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Classical Music

Music In The Making: Preview This Week’s Concerts

Featuring information and highlights from upcoming Houston Symphony and Shepherd School performances!


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On this week’s episode of Music in the Making, we’re taking a look at composers featured in various concerts this week with the Shepherd School of Music and the Houston Symphony!

Leonard Bernstein – Overture to Candide

Moores School Symphony Orchestra; Franz Krager, conductor

Moores Opera House


To start off the program, we’ll listen to a short piece that is often considered one of the most performed works of the twentieth-century repertoire. This, of course, is Bernstein’s Overture to Candide. It’s popularity was immediate, as it was performed more than 100 times in the first two years after it’s premiere. This week, the Houston Symphony will also be beginning their program with a work by Bernstein. However, they will be performing one of his less popular and more serious works, entitled Chichester Psalms. While this work is more liturgical in nature, it is just as intricate, interesting and demanding as his more popular concert works.

Benjamin Britten (arr. Ronald Stephenson) – Peter Grimes Fantasy

Inon Barnatan, piano

Moores Opera House


In addition to the symphony performances, be sure to check out the Shepherd School of Music’s spring opera production! This year’s opera is Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, based on the play by William Shakespeare. This opera is both comedic and magical, filled with troublesome fairies, misfit actors and Athenian royalty. In addition to the famous plot, the opera also features the famous operatic writing of Britten. His legacy in music history has been his operas (he wrote 16 throughout his lifetime). Our next selection is an arrangement of themes from another one of his famous operas, Peter Grimes.

Photo from the Shepherd School of Music's Albert Herring production in Spring 2014
Britten Repetition: Photo from the Shepherd School of Music’s Albert Herring production in Spring 2014

Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 9

Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra; Larry Rachleff, conductor; Rice Chorale; Combined Choirs of the Moores School of Music

Stude Concert Hall


Our final selection is considered one of the greatest musical works of all time. Additionally, it is certainly considered one of Beethoven’s most important and revolutionary works. His ninth symphony marks the first time a major composer used voices in a symphony, culminating in the fourth movement’s Ode to Joy quoting a poem by Heinrich Schiller. And while we consider this movement Beethoven’s crowing achievement, it’s funny to note that many critics at the premiere found the finale too eccentric and cryptic. The Houston Symphony will be concluding their performances this weekend with this monumental work.

Click here for more information on upcoming Houston Symphony performances.

Click here for more information on upcoming Shepherd School performances.

This episode originally aired Sunday, March 13th, 2016. Catch Music in the Making every Sunday at 7:06 PM on Classical 91.7.