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.
SEPTEMBER 23 - Archery and horseback riding in music
Gioachino Rossini: William Tell: Overture
Rossini wasn’t the first composer to find musical inspiration in athletic activity, but his William Tell Overture is certainly the most well-known example of sports-influenced music. Listen for Rossini’s references to archery and horseback riding in this über-famous sound bite.
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.”