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Sticky Notes is a classical music podcast for everyone, whether you are just getting interested in classical music for the first time, or if you've been listening to it and loving it all your life. Interviews with great artists, in depth looks at pieces in the repertoire, and both basic and deep dives into every era of music. Classical music is absolutely for everyone, so let's start listening! Note - Seasons 1-5 will be returning over the next year. They have been taken down in order to be ...
 
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Within three months of his arrival in New York, Antonin Dvorak was enamored with the sound of American music. Quickly he put forth what was at the time a controversial idea: "In the Negro melodies of America I discover all that is needed for a great and noble school of music..." This inspiration is threaded through almost every note of the New Worl…
 
Havergal Brian’s ambitious Gothic Symphony has been called many things - massive, ambitious, barbaric, incompetent, insane, moving, brilliant, awful, torture, and much more. It is almost never performed due to the forces it requires and its two hour duration. Today on the show I’ll tell you about the background to this monumental work, and then I’l…
 
Ellen Yin didn’t always love food. As a child in New Jersey, she was more into McDonald’s than her mom’s cooking. But when she did discover the magic of restaurants and the food they served, she was hooked. All through her time at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, she dreamed of owning a restaurant. This was true even after she …
 
With the rise of Wagner, the symphony seemed to be left for dead. But one composer in particular, Anton Bruckner, decided to take the plunge back into the symphonic genre, though he did it with a markedly Wagnerian touch. His most popular symphony? The 7th. We’ll talk about the connection between Wagner and Bruckner throughout the show, but we’ll a…
 
Gabriela Lena Frank is currently serving as Composer-in-Residence with the storied Philadelphia Orchestra and was included in the Washington Post's list of the 35 most significant women composers in history, I've always been a huge fan of Lena Frank's music, and I was so thrilled to talk with her about how she approaches writing, the sense of fanta…
 
In 1961, a poem appeared by the young poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, entitled Babi Yar. The first line of this poem is: “There are no monuments over Babi Yar.” In September of 1941 at least 33,771 Jews were murdered at the Babi Yar ravine in Ukraine; the largest single massacre of Jews to that point in WWII. Shostakovich, moved by the bravery of Yevtush…
 
Never heard of Tom Wiggins? You're in for a treat with this episode! Tom Wiggins was a fantastic 19th century pianist and composer who was ruthlessly exploited by his owner/guardian on account of his race and his mental condition. He was known as one of the greatest performers of his era and yet was never paid for his work. I sat down with Deirdre …
 
The Bach Chaconne is one of the great masterpieces of Western Classical Music, and today we're going to be diving straight into this monumental work. We'll talk about the legends behind its composition, the work itself, different interpretations of the piece, and its many many arrangements. As Brahms wrote about the piece: “On one stave, for a smal…
 
I had the chance to sit down with virtually with the legendary Wynton Marsalis for a conversation about Jazz, comparing jazz and classical pieces, why so many classical composers writing jazz fail and vice versa, and about his massively ambitious Blues Symphony. About halfway through the show Wynton takes you straight through the first movement of …
 
The cycle is complete! Would it surprise you to find out that Beethoven’s 9th Symphony wasn’t his last piece? Would it surprise you that he was actually considering an all instrumental movement for the last movement? Or how about that the second performance of the piece was given to a half full hall and it took decades for the piece to become popul…
 
When I met Alex Beyer in 2010 at a piano competition in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, we struck up a conversation about his passion for soccer and his dream of becoming a NASA astronaut. Since then, he has gone on to win third prize at the Dublin International Piano Competition and the Queen Elisabeth Competition, while graduating from the Harvard/New Engl…
 
More has been written about the meaning of Beethoven’s 9th than any other symphony. There are more recordings of it, more performances of it, and more uses of its most famous theme, the Ode to Joy, than any other piece. But what is often talked about less than the political and social ramifications of the piece, is the music itself - this shocking,…
 
In 1812, Beethoven's life was in ruins. He was embroiled in court battles, pining away for his "Immortal Beloved," and profoundly depressed. His musical response is one of his funniest, most charming, and most "classical" symphonies - the 8th. This is an underappreciated work that confused audiences of the time because it sounded almost experimenta…
 
