Benjamin Britten – The Rape of Lucretia

Musical tones are always telling us something in The Rape of Lucretia . Sometimes they signify the most specific of things. Harpy mosquitos nag at the three generals. The humid air of their camp is thick with dusky, muted violins. The croaking of bullfrogs is plucked out by the double

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Samuel Coleridge-Taylor – Violin Concerto in G Minor

The genesis of Coleridge-Taylor’s violin concerto is a story of two pioneering artists: the composer and his commissioner, Maud Powell. Powell became one of the first American violin virtuosos to gain international fame, and she did so decades before women in the U.S. even had the right to vote. She

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Florence Price – Symphony No. 1 in E minor

“First there was a feeling of awe as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra…swung in to the beautiful, harmonious strains of a composition by a Race woman. And when, after the number was completed, the large auditorium, filled to the brim with music lovers of all races, rang out in applause for

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Franz Liszt – Les préludes

Franz Liszt was best known during his lifetime as the lean, black-haired virtuoso whose skill and daring at the piano caused audiences to faint, exclaim, and otherwise lust over the music and the man. In 1844, journalist Heinrich Heine called the phenomenon “Lisztomania.” Yet just four years after Heine’s coinage,

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José Pablo Moncayo – Huapango

As a composer, conductor, educator, pianist, and percussionist, José Pablo Moncayo built a legacy in Mexican music at a young age. In his few decades of study and professional activity, he produced numerous works for piano solo, chamber music with piano, other mixed chamber ensembles, symphonies and shorter works for

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Franz Schubert – Symphony No. 8 in B minor, “Unfinished”

In his brief 31 years of life, Franz Schubert’s gargantuan output included operas, singspiel, cantatas, masses, requiem, part songs, choruses, lieder, symphonies, overtures, chamber music, and solo piano music. Depending on how you count, his works total between 1,000 and 1,500. Perhaps best known are his more than 600 lieder,

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