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.
OCTOBER 24 - The Highest, the Chief, the Sovereign
Jacques Offenbach: The Tales of Hoffmann: 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!
OCTOBER 23 - Rediscovering Great Composers
Ildebrando Pizzetti: Piano Trio in A: III. Rapsodia di settembre: Vivace (non presto)
We admit it—we’ve never heard of Pizzetti until now! He is considered the greatest Italian composer of choral works since Pope Gregory wandered around the globe leading the way with his chants. He was a dramatist, composer and lover of opera. Take a moment to savor this genius: the opening of his Requiem, composed in 1922, and a clip of his Piano Trio in A.
OCTOBER 22 - Tear-jerkers
Edward Elgar: Salut d'amour, Op.12
Why do certain pieces of music stir the soul, warm the heart and start up the tear ducts? Perhaps it’s a certain association, a tender memory or just a moment of vulnerability. We just can’t explain it! Elgar’s “Salut d’amour” is one such tear-jerker for our announcer, Lisa Bergman. What classical pieces get you all sentimental? Let us know on our Facebook page.
OCTOBER 21 - Weird Titles in Classical Music
Erik Satie: Limp Preludes for a Dog
Standard titles for pieces in classical music are pretty boring, aren’t they? Suite No. 4. Symphony No. 1. Concerto in A. But there are some very notable exceptions. There’s nothing stale, for example, about “Unappetizing Chorale,” “She Who Talks Too Much,” and “Agreeable Despair.” It’s easy to imagine the avant garde, Belle Époque French composer Erik Satie was the man to come up with such odd names! Listen to one of his odder-titled pieces, “Limp Preludes for a Dog,” here.
Get an Erik Satie primer here, and buy this CD to get more acquainted with his music.
OCTOBER 20 - Mozart's Music Cataloguer
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Requiem in D minor, K.626: Introitus
Mozart composed one of the highest arias of his time in “The Magic Flute,” and it’s recognizable worldwide. Though he’s less touted for it, he also composed one of the lowest arias in the history of opera in “Abduction from the Seraglio.” The aria calls for a bass soloist to sing a low D. Listen and marvel!