John Banther takes classical music fans behind the scenes with interviews, deep dives, and analysis. Episodes released bi-weekly on Tuesdays. Produced by Classical WETA in Washington, D.C.
What is a Clarinet?
34:10It's a popular instrument, but how much do you really know about the clarinet? Principal Clarinet of the National Symphony Orchestra, Lin Ma, joins John Banther to talk all about the clarinet. Lin tells us everything, from what it's made of, its predecessor, how it was used over time, and he even plays some of his favorite examples! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Tchaikovsky's triumphant Symphony No. 5
40:33This symphony is one of the most popular and triumphant in the repertoire, and for good reason! It takes us on a journey using a simple melody that appears in every movement, transforming from the opening in E minor to the triumphant E Major finale. John and Bill go through Tchaikovsky's personal correspondence during the months he was writing the symphony, show you what to listen for, and teach you a compositional technique used still today. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The Life of Leonard Bernstein
42:27How much do you really know about one of America's most treasured artists? There is a lot to explore in his early life in Massachusetts, his meteoric rise to fame in New York, and the unique characteristics we find all over his music. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Season 3 starts September 7!
2:00It's been a nice summer break, but we are excited to be back with your favorite classical music podcast! We kick things off on September 7 as Matthew Dayton joins John Banther to explore the life and music of Leonard Bernstein. The following episode, September 21, is all about one of the most popular symphonies, the No. 5 by Tchaikovsky. Bill Bukowski and John Banther explore the symphonies insecure origins and what to listen for in the music. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
New classical albums to listen to this summer!
19:30We wrap up Season 2 of Classical Breakdown with some recommended recordings for you to explore this summer. These recently released albums feature a diverse range of composers, styles, ensembles, and even world premiere recordings. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
What is a Viola? Daniel Foster, Principal Viola of the NSO tells us everything!
42:48The viola is somewhat of an enigma and from a distance can be hard to tell apart from the violin. Daniel Foster explains how composers used the viola over the centuries, what his role as Principal Viola entails, and plays for us some extraordinary parts written for the viola. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique. A story of obsession, betrayal, and execution.
47:02See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The Life of Johannes Brahms
37:41He's considered one of the greatest composers of the 19th century. But can you hum a tune by Brahms? We dive into the life and music of Brahms to better understand what set him apart from others, how his personality affected his music, and how he still appears in popular music and commercials today. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
What is a Concerto?
34:24Where did the concerto come from and how did it evolve? We explore its origins, development through Haydn and Mozart, some of the most challenging concertos of the 19th century, and a couple of "hidden gems." See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. A masterpiece and tribute to a friend.
42:02This masterpiece, originally for piano, was inspired by the tragic loss of a friend, and Ravel's orchestration is a work of art in itself. While roughly half of the original pictures have been lost, we do have descriptions of the originals that give insight to Mussorgsky's music and Ravel's orchestration. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.