Sticky Notes is a classical music podcast for everyone, whether you are just getting interested in classical music for the first time, or if you've been listening to it and loving it all your life. Interviews with great artists, in depth looks at pieces in the repertoire, and both basic and deep dives into every era of music. Classical music is absolutely for everyone, so let's start listening! Note - Seasons 1-5 will be returning over the next year. They have been taken down in order to be re-recorded in improved sound quality!
Sibelius Symphony No. 5
Sibelius never gets mentioned on “most” lists, the most innovative, modernistic, romantic, beautiful, conservative, violent, peaceful etc. That’s partly due to his lifespan, which began when Brahms was 32 and ended when Pierre Boulez was also 32! This uncomfortable place between "Romantic" and "Modernist" is exactly why Sibelius is one of the most interesting topics to cover, and the perfect vehicle to explore Sibelius further is the 5th symphony, a remarkable fusion of modernism and romanticism. Joi
Shostakovich Symphony No. 5, Part 2
Last week I told you the story of the genesis of Shostakovich’s 5th symphony. We talked politics, but we also talked about just the music itself. Today, I’ll take you through the second half of the symphony, again first from a musical point of view. But by the end of the piece, the political conversation and the debate over the ending itself becomes unavoidable. There is no other piece whose character or even tempo is as debated as the ending of Shostakovich’s 5th, so we're going to have it out! Join
Shostakovich Symphony No. 5, Part 1
Shostakovich’s life and career was so wrapped up with his relationship to the Soviet government that it is sometimes hard to appreciate that, all else aside, he was one of the great 20th century composers. His 5th symphony is the meeting point between Shostakovich's music and the political web he was often ensnared in, and it is a piece that is still being vociferously debated. This week we’re going to tell the story of the piece’s genesis, and then we’ll explore the first two movements of the symph
Ysaye Sonatas for Solo Violin
If you’re not a violinist, you might not be familiar with the name Eugene Ysaye. But this violinist and composer was called “The King of the Violin” at the turn of the 20th century. Ysaye’s biggest compositional achievement was inspired by a performance by the legendary Joseph Szigeti in 1923. Enraptured, Ysaye went into his studio and 24 hours later (!), he emerged with 6 solo violin sonatas, each dedicated to one of his favorite violinists. Dive in with us this week to learn all about these amazin
Mahler Symphony No. 1, Part 2
This week, on part 2 of this look at Mahler 1, we're going to take a deep dive into the third and fourth movements of this massive and massively ambitious symphony. We'll talk about Frere Jacques, bizarre woodcuts, Klezmer bands, cries of wounded hearts, the most touching consolation, terror, rage, standing horn sections, and one of the most exhilarating endings of any symphony. Mahler's 1st symphony was one of the most ambitious statements a young composer ever made, so let's finish the journey together!
Mahler Symphony No. 1, Part 1
No one makes a grand statement quite like Gustav Mahler, and his first symphony, nearly an hour long, was one of the boldest statements ever made by a young composer. Today I’ll take a look at the history behind the early inspirations behind the piece, Mahler’s turbulent life, and the first two movements of the symphony. As the great Bernard Haitink said, Mahler had a talent for suffering, but this symphony is often full of a naivete and joy missing from Mahler's later works. Join us to find out more!
Sticky Notes is immensely informative. Its presenter, Joshua Weilerstein, manages to be both erudite and friendly. I have listened to about ten episodes so far and have learned a good deal. I look forward to hearing the rest! (And many thanks to the actor, Simon Russell Beale, for letting us know about this podcast in an article in The Guardian (I think) on his cultural highlights. An excellent recommendation.)
The information in this podcast is excellent. Well done Joshua Weilerstein for tackling subjects that don’t really engage him, like Brian’s Gothic Symphony and atonal music. Like someone else who posted, I found Sticky Notes thanks to Simon Russell Beale’s mention of it in a British Sunday newspaper. Stylistic quirks that might perhaps irritate are the somewhat garbled intro (first time round, I thought I was playing it at 1.5 x normal speed), along with arguably a tad too many ‘amazings’ and ‘incredibles’ (and particularly the repeated ‘Quote..!’) but I’ve learned a huge amount from Joshua Weilerstein and I look forward to learning more.
I have known and loved the Bach cello suites for over sixty years but I learned so much from the podcast that I have listened to them again (all of the six recordings that I have) with new ears.