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Aug 30
We'll conclude two days of music from last Thursday's final American concert by the Beaux Arts Trio. The legendary piano trio performed an all-Schubert program at the Tanglewood Festival in Massachusetts. On today's show, they'll play Schubert's Piano Trio No. 1.
Aug 29
joshua bell
On the grounds of a vineyard in California's Napa Valley, violinist Joshua Bell recently led the UBS Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra in a concert. We'll hear them perform an arrangement for string orchestra that Gustav Mahler made of Schubert's "Death and the Maiden" String Quartet.
Aug 28
We'll conclude two days of music from last Thursday's final American concert by the Beaux Arts Trio. The legendary piano trio performed an all-Schubert program at the Tanglewood Festival in Massachusetts. On today's show, they'll play Schubert's Piano Trio No. 1.
Aug 27
Last Thursday, the legendary Beaux Arts Trio played its final American concert at the venue where it debuted 53 years ago: The Tanglewood Festival in Massachusetts. We'll take you there for the final piece on the program, a piano trio by Schubert, followed by an encore by Dvorak.
Aug 26
Gil Shaham
A Chinese folk tale became music in the hands of composers Chen Gang and He Zhanhao. And violinist Gil Shaham decided that he wanted to share this beautiful piece with the world. He's joined by Lan Shui and the Singapore Symphony for the "Butterfly Lovers" Violin Concerto.
Aug 25
Gil Shaham
In honor of the 90th anniversary of the birth of composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, we'll have performances of his work from London's BBC Proms. Cellist Han-Na Chang is the soloist with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales for three meditations from Bernstein's "Mass." And clarinetist Michael Collins performs Bernstein's "Prelude, Fugue and Riffs" with Charles Hazelwood and the BBC Concert Orchestra.
Aug 23
This weekend on PT, pianist Jon Kimura Parker joins us for a conversation and music of Alexina Louie and Peter Schickele. Then we are off to Portland, OR for a performance by a string quartet from San Francisco, CA. Quartet San Francisco plays an arrangement of Dave Brubeck's "Blue Rondo a la Turk".
Aug 22
Richard Strauss
Richard Strauss took works of literature and translated them into instrumental pieces for orchestra that he called "tone poems." We'll have a pair of them from concerts in Europe. Christoph von Dohnanyi leads the North German Radio Symphony in "Don Juan" in Hamburg, Germany. Then Mark Elder conducts the Halle Orchestra in "Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks" at London"s BBC Proms.
Aug 21
Pianist Jon Kimura Parker
Pianist Jon Kimura Parker sits down with host Fred Child to talk about Mozart cadenzas. Parker throws in all sorts of musical references in his cadenzas, which is what makes them so special. And a little controversial. We'll hear him perform Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21 with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Aug 20
Yundi Li
Lang Lang isn't the only young Chinese pianist causing an international stir. Yundi Li is also a flamboyant, exciting player. We'll go to Los Angeles to catch him playing a fantastic showcase for his talents -- Franz Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1--with Leonard Slatkin and the L.A. Philharmonic.
Aug 19
Royal Albert Hall
We'll go to London's Royal Albert Hall to hear a BBC Proms performance of Antonin Dvorak's sumptuous Sixth Symphony. Yakov Kreizberg leads the Netherlands Philharmonic. Also from the Proms: Sibelius'"Night Ride and Sunrise" from Edward Gardner and the BBC Symphony, and the King's Singers with music of Orlando di Lasso.
Aug 18
If you thought cowboys couldn't dance, you'd be wrong. Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera wrote a ballet called "Estancia" about the cowboys of South America, including a foot-stomping final dance. We'll hear a suite from that ballet. Conductor David Zinman led the Aspen Chamber Symphony in a performance of the Estancia Suite last month at the Aspen Music Festival.
Aug 16
Point/counterpoint: Violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg says you don't have to change the notes to improvise -- interpretation is a form of improv. Pianist Robert Levin disagrees. We'll consider the question by comparing VERY different versions of the Bach Goldberg Variations. AND... some composers have written pieces intended to sound like improv, but... you have to play the notes they wrote. Schubert "Impromptus," and Poulenc "Improvisations."
