San Francisco Symphony Podcasts

By San Francisco Symphony

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Description

Podcasts from the San Francisco Symphony and Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas.

Episode Date
Scriabin’s The Poem of Ecstasy Op. 54
<br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="mso-bidi-font-style: italic; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Scriabin's "Poem of Ecstasy" was the perfect "cosmic trip" for the Summer of Love - even though it was written 60 years earlier.</span><o:p></o:p></div><br /><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/opN7U4aZ_Qc" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 30, 2018
Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 2
Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 2 bridged the divide between East and West in Russian music; that may have been the reason it was the only one of his works that he was really satisfied with.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/xRRxiGsN0mE" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 15, 2018
Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1
In 1854, Robert Schumann, friend and mentor to a young Johannes Brahms, attempted suicide by drowning in the Rhine River. Thrown into emotional turmoil by Schumann’s resulting institutionalization and his unrequited love for Robert’s wife Clara<i>, </i>young Brahms began sketching his first major orchestral work. Brahms reflects his struggle with a tormented opening, a slow movement which he described as a “lovely portrait” of Clara, and acceptance of reality in the finale.&nbsp; Perhaps afraid to attempt a form so masterfully executed by Beethoven, the work soon evolved into a sonata for two pianos and then finally became his Piano Concerto No. 1, in D minor.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/fyiigs4sNX8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 09, 2018
Elgar's "Enigma" Variations
Improvised at the piano after a strenuous day of teaching, <i>Enigma </i>Variations established Elgar as the pre-eminent British composer of his time. Shrouded in mystery is the “enigma” intended by Elgar, a secret he took with him to the grave. Variation IX, “Nimrod (Adagio),” has become a cherished piece in the popular classical lexicon.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/1XNM5Arnn-I" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 18, 2018
Prokofiev's Symphony No. 3
Sergei Prokofiev's opera <i>The Fiery Angel</i>—a medieval tale of demonic possession and its erotic overtones—was never produced during his lifetime. But he felt it contained some of the best music he had written, so he brought it to life in the concert hall as his dark, dynamic, and dangerous Symphony No. 3. How he got it past the Soviet censors is a mystery; you may find yourself looking over your shoulder after hearing it!<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/QPRplOj-D48" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 18, 2018
Respighi's Pines of Rome
A fascination with the music of Italy’s distant past led Ottorino Respighi to compose what is known as his Romany Triptych of tone poems—<i>Pines of Rome, Fountains of Rome, </i>and <i>Roman Festivals.&nbsp; </i>The <i>Pines of Rome </i>depicts the trees around Rome, which according to Respighi, “dominate the Roman landscape [and] become witnesses to the principal events in Roman life.”<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/WUVLkSZ7q9U" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 12, 2018
Holst's "The Planets"
Gustav Holst's suite <i>The Planets</i> was inspired by his interest in astrology; the stars must have been aligned because it has been a hit ever since its first performance.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/JJQYd3Bn23M" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 11, 2018
Ravel's "Daphnis et Chloe"
Maurice Ravel called his score to the ballet <i>Daphnis et Chloé</i> a "great, choreographic symphony." The ballet lasted only a couple of performances, but the score has become—like the Greek gods—immortal.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/Z-stmuzR29s" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 23, 2018
Strauss' An Alpine Symphony
After a series of successful tone poems based on literary sources, Richard Strauss found a fascinating new subject to write about: himself. His <i>Alpine Symphony</i> is based on eventful day trip he took as a boy; an epic musical journey to the summit and back again.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/zVvy0GbMQ60" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 13, 2018
Mahler's Symphony No. 5
In this episode, special guest host Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas talks about a work Mahler called a “foaming, roaring, raging sea of sound,” his Symphony No. 5.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/QcDsct4BoCo" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 13, 2018
Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3
Constructing a winning chess match is not that different from constructing a musical composition. Sergei Prokofiev used both strategies in his Piano Concerto No. 3.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/GkRSn6YUx_I" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 12, 2018
Rachmaninoff's 'Symphonic Dances'
In summer 1940, while enjoying a very busy career as a pianist and conductor, Rachmaninoff finally found time to compose while vacationing on Long Island.&nbsp; Following the successful dance production of his&nbsp;<i>Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini</i>, choreographed by Mikhail Fokine, Rachmaninoff started work on what he called his <i>Fantastic Dances,</i> planning a Philadelphia Orchestra premiere complete with Fokine’s choreography.&nbsp; After the death of Fokine, this last work of Rachmaninoff’s became the <i>Symphonic Dances,</i> a three-movement work which showcases Rachmaninoff’s mastery of orchestral color and includes buried secret references and codes.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/LfF3v7hxvfU" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 24, 2018
Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue"
On his conceptualization of <i>Rhapsody in Blue,</i> Gershwin recalled: “It was on the train, with its steely rhythms, its rattlety-bang that is often so stimulating to a composer . . . and there I suddenly heard—and even saw on paper—the complete construction of the rhapsody . . . I heard it as a sort of musical kaleidoscope of America—of our vast melting pot, of our unduplicated national pep, of our metropolitan madness.”<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/xYSAFmjR-4k" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 24, 2018
Tippett's Four Ritual Dances
The Four Ritual Dances from Michael Tippett’s opera "The Midsummer Marriage" follow the opera’s lead characters on their journey to integrate light and shadow and become whole; a path that mirrored the composer’s own.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/WwrTmGiYdvI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 14, 2018
Brahms' Symphony No. 1
Beethoven’s first symphony premiered when he was 30. Schubert wrote his first at 16, and Mozart’s was composed when he was only 8. But Johannes Brahms, at 43, had yet to finish his Symphony No. 1, which he’d begun writing more than twenty years previously. A notorious perfectionist, he burned many of his early works and sketches; it was not easy living in the shadow of the giants before him. His many years of preparation were worth it—upon the work’s premiere in 1876, the Vienna press called it “Beethoven’s Tenth.”<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/VNXjSIFa_NA" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 14, 2018
Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5
A Soviet artist's reply to just criticism"—that was the official government response to Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5. But was the composer really bowing to the Soviet music authorities? Or was he secretly thumbing his nose at them?<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/czYNVtT53bc" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 08, 2018
Mozart's Symphony No. 40
Mozart composed his Symphony No. 40 during the very productive summer of 1788, when he also completed his Symphony No. 39 and Symphony No. 41—the last symphonies he would compose.&nbsp; After a series of revisions, including Mozart’s addition of clarinet parts for his friend, the clarinetist Anton Stadler, numerous versions existed (including an autograph score, with clarinets, that ended up in the hands of Johannes Brahms), confusing editors until their eventual straightening out of the parts in 1930.&nbsp; Symphony No. 40 is in the key of G minor is one of only two symphonies Mozart wrote in a minor key, and according to Robert Schumann, has a “weightless, Hellenic grace.”<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/W_8_50UBv6I" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jan 25, 2018
Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, “Eroica”
The <i>Eroica </i>opened the floodgates for the symphonic outpouring of the nineteenth century—for Beethoven himself, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Bruckner, and the rest. The <i>Eroica</i> was the longest symphony ever written when it was unveiled, and listeners and critics commented widely on that fact, to the composer’s frustration. By 1807 nearly all reactions to the piece were favorable, or at least respectful, and critics were starting to make sense of its more radical elements.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/xkjZpU4dJ6w" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jan 25, 2018
Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5
By the summer of 1809, Napoleon’s French forces, at war with Austria for the fourth time in eighteen years, reached the suburbs of Vienna. “Nothing but drums, cannons, human misery of every sort!” wrote Beethoven to his publisher in Leipzig. But by year’s end, he had completed his Piano Concerto No. 5, <i>Emperor</i>, a magnificent affirmation made in terrible times.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/gaVN96y3ujs" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jan 25, 2018
R. Strauss’ "Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks"
Richard Strauss just wanted to give the people in the concert hall a good laugh. His tone poem <i>Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks</i> turned out to be one of the most sophisticated pieces of musical humor ever created.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/0OrYBFHW7Xc" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jan 03, 2018
Ives' Symphony No. 4
<p>Charles Ives&#39; Symphony No. 4 is the classic mash-up of 19th century Americana: hymns, anthems, marches and dance tunes all woven together in a collage that is by turns messy, complicated, sentimental and chaotic, but ultimately transcendent&mdash;kind of like life itself.</p><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/fPwlGXuROmM" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Nov 10, 2017
Mahler's Symphony No. 4
Mahler's sunny Symphony No. 4 ends with a song—a child's description of heaven. But it is also full of reminders of the vastness of his musical universe.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/Ij502sIO6NA" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Nov 10, 2017
Ives' Symphony No. 3, "The Camp Meeting"
Charles Ives' music is the archetypal "mash-up" of classic Americana. His Symphony No. 3 was inspired by the gentler, more spiritual side of the religious revivals he attended with his family as a child.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/9biIoPb8Np8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Nov 03, 2017
Bernstein's "The Age of Anxiety," Symphony No. 2
Leonard Bernstein based his Symphony No. 2 on W.H. Auden's Pulitzer Prize-winning poem<i> The Age of Anxiety</i>. Auden didn't think much of the work, but for Bernstein, it was very personal.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/2CxtvAsuEN0" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Oct 17, 2017
Shostakovich's Symphony No. 1
Dmitri Shostakovich wrote his first symphony while he was still a student, but it contains all of the elements of his mature work: the comedy and the tragedy.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/DZRj4wqC60Q" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Oct 17, 2017
Lutosławski’s Concerto for Orchestra
Witold Lutosławski was one of the great cultural figures of 20th century Poland, and his Concerto for Orchestra– based on a simple folk tune –was one of his first great successes; perhaps because his personal history mirrored that of his native land.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/8FYbNYlSYkM" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Sep 18, 2017
Janáček’s "Taras Bulba"
Leos Janáček based his rhapsody <i>Taras Bulba</i> on one of the most brutal and unpleasant fictional characters ever created. But as a political symbol, it inspired him to write some of his most powerful music.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/Si2uv6PtKh8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Sep 18, 2017
Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10
Shostakovich's 10th Symphony is a vivid depiction of a life of not-so-quiet desperation in the old Soviet Union. It is as powerful a portrait of terror as has ever been composed.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/TdsSr5C9Vyw" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Sep 18, 2017
Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique
A man spots a woman across the room at a party and falls instantly in love with her. In a fit of despair over his unrequited love, he poisons himself and fantastic dreams and visions result. This is the story, inspired by his own love for the actress Harriet Smithson, that Hector Berlioz portrays in his <i>Symphonie fantastique</i>, premiered in 1830. Using recurring musical motifs to represent characters and brand new instrumental colors, Berlioz worked on foundations laid by Beethoven to bring music fully into the Romantic era.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/aBD9yz8GdXI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Sep 18, 2017
Bartók's Piano Concerto No. 2
Following the relative unpopularity of his Piano Concerto No. 1, Bela Bartók returned to his roots for the composition of his next piano concerto, which he called an “antithesis” to the first. This second concerto takes more of a classical form, with a sonata structure and a simpler treatment of the themes. Bartók was well-versed in this kind of writing, having himself made several student editions of music by Bach, Scarlatti, and Couperin. Despite the more traditional form, Bartók’s Concerto No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra still maintains the folk music-infused sonorities that have been a consistent hallmark of his music.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/L1zwtuhvOqs" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Sep 18, 2017
Bernstein's "West Side Story"
Leonard Bernstein’s <i>West Side Story</i> received its first Broadway performances in 1957. The musical tells the story of an impossible romance between two star-crossed lovers, Tony and Maria, the Romeo and Juliet of 1950s New York City.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/jkyqb-G18xc" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Sep 18, 2017
Berlioz's Romeo and Juliet
Inspired by a stage performance of <i>Romeo and Juliet </i>starring the same Harriet Smithson who inspired his epic romantic tale <i>Symphonie fantastique</i>, Hector Berlioz set out to compose a totally new kind of orchestra and chorus work: his <i>Romeo et Juliette</i>. In the forward to what he was careful not to call an opera but a “symphonie dramatique,” Berlioz tells of his decision to voice to the characters’ most intimate and sublime emotions not through words but “instrumental language, which is richer, more varied, less fixed, and by its very flow incomparably more powerful.” From the starting <i>Allegro</i>, depicting the warring houses of Montague and Capulet, to the <i>Finale’s</i> oratory oath of reconciliation, this work uses the (then new) language of programmatic orchestral writing to tell the oldest love story in the world.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/1pQysBGAZVI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 06, 2017
Ives’ "The Unanswered Question"
In <i>The Unanswered Question,</i> Charles Ives tries to find the meaning of life, in a work that was decades ahead of its time.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/iBdRfINHcNA" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 06, 2017
Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1
Beethoven's first piano concerto took Vienna by storm, and set the stage for even more musical revolutions to come.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/N-rUiBqNy3s" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 06, 2017
Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring"
Listen to a podcast of audio program notes about the <i>The Rite of Spring</i>, specially prepared for the San Francisco Symphony’s Stravinsky Festival in June 2013.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/n3AHcT_HE9M" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 06, 2017
Vivaldi's "Four Seasons"
Barking dogs, wind and rain, buzzing bees and slippery ice; they're all part of Vivaldi's <i>Four Seasons</i>, a work that—believe it or not—was almost unknown for 200 years.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/DinNdb_NRTc" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 16, 2017
Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5
Perpetually self-conscious, Tchaikovsky worried in spring 1888 that his imagination had dried up, and that he had nothing left to express through music. Vacationing at his home in Frolovskoe provided all the inspiration he needed, and by August, his Symphony No. 5 was complete.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/nsePtW3izss" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 10, 2017
Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 3
Scotland—the country that gave us haggis, bagpipes, golf and Sean Connery among other world treasures—was also the inspiration for two of Mendelssohn's best-known works: his <i>Hebrides</i> Overture and <i>Scottish </i>Symphony. There are no actual Scottish tunes in the Symphony; in fact, Mendelssohn professed to dislike all Scottish music, especially the bagpipes. But it's hard to imagine the source of this tuneful work being anything other than the windswept heather of the Highlands.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/ZcfMSNErLAM" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 10, 2017
Berlioz's Requiem
The power of Hector Berlioz's Requiem comes not from his faith, but from his loss of it. His understanding of the human desire to believe brings the drama of the Mass for the Dead to life.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/Mo2L-60bN7M" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 28, 2017
Debussy's "La mer"
During childhood summers spent at the beaches at Cannes, Debussy learned to love the unpredictable and ever-changing sea. The most traditionally ‘symphonic’ of Debussy’s orchestral works, <i>La mer</i> is comprised of three sketches: From Dawn to Noon on the Sea, Play of the Waves, and Dialogue of the Wind and the Sea.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/rTv5UzAgJwc" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 28, 2017
Strauss' "Aus Italien"
Richard Strauss was just 22 when he wrote his musical travelogue <i>Aus Italien</i>, and—as he put it—"This is the first work of mine to have met with opposition from the mob, so it must be of some importance . . . The first step towards independence."<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/OluKmwF78DU" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 17, 2017
Mahler's Symphony No. 1
Audiences were outraged at Mahler's Symphony No. 1 when it premiered in 1889; they had never heard anything like it. But he himself said "My time will come." And it certainly has.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/9PnlJ3l5PJE" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 21, 2017
Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2
Sergei Rachmaninoff wrote his Symphony No. 2 while living in Dresden. At age 33, he was a sought-after conductor and pianist, and had relocated to escape the clamor for his talents. After completing the work, he declared he would never write another symphony, and waited almost thirty years to do so.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/v-RsO8FCVSY" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 21, 2017
John Cage's "The Seasons"
John Cage's ballet music<i> The Seasons </i>gurgles, twitters and shimmers with the sounds of nature, and—just like the first day of Spring—it was the first sign of a new type of artistic collaboration.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/8DnZwEr7XjM" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 07, 2017
Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra
After fleeing Hungary during World War II for the United States, Béla Bartók was commissioned by Serge Koussevitzky, conductor of the Boston Symphony, to write a piece for orchestra. This resulted in one of Bartók’s best-known works, the Concerto for Orchestra, which contains a parody of Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/_HVh5XNkqlU" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 07, 2017
Beethoven's Symphony No. 7
The premiere of Symphony No. 7 was perhaps Beethoven’s greatest rock-star moment. Buoyed by the excited troops in whose honor the concert was being performed, he “tore his arms with a great vehemence asunder ... at the entrance of a <i>forte</i> he jumped in the air” (according to orchestra violinist and composer Louis Spohr).<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/5ZO5khMRjGI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 07, 2017
Beethoven's "Coriolan" Overture
Beethoven was, at heart, a man of the theater, and his overture to the play "Coriolan" is one of the most vivid, concise and dramatic character studies ever composed.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/mkIYG6NHT3g" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 01, 2017
Brahms’s Symphony No. 4
Ever the brutal self-critic, Brahms did not write his first symphony until the age of 42. By the time he wrote his Symphony No. 4 in 1885, he had reached the pinnacle of his orchestral composition—the music he had always wanted to write.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/LsDfIHqrpC8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 01, 2017
Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6
Tchaikovsky's 6th Symphony was not his farewell statement, although at the time of its first performances it may have seemed like one. What it did do was explore new depths of emotion, even for a composer used to wearing his heart on his musical sleeve.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/DeAxCqy2LIo" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 15, 2017
Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet"
Following multiple failed agreements with various ballets (including the Bolshoi, which declared the music impossible to dance to), Sergei Prokofiev reduced what would eventually become his most popular ballet to three orchestral suites. Described by Michael Tilson Thomas as "a great lyrical symphonic epic," the work uses character and emotional motifs to capture the dramatic action in Shakespeare’s classic love story.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/Gbrx17ENfog" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 15, 2017
Brahms's Symphony No. 3
After composing Serenade No. 1, Johannes Brahms waited fifteen years before he wrote another purely orchestral work for large ensemble. Infamous for his harsh self-criticism and haunted by the feeling that he was living in Beethoven’s shadow, Brahms finally broke his symphonic silence at the age of forty-two with the Haydn Variations, a musical experiment with the arrangement of sonic shapes. By the time he composed his Symphony No. 3, ten years later, he had fully realized his true voice as a symphonic master.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/zOcy3Vv-MMU" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jan 30, 2017
Beethoven's Symphony No. 9
Often called the greatest piece of music ever written, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 was the last he would ever write. The first symphony to feature a chorus and vocal soloists, Symphony No. 9 also includes the famous <i>Ode to Joy</i>.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/gf1Is4hVvys" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jan 30, 2017
Kodály’s "Dances of Galánta"
In his "Dances of Galánta," Zoltan Kodály recreated the sounds of his childhood, and helped preserve the stamping feet of a vanishing culture.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/6Fh4irQoCF4" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jan 23, 2017
Beethoven's Symphony No. 4
Despite his family’s financial turmoil, the year 1806 was extraordinarily productive for Beethoven. He wrote many of his great works, including the <i>Razumovsky</i> string quartets, Piano Concerto No. 4, and Symphonies No. 4 and 5. Symphony No. 4—a return to the grace and relative simplicity of his earlier style—is perhaps Beethoven’s least frequently performed symphony. A passage in the middle of the second movement was called “one of the most imaginative passages anywhere in Beethoven” by musicologist Donald Francis Tovey.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/0dACh6xPc9s" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jan 23, 2017
Mozart's Symphony No. 36
Mozart wrote his "Linz" Symphony in just four days, but it was his biggest and grandest to that point, and it helped set the stage for the great symphonies of the 19th century.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/i5YaT118IPU" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jan 11, 2017
Mahler's "Blumine"
<p>Gustav Mahler revived one of his earliest compositions to use in his first symphony; he ultimately cut it, and it was forgotten for almost sixty years. Now, one hundred years after it was written, this musical orphan finally has a chance to bloom on its own.</p><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/iCZStnhvO5g" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jan 03, 2017
