hear some video game music!)

           APRIL 13
           Léo Delibes: Sylvia: Pizzicato Polka

             

              The pizzicato technique isn’t just for stringed instruments! The
              staccato, or short, sound of a plucked string can be imitated by a
              piano player, too, as shown here.

                  

              (Learn more about Léo Delibes, and watch more videos demon-
              strating the pizzicato technique here and here.)

           APRIL 12
           Georges Bizet: Carmen: "Votre toast...je peux vous
           le render"

             

              Believe it or not, this world-famous opera was once loathed…by
              the performers who premiered it! Word has it the male and female
              leads both hated the showpiece arias Bizet had written for them
              and demanded he rewrite them. The French composer scrambled
              to rewrite the now-ubiquitous aria “Votre toast…he peux vous le
              render,” reportedly grumbling all the while, “If it’s rubbish they want,
              it’s rubbish they’ll get!”

                  
 



      
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