The wfmt radio network

Symphony, Part 02

Part II of a massive series on examining the concept of a symphony, widely considered the most important form of symphonic music.

 
Program 1

Bill continues with the early symphonies of Ludwig van Beethoven, highlighting the massive leap the composer took in composing his Symphony No. 3 in Eb Major, titled "Eroica." Whereas Beethoven's previous two symphonies echoed the courtly and modest styles of his teacher Joseph Haydn as well as his idol Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, his Third Symphony did away with these polite notions in a thrilling and powerful manner. He composed a vast and imaginative emotional landscape that essentially changed the course of music thereafter. His symphony signaled the end of the Age of Enlightenment and the beginnings of what Bill coins the, "age of the individual." Complosers were no longer merely in servitude to royal patronage; they were now prophetic artists. 

The Third Symphony had previously been titled "Bonaparte" after Napoleon Bonaparte, whom Beethoven greatly admired. However, once Napoleon had crowned himself emperor, Beethoven tore apart the dedication and renamed the symphony. The symphony's subject was then a former, fallen hero whose funeral is illustrated in the symphony's dramatic second movement.

While monumental in the scheme of music history, Beethoven's new symphonic style was not entirely well received. Many initially viewed his contemporatries, such as Luigi Cherubini and Louis Spohr, to be greater composers, though their works strayed less from standard classical forms.

 

Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 (excerpts)
Vienna Phil/Rattle
EMI 57445
1:01, :57

Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 in Eb Major, Eroica, excerpts + I
Vienna Phil/Rattle
EMI 57445
16:21

Cherubini:  Symphony in D Major (excerpt)
NBC Symphony Orchestra/ Toscanini
RCA 60872
6:00
 
Spohr: Symphony No. 2 in d minor, III
Singapore Symphony Orch/Hoey
Marco Polo 8.220360
4:48
 
Beethoven:  Symphony No. 3, II
Vienna Phil/Rattle
EMI 60872
15:14

 

Program 2

Franz Schubert lived for a mere 32 years, yet he was a remarkably prolific composer, having written hundreds of "lieder", or art songs, as well as nine symphonies. A pupil of Antonio Salieri, Schubert's music, like Beethoven's, marks significant departure from the preeminent composers Haydn and Mozart. Pianist Alfred Brendel described Schubert as a "sleepwalker," for his ability to evoke dreamlike, immersive atmospheres in his music with incredible skill and ease.

Schubert's symphonic career follows a similar trajectory to Beethoven's in that they both composed nine symphonies, each being more long and complex than the last. Whereas Mozart and Haydn each composed dozens in quick successon, 19th century symphonies started taking longer to compose due to their increasingly personal and introspective nature. 

 

 

 

 

Schubert: Symphony No. 5 in Bb Major, I + II (excerpt)
Salzburg Mozarteum Camerata Academica/Végh
Capriccio 10535
7:16 + 3:26

Schubert: Symphony No. 8 in b minor, Unfinished, I
Vienna Phil/Kleiber
DG 449745
13:54

Schubert: Symphony No. 9 in C Major, Great, excerpts + II
Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Abbado
DG 423656
19:26
 
Lennon/McCartney: Blackbird (excerpt)
The Beatles
EMI 46443
:16
 
Schubert: Symphony No. 9, IV(excerpt)
Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Abbado
DG 423656
4:01

 

Program 3

Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, I (excerpts)
BSO/Munch
RCA 68979
3:02, 3:28

Berlioz: Harold in Italy, I
Nat’l Orchestra of France/Bernstein; McInnes, vla.
EMI 64745
15:00

Berlioz: Queen Mab Scherzo fr. Roméo et Juliette
Philadelphia Orch/Muti
EMI 75570
7:56

Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, excerpts + III & IV
CSO/Solti
Lon 436839
15:22
 
Berlioz: Grande Symphonie Funèbre et Triomphale, III (excerpt)
LSO/Davis
Phil 442290
2:47
Program 4

Mendelssohn: String Symphony No. 1 in C Major, II
English String Orchestra/Boughton
Nimbus 5141
2:12

Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 1 in C Major, II
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orch/Masur
Teldec 44933
5:16

Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 5 in Bb Major, IV
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orch/Masur
Teldec 44933
7:37

Berlioz: Harold in Italy (excerpt)
Nat’l Orchestra of France/Bernstein; McInnes, vla.
EMI 64745
1:30

Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4 in A Major, Italian, II
CSO/Solti
Lon 414665
6:45

Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4, VI
Marlboro Festival Orc/Casals
Sony 46251
6:23

Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 (excerpts)
Berlin Phil/ Levine
DG 427670
17:35, 3:29

 

Program 5

Schumann: Symphony in g minor, Zwickau, I
Radio Symphony Orchestra of Stuttgart/ Marriner
Capriccio 10094
2:09

Schumann: Symphony No. 1 in Bb Major, Spring, I
Cleveland Orch/Szell
Sony 62349
9:51

Schumann: Symphony No. 4 in d minor (excerpts) 
Cleveland Orch/Szell
Sony 62349
:32, :50, 3:32
 
Schumann: Symphony No. 2 in C Major (excerpts)
Philharmonia Orch/Klemperer
1:08, 1:15, 8:33
 
Schumann: Symphony No. 3 in EFlat Major, Rhenish (excerpts)
Berlin Phil/Levine
DG 423625
9:42, 6:21, 1:35
 
Brahms: Symphony No. 3, I (excerpt)
Berlin Phil/Karajan
DG 427496
2:08 

 

 

The Exploring Music streaming website is made possible by Mr. & Mrs. William Gardner Brown and Susan & Richard Kiphart.
You have opened up the world of Classical Music to me, where previously, it seemed too complicated.
Steffen Demeter
This is simply one of the very best radio programmes in the medium!...The study of the people, the times, and the events that inform the music we otherwise enjoy and even, heaven forbid, take for granted, brings the entire world of the music and the composer to life.
Walther Davies
There isn't a program you broadcast on Exploring Music" that isn't of interest. I find them all engaging. It is a combination of variety of subject, intellectual curiosity and your obvious enthusiasm which characterize your satisfying programs.
Michael Sanders
It’s a great way to re-engage myself with consciousness before heading off to work.
Kourtney
I Love this program! I am in 7th grade and I am the complete opposite of the other kids. I am 4th chair in the orchestra and I love to read. But most of all, I LOVE classical music!
Claudia Wertz
Your show has helped open my mind and heart to this world of music, and every show I hear confirms my place in music and gives me new ideas for where I'd like to go with it in the future….I grew up with classical music as a child and always held it in my heart, but I didn't have the confidence to be a good student (or a good violinist.)
Christine Anderson
Listening to you is almost interactive.You invite us in with so many well modulated dramatic and informative comments, enticing, enthusiastic interpretations, and coherent, beautiful presentations. It's a privilege to follow you into the musical space you create.
Sally Rosenbaum
I just love this program. It is soothing and comfortable at the end of the day. I find his comments interesting, but they aren't so dragged out that there is very little music. The balance of both is just right.
Jean Quay
Newsletters Thank You!