Classical 101 Podcasts

color image of a portrait of Mozart in which he wears a bright red coat
Wikipedia

Mozart wrote the opening chords of his so-called "Paris" Symphony (Symphony No. 31) specifically to pander to French expectations, which is not to say to pander to French taste. Mozart didn't think the French had any taste. He also thought they were ridiculous for thinking that symphonies that begin this way were especially French.

image of a portrait of Mozart in which he wears a bright red coat
Wikipedia

Think the price of stocks and bonds fluctuates wildly? Imagine the price of a genius composer's brand-new set of piano concertos. 

Peter Mattei as Wolfram, Johan Botha in the title role, Günther Groissböck as Landgraf Hermann and Eva-Maria Westbroek as Elisabeth in Wagner's Tannhäuser.
Marty Sohl / Metropolitan Opera

The Metropolitan Opera presents Richard Wagner's Tannhauser, live in HD from the Met in New York, in movie theaters worldwide on Saturday, October 31 at 1 pm.

image of a portrait of Mozart in which he wears a bright red coat
Wikipedia

Mozart's 1778 stay in Paris was pretty much a total washout. Instead of making his name there as a composer, he was rebuffed and ignored. His mother died. He was cold and starving. And people kept stiffing him for his work.

While in France, Mozart had to take on private students to pay the bills. One of those students was the daughter of Adrien-Louis de Bonnières, the Duc de Guînes. The duke was nonchalant about compensating the struggling Mozart for his work. On July 31, 1778, Mozart wrote his father of one such unsavory episode.

Unmute Episode 5: The Music of Mass Effect

Oct 21, 2015
Ryan Somma, CC

This week on the final episode of Unmute, the video game music podcast, we’re listening to music of the Mass Effect trilogy.

Unmute Episode 4: The Music of Morrowind

Oct 14, 2015
Joshua Ezzell, CC

Today on our video game music podcast, we’re listening to music of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.

image of a portrait of Mozart in which he wears a bright red coat
Wikipedia

Mozart's first son, Raimund Leopold Mozart, wasn't born alone. Instead, you might say he was one of a set of triplets.

Unmute Episode 3: Music of BioShock Infinite

Oct 7, 2015
Public domain

On today’s episode of Unmute, our video game music podcast, we’ll explore Garry Schyman’s dynamic soundtrack for BioShock Infinite.

A scene from Verdi's "Otello."
Ken Howard / Metropoli

Welcome to Opera Abbreviated, your very own series of podcasts designed to give you a pithy sense of the operas being presented by the Metropolitan Opera's Live in HD series. A new production of Giuseppe Verdi's Otello is presented live from the Met on October 17.

The Metropolitan Opera / http://www.metopera.org/Season/2015-16-Season/trovatore-verdi-tickets/

The Metropolitan's Opera's live in HD season gets underway this weekend with Giuseppe Verdi's Il trovatore. Opera Abbreviated will be your well-intended-- if cheeky-- guide to the operas on offer by the Met.

Unmute Episode 2: Music from Child of Light and Journey

Sep 30, 2015
Public domain

On this week’s episode of our series on video game music, we’ll listen to the music of two beautifully-crafted games – Child of Light and Journey.

Unmute Episode 1: The Music of Fallout 3

Sep 23, 2015
Mildred Pierce, CC

Think video games are just for teenage boys? Think again – video games are a massive industry that are producing a huge variety of incredible music that we’ll explore throughout this five-part series.

image of a portrait of Mozart in which he wears a bright red coat
Wikipedia

How tall was Mozart? What color were his eyes? Did he ever pretend to be a cat?

image of a portrait of Mozart in which he wears a birght red oat
Wikipedia

In the final year of his life, Mozart composed his piano variations on the aria Ein Weib ist das herrlichste Ding – “A Wife Is the Most Glorious Thing” – from a Singspiel by his friend the singer and composer Benedikt Schack.

Judging solely from Mozart’s correspondence, Schack’s aria could easily have served as Mozart’s personal theme song.

image of a portrait of Mozart in which he wears a bright red coat
Wikipedia

"Neither a borrower nor a lender be," said Polonius to his young adult son, Laertes, in Shakespeare's Hamlet.

Personalities being what they are, Mozart was evidently a borrower.

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