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Music from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

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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


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...

Duration: 00:30:21

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...

Duration: 00:48:46

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...

Duration: 00:47:39

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...

Duration: 00:39:35

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...

Duration: 00:31:52

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’...

Duration: 00:39:16

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...

Duration: 00:27:55

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...

Duration: 00:45:18

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...

Duration: 00:59:13

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...

Duration: 00:46:18


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...

Duration: 00:52:08

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,...

Duration: 00:33:40

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...

Duration: 00:31:56

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...

Duration: 00:30:28

243. Schubert’s Parting Notes

Works for solo piano by Schubert performed by Charlie Albright, piano on March 24, 2013. SchubertIn the late 1820s, all of Franz Schubert’s hard work and struggle seemed finally to be paying off. His performances were increasingly well received, and he was at the height of his compositional powers. Yet, even as his career took off, his health began to deteriorate, and his music increasingly focused on darker emotions. In 1827, Schubert wrote the four Impromptus for piano, his opus 90—the...

Duration: 01:09:55

242. The Lyrical Cello

Works for cello and piano by Schumann, Debussy, and Peter John performed by Cicely Parnas, cello and Noreen Cassidy-Polera, piano on April 5, 2015. SchumannFantasiestuckeDebussyFrom the ZodiacToday, we’ll celebrate the beauty of the solo cello, with three works played by the fantastic young artist Cicely Parnas, joined on piano by Noreen Cassidy-Polera. Her performance at the Gardner began with Schumann’s Fantasiestucke, opus 73, a set of three brief works. Lyrical and romantic, the set...

Duration: 00:40:13

241. Musical Omnivores

Works for string orchestra by Borodin and Frank performed by A Far Cry on April 21, 2013 and September 27, 2015. Borodin, Alexander Frank, Gabriela LenaLeyendas: An Andean WalkaboutThese days, many of us think of the gulf between classical and popular music as fairly wide and immovable, but it wasn’t always so—and it’s not necessarily so today, either. On this podcast, we’ll hear A Far Cry play works by two musical omnivores: composers whose work routinely crosses between popular, folk,...

Duration: 00:35:23

240. Baroque Concertos

Works by Vivaldi and Bach for orchestra and flute solo performed by Gardner Chamber Orchestra, Paula Robison, and Orlando Cela, flute, and John Gibbons, harpsichord on January 17, 1999. VivaldiJ.S. BachFor this podcast, we dug into the archives to resurrect an older recording, of some older music, that we thought you’d like. These concertos breeze by. The first we’ll hear—Vivaldi’s Sinfonia in G Major “alla Rustica”—packs three movements into just four and a half minutes. Then, we get the...

Duration: 00:49:23

239. Second Impressions

Works for solo piano by Griffes performed by Richard Masters on September 20, 2015 and by Debussy performed by Paavali Jumppanen on November 29, 2015. GriffesRoman SketchesDebussyOn this podcast, we return to a pairing from several weeks ago: Debussy’s Preludes (Book 2, this time) and the Roman Sketches of Charles Griffes. The second set of Debussy Preludes is similar in conception to the first: a series of fairly brief works, each intended to capture some poetic scene or mood. The...

Duration: 00:48:39

238. Schubert’s Swan Songs

Works by Schubert for voice and piano performed by Mark Padmore, with Jonathan Biss on October 12, 2014 and for solo piano performed by Charlie Albright on September 29, 2013.Schubert: Ständchen from SchwanengesangSchubert: Sonata in A Major, D. 959In 1828, as Schubert’s health was rapidly deteriorating, the composer entered a period of phenomenal compositional productivity. In the final months of his life, he would write many works that were published posthumously and recognized to be...

Duration: 00:43:07

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