Classical Masterpieces | Deutsche Welle
By DW.DE | Deutsche Welle
To listen to an audio podcast, mouse over the title and click Play. Open iTunes to download and subscribe to podcasts.
Six master composers, six symphonies, a star conductor and a leading orchestra are the main ingredients of this remarkable musical feast.
||CleanBeethoven's Symphony Nr.3, the "Eroica"||In his "Eroica", Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827) took the definitive step from the “classical” symphony of the 18th century to the “grand” symphony of the 19th.His Third Symphony is a key work in the repertoire of any symphony orchestra.The pioneering elements of the work are its unusual scale, daring orchestra-tion, and trailblazing harmonies.Beethoven composed the Third Symphony in 1803/04, two years after writing the famous "Heiligenstadt testimony", in which he talks about his failing hearing, his suffering and the future. Beethoven set out on his "new way".Initially, he planned to dedicate his Third Symphony to Napoleon, to mark his enthusiasm for the ideals of the French Revolution. But Beethoven was so angered to learn that Napoleon had had himself crowned emperor that he erased Bonaparte's name from the title page. Broadcast Times: Sat, 29.07.2006 18:30 UTC; Sun 30.07.2006 6:30 UTC; Mon 31.07.2006 0:30 UTC, 12:30 UTC||29 7 06||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanBruckner's Symphony Nr. 8||Bruckner's Eighth Symphony is distinguished by a monumental yet very detailed structure. It is often referred to as the “crown of 19th century music”.The symphonic works of Anton Bruckner (1824 – 1896) are characterized by a constant evolution, even though he was generally regarded as an eccentric, was not taken seriously as a composer, and was ridiculed by critics. He had to wait a long time for success and recognition. When his 8th Symphony was first performed at the Musikvereinssaal in Vienna in 1892, Bruckner was already 68 years old. The première of this epic work was a late triumph for the deeply religious composer.Bruckners Eighth usually takes about 75 minutes to perform, the first symphony of such a length since Beethoven's Ninth. Broadcast Times: Sat, 19.8.2006 18:30 UTC; Sun 20.8.2006 6:30 UTC; Mon 21.8.2006 0:30 UTC, 12:30 UTC||18 7 06||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanBrahms‘ Symphony Nr. 4||Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897) is regarded as the last great classical composer. His compositions continue the tradition of Mozart and Beethoven. His Fourth Symphony is a mature work of his later years.It took Brahms twenty years to complete his first symphony, by which time he was 43 years old. For his other three symphonies he also needed a lot of time – eight years in all.Brahms wrote his Fourth Symphony in 1884 / 85 at the peak of his creative powers. Following the death of Richard Wagner, Brahms was regarded as the greatest living composer. The Fourth Symphony is characterized by rich tonal beauty and profound musicality. It also expanded the range of forms open to composers.But it also marked a conclusion. Although Brahms lived for a further twelve years, he never wrote another major orchestral composition. Broadcast Times: Sat, 12.8.2006 18:30 UTC; Sun 13.8.2006 6:30 UTC; Mon 14.8.2006 0:30 UTC, 12:30 UTC||18 7 06||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanSchumann's Symphony Nr. 3, the "Rhenish"||Robert Schumann’s Symphony Nr.3 is one of the most famous orchestral works between those of Beethoven and Brahms. The "Rhenish" contains no trace of the sickness and depression of his final years.Robert Schumann (1810 – 1856) fought a life-long battle against depression. Between two periods of crisis – isolation in Dresden and the years of his final illness – Schumann and his wife, Clara, enjoyed some happy years in Düsseldorf. It is thanks to this intermezzo that he was able to compose some of the great works of Romanticism, including his "Rhenish Symphony", which he wrote in only four weeks. Its five movements radiate joy and cheerfulness. Broadcast Times: Sat, 5.8.2006 18:30 UTC; Sun 6.8.2006 6:30 UTC; Mon 7.8.2006 0:30 UTC, 12:30 UTC||18 7 06||Free||View In iTunes|
||Clean"An Alpine Symphony" by Richard Strauss||"An Alpine Symphony" by Richard Strauss (1864 – 1949) is a typical example of what is known as programme music. In this monumental work, Strauss describes a mountain climb in separate, precisely defined sections.The effect of the symphony stems to a large extent from the highly nuanced orchestration. "At last I have learned to orchestrate", the composer said after the first performance in 1915, at which Strauss himself conducted the huge orchestra in the Berlin Phailharmonic Hall.This is the symphonic poem in its highest form. Strauss referred to it as a 'tone poem'. Works such as “Salome” and “Electra” earned him a reputation as a musical revolutionary. With the "Alpine Symphony" he fell back in part on classical forms of expression. Some critics attacked him for this, while others saw a newly attained sovereignty in the spectacular work.Broadcast Times: Sat, 22.07.2006 18:30 UTC; Sun 23.07.2006 6:30 UTC; Mon 24.07.2006 0:30 UTC, 12:30 UTC||18 7 06||Free||View In iTunes|