The Composer Chronicles

The Composer Chronicles

stephenjtrygar.com
Stephen Trygar delves into the stories of the world’s greatest composers and their works. Each episode focuses on a particular work by the featured composer and examines their life during the time the piece was written and performed. Through these tales, you’re invited to explore each composers’ legacy and their impact in keeping the world entertained. Once a month, a living composer will be a featured guest to share their own stories.


16: Better Late Than Never - Joplin and Treemonisha
Sep 23 • 19 min
Scott Joplin considered his opera Treemonisha one of his greatest works, but audiences of the time didn’t feel the same. As a result, the opera never premiered until decades after it was finished. Theme music is by Daryl Banner:…
15: Andrew Gavin - Composers of Our Modern World
Sep 16 • 65 min
In this first installment of “Composers of Our Modern World”, I talk to Andrew Gavin about his journey to becoming a composer, his composition process, and the struggles of getting works of New Music performed. All music, minus my theme music, was written…
14: Musical Warfare - Shostakovich and His Symphony No. 7 (“Leningrad”)
Sep 9 • 22 min
While it is speculated that Soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich began writing his Symphony No. 7 (“Leningrad”) in C Major, Op. 60 before the Nazi German armies began bombarding the city of Leningrad, there is no doubt that his accomplishments, and the…
13: In the Beginning… - Haydn and The Creation
Sep 2 • 24 min
Crowds filled the streets around the old Schwarzenberg Palace, desperate to hear Franz Joseph Haydn’s new oratorio, The Creation. The premiere was a private performance, and those allowed inside must have an invitation or they would be turned away.…
12: A Philadelphian Fiasco - Barber and His Violin Concerto
Aug 26 • 25 min
Samuel Barber’s first major commission was an absolute success, but the journey to that success was more than rocky… it was a fiasco! Join me and an incredible, growing community living healthier lifestyles in a body positive space with Roy Belzer…
11: Movie Night - Classical Music in Film (Night 1) with Matthew Trygar
Aug 19 • 51 min
In today’s episode, I interview my brother Matthew Trygar who is an actor and a film maker. We’ll talk about why music is so important in movies, some reasons that film makers might use classical music rather than a pop or rock tune, and the aesthetic…
10: Be Wary - Bartók and Bluebeard’s Castle
Aug 12 • 28 min
Bluebeard’s Castle’s haunting tale is just the surface of this psychological thriller, and while some modern productions don’t follow the original staging to a “t”, there are plenty of directors who jump at the chance to re-imagine this dark and sinister…
9: Homeward - Strauss and An Alpine Symphony
Aug 5 • 22 min
As a young boy, Richard Strauss went on a hiking trip to an Alpine mountaintop. Years later, his final tone poem would be inspired by this trip, the death of his dear friend and colleague Gustav Mahler, and the philosophies of Frederic Nietzsche. This…
8: Living Portraits - Elgar and Enigma Variations
Jul 29 • 28 min
Edward Elgar’s Variations on an Original Theme (a.k.a. Enigma Variations) is one of the most mysterious and puzzling pieces of music of all time. Using a theme he referred to as “the Enigma”, he depicts thirteen of his closest friends as if they were…
7: Scandalous - Mozart and Le nozze di Figaro
Jul 22 • 23 min
One of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s greatest operatic achievements, Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) may not have been possible without the approval of Emperor Joseph II of Austria. The play it was based on by Pierre Beaumarchais was banned from…
6: Quest of a Lifetime - Wagner and Parsifal
Jul 8 • 24 min
Wagner’s final opera took him nearly 25 years to compose, but in the end it was completely worth the wait. It quickly became one of the most sought after operas to perform, but Wagner, his estate, and the authorities of his opera house, the Bayreuth…
5: A Swan Song - Sibelius and His Symphony No. 5
Jun 24 • 21 min
Commissioned by the Finnish government and inspired by the migration of swans, Jean Sibelius would create one of his most important works. It was not only important musically, but for how significant it played a role in Sibelius’ life. Become a member of…
4: Love and Murder - Berlioz, Symphonie fantastique, and Lélio
Jun 10 • 29 min
Hector Berlioz’s unhealthy infatuation with Irish actress Harriet Smithson and failed engagement with Marie Moke sent the composer into a state of mind that nearly killed him several times… and his life wasn’t the only one on the line. Become a member of…
3: Dream Come True - Debussy and Pelléas et Mélisande
May 27 • 25 min
Debussy dreamed about composing a theatrical work that was as mysterious and reserved as the life he contrived for himself. When a play by Maurice Maeterlinck came along, titled Pelléas et Mélisande, his dream would become a reality. Become a member of…
2: Rising to Prominence - Stravinsky and The Firebird
May 13 • 24 min
Igor Stravinsky’s commission to write The Firebird would be the break that the young composer had been looking for. After the ballet’s premiere, he became an immediate celebrity, and it not only secured his place as a composer for the Ballets Russes, but…
1: A Miserable Marriage - Tchaikovsky and Eugene Onegin
Apr 29 • 20 min
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s early relationship with his wife, Antonina Milyukova, and the first stages of creating Eugene Onegin share a spot in the composers life. The two events influenced each other, and it would leave Tchaikovsky wondering where he had…
Introduction
Apr 27 • 3 min
Welcome to The Composer Chronicles! This introduction is designed to familiarize you with the show and prepare you for the journey ahead! —- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app —- Send in a voice…