Mahler's Das klagende Lied
Late in his career, Gustav Mahler told his critics, "My time will come," but his unique vision and unmistakable sound were evident in his very first composition: the epic cantata "Das klagende Lied."<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/BH2OplF6qvA" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Dec 20, 2016
Handel's Messiah
However you like your <i>Messiah</i> - big or intimate, modern or period, authentic or interpreted—when you listen you become part of an almost 300-year tradition of what may be classical music's most beloved masterpiece.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/Th3tFbMP104" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Dec 01, 2016
Bruckner's Symphony No. 7
An often criticized social misfit during his time in Vienna, Bruckner's success with his Symphony No. 7 came as a happy and restorative surprise to the composer, described by his friend Gustav Mahler as "half simpleton, half God." Speaking to today's audiences with sin­gular directness, Bruckner 7 remains the most loved of his nine symphonies.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/aJxFy136K8Q" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Nov 03, 2016
Brahms' Symphony No. 2
Brahms's Symphony No.2 is generally thought of as his most lighthearted, but it's actually built on the contrasts between light and dark, between sunshine and clouds. Kind of like life.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/mwvqpz6WCPw" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Oct 24, 2016
Debussy's Jeux
Claude Debussy's ballet <i>Jeux</i> was almost completely ignored after its premiere in 1913, but it's now considered one of the fundamental works of 20th-century music.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/GBcPZNLWA0M" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Oct 24, 2016
Dvořák's Symphony No. 7
Considered at first to be a composer of popular music and not a great symphonist, it was Brahms who believed in Dvořák enough to set him up with an important publisher. Written for the London Symphony, Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7 is a personal catharsis and a masterpiece in tragedy.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/NjYfWq0Z84s" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Oct 13, 2016
Mozart's Symphony No. 29
Even Mozart realized that his 29th Symphony was something special. In many ways, it's the work in which Mozart became "Mozart."<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/Z8i--P2FBlY" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Oct 06, 2016
Debussy’s Images
<p>Debussy's <i>Images</i> is music that "never looks back," and it still sounds new, more than a century later.</p><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/IdbalWXUGkM" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Sep 28, 2016
Stravinsky’s "The Firebird"
Serge Diaghilev was turned down by four composers before turning to Igor Stravinsky to write the music for a new production by the Ballet Russe. Luckily, Stravinsky, eager to try his hand at a ballet, had already been working on the music for a month, and their artistic relationship went on to produce <i>Petrushka </i>and <i>The Rite of Spring</i>.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/9cCccho9q7E" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Sep 28, 2016
Shostakovich's Piano Concert No. 1
After Shostakovich's first opera landed him in hot water with the Soviet authorities, the success of his first Piano Concerto gave him the confidence to keep composing, and put him back in the government's good graces—at least, temporarily.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/aSflYYKpq7o" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Sep 28, 2016
Beethoven's Symphony No. 5
It's the most famous four-note pattern in all of music. But it's also the key to Beethoven's 5th Symphony—and maybe to Beethoven himself.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/g1rDQIDv000" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Sep 08, 2016
Sibelius’ Symphony No. 3
Sibelius' Symphony No. 3 is deliberately anti-Romantic. There is no story, no imagery and no drama except the drama of the music itself.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/ItJgJSbpMvc" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Sep 08, 2016
Steve Reich's Three Movements
American Maverick Steve Reich celebrates his 80th birthday in 2016. There's always a pulse at the heart of his music, and his "Three Movements" lets the full orchestra feel the beat.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/4guRXto-VgI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Aug 26, 2016
Mahler's Symphony No. 2, "Resurrection"
Symphony No. 2,&nbsp;<i>Resurrection,</i> by Gustav Mahler opens with a first movement originally composed as a stand-alone work entitled <i>Todtenfeier</i> (Funeral Rites). Five years later, following his appointment as principal conductor in Hamburg, Mahler realized that this was, in fact, the first movement of his second symphony.&nbsp; Following Symphony No. 1, which tells the story of a Hero’s life, the second symphony opens with the funeral rites of the Hero. The second and third movements are retrospective intermezzos, and the fourth and fifth movements depict the Last Judgment and Resurrection.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/njbe3RZlMtM" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Aug 09, 2016
Stravinsky's "Petrushka"
Upon visiting Stravinsky in late 1910, expecting to find him immersed in composing the <i>Rite of Spring, </i>Serge<i> </i>Diaghilev, director of the Ballet Russe, was quite surprised to find him instead composing the ballet of an anthropomorphized puppet.&nbsp; The story recounts the rise and fall of mischievous <i>Petrushka</i>, a puppet brought to life by a magician as he courts the Ballerina and fights the Charlatan.&nbsp; The work was premiered one hundred years ago, with Nijinsky dancing the title role. Former SFS Music Director Pierre Monteux conducted the work’s world premiere.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/Gy4g0GLKbiI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 10, 2016
Leonard Bernstein's "On the Town"
Leonard Bernstein's <i>On the Town</i>&nbsp;has been a hit since it opened in 1944—a funny, lyrical, exuberant affirmation of life in the midst of wartime.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/YVeBt0naebw" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 17, 2016
Schumann's Symphony No. 4
Schumann's reputation as a composer of symphonies has suffered over the years, and the failure of his Symphony No. 4 at its first performances didn't help. Even his revisions have been criticized. But he may simply have been ahead of his time.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/FBgWzq6gxIs" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 06, 2016
Prokofiev's The Love for Three Oranges
The plot of Prokofiev's opera <i>The Love for Three Oranges</i> may be almost incomprehensible, but the symphonic suite is anything but: whimsical and dramatic, with one of the most famous marches ever written.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/XD4-62ec72Y" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 29, 2016
Shostakovich’s 9th Symphony
As World War II was winding down, the Soviet Union was waiting for Shostakovich's 9th Symphony, and they expected a great victory symphony, like Beethoven's 9th. What they got was something very different.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/yC_Z5XyxJfg" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 29, 2016
Beethoven's Symphony No. 2
Beethoven spoke of setting out upon a fresh path with his Second Symphony, and even included veiled musical jokes, which shocked the sensibilities of many critics. Produced between the widely popular First and the revolutionary <i>Eroica</i>, Symphony No. 2 forged new territory with development of theme and architecture, and would eventually take its place among Beethoven's great works.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/POH6Y59axsA" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 29, 2016
Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde
Gustav Mahler's <i>Song of the Earth</i> may end with a funeral march, but it's really a symphony about the triumph of life and love.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/PS629IN_P5Q" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 29, 2016
Schumann's Symphony No. 2
