Sticky Notes: The Classical Music Podcast

By Joshua Weilerstein

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 Oct 8, 2019

mattiaq
 Aug 10, 2019

Description

Sticky Notes is a classical music podcast for everyone, whether you are just getting interested in classical music for the first time, or if you've been listening to it and loving it all your life. Interviews with great artists, in depth looks at pieces in the repertoire, and both basic and deep dives into every era of music. Classical music is absolutely for everyone, so let's start listening!

Episode Date
West Side Story: Symphonic Dances
43:32

There is perhaps no more iconic musical than West Side Story. The team of Bernstein, Sondheim, Laurents, and Robbins collaborated on a show that combined humor and menace and love and violence in a way that revolutionized the stage. The film adaptation of the musical won 11 Academy Awards. But, in my opinion, what drives West Side Story is the scintillating score from Leonard Bernstein. Today we explore the Symphonic Dances, a suite put together for the concert stage. We'll talk shofars, tritones, and more!

Oct 17, 2019
Stravinsky: The Firebird (Re-broadcast)
54:09

Due to family reasons, Sticky Notes is off this week, but don't worry, we'll be back next week! In the meantime, enjoy this look back at Stravinsky's magical Firebird, the piece that rocketed Stravinsky to celebrity and is still a favorite of audiences around the world today. We talk about all of the myths behind the story of the Firebird, including a character I like to call the Russian Voldemort! Plus, Sticky Notes answers your questions! Thanks for listening, and look out for West Side Story next week!

Oct 10, 2019
Bach Transformed
48:01

Throughout the centuries since Bach's death, composers have grappled with the mastery and the mystery of his music. Many composers have tried their hands at arranging or transcribing Bach's music, so this week we'll discuss works like Brahms' reimagining of the Bach Chaconne, Stokowski's grandiose Toccata and Fugue, Webern's 6 part fugue, and many more. Bach's music calls out to be reworked and reimagined. Learning about these transcriptions helps to deepen our understanding of this superlative genius through the eyes of other master composers.

Oct 03, 2019
The Music of Christopher Rouse (1949-2019)
37:45

The classical music world was rocked this week by the passing of the American composer Christopher Rouse. Rouse was one of the most powerful voices of our time, writing music that combined visceral energy with deep emotional intensity. Chris was also a friend of mine, and as an homage, I wanted to give you a tour of his music this week. There are very few composers who could write convincing music about topics as diverse as tragedy, violence, spiritual bliss, and Led Zeppelin, and Chris was one of them.

Sep 26, 2019
Shostakovich Symphony No. 5 (Part 2)
48:33

It can be difficult to separate Shostakovich's 5th from his political situation, but focusing only on the politics can lead us to ignore some of the most searingly powerful music of the 20th century in favor focusing only on the extra-musical forces behind the piece. This week, we'll look at the 3rd and 4th movements from a musical point of view, discussing how Shostakovich creates his musical palette. Then, we will discuss the controversy over the ending of the piece. What WAS Shostakovich trying to say?

Sep 19, 2019
Shostakovich Symphony No. 5 (Part 1)
51:45

Shostakovich's 5th symphony has always been indelibly associated with politics and Shostakovich's traumatic experiences with Joseph Stalin. But what about the music itself? This week, we'll look at the first two movements of this symphony, including the massive and innovative first, and the sardonic scherzo. This is a piece that is as interesting musically as it is for the harrowing story of its creation. Shostakovich's music is not only about politics. It is about love, life, and the human experience.

Sep 12, 2019
Beethoven Symphony No. 4
53:48

Robert Schumann called Beethoven's 4th symphony “a slender Grecian maiden between two Nordic giants.” It's true that the 4th is a much lighter and brighter piece than the 3rd and 5th symphonies that surround it, but its charm, wit, and expressions of pure joy make it one of Beethoven's most enjoyable works, and one the most underrated works in his entire catalogue. This week we'll explore the joy that Beethoven infuses into this symphony, as well as the mysterious introduction that precedes all the fun.

Sep 05, 2019
Sticky Notes Does Fantasia
01:01:22

We're going to take a look at 7 pieces that represent perfect starting points for those interested in beginning their journey with classical music. If you are a regular listener, don't worry - these 7 pieces are all fascinating and enjoyable to learn about for experienced listeners as well! In addition, 5 out of the 7 pieces have never been discussed on the show. We'll cover music from 6 different countries, 300 years of history, and some of the greatest art that humanity has ever produced.

Aug 29, 2019
Brahms Symphony No. 2
01:04:14

This week we take a look at a symphony that has been called both "sunny and bucolic" and "tragic and full of shadow." What accounts for these differences of opinions about such a beloved symphony? We'll explore all of the emotional ambiguity that runs throughout this symphony, as well as Brahms' remarkable thematic cohesion and creativity. How does a composer take 3 notes and create an entire symphony out of them? This week, you'll find out how. Recording recommendation: Carlos Kleiber w/ Vienna Phil.

Aug 22, 2019
How to Understand Atonal Music Part 2: The Musical Cold War of the 1950s
46:57

This week we're focusing on the 1950s and the musical cold war between composers of the total serialist school like Boulez, Babbitt, and Carter, and the tonalists like Copland and Bernstein. Caught in the middle of pitched battles over the future were Stravinsky and Messiaen. Every composer had a different way of dealing with the post-war order and of expressing the anger, rage, and nihilism of the art of the time. This is music that has never been popular with audiences, so let's try to demystify it today.

Aug 15, 2019
Schumann Symphony No. 2
54:51

Schumann's Symphony No. 2 expresses a journey of redemption like perhaps no other symphony. It begins in the depths of Schumann's physical and mental breakdown of 1842, and ends in grateful thanks for his recovery. Whatever tragedies Schumann experienced later, this piece is a marker of a happier time, though it reminded Schumann of "dark days." We'll talk all about it this week on Sticky Notes! Recommended recordings: Leonard Bernstein, New York Philharmonic, George Szell, Cleveland Orchestra

Aug 08, 2019
Mendelssohn Symphony No. 3, "Scottish"
57:58

From the ruins of the Holyrood Chapel in Scotland, Mendelssohn found his inspiration for an epic symphony. This week, we'll explore this beautiful piece, discussing its genesis, Mendelssohn's journey through Scotland, and the unusual structure of the work. We'll also spend a lot of time discussing interpretation, comparing two recordings of the symphony which often portray two diametrically opposed characters. In case you ever thought interpretation doesn't matter, this is the episode to change your mind!

Aug 01, 2019
Barber Adagio for Strings
35:24

This week we explore one of the most popular, and most misunderstood, pieces of the 20th century. Barber's Adagio has been called "The Saddest Music Ever Written," and yet sadness was never Barber's intention in writing the piece. It also might surprise you to find out that the Barber Adagio was originally a part of a 3 movement string quartet. We'll talk about all of these contradictions while trying to understand just what makes this piece so moving, powerful, and profound.

Jul 25, 2019
How to Understand (and enjoy!) Atonal Music
54:25

Since its first appearances in the early 1900s, atonal music has been one of the most polarizing topics in the classical music world. Some people believed that atonal music was the only way forward, while some thought that it would ruin music for good. Today, we're going to explore the roots of atonal music and then look at the 12 tone period and the brilliant music of Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern. If you're not a fan of atonal music, give it a chance this week. Let's open our ears and dive in together!

Jul 18, 2019
Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1
01:00:50

In 1857, Brahms wrote to his friend Joseph Joachim about his first Piano Concerto, saying, “ “I have no judgment about this piece anymore, nor any control over it.” The piece is one that probably has more emotional backstory than any other of Brahms' works. It emerged out of Brahms' complicated friendship with Robert and Clara Schumann, and out of the massive expectations that had been placed upon him. We'll talk all about this massive work, Brahms' youth, and much, much more! Thanks for listening!

Jul 11, 2019
Bruckner Symphony No. 7
58:38

On this week's Patreon-sponsored episode, we explore the 7th symphony of Anton Bruckner, who has not come up at all in over 100 episodes of the show! We'll talk all about how Bruckner's devotion to his faith and to Wagner pervades this beautiful symphony, and Bruckner's singular style of orchestration. Very few composers would have their lives changed by hearing an opera and then decide to write 9 epic symphonies, but Bruckner was certainly one of those composers! Come explore this masterpiece with us!

Jul 04, 2019
Sticky Notes Mailbag!
01:02:06

At long last, it's the Sticky Notes mailbag!  I'm joined by a special guest to answer around 20 questions such as, "What is the best way to learn how to compose?" or "Is there a simple explanation in classical music itself for this love that I feel which makes me miss a beat when I listen to it and that can reduce me to tears?" I'll also be answering questions about conducting, programming, musical theory, and much more. I had such a great time doing this, and I hope you enjoy it!

