WFIT Features

Schubert's Unfinished Symphony is a legendary work in many senses of the word. It's long been a concert-hall musical favorite, associated with plenty of mystery and romance. We'll begin a short Celebration of Schubert with his Eighth Symphony this week, and then look at some of the other music that he produced in his too-short life.


Robert Schumann was on his way toward becoming one of Europe's most pre-eminent pianists until a hand injury ended that quest. He then turned to composition and he became one of the most influential composers of the Romantic period, until -- again -- his career was thwarted, this time by mental illness. Schumann left us one piano concerto: a taste of both his vocations, as it were, and it's our featured work this Thursday .

Georges Bizet didn't live long enough to capitalize on his breakthrough operatic success, Carmen, nor did he leave a large legacy of other works. He did write one symphony as a conservatory student, studying under Charles Gounod, no less. It wasn't written with performance or publication in mind, and it got lost in a pile somewhere for decades, only to resurface for a premiere performance some  eighty years later. We'll hear the Symphony in C major as our featured work this Thursday.

Will the Christmas music never stop? You may have asked yourself that over the past few weeks. In 1735 in Leipzig, it stopped on the Feast of the Epiphany, concluding with Part VI of Bach's Christmas Oratorio. We've been keeping up with Bach's schedule as best we can, to present the complete oratorio s Bach intended it to be performed. We began it in mid-December. and we conclude it tonight with the visit of the Three Kings, leading up to the Flight into Egypt. Then... No more Christmas music for eleven months. We promise.

Not to be confused with Maids a-Milking or Ladies Dancing, Lords a-Leaping, or anything of the sort, the next two cantatas of Bach's Christmas Oratorio were written for New Years Day and the day following -- the eighth and ninth days of Christmas . We'll hear them both as we continue with our presentation of the complete oratorio this holiday season. That's this Thursday, the fourth day of Christmas -- not to be confused with calling birds.