Explore The Symphony-logo

Explore The Symphony

Music Talk >

Join the National Arts Centre Orchestra's Marjolaine Fournier and one Canada's foremost music journalists, Jean-Jacques van Vlasselaer, as they explore the symphonic form from Haydn to Shostakovich.

Join the National Arts Centre Orchestra's Marjolaine Fournier and one Canada's foremost music journalists, Jean-Jacques van Vlasselaer, as they explore the symphonic form from Haydn to Shostakovich.
More Information

Location:

Ottawa, ON

Description:

Join the National Arts Centre Orchestra's Marjolaine Fournier and one Canada's foremost music journalists, Jean-Jacques van Vlasselaer, as they explore the symphonic form from Haydn to Shostakovich.

Twitter:

@CanadasNAC

Language:

English

Contact:

P.O. Box 1534, Stn B Ottawa, Ontario Canada K1P 5W1 613-947-7000


Episodes

Le Nozze di Figaro

6/25/2019
More
Marjolaine Fournier and Jean-Jacques Van Vlasselaer discuss Mozart’s beloved opera Le Nozze di Figaro, touching on its history, uniqueness and sheer brilliance.

Duration:00:49:35

Claude Vivier

4/2/2019
More
Marjolaine Fournier and Jean-Jacques van Vlasselaer discuss the masterful Claude Vivier, composer from Québec. His music, which can be characterized as “beautiful, immense, tragic, inspiring,” is celebrated and heard regularly in France, Germany, Holland and Austria. Lonely Child will be featured during the NAC Orchestra’s tour in Europe in May 2019.

Duration:00:48:14

Brahms’ and Schumann’s first symphonies

1/30/2019
More
Marjolaine Fournier and Jean Jacques van Vlasselaer compare Brahms’ and Schumann’s first symphonies. They explore the relationships between the two composers and Clara Wieck. Schumann was alive in an extraordinary and explosive decade, Clara was nine years younger and a remarkable pianist, and Brahms, a generation apart, grew up in an entirely different environment. How was their first encounter? How do the two masterworks compare? The NAC Orchestra will perform Schumann’s first symphony...

Duration:00:38:34

Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem

10/19/2018
More
Marjolaine Fournier and Jean-Jacques van Vlasselaer discuss Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem. How much do you know about Benjamin Britten? There is fury in this composition. Where does it come from? Pacifism started in the 20th century, and Britten is a member of this movement. War is morally unacceptable and unjustifiable for him. So what is this Requiem about? Find out in this newest instalment of the Explore the Symphony podcast. The NAC Orchestra will perform this work on Friday...

Duration:00:49:33

Schubert's Ninth Symphony

9/27/2018
More
John Storgårds will conduct the NAC Orchestra on October 10 and 11, 2018, in their performance of Schubert’s ninth and final symphony. Marjolaine Fournier, NACO double bassist, and Jean-Jacques van Vlasselaer, musicologist, explore this work and uncover that Schubert never heard it performed in his lifetime. Schubert died in 1828 at the early age of 31. The changing politics and aesthetics of the day, his health, and the legacy of his predecessors, influenced the evolution of Schubert’s...

Duration:00:46:04

You don’t have to be a music-lover to love Beethoven

9/13/2018
More
Marjolaine Fournier and Jean-Jacques van Vlasselaer prepare us for the Festival Focus 2018 featuring all nine Beethoven symphonies. Did he really invent the boogie-woogie? Beethoven offered so much variety within his symphonies, and as a genius, is a guiding light. Concert halls continue to be filled for performances of Beethoven symphonies. Find out why.

Duration:00:42:36

Anton Bruckner’s eighth symphony with the TSO

4/13/2018
More
Bruckner scholars seem to focus on psychoanalysis rather than closing their eyes and listening to the music. To listen to Anton Bruckner’s eighth symphony is to listen to the summit of his music. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra performs this work with conductor Peter Oundjian on May 7, 2018. Listen to Jean-Jacques van Vlasselaer and Marjolaine Fournier talk about Bruckner’s eighth symphony.

Duration:00:40:00

Kaija Saariaho, Violin Concerto Graal théâtre

3/22/2018
More
Jean-Jacques van Vlasselaer and Marjolaine Fournier talk about Saariaho’s violin concerto which was featured as part of the 2017 Ideas of North festival produced by the NAC Orchestra. Saariaho is seen as a wonderful and intriguing contemporary composer who will stand the test of time, with master works into the turn of the century.

Duration:00:56:47

Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade

2/16/2018
More
This work opens many doors to wonderful and exciting musical study. It is a fine example of Orientalism and our perception of “the other”. Jean-Jacques van Vlasselaer and Marjolaine Fournier talk about who Rimsky-Korsakov was, his 19th-century influences from Mendelssohn to Wagner, and his contributions to the music of the 20th century.

