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

One of Beethoven’s more playful compositions and perhaps the most famous of all piano trios got us into the eight o’clock hour this morning. The Beaux Arts Trio performed the final movement of this Piano Trio Number 6 in B-flat by Beethoven. By what nickname is it known?

Answer: Archduke

This morning we heard choral music by Johannes Brahms. It’s something he wrote shortly after his mother died using scriptures from the Old and New Testaments that speak of comfort and consolation. What is the title of this very personal choral work of Brahms that includes “How Lovely are Thy Dwellings”?

Answer: A German Requiem

Today is the birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach, and our question concerns one of Bach’s cantatas. On his Almanac this morning, Carl Grapentine played the opening of Bach’s 214th Cantata, which you may immediately recognize as the joyful opening of a much more famous choral piece by Bach. The Cantor of Leipzig added different words and recycled this as the beginning of what major work?

Answer: Bach’s Christmas Oratorio

This morning we’re celebrating the vernal equinox and the start of spring with some special music for the occasion. A famous Renaissance painting that hangs in the Uffizi galleries in Florence, Italy inspired one of our “spring” pieces. Ottorino Respighi brought to life three paintings by an Italian Renaissance master, and we heard Respighi’s musical depiction of the one titled “Spring”. Who painted “Spring”?

Answer: Sandro Botticelli

“The Ride Of The Valkyries" is the popular title for the prelude to Act 3 of the second of the four operas by Richard Wagner that comprise The Ring of the Nibelungs. This very well-known bit of music that has been used extensively in movies and television is from which Wagner opera?

Answer: Die Walküre

The year was 1717. George Frideric Handel had just composed music for an outdoor performance for King George I on the River Thames. The king watched from his royal barge as musicians performed Handel’s score nearby. What is the name of this celebratory river music by Handel?

Answer: Water Music

It seems the polka first appeared in Prague in the 1830s, and the dance was later exported to Vienna precipitating its spread throughout Europe. Johann Strauss, with his brother Josef, wrote a polka for one of his several visits to Russia. Earlier, we heard this famous Strauss polka for the strings of the orchestra with glockenspiel. What is the polka’s title?

Answer: Pizzicato Polka

Robert Schumann drew inspiration from another of the leading Romantic voices of his day when he created a concert overture based on verses by Lord Byron. Schumann told Franz Liszt, who conducted the premiere, that the work should be advertised ‘as a dramatic poem with music.’ What’s the title of this Schumann piece based on Byron?

Answer: Manfred

The Kronos Quartet played music by a great female composer of antiquity. She was born over 900 years ago and for most of her 80-plus years, she lived in seclusion in a hilltop monastery in Germany. We heard one of many songs she wrote for her nuns to sing at their devotions. Who is this saint, composer, and poet whose music has only recently been rediscovered?

Answer: Hildegard of Bingen

In his piece “Tahiti Trot” Dmitri Shostakovich pulled off the challenge of re-orchestrating a famous song from 1920s Broadway in record time. Shostakovich won a bet that he couldn’t complete the orchestration in under an hour; he finished off the rescoring in about 45 minutes. What’s the title of this tune from “No, No, Nanette” that Shostakovich worked up, giving us his comic best?

Answer: In his piece “Tahiti Trot” Dmitri Shostakovich pulled off the challenge of re-orchestrating a famous song from 1920s Broadway in record time. Shostakovich won a bet that he couldn’t complete the orchestration in under an hour; he finished off the rescoring in about 45 minutes. What’s the title of this tune from “No, No, Nanette” that Shostakovich worked up, giving ...