Tuesday, February 15, 2011
In 1857, Johannes Brahms assumed the post of Clara Schumann, recently departed for Berlin, as piano teacher at the court of Prince Leopold. His pupils and members of his choir loved him, and at the court he reveled in his time to compose, conduct, and study the repertory. It also afforded him a period of cooling off following the death of his mentor Robert Schumann, and allowed him to work towards his great goal of composing symphonies. This first Serenade was called a “Symphony-Serenade” by Joseph Joachim, and is a fresh, inventive, and spirited work.
Posted by San Francisco Symphony Podcasts at 4:58 PM
Friday, February 11, 2011
Mystery and myth surround Mozart’s Requiem. It was left uncompleted at the composer’s somewhat sudden death, and no one quite knows exactly how much music he left behind. His widow, Constanze, was set with the task of finding another composer to complete the work, while still promoting it as a Mozart composition (in order to receive the full commission fee). After Joseph Eyeler, one of Mozart’s students, was unable to complete the Requiem, Franz Xaver Süssmayr, another former student, finally completed a working version, which stands as the most popular of the many versions still performed today.
Posted by San Francisco Symphony Podcasts at 4:07 PM
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Throughout Mozart’s childhood, his father Leopold paraded him around the courts of Europe in the hope of gaining the boy’s employment, and therefore a steady cash flow for his family. After many years of traveling, he was hired for a full time position in their hometown of Salzburg. In spring 1779, Mozart met a traveling theater troupe that performed many of his operas and symphonies. It’s likely that this Symphony No. 33, which Mozart composed while employed at the court at Salzburg, was meant as just that: an overture to a theatrical production.
Posted by San Francisco Symphony Podcasts at 12:13 PM