The Great Composers Podcast - a classical music podcast

By Kevin Nordstrom

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Description

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. Through the course of the show, we will discuss composers and musicians from the distant past all the way to the present, beginning with the greatest, JS Bach. -Please rate, review, and subscribe on iTunes! https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-great-composers-podcast/id1125785164?mt=2 -Like our Facebook page too! https://www.facebook.com/thegreatcomposerspodcast/ -Want to help out? Donate to the show! https://www.gofundme.com/manage/thegreatcomposerspodcast www.kevinnordstrom.com Thank you for listening! Recently named an artaxmusic top 10 classical music podcast https://www.artaxmusic.com/top-10-classical-music-podcasts/ Bibliography for all episodes found on the website: https://www.kevinnordstrom.com/the-great-composers-podcast

Episode Date
33 - The Life of Johannes Brahms, pt. 1 "A Cup Half Full"
45:53

In Ep. 33, The Life of Johannes Brahms, pt. 1 "A Cup Half Full" we meet the great composer's father, Johann Jakob Brahms. Jakob was a versatile musician who could play several instruments. He wasn't the most talented of musicians, but he was determined to succeed. In 1826 he went to Hamburg and began working as a lowly beer-fiddler. After establishing himself, he took every job he could get and slowly made his way up the professional ladder... 

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Music heard in this episode (all by Brahms unless otherwise noted):

1. Serenade in D major op. 11, mvt. 1

2. The Pinzauger Waltz

3. Serenade in D major op. 11, mvt. 4 - Minuet 1 &2

4. Serenade in D major op. 11, mvt. 5 - Scherzo

5. Serenade in D major op. 11, mvt. 6 - Rondo

https://musopen.org/music/6733-serenade-no-1-in-d-major-op-11/

 

Oct 07, 2019
32 - The Life of Johannes Brahms, "Introduction: A Brahms Rhapsody"
22:25

In this introduction to the life of Johannes Brahms we rhapsodize on key themes in the great composer's life, and begin to sketch his unique position in the history of music.

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Music heard in this episode (all by Brahms):

1. Intermezzo in B-flat minor, op. 117 no. 2

2. Serenade in D major op. 11, mvt. 1

 

Sep 30, 2019
31 - The Lives of Some Other Bach's, pt. 8 "Epilogue: Bach's in the Future"
36:34

Ep. 31 sees our Bach saga come to an end. We meet Sebastian Bach's grandson, Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst, the last musician of his line. Then we see how the family legacy was carried on by those who were Bach's in spirit but not name. Finally, we follow a few members of the family as they spread to other parts of Europe and then America.

Music heard in this episode: (By J.S. Bach)

1. Mass in B minor: Sanctus - Osanna in excelsis

2. Cantata: Jesu, der du meine Seele, BWV 78 - Chorale: Herr, ich glaube, hilf mir Schwachen

3. Mass in B minor: Gloria

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Jun 26, 2019
30 - The Lives of Some Other Bach's, pt. 7 "John Christian, a Bach in London"
50:59

In Ep. 30, we see Johann Christian Bach round out his time in Italy by planning a new trip to London. While in London, he became immensely famous and was even given a position in the royal household of King George III and his Queen, Charlotte. Johann Christian, or as he preferred to be called, John, enjoyed a swift rise to fame. It lasted for nearly two decades, but as tastes began to change his demise came just as fast. Unable to stomach the loss of his glory, John died a broken man, mourned only by his wife and few remaining friends. 

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Music heard in this episode: (All composed by J.C. Bach unless otherwise noted)

1. Symphony in E-flat major, op. 3, no. 4, mvt. 1

2. Symphony in E-flat major, op. 3, no. 4, mvt. 1 cont.

3. Sonata for two keyboards in G major, op. 15, no. 5

4. Twelve Variations on "Ah vous dirai-je, Maman", theme,

by W.A. Mozart

5. Twelve Variations on "Ah vous dirai-je, Maman", finale,

by W.A. Mozart

6. Orfeo, Minuet, by Christoph Gluck

7. Symphony in G minor, op. 6, no. 6, mvt. 1

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Jun 19, 2019
29 - The Lives of Some Other Bach's, pt. 6 "Giovanni Christiano, a Bach in Italy"
53:13

In Ep. 29 we follow the Great Bach's youngest son, Johann Christian born 1735, from his childhood to the early years of his maturity. Christian was one of the most brilliant and successful musicians the Bach family ever produced and he achieved a level of fame none of them ever did during their lifetimes. Christian was unique in his family and never felt compelled to adhere to the traditions of old. He moved beyond the old compositional styles of his father, and even moved beyond the confines of the Germanic homeland, eventually finding his way to Milan, Italy and great fame.

Music heard in this episode: (All composed by J.C. Bach)

1. Symphony in E-flat major op. 18 no. 1, mvt. 1

2. Symphony in G minor op. 6 no. 6, mvt. 2 (opening)

3. Keyboard Sonata in D major op. 5 no. 2, mvt. 1

4. Symphony in E-flat major op. 18 no. 1, mvt. 3

5. Symphony in G minor op. 6 no. 6, mvt. 2 (cont.)

6. Symphony in G minor op. 6 no. 6, mvt. 3

 

May 24, 2019
28 - The Lives of Some Other Bach's, pt. 5 "Anna Magdalena"
01:12:17