By the time he wrote what we now know as his Symphony No. 2, Robert Schumann had already completed his Symphony No. 1, his Overture, Scherzo, and Finale, and the first version of the work that would eventually be published as Symphony No. 4. However, by summer 1844, Schumann began to be ruled by his mood swings and phobias (including fear of blindness, heights, death, and poison), effectively halting his creative activity. But then, midway through 1845, he wrote a letter to Felix Mendelssohn about dreams of blaring trumpets in C. Finally, in December 1845, he wrote, in three weeks, the essentials of Symphony No. 2, and the symphony was premiered in November 1846.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/aB0G5Rz7QUQ" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 29, 2016
Berlioz’s Harold in Italy
Among musicians, the viola may be the least respected member of the orchestra, but Berlioz' <i>Harold in Italy</i> gives it a chance to shine&mdash;despite having been rejected by the virtuoso for whom it was written.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/CIitGS7ENAA" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 29, 2016
Mozart’s Symphony No. 41, Jupiter
Mozart's final symphony was nicknamed the "Jupiter," and&mdash;like the planet and the Roman god that share its name&mdash;it still stands out as one of the greatest of its kind.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/J6d1NGHZRQ0" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 29, 2016
Bruckner’s Symphony No. 3
Bruckner's Third Symphony was his gift to "the master," Richard Wagner, and it's full of tributes and allusions to Wagner's works. But those tributes were buried under revisions and revisions of revisions, and only now can we hear what Bruckner originally presented to his idol.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/-cuMjqn2WN0" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 29, 2016
Prokofiev’s Cinderella
Sergei Prokofiev wrote his ballet <i>Cinderella</i> as a simple love story that could be beautifully danced. Of course, the Soviet government had its own interpretation.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/GlQI0Eyv7V0" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 29, 2016
Hermann’s score to Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo
Bernard Herrmann's score to Alfred Hitchcock's classic thriller <i>Vertigo</i> swirls and spins like the main character's condition, while it pulls you into the heart of his obsession.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/XnYovUn21Dc" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 29, 2016
Mozart's Symphony No. 39
In the space of nine weeks in summer 1788, Mozart produced the last three of his symphonies, including Symphony No. 39. Started within a month after his opera <i>Don Giovanni</i> opened to a less than enthusiastic audience in Vienna, the symphony opens with a reflection on the opera’s overture.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/a3MIXJhme1s" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 29, 2016
Mendelssohn's Symphony No. 4
On an extended journey through Italy in 1830 and 1831, Felix Mendelssohn began work on his Fourth Symphony.&nbsp; A wildly talented composer who wrote his famous Octet when he was only sixteen, Mendelssohn was prompted to finish the work when the London Philharmonic Society requested a symphony from him (and offered payment of a hundred guineas). Mendelssohn called it the jolliest music he had ever composed. Although he remained dissatisfied with the symphony and planned numerous revisions, the <i>Italian</i> Symphony still stands as one of his most easily recognizable works.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/DfOMocPlQNs" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 29, 2016
Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis
Carl Maria von Weber was no ugly duckling as a composer, but Paul Hindemith's "Symphonic Metamorphosis" turns four of Weber's themes into symphonic swans.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/gdCkw8kby2k" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 29, 2016
Beethoven's Symphony No. 8
Much like his fifth and sixth symphonies, Ludwig van Beethoven composed his seventh and eighth symphonies in quick succession. Compared with Symphony No. 7 and Symphony No. 9 (which would not be completed for twelve more years), Symphony No. 8 seems like a look back to Classical times, with nods to Beethoven’s teacher, Josef Haydn. However, the Eighth is more a study in compactness: there is just as much music packed into fewer notes, a sentiment that Beethoven himself echoed—when asked why the Seventh was so much more popular, he responded, “. . . because the Eighth is so much better.”<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/20UHzRkeju0" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 29, 2016
Dvorak's New World Symphony
In June 1891, Antonín Dvořák was invited to direct the newly-formed National Conservatory in New York City. Leaving four of their six children behind in Bohemia, Dvořák and his wife made their new home on East 17th Street in cacophonous Manhattan, just a few blocks from the new school. Through his diverse student body and the advent of the polyrhythmic ragtime, Dvořák first encountered African American and Native American music. He was particularly taken with those cultures’ spirituals. He borrowed musical elements from diverse popular sources for many of his compositions, including his Symphony No. 9, <i>From the New World</i>.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/o0bR0OoZMhI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 29, 2016
Schumann’s Symphony No. 1
Schumann's Symphony No. 1&mdash;"born in a fiery hour"&mdash;is as personal, original, and fresh as the season that gave it its nickname: Spring.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/kKFor3HV3ag" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 29, 2016
Schumann's Symphony No. 3
Schumann’s Symphony No. 3, <i>Rhenish</i>, completed in 1850 after his much celebrated appointment as Municipal Music Director in Düsseldorf, reflects his optimism in the face of new challenges. Filled with spirited, glorious themes, <i>Rhenish </i>marks the high point in the life of a composer who struggled with mental illness.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/1l2Njinb-VY" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 29, 2016
Saint-Saens's "Organ" Symphony
A child prodigy, Saint-Saëns was not only a gifted composer but an accomplished pianist who could perform all of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas from memory by the age of ten.&nbsp; Composed for the Philharmonic Society of London, his Symphony No. 3, <i>Organ</i>, is dedicated to his friend Franz Liszt.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/6AUv5Ibcm0I" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 29, 2016
Tchaikovsky’s Orchestral Suite No. 3
Tchaikovsky's Orchestral Suite No. 3 is a kind of <i>symphony lite</i>&mdash;he called it "a ballet without choreography”&mdash;but it's really a symphony, a ballet, an opera and a roller-coaster ride all rolled into one.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/7zxUGM1izJo" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 29, 2016
Sibelius’s Symphony No. 5
Sibelius's 50th birthday present to himself and his homeland was his Symphony No. 5, music distilled to its essence. "While other composers were engaged in making cocktails," he said, "I offered the public pure cold water."<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/8iLpgifjoNw" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 29, 2016
Prokofiev's Symphony No. 5
Composed alongside fellow distinguished Russian composers at a House of Creative Work northeast of Moscow, Prokofiev’s renowned Fifth Symphony saw its premier in January 1945, as Soviet armies had begun their final push to victory over Germany. As Prokofiev raised his baton in the silent hall, the audience could hear the gunfire that celebrated the news, just arrived, that the army had crossed the Vistula and driven the German Wehrmacht back past the Oder river.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/7jZmJ1ql8Oo" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 29, 2016
Haydn’s Mass in D minor, Lord Nelson
The real title of Haydn's popular <i>Lord Nelson</i> Mass is "Missa in angustiis" or "Mass in Troubled Times." But those "troubled times" inspired Haydn to new heights of creativity, variety, surprise, and drama.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/sr64r0UiH7U" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 29, 2016
Respighi’s Roman Festivals
Ottorino Respighi was a master of orchestral color, and his <i>Roman Festivals</i> contains all the colors of the musical rainbow, and then some.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/wmhAbsNjITA" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 29, 2016
Beethoven's Fidelio
