Opera 101, everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask!
Feeling dramatic? Opera has you covered! John Banther and Linda Carducci go on a journey through time on the origins, evolution, and dramatic moments of this enduring musical art form. Plus, recommended listening for each time period along the way.
Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Overture: 3 themes and Shakespearean connections!
It's one of the more familiar works in the repertoire, but how well do you know the 3 major themes and Shakespearean connections? John Banther and Shakespeare enthusiast James Jacobs show you what to listen for, how much Tchaikovsky loved Shakespeare, theatrical elements in the music, and more!
The inspiring life and music of Germaine Tailleferre: plus 5 recommended works!
She was a pioneering French composer who helped shape the sound of France's music post World War I, but she also faced extraordinary challenges. John Banther and Evan Keely explore her music, life events, give you 5 recommended works to listen to!
The Nocturne, a journey from the 19th century to Daft Punk!
How easily can a genre of music be defined? John Banther and Linda Carducci explore the origins of the Nocturne and how it evolved from its simple defining characteristics over the next 200 years.
Respighi's The Pines of Rome: a picturesque tour of Rome!
Respighi is our tour guide as we explore 4 different scenes in Rome inspired by their iconic Stone pine trees. John Banther and Evan Keely explore his cutting-edge use of technology, how he uses ancient musical references, how he achieves some of these unique timbres, and more!
The short yet musically prolific life of Franz Schubert
He was a composer who seemed to fit some of the "tragic artist" stereotypes of the Romantic period, he was prolific, had unrequited love, and died tragically young. John Banther and James Jacobs explore Schubert's life, his unrivaled gift for melody, efficiency with composing, his arrest, and more!
Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2: a musical comeback story!
Unforgettable melodies, rich harmonies, and technical fireworks encompass this concerto which is also one of the great musical comeback stories! Join us to learn what to listen for as we examine the music, personal letters, and even a recording of the composer himself at the piano.
Summer Listening Guide: 4 albums to expand your musical horizons!
Discover new favorites as John Banther showcases 4 recent releases that deserve your attention this summer! Go to the show notes page at ClassicalBreakdown.org to find out where you can listen to or purchase these albums.
Theme and Variations: 4 types and what to listen for!
It might be one of the oldest ideas in all of music (of any kind!), but, how did it develop in our Western classical music tradition? John and Evan explore what makes a theme and variations, 4 specific types to listen for, and a modern example using a theme you wouldn't expect!
The Illustrious Life and Music of Haydn: From hardship to stardom
Enjoy a performance of one of Haydn's iconic concertos at the end of the episode! We talk about Haydn's hardship to stardom life, and why he ended up writing all kinds of music, from symphonies, and concertos, to music for clocks.