In Ep. 28, we take a closer look at the life of Anna Magdalena Wilcke, beloved second wife of Sebastian Bach. Anna came from a long line of musicians, and was an accomplished musician herself. At the age of 20, or possibly sooner, she attained a coveted position as soprano in the Cöthen Capelle then under Sebastian's direction, who often featured her as a soloist. After their marriage in 1721 and subsequent move to Leipzig, she was a key player in the Bach family business, teaching students, copying music, making sure everyone was practicing, and generally keeping things in good working order. She was also the step-mother of Bach’s two famous sons by Maria Barbara, Friedemann and Emanuel, seeing them through difficult adolescent years, and mother to one of the most brilliant and influential composers of the 18th century, Johann Christian Bach, who was worshipped by no less a figure than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

 

Music heard in this episode:

  1. Organ Trio Sonata in G major, BWV 530, mvt. 1, arr. Michael Way
  2. Cantata No.51 - I. Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen.2
  3. Brandenburg Concerto no. 4 in G major, BWV 1049, Presto
  4. Partita no. 5 in G major, BWV 829, mvt. 6 Passapied, arr. Michael Way
  5. Ice run zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639, arr. Michael Way
  6. Organ Trio Sonata in G major, BWV 530, mvt. 3, arr. Michael Way

 

Tracks 1, 4, 5, 6

Stephen Nordstrom - Violin

Kevin Nordstrom - Viola

Michael Way - Cello, arranger

Mar 21, 2019
27 - The Lives of Some Other Bach's, pt. 4 "Carl Philipp Emanuel and the Prussian Blues"
01:00:51

In Ep. 27, The Lives of Some Other Bach’s, pt. 4 “Carl Philipp Emanuel and the Prussian Blues” we see Emanuel Bach suffer many more years in service to King Frederick the Great of Prussia, unable to find employment elsewhere. His perpetual good cheer served him well during these troubled years and he continued to compose and make a success of himself as before. Following the Third Silesian War from 1756-1763, Emanuel had enough of royal service and was determined to leave Berlin. He set his sights on Hamburg, where his godfather Georg Philipp Telemann was music director. Luckily, Emanuel would be Telemann’s successor, and took over his new post in 1768. He spent the rest of his life there and passed away in 1788 knowing that his life had been a success from beginning to end.

Music heard in this episode:

1. B minor sonata, H. 245 beginning of mvt. 3 (played by me)

2. Solfegio in C minor, organ version - Dick Koomans https://musopen.org/music/43229-solfeggio-in-c-minor-h-220/

3. D major symphony H. 663 mvts. 1,2,3

4. Fantasia in F-sharp minor H. 300 - Joan Benson https://musopen.org/music/9240-fantasia-in-f-sharp-minor-h-300/

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Jan 22, 2019
26 - The Lives of Some Other Bach's, pt. 3 "Carl Philipp Emanuel and All the King's Men"
01:03:28

In Ep. 26 - The Lives of Some Other Bach's, pt. 3 "Carl Philipp Emanuel and All the King's Men" we will meet the Great Bach's second son, Carl Phillip Emanuel. Despite having much the same upbringing, Emanuel managed to make a success of himself while Friedemann did not. Independent, friendly, and worldly wise, Emanuel left his father's home ready to take on the world, and found himself in the service of one of the most eccentric rulers of the age.

Music heard during this episode: (By CPE Bach unless otherwise noted)

Symphony in C major, complete, H. 659

Sonata for Solo Flute in A minor, mvt. 1 H. 562 – Marcos Granados

12 Variations on “The Follies of Spain” H. 263 – Stefano Ligoratti

The King’s subject from the Musical Offering (JS Bach)

Flute Concerto in G Major, mvt. 1, H. 445

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Dec 18, 2018
25 - The Lives of Some Other Bach's, pt. 2 "Wilhelm Friedemann, The Golden Child"
01:16:56

In Ep. 25, The Lives of Some Other Bach's, pt. 2 "Wilhelm Friedemann, The Golden Child" we explore the life of Sebastian Bach's eldest son, Friedemann (1710-1784). While he was alive, Sebastian did everything he could to support Friedemann's career. He wrote music for him, gave him instruction manuals, and even wrote at least one job application letter. For a time, it seemed that Friedemann's life was generally headed in the right direction. He was comfortably employed and his fame as a performer and composer was growing. But once the Great Bach died, his golden child took a turn for the worse and what promised to be a prosperous life slowly unraveled. Extraordinary talent—maybe even genius—was not enough to keep Friedemann from alienating himself from his peers and making enemies at every stop along his progress. Though neither were capable of realizing it, the love and affection Sebastian showered on his beloved Friedemann proved to be a fatal gift.

Music heard in this episode is by Wilhelm Friedemann unless otherwise noted.

1. Sinfonia in d minor F. 65, complete

2. Prelude no. 1 in C major, WTC book 1

3. "Erbarme dich, mein Gott" (Have mercy, my God) from The St. Mathew Passion BWV 244, by JS Bach

4. Organ Sonata BWV 525, by JS Bach

5. Prelude (fugue sold separately) in G major BWV 541, by JS Bach

6. Polonaise in E-flat for harpsichord F. 12 no. 5 (Sylvia Kind) https://musopen.org/music/27296-12-polonaises-f-12/

7. Polonaise in d minor for harpsichord F. 12 no. 4 (Sylvia Kind) https://musopen.org/music/27296-12-polonaises-f-12/

8. Duo for two violas in G major, F. 60 mvt. 2 "Lamento" played by me and one of my students

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Nov 23, 2018
24 - The Lives of Some Other Bach's, pt. 1 "The Grapes of the Vine"
55:03

In Ep. 24 "The Grapes of the Vine" we will follow the Bach family tree from its founding member, Veit Bach, all the way down to JS Bach and his first born son Wilhelm Friedemann. For nearly three centuries, the Bach's produced musician after musician. All were highly skilled in their craft and some became quite famous. Not only did JS Bach's children have as a father the greatest musician of all time, but they were just the latest fruit of a long musical vine.

