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.
Support for KING FM’s Explore Music is made possible by the generosity of Diana Carey, Suzanne Poppema and John Cramer, Cookie and Ken Neil, Jim Roark, Sheila and Craig Sternberg, Patricia Tall-Takacs and Gary Takacs, and Jean Viereck.
FEBRUARY 10 - Sopranos rule!
Jacques Offenbach: The Tales of Hoffman: The Doll's Song
The word soprano derives from the Italian word “sovrano”—meaning the highest, the chief, the sovereign. With a range extending about two octaves upward from middle C, the soprano is certainly the ruler of the opera world—especially if she’s a coloratura. This type of soprano steals the show every time with her veritable vocal acrobatics that often sound like very sophisticated yodeling!
FEBRUARY 9 - Scoring "Intermezzo"
Christian Sinding: A Rustle of Spring, Op.32/3
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.
FEBRUARY 8 - Rigoletto's famous aria
Giuseppe Verdi: Rigoletto: La donna e 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!
FEBRUARY 7 - The glorious tuba
Ralph Vaughan William: Tuba Concerto in F minor: I. Allegro moderato
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Tuba Concerto in F minor: I. Allegro moderato
Tubas are best known for bellowing out those low “oom-pah” sounds you hear from the back of large orchestras, so Vaughan Williams was at first maligned for his idea to compose an entire concerto centered on this large instrument. But Vaughan Williams got the last laugh: today, his tuba concerto is among his most popular compositions.
For information on the history of the tuba read here.
FEBRUARY 6 - Papa Mozart's Toy Symphony
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.
For information on Leopold Mozart, read here.