Exploring the often surprising links between concepts, themes and people in classical music, from medieval to modern


  • ConPod: Paganini

    ConPod: Paganini


    In 1820, a little known composer and violinist named Nicolo Paganini published a collection of virtuoso solo pieces. One of them, the 24th Caprice, had an astonishing impact on the classical music world.

  • ConPod: King Arthur

    ConPod: King Arthur


    Whether King Arthurs is an historical figure or merely a legend, his story along with that of Guinevere, and the Knights of the Round Table has had a powerful impact on music.

  • ConPod: Paris

    ConPod: Paris


    It’s been called the City of Light and the City of Love. Given the number of composers who found inspiration there, it could just as easily be called the City of Music.

  • ConPod: Railroad

    ConPod: Railroad


    As important as they are, airplanes and automobiles have never loomed as large in classical music as have trains and railways. And what a variety of works they’ve inspired!

  • ConPod: Gavotte

    ConPod: Gavotte


    It’s usually lively, but can also be slow and tender. In fact the Gavotte has varied widely from place to place over the past 400 years.

  • ConPod: Organ

    ConPod: Organ


    The organ has been called the “king of instruments,” and when it’s used in an orchestral work, the challenge is to keep it from overpowering everything else—unless, of course, that’s the point.

  • ConPod: Wedding

    ConPod: Wedding


    "The Wedding March" by Wagner (AKA "Here Comes the Bride") may be the most famous tune connected with the marriage ceremony, but it’s only one of many classical works that celebrate the union of two people in holy (and sometimes unholy) matrimony.

  • ConPod: Western

    ConPod: Western


    A tour through the musical landscape of the American West, with music by Copland, Falwell, Grofé, Puccini and more.

  • ConPod: Don Quixote

    ConPod: Don Quixote


    Cervantes’ great comic novel, Don Quixote, has inspired works of instrumental and vocal music for more than 400 years, composed by the likes of Purcell, Telemann, Mendelssohn, de Falla, Strauss, Rodrigo and others.

  • ConPod: Loose

    ConPod: Loose


    Music mistakenly attributed to the wrong composer...and why.