The final episode of Classical Breakdown’s Season 4 is just around the corner, so I wanted to take a moment and reflect on some highlights for me from this past season. But first, I want to thank all our dedicated Classical Breakdown fans. Thank you for listening, writing in questions and ideas, and all of your 5-star reviews on apple podcasts! You have helped grow the podcast, and I greatly appreciate it.

John Banther

Episode #72 was an exciting one, Sarah Willis (horn virtuoso extraordinaire) came on to talk about her new album Mozart y Mambo. This was exciting because I hadn’t heard an album like this before, combining Mozart and music from Cuba. We had a great time talking about how this unique project got off the ground and we listened to examples while she provided insight into what was going on in the music.

Another fun episode was #80 on the life and music of Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges. His life was filled with experiences and adventures, as if written for Hollywood. In fact they did make a movie about him a few months ago, and by all accounts. He wrote and performed like a virtuoso, which for most people encompasses every aspect of your life. But not for Bologne though, who was also one of the greatest fencers in all of Europe and had a military career.

I was fortunate enough to sit down with Gianandrea Noseda, Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra, in episode #86. We got into a lot of topics that I think give us a better picture of not just the musician and conductor, but the person too. His early experiences with music were eye opening, and I think a clear line can be drawn to what he is doing today. Also, minutes before we sat down, news broke that he has been the generous donor who has been lending some of the most prestigious string instruments to string players in the NSO. It was great to talk to him directly, why he is doing this, and the actual impact on the sound of the orchestra we experience.

What about you? Do you have any highlights or favorite episodes from this past season? Let me know,

The final episode of the season (June 27) is our now annual “recommended summer listening,” featuring recently released albums, and I’m excited to share them with you!

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