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A Minute with Miles
A Minute with Miles
Posted weekdays at 5:30 a.m.

Illuminating 60-second flights through the world of classical music with host and longtime NPR commentator Miles Hoffman. Produced by South Carolina Public Radio.

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  • Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in classical music, the final movements of instrumental pieces—the finales—were almost always in fast tempos, and they usually ended loud, and emphatically.
  • Outdoor concerts can be delightful, especially when the music and the natural surroundings make a perfect mix. Then again, when you’re playing outdoors, things sometimes happen that wouldn’t ever happen in the concert hall—and I’m not just talking about thunderstorms.
  • Composers often call for repeats, in their music, for whole sections of their pieces to be played twice. And the question is: what’s the point?
  • If you have a chance to attend an orchestra concert anytime soon and one of the pieces on the program calls for a harp, make sure to watch the harpist’s feet. They’ll be busy.
  • By the 1700's the term was already associated with the artistic and commercial cult of the glamorous leading lady.
  • "...I now…take the liberty of presenting [you] with the present concertos… humbly praying You not to judge their imperfections by the severity of the fine and delicate taste that every one knows You to have for music …”
  • People’s anxiety dreams tend to be tailored to their particular personalities, circumstances, and experiences, and often to their particular professions.
  • I’ve seen famous musicians stoke their own egos by humiliating students in master classes… but good teachers never do that.
  • Gabriel Fauré is often referred to as one of the greatest French composers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. But I wonder if that…
  • J.S. Bach composed his St. Matthew Passion in 1727. But for the better part of a century after that, the piece essentially disappeared, unknown to all but…
  • I find it fascinating that many of the greatest composers of the 19th century—composers such as Berlioz, Schumann, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Wagner, Brahms,…
  • In 1950 a musicologist named Wolfgang Schmieder published an enormous catalogue of J.S. Bach’s works, but Schmieder organized it by category, that is, by…