Playlist by Classical BreakdownJohn Banther takes classical music fans behind the scenes with interviews, deep dives, and analysis. Episodes released bi-weekly on Tuesdays. Produced by WETA Classical in Washington, D.C.
Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini: A Baltimore connection and hidden themes!
Season 4 kicks off with one of the most beloved works in the orchestral repertoire. John Banther and Bill Bukowski talk about the theme's origins, melodies hidden in plain sight, moments to listen for, and what Rachmaninoff did to calm his nerves the night of the premiere!
An Unsung Heroine: The Life and Music of Fanny Mendelssohn
She was a composer whose music was wrongfully neglected and was sometimes attributed and published under her brother's name. Join Evan Keely and John Banther as they discuss the unique challenges she faced, her letters, late success in publishing, and more.
Ravel's Bolero with Joshua Weilerstein: A conductor's insight
It seems simple on the surface, but there is a lot to discover in Ravel's most famous work (much to his dismay!). Joshua Weilerstein, one of today's in-demand conductors, joins John Banther to offer his perspective on the music and all the details that need to be addressed to pull it off in perform…
Piano Transformed: The Life and Music of Frederic Chopin
He was a different kind of composer than Mozart and Beethoven, and he transformed how we hear the piano. John Banther and Bill Bukowski talk about Chopin's early life, relationships, new styles of music he wrote, what set him apart, and more!
Louise Farrenc's Symphony No. 3: A hidden gem!
Her final symphony is one that deserves your attention and is now performed more often. John Banther and James Jacobs discuss the challenges she faced with sexism and the French attitude towards symphonies at the time, what to listen for, influences, and her unique orchestration.