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(94)

Rank #177 in Music category

Arts
Music
Performing Arts

San Francisco Symphony Podcasts

Updated 3 days ago

Rank #177 in Music category

Arts
Music
Performing Arts
Read more

Podcasts from the San Francisco Symphony and Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas.

Read more

Podcasts from the San Francisco Symphony and Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas.

iTunes Ratings

94 Ratings
Average Ratings
71
14
1
4
4

Educational and Enjoyable

By Cinderalice125 - Oct 21 2019
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So educational and concise, there’s nothing like it.

SFS

By lledsmar - Apr 10 2016
Read more
Great narrator (Rick Malone) and program notes on classical music.

iTunes Ratings

94 Ratings
Average Ratings
71
14
1
4
4

Educational and Enjoyable

By Cinderalice125 - Oct 21 2019
Read more
So educational and concise, there’s nothing like it.

SFS

By lledsmar - Apr 10 2016
Read more
Great narrator (Rick Malone) and program notes on classical music.

Listen to:

Cover image of San Francisco Symphony Podcasts

San Francisco Symphony Podcasts

Updated 3 days ago

Read more

Podcasts from the San Francisco Symphony and Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas.

Mozart's Symphony No. 39

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In the space of nine weeks in summer 1788, Mozart produced the last three of his symphonies, including Symphony No. 39. Started within a month after his opera Don Giovanni opened to a less than enthusiastic audience in Vienna, the symphony opens with a reflection on the opera’s overture.

Apr 29 2016

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Handel's Messiah

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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.

Dec 01 2016

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Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis

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Carl Maria von Weber was no ugly duckling as a composer, but Paul Hindemith's "Symphonic Metamorphosis" turns four of Weber's themes into symphonic swans.

Apr 29 2016

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Beethoven's Fidelio

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Beethoven's opera Fidelio is a story about the triumph of truth and justice. But it's also a story about the triumph of love.

Jun 23 2015

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Saint-Saens's "Organ" Symphony

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A child prodigy, Saint-Saëns was not only a gifted composer but an accomplished pianist who could perform all of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas from memory by the age of ten.  Composed for the Philharmonic Society of London, his Symphony No. 3, Organ, is dedicated to his friend Franz Liszt.

Apr 29 2016

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Brahms' Symphony No. 1

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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 called it “Beethoven’s Tenth.”

Feb 14 2018

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Beethoven's Symphony No. 7

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The premiere of Symphony No. 7 was perhaps Beethoven’s greatest rock-star moment. Buoyed by the excited troops in whose honor the concert was being performed, he “tore his arms with a great vehemence asunder ... at the entrance of a forte he jumped in the air” (according to orchestra violinist and composer Louis Spohr).

Mar 07 2017

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Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition

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Originally composed for solo piano (and later orchestrated by Ravel), Pictures at an Exhibition was written by Modest Mussorgsky after he visited a retrospective exhibit of the works of his friend Victor Hartmann.  The collection of pieces represents a promenade from painting to painting, pausing in front of works called The Gnome, Ancient Castle, and Great Gate of Kiev.  Mussorgsky was a member of a nationalistic, anti-conservatory group of young musicians, and he had an unusual ability to interpret visual art in musical expression.

Oct 15 2019

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Beethoven's - Symphony No. 9

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Beethoven's Symphony No. 9
Often called the greatest piece of music ever written, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 was the last he would ever write.  The first symphony to feature a chorus and vocal soloists, Symphony No. 9 also includes the famous “Ode to Joy.” 

click here to enjoy a recording 

May 15 2019

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Beethoven's Missa Solemnis

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To set about composing his Missa Solemnis, Beethoven looked to the past. He obtained a copy of the score to J.S. Bach’s B Minor Mass, at that time still unpublished, and also studied the sacred music of C.P.E. Bach. After countless sketches and spiritual preparation, Beethoven composed this work for large orchestra and chorus, dedicating more time to it than to any other work he composed. Written simultaneously with the Symphony No. 9, the Missa Solemnis is considered one of the most significant mass settings in classical music.

May 27 2015

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Vivaldi's "Four Seasons"

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Barking dogs, wind and rain, buzzing bees and slippery ice; they're all part of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, a work that—believe it or not—was almost unknown for 200 years.

