Ep. 37: A Sad Shrovetide – Stravinsky and Petrushka

Petrushka, Igor Stavinksy’s second ballet, is a tragic tale of a living puppet who is treated like a mere toy and brought to the point of madness. Ironically, such a sad tale brought Stravinsky a great deal of success, especially after the triumph that was his previous ballet The Firebird. However, there’s a more you do not know, hidden behind the curtain.

Ep. 36: The Figure and the Frame – Mussorgsky and Pictures at an Exhibition with Notes & Strokes

The day architect and artist Viktor Hartmann died was a sad one. It was especially hard for composer Modest Mussorgsky, who’s opera Boris Godunov was one of Hartmann’s favorite works. After an exhibition of Hartmann’s art, Mussorgsky was moved to write a piano suite based on his experience there. This episode features Izaac and KC from the podcast Notes & Strokes. Together, we explore this piano masterpiece and the art that one may have seen at the exhibition.

Ep. 34: J. M. Gerraughty

American composer J. M. Gerraughty imparts to listeners that the path to becoming a composer is sometimes the road less traveled. He shares the struggles of trying to maintain balance between working a full time job, raising a family, and keeping up with promoting his work on social media, but composition is always there as a creative outlet for him. Sometimes the passion is all the reason to keep doing what we love.

Ep. 33: Treasure in the Wreckage – Smyth and The Wreckers

How far are you willing to go to get you want? Dame Ethel Smyth was determined to get her opera The Wreckers produced the way that she wanted. Although the opera was written in French, she had no luck with being able to premiere the opera on French stages, relying on her contacts in Leipzig to get the opera produce in a German translation, but future productions of the opera would only get more and more difficult to produce.

Ep. 31: Devotion – Poulenc and Dialogues des Carmélites

In the darkest times, we all need something we can turn to for guidance and peace. During one of the most difficult times of his life, Francis Poulenc turned towards his spirituality and the Roman Catholic church and embedding his faith into his opera he was composing at the time, Dialogues des Carmélites.

Ep. 30: Christmas Music from Around the World (Collection 1)

This time of year, our ears are filled with the sounds of holiday music on repeat, but do we know where they came from? This Christmas Eve, enjoy the origins and histories of some of the world’s most famous Christmas songs and carols, including “Winter Wonderland,” “Jingle Bells,” “O Tannenbaum,” “Silent Night,” and “O Holy Night.”

Ep. 29: A Figment of the Imagination – Prokofiev and Lieutenant Kijé

Yury Tynyanov’s fictitious adaptation of a non-existent lieutenant who rises through the ranks of a true historical emperor of Russia was brilliantly adapted for film by the Soviet film director Aleksandr Faintsimmer. Today, this film, Lieutenant Kijé, has fallen to the wayside, but composer Sergei Prokofiev’s ingenious score for the film has certainly persisted and remains as one of the most popular concert suites performed in concerts today.