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Robert Schumann's music evokes the image of a child's dreams.

Listen Robert Schumann's Childhood Dreams

June 8, 2010 – The composer's intimate "Träumerei" stakes everything on one moment of epiphany, beautifully set up.


Mourners at a funeral

Listen Barber's 'Adagio': Naked Expression Of Emotion

March 9, 2010 – From sorrow, the music builds to a climax of intensity, and finally reaches serene acceptance.



Listen A World Of Expression In A Tiny Chopin Mazurka APM

March 2, 2010 – Commentator Rob Kapilow explains Chopin's condensed expression in a three-minute Mazurka. APM


Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers

Listen 'Cheek To Cheek': The Melody Lingers On

February 2, 2010 – Hear about the clever craft behind Irving Berlin's song, written for the 1935 film Top Hat.


With just one violin, one piano and two significant notes, Beethoven creates an entire universe within his "Kreutzer" Sonata.

Listen Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata Connections

October 14, 2009 – With just two notes, Beethoven connects the universe in his "Kreutzer" Sonata for violin and piano.


Czech composer Leos Janacek sent a non-stop stream of more than 700 love letters to a much younger, married woman; she inspired many of his best works.

Listen Janacek's Love Letters, With Strings Attached

September 14, 2009 – Hear the composer create a rich psychological universe out of tiny, power-packed emotional nuggets.


Aaron Copland captured the sound of America's wide open spaces with surprisingly simple techniques.

Listen Aaron Copland's American Vision

July 1, 2009 – Copland's pure, American sound flows from two simple chords in Appalachian Spring.


Composer Steve Reich's Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ has a percussive motor that never stops.

Listen Steve Reich: Minimalism In The Mainstream

April 20, 2009 – Commentator Rob Kapilow takes the motor-like rhythms of minimalism out for a test drive.



Listen Stephen Sondheim's Clever 'Clowns'

March 11, 2009 – In the Broadway composer's classic "Send in the Clowns," unexpected notes get surprising results.


An attention-grabbing opening can be the key to a successful composition.

Listen Bold Beginnings: The Art Of The Opening Notes

January 5, 2009 – Hear Rob Kapilow discuss the ways composers can set a tone in their works' opening seconds.


Verdi trumps Shakespeare by inserting a hauntingly beautiful "Ave Maria" into his operatic version of Othello.

Listen Verdi's Brilliantly Inauthentic 'Ave Maria'

December 4, 2008 – Hear how Verdi's remarkably beautiful "Ave Maria" transforms his opera Otello.


America's amber waves of grain inspired teacher Katharine Lee Bates to write the poem later used in the song "America the Beautiful."

Listen The Power Behind 'America The Beautiful'

November 4, 2008 – Election Day is a fine time to explore this anthem's timeless pull on America's heartstrings.


Actress and singer Judy Garland wearing as Dorothy from director Victor Fleming's film, The Wizard of Oz.

Listen 'Over The Rainbow,' From Kansas To Oz

October 15, 2008 – Rob Kapilow reveals the emotional narrative in Harold Arlen's song, based on two simple notes.


Read Ravel's 'Le Tombeau de Couperin'

August 21, 2008 – Maurice Ravel's "Le Tombeau de Couperin"

Listen Concerto in Rhythm with Tap-Dance Revival

February 5, 2007 – A new concerto for orchestra and tap dancer showcases the beauty of a form enjoying a revival.


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