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Gil Shaham

November 9, 2012

The Butterfly Lovers Concerto

A few years ago, violinist Gil Shaham was introduced to a piece he'd never heard before. As his friend played the piece for Shaham, his friend burst into tears. The piece is based on an old story about two star-crossed lovers. After their tragic death, they're reincarnated, and reunited as butterflies. On Friday's Performance Today, Gil Shaham talks about his moving discovery of the Butterfly Lovers Concerto, a piece written in 1959 by two Chinese composers.

Today's Playlist

Performance Today audio is available for seven days following broadcast.

hour 1

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Third movement from Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, K. 550
    The Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, conductor
  • Gustav Mahler
    Urlicht, from Symphony No. 2
    The U.S. Air Force Reserve Brass Quintet
    Reinhardt College, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Traditional
    Moravian Folk Tunes
    The Skampa String Quartet
    Maud Moon Weyerhaeuser Studio, St. Paul
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Symphony No. 35 in D, K. 385 (Haffner)
    The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, conductor
    The Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Alexandre Tansman
    Polka from Suite Divertissement
    The Ames Piano Quartet
    Maud Moon Weyerhaeuser Studio, St. Paul
  • Henri Dutilleux
    Sonatina for Flute and Piano
    Carol Wincenc, flute, Derek Han, piano
    Music@Menlo, Palo Alto, California
  • Francis Poulenc
    Rondo from Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano
    Allan Vogel, oboe, Dennis Godburn, bassoon, Jeffrey Kahane, piano
    Music@Menlo, Palo Alto, California

hour 2

  • Niccolo Paganini
    Sonata No. 4, Op. 3, M.S.27
    Gil Shaham, violin, Goran Sollscher, guitar
  • Franz Schubert
    Final Variation from Introduction and Variations on Ihr Blumlien Alle
    Paula Robison, flute, Rudolf Serkin, piano
    Marlboro Music Festival, Marlboro, Vermont
  • Chen Gang and He Zhanhao
    The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto
    Gil Shaham, violin, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Lan Shui, conductor
  • Antonin Dvorak
    Finale from Piano Trio in F Minor, Op. 65
    Glenn Dicterow, violin, James Kreger, cello, David Golub, piano
    Marlboro Music Festival, Marlboro, Vermont
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