Jun 27, 2019
Beethoven String Quartet, Op. 132 (Part 2)
44:37

This week we're diving into one of the great movements ever written in Western Music with the slow movement of Beethoven's Op. 132 quartet. This is a movement that explores Beethoven's contradictory religious beliefs, his core optimism despite all that happened to him during his life, and his fascination with religious music. We'll then look at how Beethoven concludes this epic piece, using sketches of music that started out as being part of his 9th symphony, but not in the way you might expect. Enjoy!

Jun 13, 2019
Beethoven String Quartet, Op. 132 (Part 1)
45:01

I’ve long hesitated to write a show about any of Beethoven’s late string quartets.  These are pieces that quartets spend the better part of their careers grappling with, struggling with, failing with, and much more rarely, succeeding with.  They are some of the most extraordinary pieces of art ever conceived of.  5 quartets, Opus 127, Opus 130, Opus 131, Opus 132, and Opus 135 - all written near or at the end of Beethoven’s life, these pieces represent the pinnacle of everything Beethoven achieved, yes, even far beyond his symphonies in this conductors opinion.  They explore not only every conceivable emotion, but they dig down into the core of those emotions, defiantly refusing to skim the surface and daring to ask and THEN ANSWER the fundamental questions of life and death.  Everyone has a favorite Late Beethoven Quartet, but mine has always been Opus 132, and so this week I’m taking the opportunity of getting a Patreon sponsor request from Maria for a piece of chamber music to take the leap myself into Late Beethoven.  We’ll discuss Beethoven’s situation as he recovered from a life-threatening illness which he was sure was going to be his end, the unusual 5 movement structure of the piece, and this week, the first two movements of the quartet, the first of which, to me, defines everything that Sonata Form can do to express emotion and a narrative in a piece of absolute music.

Jun 06, 2019
10 MORE Pieces You've Never Heard, But Have To Listen To!
01:00:03

This week, we're going back on a musical archeological expedition and discovering 10 more under-appreciated, underrated, and under-played works of the past and present. We'll look at composers like Janacek, Martinu, Kapralova, Beach, and Bonds among others, and explore both why these pieces disappeared from the stage, and why we need to bring them back. These are some of my favorite shows to research, write, and record, so please join me on this expedition of rediscovery.

May 30, 2019
Mozart Symphony No. 41, "Jupiter"
45:51

Why explore two Mozart symphonies in the span of one month? Well, both the Prague and Jupiter symphonies show us different sides of Mozart's genius, and so this week we'll look at the Jupiter symphony in the context of Mozart's obsession with thematic cohesion and his borrowing from the music of other composers. In fact, the Haydn family might have a case for royalties after you explore the last movement of the symphony! This piece is one of the pinnacles of Western Classical Music, so don't miss it!

May 23, 2019
Forces of War Unleashed: Shostakovich String Quartet No. 3
53:16

This week we explore one of the great string quartets of the 20th century. It is a piece that was written in the wake of World War II, and reflects the turmoil and uncertainty of a composer asking the deepest questions about war, life and death, and the future. We'll talk about the titles Shostakovich added to each movement of the quartet and whether they help or hinder the listener in understanding the music, and we'll also compare the quartet to its orchestral arrangement by Rudolf Barshai.

May 16, 2019
American Maverick: The Music of Charles Ives
40:40

Charles Ives was one of the most innovative, dynamic, creative, and underrated American composers. Described as half Huck Finn, half Thomas Jefferson, Ives tackled a dizzying array of styles in his music, from avant-garde music 50 years ahead of its time, to joyous explorations of American folk music, and much more. This week we'll give you a little tour of some of Ives' most representative works, from his Second Symphony, to the Concord Sonata. Take a giant leap into Ives' music - you won't regret it!

May 09, 2019
Mozart Symphony No. 38, "Prague"
50:53

This week we explore one of Mozart's greatest symphonies, the Prague. This symphony, written possibly as a gift for the city that adored him so much, is one of Mozart's most ambitious pieces, with a massive first movement that rivals Beethoven's Eroica in length. The piece is full of exactly what makes Mozart's music so inventive, heartbreaking, and beautiful. We'll talk all about Mozart's life in Prague, the games Mozart plays with his audience, and the allusions to Prague that make this piece such a gift.

May 02, 2019
Season 5 Premiere - Mendelssohn's "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
53:02

Welcome to Season 5 of Sticky Notes! This week, we look at Mendelssohn's famous overture, and his slightly less famous incidental music to Shakespeare's beloved play. We'll explore the remarkably precocious overture, written when Mendelssohn was just 17, and the incidental music written 17 years later, full of invention, creativity, and cohesion with the Overture. We'll also talk about how the music works with and around the play, and how Mendelssohn might just have written the first ever soundtrack!

Apr 25, 2019
Sibelius Symphony No. 2 (Re-Broadcast)
57:40

One week until Season 5 of Sticky Notes! This week, we look t one of the most popular 20th century symphonies. From the moment of its premiere, this piece was given a revolutionary narrative by Finnish Nationalists looking to throw off the yoke of Russian oppression. We explore how the music supports or undermines that narrative. We also take a deep dive into the incredible thematic and motivic development that dominates this piece, making it one of the most cohesive 40 minutes of music ever devised.

Apr 18, 2019
Mendelssohn Symphony No. 4, "Italian"
47:05

We're two weeks away from Season 5 of Sticky Notes! This week, we look back at Mendelssohn's most popular symphony, the Italian! We discuss Mendelssohn's love of nature, the the remarkable independence and variety that Mendelssohn achieves within a tightly knit German Romantic era symphony. This symphony is like flipping through a photo album of Mendelssohn's Grand Tour of Italy, and we explore how he was able to create such a distinct picture in each movement. Thanks for listening!

Apr 11, 2019
Copland: Appalachian Spring (Re-broadcast)
46:40

This week we take a look back at a favorite episode of mine exploring the piece that practically invented the Americana style of classical music. We'll take apart this wonderful work and compare its chamber version for 13 instruments along with the full orchestral version. We'll also hear amazing archival footage of Copland himself rehearsing the piece with a small ensemble, working diligently to find that elusive "American" sound. Enjoy the Simple Gifts of Copland's Appalachian Spring!

Apr 04, 2019
Dvorak's "New World" Symphony (Re-Broadcast)
59:11

We're taking a look back this week at Dvorak's beloved New World Symphony. This is a piece that has been popular since its very first performance, but its origins are widely debated. Is this music based on Native American, or African-American music? Or is it simply an expression of Dvorak's nostalgia for his Bohemian homeland? The answer, as you'll see, is a bit complicated. But wherever this music comes from, it remains some of the most stirring, emotionally satisfying, and beautiful pieces ever written.

Mar 28, 2019
Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue (Re-Broadcast)
41:42

Very few pieces of classical music are as iconic as George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, so this week we're taking a look back at one of my favorite episodes, all about this wonderful piece.  We'll talk about the amazing circumstances of the piece's premier, the difficulties of crossing the bridge between jazz and classical music, and of course, the music itself.  Is this classical music?  Or is it jazz?  Gershwin finds his own answers to that question in one of the most enjoyable pieces in all of classical music.  

Mar 22, 2019
Mahler Symphony No. 9 (Part IV + Season 4 Finale)
42:44

It's the Season 4 Finale and we're going out with a bang with the Finale of Mahler's 9th Symphony. This is one of Mahler's most unusual and passionate creations, a 25 minute slow movement that embraces church hymns as well as some of the most barren and expressionless music he ever wrote. We'll talk about these hymns and where Mahler might have gotten them, his embrace of Eastern philosophy at the end of his life, and much more. The show will be back in a month or two with all new episodes for Season 5!

Mar 14, 2019
Mahler Symphony No. 9 (Part III)
31:47

Mahler was the Artistic Director of the Vienna Court Opera from 1897-1907. During his tenure, he instituted reforms, raised playing levels, and introduced new operas to the audience. Despite grudging admiration from all corners, he was reviled for his bull in a china shop attitude. Openly anti-semitic critics attempted to force him out. The 3rd movement could be seen as Mahler's response to all of this turmoil and struggle. We'll talk all about the bitterness, sarcasm, and rage behind this short movement.

Mar 07, 2019
Mahler Symphony No. 9 (Part II)
39:50

When I started writing the show this week, I realized there’s so much to get into that each movement really does deserve to have its own special show, so this week we're focusing on the second movement of Mahler 9. There are a few ways to hear this movement: as the idealization of a genuine country dance, as a pure satire of country life that Mahler was forsaking forever, or as a combination of the two. This is a remarkably sophisticated movement hiding beneath a veneer of banality. Thanks for listening!

