100 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 • 150 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.

    Haydn's masterpiece for 4 soloists and orchestra, the Sinfonia Concertante

    Haydn's masterpiece for 4 soloists and orchestra, the Sinfonia Concertante

    We've come to know the concerto as a work showcasing a single soloist with (or sometimes against) an orchestra, but what if a work has not 1... but 4 soloists at the same time? And what if it is also bringing in ideas from the symphony? John Banther and Evan Keely take a look at one of the defining works in the genre, show you what to listen for, and discuss why Haydn might have written it in the first place
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    • 28 min
    The Evolution of the Piano: A Thousand Year Journey!

    The Evolution of the Piano: A Thousand Year Journey!

    It's one of the most common musical instruments, but where did it come from and how did we get here? John Banther and Linda Carducci go on a journey through time to trace the evolution of the piano and its various forms. Plus, why is it so fun to see pianos fall from high places??
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    • 51 min
    Joan Tower's Concerto for Orchestra, an adventure in color, illusion, and rhythm!

    Joan Tower's Concerto for Orchestra, an adventure in color, illusion, and rhythm!

    There aren't that many examples of a "concerto" for orchestra, and in Joan Tower's, it's an electrifying world of rhythm, motion, and even deception! John Banther and Evan Keely explore this concerto by one of the most successful and recorded American composers. 
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    • 29 min
    The secret life of a classical recording engineer: Meet WETA's Charles Lawson

    The secret life of a classical recording engineer: Meet WETA's Charles Lawson

    Have you ever wondered how to record an orchestra but were too afraid to ask? Critically acclaimed recording engineer Charles Lawson spends his days recording the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He tells us how it all comes together, philosophy, and near disasters!
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    • 1 hr 3 min
    The life and music of Antonin Dvořák; from humble beginnings to stardom!

    The life and music of Antonin Dvořák; from humble beginnings to stardom!

    We'll enjoy his Symphony No. 9 "From the New World" at the end, but first we look at his influential and controversial time in the United States, itself a journey that began decades prior. Join us to learn how he was discovered, his musical styles, and some pretty funny stories!
    Support Classical Breakdown: https://weta.org/donatefm
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 33 min
    6 recommended works by living Black composers!

    6 recommended works by living Black composers!

    We celebrate the music of living Black composers with 6 recommended works spanning violin and piano to the full orchestra! Go to the show notes page at classicalbreakdown.org for more information on these composers, links to recordings, and links to resources.
    Support Classical Breakdown: https://weta.org/donatefm
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
150 Ratings

150 Ratings

sugercatguy89🐱 ,

Mmm good show

I like show, but needs obscure composers and also some music that tell stories. Anywho, good show. - sugar cat guy 89

Les is more. ,

Jan Sibelius

Very good summary of the composer’s life! I enjoyed the show and would like to hear an analysis of the symphonies, especially the second.

Survivor Fan on the Couch ,

Really enjoy this podcast!

I teach 6-12 general and choral music, so I am always looking for relevant content. The hosts are knowledgeable and engaging!

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