Johann Svendsen - Octet in A for Strings, Op.3
Claude Debussy Sounds of Bells through the Leaves
NOW PLAYING KORNGOLD: Die Tote Stadt; MUSSORGSKY: Boris Godunov; WAGNER: Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
Bela Bartok Piano Concerto No.3, Sz.119
Jan Swafford The Silence of Yuma Point
Explore Music 
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 Explore Music host, Lisa Bergman.

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SEPTEMBER 22 - A bone-chilling instrument
Camille Saint-Saëns: Danse Macabre, Op. 40

 
 

Good composers can paint pictures of just about anything with the right orchestration. Camille Saint-Saëns, in his genius, used xylophones in his “Danse Macabre” to make listeners think of skeletons. What is it about the xylophone that makes us think of bones?

Learn more about Camille Saint-Saens here. Still not sure about the difference between xylophones and marimbas? Read up here.

 

SEPTEMBER 21 - The most famous intermezzo
Christian Sindig: A Rustle of Spring, Op. 32 No. 3

 
 

Brahms, Mendelssohn, Grieg and Schubert wrote a whole bunch of “Intermezzos,” but when it came time to score the 1936 Ingrid Bergman film “Intermezzo,” Hollywood chose none of these old standbys. Instead, they chose “A Rustle of Spring” from the obscure Norwegian composer Christian Sinding, launching him into unexpected fame.

 

SEPTEMBER 20 - Nature in Classical Music
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.”

Read more about Fingal's Cave, and dare to dream about staying in this hotel when you visit.

SEPTEMBER 19 - Great Conductors in History
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67: II. Andante con moto

 
 

So you want to be a conductor? Lest you think it’s  as easy as counting to four, think about the musical background of some of history’s greatest composers: Eugene Ormandy was a former violinist; Toscanini a cellist; and Seattle’s own Gerard Schwarz a trumpeter. Before they found their ultimate calling, these men all achieved excellence on the other side of the stage!

Read more about Hungarian conductor Arthur Nikisch, and practice your conducting skills with a baton from the Nash Company.

 

SEPTEMBER 18 - Expression Without Words
Heitor Villa-Lobos: Bachiana Brasileira No. 5

 
 

Sometimes, music says it best when it says nothing at all. Such is the case in Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos’ “Bachiana Brasileira No. 5,” which calls for a soprano soloist to sing an entire aria on the sound “ah.” Who knew so few words could evoke such strong emotion?

Read more about the diva who sang this and more, Anna Moffo.

 



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