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

Just before “Carl’s Almanac” at 7:30 this morning, we had an exquisite chorus from one of the operas of Giacomo Puccini. It’s a superb bit of mood music performed by an off-stage chorus. What’s the name of the opera from which the “Humming Chorus” comes?

Answer: Madama Butterfly

“A joyous outpouring” is how one writer described the opening of a magnificent and stirring sacred choral work by Johann Sebastian Bach. It’s a piece on a titanic scale, and this morning we played just the work’s first six-and-a-half minutes. What is the title of this piece by Bach -- one of his final compositions

Answer: Mass in B Minor

“Harmonious Blacksmith” is the popular name for the last movement of a keyboard suite by Handel. The nickname didn’t come from the composer himself, but it certainly stuck. It even shows up in the novel “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens. In it, Herbert Pocket gives Pip the nickname ‘Handel’ because “We are so harmonious – and you have been a blacksmith.” Which pianist played Handel’s “Harmonious Blacksmith” on the Morning Program today?

Answer: Alicia de Larrocha

Semper fidelis, the Latin phrase that means “always faithful,” is the motto of the United States Marine Corps. This morning, we played a march written by a leader of the Marine Band one night in 1888 after hearing his comrades sing the famous Marines’ Hymn in Quantico. Who is the composer of Semper Fi, as it’s often called?

Answer: John Philip Sousa

German composer Paul Hindemith wrote a work for orchestra based on music by an early 19th century German composer who is considered to be the father of German Romantic opera, and whose music greatly influenced other composers including Wagner, Mendelssohn, and Berlioz. Who is he?

Answer: Carl Maria von Weber

On his Almanac this morning, Carl Grapentine featured a mezzo-soprano from Bradford, Pennsylvania who has been closely associated with works of Rossini and Handel. She sang an aria from “Rinaldo”, the first Handel opera to appear at the Metropolitan Opera – a work the Met essentially mounted just for this singer. Who is this widely admired mezzo?

Answer: Marilyn Horne

“The Eccentricities of Love” is the title of a comic opera by an Italian composer who wrote more than sixty-five operas. Its creator, a contemporary of Mozart and Haydn, had a brilliantly successful international career, and died in Venice in 1801. Who is he?

Answer: Domenico Cimarosa

“Feria” is the name of the high-spirited and festive final movement of a work by Maurice Ravel that shows the influence of what Ravel heard growing up in the Basque region, on the border of France and Spain. What’s the title of this colorful piece that Ravel designed for an unusually large orchestra?

Answer: “Rapsodie Espagnole” (“Spanish Rhapsody”)

This morning, pianist Valentina Lisitsa provided a waltz by a Russian composer and pianist who heard music as colors, engaged in flying experiments, and was a self-described mystic. Who is this fellow student of Rachmaninoff, whose earliest works for piano have often been compared to those of Chopin?

Answer: Alexander Scriabin

Carl Grapentine noted the birthday of a former music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on his Almanac this morning. Before he took up the baton, this mystery maestro won first prize in violin upon graduating from the Paris Conservatory. While serving in the French army in World War Two, he was taken prisoner and spent two years in a Nazi labor camp. What’s the name of this conductor and composer who succeeded Fritz Reiner as head of the Chicago Symphony?

Answer: Jean Martinon

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