Feb 28, 2019
Mahler Symphony No. 9 (Part 1)
52:55

Mahler never said that his 9th symphony was a response to the death of his daughter Maria, and never hinted at the programmatic aspects behind the symphony, Mahler's 9th has become indelibly associated with saying goodbye, to Maria, to the world, to life itself. With Maria's death, and the diagnosis of his own fatal illness, he became consumed with the idea of death, the afterlife, and the two poles of acceptance and rage. Part I this week takes a look at the monumental and heartbreaking first movement.

Feb 14, 2019
Leadership in Music w/ Benjamin Zander
54:54

Benjamin Zander is a Renaissance man - he is a brilliant conductor and musician and also is a highly sought after speaker, lecturer, and teacher - his TED Talk on Leadership and the power of music has been viewed over 3.5 million times. We talked about so many things on the show, from music, to life, to how leaders affect everything they do, and can both embrace their roles as leaders and smash hierarchies at the same time. I hope you find this conversation as inspiring and thought-provoking as I did!

Feb 07, 2019
Dvorak Cello Concerto
49:59

On this week's Patreon-sponsored episode, we're looking at Dvorak's beloved cello concerto. We're remarkably lucky to even have this piece, as Dvorak was initially opposed to the idea of writing a cello concerto at all! But once he finished it, none other than Brahms claimed that if he had known that a cello concerto could be written like this, he would have written one himself. We'll talk about the sometimes tragic history behind the concerto, and of course, the music itself. Thanks for listening!

Jan 31, 2019
How to Build an Orchestra w/Joshua Roman (Episode 100!)
51:04

To mark the 100th episode of Sticky Notes(!), I was thrilled to be joined by Joshua Roman, cellist, composer, and curator. The core of our discussion centers on building an orchestra from the ground up. That is, not taking over an existing orchestra, but starting one completely from scratch. How would this look in 2019? Joshua has been thinking about this for years so it was fascinating to hear him discuss this and many other topics. Thanks again for all of our support and here's to another 100 episodes!

Jan 25, 2019
5 Tales of Woe: Romeo and Juliet in Classical Music
53:34

There are very few works of art that have had such a profound influence on classical composers than Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. This week on Sticky Notes we take a look at 5 different settings of the play by Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Berlioz, Gounod, and Bernstein. Its no accident that I chose an overture, a ballet, a symphony, an opera, and a musical; it shows the astonishing variety of approaches to the play, and its flexibility in fitting almost every form classical music takes. Thanks for listening!

Jan 17, 2019
Schubert Symphony No. 9, "The Great"
54:54

This week we dive into one of the great Early Romantic symphonies, Schubert's 9th.  Mysteries have shrouded this symphony ever since it was heard for the first time, long after Schubert's death.  Despite, or because of, its radical simplicity and "heavenly length," this symphony remains controversial to this day, with some people worshipping Schubert's unsurpassed melodic gift, and others turning up their noses at a feeling of monotony and repetitiveness. Whichever side you're on, I hope you enjoy the show!

Jan 10, 2019
Bach Cello Suites
48:51

We're kicking off 2019 with a bang with an exploration of the Bach Cello Suites. These pieces represent the apex of the path of every cellist. We'll go through the history of the Suites, including their disappearance, rediscovery, and now ubiquity. We'll then look at one movement from each of the Suites, comparing the wildly different approaches that cellists have taken since the first recordings appeared in 1939. You'll also learn what HIP means in the context of classical music! Thanks for listening!

Jan 03, 2019
Beethoven Symphony No. 5 (Re-broadcast)
01:02:21

Ring in the New Year with a look back at one of the most famous pieces of music ever written, Beethoven's 5th symphony!  This symphony shattered conventions and built new ones that have endured in music until this very day. We'll take a look at how Beethoven built this revolutionary symphony, and how he both borrowed from his predecessors and moved away from them. We'll also explore the cultural, philosophical, and political connotations of this monumental piece. Happy New Year from Sticky Notes!

Dec 27, 2018
Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker
40:01

What is there to say about this ubiquitous Holiday classic?  Quite a lot, actually!  This week's show will delve into the complicated process that brought the ballet to life, the not so successful premiere, and the brilliant and characteristic music that has made it such an enduring classic.  This episode is meant not only for adults, but also for parents to listen to with their children, nieces and nephews, cousins, etc!  Happy Holidays from Sticky Notes and see you next year!  

Dec 20, 2018
Mahler Symphony No. 5 (Parts 2 and 3)
46:26

This week we finish our two week look at Mahler's monumental 5th symphony. We'll explore Part II, a massive 17 minute scherzo that is as complicated to understand as it is difficult to play and conduct. Then, of course, there is the Adagietto, the most famous of all Mahler movements. We'll talk about the all important tempo of the movement, which informs so much of about we understand its meaning. To finish things up, we'll talk about Mahler's both highly traditional and deeply unusual 5th movement.

Dec 13, 2018
Mahler Symphony No. 5 (Part 1)
54:40

This week, we take a deep dive into part 1 of Mahler's monumental 5th symphony. Looking at the first two movements of the piece, we talk about Mahler's unusual idea of symphonic structure, his brilliant orchestration, and the unfiltered emotional impact that makes listening to Mahler symphonies so overwhelming. We'll also talk about Mahler's embrace of the past, present, and the future in his music - a wholly unique combination that makes Mahler like no other composer. Thanks for listening!

Dec 06, 2018
Baroque Music in 60 Minutes
58:50

Continuing a now 4 part series, this week we take a deep look at the Baroque Era, featuring composers like Bach, Handel, Couperin, Vivaldi, Purcell, Monteverdi, Biber, and more.  What made the Baroque Era distinct from the Renaissance?  A lot! We'll take a look at all of the innovations of the baroque, from tonality, the expansion of the orchestra, the emergence of true national styles, and the biggest key of the Baroque era, a focus on text and on meaning that distinguished it from the Renaissance. Thanks!

Nov 29, 2018
Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue"
41:42

Very few pieces of American classical music are as iconic as Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, which makes it the perfect piece to dive into to accompany your Thanksgiving travel! We'll talk about the amazing circumstances of the piece's premiere, the criticism of it, the difficulty of crossing the bridge between jazz and classical music, and of course, the piece itself with its unforgettable tunes and unorthodox structure. Is this classical music? Or is it jazz? Find out this week! Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 21, 2018
Mussorgsky, "Pictures at an Exhibition"
50:48

Have you ever been to an art museum and wanted to have music to accompany your experience? Well, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition is the piece for you. Inspired by the art of his late friend Victor Hartmann, Mussorgsky composed a series of 10 miniature piano pieces full of character, excitement, and pathos. Perhaps the most fascinating thing about the piece is its arrangements, especially by Maurice Ravel. We'll go through the piece picture by picture, exploring this wonderful double work of art!

Nov 15, 2018
"Shout, shout, up with your song": 12 Pieces of Political Classical Music
55:22

Just in time for Election Day in the US, this week we explore 12 pieces of Political Classical Music! All throughout history, composers have expressed their feelings about the issues of the day through their music, from Haydn and Mozart discussing class, to Verdi and Sibelius' Nationalism, to Shostakovich, Penderecki, and Rsewski's anti-war and fascism messages. We also discuss music like Weill's Seven Deadly Sins, and the deeply controversial John Adams opera, The Death of Klinghoffer. Happy voting!

Nov 05, 2018
Stravinsky Rite of Spring: Part 2, The Sacrifice
45:33

This week, on Part 2 of our exploration of the most important piece of the 20th century, we'll go through the narrative section of the Rite of Spring, beginning with the introduction and taking us to the sacrifice of the young girl and the beginning of spring. There is no piece of Western Classical Music that was more influential to 20th and 21st century music than this one, and during the show we'll explore all the reasons why, as well as looking in detail at this mind-blowingly revolutionary score.

Nov 01, 2018
Stravinsky Rite of Spring: Part 1, The Adoration of the Earth
45:43

Today we start a two week exploration of Stravinsky's earthshakingly revolutionary Rite of Spring. Focusing on Part 1, we'll talk about the cast of characters involved in the ballet: Diaghilev, Nijinsky, Roerich, Monteux, and of course Stravinsky. These 5 men were part of a performance that quite literally changed the musical world. We'll also talk about the famous riot that made the opening night a sensation, the hidden folk music influence on Stravinsky, and Stravinsky's remarkable rhythmic invention.

Oct 25, 2018
What Does a Conductor Really Do?
47:53

People are often fascinated when I tell them what I do for a living. Sometimes they do a little imitation of a band director they had back in school, or talk about a great conductor they saw, or once in a while, they ask me what train company I work for. But when it comes down to it, I always seem to get some kind of variation on the same theme: "what does a conductor really do?” This week is all about answering this question - from the basic level, to the 30,000 feet level, all the way to the cosmic.

