12 great symphonies you’ve never heard of….

Johann Baptist Vanhal, Hans Rott, and Vasily Kalinnikov are not household names, but they wrote some great music.  Michael Haydn and Charles Gounod are more familiar, but not as symphonic composers.  Kurt Weill you probably remember mostly for Mack the Knife, which Bobby Darin made famous in 1959.

All of these composers wrote symphonies, some of which deserve to be heard.  Here are the top 12 great symphonies you’ve (probably) never heard.

Read Top 12 great symphonies you probably haven’t heard via Limelight magazine.

Watch Just for fun…Bobby Darin does Mack the Knife

The mind behind the Maestro

We see them all the time…conductors come out, bow, turn their back to the audience, and begin using the orchestra to paint aural pictures.  We hear them speak every once in a while, but what do some of them have to say about music, the orchestra they conduct, and technology.

One familiar name, especially to those who attended Boston Symphony performances in the 1960s, is Erich Leinsdorf, who conducted the BSO at Symphony Hall and Tanglewood from 1962-69.  As his last performance at Tanglewood approached, he did an extensive interview with Jordan Whitelaw, whose tenure with WGBH in Boston began at the same time the station was established in 1951.  He would soon be producing the BSO broadcasts.

Many feel it was during the Leinsdorf years that the Boston Symphony became, well THE Boston Symphony.

Read & watch Tanglewood Tales: Leinsdorf’s Exit Interview viaWGBH.

Music for the birds

Many composers have been inspired by nature.  Bird calls have made their way into many a composition.  Antonio Vivaldi’s Goldfinch Concerto

Respighi’s The Birds

…and many others too numerous to mention.  Now, the Mostly Mozart Festival welcomes The International Contemporary Ensemble.  Together, they offer music lovers not only the opportunity to hear great music inspired by our feathered freinds, but the chance to hear the birds sing their songs beforehand.

Read Mockingbirds of the concert hall via NY Times.

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