<div class="MsoNormal">Beethoven's opera <i>Fidelio&nbsp;</i>is a story about the triumph of truth and justice. But it's also a story about the triumph of love.<o:p></o:p></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/HU2miGk-62Q" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 23, 2015
Beethoven's Missa Solemnis
To set about composing his <i>Missa Solemnis</i>, Beethoven looked to the past. He obtained a copy of the score to J.S. Bach’s B Minor Mass, at that time still unpublished, and also studied the sacred music of C.P.E. Bach. After countless sketches and spiritual preparation, Beethoven composed this work for large orchestra and chorus, dedicating more time to it than to any other work he composed. Written simultaneously with the Symphony No. 9, the <i>Missa Solemnis</i> is considered one of the most significant mass settings in classical music.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/nHkooa74XgQ" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 27, 2015
Ravel's Alborada del gracioso
Ravel's <i>Alborada del gracioso</i> is a jester's song to his lady—a poignant love song surrounded by a miniature musical comedy.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/EKfb0a9owkA" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 20, 2015
Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition
Originally composed for solo piano (and later orchestrated by Ravel), <i>Pictures at an Exhibition</i> was written by Modest Mussorgsky after he visited a retrospective exhibit of the works of his friend Victor Hartmann. The collection of pieces represents a promenade from painting to painting, pausing in front of works called <i>The Gnome</i>, <i>Ancient Castle</i>, and <i>Great Gate of Kiev</i>. Mussorgsky was a member of a nationalistic, anti-conservatory group of young musicians, and he had an unusual ability to interpret visual art in musical expression.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/Nu9fNBv_c30" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 07, 2015
Stravinsky's Pulcinella
<br /><div class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;"><span style="font-family: Calibri;">When Igor Stravinsky wrote his ballet <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Pulcinella</i>, he looked to the past for inspiration, but he ended up inspiring his own future.<o:p></o:p></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/pwC4awPZzGc" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 24, 2015
Stravinsky's Symphony in Three Movements
Living in Hollywood in the 1940s, Igor Stravinsky couldn't help but be influenced by the movies. His Symphony in Three Movements was almost entirely inspired by films—whether or not he cared to admit it.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/S112KCpbuK4" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 27, 2016
Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony No. 1
Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony #1 is full of passion and energy, channeling the past on the way to the future.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/ARjaZgsIG78" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 25, 2015
Bruckner's Symphony No. 8
<span style="font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">Anton Bruckner's symphonies are monumental cathedrals of sound, and his Symphony No. 8 is one of his grandest; composer Hugo wolf called it "the absolute victory of light over darkness."</span><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/T7VJ-Pqqwj4" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 10, 2015
Handel’s "Water Music Suite" No. 1
<div class="MsoNormal">Handel's graceful <i>Water Music</i> is the perfect accompaniment to a night in the concert hall, or a night out on the river with the King!<o:p></o:p></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/W9KK-N8z-yo" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 26, 2015
Haydn’s Symphony No. 103
<div class="MsoNormal">For Haydn, who had spent most of his career unaware of his growing fame, success in London wasn't a roll of the dice - it was a roll of the drum.<o:p></o:p></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/DVX2JzU_L6E" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 23, 2015
Brahms's "A German Requiem"
<div class="MsoNormal">Although technically a mass for the dead, Johannes Brahms’s&nbsp;<i>A German Requiem</i> does not mention death until the penultimate movement, and even then addresses the living with a sense of reassured faith rather than anxiety.&nbsp;&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/RLT3EyyAwVE" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jan 12, 2015
Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3
<span style="font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3 contains some of his best-known music, including the beautiful "Air on the G String." But it also contains the origins of the modern symphony orchestra.</span><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/N55XkSmtQxo" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jan 12, 2015
Berg’s Three Pieces for Orchestra
<div class="MsoNormal">In his Three Pieces for Orchestra, Alban Berg finally "graduated" from his studies with Arnold Schoenberg, and took his first giant step towards fulfilling his musical destiny.<o:p></o:p></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/MXofNuIe3YU" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Dec 24, 2014
Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale
<div class="MsoNormal">In his theater piece <i>The Soldier's Tale,</i> Igor Stravinsky shows off his gift for parody, as he lovingly sends up both old and new: Russian folk tales and American jazz.<o:p></o:p></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/xAetOKscOmY" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Dec 24, 2014
Brahms's Symphony No.2
<div class="MsoNormal">Brahms's Symphony No.2 is generally thought of as his most lighthearted, but it's actually built on the contrasts between light and dark, between sunshine and clouds. Kind of like life.<o:p></o:p></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/eu_Db9_M2Sk" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Nov 10, 2014
Samuel Adams's Drift and Providence
<div class="MsoNormal">Samuel Adams's <i>Drift and Providence </i>is not so much about the ocean as it is like the ocean: ebb and flow, crest and trough, and destinations that may be more felt than seen.<o:p></o:p></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/wfIX4XZmcp4" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Dec 17, 2014
Mahler's Symphony No. 7
<div class="MsoNormal">Mahler's 7th is sometimes called "The Song of the Night," but it's really a journey from night into day, with some very interesting stops along the way.<o:p></o:p></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/cBYl08V_SGA" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Dec 17, 2014
Copland's Appalachian Spring
<span style="font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">For many, the sound of Copland's <i>Appalachian Spring</i>&nbsp;IS the sound of American classical music.</span><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/8Oje-8kS4yw" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Dec 17, 2014
Strauss's Also Sprach Zarathustra
<div class="MsoNormal">In <i>Also Sprach Zarathustra</i>, Richard Strauss set Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophy to a new kind of music. But was the world ready for either?<o:p></o:p></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/_ILplzaMykg" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Dec 17, 2014
Ravel's Piano Concerto in G
<div class="MsoNormal">Ravel’s American influences are easily heard in his Piano Concerto in G Major, which he modeled after the light, divertimento-like concertos of Mozart and <span style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">Saint‑Saëns.<o:p></o:p></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/mc7O2nwgHSU" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Aug 13, 2014
Britten's Peter Grimes
<div class="MsoNormal">Benjamin Britten's <i>Peter Grimes</i> is one of the great operatic psychodramas<span dir="RTL"></span><span dir="RTL"></span><span dir="RTL" lang="AR-SA" style="font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;"><span dir="RTL"></span><span dir="RTL"></span>–</span>an outcast in a closed society, is Grimes truly a villain, or a victim of circumstance?<o:p></o:p></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/fdNIrFSSs-I" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 20, 2014
Shostakovich's Symphony No. 15
<div class="MsoNormal">Dmitri Shostakovich summed up his life and art in his 15th and final symphony. But, in the end, did it reveal who he really was, or was it just another mask for him to hide behind?<o:p></o:p></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/7ejrrz4JX6E" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 11, 2014
Britten's The Prince of the Pagodas