May 16 2017

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Beethoven's Symphony No. 9

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Often called the greatest piece of music ever written, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 was the last he would ever write. The first symphony to feature a chorus and vocal soloists, Symphony No. 9 also includes the famous Ode to Joy.

Jan 30 2017

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Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue"

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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.”

Feb 24 2018

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Mahler Symphony No. 6

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Mahler Symphony No. 6
In summer 1903, Mahler was at his happiest time of life.  Married to the beautiful Alma and father to two healthy daughters, it doesn’t seem like the time when one would compose a symphony often called the Tragic.  However, in an eerily prescient stroke, this is exactly what Mahler does.  In the years that followed, Mahler suffered the death of a child, the loss of his position in Vienna, and learned of his debilitating heart disease—three blows of fate predicted by the blows of the drum that fell the Hero at the close of Symphony No. 6.

Sep 10 2019

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Handel’s Messiah

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Handel’s Messiah
Often called the greatest piece of music ever written, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 was the last he would ever write.  The first symphony to feature a chorus and vocal soloists, Symphony No. 9 also includes the famous “Ode to Joy.”

Jan 17 2019

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Elgar's "Enigma" Variations

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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.

Apr 18 2018

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Mozart’s Symphony No. 41, Jupiter

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Mozart's final symphony was nicknamed the "Jupiter," and - like the planet and the Roman god that share its name - it still stands out as one of the greatest of its kind.

Sep 27 2019

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Rachmaninoff Symphony No. 2

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Sergei Rachmaninoff wrote his Symphony No. 2 while living in Dresden. At age 33, he was a sought-after conductor and pianist, and had relocated to escape the clamor for his talents. After completing the work, he declared he would never write another symphony, and waited almost thirty years to do so.

Mar 21 2017

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Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique

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A man spots a woman across the room at a party and falls instantly in love with her. In a fit of despair over his unrequited love, he poisons himself and fantastic dreams and visions result. This is the story, inspired by his own love for the actress Harriet Smithson, that Hector Berlioz portrays in his Symphonie fantastique, premiered in 1830. Using recurring musical motifs to represent characters and brand new instrumental colors, Berlioz worked on foundations laid by Beethoven to bring music fully into the Romantic era.

Sep 18 2017

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Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10

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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.

Sep 18 2017

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Handel's Messiah

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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.

Dec 12 2019

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Bruckner Symphony No. 4

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Bruckner's Symphony No. 4 "The Romantic" was a departure from his usual symphonic testaments of faith. It's a journey into the Age of Chivalry, of knights, quests, and - above all - the hunt.

Nov 18 2019

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Strauss: Metamorphosen

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"Richard Strauss' Metamorphosen for 23 Solo Strings was his musical response to a life, and a world, gone to pieces."

Nov 09 2019

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Charles Ives Symphony No. 3 & 4

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With 19th-century Americana spirit, MTT and the SF Symphony, pianist Peter Dugan, and the SFS Chorus’s musical candor and clarity add an evocative recording of Ives’s songful Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 to the SFS Media label’s Grammy award-winning discography.

Nov 07 2019

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Bach Orchestral Suite No. 4

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Bach's Orchestral Suite #4 is a dazzling combination of rhythmic complexity and sonic brilliance; all the more amazing in that he wrote it (most likely) just for fun!

Oct 30 2019

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Shostakovich Symphony No.7 Leningrad

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Shostakovich's 7th Symphony became a symbol of the wartime alliance between the US and the USSR. But the road to victory is never easy, and it wasn't long before both the musical and the political symbols of that alliance disappeared

Oct 23 2019

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Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition

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Originally composed for solo piano (and later orchestrated by Ravel), Pictures at an Exhibition was written by Modest Mussorgsky after he visited a retrospective exhibit of the works of his friend Victor Hartmann.  The collection of pieces represents a promenade from painting to painting, pausing in front of works called The Gnome, Ancient Castle, and Great Gate of Kiev.  Mussorgsky was a member of a nationalistic, anti-conservatory group of young musicians, and he had an unusual ability to interpret visual art in musical expression.

Oct 15 2019

Play

Mozart’s Symphony No. 41, Jupiter

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Mozart's final symphony was nicknamed the "Jupiter," and - like the planet and the Roman god that share its name - it still stands out as one of the greatest of its kind.

