Casta Diva (Norma by Bellini), Renée Fleming, Anna Netrebko and Maria Callas versions

Casta Diva is one of the most famous soprano arias of the nineteenth century. It is in act 1 of Norma, a tragedia lirica or opera in two acts by Vincenzo Bellini with libretto by Felice Romani.

Eliot Fisk & Paco Peña (NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert)

Two masters of the guitar – Eliot Fisk, a great classical guitarist, and Paco Peña, one of the greatest flamenco guitarists ever. In a tiny concert presented by NPR Music, they’re playing two classical and two flamenco pieces. The repertoire here ranges from Baroque compositions by Bach and Domenico Scarlatti to present-day flamenco. And what …

Zequinha de Abreu’s “Tico Tico” – with two guitars, eight hands

Probably the most beautiful thing I’ve seen recently: 4tissimo, a Russian-Ukrainian guitar quartet is playing Zequinha de Abreu‘s “Tico Tico”, with two guitar and eight hands! With the talented Ukrainian classical guitarist Nadja Kossinskaja‘s arrangement, they did a really good job. Enjoy!

Schubert – Unfinished Symphony (Wiener Philharmoniker, Riccardo Muti)

Conducted by Riccardo Muti, the Wiener Philharmoniker (Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra) performs Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D.759, commonly known as the “Unfinished Symphony”. A 1992 recording of the piece.

Brahms – Hungarian Dance No. 5 (Nishimoto)

Conducted by Tomomi Nishimoto Notes 1, the Russian Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra plays Hungarian Dance No. 5 by Johannes Brahms. The Hungarian Dances by Johannes Brahms (WoO 1), are a set of 21 lively dance tunes based mostly on Hungarian themes, completed in 1869. They are among Brahms’s most popular works and were certainly the most …

Beethoven – Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op 67 (Wiener Philharmoniker, Thielemann)

Conducted by Christian Thielemann, the Wiener Philharmoniker (Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra) performs Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op 67. Written in 1804-1808, Beethoven’s fifth is one of the best-known compositions in classical music. It is first performed in Vienna’s Theater an der Wien(1) in 1808. Then, it became one of the most …

Aram Khachaturian – “Masquerade: Waltz” and “Sabre Dance”

Aram Khachaturian was a Soviet Armenian composer and conductor (b: 6 June 1903 – d: 1 May 1978). The “Waltz” is from the 1944 Masquerade Suite based on the Mikhail Lermontov play of the same name. Here André Anichanov conducts the St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra in this performance on the 1997 Naxos album.

Teresa Berganza sings “Anda Jaleo” by Federico García Lorca (Guitar: Narciso Yepes)

Anda Jaleo is probably the best remembered and the most frequently performed song of the many Spanish canciones compiled, arranged, recorded and popularized by Federico García Lorca and La Argentinita. Here is the Teresa Berganza & Narciso Yepes version of the song:

Francisco Tárrega’s Lágrima – played by César Amaro

Lágrima (tear) is a piece by Francisco Tárrega, and certainly a little gem in the guitar’s repertoire. It’s called “lágrima” (tear) because of the sadness in the second section, and isn’t a piece difficult to play: the feeling is much more important than technique with this one.