Music in this episode:

1. BWV 50 - “Non ist das Heil und die Kraft “ (some think that this may not be by Bach, but JE Gardiner thinks it is and so do I! Anyways it’s a great piece)

Unless otherwise noted, the following are chorales from BWV 244, the “St. Mathew Passion” their number in the score is listed alongside.

2. “Mir hat die Welt trüglich Gerlicht” no. 32

3. “Ja nicht auf das fest” (a choral interlude during a recit. not a chorale...) no. 4

4. “Ich bin’s, Ich solte büßen” no. 10

5. “Erkenne mich, mein Hüter” no. 15

6. “Ich will hier bei der stehen” no. 17

7. “Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen” no. 3

8. “Was mein Gott will, das g’scheh allzeit” no. 25

9. Final Chorus “Wir setzen uns mit Tränen neider” no. 68

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Nov 09, 2018
23 - The Life of Judith Chernaik and her book "Schumann: the Faces and the Masks"
55:27

In Ep. 23 we welcome another very special guest, Judith Chernaik, author of the book “Schumann: the Faces and the Masks”. She and I had an in-depth discussion about her book, a brilliant telling of the tragic and beautiful story that is the life of Robert Schumann. Be sure to pick up her book wherever books are sold and at the link below! It is well worth it. https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/546890/schumann-by-judith-chernaik/ Enjoy!

Music in this episode:

Schumann - Carnaval op. 9 -Préambule(Charles Rosen)

-Marche des “Davidsbündler” contres les Philistins (Guiomar Novaes)

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Oct 01, 2018
22 - "The Life of Suzanne Bona...and her show 'Sunday Baroque'"
01:19:50

In Ep. 22 I am pleased to bring you a very special guest, Suzanne Bona, host of the syndicated radio program "Sunday Baroque". We met up at WGUC studios in downtown Cincinnati and enjoyed a wide ranging discussion about her show, her life, and lots of interesting musical things! She was also kind enough to let us hear a sample of her program at about 45 minutes in, a special treat indeed. Be sure to listen to Suzanne's show "Sunday Baroque" on your local radio station every Sunday morning.

For more information, visit her website: http://sundaybaroque.org

Music: -Bach Double Violin concerto in D minor mvt. 3

-Suzanne's show!

-Vivaldi Double Violin concerto in A minor

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Sep 24, 2018
21 - The Life of György Ligeti, pt. 3 "Through the Looking Glass"
01:12:41

Ep. 21 - "Through the Looking Glass" --- Its 1974, and the great composers of the Western avant-garde continue to drift ever further apart. Stockhausen tours the globe and dreams of a life among the stars, Boulez becomes a world-renowned conductor, John Cage adds to his growing list of artistic pursuits, and György Ligeti settles down to a life as a teacher and begins planning his next moves as a composer. Much more composing and much more life is to come. We see Ligeti through dry spells and periods of great productivity. We see him deal with life and death in his own way. Then we see him to the end of his life, which ended much differently than it began. Please rate, review, and subscribe on iTunes! Like our Facebook page too! https://www.facebook.com/thegreatcomposerspodcast/ www.kevinnordstrom.com

All music heard in this episode is by Ligeti unless otherwise noted. Most are short clips of the larger work. Please listen to the complete works (especially the the piano etudes and Hamburg Concerto!) after the episode.

San Francisco Polyphony

Tierkreis (Verison for clarinet, flute, trumpet, and piano)- K. Stockhausen

Pli Selon Pli, Don - Pierre Boulez

Music for Five - John Cage

Hungarian Rock for Harpsichord

"Overture" to Le Grand Macabre

Monument, from "Three Pieces for Two Pianos"

Horn Trio mvt. 2 Vivace molto ritmico

Study for player piano no. 9 - Conlon Nancarrow

Etude no. 13 L’esceliere du diable (The Devil’s Staircase)

Sonata for Viola Solo - Kevin Nordstrom, viola - mvt. 2 "Loop" - mvt. 5 "Lamento" - mvt. 6 "Chaccone Chromatique"

All materials used in this episode are meant for educational purposes only. Thank you for listening!

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Sep 17, 2018
20b - The Life of György Ligeti, pt. 2 "A Composer In Wonderland"
52:57

Ep. 20b...Continuing where we left off... The Life of György Ligeti, pt. 2 "A Composer in Wonderland" we see our great composer through the 1960's and into the early 70's, discussing his music of that period in detail. Having at last achieved some success with the orchestral works "Apparitions" and "Atmospheres" Ligeti would rattle off a few non-musical, farcical pieces. Then in 1965, his Requiem (a deeply serious and moving work) had its premiere in Stockholm, Sweden. This was a pivotal moment in Ligeti's career and the Requiem firmly established his reputation as a formidable composer. The rest of the decade witnessed the solidification of his 'textural' style of composition, and its further use in several more pieces including the orchestral work "Lontano", the stunningly beautiful Chamber Concerto, and the 2nd String Quartet. In the early 1970's then, Ligeti's career was moving ever upwards. But he was yet to find permanent employment, and would soon begin searching for new and different things in music: harmony, melody...and much much more.

All music heard in this episode is by Ligeti unless otherwise noted. Most are short clips of the larger work. Please listen to the complete works (especially the Chamber Concerto!) after the episode.