Oct 18, 2018
A Postcard from Italy: Mendelssohn Symphony No. 4
47:05

This week we take a trip to Italy, exploring Mendelssohn's most popular symphony. We discuss Mendelssohn's love of nature, and the remarkable independence and variety that Mendelssohn achieves within a tightly knit German Romantic era symphony. This symphony is like flipping through a photo album of Mendelssohn's Grand Tour of Italy, so we explore how he was able to create such a distinct picture in each movement, while also discussing the extensive revisions that Mendelssohn attempted on the symphony.

Oct 11, 2018
Renaissance Music in 60 Minutes
57:27

This week we continue our series of exploring each period of Western classical music in 60 minutes with a look at Renaissance Music! We'll talk about polyphony, the Protestant Reformation, Gesualdo, the printing press, music suddenly acquiring a national identity, the development of instruments including the infamous sackbut, and much more. The Renaissance era historically gets a lot of (printing) press, but by comparison the music of the Renaissance is often passed over. Let's start changing that today.

Oct 04, 2018
Simple Gifts: Copland's "Appalachian Spring"
46:40

This week we explore one of the great works of the 20th century, Copland's ballet Appalachian Spring. This is a piece that practically invented the Americana style. We'll take apart the Suite that Copland extracted from the complete ballet, looking at the differences between the 13 instrument and the orchestral version of the piece. We'll also hear amazing archival footage of Copland rehearsing the piece with a group of musicians, where we hear Copland working to achieve that elusive "American" sound.

Sep 27, 2018
Sibelius Symphony No. 2 - "A Confession of the Soul"
57:40

This week we take a look at one of the most popular 20th century symphonies, Sibelius' glorious second symphony.  From the moment of its premiere, this piece was given a revolutionary narrative by Finnish Nationalists looking to throw off the yoke of Russian oppression.  We take a look at this story and explore how the music supports or undermines that narrative.  We also take a deep dive into the incredible thematic and motivic development that dominates this piece, making it one of the most cohesive 40 minutes of music ever devised.  This is one of my absolute favorite symphonies and one of my favorite shows I've done - hope you enjoy it! 

Sep 19, 2018
Mozart's "Cosi Fan Tutte" - Part 2
01:01:08

This week we continue our exploration of Mozart's great masterpiece, "Cosi Fan Tutte," or "They're All Like That." We'll talk all about social mores of the time, why the two men are so persistent in their pursuit of the two sisters, the mounting hilarity and absurdity of the text, but more importantly perhaps, about the sublime music that Mozart writes to go along with these shenanigans.  How does Mozart give us empathy for such unsympathetic characters?  How does he keep us interested in the dramatic narrative?  And what does the Englightenment have to do with all of this?  Thanks for listening!  

Sep 13, 2018
Introduction to Opera + Mozart "Cosi Fan Tutte" Part 1
01:06:13

For the first time, Sticky Notes tackles opera!  This week, we'll take you through a brief history of the development of Opera up through the time of Mozart, featuring the music of Peri, Monteverdi, Cavalli, and more.  Then we begin a two part exploration of one of the greatest masterpieces of the opera world, Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte.  This opera pairs some of the most sublime music Mozart ever composed with a thoroughly absurd(and sometimes problematic) plot and text by Lorenzo Da Ponte.  We'll go all the way up through Act I this week and stay tuned for Act II next week!  

Sep 06, 2018
Season 4 Premiere - Dvorak Symphony No. 9 "From the New World"
59:11

Dvorak came to the USA in December of 1892.  Three years later, he returned to Bohemia.  In the meantime, he wrote three of his most popular pieces and three of the most popular pieces in all of classical music, the American String Quartet, the Cello Concerto, and the topic for today, his New world Symphony.  Season 4 of Sticky Notes begins with a look at this incredible symphony, a fusion of the work of both a fully European composer and of a man who had fallen in love with music he had never heard before, but would never forget.  We’ll explore all of this and more - thanks for listening!

Aug 30, 2018
The Big Bang of Classical Music: The Medieval Era
58:29

Only one more week until the premiere of Season 4!  In the meantime, take one more look back at a favorite episode of mine, Medieval Music in 60 Minutes.  We'll explore some of the first ever composers that we have records of, and take a deep dive into topics such as the Ethiopian Saint Yared, Gregorian Chant, Polyphony, Musical Notation, Troubadors, and more.  If you ever wondered how classical music got its start, this is the episode to listen to!  Thanks and see you next week! 

Aug 23, 2018
"The Most Perfect of Swiss Watchmakers" - the music of Maurice Ravel (Rebroadcast)
57:58

This week, we're taking a look back at the premiere of Season 3, exploring 4 of the greatest pieces of the French master, Maurice Ravel. Through the Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, Valses Nobles et Sentimentales, Tombeau de Couperin, and of course, Bolero, we dive into the incredibly unique and wonderful style of Ravel. There's no other composer that sounds like Ravel - his unmatched orchestration, charming naïveté, and deeply buried sensuality make him one of the most remarkable composers to explore.

Aug 16, 2018
Film Composers from Bernard Herrmann to John Williams (Re-broadcast)
43:45

This week on Sticky Notes we dive into Film Music!  For almost 100 years, filmgoers have been captivated by the music of composers like John Williams, Bernard Herrmann, Erich Korngold, Dmitri Shostakovich, Max Steiner, Charlie Chaplin, and more.  On this week's episode, we'll find out why.  We will also talk about the beginnings of film music, and the difficult question of whether film music fits into(or doesn't fit into) the classical canon.  Thanks for listening, and I hope you enjoy it!  

Aug 09, 2018
The Music of Joseph Haydn (Re-broadcast)
53:01

We all need some humor in our life, and even though classical music is often thought of as a very serious art form, that is not always the case! In fact, there is no shortage of jokes, witticisms, and hilarity in the music of Joseph Haydn. Haydn was not only a jokester, but he was also one of the most influential composers in history, mentoring both Mozart and Beethoven. We explore this multi-faceted composer, from his hilarious musical jokes, to his more serious, and even experimental music.

Aug 02, 2018
Mozart Symphony No. 40 (Re-broadcast)
54:12

On this previously released edition of Sticky Notes, we dive into one of the most famous pieces of music ever written, Mozart's dramatic and stormy 40th symphony in G Minor.  Mozart 40 is not just a ringtone!  It's a powerful, urgent, and innovative work, but we know very little about why Mozart wrote it or what it means.  We explore all of that, and, of course, take an in-depth look at this incredible masterpiece. 

Jul 26, 2018
Beethoven Symphony No. 5
01:02:21

This week, a deep dive into the grand-daddy of them all, Beethoven's 5th Symphony. Simply put, the world of music was never the same after this symphony, which simultaneously shattered conventions and built new ones that have endured in music until this very day. We'll take a look at how Beethoven built this revolutionary symphony, and how he both borrowed from his predecessors and moved away from them. We'll also explore the cultural, philosophical, and political connotations of this monumental piece.

Jul 19, 2018
Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2
01:00:44

A Patreon-sponsored episode this week, looking at Brahms' 2nd Piano Concerto.  We'll be taking a look at the piece with a wide lens, finding similarities and differences between other works of Brahms, like his first Piano Concerto, and his symphonies and chamber music. Of course, we'll also go all the way through this incredible piece, which distills everything that makes Brahms BRAHMS in just 50 minutes of music, from continuous development, to gorgeous melodic lines, to Hungarian music, and much more.  Thanks for listening!  

Jul 12, 2018
Prokofiev Symphony No. 5: "A Hymn to Free and Happy Man"
01:03:20

This week we look at Prokofiev's epic 5th symphony, written at the height of World War II. We'll discuss Prokofiev's unique brand of traditionalism and innovation, and the deep contradictions within his music between lyricism and violence, heat and ice, and optimism and cynicism. We'll also talk about Prokofiev's difficult personality and how this may have influenced his music. Prokofiev's 5th is one of the most thrilling and exciting pieces of classical music ever written - let's explore it together!  

Jul 05, 2018
10 Pieces You've Never Heard Of, But HAVE To Listen To!
01:04:07

This week on Sticky Notes we're going on an archeological expedition, digging up 10 rarely(if ever) heard pieces which we've all been missing out on.  This list covers rare pieces from composers as popular as Gershwin, Shostakovich, and Ravel, but also much less well-known composers like Milosz Magin, Teresa Carreno, and Anton Arensky.  We'll go over each one of these pieces, putting them into context with the famous music that was being written at the time.  You will also get to hear Ethel Smyth describe her experiences meeting Brahms, something you don't want to miss!  Thanks for listening!  

