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Apr 30
Pianist Mitsuko Uchida has been spending the spring playing recitals in Europe and the U.S. And she's been closing each of them with Robert Schumann's virtuosic "Etudes symphoniques." We'll go to London's Royal Festival Hall to hear her demonstrate her exceptional artistry on this fabulous finale.
Apr 29
beethoven
What is Beethoven's greatest symphony? Well, it's a matter of taste, but many claim that the Seventh is the one that has it all. The deepest sadness and the most exultant sense of triumph. From Barbican Hall in London, we'll hear it performed by Jiri Belohlavek and the BBC Symphony.
Apr 28
The world' foremost piano trio will play its final concerts this summer. But they'e spent April crossing North America, playing 18 concerts in 20 days. We'll have an audio dispatch from the road, as well as some Dvorak from their final concert in Boston.
Apr 26
Our first hour features music inspired by the water, starting with Smetana's "The Moldau," performed by the Russian National Orchestra in Florida. We'll also have flowing works from Ravel, Michael Daugherty and Dana Wilson. And Rebel plays a Handel "Water Music" Suite in Virginia.
Apr 25
In honor of the (approximate) anniversary of the birth of the Bard, violinist Gil Shaham and pianist Rohan de Silva team up for music that Erich Wolfgang Korngold wrote for a production of "Much Ado About Nothing." And Claus Peter Flor leads the Dallas Symphony in music from Prokofiev's ballet, "Romeo and Juliet," in Dallas.
Apr 24
Our second hour features music inspired by the water, starting with Smetana's "The Moldau," performed by the Russian National Orchestra in Florida. We'll also have flowing works from Ravel, Michael Daugherty and Dana Wilson. And Rebel plays a Handel "Water Music" Suite in Virginia.
Apr 23
Korngold was heir to the tradition of the great Viennese composers, but he fled the Nazis and landed in Hollywood. His film scores not only won Oscars, but remain influential today (John Williams is a disciple). However, his lone violin concerto may be his masterpiece, a sprawling work of cinematic sweep. We'll go to the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam to hear Danish violinist Nikolaj Znaider play it with conductor Valery Gergiev and the Rotterdam Philharmonic.
Apr 22
Edward Elgar, bulldog
One of Sir Edward Elgar's best friends was a bulldog named Dan. And he shows up in all sorts of guises in the composer's work. You can listen for the hidden pooch as JoAnn Falletta conducts the Buffalo Philharmonic in the "In the South" Overture at Buffalo's Kleinhans Hall.
Apr 21
We'll go to the Czech city of Prague to hear an evocative performance of Ottorino Respighi's "The Pines of Rome" by conductor Marcello Rota and the Czech National Symphony. And we'll stay in Prague, where two Italians - violinist Riccardo Minasi and harpsichordist Giulia Nuti - play a violin sonata by J.S. Bach.
Apr 19
Mitsuko Uchida
Mitsuko Uchida will talk about Mozart's 19th Piano Concerto before serving as both soloist and conductor for a performance with the Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall.
Apr 18
Beaux Arts Trio
The legendary piano trio, the Beaux Arts Trio, is on its final U.S. tour. Violinist Daniel Hope is keeping an audio diary, from which we'll hear a few entries. And we'll listen to the group play a Schubert piano trio at their last concert in Boston.
Apr 17
Mitsuko Uchida
We'll go to Oslo, Norway, to hear Gerhard Oppitz perform music from Brahms' Second Piano Concerto with conductor Marek Janowski and the Oslo Philharmonic. Then Mitsuko Uchida will talk about Mozart's 19th Piano Concerto before serving as both soloist and conductor for a performance with the Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall.
Apr 16
Ludwig van Beethoven
One of the world's great orchestras offers a fascinating interpretation of Beethoven's penultimate symphony. Mariss Jansons leads the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in concert at their home hall, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
Apr 15
Richard Strauss
When Moliere's comedy, "The Bourgeois Gentleman," premiered in 1670, Jean-Baptiste Lully not only wrote the music... he acted in it, too. Almost two-and-a-half centuries later, Lully pulled another cameo when some of his themes for that production showed up in a suite by Richard Strauss inspired by the same play. We'll head to Hanover, Germany, to hear Eiji Oue conduct the North German Radio Philharmonic.