Aug 15
Robert Levin
Every time pianist Robert Levin plays a concerto by Mozart or Beethoven, he improvises the cadenzas. And even improvises along with the orchestra during their passages. He says Mozart and Beethoven would have done the same, and argues that you MUST improvise in these works to be in the true spirit of the music. Levin joins host Fred Child for some lively conversation and demonstration (improvising three wildly different versions of the same Beethoven cadenza), and we'll hear him improvise his way through Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 in concert in Copenhagen.
Aug 14
Robert Levin
It used to be that all classical musicians could improvise. That was just part of the job. Over the years, it's become something of a lost art among performers. With one notable exception. The tradition of improvisation has never died out among organists. Why? Michael Barone, host of "Pipedreams," and organist Cameron Carpenter both comment on that question. Carpenter also demonstrates his improvisational skill in concert. Join us as we continue our look at improvisation in classical music.
Aug 13
Point/counterpoint: Violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg says you don't have to change the notes to improvise -- interpretation is a form of improv. Pianist Robert Levin disagrees. We'll consider the question by comparing VERY different versions of the Bach Goldberg Variations: Glenn Gould vs. Simone Dinnerstein. AND... some composers have written pieces intended to sound like improv, but... you have to play the notes they wrote. Schubert "Impromptus," and Poulenc "Improvisations."
Aug 12
A pianist who can't HELP improvising: Gabriela Montero in the PT studios. She takes a call from a PT listener, who sings a tune. Montero improvises around it on the spot. Plus, we'll have an interview with pianist Lang Lang from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Aug 11
We're going to spend part of each day this week exploring improvisation in classical music. It used to be a vital part of every musician's skill set. What changed and why? We'll have conversations with a pair of experts on baroque improvisation - guitarist Rolf Lislevand and recorder virtuoso Matthias Maute - and listen to them play music of Vivaldi and Johann Kapsberger.
Aug 9
Join us for an interview with the Ying Quartet from this summer's Aspen Music Festival. They'll play music of Mendelssohn, and also Chinese-American composer Chou Wen-Chung.
Aug 8
In honor of the opening of the Olympics in Beijing, we'll present music of Chinese and Chinese-American composers and performers. Among them is pianist Lang Lang, who plays five Chinese songs in Fort Worth. And the Ying Quartet will talk about and play music of Haydn and Lei-Leung at Colorado's Aspen Festival.
Aug 7
Amid the symphonies around it in Beethoven's canon, his Eighth may look small and insubstantial. But the composer himself was very fond of it. We'll go to Los Angeles to hear Esa-Pekka Salonen lead the L.A. Philharmonic in concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Aug 6
Franz Joseph Haydn
Not everyone likes conductor Sir Roger Norrington's preference to have no vibrato in the strings for any piece written before 1930. But it brings an interesting character to the Haydn Cello Concerto that Jean-Guihen Queyras played a couple of weeks ago at London's BBC Proms with Norrington and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony.
Aug 5
Franz Joseph Haydn
Richard Strauss' tone poem, "Also Sprach Zarathustra," is legendary for the compelling opening that graced the soundtrack of "2001: A Space Odyssey." But it's over 30 minutes of magnificent music, which we'll hear performed at Switzerland's Lucerne Festival by Mariss Jansons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony.
Aug 4
Royal Albert Hall
Last week, conductor Mark Elder and England's Halle Orchestra performed a very well-received BBC Proms concert at London's Royal Albert Hall. We'll take you there to hear a performance of George Butterworth's moving rhapsody, "A Shropshire Lad," and violinist Janine Jansen playing Max Bruch's First Violin Concerto.
Aug 2
leonard slatkin
By Leonard Slatkin's count, there are over 80 different orchestrations of Modest Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition." He tapped into 15 of them to create a unique version of the work. He leads the Nashville Symphony in a performance of it at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville.
Aug 1
mozart
We'll have a show full of fresh performances from festivals like London's BBC Proms and Colorado's Strings. But the newest of all is from Wednesday's Mostly Mozart Festival concert in New York City. That's where Louis Langree led the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra in an exciting performance of Mozart's 40th Symphony.