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The Best of Beethoven on Exploring Music, August 2020

Temple of Apollo, Delphi, Mount Parnassus Photo: Kufoleto CC by 3.0

This month host Bill McGlaughlin takes us to the pinnacle of Beethoven's greatest works during the later years of his life Beethoven at Parnassus, Part I & II (2-weeks, 8/10-8/21).

Week of August 3, 2020 - Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and his Pupils: Glazunov, Stravinsky, Liadov, and Respighi  Rimsky-Korsakov's orchestral genius spun thousands of exotic sounds and colors, much as Scheherazade did in her tales. He left not only his musical mark on the world, but also his creative mark on all his students, by teaching them the fundamentals of orchestration and encouraging them to express their own imaginations. He and his pupils created unique voices, and all are firmly established in the canon of symphonic music.

Week of August 10, 2020 - Beethoven at Parnassus, Part I  This is a festival of the late music of Beethoven, from the last ten years of his life. Parnassus refers to the great mountain that towered over Delphi in Greek legend, and was the home of the Muses. In these years from 1816 to 1826, Beethoven soared to almost mythological heights with some of his greatest works—the Ninth Symphony, last four piano sonatas, Missa Solemnis, and his final string quartets. All of these compositions still sit at the top of Mt. Parnassus.

Week of August 17, 2020 - Beethoven at Parnassus, Part II  In the second part of a two-week series, we'll take an in-depth look at this music of a master reaching the pinnacle of his abilities. Bill starts with Missa Solemnis and Consecration of the House and ends in the rarified atmosphere of Mt. Parnassus as we take on Opus 135 performed by the Guarneri Quartet. Robert Schumann said, “[Beethoven’s quartets] stand...on the extreme boundary of all that has hitherto been attained by human art and imagination.” In 1977 his quartets were added to the Time Capsule of Humanity and sent into space in Voyager I.

Week of August 24, 2020 - TBA

Week of August 31, 2020 - The Symphony, Part 11 Join us as we continue our journey exploring the symphonic form. During this week you'll hear familiar pieces from Copland, Prokofiev, Hindemith, and Piston, as well as intriguing works from some of their contemporaries Carpenter, Cowell, and Hanson; Finnish symphonies by Madetoja, Melartin, and Merikanto; the Austrian composers Gál, Schmidt, Toch, and Zemlinsky; and other symphonists from England, France, Russia and Spain.