1. Chamber Concerto mvt. 3

2. Volumina for Solo Organ and two assistants

3. My attempt at reconstructing 'Poème Symphonique'.........

4. Requiem, Dies Irae 5. "Deo gratis" - Johannes Ockeghem

6. 2nd String Quartet - Presto

7. Chamber Concerto mvt. 2 - Calmo

8. Melodien

All material in this and all episodes is meant for educational purposes only.

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Aug 30, 2018
20a - The Life of György Ligeti pt. 2, "A Composer in Wonderland"
49:33

In Ep. 20a, we join the Hungarian refugee, György Ligeti, as he explores the musical wonderland that was the Free West. The year is 1957, and a shivering, disheveled Ligeti has just landed on the doorstep of the great German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen. Stockhausen will show Ligeti all that he had been missing in the world of composition over the last several years, and introduce him to the new compositional methods of the West as well as the people who practiced them. But as Alice found down her own rabbit-hole, this western wonderland was fraught with peril. Competing factions and rival ideologies fought to control the future of new music and there was no telling who would eventually win out. How was a novice avant-gardist like Ligeti to steer a course of his own through the musical swamp? In this two-part episode, we will find out...

Music heard in this episode: (All music clips are composed by Ligeti unless otherwise noted, all are short clips of the larger work. Please listen to the whole work after the episode!)

1. "Atmosphères"

2. "Klavierstücke IX" - Karlheinz Stockhausen

3. "Gesang der Jünglinge" - Karlheinz Stockhausen (my favorite portion of it)

4. "Polyphnie X" modere - Pierre Boulez

5. "Structures 1a" - Pierre Boulez

6. "Artikulation" for tape

7. Chamber Concerto mvt. 3 'Movimento preciso e meccanico'

All material in this episode and all others is meant for educational purposes and use only. Thank you for listening!

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Aug 24, 2018
19 - The Life of György Ligeti pt. 1, "Down the Rabbit-Hole"
01:10:58

In Ep. 19, The Life of György Ligeti, pt. I "Down the Rabbit Hole" we explore the life of György Ligeti from 1923 to 1957. During this period, Ligeti and his fellow Hungarians would suffer under political domination and from social oppression by the Nazis and then the Russian Soviets. Fed up with their totalitarian overlords, the Hungarians in 1956 broke into revolt. Ligeti, who lived a life of obscurity behind the Iron Curtain, would flee his homeland with his wife, Vera, for the Free West. After a long and difficult flight to freedom, and leaving Vera safely in Vienna, Ligeti would embark on another journey, this time to Cologne, and wind up on the doorstep of the messiah of new music himself, who was waiting for him with open arms...

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Music heard in this episode: (All music clips are composed by Ligeti unless otherwise noted)

1. Gesang der Unterdrückten (Song of the Oppressed) - composed by the composer.....

2. Musica Ricercata mvt. 4 Tempo di Valse

3. La Traviata, Act I – Giuseppe Verdi

4. Concerto for Violin and Orchestra no. 2 - Béla Bartók, the incomparable Ivry Gitlis on violin

5. Musica Ricercata mvt. 1, Sostenuto – Misurato – Prestissimo

6. Métamorphoses Nocturne (opening portion)

7. Gesang der Jünglinge (Song of the Youth) – Karlheinz Stockhausen 8. Musica Ricercata mvt. 7, Cantabile, molto legato

All material in this episode is meant for educational purposes only.

Aug 01, 2018
18b - The Life of Ludwig van Beethoven pt. 10b, "The Candle in the Wind"
02:44:16

Ep. 18b The Grand Finale! The Life of Ludwig van Beethoven pt. 10, "The Candle in the Wind" we see our great composer to the end of his life. The last years were not easy ones for Beethoven. He proved himself to be cruel and kind, hateful and loving, violent and sweet. But in the end, he was able to transcend the shortcomings of human existence, gain in his own way forgiveness of his many sins, and echo down the years a heroic tale of redemption.

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Music in this episode in order of appearance: All quartets played by the Pascal String Quartet unless otherwise noted

1. Symphony no. 9 in D minor, mvt. 4 (complete...eventually)

2. String Quartet no. 13 in B-flat major, op. 130, mvt. 6 "Little Finale" (Budapest Quartet)

3. String Quartet no. 12 in E-flat major, op. 127, mvt. 1

4. String Quartet no. 13 in B-flat major, op. 130, mvt. 3

5. Missa Solemnis, Sanctus

6. String Quartet no. 16 in F major, op. 135, mvt. 4

7. String Quartet no. 13 in B-flat major, op. 130 - mvt. 5, Cavatina - mvt. 6, Grosse Fugue

All material in this episode is meant for educational purposes only. The Great Composers Podcast is a classical music podcast 

Jul 14, 2018
18a - The Life of Ludwig van Beethoven pt. 10, "The Candle in the Wind"
01:03:17

In Ep. 18a, Beethoven pt. 10 "The Candle in the Wind", first part of our massive grand finale(!) we start Beethoven on the last leg of his life. As a new father, and aging man with ill health, life would become more and more difficult for our great composer. His compositional life would prove more cumbersome as well, as massive new works that took a considerable amount of time to complete were now at the forefront of his mind: the "Hammerklavier" Sonata, the Missa Solemnis, the Diabelli Variations, and of course the Ninth Symphony in D minor.

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Introductory poem: "The Consolation of Philosophy" Boethius bk. 1, pg. 18-19, trans. Victor Watts (Penguin Books 1999, London.)

