Mornings with Dennis Moore

Weekdays, 6:00 am-10:00 am
Dennis Moore

Get a great start to your weekday mornings with great music.

Dennis Moore always has an eclectic mix of classical music to accompany your weekday mornings. Whether you’re at work, relaxing at home or are out-and-about, Dennis plays the perfect soundtrack to help jump start your week. Dennis joined the WFMT announcing staff in 1990 after being a regular listener to the station via cable during his ten years as music director of WMFE in Orlando, Florida. Dennis has worn many hats at WFMT: as program director, announcer, host of Music in Chicago, the Dame Myra Hess Concerts, concerts from Northeastern Illinois University, and special broadcast events including the Aspen Music Festival. Dennis is active making music around town (and in Reykjavik, Iceland and Malibu, California, among other locations) as a pianist with his partner, violinist Sara Su Jones.

Dennis's Morning Quiz

It’s a traditional Christmas carol with a text in both German and Latin, and it dates back to the 14th century. Over time, various musical arrangements and melodies have been created for the text by several composers, including J. S. Bach. The title in English is “In Sweet Rejoicing”. What’s the Latin title of this popular carol?

Answer: In dulci jubilo

Who is he? A reluctant revolutionary who brought Hungarian folksongs to mainstream classical music, he authored the “Romanian Folk Dances” we played this morning. This composer and pianist eagerly collected Hungarian folk tunes with fellow composer and countryman Zoltan Kodaly. Who is this 20th century Hungarian who produced music in an astonishing array of styles?

Answer: Béla Bartók

Emile Waldteufel is one of those composers who is known primarily for one successful piece. He wrote it to recall a winter when the river Seine froze from bank to bank, and sleighs were used throughout the streets of Paris. What’s the name of this famous waltz by Waldteufel?

Answer: The Skaters’ Waltz” or “Les Patineurs

Percy Grainger’s lyrical Christmas gift to the world involves a British folk tune that he harmonized. It’s a well-known piece for wind orchestra, and exists in a number of different arrangements. The title refers to masked performers who dress up in disguise. What’s the name of this carol that Percy Grainger arranged?

Answer: The Sussex Mummers’ Carol

There are some who say he’s the premier banjo player in the world. On his album “Perpetual Motion” with mandolinist Chris Thile and other musician friends, he recorded a wide range of classical repertoire, including two Scarlatti sonatas which we played this morning. Who is this amazing banjo player who was named after a very famous Hungarian composer of the 20th century?

Answer: Béla Fleck

He’s one of the most eccentric composers in classical music. Can you imagine anyone other than Eric Satie writing a set of “Flabby Preludes for a Dog”, or “Three pieces in the Shape of a Pear”? Earlier, we played a piano piece by Satie that countryman Claude Debussy arranged for orchestra. What’s the title of this relaxing, dream-like musical creation?

Answer: “Gymnopédie” No. 2

Today, December 7, is the birthday of an Italian composer most noted for his operas. He wrote a total of 15 operas, but his first masterpiece, “Cavalleria Rusticana”, overshadows everything that came after it. In addition to composing, our mystery musician also picked up the baton, conducting at La Scala for a while in the 1930s. Who is he?

Answer: Pietro Mascagni

One of the most poignant creations by Tchaikovsky comes in the second movement of his First String Quartet. That movement is often arranged for string orchestra, as well as for any number of instrumental combinations. Its first melody is a melancholy folk tune that Tchaikovsky supposedly heard a handyman sing. What’s the title of this string quartet movement that the Russian writer Tolstoy found so moving?

Answer: Andante cantabile

This morning we played one of the most famous piano pieces by Frederic Chopin. In the hands of pianist Lang Lang, it was the Polonaise in A major, Opus 40, number 1. Its calling card is the famous nickname attached to the piece. What is the title of this famous Polonaise in A major by Chopin?

Answer: “Military” Polonaise

“Exuberant, joyful, and thoroughly uplifting” are words used to describe how inventive American composer Michael Torke’s music for orchestra affects its listeners. This morning, we played part of his “Color Music” suite, in which each the title of each movement is a different color. What color did we play earlier?

Answer: Bright Blue Music

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