A river runs through this music

We celebrate them Classic ultimate playlist from California featuring a range of fun and informative blogs about the music you love.

What I love The Moldova? This dreamy symphonic poem by Czech composer Bedřich Smetana somehow lifts us out of our home office chair, our couch, our doldrums and transports us to the lush bohemian forests where two tiny springs come together and gradually form the most majestic river in the country. This river, on which we seem to be floating, flows through the vast Czech countryside to Prague, where it is crossed by 18 bridges, including the magnificent Charles Bridge.

The Charles Bridge | Photo by Sergey Ashmarin

As is so often the case, the circumstances of the work’s creation belie its uplifting spirit. while he was writing The Moldova In 1874 Smetana became completely deaf. But like Beethoven, he did not let this silence him and continued to compose almost until his death at the age of 60 in 1884 in a Prague insane asylum.

In the same year, 1884, 22-year-old Englishman Frederick Delius, who loathed the family wool business and had not proven himself good at it, was sent by his father to Florida to manage an orange plantation. The grove ran along the St. John’s River south of Jacksonville. This two-year stay inspired the nature-loving composer Florida suite.

You could say it was a kind of protest song; The composer’s father had despised his son’s passion for music, but the suite written in ‘exile’ became one of his most famous works. Here is the second sentence Along the river:

Our final plunge into musical rivers was inspired by a contemporary odyssey: in 2009, renowned American composer Eve Beglarian, who grew up in Los Angeles, embarked on a four-month kayak and bike journey down the Mississippi River. In the following years she composed BRIM: The River Project, an extensive collection of works based on this journey. Its deep waters include traditional song arrangements, original works, prose and videos. Since then, Eve has traveled up the river, sharing her creations with the people who inspired them.

Eva Bettler | Photo by Lori Gum

In her list of the top 35 contemporary American women composers of 2017 Washington Post Author Anne Midgette wrote of Eve Beglarian: “As an experimental composer and performer, Beglarian writes genre-bending, intimate music that defies categorization: a collage of sound and effect, voice and electronics, written for everything from a rock band to a found one Recording. “

It’s always exciting to hear what’s to come from this adventurous composer with strong ties to USC. Eve’s father, composer Grant Beglarian, was the beloved dean of the USC School of Performing Arts from 1969 to 1982.


Gail Eichenthal

Gail Eichenthal is Senior Director of Community Engagement for USC Radio Group, which includes KUSC Los Angeles and KDFC San Francisco. She oversees community engagement, live concert broadcasts and contributes arts features to Arts Alive.

In 1978, Gail became the first woman to host the national radio broadcasts of an American orchestra, and hosted and produced the LA Philharmonic’s broadcasts for over 20 years. From 1994 to 2005, Gail expanded her career into news, working as a reporter and presenter at KNX-AM, the CBS news channel. She is a member of the Board of Councilors of the USC Thornton School of Music.