Jun 28, 2018
Sibelius Symphony No. 5: "The Mysticism of Nature, and the Agony of Life"
01:06:59

This week on Sticky Notes, we're taking a deep dive into Sibelius' 5th Symphony: "I drank of the cup of the spring beginning, full of air, haze, and mist. Today, I have melodies like GOD. At 10 to 11 this morning I saw 16 swans, one of the greatest experiences of my life. Their cries are like woodwinds, like cranes. A low refrain, resembling the cry of a small child, the mysticism of nature, and the agony of life." We'll discuss both the original and final versions of this 20th century masterpiece!

Jun 21, 2018
The Life and Music of George Gershwin (Re-broadcast)
42:59

This week we revisit one of my favorite episodes from Season 2, all about the life and music of the great American composer, George Gershwin!  We'll explore his childhood growing up in New York, Tin Pan Alley, and whether Gershwin was a Jazz or Classical composer.  We'll also take a closer look at three of his most well-known pieces, his Rhapsody in Blue, Concerto in F, and his controversial opera, Porgy and Bess.  Next week, we'll be back with an exploration of Sibelius' 5th Symphony, so don't miss it!  Thanks so much for listening!  

Jun 14, 2018
Claudio Monteverdi: Vespers
47:28

This week we're looking at one of the masterpieces of the Renaissance/Baroque period, Monteverdi's Vespers!  We'll explore the historical context behind the piece, Monteverdi's life story, and the debates over what music should be that rocked the late 1500's and early 1600's.  And then of course, we'll do a full analysis of the Vespers, from its ecstatic opening to its glorious ending.  This episode was sponsored by Errol using Patreon.  If you would like to have a piece of your choice analyzed on the show, just head over to patreon.com/stickynotespodcast.  Thanks!  

Jun 07, 2018
Elgar Cello Concerto
53:32

This week, we explore one of the pillars of the cello repertoire, the melancholic and profoundly emotional Elgar Cello Concerto.  We'll take a look at its unusual and symphonic structure, its balancing of modernism and conservatism, its incredible outpouring of emotion, and the association of the concerto with just one single voice, that of the great cellist Jacqueline Du Pre.  We will also discuss the connection of the concerto to World War I, a conflict that Elgar was horrified by, and certainly influenced his concerto.  

May 31, 2018
Sticky Notes vs. Wagner (w/ special guest Rafael Payare)
59:21

This week, we're honoring the birthday of the legendary composer Richard Wagner by talking about why I don't like his music very much!  I welcome in the great conductor Rafael Payare(who loves Wagner) to discuss the issues with Wagner's music, from its length, scope, and visceral quality, to its troubling associations with anti-Semitism and Nationalist movements.  Whether you worship Wagner's music or can't stand it, this show is the one for you.  Perhaps one of us will even change your mind!  Thanks for listening!   

May 24, 2018
Florence Price: Symphony in E Minor
58:44

This week, we take a look at one of the most remarkable figures of the 20th century, and someone you've probably never heard of: Florence Price, the first African American woman to have a piece performed by a major symphonic orchestra.  We'll be discussing that piece, the Symphony in E Minor, and also a lot more, including Price's life story, the music of Dvorak, and the source material that inspired both of these composers.  This is one of my favorite episodes in the history of the show, so check it out! 

May 17, 2018
Shostakovich Symphony No. 11, "The Year 1905"
01:04:38

This week on Sticky Notes, we explore Shostakovich's most cinematic and controversial symphony, based on the failed Russian Revolution of 1905.  Or so we think.  Its also possible that the piece is based on the failed Hungarian Revolution of 1956.  We'll explore all the theories behind that as well as the incredible music, based largely on Russian Revolutionary Songs, portraying the frozen silence of the Palace Square in St. Petersburg, the brutal massacre of the protestors, their grief, and then finally, their rage.  

May 10, 2018
I Love the Four Seasons, and Other Confessions
01:03:44

The Four Seasons, Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony, Rachmaninoff's 2nd Piano Concerto, West Side Story, Beethoven's 9th - all pieces that are guaranteed crowd pleasers.  They solve budgetary problems, they fill the hall, and they make people happy.  So why then do a lot of musicians, critics, and some other audience members dislike them so much?  This week on Sticky Notes, we'll explore these crowd pleasers: what makes them great pieces?  Why do audiences like them so much?  Why do musicians not like them?  And why do critics and other audience members look down their noses at them?  A fascinating and light-hearted episode of Sticky Notes this week - thanks for listening!   

May 03, 2018
Beethoven Symphony No. 9 (Part 2)
01:11:34

This week on Sticky Notes, we're exploring the 3rd and 4th movements of Beethoven's monumental 9th symphony. First, we'll talk about the heartfelt chorale and variations of the third movement. Then we'll go moment by moment through the well-loved but highly controversial last movement, both talking about the unusual structure of the movement and the music in the context of Beethoven's highly personal religious and political views. (31:15) What does the Ode to Joy mean today and what was Beethoven trying to tell us? Thanks for listening!

Apr 26, 2018
Beethoven Symphony No. 9 (Part 1)
58:22

This week on Sticky Notes, we explore perhaps the most popular piece of Western Classical Music ever written, Beethoven's monumental 9th Symphony.  In fact, its so monumental that for the second time on Sticky Notes, I had to split this episode into 2 parts, with the first two movements this week, and the last two next week.  The first movement is, in my mind, the greatest symphonic movement ever written, and we will take it apart, exploring Beethoven's ability to make something incredible out of absolutely nothing.  In the second movement, Beethoven breaks rules of his own making in a massive scherzo movement that, as everything Beethoven did, would change how every piece of music was written after it was first heard.  Let's dive into one of the pillars of Western Civilization together and thanks for listening!  

Apr 19, 2018
Sibelius Violin Concerto
52:09

On this week's Patreon-sponsored episode of Sticky Notes, we're exploring the amazing Sibelius Violin Concerto. To me, Sibelius' violin concerto is the greatest of all the violin concerti, but sometimes his music is considered enigmatic and confusing.  So this week, we'll explore whether Sibelius' music is Finnish or not, his innovations with structure and melody, compare recordings of wildly different interpretations of the piece, and try to unlock the key to the profoundly moving music of this 20th century master.  Thanks so much for listening!  

Apr 12, 2018
Medieval Music in 60 Minutes
58:29

Ever wanted to know the roots of all of the wonderful Western Classical Music we hear today? How musical notation developed? How rhythm developed? Well, today is the day you'll find out, because this week on Sticky Notes, it's Medieval Music in 60 Minutes! We'll talk about Gregorian Chant, Polyphony, Troubadours, and much much more, while of course, listening to a lot of intoxicating music that takes us back to a different era.  Thanks for listening!  

Apr 05, 2018
Haydn Fools' Day!
53:01

In honor of April Fools' Day, we're taking a look at the music of the underrated jokester, Joseph Haydn!  Haydn's music is sometimes thought of as just light entertainment, but it is truly some of the greatest music ever written.  We'll talk this week about humor in music, how it works, and how Haydn synthesized humor, seriousness, and craft in his voluminous body of work.  Plus, lots of laughs this week as we take a round through some of Haydn's best musical jokes.  Thanks for listening and happy April Fools' Day!

 

 

Mar 29, 2018
Stravinsky: The Firebird
54:09

This week on Sticky Notes we take a deep dive into Stravinsky's breakthrough ballet, the Firebird!  We'll explore the original ballet, all three of the Suites from the ballet, and the fantastical myth behind the story of the ballet, featuring a character I like to call the Russian Voldemort and the Firebird herself.  This is one of the greatest pieces of the 20th century, so let's explore it together!  Thanks for listening!  

Mar 22, 2018
Eternal Silence: The Music of Arvo Part
39:15

On this Patreon-sponsored episode of Sticky Notes, we take a deep dive into the music of the great Estonian composer Arvo Part.  Part is a singular figure in the world of contemporary music as a living composer beloved by both audiences and musicians.   During the episode, we'll chart the course of Part's musical life, which features his incredible transition from avant garde serialism to a wholly new style of composing, called Tintinnabuli.  We'll also explore the relationship between tonality, accessibility, intellectualism, and modernity as it relates to Part's music and the avant-garde which he rejected so forcefully.  Thanks so much for listening!  

Mar 15, 2018
Michael Jordan, Jascha Heifetz, and the Brahms Sound (with Soovin Kim and Donald Weilerstein)
01:02:02

This week I have TWO co-hosts on Sticky Notes as Donald Weilerstein(my dad, and one of the most sought after violin teachers in the world) and Soovin Kim(a wonderful violinist and sought after teacher) sit down with me to listen to great recordings of violinists of the past, such as Jascha Heifetz, David Oistrakh, Christian Ferras, Joseph Szigeti, and Ginette Neveu.  We talk about what makes them so great, what makes them different from one another, how we can learn from them, all while listening to tons of absolutely wonderful music.  Thanks for listening!  

