Classical Breakdown

By WETA Classical

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Category: Music Commentary

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Subscribers: 103
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Episodes: 100


John Banther takes classical music fans behind the scenes with interviews, deep dives, and analysis. Episodes released bi-weekly on Tuesdays. Produced by WETA Classical in Washington, D.C.

Episode Date
Recommended listening; 4 new albums to listen to this summer!
Jun 25, 2024
What is a cello? Star cellist Amit Peled tells all!
Jun 11, 2024
Elgar's Enigma Variations, a portrait of friends, life, and love!
May 28, 2024
Robert Schumann's Carnaval: A solo piano brings a masked ball to life!
May 14, 2024
The Life of Nadia Boulanger: A Lasting Impact from Bernstein to Sesame Street
Apr 30, 2024
Haydn's masterpiece for 4 soloists and orchestra, the Sinfonia Concertante
Apr 16, 2024
The Evolution of the Piano: A Thousand Year Journey!
Apr 02, 2024
Joan Tower's Concerto for Orchestra, an adventure in color, illusion, and rhythm!
Mar 19, 2024
The secret life of a classical recording engineer: Meet WETA's Charles Lawson
Mar 05, 2024
The life and music of Antonin Dvořák; from humble beginnings to stardom!
Feb 20, 2024
6 recommended works by living Black composers!
Feb 06, 2024
Korngold's Violin Concerto, from the Golden Age of Hollywood!
Jan 23, 2024
Episode 100, let's celebrate!
Jan 09, 2024
Jean Sibelius, how a composer became the voice of a nation!
Dec 26, 2023
Augusta Holmès' Andromède; an epic Greek myth inspired symphonic poem!
Dec 12, 2023
Opera 101, everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask!
Nov 28, 2023
Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Overture: 3 themes and Shakespearean connections!
Nov 14, 2023
The inspiring life and music of Germaine Tailleferre: plus 5 recommended works!
Oct 31, 2023
The Nocturne, a journey from the 19th century to Daft Punk!
Oct 17, 2023
Respighi's The Pines of Rome: a picturesque tour of Rome!
Oct 03, 2023
The short yet musically prolific life of Franz Schubert
Sep 19, 2023
Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2: a musical comeback story!
Sep 05, 2023
Summer Listening Guide: 4 albums to expand your musical horizons!
Jun 27, 2023
Theme and Variations: 4 types and what to listen for!
Jun 13, 2023
The Illustrious Life and Music of Haydn: From hardship to stardom
May 30, 2023
Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 "Emperor": Breaking expectations!
May 16, 2023
In conversation with Maestro Gianandrea Noseda: His journey, perspectives on music, conducting, and more!
May 02, 2023
Mahler's Symphony No. 1: A rewarding symphonic journey!
Apr 18, 2023
Fantasia: Music from the realm of imagination!
Apr 04, 2023
The life and music of Cecile Chaminade: Genius has no gender
Mar 21, 2023
Women in Music: 6 works by 6 composers you should know
Mar 07, 2023
Ravel's Piano Concerto for Left Hand: A masterpiece of musical illusions and creativity!
Feb 21, 2023
Joseph Bologne, the most interesting 18th century composer?
Feb 07, 2023
Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 "Pathetique": A symphony of unanswerable questions
Jan 24, 2023
Antonio Vivaldi's life, music, and the women who shaped his career
Jan 10, 2023
Brahms' Haydn Variations: Don't judge a theme by its composer!
Dec 27, 2022
A holiday gem: Margaret Bonds' The Ballad of the Brown King
Dec 13, 2022
George Frideric Handel: life of fame, musical style, and 3 things you didn't know before!
Nov 29, 2022
WG Still's Afro-American Symphony: Blues idioms, new instruments, and a uniquely American style
Nov 15, 2022
The Saxophone, everything you need to know about this unique genre-hopping instrument!
Nov 01, 2022