Megan Moore now tells students she speaks to, that a career doesn’t begin once they’ve won a job, competition, or role - it starts the moment they walk into music school. As an artist faced with the horrors of a once packed schedule disappearing because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Megan has thought much about what a career is to her, through her jour…
 
The composer Carl Maria Von Weber called it the work of a madman. Clara Schumann’s father, Friedrich Wieck, called it the work of a drunk. Beethoven’s 7th has been popular ever since its premiere, but as you can see, not everyone loved it. It is a piece that has defied explanations about its meaning ever since its premiere. Today, we’ll discuss thi…
 
Beethoven once said: “No one can love the country as much as I do. For surely woods, trees, and rocks produce the echo which man desires to hear.” There's no better example of Beethoven's love of nature than in his 6th symphony, where he takes simplicity to new heights, transforming the motivic cells that relentlessly drove his 5th symphony into mo…
 
They are the most famous 8 notes in all of Western Classical Music. If you walk down the street and ask someone to name a piece of classical music, they will surely say Beethoven 5. But why? What's the deal with the 5th? Well, today we’re going to take a deep look at this ubiquitous piece, exploring lots of different facets of this symphony. It is …
 
Beethoven often gets the reputation of being a composer of extreme seriousness, shaking his fist at the heavens while dealing with a litany of medical ailments and heartbreak, and there is some truth to that as well. But the 4th symphony, a very strange and mysterious introduction aside, is a piece of almost unadulterated joy. It is another side of…
 
Two of the most famous chords in classical music propel us into this revolutionary, wild, and remarkable symphony. At the time, the Eroica symphony was the longest symphony ever written. At the time it was definitely the loudest symphony ever written! It delved into emotions that symphonies had studiously avoided in the past. Simply put, it changed…
 
We continue the Beethoven cycle this week with his underrated 2nd symphony. Written at the height of Beethoven's despair over his increasing deafness, you might think that the symphony would be a dark and stormy one, but instead Beethoven writes one of his most relentlessly cheerful pieces. He even invented a whole new type of movement called a sch…
 
Today begins a pretty massive project for Sticky Notes - a complete Beethoven cycle over the next few weeks! We start of course with Beethoven's 1st symphony. Some people tend to think of Beethoven’s 1st as a cautious foray into the symphonic world, but I couldn’t disagree more. It is a bold, confident leap into the genre, a genre that Beethoven wo…
 
Imagine compressing a 3 or 4 hour opera into 8 minutes of music. You’ve just imagined an overture! Overtures are an integral and beloved part of the opera and concert experience, and the best overtures live on as separate pieces from the work they are attached to. These overtures feature music so wonderful that they become immortal miniature master…
 
As a senior in high school, Katherine Balch focused on applying to dual degree programs, so she could study music and something else. She refused to pigeonhole herself into a career track, and has kept that same spirit well into her now-flourishing career as a composer - even with the awards and prizes she has received, she’s open to change, maybe …
 
Bach's Cello Suites are now an indispensable part of the cello repertoire, but this wasn't always the case. After Bach's death, they were forgotten. But starting in the 1890s, a cellist named Pablo Casals began playing the Suites, and the rest is history. Bach left very few clues on how to play these suites, and so many cellists interpret the Suite…
 
When Side Project Jerky was launched almost ten years ago, it was meant to be exactly that - a side project. Working as a construction estimator, Marcos Espinoza saw the beef jerky business as a more fun way to earn extra income than a rental property. But through the years his fascination with jerky has continued to grow, culminating in the decisi…
 
Have you ever wondered how music gets from the manuscript to the printed page? Today we’re talking about Haydn, and a project by Henle Publishers to reissue all 55 of Haydn’s piano sonatas with fingerings from 55 different pianists! I talked with the editor in chief at Henle, Norbert Müllemann, and also the brilliant pianist Stephen Hough, one of t…
 
Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Purcell, Monteverdi. These are some of the biggest names in the history of Western Classical Music, and they were all writing in one of the most innovative periods in musical history - the Baroque Era. Spanning from ca.1600 to ca. 1750, Baroque music is truly the bedrock of the Western Classical Music tradition all the way th…
 
This episode begins with a reflection on what has been happening in this country in the wake of the murders in Atlanta and the sharp increase in hate crimes against Asian people. When Keegan Fong was in high school, his family frequently hosted his friends for dinner. It wasn’t until he left home that he realized how special his mom’s cooking was. …
 
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