Houston Symphony Broadcasts

Stravinsky And Beethoven

Presenting two works from the middle of the careers of the composers.

Polichinelle, etching by Nicolas Bonnart in 1860.
Polichinelle (Italian: Pulcinella), etching by Nicolas Bonnart in 1860. Character from the Commedia dell’Arte, and the subject of Stravinsky’s ballet Pulcinella

The dance-themed month of March continues on the Houston Symphony Broadcast, with ballet music from Stravinsky and a mass from Beethoven.

Igor Stravinsky’s “Neoclassical” period began in the 1920s, and the music he wrote during this time is marked by a style reminiscent of the Classical period of the eighteenth century, during which composers like Haydn and Mozart worked. In fact, for the ballet Pulcinella, the piece on this Houston Symphony program, Stravinsky actually used tunes from other composers who worked during that time period, adding a little bit of his own unique touch to the music.

For Ludwig van Beethoven, his works are also divided into distinct periods, and some of his most famous pieces fit firmly into his “Heroic” period of the early nineteenth century, like the Mass in C major. Other works in this period include the Fifth Symphony and Coriolan Overture. This work was not originally received warmly, especially by its commissioner, Prince Nikolaus Esterházy (a former patron of Haydn). Still, in recent years the Mass has gained a new appreciation despite not being performed frequently.

Tune in for this concert Sunday (3/12) on News 88.7 or Wednesday (3/15) on Houston Public Media Classical at 8 PM.

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