Mozart y Mambo! Horn superstar Sarah Willis shows off her newest album
Oct 18, 2022
By Listener Request: 3 deep dives into works by Pachelbel, Liszt, and Vaughan Williams
Oct 04, 2022
Claude Debussy: 4 points to hear his music in a new way!
Sep 20, 2022
Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini: A Baltimore connection and hidden themes!
Sep 06, 2022
Summer Listening Guide: 4 albums to expand your musical horizons!
Jun 28, 2022
Grieg’s Piano Concerto: The Heart of Norway
Jun 14, 2022
An Unsung Heroine: The Life and Music of Fanny Mendelssohn
May 31, 2022
Under Pressure: What is an Oboe with Nick Stovall, NSO's Principal Oboe
May 17, 2022
Ravel's Bolero with Joshua Weilerstein: A conductor's insight
May 03, 2022
Piano Transformed: The Life and Music of Frederic Chopin
Apr 19, 2022
All about that bass! With NSO Principal Bass Robert Oppelt
Apr 05, 2022
Louise Farrenc's Symphony No. 3: A hidden gem!
Mar 22, 2022
Clara Schumann: A story of stardom, passion, and courage
Mar 08, 2022
Florence Price Symphony No. 1: An American Symphony
Feb 22, 2022
George Walker: He wants you to play his music
Feb 08, 2022
Dvorak's Cello Concerto, 5 things to listen for!
Jan 25, 2022
How an orchestra creates a year of concerts, with NSO's Nigel Boon
Jan 11, 2022
The life and music of Robert Schumann
Dec 28, 2021
Bach's Christmas Oratorio, what to listen for and know!
Dec 14, 2021
Bernstein's West Side Story
Nov 30, 2021
The life of William Grant Still
Nov 16, 2021
Mozart's Clarinet Concerto
Nov 02, 2021
The Life of Sergei Rachmaninoff
Oct 19, 2021
What is a Clarinet?
Oct 05, 2021
Tchaikovsky's triumphant Symphony No. 5
Sep 21, 2021
The Life of Leonard Bernstein
Sep 07, 2021
Season 3 starts September 7!
Aug 31, 2021
New classical albums to listen to this summer!
Jun 29, 2021
What is a Viola? Daniel Foster, Principal Viola of the NSO tells us everything!
Jun 15, 2021
Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique. A story of obsession, betrayal, and execution.
Jun 01, 2021
The Life of Johannes Brahms
May 18, 2021
What is a Concerto?
May 04, 2021
Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. A masterpiece and tribute to a friend.
Apr 20, 2021
What is a Bassoon? Sue Heineman, Principal Bassoon of the NSO, tells us everything!
Apr 06, 2021
Appalachian Spring, an American classic by Aaron Copland
Mar 23, 2021
The Life of Bach
Mar 09, 2021
The life of Florence Price
Feb 23, 2021
Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 "From the New World." The origins and inspirations you didn't know.
Feb 09, 2021
It's fun and it's virtuosic! Exploring Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21
Jan 26, 2021
What does a Concertmaster really do? Concertmaster Nurit Bar-Josef of the NSO explains.
Jan 12, 2021
The life of Strauss Jr. aka "The Waltz King"
Dec 29, 2020
The Nutcracker, how it became a holiday classic, and what to listen for
Dec 15, 2020
Beethoven's Symphony No. 9
Dec 01, 2020
What is a string quartet?
Nov 17, 2020
Beethoven's triumphant Symphony No. 5
Nov 03, 2020
The life of Tchaikovsky
Oct 20, 2020
What is an Overture?
Oct 06, 2020
Rimsky-Korsakov's enchanting Scheherazade
Sep 22, 2020
The life of Beethoven
Sep 08, 2020
Recommended summer listening
Jun 30, 2020
Lawrence Brownlee on equality in classical music
Jun 16, 2020
Haydn's lost cello concerto and its rediscovery
Jun 02, 2020
NSO Principal Flute Aaron Goldman talks flute and shares his journey in music
May 19, 2020
Debussy's La Mer - Part 3
May 05, 2020
Debussy's La Mer - Part 2
Apr 21, 2020
Debussy's La Mer - Part 1
Apr 07, 2020
Artist Relief Tree, supporting artists affected by cancellations due to COVID-19
Mar 24, 2020
The Life and Music of Amy Beach, an American pioneer
Mar 10, 2020
Haydn's final London Symphony
Feb 25, 2020
What is a Symphony? Part 2
Feb 11, 2020