WFIT Features

In 1929, Herbert Hoover was the newly-inaugurated President of the United States. Erich Maria Remarque published All Quiet on the Western Front, and Walt Disney took to animating a mouse. In May of that year, three of Europe's outstanding musicians headed to a recording studio in Barcelona. Cellist Pablo Casals, and violinist Jacques Thibaud, with pianist Alfred Cortot in a new role as conductor, met to capture the Brahms Double Concerto to disc. Some 88 years later, it's still regarded as an exemplary performance, and it will be our featured work this Thursday night.


This week we look at some recent music, written between the 1990s and 2012: seven post-modern works, none alike, that show stylistic growth in this new century while still retaining some of the "spice" from the avant garde music of the last. Henryk Gorecki, John Adams, Michael Torke, Naji Hakim, and more: we'll hear them this Thursday night.


Antonio Vivaldi set the Gloria -- the second section of the traditional Roman Catholic Mass -- to music in 1715. We aren't sure why he did it. Was it part of a larger Mass that never got finished, or was it a stand-alone piece? 244 years later, Francis Poulenc, on commission from the Koussevitzky Foundation, decided to try his hand at a stand-alone Gloria, and as you might expect, it was a vastly different work from that of his predecessor. We look at the two Glorias this week. Did they both arrive at the same place? See what you think.


George Frideric Handel moved to London in 1712, and his music was to prove so influential that nothing would ever be quite the same again. The Italian-inspired operas, the royal commissions, and, of course, the oratorios brought a new, continental sea-change to the island. Yet there had been a lively musical scene in England beforehand, and we'll look at English music before Handel with this week's program, featuring music by Henry Purcell, William Byrd, John Dowland, and a host of others.

Siegfried Lauterwasser/DG

As a young composer and piano virtuoso, Beethoven had established himself in his new home, Vienna, the cultural capitol of central Europe. Here he would seek his fortune in a more liberal society. But things were going wrong. His hopes for political reforms were turning into disappointments...... And then there was something strange going on with his hearing, and it wasn't getting better. We begin to see his hopes, his disappointments, and his rage in his third symphony, the "Eroica" -- or "Heroic" -- Symphony.