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

In the late 1800s, Engelbert Humperdinck composed an opera based on one of the stories by the Brothers Grimm. The idea for the piece came to Humperdinck as he was helping his sister with a marionette show for her children. What is the name of this world-favorite fairy tale opera by Humperdinck?

Answer: Hansel and Gretel

Today, June 7, is the birthday of George Szell. This Hungarian-born conductor is credited with establishing a certain American ensemble as one of the finest orchestras in the world. Which orchestra is it that George Szell led from 1946 until his death in 1970?

Answer: Cleveland Orchestra

This morning, we featured two pieces by a composer who was also a pianist, statesman, and philanthropist. A true Renaissance man, he helped secure Poland’s independence. He also became Prime Minister of Poland in 1919. What is the name of this composer who is known for his opera, “Manru”, and a very famous minuet?

Answer: Ignacy Paderewski

“Le Tic-Toc-Choc” sounds rather like a machine. This fun little work for keyboard, in the manner of a mechanical clock, is by a French Baroque composer who was born in Paris during the reign of Louis XIV. Who is the author of this famous perpetual motion keyboard miniature?

Answer: François Couperin

‘Sempre libera’ is a famous coloratura showcase for soprano. In this aria by Giuseppe Verdi, the character Violetta dismisses the notion of leaving the glamorous life, singing that she’ll “fulfill the round of pleasure.” From what Verdi opera does ‘Sempre libera’ come?

Answer: La Traviata

The “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” is one of the signature pieces of Tchaikovsky’s holiday spectacular “The Nutcracker”. Its distinctive sound is made by a keyboard instrument which Tchaikovsky brought to Russia from France, and it’s believed that “The Nutcracker” is the first work to employ this instrument with a full symphony orchestra. What instrument is this?

Answer: The celesta

There’s Schubert’s “Trout” Quintet, Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata, Mahler’s “Resurrection” Symphony, and Chopin’s “Raindrop” Prelude. That’s a small sampling of catchy monikers attached to various classical pieces. “Mercury” is the nickname of a Haydn symphony; it apparently earned the name because of the work’s quicksilver violin writing in the finale. Which Haydn symphony is called “Mercury”?

Answer: Symphony No. 43

The composer of the march that we had just before this morning’s 8 o’clock news was fond of Algeria, which he visited in 1873. His “Suite algérienne” contains references to traditional Arab melodies. The suite’s finale, the “French Military March”, refers to the long period during which Algeria was under French colonial rule. Who wrote this march?

Answer: Camille Saint-Saëns

He was one of the most talented child prodigies in music history. When he was a boy, Gustav Mahler proclaimed him a “genius.” In the 1930s, this Austro-Hungarian musician came to Hollywood where he found success composing many film scores. (Carl Grapentine celebrated his birthday this morning by playing part of his Symphonic Serenade.) Who is he?

Answer: Erich Wolfgang Korngold

This morning we heard music by a Romantic era composer whose art songs are a staple of the vocal repertoire. However, few know that this mystery composer also created an opera of his own. “Genoveva” premiered in 1850, but it has never had a fortunate fate on the operatic stage. Who composed “Genoveva”?

Answer: Robert Schumann

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