Weekdays, 6:00 am-10:00 am
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
March 15, 2019
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
March 14, 2019
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?
March 13, 2019
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
March 12, 2019
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 ...
March 11, 2019
A “fandango” is a traditional Spanish dance. The most famous one in the classical repertoire is by an Italian-born composer who lived in Spain for most of his live. The final movement of his Guitar Quintet in D major incorporates a fandango, not surprisingly since our mystery composer’s Spanish royal patron expected him to use native melodies and dances. Who is he?
Answer: Luigi Boccherini
March 8, 2019
An “Outdoor Overture” is a work whose composer wrote it for a mid-winter concert in 1938 by an orchestra in New York – not the New York Philharmonic, but a school orchestra of the High School of Music and Art in NYC. It seems our mystery author wanted to play a role in introducing good contemporary American music to young players. Who is he?
Answer: Aaron Copland
March 7, 2019
The last symphony Mozart composed is full of pure exhilaration. This morning we heard its final movement, “Molto Allegro”, which fuses sonata form with fugue. The 41st Symphony of Mozart has been known since the early 19th century as the “______” Symphony. What is the work’s nickname?
March 6, 2019
It’s a traditional English folk song. No one knows who wrote it, but many think that this ballad may have been composed by King Henry VIII for his second wife Anne Boleyn. The song has since been referenced in numerous works, including Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor”. We heard a rendition this morning by the King’s Singers. What is the song’s title?
March 5, 2019
Today is the birthday of Frank Miller who was principal cellist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 26 years, and before that for 15 years with Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Symphony Orchestra. This morning, Carl Grapentine featured a recording by the Chicago Symphony of a work by Brahms that contains an intimate dialogue between cellist Frank Miller and pianist Daniel Barenboim in its slow movement. What piece is this?
Answer: Piano Concerto No. 2
March 4, 2019
Ottorino Respighi and his wife, Elsa, visited a South American country in 1927 for performances of his music there. Respighi was fascinated by the indigenous music of that country, and he wrote a piece for orchestra that makes use of its folk songs and dances. (We heard the final movement, which is a recollection of Carnival time.) Which South American country inspired Respighi?
Answer: Brazilian Impressions