Sep 27 2019

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Schumann Symphony No. 3

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Schumann’s Symphony No. 3, Rhenish, completed in 1850 after his much-celebrated appointment as Municipal Music Director in Düsseldorf, reflects his optimism in the face of new challenges. Filled with spirited, glorious themes, Rhenish marks the high point in the life of a composer who struggled with mental illness.

Sep 16 2019

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Mahler Symphony No. 6

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Mahler Symphony No. 6
In summer 1903, Mahler was at his happiest time of life.  Married to the beautiful Alma and father to two healthy daughters, it doesn’t seem like the time when one would compose a symphony often called the Tragic.  However, in an eerily prescient stroke, this is exactly what Mahler does.  In the years that followed, Mahler suffered the death of a child, the loss of his position in Vienna, and learned of his debilitating heart disease—three blows of fate predicted by the blows of the drum that fell the Hero at the close of Symphony No. 6.

Sep 10 2019

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Mozart Symphony No. 31

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When Mozart went to Paris, he may not have found the job he was looking for, but he still found success, with his stylish Symphony No. 31.

Jul 03 2019

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Mahler Symphony No. 9

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Mahler’s last complete work, the Symphony No. 9, was composed following a whirlwind period of great loss and supreme achievement, including the composition of his “symphony without a number,” Das Lied von der Erde.  Symphony No. 9 reaches the greatest apex of Mahler’s compositional catalogue, exhibiting his characteristic subtle transition, expansion, and continuous variation at their fullest.

Jul 03 2019

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Mendelssohn Symphony No.4

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On an extended journey through Italy in 1830 and 1831, Felix Mendelssohn began work on his Fourth Symphony.  A wildly talented composer who wrote his famous Octet when he was only sixteen, Mendelssohn was prompted to finish the work when the London Philharmonic Society requested a symphony from him (and offered payment of a hundred guineas).  Mendelssohn called it the jolliest music he had ever composed. Although he remained dissatisfied with the symphony and planned numerous revisions, the Italian Symphony still stands as one of his most easily recognizable works.

Jul 03 2019

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Mahler Symphony No. 7

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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.

Jul 03 2019

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Sibelius Symphony No. 2

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At the close of the nineteenth century, Finnish natives were enjoying a renaissance of their native culture, in opposition to their Russian occupiers.  Jean Sibelius was swept up in this nationalistic fervor, and composed several patriotic tone poems, including Finlandia.  Symphony No. 2, misinterpreted at its premiere as a commentary on the Finnish political conflict, was composed mostly in Italy, where Sibelius was renting a studio.  Working with fragments and sketches intended for four separate tone poems, Sibelius then assembled the pieces into this full-fledged symphony.

Jul 03 2019

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Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4

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The Fourth Symphony was a product of the most turbulent time of Tchaikovsky's life - 1877, when he met two women (Nadezhda von Meck, a music-loving widow of a wealthy Russian railroad baron, and Antonina Miliukov, an unnoticed student in one of his large lecture classes at the Moscow Conservatory), who forced him to evaluate himself as he never had before.

Jul 03 2019

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Beethoven Symphony No. 6

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To escape the city of Vienna, Beethoven often spent his summers in the rural counties surrounding it—a love reflected in his Symphony No. 6, Pastoral. With movements titled Awakening of joyful sentiments upon arriving in the country and Scene by the brook, the work depicts life in the country.

Jul 03 2019

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Shostakovich's Eighth Symphony

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Shostakovich's Seventh Symphony made him a war hero, but his Eighth Symphony still got him in trouble with the Soviet government, perhaps because it was less a hymn to heroism than a prayer for peace

Jul 03 2019

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Mendelssohn Symphony No. 3

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Scotland - the country that gave us haggis, bagpipes, golf and Sean Connery among other world treasures - was also the inspiration for two of Mendelssohn's best-known works: his "Hebrides" Overture and "Scottish" Symphony. There are no actual Scottish tunes in the Symphony; in fact, Mendelssohn professed to dislike all Scottish music, especially the bagpipes. But it's hard to imagine the source of this tuneful work being anything other than the windswept heather of the Highlands.

Jul 03 2019

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Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring

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The Rite of Spring wasn't the first piece of music to spark a riot, and it certainly wasn't the last, but it was the most significant.

Jul 03 2019

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