San Francisco Symphony Podcasts
Berg’s Three Pieces for Orchestra12/25/14
In his Three Pieces for Orchestra, Alban Berg finally "graduated" from his studies with Arnold Schoenberg, and took his first giant step towards fulfilling his musical destiny.
Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale
In his theater piece The Soldier's Tale, Igor Stravinsky shows off his gift for parody, as he lovingly sends up both old and new: Russian folk tales and American jazz.
Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 1
In 1854, Robert Schumann, friend and mentor to a young Johannes Brahms, attempted suicide by drowning in the Rhine River. Thrown into emotional turmoil by Schumann’s resulting institutionalization and his unrequited love for Robert’s wife Clara, young...
Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Felix Mendelssohn's music to Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream is a sparkling accompaniment to one of the most magical plays ever written. And he began it when he was just 17!
Brahms's Symphony No. 1
Beethoven’s first symphony premiered when he was 30. Schubert wrote his first at 16, and Mozart’s was composed when he was only 8. But Johannes Brahms, at 43, had yet to finish his Symphony No. 1, which he’d begun writing more than twenty years...
Samuel Adams's Drift and Providence
Samuel Adams's Drift and Providence is not so much about the ocean as it is like the ocean: ebb and flow, crest and trough, and destinations that may be more felt than seen.
Mahler's Symphony No. 7
Mahler's 7th is sometimes called "The Song of the Night," but it's really a journey from night into day, with some very interesting stops along the way.
Copland's Appalachian Spring
For many, the sound of Copland's Appalachian SpringIS the sound of American classical music.
Strauss's Also Sprach Zarathustra
In Also Sprach Zarathustra, Richard Strauss set Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophy to a new kind of music. But was the world ready for either?
Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1
Beethoven's first piano concerto took Vienna by storm, and set the stage for even more musical revolutions to come.
However you like your Messiah - big or intimate, modern or period, authentic or interpreted - when you listen you become part of an almost 300-year tradition of what may be classical music's most beloved masterpiece.
Brahms's Symphony No.2
Brahms's Symphony No.2 is generally thought of as his most lighthearted, but it's actually built on the contrasts between light and dark, between sunshine and clouds. Kind of like life.
Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5
Perpetually self-conscious, Tchaikovsky worried in spring 1888 that his imagination had dried up, and that he had nothing left to express through music. Vacationing at his home in Frolovskoe provided all the inspiration he needed, and by August, his...
Ravel's Piano Concerto in G
Ravel’s American influences are easily heard in his Piano Concerto in G Major, which he modeled after the light, divertimento-like concertos of Mozart and Saint‑Saëns.
Britten's Peter Grimes
Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes is one of the great operatic psychodramas–an outcast in a closed society, is Grimes truly a villain, or a victim of circumstance?
Shostakovich's Symphony No. 15
Dmitri Shostakovich summed up his life and art in his 15th and final symphony. But, in the end, did it reveal who he really was, or was it just another mask for him to hide behind?
Britten's The Prince of the Pagodas
Britten's exotic fairy-tale ballet The Prince of the Pagodas fuses the sounds of East and West in a magical mix that sounds like nothing else he ever wrote.
Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10
Shostakovich's 10th Symphony is a vivid depiction of a life of not-so-quiet desperation in the old Soviet Union. It is as powerful a portrait of terror as has ever been composed.
Gabriel Fauré called his Requiem "a lullaby of death...as gentle as I am myself." Serene and hopeful, it's one of the great spiritual masterpieces of the 20th century.
Debussy's Images is music that "never looks back," and it still sounds new, more than a century later.
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San Francisco Symphony
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