Music heard in this episode in order of appearance:

1. String Quartet in A minor mvt. 5 op. 132 - Pascal Quartet

2. String Quartet in A minor mvt. 3 (selection) op. 132 - Pascal Quartet

3. Sonata for Piano in B-flat major op. 106, "Hammerklavier" 

4. Thirty-three Variations on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli op. 120, "theme" - Neal O'Doan, piano

5. Sonata for Piano in C minor op. 111, mvt. 1 (selection) - Neal O'Doan

6-9. Symphony in D minor op. 125, mvt. 1-4 (selections) https://archive.org/details/BeethovenQuartetNo.15InAMinorOp.132 https://musopen.org/music/33466-diabelli-variations-op-120/ https://musopen.org/music/57-piano-sonata-no-32-in-cm-op-111/

All productions of The Great Composers Podcast are intended for educational purposes only. The Great Composers Podcast is a classical music podcast

Jul 10, 2018
17 - The Life of Ludwig van Beethoven Pt. 9, "The Ill - Made Knight"
01:35:52

In Ep. 17 "The Ill-Made Knight" we investigate the mystery surrounding the Immortal Beloved letters, and discuss several theories which attempt to identify who she was. We then continue to parallel the lives of Beethoven and Napoleon Bonaparte, and see that the events of 1812 would hurdle both men towards destruction. Only one of them however met ruin, while the other eventually transcended the difficulties of his life to become greatness renewed.

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All material in this episode is meant for educational purposes only. Music in order of play:

Symphony no. 7 in A Major mvt. 2 Allegretto

"An Die Ferne Geliebte" (To the Distant Beloved)pt. 6

Wellington's Victory "Battle" Symphony no. 7 in A Major mvt. 4 Symphony no. 3 'Eroica' in E-flat Major mvt. 2, March Funebre

Piano Sonata no. 29 in B-flat Major mvt. 3, performed by Federic Rzewski

Apr 26, 2018
16 - The Life of Ludwig van Beethoven pt. 8, "The Witch in the Wood"
01:53:24

In Ep. 16, The Life of Ludwig van Beethoven pt. 8 "The Witch in the Wood" our great hero will ride triumphant into 1809. Though it began well enough for Beethoven, 1809 was to be a bad year for Austria. Defeat on the battlefield, a depressed economy, and a deeply wounded national pride would touch all of her citizens. As his country declined, so in a way did Beethoven. He would compose less and less, but what he did write was still of the highest quality. We close this episode in the summer of 1812, which saw Napoleon's disastrous invasion of Russia, and Beethoven's disastrous love affair with the Immortal Beloved come to an end.

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All material in this episode is meant for educational purposes only. Thank you to musopen.org!

Introductory Poem: The Consolation of Philosophy, bk. 1 - Boethius trans. Victor Watts

Music in order:

'Apassionata' Piano Sonata in F minor op. 57 mvt. 3

'Emperor' Concerto for Piano in E-flat op. 72 mvt. 1

Cello sonata in A major op. 69 mvt. 2

'Les Adieux' Piano sonata in E-flat op. 81a mvt. 1

Mozart Requiem Lacrimosa arr. for piano by Franz Liszt!!!

'Harp' Quartet in E-flat op. 74 mvt. 1 - Pascal Quartet

Egmont overture - Musopen Symphony aka the Czech Philharmonic 'Serioso' Quartet in F minor op. 95 mvt. 3 - Pascal Quartet 'Archduke' Piano Trio op. 97 mvt. 1 - Rubinstein, Heifetz, Feuermann

Symphony no. 7 in A major op. 92 mvt. 2

Feb 25, 2018
15 - The Life of Ludwig van Beethoven, pt. 7 "A Hero's Life"
02:31:09

In Ep. 15 The Life of Ludwig van Beethoven, pt. 7 "A Hero's Life" we explore the Beethoven's life between the years late 1802 and 1808. During that time, the composer would overcome adversity to reach the pinnacle of his career. Masterpieces would fly from his pen and both the man and the legend of Ludwig van Beethoven will be formed.

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Music in this episode:

-Eroica Variations op. 35,

-"Eroica" Symphony no. 3 op. 55 - performed throughout episode by Musopen symphony

-Christus am Ölberg

-Sonata for Piano and Violin op. 47 "Kreutzer" mvt. 3 - David Oistrahk

-Andante Favori

-"Appassionata" Sonata for Piano mvt. 3 op. 57

-Leonore Overture no. 3

-Quartet op. 59 no. 1 "Razumovsky" mvt. 1, 2

-Symphony no. 6 "Pastoral" mvt. 1

-Symphony no. 5 "Grand Symphony" mvt. 4

Dec 18, 2017
GCP Updates, Extra Stuff, and Ep. 15 Teaser
18:20
This is an updates episode for The Great Composers Podcast, with a bunch of stuff you might be interested in including my interview with Adam Rodman of the "Bedside Rounds" podcast, and an episode XV teaser at the end! Enjoy! The show returns on Dec. 22nd with The Life of Ludwig van Beethoven pt. 7, just in time to celebrate the 209th anniversary of the monumental concert which saw the premier of the 5th and 6th symphonies, and also the 4th piano concerto. Music: Me playing some Ligeti A variation from the "Eroica" Variations op. 35 The "Eroica" symphony!
Dec 13, 2017
14 - The Life of Ludwig van Beethoven, pt. 6, "Friends and Enemies"
01:49:12

In Ep. 14 - "Friends and Enemies" we will see Beethoven continue adding to his fame. As a new century dawns however, he will encounter dangerous enemies who will threaten to unseat him as Vienna's top piano virtuoso. But one of these enemies will seek not only to knock off his piano playing crown, but to destroy his life altogether. He will not be able to resist this new threat, and will be forced to choose between a sad, silent artistic oblivion or the absolutism of death.

