Composers Datebook

Composers Datebook™ is a daily two-minute program designed to inform, engage, and entertain listeners with timely information about composers of the past and present. Each program notes significant or intriguing musical events involving composers of the past and present, with appropriate and accessible music related to each.

http://www.yourclassical.org/programs/composers-datebook/episodes

Eine durchschnittliche Folge dieses Podcasts dauert 1m. Bisher sind 1581 Folge(n) erschienen. Dies ist ein täglich erscheinender Podcast
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Román and the Danza


While for Puerto Ricans, the Bomba and the Plena are more familiar representatives of their proud dance tradition, the musical form known as Danza holds a special place in their hearts. Danza originated in southern Puerto Rico in the early 19th century, originally similar to the waltz, but over time it absorbed Afro-Cuban influences. Manuel Gregorio Tavárez, a 19th century Puerto Rican composer raised the danza to a cultivated artform, and accordingly Tavárez was dubbed “The Chopin of America...


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Tchaikovsky and Brahms in New York


These days, at symphony concerts when a new piece of music is about to be played, it’s not uncommon to overhear someone mutter, “Why do they have to program this new stuff, when there’s so much Brahms and Tchaikovsky we’d rather hear?” Well, on today’s date in 1881, the 40th season of the New York Philharmonic Society’s concerts opened with a pair of brand-new works: first the New York premiere of the “Tragic” Overture by Johannes Brahms, and after that, the world premiere performance of the...


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The indomitable Dame Ethel


In his autobiographical sketch, “A Mingled Chime,” the late British conductor Sir Thomas Beecham offered this assessment of the British composer Dame Ethel Smyth: “Ethel Smyth is without question the most remarkable of her sex that I have been privileged to know,” and wrote he admired her “fiery energy and unrelenting fixity of purpose...


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Ennio Morricone


Today’s date marks the birthdate in 1928 of the Italian composer Ennio Morricone, famous for more than 400 scores he wrote for films and TV. If you’re a fan, you already know that he wrote the music for a series of “Spaghetti Western” movies like the 1964 classic “A Fistful of Dollars,” starring Clint Eastwood as a taciturn, sun-burnt, cigar-chomping gunman. If you’re an oboist, you’ve probably played Morricone’s haunting “Gabriel’s Oboe” at weddings or funerals...


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Takemitsu and Tanaka


On today’s date in 1967, the New York Philharmonic gave the premiere performance of a new piece entitled “November Steps” by the Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu, a work commissioned by the Philharmonic as part of its 125th anniversary celebrations. In addition to the usual instruments of the Western symphony orchestra, Takemitsu included in his score two traditional Japanese instruments: the shakuhachi flute and the biwa, a kind of Japanese lute...


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Schumann and Zaimont


On today’s date in 1830, an 11-year old piano virtuoso named Clara Wieck took the stage of the Leipzig Gewandhaus for her first solo recital. Her father was a piano teacher, who had groomed Clara for a solo career since infancy. This was the age of the great composer-pianists Franz Liszt and Frederic Chopin, and little Clara also wrote original works for her own performances. Clara’s Op. 1, a set of four Polonaises, was published the following year...


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Varese and Zappa


The November 7th, 1950 issue of Look magazine included a record review of a new LP of music by the avant-garde composer Edgard Varèse. “Varèse is unlike anything else in music,” suggested the review, “and well worth knowing.” A young Californian named Frank Zappa, just short of his 10th birthday, was fascinated by the Look magazine photo of Varèse accompanying the review, which made the composer look a little like a mad scientist in vintage horror films...


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Florence Price


The American composer Florence Price wrote three symphonies in all. Her Symphony No. 1 was premiered by the Chicago Symphony in 1933 and marked the first time a composition by an African-American woman was played by a major American orchestra. The score for her second symphony is lost. Her third symphony, commissioned by the WPA Federal Music Project, was premiered on today’s date in 1940 by the Detroit Civic Orchestra...


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Sondheim in the Woods


“Into the Woods,” a new musical by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, opened on Broadway on today’s date in 1987, and brought to the stage characters from the world of fairy-tales: Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and not one, but TWO Prince Charmings. But in Lapine and Sondheim’s fairy tale, bad things happen to good people who make morally questionable decisions in their quest to “live happily ever after...


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Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge


Today we honor one of America’s greatest patrons of chamber music, Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, who died on this date in 1953. Born in 1864, Elizabeth was the daughter of a very wealthy wholesale grocer. She put her inheritance to good use. In 1924, she proposed to the Library of Congress that an auditorium be constructed in Washington DC, which would be dedicated to the performance of chamber music. A year later it was built, and Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress still stands today...


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