<div class="MsoNormal">Britten's exotic fairy-tale ballet <i>The Prince of the Pagodas</i> fuses the sounds of East and West in a magical mix that sounds like nothing else he ever wrote.<o:p></o:p></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/LlCMKqJHVoc" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 02, 2014
Fauré’s Reqiuem
<div class="MsoNormal">Gabriel Fauré called his Requiem "a lullaby of death...as gentle as I am myself." Serene and hopeful, it's one of the great spiritual masterpieces of the 20th century.<o:p></o:p></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/L3p_T7RohfM" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 19, 2014
Bach’s Missa brevis
<div class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: #444444; font-family: proxima_nova; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Like many of Bach's works, much of his <i>Missa brevis</i> had been used before and all of it would be used again, in his epic Mass in B minor. But in its original form it was actually something quite different: a bribe.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/dCqyKoKXVao" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 30, 2014
Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 4
<div class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: #444444; font-family: proxima_nova; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Bach's Orchestral Suite #4 is a dazzling combination of rhythmic complexity and sonic brilliance; all the more amazing in that he wrote it (most likely) just for fun!</span><span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/xLjz7tcTud8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 24, 2014
Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 “Romantic”
<div class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: #444444; font-family: proxima_nova; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Bruckner's Symphony No. 4 "The Romantic" was a departure from his usual symphonic testaments of faith. It's a journey into the Age of Chivalry, of knights, quests, and - above all - the hunt.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/xidSYQmhvrc" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 26, 2014
Schubert’s Symphony No. 9 “The Great”
<div class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: #444444; font-family: proxima_nova; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;;">Schubert's "Great" C major symphony was the longest, most advanced and most intricately constructed symphony ever written by anyone not named Beethoven. With it, Schubert staked his claim as his idol's heir.</span><span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;;"><o:p></o:p></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/Rik7y8dS4lM" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 24, 2014
Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade
<div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;;">Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov traveled the world as a naval officer, but it was his musical journey into the world of the Arabian Nights that became one of his most colorful and enduring masterpieces.<o:p></o:p></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/Siy6lZd61pE" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 05, 2014
Ravel’s La Valse
<div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;;">In 1906, Maurice Ravel made some sketches for a tribute to Johann Strauss, the Waltz King. By the time he got back to it, World War I had ravaged Europe, and Ravel's tribute had turned into something much darker.<o:p></o:p></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/5nNi7n1u5lg" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jan 28, 2014
Mahler’s Symphony No. 3
<div class="MsoNormal">In his Symphony No. 3, the largest and longest in the current symphonic repertoire, Mahler &nbsp;leaves the story up to the listener—according to the composer, “you just have to bring along ears and a heart and—not least—willingly surrender to the rhapsodist.”<o:p></o:p></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/AzTJ7-tapa8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jan 22, 2014
Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4
The Fourth Symphony was a product of the most turbulent time of Tchaikovsky's life—1877, when he met two women (Nadezhda von Meck, a music-loving widow of a wealthy Russian railroad baron, and Antonina Miliukov, an unnoticed student in one of his large lecture classes at the Moscow Conservatory), who forced him to evaluate himself as he never had before.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/DjR4tlfQXiY" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 01, 2016
Sibelius’s Symphony No. 6
<span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,&quot;serif&quot;; font-size: 12.0pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-US;">In his Symphony #6, Jean Sibelius created a musical sanctuary from the chaos of war and revolution that had engulfed his world. He once said that it reminded him "of the scent of the first snow.”</span><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/lR6RstJEgIo" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jan 21, 2014
Britten’s Simple Symphony
<div class="MsoNormal">When Benjamin Britten was twenty, he took music he had written more than a decade earlier and arranged it into a work he called "Simple Symphony" - a remarkably assured portrait of the artist as a young composer.<o:p></o:p></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/7jxhHifHcjE" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jan 10, 2014
Beethoven’s Mass in C
<div class="MsoNormal">Beethoven's Mass in C may not be as well-known as his Missa Solemnis, but its harmonic daring and deceptively gentle nature changed the Mass the same way his Eroica changed the symphony.<o:p></o:p></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/rog_5l0VYoI" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jan 04, 2014
Handel’s Messiah
<div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt;">However you like your <i>Messiah</i> - big or intimate, modern or period, authentic or interpreted - when you listen you become part of an almost 300-year tradition of what may be classical music's most beloved masterpiece.<o:p></o:p></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/cUNrzSL3zS4" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Dec 10, 2013
Britten's War Requiem
<div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt;">Benjamin Britten's <i>War Requiem</i> was an anguished cry for peace in the midst of the Cold War. Its combination of the sacred and the secular sends a message that is as powerful today as it was in 1962.<o:p></o:p></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/KIJua1sPqrs" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Nov 12, 2013
Copland's Symphonic Ode
<div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt;">Copland's <i>Symphonic Ode</i> was booed at its first performances, but the qualities that made it a failure would pave the way for his later successes.<o:p></o:p></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/M18_gUlcSVc" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Oct 21, 2013
Lutosławski's Concerto for Orchestra
<div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt;">Witold Lutosławski was one of the great cultural figures of 20th century Poland, and his Concerto for Orchestra - based on a simple folk tune - was one of his first great successes; perhaps because his personal history mirrored that of his native land.<o:p></o:p></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/aox4ANTbrBw" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Oct 10, 2013
Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night’s Dream
<div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt;">Felix Mendelssohn's music to Shakespeare's <i>A Midsummer Night's Dream </i>is a sparkling accompaniment to one of the most magical plays ever written. And he began it when he was just 17!<o:p></o:p></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/Qu4LgOgFlK8" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Dec 18, 2014
Mahler's Symphony No. 9
<div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt;">Mahler's Symphony No. 9 could be seen as his farewell statement, but he actually began work on a 10th as soon as he finished the 9th. Despite his fascination with death and the hereafter, Mahler always chose to embrace life, and in this last completed symphony, he managed to express just how thin the line between them actually is.<o:p></o:p></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/oIdFwV27ijU" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Sep 03, 2013
Schubert's Symphony No. 3
