Orchestral transcription requires a creative mind, and creativity is exactly what attracts conductor Oliver Knussen to Leopold Stokowski’s distinct and somewhat peculiar transcriptions of Mussorgsky’s famous Pictures at an Exhibition. Listen as Knussen leads the Cleveland Orchestra through this unique version of a classic on this week’s Sunday Symphony.
According to its program note, Jef van Hoof's second symphony is a "war symphony." Writing in 1941, the Flemish composer jotted in the margin, "The whole world is gone—wiped from the face of the earth," no doubt in reference to the turmoil surrounding Hitler's recent invasion of France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Explore how this composer translates chaos into symphony on this week's program.
Though he was also a fine athlete and shrewd businessman, today Charles Ives is remembered as a Pulitzer prize-winning composer. His music was largely inspired by the ideas of his father, a Civil War band leader who approached tonality with an experimental mindset and encouraged his son to do the same. Hear Charles Ives’s 3rd and 4th symphonies and more this week on the KUAF Sunday Symphony.
The Metropolitan Opera continues its 85th season of live Saturday matinee broadcasts this week with Wagner's Tannhäuser. The Met describes this classic work as follows: "Tannhäuser takes place in and around Wartburg Castle, in Thuringia in central Germany, and in the mythical grotto of Venus, the goddess of love. Wartburg was the setting of a—possibly legendary—13th-century song contest as well as the home of Saint Elisabeth of Hungary (1207–1231), wife of the Landgrave of Thuringia.
The world moves on with a heavy heart this week in the wake of David Bowie's death. Over the course of his five-decade career, this legendary musician influenced and inspired artists of all kinds around the world. Composer Philip Glass was one such artist: he based two symphonies on Bowie's music, one on the album Low, another on Heroes. Tune in to this week's Sunday Symphony to hear highlights from those symphonies as we celebrate the mark David Bowie made on the world.