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The Great Composers Podcast - a classical music podcast

Music • Arts

This classical music podcast explores the history and lives of some of western classical music's most famous composers and musicians. Classical music is filled with very colorful personalities and riddled with drama of all kinds, from political intrigue to failed romances and everything in between.Read more

Popular episodes

46 - Johannes Brahms pt. 11 "A Symphony" a classical music podcast

Oct 11 • 01:41:56

It is summer 1876. Brahms is vacationing with his friend George Henschel on the Baltic island or Rügen and finishing work on his first symphony in C minor......

45 - Johannes Brahms, pt. 10 "From the Soul of the Purest Youth" a classical music podcast

Aug 16 • 02:59:30

It is December 1871 and Johannes Brahms has finally established permanent residence in the music loving city of Vienna. Still, his thoughts remain in Hamburg for a time as his family slowly start to drift away from him......

44 - "Interview with Alan Walker and Daniel Vnukowski” a classical music podcast

Jun 22 • 01:09:56

I am pleased to be joined during this episode by Alan Walker, celebrated author of biographies of Franz Liszt, Frederick Chopin and others, and acclaimed concert pianist Daniel Vnukowski. We discuss Liszt, Chopin, and Schumann, taking a look at their lives and music from the perspectives of biographer and performer. ...

43 - Johannes Brahms pt. 9 "A Lovely Dwelling Place" - Classical Music Podcast

Jun 7 • 02:37:44

Ep. 43 – It is Good Friday, April 10, 1868 in Bremen and Brahms has just finished giving the premiere of his German Requiem. It is a complete triumph but one not celebrated with wild applause, the work is too grave for that. Instead, attendees of the premiere listened with glad hearts and in reverence, awe really of the work’s creator. Thus, Johannes Brahms became an inter...

42b - Johannes Brahms pt. 8 "The Scent of Lilac" - Classical Music Podcast

Mar 22 • 02:08:36

Ep 42(b) - It is early 1865. Brahms's mother has just passed away. Filled with emotion he grudgingly moves from winter to spring, entering a long period of deep and private mourning during which he would retreat into himself for a time in order to gather his thoughts and energies, and orient them toward a grand act of artistic creation in which he would immortalize his bel...

42a - Johannes Brahms pt. 8 "The Scent of Lilac" - Classical Music Podcast

Feb 8 • 02:42:52

Ep. 42(a) - It is late November 1862. We find Johannes Brahms in Vienna making a great success of himself for once but reeling from a devastating blow given him by the musical establishment of Hamburg. He will try to pick himself up and carry on with his work, compartmentalizing the tenderness he felt for one place from the bitterness for the other so that he might do so. ...

41 - Johannes Brahms, pt. 7 "Vignettes and Vienna" - Classical Music Podcast

Nov 23 • 02:01:52

In Ep. 41 Johannes Brahms continues his toil, conducing the ladies' choir, playing concerts, and composing; working to build a life and career brick by brick with the sweat of his brow and the help of his friends. He hoped for a permanent position in Hamburg that would lead to a settled, traditional life and some financial security. Brahms's efforts were geared toward turn...

40 - Johannes Brahms, pt. 6 "Warring With the Wizard of Weimar" - Classical Music Podcast

Aug 3 • 02:06:57

In ep. 40 we find Johannes Brahms struggling to recover and learn from the defeat of his D minor Piano Concerto at Leipzig's Gewandhaus in January 1859. Despite nearing mastery in his craft and the untiring support of his friends he was yet unable to find a consistently appreciative audience. Success and failure, ridicule and praise, applause and hissing followed Brahms wh...

39 - Rebecca Smithorn and The National Philharmonic's YouTube Series "Composers in Crisis"

Jul 17 • 01:08:25

I'm pleased to welcome to the show Rebecca Smithorn, cover conductor and lecturer with the National Philharmonic. Rebecca is host of the NatPhil's YouTube series "Composers in Crisis" which takes a look at composers whose lives and art were transformed by times of global crisis. In our interview we talk about several composers in crisis: Beethoven, Ravel, Ruth Crawford-See...

38 - Johannes Brahms, pt. 5 "Gordian Knots" - Classical Music Podcast

May 18 • 02:34:32

In Ep. 38 we pick up with Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann in the weeks following Robert Schumann's death in July 1856, trying to make sense of their relationship and love. They have a crucial, incredibly difficult decision to make and its consequences will color the rest of their lives. All the while, Brahms struggles to complete his first piano concerto in d minor....

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