WFIT Features

Antonín Dvořák
NPR

What's a chestnut?

It's one of those pieces of music that is heard so regularly that just about everyone knows it -- even those who profess not to like classical music.

It's been an exhausting week here in Central Florida. Let's take it easy for a couple of hours with the greatest hits of Dvorak, Mussorgsky, Beethoven, Vaughan Williams, Vivaldi, and Chopin as we listen to a concert of chestnuts this Thursday.

Schubert's final symphony, the Great C major, was another one of those works that he was never to hear performed. There was no one to finance a concert, and so this masterpiece sat in a musical society slushpile for a decade until Robert Schumann took the manuscript and showed it to Felix Mendelssohn, who stared at it goggle-eyed and promptly scheduled a premiere performance in Leipzig.

Francis Poulenc, Igor Stravinsky, and Ralph Vaughan Williams didn't start the break from 19th century Romanticism.

But they certainly helped push musical development along in the modern era -- even when they sometimes had to reach back into their historic national idioms to do it.

We'll look at some French, Russian, and English influences on 20th-century music this week.

The cycle of Shostakovich's Preludes and Fugues continues. We'll toss in some others by the master, J.S. Bach, and conclude with a trio from contemporary American composer Jennifer Higdon

BBC

Many people know Gustav Holst's suite, The Planets, even if they're not quite sure where they've heard it before. Several of its themes have been "borrowed" to serve as background music for everything from commercials to science fiction films.  We'll start this week's program with The Planets as it was meant to be performed, with Sir Adrian Boult and the London  Philharmonic.

Then it's off to the theater with overtures to The Wasps and Egmont.

XPN is excited to announce that Canadian broadcaster Talia Schlanger will be joining the World Cafe team as Contributing Host and producer. Schlanger will start in the new position on October 3.

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