courtesy of Cantata Singers

A German Requiem with the Cantata Singers

David Hoose conducts Brahms's sublime expression of sorrow, anger, strength and consolation on WCRB In Concert, on demand.

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Petr Kratochvil

The year was 1788. Thomas Jefferson, nearing the end of his post as the Ambassador to France, spent his days wandering the streets of Paris, attending concerts and the theater, and combing through bookshops in search of any volumes that would be pertinent to the fledgling United States of America.

In Vienna, Austria, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart churned out more than 40 compositions, including the three symphonies that would be his last - numbers 39, 40, and 41.

And across the ocean, as more and more states ratified the U.S. Constitution, General George Washington began the campaign that resulted in his unanimous election as the new nation's first president.

When you think of classical music based on visual art, the first pieces that come to mind are probably Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition or Respighi's Three Boticelli Pictures. Here's one you might not have heard of before - Gunther Schuller's Seven Studies on Themes of Paul Klee. Click through the slideshow above to see the paintings that inspired this piece.

This Week's CD of the Week

Piotr Anderszewski:  Mozart - Schumann: Fantasies
Parlophone/Warner Classics

"I can hear in the music of both composers a similarity in their processes of giving physical form to their inspirations. The cruel resistance of the blank page feels, in both cases, inexistent, ignored. And therein lies an important, precious connection between Mozart and Schumann: an unobstructed directness to their music, in which the purity of intention remains intact." -Piotr Anderszewski

Podcasts

On the latest episode of The Answered Question, pianist Emanuel Ax previews his performance of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 22 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conductor David Hoose talks with WCRB's Alan McLellan about Brahms's A German Requiem, and BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons compares the forthright personalities and music of Beethoven and Gunther Schuller.

WCRB Blog

manuscript of the Kyrie of Bach's Mass in B minor
Wikimedia Commons

When we learned that the 2016-2017 concert season in Boston would include no fewer than four major presentations of J.S. Bach’s Mass in B minor, it seemed almost like too much of a good thing. Almost.

In fact, the opposite has been true, from my perspective anyway. After two of those four performances, the familiarity of the music isn’t what stands out to me. It’s the vast differences in approach that make each performance a new event.

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What's On Now

From NPR Music

It was The Magnificent Seven that inspired Ramin Djawadi, the musician behind Game Of Thrones' iconic soundtrack, to become a film composer.

For nearly five decades, Daniel Barenboim has been making a case for the symphonies of Anton Bruckner. Tonight at Carnegie Hall, the conductor begins a complete cycle of Bruckner's nine numbered symphonies, leading the storied Staatskapelle Berlin.

Classical composers have long had their patrons: Beethoven had Archduke Rudolph, John Cage had Betty Freeman. For contemporary opera composers, there's Beth Morrison. She and her production company have commissioned new works from some of the most innovative emerging composers today.