Music in the Making

Music In The Making: June Jubilee

It’s a birthday bash, with selections from four classical composers born during June.


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On this week’s episode, we’re throwing a musical birthday party in honor of classical composers born this month!

Mikhail Glinka
Mikhail Glinka

Mikhail Glinka: Overture to Ruslan and Ludmilla
Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra
Stude Concert Hall

Born on the first of June in 1804, Glinka is now regarded as the precursor of Russian musical nationalism, a movement that would be adopted and refined by the Five, a group of composers including Borodin, Cui, Mussorgsky, Balakirev, and Rimsky-Korsakov who sought to create a distinctly Russian school of music. Glinka’s opera, Ruslan and Ludmilla, participates in this trend: it is based on a poem by Pushkin, the great Russian poet.

Charles Gounod
Charles Gounod

Charles Gounod: Petite symphonie
Shepherd School Sinfonietta
Stude Concert Hall

Frenchman Charles Gounod was born on June 18, 1818. Though he is best known for his opera, Faust, Gounod was a prolific composer, composing both sacred and secular works, music for the stage as well as the concert hall, and writing in most of the popular genres. His Petite symphonie stands as testament to this; written for nine wind instruments, the work was composed late in Gounod’s life for the Chamber Music Society for Wind Instruments.

Robert Schumann
Robert Schumann

Robert Schumann: Three Romances, op. 94, “Einfach, innig”
Brinton Averil Smith (cello), Evelyn Chen (piano)
Duncan Recital Hall

German Romantic composer Robert Schumann was born on June 8th, 1810. Though he did not live long, he certainly made an impression on other composers, and his effect can clearly be seen in the music of Brahms and Mahler, while musicians worldwide, such as Tchaikovsky, Grieg, and Debussy, admired him. The “Three Romances” were written during one of his most prolific periods, and he presented the set to Clara as a Christmas present.

Igor Stravinsky
Igor Stravinsky

Igor Stravinsky: Symphony of Psalms
Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra, Rice Chorale
Stude Concert Hall

Born on June 17th, 1882, Igor Stravinsky would later become one of the most influential 20th century composers, writing in most of the styles that emerged during his lifetime, from neoclassicism to serialism. In Symphony of Psalms, a work commissioned by the Boston Philharmonic, sought to write something “popular,” as requested by Koussevitzky. In typical fashion, though, Stravinsky wrote exactly what he wanted to, justifying it by setting popular a Psalm text, number 150, and dedicating it, in the manner of Bach, “To the glory of God.”

This episode originally aired Sunday, June 4th, 2017. Catch Music in the Making every Sunday at 7:06 PM on Classical.