Explore The Symphony

Join the National Arts Centre Orchestra's Marjolaine Fournier and one of Canada's foremost music journalists, Jean-Jacques van Vlasselaer, as they explore the symphonic form from Haydn to Shostakovich.

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Latest Episodes

  • Verdi’s Requiem

    Sep 03, 2019 - Duration: 56:12

    Jean-Jacques van Vlasselaer and Marjolaine Fournier discuss Verdi’s Requiem, first performed in Milan in 1874. The text for this was written in about 1250, when a requiem was meant to be music to sustain the mass of the…

  • Le Nozze di Figaro

    Jun 25, 2019 - Duration: 49:35

    Marjolaine Fournier and Jean-Jacques Van Vlasselaer discuss Mozart’s beloved opera Le Nozze di Figaro, touching on its history, uniqueness and sheer brilliance.

  • Claude Vivier

    Apr 02, 2019 - Duration: 48:14

    Marjolaine Fournier and Jean-Jacques van Vlasselaer discuss the masterful Claude Vivier, composer from Québec. His music, which can be characterized as “beautiful, immense, tragic, inspiring,” is celebrated and heard regularly in France, Germany, Holland and Austria. Lonely Child…

  • Brahms’ and Schumann’s first symphonies

    Jan 30, 2019 - Duration: 38:34

    Marjolaine Fournier and Jean Jacques van Vlasselaer compare Brahms’ and Schumann’s first symphonies. They explore the relationships between the two composers and Clara Wieck. Schumann was alive in an extraordinary and explosive decade, Clara…

  • Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem

    Oct 19, 2018 - Duration: 49:33

    Marjolaine Fournier and Jean-Jacques van Vlasselaer discuss Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem. How much do you know about Benjamin Britten? There is fury in this composition. Where does it come from?
    Pacifism started in the…

  • Schubert’s Ninth Symphony

    Sep 27, 2018 - Duration: 46:04

    John Storgårds will conduct the NAC Orchestra on October 10 and 11, 2018, in their performance of Schubert’s ninth and final symphony.

    Marjolaine Fournier, NACO double bassist, and Jean-Jacques van Vlasselaer, musicologist, explore this work and uncover that…

  • You don’t have to be a music-lover to love Beethoven

    Sep 13, 2018 - Duration: 42:36

    Marjolaine Fournier and Jean-Jacques van Vlasselaer prepare us for the Festival Focus 2018 featuring all nine Beethoven symphonies. Did he really invent the boogie-woogie?
    Beethoven offered so much variety within his symphonies, and as a genius, is a guiding…

  • Anton Bruckner’s eighth symphony with the TSO

    Apr 13, 2018 - Duration: 40:06

    Bruckner scholars seem to focus on psychoanalysis rather than closing their eyes and listening to the music. To listen to Anton Bruckner’s eighth symphony is to listen to the summit of his music. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra performs…

  • Kaija Saariaho, Violin Concerto Graal théâtre

    Mar 22, 2018 - Duration: 56:52

    Jean-Jacques van Vlasselaer and Marjolaine Fournier talk about Saariaho’s violin concerto which was featured as part of the 2017 Ideas of North festival produced by the NAC Orchestra. Saariaho is seen as a wonderful and intriguing…

  • Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade

    Feb 16, 2018 - Duration: 51:22

    This work opens many doors to wonderful and exciting musical study. It is a fine example of Orientalism and our perception of “the other”. Jean-Jacques van Vlasselaer and Marjolaine Fournier talk about who Rimsky-Korsakov was, his 19th-century influences from Mendelssohn…