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All music heard in Episode XIV is by Beethoven unless otherwise noted, and is heard in the following order:

1. Piano Sonata op. 27/2 'Moonlight' mvt. 1 - Schnabel

2. 'Adelaide', Lieder for tenor and piano

3. Piano Sonata op. 27/1 'Sonata Una Quasi Fantasia' mvt. 2 - Schnabel

4. 5th Symphony...

5. Sonata for Violin and Piano op. 12 no. 2 in A major mvt. 1

6. Piano Sonata op. 7 'Grand Sonata' mvt. 1 - Schnabel

7. Piano Sonata op. 13 'Pathetique' mvt. 2 - Schnabel

8. Carl Czerny 'The School of Velocity' op. 299 no. 10 in F major

9. Symphony no. 1 in C major op. 21 mvt. 1

10. String Quartet op. 18/1 in F major mvt. 1 - Pascal Quartet

11. Sonata for Violin and Piano 'Spring' op. 24 mvt. 1

12. Piano Sonata op. 27/2 'Moonlight' mvt. 3 - Schnabel

13. 'Eroica' Variations op. 35

All material in this episode is meant for educational purposes only. The Great Composers Podcast is a classical music podcast

Aug 02, 2017
13 - The Life Of Ludwig van Beethoven, pt. 5 - "The Spirit Of Mozart"
01:29:37

In Ep. 13 - The Life of Ludwig van Beethoven pt. 5, "The Spirit of Mozart" we see our great composer arrive in Vienna in late 1792, starting out as a student of Haydn and a nobody. But within a few years, Beethoven would make a name for himself in the great music capital, and then try his luck on a tour across Germany.

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Music in this episode:

1. Sonata for Piano op. 53 in C major 'Waldstein' - Beethoven

2. 'Eroica' Symphony in E-flat major, middle of mvt. 2 - Beethoven

3. German contradance in C major - Beethoven

4. String Quartet in E-flat major op. 33 no. 2 'The Joke Quartet' - Haydn

5. String Quartet in D major op. 18 no. 3 - Beethoven performed by The Pascal Quartet

6. String Quartet in F minor op. 95 'Serioso' - Beethoven performed by The Pascal Quartet

7. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra no. 2 in B-flat major op. 19 mvt. 3 - Beethoven

8. Piano Trio op. 1 no. 3 in C minor mvt. 1 - Beethoven

9. Sonata for Cello and Piano op. 5 no. 2 mvt. 2 - Beethoven

10. Sonata in F minor op. 2 no. 1 mvt. 3 - Beethoven

Found on - https://archive.org and https://musopen.org

All material in this episode is meant for educational purposes only. The Great Composers Podcast is a classical music podcast

Jun 18, 2017
12 - The Life Of Ludwig van Beethoven, pt. 4, "The Will to Power"
59:48

In Ep. 12 - "The Will to Power" we will explore Beethoven's life between the years 1787 and 1792. During these years, Beethoven will overcome personal and professional obstacles so that he might make his way back to Vienna, and pursue his dreams of becoming a virtuoso composer once more.

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Music in this episode:

- Beethoven String Quartet op. 18 no. 4 in C minor mvt. 1 (development to end) (Pascal String Quartet)

- Tchaikovsky 1812 overture...

- Haydn - 'Surprise' Symphony no. 94 in G major mvt. 2

- Beethoven - 'Waldstein' Sonata for Piano op. 53 mvt. 1 (Schnabel)

- Beethoven - String Quartet op. 18 no. 4 in C minor mvt. 4 (Pascal String Quartet) Found on - https://archive.org

All material is meant for educational purposes only.

May 27, 2017
11 - The Life of Ludwig van Beethoven, pt. 3, "The Sword in the Stone"
53:22

In Ep. 11 - "The Sword in the Stone" we explore Beethoven's teenage years, the circumstance that would lead to his first trip to Vienna, and his mythologized meeting with Mozart.

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Works heard during the episode in order of appearance:

- Beethoven Sonata for Piano op. 10 no. 3 in D major mvt. 1 (Schnabel)

- Bach 'The Well Tempered Clavier' Prelude in C# major

- Beethoven Sonata for Piano in D major op. 28 'Pastorale" mvt. 2 (Schnabel)

- Berlioz 'Harold in Italy'... (The great William Primrose on viola)

- Mozart 'Don Giovani' the famous Commendatore Scene

- Beethoven String Quartet op. 18 no. 6 in B-flat major (Pascal String Quartet) Music found at https://archive.org

May 05, 2017
10 - The Life of Ludwig van Beethoven, pt. 2, "The Dreams of My Father"
48:12

In Ep. 10 - The Life Of Ludwig van Beethoven, pt. 2 - 'The Dreams Of My Father' we will explore the character of Beethoven's father, Johann, and his impact upon his son's early life.

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Introductory poem 'When We Two Parted' by Lord Byron

-Music-

1. and 4. Beethoven String Quartet no. 7 mvt. 3 and 4 performed by the Pascal Quartet.

2. Beginning of Pergolesi's La Serva Padrona

3. CPE Bach Variazioni Sulla Follia di Espagna performed by Stefano Ligoratti on piano: https://musopen.org/music/3162/carl-philipp-emanuel-bach/12-variations-on-follies-of-spain-h-263/

Jan 05, 2017
9 - The Life of Ludwig van Beethoven, pt. 1, "A Distant Mirror"
37:59

Ep. 9 - "A Distant Mirror" begins to paint the portrait of Beethoven's life. We first describe his grandfather, the first Ludwig van Beethoven. This Ludwig was our great composer's lifelong musical idol and the one person he sought to emulate in nearly everything he did. We then meet Beethoven's father, Johann, and explore the first half of the tragedy that was his life.