Mar 08, 2018
Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 (with Jonathan Biss)
01:04:44

This week on Sticky Notes, I get a co-host for the first time!  I'm thrilled to be joined by the amazing pianist Jonathan Biss for an analysis and deep dive into Beethoven's profoundly moving 4th Piano Concerto.  I'll start off on my own giving you a broad outline of the piece, and then Jonathan joins me for a wide-ranging discussion of our favorite moments of the piece, why its so beautiful, performance challenges, and much more.  Jonathan is one of the most insightful and knowledgeable pianists around so don't miss this fascinating episode!  Thanks for listening!  

Mar 01, 2018
Deborah Borda, President of the New York Philharmonic
49:19

Of all the interviews I've done this year on Sticky Notes, this might be my favorite.  I sat down a few weeks ago with Deborah Borda, the new CEO and President of the New York Philharmonic, to talk about the future of not only the New York Philharmonic, but also classical music in general.  We also talked about the connections between the artistic and social imperative of a classical music organization, Gustavo Dudamel, and the importance of listening to our communities.  This was a truly inspiring conversation, so I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

 

Feb 21, 2018
Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann: A Love Story
35:17

Happy Valentine's Day from Sticky Notes!  This week, we tell one of classical music's greatest love stories; the story of Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann.  This complicated, difficult, and loving relationship is one of the most fascinating in history.  We'll explore  the young Brahms and his fervent love for Clara Schumann, the desperate love of Clara for Johannes, and the feverish atmosphere of their first infatuation which took place in the context of Robert Schumann's devastating mental illness.  Thanks so much for listening, and I really hope you enjoy it!  

Feb 14, 2018
Mahler Symphony No. 1 (Part 2)
56:49

This week on Sticky Notes, we dive headlong into PART 2 of one of the boldest statements ever made by a young composer with Gustav Mahler's massive first symphony.  It's so massive that I had to split the show into two parts!  Check out last week's show first if you missed it - this week we take a detailed look at the third and fourth movements of the symphony, along with a look at Mahler's Romanticism and optimism, something that is present more in this symphony than in any of his other pieces.  It's been a joy to immerse myself in Mahler during the last few weeks, and I hope you enjoy it as well.  Thanks for listening!  

Feb 07, 2018
Mahler Symphony No. 1 (Part 1)
45:19

This week on Sticky Notes, we dive headlong into one of the boldest statements ever made by a young composer with Gustav Mahler's massive first symphony.  It's so massive that I had to split the show into two parts!  This week, we talk a lot about Mahler's early life and the early genesis of this masterpiece.  Then we take a detailed look at the first two movements of the symphony and its depictions of nature, silence, creation, joy, fear, and celebration.  Part 2 will come next week, but for now, don't miss this weeks show!  Thanks for listening!  

Jan 31, 2018
Sticky Notes at the Movies: Film Composers
43:45

This week on Sticky Notes we dive into Film Music!  For almost 100 years, filmgoers have been captivated by the music of composers like John Williams, Bernard Herrmann, Erich Korngold, Dmitri Shostakovich, Max Steiner, and Charlie Chaplin.  On this week's episode, we'll find out why.  We will also talk about the beginning's of film music, and the difficult question of where film music fits into(or doesn't fit into) the classical canon.  Thanks for listening, and I hope you enjoy it!  

Jan 24, 2018
Season 3 Premiere: The Music of Maurice Ravel
57:58

In advance of my appearance with the New York Philharmonic this week, conducting an almost all-Ravel program, the premiere of Season 3 of Sticky Notes is devoted to the music of the French master, Maurice Ravel.  We're talking about 4 of his greatest pieces - Bolero, Valses Nobles et Sentimentales, Tombeau de Couperin, and his Piano Concerto for the Left Hand.  We dive into Ravel's brilliant orchestration, his creativity, and the soul beneath the cool and restrained exterior of his music.  Thanks so much for listening, and I hope you enjoy it!  

Jan 17, 2018
Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances(Re-Broadcast)
54:12

Season 3 begins next week on Sticky Notes, but for now, revisit a classic from Season 1 - a deep dive into Rachmaninoff's last work and his greatest orchestral masterpiece, the Symphonic Dances.  This piece is a culmination of all of Rachmaninoff's genius, and is a testament to his orchestration, melodic gift, and ability to combine the sacred and the profane.   We take a look at just about every note of this incredible work, so I hope you enjoy it!

 

 

Jan 10, 2018
Debussy "La Mer" (Re-broadcast)
55:16

Imagine a beautiful painting of the sea.  Now imagine that painting transformed into 23 minutes of whirling, exciting, fantastical, and thrilling music.  That's what you get when you hear Debussy's Masterpiece, La Mer(the sea).  Join conductor and host Joshua Weilerstein as we go through nearly every minute of this amazing piece of music, talking about Debussy's brilliant orchestration and his incredible depictions of the sea itself.  Thanks so much for listening, and I hope you enjoy it!

Jan 04, 2018
How to Change the World with Yo-Yo Ma (Re-broadcast)
40:07

Take a look back at one of the classic episodes of Season 2!  In this full-length interview with Yo-Yo Ma, we talk about how civic engagement and the arts can change the world.  We also talk about his childhood, making decisions with the cello, and so much more.  Thanks so much for listening, and have a great New Year!  

Dec 28, 2017
First Timer's Guide to Classical Music (Rebroadcast)
01:05:52

Have you ever thought, "I like classical music, but I just don't know much about it!"  Have you ever been intimidated by a classical concert? Well, if that sounds like you, then this is the show for you.  I'm answering 21 questions about classical music, from "What is Classical Music?" to "How is a piece of music written?" to "How can I deepen my knowledge of classical music?"  Thanks so much for listening, and have a wonderful holiday!  

Dec 20, 2017
The Music Effect: A Special Holiday Episode for the Whole Family (Season 2 Finale)
43:24

It's the season finale of Sticky Notes!  This week, on this special Holiday episode, we're talking about family!  Specifically, ideas for classical music that you can play for your kids, your grandkids, your nieces, your nephews, your friend's kids, your students, and the list goes on!  Don't worry, none of it is Eine Kleine Nachtmusik!  We'll go through every age group picking out the perfect repertoire, talking strategies for engagement, and listening to some of this wonderful music all designed to create a lasting love of this incredible art.  Listen with your kids, or just listen on your trip home, and arrive armed with ideas!   Have a wonderful Holiday, and we'll see you for Season 3 very soon!    

Dec 13, 2017
42 Years on the New York Phil Front: A Conversation with Glenn Dicterow
45:48

This week on Sticky Notes, I'm really happy to welcome Glenn Dicterow, the former concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic, to the show.  Glenn was a concertmaster for an incredible 42 years, giving him thousands of great stories, memories, insights, and thoughts about leading, conductors, violin-playing, and orchestral life.  Thanks so much for listening, and I hope you enjoy it!  

Dec 07, 2017
Quiet Resistance: Shostakovich's 4th String Quartet
47:23

Join conductor and host Joshua Weilerstein as we return to Shostakovich for a look at his 4th String Quartet, one of his less well-known pieces, but one that is as profound and meaningful as it gets.  We'll explore the historical background of the piece, including Shostakovich's relationship with the Soviet Government and Joseph Stalin.  We'll also explore the Jewish themes of the quartet, as Shostakovich was acutely aware and sympathetic to Jews who were living in the USSR during the terror of 1948-1953.  But of course, the main focus will be the music.  How did Shostakovich write politically resistant music at a time when this was highly dangerous?   What were his secrets that are only being uncovered today, almost 70 years after the piece was written?  

Nov 30, 2017
The Life and Music of George Gershwin
42:59

It's Patreon Sponsor week this Thanksgiving on Sticky Notes!  Thanks to Walter and his generous donation, and in honor of Thanksgiving, today's show will explore the life of the great American composer George Gershwin.  We'll talk about his life growing up in Lower East Side Tenements, his discovery of the piano, and of course, his music, straddling the two spheres of Jazz and Classical music. We'll also take a look at three of his most famous pieces, Rhapsody in Blue, Porgy and Bess, and his Concerto in F.  If you would like to hear about a composer or piece of your choice, just head over to Patreon.com/stickynotespodcast.  Thanks so much for all of your support!  

