Tag Archives: Classical Music

90: Nielsen’s Symphony No. 4 “The Inextinguishable”

Our second Nielsen symphony on the list is another symphony about conflict and struggle. Nielsen’s Fifth symphony was written in the aftermath of World War I; his Fourth would be written in the midst of it. The idea for the … Continue reading

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91: Nielsen’s Symphony No. 5

Carl Nielsen began writing his fifth symphony in 1920 in the aftermath of World War I. He says he was not consciously thinking of the war when he wrote it, but “not one of us is the same as we … Continue reading

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92: Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 4

In 1935 Joseph Stalin was shaping Soviet Russia into a new world. Russia was still largely agrarian, uneducated, and backward. He feared the Western nations and was determined to catch up to them. He began industrializing the nation at an … Continue reading

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94: Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms

Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms was written in 1930 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The Orchestra’s conductor Serge Kussevitsky requested Stravinsky write a symphony to commemorate the occasion and commissioned the work. Although written for the … Continue reading

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Steve Reich’s Different Trains

As a young child in 1940’s America, Reich spent a lot of time riding trains between New York and California. Later in life, riding trains in Boston, he had the realization that as a Jew, had he been born in … Continue reading

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97: Schumann’s Symphony No. 1 in B flat major “Spring”

Robert Schumann wrote his first symphony in 1841, the year after marrying Clara Wieck. He attributes his feelings towards Clara for the title “Spring” which he bestowed upon the piece. Having mostly written for piano and voice, this was some … Continue reading

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98: Dvořák’s Symphony No. 5 in F Major

Antonín Dvořák wrote his fifth symphony in the summer of 1875. There is quite a bit of confusion when it comes to numbering his symphonies. Dvořák’s first four symphonies were not published until after his death. His publisher Fritz Simrock … Continue reading

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