In Origins Michael Tilson Thomas journeys to the provincial Austro-Hungarian city of Mahler's childhood, traces his musical roots, follows his rise as a young conductor, and, with the help of the San Francisco Symphony, escorts us through the stunning creation and shocking premiere of Mahler's First Symphony.
Legacy explores Mahler's grand achievements and great sorrows—his career-crowning appointments in Vienna and New York, and the sudden, tragic death of his daughter—and shows how his stormy inner life inspired new heights of creativity.
Berlioz's orchestral sonic spectacular, written to win the heart of a beautiful actress, demanded sacrifice from its author and his audience. From romantic daydreams to deadly displays of devotion, the symphony relates an "episode in the life of an artist."
Ranging from tender sentiment to savage chaos, the music of early 20th-century composer Charles Ives explores an essentially American riddle: how can we survive the relentless assault of our own success? Join Michael Tilson Thomas as he, the San Francisco Symphony, and Charles Ives belt it out over truth, beauty, and the American Way.
Hidden beneath the surface of his life-saving Symphony No. 5, Shostakovich may have left a subversive cipher. In this episode of Keeping Score, investigate the arresting symphony that would either redeem Shostakovich or condemn him to the Gulag. What Shostakovich has to say might depend on what you're brave enough to hear.
Aaron Copland blended his Brooklyn Jewish roots with jazz, folk music, and hymns to gamble on a new American sound, yet how such an unlikely outsider captured the spirit of Billy the Kid is a tale worth its own string section. From Fanfare for the Common Man to Appalachian Spring, Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony pare Copland down to reveal the sound we now recognize as purely American.
Savage and primitive, hypnotic and hell-bent, Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring turned Paris into the scene of one of the most astounding opening nights in history. In this episode of Keeping Score, the clutching tendrils of the music pull us back through France and Russia to the wild abandon of pagan times.
Beethoven's Third Symphony laid bare his dreams, his fears, and, at its climax, his rediscovered heroism. From his early musical rivalries in Vienna to his terrifying duel with deafness, Beethoven reveals the roots of his genius in this episode of Keeping Score.