Apr 14
Johannes Brahms
You most often find flutist Emmanuel Pahud in front of an orchestra... or leading the flute section of the Berlin Philharmonic. Pianist Yefim Bronfman is usually performing a concerto with an orchestra or playing a solo recital in one of the world's great concert halls. Today, they team up to play an intimate and involving Brahms sonata at Boston's Jordan Hall.
Apr 12
Esa-Pekka Salonen
We're broadcasting from Los Angeles today, kicking off a week that will feature a performance a day by the L.A. Philharmonic, as well as conversations with music director Esa-Pekka Salonen and some of the orchestra's musicians. Today, Salonen leads them in Haydn's "Bear" Symphony and a piece by Alexander Mossolov at Disney Hall.
Apr 11
Bartok's Second Violin Concerto - a monumental, yet relatively unknown work - was written for the Hungarian virtuoso Zoltan Szekely, in 1936. But it's been gaining favor as one of the newest mountains to climb for today's soloists, including Leila Josefowicz. This past weekend she played it with the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Gustavo Dudamel conducting. That performance from Walt Disney Concert Hall is featured on today's Performance Today.
Apr 10
Paul Galbraith plays his classical guitar in an unusual manner - more in the position of a cello than a guitar - and what he creates is some marvelous music. He drops by our Maud Moon Weyerhaeuser Studio in St. Paul for the first half of a two-part conversation that features music by Mozart, Lennox Berkeley and Bach.
Apr 9
Dmitri Shostakovich thought Robert Schumann's lone cello concerto to be a bit rough around the edges. So he cleaned it up with a new arrangement. We'll hear it performed by cellist Alexander Ivashkin at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. He's joined by conductor Alexander Lazarev and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic.
Apr 8
Walt Disney Concert Hall
We're broadcasting from Los Angeles today. And this week's "Performance Today" will feature several performances by the L.A. Philharmonic at Disney Hall. Today, Paavo Jarvi leads the orchestra in the final three movements of Sergei Rachmaninoff's very dramatic Symphony No. 2.
Apr 7
Esa-Pekka Salonen
We're broadcasting from Los Angeles today, kicking off a week that will feature a performance a day by the L.A. Philharmonic, as well as conversations with music director Esa-Pekka Salonen and some of the orchestra's musicians. Today, Salonen leads them in Haydn's "Bear" Symphony and a piece by Alexander Mossolov at Disney Hall.
Apr 5
Igor Stravinsky
The classical music writer for the New Yorker magazine reads from his best-selling book, "The Rest is Noise," and talks about Stravinsky before we hear Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic play music from "The Rite of Spring."
Apr 4
Martin Luther King Jr
On the 40th anniversary of his death, we'll honor the civil rights leader with performances by gospel great Mahalia Jackson, the Atlanta Symphony, soprano Measha Brueggergosman and the Emerson String Quartet. We'll also have reminiscences from King's friend and colleague, Andrew Young, as well as a Joseph Schwantner piece inspired by King, narrated by Vernon Jordan and performed by Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony.
Apr 3
Ludwig van Beethoven
Anima Eterna plays Beethoven's Sixth Symphony in a way in which you've likely never heard it before. Striving for a sound as authentic to the composer's era as possible, it's a smaller orchestra that plays on period instruments. The group's founder, Jos van Immerseel, leads them in concert at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
Apr 2
Whatever the enigma is behind Sir Edward Elgar's "Enigma Variations" - and we've had theories posited on "Performance Today" - it's still magnificent music, a grand showcase for an outstanding orchestra. Peter Oundjian will lead one, the Toronto Symphony, at a concert in Toronto.
Apr 1
Hilary Hahn
We'll go to a new concert hall in Copenhagen, take a tour, and talk with violinist Hilary Hahn and pianist Lang Lang about playing there. Then we'll stay in Copenhagen for a performance of a Haydn symphony by Adam Fischer and the Danish Radio Sinfonietta.