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

Very few composer receive credit for having invented a form, but one thing most people know about our mystery composer is that he invented the nocturne. Earlier, we played a movement from one of his seven piano concertos. Who is this composer from Dublin, Ireland who influenced Chopin and made his mark on the Romantic piano concerto?

Answer: John Field

He’s a Peruvian operatic tenor, particularly known for singing roles in bel canto operas. Opera News said his voice “is like the engine in a Porsche 911; when you hear it, you know you’re in the presence of something finely tuned and luxurious.” Earlier, we heard this widely sought-after singer in “Mattinata”, a song by Leoncavallo which is sung to wake up a beloved lady. Who is this tenor from Lima, Peru?

Answer: Juan Diego Flórez

“Iberia” by Isaac Albéniz is not only a picture postcard of Spain; it manages to capture the country’s spiritual essence. This morning I played an orchestral version of one of the pieces from “Iberia” that is named for the gypsy quarter in Seville, one of the cradles of flamenco music. What is the title of this piece from “Iberia” by Isaac Albéniz?

Answer: Triana

One of Tchaikovsky’s most heartfelt works is a composition for string orchestra which includes a waltz movement that has become a popular piece in its own right. At its premiere, the audience insisted that it be repeated. And former teacher Anton Rubinstein declared it Tchaikovsky’s best musical creation. What is the name of the piece from which this waltz is taken?

Answer: Serenade for Strings

Following the eight o’clock news, we had a concerto grosso from around the beginning of the 18th century by an Italian composer who is considered the first master of the modern violin, and whose first name means “archangel” in Italian. Who is this seminal figure of Baroque music who died in Rome in 1713?

Answer: Arcangelo Corelli

Jean Sibelius infused a lot of his homeland into music he wrote. Earlier, we played a piece whose title refers to a region made up of southeast Finland and parts of Russia. It was commissioned by students from Helsinki University for a set of historical scenes about that region of Finland. What is the work by Sibelius from which the “Alla Marcia” comes?

Answer: Karelia Suite

This morning between 7:30 and 8 we played two American works. The first was by George Chadwick, whose birthday it is today. The second piece, titled “Jota Aragonesa,” is by a 19th-century American whose melodic ideas often sprang from Spanish and Latin American sources. Sometimes called “the American Chopin,” what’s the name of this pianist/composer who grew up in New Orleans?

Answer: Louis Moreau Gottschalk

It’s one of classical music’s best-known compositions. Ludwig van Beethoven wrote it, but the work wasn’t published until 1867, 40 years after Beethoven died. All who know and love it refer to the piece by its nickname. What is the title of this famous Beethoven “Bagatelle” in A minor?

Answer: Für Elise

He was born into a farming family in Wales in 1965. His description on Twitter is “bass-baritone, father, golfer, and fine-wine collector.” He and tenor Andrea Bocelli performed together on the great lawn of Central Park, New York, in 2011 for 70,000 people. And in honor of this mystery artist’s birthday, Carl Grapentine featured him in two songs of Vaughan Williams. Who is this popular bass-baritone?

Answer: Bryn Terfel

Jennifer Higdon is a composer who has made her mark on the American musical landscape. We played one of Higdon’s early works this morning, an arrangement of an instantly recognizable and frequently recorded hymn. Jennifer Higdon says it has been a pleasure to watch the joy that this piece brings to audiences. What is the name of this hymn, first published in 1779, that Ms. Higdon arranged for string quartet?

Answer: “Amazing Grace”