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Steve Reich

Listen Steve Reich's 'Maximum' Minimalism

January 12, 2010 – The composer's Music for 18 Musicians brings elements of "maximalism" to minimalism.


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Listen John Dowland's Art Of Melancholy

January 5, 2010 – The dark, wistful mood that pervades Dowland's lute music was, in its day, a sign of maturity.


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Listen Mahler's Apocalyptic Second Symphony

December 29, 2009 – Mahler answered the metaphysical challenge of Beethoven's Ninth with the "Resurrection" Symphony.


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Listen Handel's Miraculous 'Messiah'

December 22, 2009 – Hear the composer's oratorio — which is, by any measure, the greatest choral work in English.


Monteverdi's Poppea.

Listen Monteverdi's Pioneering 'Vespers'

December 15, 2009 – Monteverdi's set of Vespers illustrated a mastery of blending Renaissance and Baroque styles.


Schubert's song cycle depicts an emotional journey through a barren landscape.

Listen Schubert's Desolate 'Winter Journey'

December 8, 2009 – The solitary and psychological mix in Schubert's masterful song cycle, Winterreise.


Conductor Fritz Reiner at a 1950 rehearsal.

Listen Bartok's Best 'Concerto For Orchestra'

December 1, 2009 – The Chicago Symphony, playing as if it had been set on fire, set a standard for Bartok back in 1955.


The Brooklyn Bridge in 1884. Dvorak would arrive in New York eight years later to head the National Conservatory of Music.

Listen Dvorak's Symphony For A 'New World'

November 24, 2009 – The Bohemian composer claimed "everyone who has a nose must smell America" in his Symphony No. 9.


A caricature of composer Richard Wagner.

Listen Wagner's Overtures In Full-Spectrum Sound

November 17, 2009 – Powerful orchestral sounds, as well as silence, elicit an emotional response from the listener.


Cellist Jacqueline Du Pre records Elgar's Cello Concerto with conductor John Barbirolli at Kingsway Hall in London, 1965.

Listen Quiet Anguish In Elgar's Cello Concerto

November 10, 2009 – Cellist Jacqueline Du Pre exposes both the tenderness and pain in Elgar's late-career concerto.


Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin.

Listen Bach's Best 'Brandenburg' Concertos

November 3, 2009 – Simultaneously subtle and brilliant, Bach's Brandenburg Concertos are a microcosm of Baroque music.


The fifth and final movement of the Symphonie fantastique is set at a witches' Sabbath.

Listen Berlioz's Unbridled 'Symphonie Fantastique'

October 27, 2009 – Hear a musical treat for Halloween that still sounds fiercely psychedelic and sweepingly romantic.


Leonard Bernstein.

Listen Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphonic 'Coup'

October 20, 2009 – The Symphony No. 5 achieves a "victorious" closer that ends with the triumph of evil over good.


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Listen Liszt: Surmounting The Ultimate Piano Sonata

October 13, 2009 – Franz Liszt's multi-layered sonata can spark a powerful emotional experience in the listener.


In his diary, Sibelius noted the inspiration for the grand theme in his Fifth Symphony: "Today I saw 16 swans. God, what beauty! They circled over me for a long time. Disappeared into the solar haze like a silver ribbon."

Listen Sibelius' 5th Symphony: A Song For Swans

October 6, 2009 – Inspired by swans in flight, Jean Sibelius introduces some of his best ideas in his fifth symphony.


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