Nov 21, 2017
Claude Debussy "La Mer"
55:16

Imagine a beautiful painting of the sea, with all of its glory and majesty.  Now imagine that painting transformed into 23 minutes of whirling, exciting, fantastical, and thrilling music.  That's what you get when you hear Debussy's masterpiece, La Mer(the sea).  Join conductor and host Joshua Weilerstein as we go through nearly every minute of this amazing piece of music, talking about Debussy's brilliant orchestration, his use of motivic connections, and his incredible depictions of the sea itself.  Thanks so much for listening, and I hope you enjoy it!  

Nov 15, 2017
The Degenerates: Music Suppressed by the Nazis
01:17:13

Join conductor and host Joshua Weilerstein as we explore 11 composers who were suppressed by the Third Reich.  These are amazing stories of composers who either continued writing throughout the Holocaust until their deaths, or were suppressed or banned by the Nazi regime.  We explore the music of Ullman, Krasa, Schreker, Zemlinsky, Weinberg, Korngold, Weill, and more, learning their stories and hearing some of their amazing and wildly underplayed music.  At the end of the show, I'm thrilled to welcome James Conlon, the music director of the Los Angeles Opera and the founder of the Orel Foundation, a foundation devoted to Suppressed Composers of the Third Reich.  It was an amazing experience getting to know the music of these masters, and I hope you enjoy it!  Thanks for listening!  

Nov 08, 2017
FRANKENSTEIN!! with H.K. Gruber
44:13

A Halloween-themed episode of Sticky Notes today with the incredible composer HK "Nali" Gruber!  Gruber is one of the greatest of 20th and 21st century composers, and we taped this interview just before going on stage and performing one of his masterpieces, Frankenstein!!  We talk a lot about Gruber's background as a tonal composer and his experiences with Boulez and Stockhausen, writing resistance and subersive-themed music in the late 60's and early 70's, and of course, his ingenious, hilarious, and creepy Pandemonium, Frankenstein!!  This was a true joy to record and I hope you enjoy it as well!

Nov 01, 2017
"O Death:" Brahms Symphony No. 4
01:08:01

Join conductor and host Joshua Weilerstein as we take a deep dive into Brahms' massive final symphony.  We'll explore the secret messages possibly encoded into the symphony, the battle between conservatism and progressivism that marked Brahms' whole compositional life, the way Brahms was both a visionary and a traditionalist, and much much more.  Thanks so much for listening!  

Oct 25, 2017
“You get to flex a muscle that would get you put in jail in real life”
39:25

Part 2 of The Week of the Voice is here with the incredible bass-baritone Eric Owens!  As you can imagine, we talk about the joy of getting to play bad guys in opera, his professional-level oboe playing(!!), conducting, the future of classical music, and the art of getting into character.  If you've never heard Eric Owens sing before, you're missing out, but its also a treat to hear him speak on any topic.  Thanks for listening!  

Oct 19, 2017
"Every person in the room with Mahler has their own experience."
47:38

Welcome to the Week of the Voice!  Join conductor and host Joshua Weilerstein, back from a brief illness-inspired hiatus(!), as he welcomes in the amazing Mezzo-Soprano Sasha Cooke for a chat about Mahler, about singing opera versus recitals, preparation, text, traveling, contemporary music, and improv comedy!  This is the first of TWO interviews this week, so please stay tuned for an interview with the incredible bass-baritone Eric Owens, coming out on Thursday!  Thanks for listening!  

Oct 17, 2017
I am Woman, Hear Me More: Stories of Women Composers of the Past
01:00:10

Join conductor and host Joshua Weilerstein as we dive into the incredible stories of 10 female composers of the past, from Clara Schumann and Fanny Mendelssohn, to Dame Ethel Smyth and Rebecca Clarke.  The stories of what these women often had to overcome in order to write the wonderful music that they did is truly remarkable!  We'll talk all about their lives, and of course, their music.  I hope you enjoy it!  

Oct 04, 2017
Episode 32: Elgar "Enigma" Variations
01:00:01

Ever wanted to write music to describe your friends?  Well, the English composer Edward Elgar did just that with his Enigma Variations, one of the most beloved and popular pieces of the Western Classical Repertoire.  Take a deep dive with conductor and host Joshua Weilerstein as we explore all of Elgar's friendships, the brilliant way he describes them, and the famous "Enigma" theme.  By the end of the show, we'll all be friends with Elgar and his merry band.  Thanks for listening!  

Sep 27, 2017
Episode 31: Yo-Yo Ma
39:34

Join conductor and host Joshua Weilerstein as he welcomes the legendary cellist and humanitarian Yo-Yo Ma for a full-length interview!  In the interview, we discuss what it means to be a musical citizen, how to create change through music, why Yo-Yo went down this path, how he discovered so many different styles of music, and much much more.  I really hope you enjoy this interview of such an amazing artist - thanks for listening!  

Sep 20, 2017
Episode 30: Mozart Symphony No. 40
54:12

Join conductor and host Joshua Weilerstein as we dive into one of the most famous pieces of music ever written, Mozart's dramatic and stormy 40th symphony in G minor.  Mozart 40 is not just a ringtone! It's a powerful, urgent, and dramatic work, but we know very little about why Mozart wrote it or what it means.  We explore all of that and of course, take an in-depth look into the incredible structures that Mozart creates with this incredible masterpiece.  Thanks so much for listening and I hope you enjoy it!  

Sep 13, 2017
Episode 29: Users Guide to Classical Music - Season 2 Premiere!
01:05:52

Season 2 of Sticky Notes is here!  For episode one, I just have one question for you: Have you ever thought, "I like classical music, I just don't know much about it!"  Well if that sounds like you, this is the episode for you.  I'm answering 21 questions about classical music, from "What is Classical Music?" to "Why does some classical music sound the same?" to "What classical music is the best for babies?" and much much more.  Thanks so much for listening, and I hope you enjoy it!  

Sep 06, 2017
Episode 28(Season 1 Finale): Beethoven Symphony No. 3, "Eroica" (Rebroadcast)
01:03:47

Join conductor and host Joshua Weilerstein as we end Season 1 with a look back at one of our most popular episodes, a deep dive into Beethoven's monumental 3rd symphony.  We're talking about why the piece was written, Beethoven's life story, and of course, all about the music itself.  Stay tuned for the debut of Season 2, NEXT WEEK!!! 

Aug 31, 2017
Episode 27: Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique(Rebroadcast)
59:27

Join conductor and host Joshua Weilerstein as we take a deep dive into the Ultimate Symphonic Thrill Ride, Berlioz's hallucinogenic Symphonie Fantastique.  We're talking opium habits of the 1830's, Berlioz's passionate love affairs, and of course, all about the music that nearly caused a riot at its first performance.  This is the second to last re-broadcast before the debut of Season 2 in just TWO WEEKS!  Thanks so much for listening!  

Aug 23, 2017
Episode 26: The Art of Interpretation (Rebroadcast)
40:17

This week we're talking about the Art of Interpretation - join conductor and host Joshua Weilerstein as we compare 9 different recordings of Beethoven's 5th Symphony!  Listening to these different renditions of the first movement of the symphony gives us a chance to look at this music through the lens of 9 different conductors and orchestras and it opens our eyes to the interpretive and musical challenges musicians face on a daily basis.  Thanks for listening and I hope you enjoy it!  

Aug 16, 2017
Episode 25: 10 Things to Change About Classical Concerts (Re-broadcast)
01:04:12

Join conductor and host Joshua Weilerstein as he welcomes two of his best friends, the conductors Aram Demirjian(Music Director, Knoxville Symphony) and Matt Szymanski(Founder and Music Director, Phoenix) for a discussion of the controversial article, http://www.baldur.info/blog/10-things-that-we-should-change-in-classical-concerts/ by Baldur Bronnimann.  We cover each point in great detail and have a lot of fun all along the way!  Thanks for listening and I hope you enjoy it!

Aug 09, 2017
Episode 24: History of Classical Music in 60 Minutes (Rebroadcast)
01:06:55

Join conductor and host Joshua Weilerstein as he takes you through each era of classical music(Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Contemporary).  We're going to cover approximately 1170 years of music in 60 minutes, from Hildegard to Bach to Beethoven to Brahms to Tchaikovsky to Stravinsky to Shostakovich to the music of Today!  Thanks for listening and I hope you enjoy it!

Aug 02, 2017
Episode 23: Alisa Weilerstein
46:28

Join conductor and host Joshua Weilerstein as he interviews his sister, the beloved cellist, Alisa Weilerstein!  We're talking growing up in a musical family together, new music, Russian literature, history, and music, reviews, dealing with criticism, traveling, and diabetes advocacy, plus much more.  This was a really fun show as always - I hope you enjoy it!

Jul 26, 2017
Episode 22: Dvorak Symphony No. 6
57:12

Join conductor and host Joshua Weilerstein as we take a deep dive into Dvorak's spectacular but under-appreciated 6th Symphony in D Major!  We'll be looking at Dvorak's ties to Brahms, his Czech pride, social trends of the 1880's, and much, much more, plus a detailed analysis of the music itself.  Thanks for listening and I hope you enjoy it!  

