WFIT Features

Nobody remembers poor old Count Kaiserling anymore. In 1741, so the story goes, he hired J.S. Bach to write some bedtime music for his harpsichordist, one Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, to play for him -- music that would be interesting enough to take his mind off the intractable pain that kept him awake at night. What became known as the Goldberg Variations were never meant for concert performance, but so masterful is this music that it found its way into both the composition class and the recital stage. Maggie Cole plays it for us this week, on harpsichord as Bach intended.

BBC

Surely Franz Liszt had sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his keyboard virtuosity.

That's what they said, anyway, and rumors of the diabolical didn't hurt his reputation among those concert-goers who were willing to walk ever-so-slightly on the wild side. His music was devilishly difficult to play, that's for sure, and we'll hear some of it this Thursday night

Arthur Rubinstein at Carnegie Hall
YouTube

We have a historic recording set for this Thursday, featuring one of the legendary musicians of the 20th century.

Arthur Rubinstein performs the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1in a 1946 performance with the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Dimitri Mitropoulos, who would later be named music director of the New York Philharmonic.

So here we have the dean of classical pianists, a regional orchestra, and an up-and-coming conductor; it's a combination that makes for some great energy. Tune in and see what you think.

Wikimedia Commons

Johann Hermann Schein's musical career paralleled in many ways that which would be followed by J.S. Bach, a century his junior. He didn't leave anywhere near the body of work that Bach did, and is little known today, but he was an assimilator and an innovator too. Secular, instrumental music? We don't have much, but we'll look at some of what he left us this Thursday night.

Leopold Mozart was upset with his willful son, who had lost his job with the Salzburg Cathedral, burnt his bridges with the archbishop, moved to Vienna to work freelance, and now had married some young singer from the city. He disapproved of all of it.

And now, young Wolfgang was returning to stage a new work for the hometown crowd -- which included a solo to show off his new wife.

Well, it couldn't hurt to see what the prodigal son had come up with.

What it was was the Great Mass in C minor, and it's our featured work for this Thursday night.

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