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.
JULY 28 - Music for Naptime
Leopold Mozart: Toy Symphony
How do parents get the baby to stop crying? They bounce the little tykes up and down, tell jokes…or write lively symphonies! Leopold Mozart was just like any other dad—he just wanted baby Wolfgang Amadeus to stop crying! He composed his famous “Toy Symphony” when W.A. Mozart was just three years old, though there’s no proof that the symphony did its job in shushing the baby prodigy.
JULY 27 - A Barking Dog in the Orchestra
Arthur Pryor: The Whistler and His Dog
Arthur Pryor was a world-famous bandleader, trombonist and composer, known in part for his novelty marches. One of the most “novel” of all is this piece, which calls for a whistle and a barking dog in the orchestra!
JULY 26 - The Original "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Variations in C on "Ah, vous dirai-je, maman," K.265
You probably recognize the melody in the first part of this piano piece—but did you know that song wasn’t originally called “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”? The English nursery rhyme we’ve all heard is actually based on a French folk song called “Ah, vous dirai-je, maman,” first heard when Mozart was a child.
JULY 25 - Irony in Opera
Giuseppe Verdi: Rigoletto: "La donna è mobile"
One of the most famous arias of all time is also one of the best examples of irony in popular culture. In this aria from the opera “Rigoletto,” the Duke of Mantua complains that the woman he tries to woo is fickle, too often flitting from man to man. Ironic, since the Duke himself is indecisive when it comes to women!
JULY 24 - A Bedpost with Indigestion
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.