Schubert’s Third Symphony is a concise, clearly plotted work, characterized by prominent use of the clarinet, that recalls the scale, and something of the flavor, of Haydn. Schubert was just eighteen when he composed the piece, during a celebratory period in Vienna prompted by the pacifying effect of the Congress of Vienna.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/kH3zsBa3mzU" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jun 10, 2013
Sibelius's Symphony No. 2
At the close of the nineteenth century, Finnish natives were part of a cultural renaissance inspired by their opposition to the Russians occupying their country. Jean Sibelius was swept up in this nationalistic fervor, and composed several patriotic tone poems, including <i>Finlandia.</i> Symphony No. 2 is the result of his fusing together fragments and sketches originally intended for four separate tone poems.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/O-7_UVSuVzM" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 23, 2013
Bartok's "The Wooden Prince"
The Budapest Opera approached Bartók in March 1913 to suggest that he consider writing a ballet. Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes had visited Budapest in 1912, performing avant-garde works, including Stravinsky’s <i>Firebird</i>, that were received with great enthusiasm—an enthusiasm that Bartók had not shared, since he was in the back-country collecting folk songs. A year later, he commenced work on <i>The Wooden Prince</i>, finally completing the orchestration in January 1917.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/avFaTA5J6k4" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
May 23, 2013
Beethoven's "Missa solemnis"
While composing his <i>Missa solemnis</i>, Beethoven looked to the past.&nbsp; He obtained a copy of the score to J.S. Bach’s unpublished B Minor Mass, and studied the sacred music of C.P.E. Bach. After countless sketches and spiritual preparation, Beethoven composed this work for large orchestra and chorus, dedicating more time to it than any other of his works. Written simultaneously with the Symphony No. 9, <i>Missa solemnis</i>is considered one of the most significant mass settings in classical music.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/EW2bbyq_wp4" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 30, 2013
Dvořák's "New World"
<span style="font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-fareast; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">In June 1891, Anton</span><span style="font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-fareast; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">í</span><span style="font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-fareast; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">n Dvořák was invited to direct the newly-formed National Conservatory in New York City.&nbsp; Leaving four of their six children behind in Bohemia, Dvořák and his wife made their new home on East 17<sup>th</sup> Street in cacophonous Manhattan, just a few blocks from the new school.&nbsp; Through his diverse student body and the advent of the polyrhythmic ragtime, Dvořák first encountered African American and Native American music.&nbsp; He was particularly taken with those cultures’ spirituals. He borrowed musical elements from diverse popular sources for many of his compositions, including his Symphony No. 9, <i>From the New World.&nbsp;</i></span><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/MZSmgvcpvws" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Apr 15, 2013
Nielsen's Symphony No. 5
<span style="font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">Drawing on themes of contrast and opposition and likely influenced by the aftermath of World War I, Nielsen’s Symphony No. 5 uses a nontraditional two movement structure. The first movement is a battle between the orchestra and a renegade snare drummer, silenced by the full forces of the orchestra in the final bars. Movement two takes dramatic and unexpected turns before resolving in triumphant affirmation.</span><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/TYOSebrBIk4" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 29, 2013
Mahler's Symphony No. 9
During a period of both personal tragedy and momentous achievement, the Ninth Symphony is the last score Mahler completed. Some part of him would have wanted it so. With Beethoven’s Ninth and Bruckner’s unfinished Ninth in mind, he entertained a deep-rooted superstition about symphonies and the number nine. But for all the annihilating poignancy [with] which this symphony ends, Mahler cannot have meant it as a farewell. Within days of completing it, he plunged into composing a Tenth, which he never finished before his death in 1911.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/yfkAKVwWAaQ" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Mar 11, 2013
Strauss' Oboe Concerto
The technical prowess required and the sublime melody of Strauss’ Oboe Concerto causes a stir among oboists. During occupation of his village in World War II, an elderly and impoverished Strauss met an American soldier and oboist, who suggested he write it. His answer was an emphatic “NO,” but he did complete a last bundle of masterpieces, of which the Oboe Concerto is one.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/filM-umUvzQ" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Feb 12, 2013
Berlioz's Te Deum
<br /><div class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; layout-grid-mode: line; line-height: 115%; mso-bidi-font-size: 11.0pt;">Napoléon III’s </span><i><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-bidi-font-weight: bold;">Exposition Universelle</span></i><span style="font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 115%;"> of 1855 in Paris saw the premiere of this daring, grandiose work, for the opening of the Church of Saint-Eustache. The new organ, a wonder of engineering at the time, was a fitting pillar of what Berlioz described as a “colossal” and “Babylonian” performance with nearly one thousand singers and instrumentalists.<o:p></o:p></span></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/VExR0KysD-Q" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jan 24, 2013
Mozart’s Divertimento in D major
Mozart’s Divertimento in D major, written when he was 16, is one of the most popular of his works in this style. The finale uses counterpoint in a way that surprised his audiences and presaged the innovative delights of his later work. The Serenade No. 6, written four years later, was likely composed for dancing at parties during the annual Carnival celebrations in Salzburg.<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/c3akvV7mId0" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jan 08, 2013
Grieg's "Peer Gynt"
<span style="font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11.0pt; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin;">Scandinavian classic, <em>Peer Gynt</em>, written by Henrik Ibsen, may be one of the world’s first great modern psycho dramas as it moves seamlessly across time and space and between fantasy and reality. Edvard Grieg’s incidental music for <i>Peer Gynt</i> captures its many moods and has become some of the most popular classical music of all time.</span><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/MdvAomvKcYQ" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Jan 07, 2013
Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2
<br /><div class="MsoNormal">After nearly being expelled from conservatory and enduring the disastrous premiere of his first symphony, Rachmaninoff didn’t write a note of music for three years.&nbsp; But after trying out hypnosis therapy (“You will write a Concerto. . . You will work with great facility. . . It will be excellent”), Rachmaninoff composed his Piano Concerto No. 2.</div><div align="center" class="Style-1" style="line-height: 150%; text-align: center;"><b><span style="font-family: Calibri, sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; line-height: 150%;"><!--[endif]--><o:p></o:p></span></b></div><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/XU_QfzQIRrY" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Oct 16, 2012
Brahms Symphony No. 4
<span style="font-family: &quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; font-size: 11.0pt; line-height: 115%; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-ascii-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-language: EN-US; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-hansi-theme-font: minor-latin;">Ever the brutal self-critic, Brahms did not write his first symphony until the age of 42.&nbsp; By the time he wrote his Symphony No. 4 in 1885, he had reached the pinnacle of his orchestral composition—the music he had always wanted to write.</span><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/SanFranciscoSymphonyPodcasts/~4/enJ3HsYg1xc" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>
Oct 12, 2012