46 episodes

This classical music podcast explores the history and lives of some of western classical music's most famous composers and musicians. Classical music is filled with very colorful personalities and riddled with drama of all kinds, from political intrigue to failed romances and everything in between. Through the course of the show, we will discuss composers and musicians from the distant past all the way to the present, beginning with the greatest, JS Bach.

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Recently named an artaxmusic top 10 classical music podcast
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Bibliography for all episodes found on the website: https://www.kevinnordstrom.com/the-great-composers-podcast

The Great Composers Podcast - a classical music podcas‪t‬ Kevin Nordstrom

    • Music
    • 4.4 • 109 Ratings

This classical music podcast explores the history and lives of some of western classical music's most famous composers and musicians. Classical music is filled with very colorful personalities and riddled with drama of all kinds, from political intrigue to failed romances and everything in between. Through the course of the show, we will discuss composers and musicians from the distant past all the way to the present, beginning with the greatest, JS Bach.

-Please rate, review, and subscribe on iTunes!
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-great-composers-podcast/id1125785164?mt=2
-Like our Facebook page too!
https://www.facebook.com/thegreatcomposerspodcast/
-Want to help out? Donate to the show!
https://www.gofundme.com/manage/thegreatcomposerspodcast
www.kevinnordstrom.com

Thank you for listening!

Recently named an artaxmusic top 10 classical music podcast
https://www.artaxmusic.com/top-10-classical-music-podcasts/
Bibliography for all episodes found on the website: https://www.kevinnordstrom.com/the-great-composers-podcast

    42a - Johannes Brahms pt. 8 "The Scent of Lilac"

    42a - Johannes Brahms pt. 8 "The Scent of Lilac"

    Ep. 42(a) - It is late November 1862. We find Johannes Brahms in Vienna making a great success of himself for once but reeling from a devastating blow given him by the musical establishment of Hamburg. He will try to pick himself up and carry on with his work, compartmentalizing the tenderness he felt for one place from the bitterness for the other so that he might do so. And then further troubles to deal with: family strife and division that will make his life more difficult than ever; a loss that will wrench his heart and cause him the greatest pain, one for which tears aplenty would not be an adequate response but rather, music; tones and song in memoriam of a cherished loved one on a grand scale.
    ---------------
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    Works heard in this episode (all by Brahms):
    1. String Sextet in G major op. 36 mvt. 1, Allegro non troppo
    2.  9 Lieder and Songs op. 32 no. 9 "Wie bist du, meine Königin"
    3-5. String Sextet in G major op. 36 mvts. 2-4, Scherzo, Poco Adagio, Poco Allegro
    6, 7. Piano Quintet in f minor op. 34 mvts. 2, 3, Andante, un poco Adagio, Scherzo
    8. "Horn" Trio in E-flat major op. 40 mvt. 3 (beginning), Adagio Mesto
     
     

    • 2 hr 43 min
    41 - Johannes Brahms, pt. 7 "Vignettes and Vienna"

    41 - Johannes Brahms, pt. 7 "Vignettes and Vienna"

    In Ep. 41 Johannes Brahms continues his toil, conducing the ladies' choir, playing concerts, and composing; working to build a life and career brick by brick with the sweat of his brow and the help of his friends. He hoped for a permanent position in Hamburg that would lead to a settled, traditional life and some financial security. Brahms's efforts were geared toward turning hope into reality, but it remained to be seen whether the music masters of Hamburg would smooth his way or block it. If Brahms found a professional and therefore personal dead end in Hamburg where else might he go? Could another city offer him the life he was seeking?
    ----------------
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    Works heard in this episode, all by Brahms:
    - Liebeslieder-Walzer, op. 52 nos. 1-18
    Ensemberlino Vocale
    https://musopen.org/music/6684-liebeslieder-waltzes-op-52/
    Translations http://kellydeanhansen.com/opus52.html
    - Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24, var. 23-25 and Fugue. Pierre Feraux, piano
    https://archive.org/details/onclassical-OC17V
    - Piano Quartet no. 1 in G minor op. 25, mvt. 2 Intermezzo Allegro ma non tropo, mvt. 4 Rondo alla Zingarese. Chang Ji, violin
     

    • 2 hr 1 min
    40 - Johannes Brahms, pt. 6 "Warring With the Wizard of Weimar"

    40 - Johannes Brahms, pt. 6 "Warring With the Wizard of Weimar"

    In ep. 40 we find Johannes Brahms struggling to recover and learn from the defeat of his D minor Piano Concerto at Leipzig's Gewandhaus in January 1859. Despite nearing mastery in his craft and the untiring support of his friends he was yet unable to find a consistently appreciative audience. Success and failure, ridicule and praise, applause and hissing followed Brahms wherever he and his music went. By the Spring of 1860 his frustration and anger had grown so much that he lashed out at one of the greatest musical personalities of the age, Franz Liszt, in the most unlikely way and with pitiful results.
    ----------------
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    Works heard in this episode, by Brahms unless otherwise noted:
    1. Three Secular Songs for Choir, "Abendständchen" (Evening Serenade) Op. 42 no. 1. "...to let the light of his music shine through the darkness around him" from the intro. is my paraphrase of the last line of this song.
    2. Three Secular Songs for Choir, "Darthulas Grabesgesang" (Darthulas Grave Song) op. 42 no. 3
    3. Three Secular Songs for Choir, "Vineta" (Vineta) op. 42 no. 2
    ( 1-3 performed by Ensemberlino Vocale, https://musopen.org/music/2084-3-secular-songs-for-choir-op-42/ )
    4. String Sextet in B-flat Major op. 18 mvt. 3 Scherzo
    5. String Sextet in B-flat Major op. 18 mvt. 4 Rondo: Poco allegretto e grazioso
    6, cont. 7, 8. Sonata in B Minor for Solo Piano, S. 178 by Franz Liszt
        wonderfully played by Jean Dubé, piano https://musopen.org/music/43159-piano-sonata-in-b-minor-s-178/