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Thank you to the musicians of musopen.org!

Beethoven works played in this episode are...

1. Piano Sonata no. 17 in D minor 'The Tempest' op. 31 no. 2 mvt. 1 performed by Stefano Ligoratti

2. Piano Concerto no. 5 in E-flat major 'Emperor' op. 73 mvt. 1 performed by Ursula Openns and the Dupage Symphony Orchestra https://musopen.org/music/2330/ludwig-van-beethoven/piano-concerto-no-5-in-eb-emperor-op-73/

3. Contradances WoO 14 no.s 1-3 4. Piano Sonata no. 17 in D minor 'The Tempest' op. 31 no. 2 mvt. 3 performed by Stefano Ligoratti https://musopen.org/music/704/ludwig-van-beethoven/piano-sonata-no-17-in-d-minor-the-tempest-op-31-no-2/

Introductory Poem - excerpt from 'The Song of the Bell' by Friederich von Schiller trans. by Margarete Münsterberg

Nov 12, 2016
8 - The Life of Ludwig van Beethoven - “An Introduction”
23:09

In Ep. 8, The Life of Ludwig van Beethoven, 'An Introduction' introduces us to the man who is perhaps the greatest composer in the western classical music tradition.

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Thank you to musopen.org for the historical recording of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony!

Nov 12, 2016
7 - The Life of Fritz Kreisler, pt. 3 - “A Citizen Of The World”
58:44

In Ep. 7, The Life of Fritz Kreisler, Part III finishes the story of the great Fritz Kreisler, from the end of the First World War, through his retirement in 1950, and all the way to the twilight of his life.

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The introductory quotation is from the close of Joseph Szigeti’s autobiography of 1947, 'With Strings Attached' - it is telling how Szigeti ends his own autobiography with a story about Kreisler... Thank you to archive.org for all the Kreisler recordings!

All works are performed by Kreisler unless otherwise noted.

1. The World is Waiting for Sunrise - by Ernst Seitz arr. Kreisler (1928) 2. Beethoven Violin Concerto in D major op. 61 (cadenza) - by Fritz Kreisler

3. String Quartet in A minor mvt. 2 'Scherzo' - by Fritz Kreisler (1935) - Fritz Kreisler and Thomas Petrie violins, William Primrose viola, Lauri Kennedy cello

4. Sicilliene et Rigaudon (in the style of Francoeur)- by Fritz Kreisler, Jascha Heifetz violin

5. Stars in My Eyes from 'Sissy" - by Fritz Kreisler (1946)

6. Songs My Mother Taught Me op. 55 no. 4 - by Antonin Dvorak arr. Kreisler (1928)

7. Beautiful Ohio Waltz - by Mary Earl (1919)

8. Recitative and Scherzo Caprice - by Fritz Kreisler, Jascha Heifetz violin

9. Violin Concerto in E minor mvt. 1 - by Felix Mendelssohn

10. Underneath the Stars - by Herbert Spencer (1917)

11. La Gitana - by Fritz Kreisler (1946)

Oct 08, 2016
6 - The Life of Fritz Kreisler, pt. 2 - "Fields Of Glory"
56:39

In Ep. 6, The Life of Fritz Kreisler, Part II tells the story of this great violinist composer's life from 1900 to the end of The First World War. We will see him achieve glory on the concert stage, in composition, and on the battlefield.

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Thank you to for archive.org for all the Kreisler!

Works and performers for this episode are...

1. Caprice Viennois - Written and performed by Fritz Kreisler (1924)

2. Poeme - Ernst Chausson composer, Jascha Heifetz violin

3. Schön Rosmarin - Written and performed by Fritz Kreisler (1943)

4. Liebesfreud - Written and performed by Fritz Kreisler (1926)

5. Humoresque - by Dvorak arr. Kreisler, Fritz Kreisler violin (1938)

6. Violin Concerto in C in the style of Vivaldi - Written and performed by Kreisler

7. Liebesfreud - by Kreisler arr. Rachmaninov - performed by Rachmaninov

8. Tabourin Chinois - Written and performed by Fritz Kreilser

#1, 4, 5, 8 - https://archive.org/details/FRITZKREISLER1875-1962Violin #2 - https://archive.org/details/ChaussonPoemeOp.25heifetzMonteux

#3 - https://archive.org/details/FRITZKREISLER-TheseAreMyFavorites-NEWTRANSFER #7 - https://archive.org/details/ViolinConcertoInC

Sep 05, 2016
5 - The Life of Fritz Kreisler, pt. 1 - "Vienna's Violinist"
43:45

In Ep. 5, The Life of Fritz Kreisler, pt. I tells the story of Vienna's greatest violinist, Fritz Kreisler, from birth to his marriage in the beginning of the 20th century. His rise to fame was an eventful one and we will see him grow from a normal little boy into a first rate wunderkind. Following the glories of his youth, Kreisler will give up the violin to pursue the medical arts and also do a bit of soldering. But in the end, the call of music was too great and he set his sights once more on a career as a virtuoso violinist.

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Thank you as always for the music provided by musopen.org.

Works performed in the episode and their performers are...

