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Featuring music from Symphony concerts and recordings, and adapted from our award-winning program notes by James Keller and Michael Steinberg, SFS Podcasts with Rik Malone take you inside the music like never before.

Featuring music from Symphony concerts and recordings, and adapted from our award-winning program notes by James Keller and Michael Steinberg, SFS Podcasts with Rik Malone take you inside the music like never before.
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Location:

San Francisco, CA

Description:

Featuring music from Symphony concerts and recordings, and adapted from our award-winning program notes by James Keller and Michael Steinberg, SFS Podcasts with Rik Malone take you inside the music like never before.

Twitter:

@sfsymphony

Language:

English

Contact:

San Francisco Symphony Davies Symphony Hall 201 Van Ness Ave. San Francisco, CA 94102 (415) 552-8000


Episodes

Elgar's "Enigma" Variations

4/18/2018
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Improvised at the piano after a strenuous day of teaching, Enigma Variations established Elgar as the pre-eminent British composer of his time. Shrouded in mystery is the “enigma” intended by Elgar, a secret he took with him to the grave. Variation IX, “Nimrod (Adagio),” has become a cherished piece in the popular classical lexicon.

Duration:00:16:36

Prokofiev's Symphony No. 3

4/12/2018
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Sergei Prokofiev's opera The Fiery Angel—a medieval tale of demonic possession and its erotic overtones—was never produced during his lifetime. But he felt it contained some of the best music he had written, so he brought it to life in the concert hall as his dark, dynamic, and dangerous Symphony No. 3. How he got it past the Soviet censors is a mystery; you may find yourself looking over your shoulder after hearing it!

Duration:00:14:17

Respighi's Pines of Rome

4/12/2018
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A fascination with the music of Italy’s distant past led Ottorino Respighi to compose what is known as his Romany Triptych of tone poems—Pines of Rome, Fountains of Rome, and Roman Festivals. The Pines of Rome depicts the trees around Rome, which according to Respighi, “dominate the Roman landscape [and] become witnesses to the principal events in Roman life.”

Duration:00:12:52

Holst's "The Planets"

4/11/2018
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Gustav Holst's suite The Planets was inspired by his interest in astrology; the stars must have been aligned because it has been a hit ever since its first performance.

Duration:00:13:30

Ravel's "Daphnis et Chloe"

3/23/2018
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Maurice Ravel called his score to the ballet Daphnis et Chloé a "great, choreographic symphony." The ballet lasted only a couple of performances, but the score has become—like the Greek gods—immortal.

Duration:00:13:06

Strauss' An Alpine Symphony

3/13/2018
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After a series of successful tone poems based on literary sources, Richard Strauss found a fascinating new subject to write about: himself. His Alpine Symphony is based on eventful day trip he took as a boy; an epic musical journey to the summit and back again.

Duration:00:12:12

Mahler's Symphony No. 5

3/13/2018
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In this episode, special guest host Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas talks about a work Mahler called a “foaming, roaring, raging sea of sound,” his Symphony No. 5.

Duration:00:07:45

Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3

3/12/2018
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Constructing a winning chess match is not that different from constructing a musical composition. Sergei Prokofiev used both strategies in his Piano Concerto No. 3.

Duration:00:10:57

Rachmaninoff's 'Symphonic Dances'

2/23/2018
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In summer 1940, while enjoying a very busy career as a pianist and conductor, Rachmaninoff finally found time to compose while vacationing on Long Island. Following the successful dance production of his Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, choreographed by Mikhail Fokine, Rachmaninoff started work on what he called his Fantastic Dances, planning a Philadelphia Orchestra premiere complete with Fokine’s choreography. After the death of Fokine, this last work of Rachmaninoff’s became the...

Duration:00:10:58

Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue"

2/23/2018
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On his conceptualization of Rhapsody in Blue, Gershwin recalled: “It was on the train, with its steely rhythms, its rattlety-bang that is often so stimulating to a composer . . . and there I suddenly heard—and even saw on paper—the complete construction of the rhapsody . . . I heard it as a sort of musical kaleidoscope of America—of our vast melting pot, of our unduplicated national pep, of our metropolitan madness.”

Duration:00:09:49

Tippett's Four Ritual Dances

2/14/2018
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The Four Ritual Dances from Michael Tippett’s opera "The Midsummer Marriage" follow the opera’s lead characters on their journey to integrate light and shadow and become whole; a path that mirrored the composer’s own.

Duration:00:10:12

Brahms' Symphony No. 1

2/14/2018
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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 previously. A notorious perfectionist, he burned many of his early works and sketches; it was not easy living in the shadow of the giants before him. His many years of preparation were worth it—upon the work’s premiere in 1876, the Vienna press...

Duration:00:13:49

Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5

2/8/2018
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A Soviet artist's reply to just criticism"—that was the official government response to Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5. But was the composer really bowing to the Soviet music authorities? Or was he secretly thumbing his nose at them?

Duration:00:13:46

Mozart's Symphony No. 40

1/25/2018
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Mozart composed his Symphony No. 40 during the very productive summer of 1788, when he also completed his Symphony No. 39 and Symphony No. 41—the last symphonies he would compose. After a series of revisions, including Mozart’s addition of clarinet parts for his friend, the clarinetist Anton Stadler, numerous versions existed (including an autograph score, with clarinets, that ended up in the hands of Johannes Brahms), confusing editors until their eventual straightening out of the parts...

Duration:00:11:35

Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5

1/25/2018
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By the summer of 1809, Napoleon’s French forces, at war with Austria for the fourth time in eighteen years, reached the suburbs of Vienna. “Nothing but drums, cannons, human misery of every sort!” wrote Beethoven to his publisher in Leipzig. But by year’s end, he had completed his Piano Concerto No. 5, Emperor, a magnificent affirmation made in terrible times.

Duration:00:09:43

Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, “Eroica”

1/25/2018
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The Eroica opened the floodgates for the symphonic outpouring of the nineteenth century—for Beethoven himself, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Bruckner, and the rest. The Eroica was the longest symphony ever written when it was unveiled, and listeners and critics commented widely on that fact, to the composer’s frustration. By 1807 nearly all reactions to the piece were favorable, or at least respectful, and critics were starting to make sense of its more radical elements.

Duration:00:12:53

R. Strauss’ "Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks"

1/3/2018
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Richard Strauss just wanted to give the people in the concert hall a good laugh. His tone poem Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks turned out to be one of the most sophisticated pieces of musical humor ever created.

Duration:00:09:10

Ives' Symphony No. 4

11/10/2017
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Charles Ives' Symphony No. 4 is the classic mash-up of 19th century Americana: hymns, anthems, marches and dance tunes all woven together in a collage that is by turns messy, complicated, sentimental and chaotic, but ultimately transcendent—kind of like life itself.

Duration:00:13:33

Mahler's Symphony No. 4

11/10/2017
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Mahler's sunny Symphony No. 4 ends with a song—a child's description of heaven. But it is also full of reminders of the vastness of his musical universe.

Duration:00:14:30

Ives' Symphony No. 3, "The Camp Meeting"

11/2/2017
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Charles Ives' music is the archetypal "mash-up" of classic Americana. His Symphony No. 3 was inspired by the gentler, more spiritual side of the religious revivals he attended with his family as a child.

Duration:00:09:19

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