80 episodes

John Banther takes classical music fans behind the scenes with interviews, deep dives, and analysis. Episodes released bi-weekly on Tuesdays. Produced by WETA Classical in Washington, D.C.

Classical Breakdown WETA Classical

    • Music
    • 4.7 • 105 Ratings

John Banther takes classical music fans behind the scenes with interviews, deep dives, and analysis. Episodes released bi-weekly on Tuesdays. Produced by WETA Classical in Washington, D.C.

    Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 "Pathetique": A symphony of unanswerable questions

    Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 "Pathetique": A symphony of unanswerable questions

    No matter how many times you've heard this work, there is much to discover! John Banther and Evan Keely examine letters from his final year, musical examples, and fascinating compositional techniques in search of answers to this enigmatic symphony. 
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    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 45 min
    Antonio Vivaldi's life, music, and the women who shaped his career

    Antonio Vivaldi's life, music, and the women who shaped his career

    Did a volcano erupt when he was born, what illness plagued his priesthood, and why did he write so many concertos? Join us to learn all about Vivaldi's life and appreciate the composer from a new angle. 
    Support Classical Breakdown: https://weta.org/donatefm
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 40 min
    Brahms' Haydn Variations: Don't judge a theme by its composer!

    Brahms' Haydn Variations: Don't judge a theme by its composer!

    Support Classical Breakdown: https://weta.org/donatefm
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 36 min
    A holiday gem: Margaret Bonds' The Ballad of the Brown King

    A holiday gem: Margaret Bonds' The Ballad of the Brown King

    This work for choir and orchestra might become your new holiday favorite! Bonds' takes us on an evocative musical journey with more in the story than meets the eye. 
    Support Classical Breakdown: https://weta.org/donatefm
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 30 min
    George Frideric Handel: life of fame, musical style, and 3 things you didn't know before!

    George Frideric Handel: life of fame, musical style, and 3 things you didn't know before!

    He's one of history's most famous composers, but how much do you really know about Handel? Join us to learn about his life, music, and desire for fame; plus 3 things about him you didn't know before!
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    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 41 min
    WG Still's Afro-American Symphony: Blues idioms, new instruments, and a uniquely American style

    WG Still's Afro-American Symphony: Blues idioms, new instruments, and a uniquely American style

    This symphony takes its inspiration from the blues in the 1920s, which were much different than the blues we typically hear today. Join us to learn how Still uniquely brought different styles of music together, new instruments in the orchestra, and his motivation.  
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    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
105 Ratings

105 Ratings

Les is more. ,

Tchaikovsky’s 6th symphony

Excellent analysis of this symphony. I especially enjoyed hearing the letters he wrote to friends and family members, which deepened my appreciation of this wonderful piece!

Lady LS ,

😍

Love it!

doula/music ,

Margaret Bonds Holiday piece

I had never heard of this till today. I enjoyed learning about the piece, why she may have written it the way she did. I will find this work of hers and listen to it. Thank you John for always opening my eyes to new thoughts and music.

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