Liebeslied by Fritz Kreisler performed beautifully by Emanuel Salvador - https://musopen.org/music/2800/fritz-kreisler/3-old-viennese-dances/

Symphony no. 3 - Scherzo by Anton Bruckner - unnamed European Orchestra - https://musopen.org/music/983/anton-bruckner/symphony-no-3-in-dm-wab-103/

Flower Duet from Lakme by Leo Delibes performed by - Mosaica - https://musopen.org/music/2742/leo-delibes/lakme-flower-duet/

Beethoven Violin Concerto mvt. 1 - unknown performer - https://musopen.org/music/1056/ludwig-van-beethoven/violin-concerto-in-d-op-61/

Brahms Violin Concerto mvt. 3 performed by Fritz Kreisler himself! - https://musopen.org/music/1064/johannes-brahms/violin-concerto-in-d-op-77/

Jul 31, 2016
4 - The Life of JS Bach pt. 4 - “Old Man Bach, The Twilight of a God”
58:47

Ep. 4, The Life of JS Bach, "Old Man Bach, The Twilight of a God" brings us to the end of the great man's life and to the beginning of his immortality. As Bach grew to old age, his music slowly faded out of fashion and appreciation for his great musical achievements diminished. Even so, he would continue his work, dedicated as always to spirits greater than his own, and press on towards musical godhood.

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Thank you to musopen.org for the royalty free music!

-Art of Fugue, Canone no. 2 "all' ottava" (https://archive.org/details/AOC26B/onclassical_palareti_bach_art-of-fugue_5-ii_canon_in_hypodiapason.mp3)

-Cantata “Jesu, der du meine Seele”, BWV 78 - museopen european Archive

-Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 Aira and var. 1 Shelley Katz, piano

-Mass in B minor, Kyrie (opening)

-The Musical Offering, Sonata for flute, violin, and keyboard mvt. 2

-The Musical Offering, Ricercar in 6 parts

-Mass in B minor, Gloria

Material produced all episodes of The GCP are for educational purposes only. 

Jun 19, 2016
3 - The Life of JS Bach pt. 3 - “The Cantor of Leipzig”
01:23:23

In Ep. 3, The Life of Johann Sebastian Bach pt. 3, "The Cantor of Leipzig", we see our great composer become the Cantor of Leipzig. He will encounter many obstacles during these long years in Leipzig, but will still manage to be able to keep up a relentless composition schedule and create one of the greatest bodies of work in the history of music.

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A complete bibliography for all episodes can be found on my website: www.kevinnordstrom.com

Thank you to musopen.org for the royalty free music recordings! Much appreciated as always!

Music heard in this episode:

1. St John Passion, (ending portion no. 1 Chorus: “Herr, unser Herrscher”

2-4. St. Matthew Passion (chorale selections)

5. Church Cantata no. 86

6. St. John Passion, Part 1.2

7. St. Matthew Passion, selection from Part 2

8. Cantate Profane

9. Partita no. 1 in B-flat major, Prelude

10. St. Matthew Passion, “Erbarme Dich” Special thanks again to pianist Chiara Bertoglio and the wonderful performance of the Partita no. 1 BWV 825 - Allemande.https://musopen.org/music/809/johann-sebastian-bach/partita-no-1-bwv-825/ 

For educational purposes only.

Jun 19, 2016
2 - The Life of JS Bach pt. 2 - “The Maturing Master”
01:27:50

In Ep. 2, The Life of Johann Sebastian Bach pt. 2 'The Maturing Master', we see our hero off to Weimar, where he will play a little organ, lay down a few tunes, and cause some trouble. From there, he will journey to Cöthen and enjoy a few years of tranquility before his real life's work begins in Leipzig!

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A complete bibliography for all episodes can be found on my website: www.kevinnordstrom.com

Thanks to musopen.org for the music!

Concerto for 2 Violins in D minor mvt. 1 Vivace, David and Igor Oistrahk

Prelude no. 14 F-sharp minor, BWV 859 - Kimiko Ishizaka Organ

Concert in D minor, BWV 596 Cantata no. 182 'Himmelskonig, sei willkommen' https://archive.org/details/17HimmelsknigseiWillkommenBWV182AriaAltoLegetEuchDemHeilandUnter

French suite no. 2 in C minor, BWV 813 - 1. Allemande, Vadim Chaimovich

Prelude and fugue in C minor BWV 871, Jorg Demus

Brandenburg Concerto no. 3 in G major, BWV 1048 1. Allegro - Advent Chamber Orchestra. https://musopen.org/music/3500-brandenburg-concerto-no-3-bwv-1048/

Partita no. 2 in D minor, 'Chaconne' - Jascha Heifetz

Brandenburg Concerto no. 6 in B-flat major for two violas, BWV 1051 - US Army Strings

All content intended for educational purposes only.

Jun 19, 2016
1 - The Life of JS Bach pt. 1 - “The Young Bach”
56:27

In Ep. 1, The Life of Johann Sebastian Bach pt. 1 “The Young Bach”, we explore the early life of this great composer from birth until his appointment to the court at Weimar in 1708.

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A complete bibliography for all episodes can be found on my website: www.kevinnordstrom.com

Music for episode I can be found on musopen.org. Thank you to the following performers. Marcin Dabrowski https://musopen.org/music/2485/johann-sebastian-bach/prelude-and-fugue-no-2-in-cm-bwv-847/

Mehmet Okonsar for the final portion of the fugue from BWV 911 https://musopen.org/music/3224/johann-sebastian-bach/toccata-in-c-minor-bwv-911/

For educational purposes only.

Jun 18, 2016
0 - The Life of Johann Sebastian Bach - “An Introduction”
11:54

Ep. 0, The GCP pilot episode! The life of Johann Sebastian Bach 'An Introduction' surveys the life of one of classical music's greatest composers.

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A complete bibliography for all episodes can be found on my website: www.kevinnordstrom.com

Thank you to musopen.org for the historical recording of the St. Matthew Passion!

For educationally purposes only.

Jun 15, 2016