Jul 20, 2017
Episode 21: 10 Living Composers You Need to Know About
58:07

Ever been intimidated by contemporary music?  Well, this is the show for you!  Join conductor and host Joshua Weilerstein as he takes a look at 10 of the most brilliant living composers in the world today.  These are composers writing the music of the future, proving classical music is a living, breathing, and inspiring institution. We'll talk about composers from Rouse to Shaw, from Widmann to Chin, and much more, including clips of all of their wonderful music!  Thanks for listening and hope you enjoy it!  

Jul 12, 2017
Episode 20: Beethoven Symphony No. 3, "Eroica"
01:03:47

Join conductor and host Joshua Weilerstein as he tackles Beethoven's monumental and revolutionary 3rd Symphony, the Eroica(Heroic).  We'll talk all about the music, investigating every nook and cranny of this amazing piece, while discussing all of the extramusical and philosophical elements that have or have not been imposed on the piece.  This is one of the greatest works of art ever created, so let's get into it, and discover Beethoven's 3rd.  Thanks for listening!

Jul 05, 2017
Episode 19: Yes We Can! 6 Ideas for the Future of Classical Music
42:48

Join your host, conductor Joshua Weilerstein, as he lays out a 6 point "manifesto" for the future of classical music.  We'll cover repertoire, programming, diversity, outreach, education, elitism, cellphones, whether you should be able to clap between movements or not, tail suits, community organizing, and much much more!  Please subscribe on iTunes and leave feedback on the Facebook page @stickynotespodcast!

 

Jun 27, 2017
Episode 18: Emanuel Ax Interview
55:01

Join conductor and host Joshua Weilerstein for a conversation with the world-renowned pianist Emanuel Ax!  We cover crossword puzzles, growing up in the Soviet Union, moving to Canada, and then to New York, selling baloney sandwiches, his first big break, the value and the drawbacks of competitions, his reputation as the nicest guy in classical music, the evolution of conductors, his timpani debut(!), and a lightning round!  I hope you enjoy it!  

Jun 20, 2017
Episode 17: Bartok Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celeste
54:21

Join conductor and host Joshua Weilerstein as he delves into one of the greatest works of the 20th century, Bartok's Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celeste.  This masterpiece is a perfect encapsulation of Bartok's whole output.  We will explore fugues, folk music from Hungary and Bulgaria, night music, and much much more. There's even a cameo from Stanley Kubrick!  Please subscribe, rate, and review if you like what you hear and THANK YOU for listening!  

Jun 12, 2017
Episode 16(BONUS EPISODE): Eun Lee, Founder of The Dream Unfinished
31:16

Concluding a week-long focus on Composers of Color, join host Joshua Weilerstein as he welcomes Eun Lee, the founder of The Dream Unfinished, an activist orchestra using classical music as a platform to address issues of racial and social justice.  We talk about how that works, and how and why the project started.   Their concert is this Sunday, June 11th at Cooper Union University, and it's an event you shouldn't miss!  

Jun 08, 2017
Episode 15: Composers of Color, Courtney Bryan, William Zick
01:12:44

Join conductor and host Joshua Weilerstein as he begins a special week long project exploring composers of color, welcoming guests William Zick, founder of afri-classical.com, and the composer Courtney Bryan.  We will also take an in-depth look at the music of Florence Price, William Grant Still, Samuel-Coleridge Taylor, and Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges.  

Jun 06, 2017
Episode 14: Aleksey Igudesman
49:01

Join conductor and host Joshua Weilerstein as he welcomes violinist, composer, comedian, actor, and renaissance man Aleksey Igudesman of the classical music comedy duo Igudesman and Joo, for a discussion of modern classical music, programming, audiences, comedy, plus his new app, Music Traveler!  This was a really fun 50 minutes and I hope you enjoy it!  

May 30, 2017
Episode 13: 10 things to change about classical concerts
01:04:12

Join your host, conductor Joshua Weilerstein, as he welcomes Aram Demirjian, the Music Director of the Knoxville Symphony, and Matt Szymanski, the Founder and Music Director of Phoenix, to discuss an article that roiled the classical music scene just a few years ago: Baldur Bronnimann's "10 things to change about classical concerts."  The article caused a firestorm of criticism and comment when it was released, and we're here to discuss, mull over, turn inside out, and evaluate each idea, from whether the audience should be allowed to clap between movements, to whether you should be allowed to Tweet during performances.  This was a fascinating discussion and I hope you enjoy it!  Please consider going to Baldur's site to follow along as we discuss each idea: http://www.baldur.info/blog/10-things-that-we-should-change-in-classical-concerts/

May 23, 2017
Episode 12: Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances
53:41

Join conductor and host Joshua Weilerstein as he takes you through Rachmaninoff's last work and his greatest masterpiece, the Symphonic Dances.  Written in 1940, the music reflects a world at war and marks a completely stylistic change for the famously romantic composer.  We will dig inside the music, exploring the story behind the music, and of course, the music itself.  Enjoy!  

May 16, 2017
Episode 11: Itzhak Perlman (w/special guest Toby Perlman!)
56:51

He needs no introduction - one of the greatest artists of our time, Itzhak Perlman joins Sticky Notes to talk about teaching, playing, conducting, keeping things fresh, vibrato, style, taste, food, childhood, and so much more.  Then, at around 42:00, Toby Perlman joins us to talk about the Perlman Music Program, my introduction to the Perlmans, and an incredible place for musicians to learn and feel safe and supported.  Thanks again for listening!  

May 09, 2017
Episode 10: History of Classical Music in 60 Minutes
01:06:55

Join conductor and host Joshua Weilerstein as he takes you through each era of classical music(Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Contemporary).  We're going to cover approximately 1170 years of music in 60 minutes, from Kassiani and Hildegard, to Bach and Beethoven, to Brahms and Tchaikovsky, to Stravinsky and the music of today.  This podcast is designed primarily for beginners, but I certainly learned something researching it, so it's good for aficionados as well!  This episode includes bonus content - suggestions for a first piece to listen to for each composer mentioned!  

May 02, 2017
Episode 9: Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique
59:27

Join host and conductor Joshua Weilerstein as he takes you through the Ultimate Symphonic Thrill Ride, Berlioz' Symphonie Fantastique.  You'll hear about the history behind the composer and the music, and of course, all about the music itself.  This podcast is for beginners to experts and for ages 10-110.  Enjoy!

Apr 25, 2017
Episode 8: Jonathan Biss
43:54

Join conductor and host Joshua Weilerstein as he welcomes the brilliant pianist and teacher, Jonathan Biss for a fascinating interview.  They discuss growing up in musical families, concert routines, teaching, performing, and then at the end of the show(27:00), their role as artists in challenging political times.  Enjoy!  

Apr 18, 2017
Episode 7: The Art of Interpretation
40:17

Join conductor and host Joshua Weilerstein as he discusses how musicians interpret the music in front of them, and then compares 9 different recordings of Beethoven's 5th symphony!  This is a fascinating look deep inside of the score and the interpretive decisions musicians struggle with on a daily basis.  Check it out!  

Apr 11, 2017
Episode 6: Brahms Piano Quartet in G minor
53:13

Join conductor and host Joshua Weilerstein as he takes a deep dive into Brahms' Piano Quartet in G minor, with a surprise appearance by Arnold Schoenberg and his brilliant arrangement of the quartet for orchestra!  This podcast is appropriate for beginners all the way to experts and for ages 10-110.  

Apr 04, 2017
Episode 4: Tchaikovsky 6th Symphony
38:19

Tchaikovsky's 6th symphony, the "Pathetique" is deservedly one of the most well known works in all of classical music.  Take a deep dive with conductor Joshua Weilerstein as he dissects this great symphony, discussing the myths and legends about the piece, revealing the structure behind the music, and uncovering how Tchaikovsky pulls at our heartstrings so beautifully.  This podcast is best for ages 10-110.

Mar 21, 2017
Episode 3: Donald Weilerstein and Vivian Hornik Weilerstein
40:59

Join conductor Joshua Weilerstein and his parents(!), the esteemed performers and teachers, Donald and Vivian Weilerstein, as they discuss how they met, their first time playing music together, teaching philosophies, parenting philosophies, and much much more!

Mar 14, 2017
Episode 1: Shostakovich Symphony No. 10
50:47

Join conductor Joshua Weilerstein as he takes a deep dive into Shostakovich's monumental 10th symphony.  We'll analyze the music, the history behind the music, and much more, all in an easily digestible and accessible way.  This podcast is for beginners all the way to experts.

Mar 14, 2017