    • 2 hr 6 min
    39 - Rebecca Smithorn and The National Philharmonic's YouTube Series "Composers in Crisis"

    39 - Rebecca Smithorn and The National Philharmonic's YouTube Series "Composers in Crisis"

    I'm pleased to welcome to the show Rebecca Smithorn, cover conductor and lecturer with the National Philharmonic. Rebecca is host of the NatPhil's YouTube series "Composers in Crisis" which takes a look at composers whose lives and art were transformed by times of global crisis. In our interview we talk about several composers in crisis: Beethoven, Ravel, Ruth Crawford-Seeger, John Corigliano, Undine Smith Moore, and a good ol' good one, Louis Armstrong, who Duke Ellington said was "Born poor, died rich, and never hurt anyone in between."
    "Composers in Crisis"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3agUbwO72pA&list=PLtZH2-QfYm4ypSuSDPAyl13znMQZPv24S
    https://rebeccasmithorn.com
    ---------------
    Try nkoda for free! All the digital sheet music you could ever need right on one app. I use it for my own practice, in lessons, and when I just want something fun to play on the piano or guitar!
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    Works heard in this episode:
    Ravel - "Le Tombeau de Couperin"
    mvt. 1, Prelude, played by Janet Seitzer
    https://musopen.org/music/4728-le-tombeau-de-couperin/
    mvt. 6, Toccata 

    • 1 hr 8 min
    38 - Johannes Brahms, pt. 5 "Gordian Knots"

    38 - Johannes Brahms, pt. 5 "Gordian Knots"

    In Ep. 38 we pick up with Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann in the weeks following Robert Schumann's death in July 1856, trying to make sense of their relationship and love. They have a crucial, incredibly difficult decision to make and its consequences will color the rest of their lives. All the while, Brahms struggles to complete his first piano concerto in d minor.
    ---------------
    Try nkoda for free! All the digital sheet music you could ever need right on one app. I use it for my own practice, in lessons, and when I just want something fun to play on the piano or guitar!
    https://www.nkoda.com
    -----------------
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    Works heard in this episode (all by Brahms):
    1. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in D minor, op. 15, mvt. 1
    2. Serenade no. 1 in D major, op. 11, mvt. 2 Scherzo - Allegro non troppo
    3. Serenade no. 1 in D major, op. 11, mvt. 3 - Adagio non troppo
    4. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in D minor, op. 15, mvt. 2
    5. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in D minor, op. 15, mvt. 3
    https://archive.org/details/BrahmsPianoConcertoNo.1-schnabel

    • 2 hr 35 min
    37 - Johannes Brahms, pt. 4 "Waiting in the Wings"

    37 - Johannes Brahms, pt. 4 "Waiting in the Wings"

    Stay healthy and well!
    Ep. 37 – In late 1853, having impressed important musicians across Germany, especially Robert and Clara Schumann, Johannes Brahms planned for the publication of his first opuses. His star was rising in the musical world and he had much to be proud of, but a terrible tragedy loomed on the horizon which threatened to derail his career and set his life down yet another new though unexpected path.
    Very special thank you to...
    Michael Calabris!
    https://www.soundcloud.com/michaelcalabris
    ---------------
    Try nkoda for free! All the digital sheet music you could ever need right on one app. I use it for my own practice, in lessons, and when I just want something fun to play on the piano or guitar!
    https://www.nkoda.com
    -----------------
    Subscribe on iTunes and give us a 5-star review!
    download our app!
    Visit and like our Facebook page!
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    Works heard in this episode (all by Brahms unless otherwise noted):
    Sonata in C major op. 1, mvt. 3 Scherzo
    Scherzo op. 4 - Natsumi Kataoka
    Sonata in C major op. 1, mvt. 4
    Robert Schumann op. 6 mvts. 1-6
    Clara Schumann, Scherzo op. 14 no. 2 - Luis Sarro
    Robert Schumann, Carnaval op. 9 “Chiarina”
    4 Ballads, op. 10 no. 1 “Edward”
    "Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann" op. 9 var. 1-3
    Clara Schumann "Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann" op. 20 var. 3
    Robert Schumann op. 12 mvt. 1 Des Abends, 3. Warum?
    Robert Schumann Piano Quintet in E-flat major, op. 44, mvt. 2
    ---------------
    Michael Calabris, “Meditation (According to Byzantine Modes)” for solo organ
    musopen.org
     

    • 2 hr 10 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
109 Ratings

109 Ratings

Torchmini ,

Music History in Great Story Telling

This show uncovers wonderful details of the history of Western music and tells it in a compelling way that I find impossible to leave. Can hardly wait to play them all and ‘catch up’.

big al maghreb ,

Well-researched and always entertaining

Kevin does a great job of presenting detailed material in an accessible and engaging way. He humanizes his subjects and gives their key works enough biographical context to make them new again. And he is an excellent advocate for violists.

Andante' ,

Holy Hell

Shut your hole 🕳

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