Ep. 020 - Mozart’s Bastien und Bastienne

This week, we celebrate the first known performance of Mozart’s opera Bastien und Bastienne, which he composed when he was just 12 years old.

Included in this episode:  
We are sleepy, but Mozart is the only caffeine we need (who are we kidding, we need coffee). Dr. Franz Mesmer, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Pagliacci make appearances in this episode, and Tina sings a bit of Offenbach. We swear it’s all connected to Mozart somehow.  

Also included in this episode:
Gustav Holst, The Planets suite, and some beer we’ve been meaning to drink.

Exploration:
Bell’s Planet Series
This week’s Spotify playlist
La Périchole - Tina’s suggestion for a double-bill
Pagliacci - Jon’s suggestion for a double-bill



Ep. 019 - God Save…Somebody

This week, we talk about the British national anthem and its possible origins.

Included in this Episode:

Jon tickles your ear drums with his rendition of some old British Isles classics, and how singing in a tavern actually made somebody famous once.

Also included in this episode:

Jon and Tina are embarrassingly bad at history that doesn’t have to do with music.

Exploration:
History of God Save the King
Facts and Fictions About “God Save the King”
This Week’s Spotify Playlist

Ep. 018 - Happy Birthday, Charles Griffes

This week, we wish a very happy birthday to Charles Tomlinson Griffes, born September 17th, 1884.

Included in this episode:
Charles Griffes - Sad life, beautiful music. More degrees of separation from Carl Czerny, an eye-patch, a bobsled ride, and Tina gets a little too emotionally invested in Charles Griffes.

Also included in this episode:
Jon discovers that Thomas Hardy is not the same person as the actor Tom Hardy.

Exploration:
Kubla Khan by Coleridge
Griffes - Library of Congress Bio
This Week’s Spotify Playlist

Ep. 017 - Happy Anniversary, Clara and Robert Schumann

This week, we wish a very happy 178th wedding anniversary to Clara and Robert Schumann. 

Included in this episode:
In 1830, 20 year old Robert Schumann moved in with his piano teacher and his teacher’s 11 year old piano prodigy daughter named Clara. A 10-year courtship, dad’s strong disapproval, and a drawn-out court case later, Robert and Clara were married on the 12th of September 1840.

Also included in this episode:
A dirty diary, and Jon and Tina reveal their distaste for Robert Schumann's music.

Exploration:
Robert & Clara’s Timeline
Clara Schumann Chronology
This Week’s Spotify Playlist

Ep. 016 - Classical Music Month

This week, we bring you a short and sweet episode to celebrate Classical Music Month. 

Included in this episode:  
Jon and Tina encourage you to enjoy classical music, to appreciate classical music, to celebrate classical music, and to high-five your favorite classical musician.

Also included in this episode:
A proclamation by Bill Clinton, which Tina read without impersonating his voice. We know...disappointing. Let’s see you try it. 

Exploration

Ep. 015 Happy Birthday Leonard Bernstein - Part 2

This week, we pick up where we left off in the life and times of Leonard Bernstein. 

Included in this episode:  
Part way through, you will hear a static noise. Don’t be alarmed, it’s just the ghost of Leonard Bernstein paying Jon and Tina a visit as they chat about his storied life, which involves conducting with eyebrows, an 800 page FBI profile, hosting a party for the Black Panthers, and many more anecdotes both musical and non.  

Also included in this episode:
Jon and Tina are really good at spontaneously singing pieces in the same key and tempo simultaneously. 

Exploration

Ep. 014 - Happy Birthday Leonard Bernstein - Part 1

This week, we kick off a two part episode celebrating Leonard Bernstein’s 100th Birthday. Tina talks about Bernstein from birth through age 36. 

Included in this Episode: 
Tina has a crush on Leonard Bernstein, but she keeps calling him Beethoven, which possibly means she has a crush on Beethoven as well (she does). Bernstein exploded onto the classical music scene at a young age, made a name for himself as perhaps the most important American-born conductor of the century, made lifelong friendships with many important figures in the music world, and possibly stopped an attack on Israeli troops simply by playing a concert. 

Also Included in this Episode: 
Jon follows up last week’s episode with a pun about Metronomes, a father-son reunion worthy of a Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs reference, and Bernstein’s potential to EGOT (win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony). 

Exploration

Ep. 013 - Johann Nepomuk Maelzel, The Man Who Patented the Metronome

Ep. 13 - Johann Nepomuk Maelzel, the man who patented the metronome

You thought metronomes were just a piano teacher’s favorite torture device. It turns out, they are still used to torture piano students worldwide, but with only the best of intentions...we wish the man who patented them had better intentions.

Included in this episode:
We know how to pronounce this guy’s name! Maelzel was not a great person, but he was a cunning businessman so we’ll give credit where it’s due, we plug an episode of another podcast, and we talk for longer than we thought we could about the virtues of the metronome.

Also included in this episode: 
A chess-playing automaton once called Napoleon out for cheating. True story.

Not included in this episode:
Our intro/outro music (again. Sorry!) Also, Jon forgot to share his awesome metronome joke, so be sure to listen for that in next week’s follow-up.

Exploration

Ep. 012 - Happy Birthday, Ernesto Lecuona

If you google the phrase “famous Cuban composers,” Ernesto Lecuona is the first name that comes up. He played a crucial role in bringing Cuban music to the world and single-handedly started a Cuban music craze in Paris in the 1920s and 30s. So why don’t we know more about such an important figure in the world of music?

Included in this episode:
We’ve returned from hiatus to bring you more musical content every week, the incredible life of Ernesto Lecuona, and a glimpse into the fascinating world of player piano rolls.

Also included in this episode:
Jon has never heard Ricky Ricardo perform Babalou, and Tina can’t help dancing like a fool to Ernesto Lecuona’s music.

Not included in this episode:
Our intro/outro music (it's still on hiatus).

Exploration:

Ep. 011 - Happy Retirement, Marian Anderson

In October of 1964, world-renowned contralto Marian Anderson began her farewell recital tour. The tour ended on April 18th 1965 at Carnegie Hall, and officially marked her retirement from public performance.  

Included in this episode:
Marian Anderson, a world-renowned diva, a towering Civil Rights figure, and an incredibly humble and gracious human being. A woman who was denied hotel rooms and concert halls in a segregated United States and responded with grace and breathtaking artistry. A woman who counted the likes of Jean Sibelius and Albert Einstein among her friends. She broke down racial barriers, not with guns blazing and angry words, but with her art. 

Also included in this episode:
A silly album about a black cat named Snoopy. Just listen to it. Trust us on this. 

Exploration: