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.
AUGUST 1 - A Gentleman and a Virtuoso
Frédéric Chopin: Fantasie-Impromptu in C sharp minor, Op. 66
When legendary pianist Vladimir Horowitz, heard here, played a comeback concert in New York, 57th Street was lined with hordes of fans hoping to score a ticket. When Horowitz heard about the crowd waiting outside in the cold, he immediately ordered hundreds of cups of coffee to thank them for their undying support!
Read a biography of Vladimir Horowitz, along with famous quotes and fun trivia.
JULY 31 - Mozart the wunderkind
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 1 in E flat, K.16
What were you doing when you were eight? At that age, Mozart was a child star who performed and composed all around Europe. Once, when his father was ill and forbid him to practice, the eight-year-old Mozart chose the next-best thing: composing! He wrote his very first symphony for horns, oboes and strings. The house in which he wrote it still sands in Westminster, London.
Learn more about the London Mozart visited as a child.
JULY 30 - Plucky Pieces
Léo Delibes: Sylvia: Pizzicato Polka
The entire family of stringed instruments is played by drawing a bow across the strings, making a continuous singing sound...most of the time. Every now and then, composers insert a different effect such as pizzicato, the act of plucking the strings. Delibes' Pizzicato Polka
asks the instruments to pluck their strings the whole way through, a rare find in classical music!
JULY 29 - "If it's rubbish they want, it's rubbish they'll get!"
Georges Bizet: Carmen: "Votre toast...je peux vous le render"
Believe it or not, this world-famous opera was once loathed…by the performers who premiered it! Word has it the male and female leads both hated the showpiece arias Bizet had written for them and demanded he rewrite them. The French composer scrambled to rewrite the now-ubiquitous aria “Votre toast…he peux vous le render,” reportedly grumbling all the while, “If it’s rubbish they want, it’s rubbish they’ll get!”
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.