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

Michael Tilson Thomas plans to step down as Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony at the end of the 2019-2020 season after 25 years with the orchestra. MTT and the San Franciscans recently recorded the complete symphonies of one of the most evocative composers of the 19th century. We sampled that composer’s Fourth Symphony this morning. Who is the composer in question?

Answer: Robert Schumann

Today is the birthday of Franz Schubert, born on this date in 1797. Although he lived to be only 31 years old, Schubert gave the world some 600 vocal works, seven complete symphonies, and a variety of other works, from opera to chamber music. This morning we heard one of his many songs, a lover’s serenade, titled “Ständchen.” Who are the two artists who performed it?

Answer: Susanne Mentzer and Sharon Isbin

It may have been the sight of London’s River Thames frozen to its banks in 1683 that inspired Henry Purcell to write his famous shivering musical depiction of winter chill, the “Frost Song”. In it, Cupid awakens the ‘Cold Genius’ (the Spirit of Winter) who, frozen stiff, would prefer to just go back to bed. From which semi-opera of Henry Purcell does the ‘Frost Scene’ come?

Answer: King Arthur

Howard Shore started his music career in Canada, played in the band Lighthouse, and was musical director for Saturday Night Live for the first five years of the series. We played an excerpt from one of his award-winning scores for a movie trilogy that swept the Oscars in 2004. What’s the title of the film series from which “Concerning Hobbits” by Howard Shore comes?

Answer: Lord of the Rings

“Maskarade” is a comic opera that is well known in its country of origin, Denmark, but is seldom performed elsewhere. Written in 1906, “Maskarade” didn’t reach a Chicago stage until four years ago. Its composer is from the Danish city of Odense, which is also the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen and makes of the world’s best marzipan. Who wrote “Maskarade”?

Answer: Carl Nielsen

Today is January 25, the birthday of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns. Perhaps his best-known work is “Auld Lang Syne”, which is sung at New Year’s Eve celebrations around the world. This morning, Carl Grapentine paid tribute with a piece by Malcolm Arnold based on a famous narrative poem by Robert Burns, which also happens to be the name of the traditional Scottish bonnet worn by men. What’s the title of this Malcolm Arnold work named after the Burns poem?

Answer: Tam O’Shanter

This morning we communed with one of Gustav Holst’s “The Planets”, the British composer’s epic masterpiece for orchestra. Last year saw the 100th anniversary of the work’s premiere in 1918. Holst gave each of his planets nicknames. We heard the lively scherzo subtitled “The Winged Messenger”. Which planet is it?

Answer: Mercury

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

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