Duration:00:51:22

Shostakovich Violin Concerto No 1 in A minor Op 77

12/22/2017
More
Your hosts Jean-Jacques van Vlasselaer and Marjolaine Fournier talk about Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 77, which will be performed by Guy Braunstein with the NAC Orchestra in January 2018. This work in four movements is technically and emotionally challenging for the soloist. It’s been termed “probing” and “sarcastic” – which may be why it spent time on the shelf after being completed in 1947-48, before seeing the light of day after Stalin’s death in...

Duration:01:14:48

Sibelius’ Symphonic Poems

10/27/2017
More
Jean-Jacques van Vlasselaer and Marjolaine Fournier present part two of their 2017-2018 podcasts on Sibelius. In this episode, hear them trace the trajectory of Sibelius’ six symphonic poems, all performed by the NAC Orchestra during the 2017 Ideas of North festival. Composed between 1896 and 1927, they delineate the “itinerary of Sibelius, the young composer who wanted to express Finnish worlds.” Drawing from the myths of Northern countries, he “moved from the creation of the world [with...

Duration:00:57:52

Jean Sibelius' First Symphony

9/29/2017
More
Jean Sibelius , born Johan Julius Christian Sibelius, was a Finnish composer and violinist of the late Romantic and early-modern periods. He is widely recognized as his country's greatest composer and, through his music, is often credited with having helped Finland to develop a national identity during its struggle for independence from Russia. Sibelius started work on his Symphony No. 1 in E minor, Op. 39, in 1898 and completed it in early 1899, when he was 33. The work was first...

Duration:01:00:26

Harry Somers - Louis Riel

6/2/2017
More
The story of the polarizing Métis leader and Canada’s westward expansion is told in this landmark work. Composed by Harry Somers for our nation’s centennial in 1967, this uniquely Canadian contribution to the opera world is returning on the work’s 50th anniversary, and will help mark the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation. The National Arts Centre has joined with the Canadian Opera Company to proudly present this new production of Louis Riel. Music by Harry Somers Libretto by...

Duration:00:49:50

Sibelius' Majestic 2nd and 6th Symphonies

3/15/2017
More
Jean Sibelius, born Johan Julius Christian Sibelius (8 December 1865 – 20 September 1957), was a Finnish composer and violinist of the late Romantic and early-modern periods. He is widely recognized as his country's greatest composer and, through his music, is often credited with having helped Finland to develop a national identity during its struggle for independence from Russia. - Wikipedia

Duration:00:49:43

Robert and Clara: The whirlwind love affair of Robert Alexander Schumann and Clara Josephine Wieck

3/1/2017
More
Robert Schumann[1] (8 June 1810 – 29 July 1856) was a German composer and influential music critic. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era. Schumann left the study of law, intending to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist. He had been assured by his teacher Friedrich Wieck that he could become the finest pianist in Europe, but a hand injury ended this dream. Schumann then focused his musical energies on composing. In 1840, Schumann married Friedrich...

Duration:00:46:34

Richard Strauss - Also sprach Zarathustra

1/24/2017
More
Richard Georg Strauss (11 June 1864 – 8 September 1949) was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is known for his operas, which include Der Rosenkavalier, Elektra, Die Frau ohne Schatten and Salome; his Lieder, especially his Four Last Songs; his tone poems, including Don Juan, Death and Transfiguration, Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, Also sprach Zarathustra, Ein Heldenleben, Symphonia Domestica, and An Alpine Symphony; and other instrumental works such...

Duration:01:08:07

Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky: Pulcinella

11/29/2016
More
Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. He is widely considered one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th century. Pulcinella is a ballet by Igor Stravinsky based on an 18th-century play—Pulcinella is a character originating from Commedia dell'arte. The ballet premiered at the Paris Opera on 15 May 1920 under the baton of Ernest Ansermet. The dancer Léonide Massine created both the libretto and choreography, and Pablo Picasso...

Duration:01:00:12

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphonies no. 5 & 6

11/18/2016
More
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was a Russian composer of the late-Romantic period, some of whose works are among the most popular music in the classical repertoire. He was the first Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally, bolstered by his appearances as a guest conductor in Europe and the United States. Tchaikovsky was honored in 1884, by Emperor Alexander III, and awarded a lifetime pension. The Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64 by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was...

Duration:00:47:50

Wilhelm Richard Wagner: Tristan und Isolde

6/6/2016
More
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is primarily known for his operas. Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage works. Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works in the romantic vein of Weber and Meyerbeer, Wagner revolutionized opera through his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk, by which he sought to synthesize the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, with...

Duration:01:02:49

Erich Wolfgang Korngold: The Man Who Changed Movie Scores Forever

4/22/2016
More
"Treating each film as an 'opera without singing' (each character has his or her own leitmotif) Korngold created intensely romantic, richly melodic and contrapuntally intricate scores, the best of which are a cinematic paradigm for the tone poems of Richard Strauss and Franz Liszt. He intended that, when divorced from the moving image, these scores could stand alone in the concert hall. His style exerted a profound influence on modern film music." — Brendan G. Carroll, Korngold, Erich...

Duration:00:48:33