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:

Ep. 010 - Very Superstitious

In case you have run out of things to be superstitious about this Friday the 13th, we’ve put together a few suggestions for you straight from some of your favorite composers

Included in this episode:
Cursed Symphonies, the truth in sneezing, triskaidekaphobia, and why you shouldn’t actually read the tarot cards if you happen to be singing the role of Carmen.

Also included in this episode:
Insisting the equinox is bad for your health is a great way to avoid Pumpkin Spice Latte fanatics.  

Exploration:

Ep. 009 - Chopin + Liszt = Frenemies

Included in this episode:
The Wilting Flower and the Rock Star. No, that isn’t the title of a Young Adult novel, it’s the famous frenemy duo of Chopin and Liszt. Join us as we compare and contrast this dynamic duo, in celebration of their first performance together on April 3rd, 1832.

Also included in this episode:
After listening, you will know exactly how Jon feels about Luke Skywalker’s character in Star Wars, Episode IV.
Also, sorry Hugh Grant.

Exploration:

Ep. 008 - Happy Birthday, Rostropovich

This week, we celebrate Mstislav Rostropovich’s 91st Birthday.

Included in this episode:
Jon and Tina are so overwhelmed by Slava’s God-like musical abilities, it causes them to ramble...a lot. But you’ll forgive them, when you realize for yourselves just what an amazing  cellist, conductor, and person this man was.

Also included in this episode:
Jon and Tina’s magical musical neighborhood. You absolutely want to live here.

Exploration:

Ep. 007 - Rachmaninoff's The Rock

This week’s episode is sponsored by Sylvester Stallone and Rocky Road Ice Cream.

Included in this episode:
A wonderful idea for major copyright violation, Rachmaninoff really did have huge hands, your childhood Fantasia nightmares re-lived, and just what is a Symphonic Poem anyways?

Also included in this episode:
This is your opportunity to own the house where it all began.

Exploration:

Ep. 006 - Ethel Smyth's Feminist Scythe

This week, we’re talking about Ethel Smyth’s Opera Der Wald, the first opera by a woman to be performed at the Met. This historic performance took place on March 12th, 1903

Included in this episode:
Who jumps out of moving carriages, gets arrested for throwing rocks through windows, and conducts a chorus of Suffragettes through her jail cell bars with a toothbrush? Ethel Smyth, that’s who. This musical Wonder Woman spent her life shattering glass ceilings and putting herself in the line of critical fire for striving to compose in a way which was, at the time, considered to be “unladylike.”

Also included in this episode:
Unconventional ash scattering, #mawwiage, dancing peasants, Jon says “sheesh” a lot,  and Tina considers growing a beard.

Also, support women composers. Duh.

Exploration:

Ep. 005 - Ravel's Quartet in F Major

If my music is too Avant-Garde, you're too old.
Ravel's one and only String Quartet premiered on March 5th. 1904. 

Included in this episode:
Ravel’s quartet is the magical ice cream we just can’t get enough of, Tina makes a shameless plug to sing Ravel’s Shéherazade, a national scandal, Debussy was a weird-looking dude, Ravel’s “crockpot” composing method, Jon rejects mint chocolate chip ice cream like Ravel rejects the label of Impressionism, and we try to peg down why we love certain music.

Also included in this episode:
If Alma Mahler accuses you of being a Narcissist, it's probably true.  

Exploration:

Ep. 004 - Schubert, not Sherbet

February 28th is the 199th anniversary of the first ever public performance of a Schubert song.

Included in this episode:

Schubert’s very first publicly-performed art song, fear of child prodigies, a brief tangent about emo bands, and an outdated obsession with “organicism” in Romantic Music.

Also included in this episode:

“Palindrome” is now a verb, and Tina makes bad jokes about Sherbet.

Exploration:

Ep. 003 - Happy Birthday, Carl Czerny!

In honor of President’s Day, we honor the “president” of piano pedagogy, Carl Czerny, who turns 227 on February 21st.

Included in this episode:

Carl Czerny, the man, the immortal pedagogue, the shamefully underrated composer, the legend. Join us as we peel away at the onion layers of the man who is most notably remembered for his technical exercises, but deserves much more credit than we...give him credit for.

Also included in this episode:

6 degrees of (Kevin) Carl Czerny (Bacon)

Exploration:

Ep. 002 - Milhaud's 12th Symphony

This week on Under a Rest, Everything’s coming up Milhaud. 

Included in this episode: 

  • Milhaud actually rhymes with Neo (as in the Matrix)
  • Mispronunciation of French names
  • An attempt to pin down Modernism in music
  • Our thoughts on why the works of such a prolific and influential composer are so rarely performed or discussed

Exploration: