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Classical Music Podcasts from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Classical Music Podcasts from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
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Boston, MA


Classical Music Podcasts from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.




Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum 280 The Fenway Boston, MA 02115 617-566-1401


262. Introducing Daniel Lebhardt

Works by Brahms and Beethoven performed by Daniel Lebhardt on March 12, 2017. Hungarian pianist Daniel Lebhardt is one of a long line of Young Concert Artists competition winners to make their Boston debut at the Gardner, and on this podcast, we’ll hear two recordings from the 24-year-old’s recent recital: Brahms’ Six Pieces, opus 118 and Beethoven’s Sonata No. 18 in E-flat Major, sometimes called “The Hunt.” A student at the Royal Academy in London, the young pianist has swept a number...


261. Near the End

Works by Schumann performed by Miriam Fried, violin and Jonathan Biss, piano on January 15, 2017. For many years, musicologists and music-lovers have tried to understand what it was that led to Robert Schumann’s troubling symptoms and ultimate death at age 46 in a psychiatric hospital. And for years, writers dismissed many of his later works as the incoherent products of a mind in decline. But, more recently, many have come to appreciate Schumann’s later works—two of which we’ll hear on...


Podcast 260. The Sweetness of Youth

Works by Webern and Brahms performed by A Far Cry and Stefan Jackiw, violin and Anna Polonsky, piano on December 11, 2016 and October 5, 2014. Hope you’re ready for a trip down memory lane: On this podcast, we hear two works tinged with the melancholy sweetness of youthful passion, remembered. Sweetness and passion aren’t necessarily the words most closely associated with the first composer on the program: Anton Webern, best known for his economical, exacting 12-tone works, written as a...


259. All That Glitters

Work by Korngold performed by Alexi Kenney, violin and Dina Vainshtein, piano on March 6, 2016. The piece we’ll hear on the podcast today was written when Erich Korngold was in his teens: his Violin Sonata in G Major, Op. 6. Why is this fascinating work, by such a promising composer, so little known today? In the 1930s, Korngold’s life took a dramatic turn, as the Nazi regime began to rise to power in his native Austria. Korngold was Jewish, and he accepted an invitation to come the...


258. Putting it to the Test

Works by Bach and Bartók performed by the Borromeo String Quartet and Yoo Jin Jang, violin and Renana Gutman, piano on August 14, 2016 and March 8, 2015. Today’s podcast features two works that present tests of sorts—for the listener, the performer, the composer. Sharpen your ears and let’s get to it. The Well-Tempered Clavier was likely written to test a few different things: the keyboard player’s technical skills; the advantages of equal temperament tuning, which enabled playing in...


257. Twinkle

Works by Mozart performed by Charlie Albright on February 14, 2016. Many of us think of “improvisation” as a modern concept, usually linked to jazz. But throughout the centuries, so-called “classical” keyboard players were often expected to improvise, whether they were vamping at the organ to fill time during a church service or creating a spontaneous piano version of an opera score for friends and patrons gathered around a salon. Indeed, there are many accounts that suggest that...


256. Taking it Slow

Works by Vivaldi and Beethoven performed by the Gardner Chamber Orchestra and Musicians from Marlboro on September 11, 2004 and October 19, 2014. VivaldiBeethoven The two pieces on this podcast have many points of difference: different eras (Baroque and Classical), different instrumentation (a recorder concerto and a string quintet), and different performers. The list goes on. But as different as they are, both works share a wonderful commonality at their core: a gorgeous slow...


255. Summing it Up

Works by Bach and Brahms performed by the Borromeo String Quartet and Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute on August 7, 2016 and April 10, 2016. BachBrahmsBoth of the works on our podcast this week have a sort of finality, a sense of summing things up, or making a statement that is somehow comprehensive, and that’s saying a lot given the composers in question: Johannes Brahms and Johann Sebastian Bach. We begin with a novel setting of a familiar work: a selection of preludes and fugues from...


254. New Directions

Works for string quartet by Bartók and Webern performed by the Omer Quartet on November 27, 2016. BartókWebernIn this podcast, we’ll follow two 20th century composers on their quest for new directions and inspirations, in a musical landscape increasingly reaching beyond traditional ideas about form and tonality. We begin with Béla Bartók’s First String Quartet, his Opus 7, a three-movement work. It begins quite somber, but the mood gradually brightens, and by the last movement, it has...


253. Small Packages

Works for clarinet and piano by Berg and Weber performed by Raphaël Sévère, clarinet and Paul Montag, piano on October 23, 2016. BergWeberOn this podcast, number 253, we’ve got a couple great pieces that come in smaller packages than you might expect: a set of four miniatures by Berg and a duet masquerading as a concerto, by Carl Maria von Weber. Both pieces are scored for clarinet and piano, performed by clarinetist Raphaël Sévère and pianist Paul Montag. Berg’s “Four Pieces”, Opus 5 is...


252. Baroque Inspirations

Works for piano by Handel and Brahms performed by Charlie Albright, piano on October 2, 2016. HandelBrahmsThis podcast starts with the Baroque composer George Frideric Handel, in more ways than one. The first work on the podcast is, indeed, by Handel: his Chaconne in G Major, a set of about 20 very brief variations, each built on a recurring eight-bar bass line. Following that, we have another set of variations on a theme by Handel, this time written by another composer: Brahms’...


251. Danza!

Works for solo piano by Falla and Albeniz performed by Alessio Bax, piano on May 17, 2015. Work for string quartet and guitar by Boccherini performed by Jason Vieaux, guitar with Escher String Quartet: Adam Barnett-Hart, violin, Aaron Boyd, violin, Pierre Lapointe, viola, and Dane Johansen cello on May 17, 2015. FallaAlbenizBoccheriniIt’s time to get out of your chair: this podcast is all about la danza, the dance. The inspiration came from the final piece on the podcast: Boccherini’s...


250. Heroic Measures

Works for solo piano by Beethoven, performed by Charlie Albright, piano on March 27, 2016. BeethovenYou know when you just can’t get a tune out of your head? Well, starting around 1800, Beethoven seems to have had the tune from the finale of his ballet, The Creatures of Prometheus, stuck in his head for quite some time. After first appearing in the ballet, the melody—which would come be known as his “eroica” or “heroic” theme—popped up repeatedly in his works in the early 1800s. As a...


249. Love Fail

Work for voices by David Lang, performed by Lorelei Ensemble on January 10, 2016. Lang, DavidLove FailThis month’s podcast tend towards the introspective: an hourlong work by contemporary composer David Lang for women’s voices, a timeless meditation on the allures and disappointments of love, titled Love Fail. Lang started with one of history’s most famous tales of star-crossed love: the Tristan and Isolde myth. But he added words and ideas from modern stories and authors, stripping away...


248. Intimate Voices

Work for harp by Zabel performed by Emmanuel Ceysson, harp on January 6, 2008 and work for string orchestra by Sibelius, arranged by Frank Shaw, performed by A Far Cry on February 7, 2016. ZabelFaustSibeliusFrank ShawChamber music is one of the most intimate forms of classical music: quieter moments, smaller ensembles, and generally shorter works. On this podcast, we’ll listen to two works that play up that sense of intimacy: Zabel’s Fantasy on Gounod’s opera Faust, arranged for harp; and...



Work for string orchestra and voice by Olga Bell, performed by A Far Cry and Olga Bell on November 1, 2016. KraiToday, we’re going on a journey across the vast expanse of Russia: lush forests and blustery tundra, uninhabited landscapes and small villages. Our guide is composer Olga Bell, whose evening-length work Krai had its string orchestra version premiere at the Gardner in March 2016, with A Far Cry. Bell was born in Moscow. She moved with her mother to Anchorage, Alaska at the age...


246. Sweetly Sung

Work for string orchestra by Phyllis Chen performed by A Far Cry on April 17, 2014 and works for clarinet and piano by Peter Sculthorpe and Richard Stoltzman performed by Richard Stoltzman, clarinet and David Deveau, piano on January 11, 2015. Three LullabiesSongs of Sea and SkyAmazing GraceOn this podcast, we’ll hear three works that we’re grouping under the title Sweetly Sung. All three pieces were written within the past several decades, some based on real, traditional folk songs,...


245. Boston Children’s Chorus, Ten Years In

Works for chorus by various composers performed by Boston Children’s Chorus on November 17, 2015. For more than a decade, the Boston Children’s Chorus has brought together children of diverse backgrounds to discover the power of singing and transcend social barriers. In 2015, the chorus celebrated its tenth year under the baton of artistic director Anthony Trecek-King with a concert at the Gardner’s Calderwood Hall—one of his favorite spaces in Boston. On this podcast, we’ll hear much of...


244. New York to Paris, Nonstop

Work for harp by Salzedo performed by Catrin Finch, harp on April 14, 2001 and work for violin and piano by Ravel performed by Benjamin Beilman, violin and Alessio Bax, piano on May 17, 2015. RavelHarpist and educator Carlos Salzedo was born in France and trained at the Paris Conservatoire in piano at the age of nine, before taking up the harp and returning to the Conservatoire to earn a degree in that instrument as well. In 1909, knowing no English whatsoever, Salzedo emigrated to New...