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Weekend of April 4, 2009

Life, Death, and Beyond

One of the great questions of life is what, if anything, comes after it. Humans from the beginning of history have wrestled with the question of what happens to us when we die. Artists are no exception. On today's show, we'll hear composer Richard Strauss' view. In his tone poem, "Death and Transfiguration," Strauss paints the picture of a man's life, death, and ultimate transcendence into a life beyond.

Today's Playlist

Performance Today audio is available for seven days following broadcast.

hour 1

  • Antonin Dvorak
    Lento Maestoso from Piano Trio in E Minor, Op. 90, ("Dumky")
    Pianist Wu Han, violinist Ani Kavafian, and cellist David Finckel
    Music@Menlo, Palo Alto, California
  • Felix Mendelssohn
    "Hexenlied," Op. 8, No. 8
    Violinist Daniel Hope and pianist Sebastian Knauer
    Savannah Music Festival, Savannah, Georgia
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Piano Quintet in C Minor
    Musicians of the Savannah Music Festival
    Savannah Music Festival, Savannah, Georgia
  • Camille Saint-Saens
    Excerpts from "The Carnival of the Animals"
    Musicians from Music@Menlo
    Music@Menlo, Menlo Park, California
  • Johann Sebastian Bach
    Excerpts from Mass in B Minor, BWV 232
    The Netherlands Bach Society with countertenor Matthew White and conductor Jos van Veldhoven
    Modlin Center for the Arts, Richmond, Virginia

hour 2

  • Scott Joplin
    "Wall Street Rag"
    Pianist William Albright
  • Manuel de Falla
    Seven Popular Spanish Songs
    Alison Balsom, trumpet, Benjamin Hochman, piano, and Raman Ramakrishnan, cello
    Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Richard Strauss
    "Tod und Verklarung" ("Death and Transfiguration")
    The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with conductor Daniele Gatti
    Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Bobby Gentry
    "Ode to Billie Joe"
    Quartet San Francisco
    Green Music Festival, Rohnert Park, California
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