WFIT Features

Beethoven and Schubert

Beethoven and Schubert -- each in his own way a tragic figure -- worked in the same city at the same time and produced some of the most significant bodies of work in all music.

They didn't socialize -- age, personality, and class differences precluded that -- but they had a great esteem for each others' talent, and it's easy to see why that was so.

We'll go back to early 19th-century Vienna this week, and we'll just sit back and enjoy the music of these two contemporaries. 


We begin this week with some arias by Giuseppe Verdi in recordings both new and more than a century old.

From 19th century Italy, we go to 20th century Wales and Ukraine for works by Mansel Thomas and Myroslav Skoryk, two composers we'd like to hear more from.

Then its off to the high Baroque with music of Bach, Buxtehude, and Handel.

Hector Berlioz said he wanted contrasts in his Great Mass for the Dead, and he got them, musically at least, with a massive orchestra capable of the softest pianissimos a well as the thundering crashes of the Day of Rage. He also wanted to contrast humanity's terror of death with its fascination with it. Did he succeed? See what you think when we hear a Granny-winning recording of the Requiem on this week's program


We begin this week's program with music from the Ukrainian Romantic composer, Mykola Lysenko, combining national themes with forms borrowed from J.S. Bach.

Then we'll hear some 20th-century music of Saint Saens in an improvisational style. No, it's not jazz -- or is it?

At about the same time, Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote some music inspired by 16th-century English idiom. We'll contrast that with some English music of that era, and then we'll cross over to 1620s Italy to see what Claudio Monteverdi was up to.