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Sep 30
The last movement of the Sibelius Violin Concerto has been described as "a polonaise for polar bears." See if you agree with one scholar's assessment of the Finnish composer's only violin concerto. We'll hear a complete performance by Lisa Batiashvili with the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra and conductor Alan Gilbert.
Sep 29
Last week in London, Gramophone magazine handed out its annual Gramophone awards for the best classical recordings of the year. In addition to the usual categories, they gave a special award for the best recording of the last 30 years. Tune in to Performance Today to find out who the surprise winner was.
Sep 27
This weekend, PT has two concerts from two bands from Los Angeles. First, Jeffrey Kahane leads The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in a symphony by Mendelssohn. Then, Vassily Sinaisky leads The Los Angeles Philharmonic in Rachmaninoff's "Symphonic Dances".
Sep 26
Despite living in London, pianist Murray Perahia hadn't played at the BBC Proms for twenty years. Earlier this month that absence came to an end, and Perahia gave a long-awaited performance of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 24 with the Chicago Symphony. The tickets were a hot commodity, but you can hear the performance today on PT.
Sep 25
Dutch Merchant-Ships in a Storm
It makes up almost three-fourths of the earth's surface, and you can't go more than a few days without it. Lots of great pieces of music have been written about it. Let Performance Today be your port in the storm as we focus on some of the world's great water music.
Sep 24
Classical Guitar
The old joke goes, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?" Answer, "Practice!" And how do you get to win a major guitar competition? Practice even more. It took three tries, but guitarist Marco Sartor finally won the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition this year. We'll hear his winning performance of Rodrigo's "Concierto de Aranjuez."
Sep 23
Lang Lang
When pianist Lang Lang performed recently at the BBC Proms, he wanted to be closer to the audience. So he put the piano on the main floor of Royal Albert Hall, instead of up on the stage. We'll hear three pieces that were part of his solo piano recital, two Rachmaninoff preludes and a Chopin etude.
Sep 22
giuliano_carmignola
Fred Child sits down in the studio with the members of the Academy of Ancient Music to talk about their authentic approach to Mozart, and how Mozart's writing for violin was influenced by the instruments of the era...and by his father. Violinist Giuliano Carmignola joins them for a Mozart Violin Concerto and Rondo.
Sep 20
Concertgebouw
We'll go to the Concertgebouw to hear an outstanding performances by the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic. Roberto Benzi is the conductor for a performance of Debussy's "Three Images for Orchestra."
Sep 19
Violinist Joshua Bell joins Fred Child in the studio for a conversation about his approach to music of the Romantic era. Pianist Matthew Bengtson joins Bell for short pieces by Fritz Kreisler, Tchaikovsky and Pablo de Sarasate.
Sep 18
Heimbach power plant
The turbines at Germany's Heimbach Power Plant no longer generate electricity. But the musicians who perform at the Spannungen Music Festival certainly do. We'll take you to this decommissioned art deco power plant for a Mozart Divertimento by violinist Christian Tetzlaff, violist Tabea Zimmerman and cellist Tanja Tetzlaff.
Sep 17
Franz Joseph Haydn
Conductor Christoph Konig made an unusual choice while leading the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra in Haydn's 103rd Symphony, nicknamed the "Drumroll" Symphony. He downplayed that attention-getting blast of percussion, instead opting for an unsettling distant rumble. See what you think of his take on Haydn when they play it in concert in Fribourg, Switzerland.
Sep 16
Concertgebouw
We'll go to the Concertgebouw to hear two outstanding performances by the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic. First, Jaap van Zweden leads them in Sibelius' Fifth Symphony. Then Roberto Benzi is the conductor for a performance of Debussy's "Three Images for Orchestra."
Sep 15
After years of composing, Antonin Dvorak finally had a hit with his "Slavonic Dances." We'll go to Switzerland's Lucerne Festival to hear a delightful performance of the entire Opus 72 collection. Daniel Harding leads the Mahler Chamber Orchestra.
Sep 13
Violinist Rachel Barton Pine
Violinist Rachel Barton Pine believes that Beethoven's Violin Concerto is not an entirely original piece. In fact, she'll demonstrate that many of its themes showed up earlier in a concerto by Franz Clement, the violinist who premiered Beethoven's concerto. She'll perform some of each with Jose Serebrier and the Royal Philharmonic.
Sep 12
Lorin Maazel
In preparation for Saturday's "Last Night of the Proms," Fred Child chats with SymphonyCast's Brian Newhouse from London. Wea€™ll stay at the Proms for Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony from Lorin Maazel and the New York Philharmonic, and cellist Alban Gerhardt playing Prokofiev's Symphony-Concerto with Ilan Volkov and the BBC Scottish Symphony.
Sep 11
Mozart
We'll have a Mozart symphony in each hour of today's show. In the first, we'll go to Amsterdam to hear Nikolaus Harnoncourt lead the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in a stirring rendition of the "Haffner" Symphony. And, in our second hour, Hans Graf conducts the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in a performance of Mozart's 25th Symphony in St. Paul.
Sep 10
For several generations of Americans, the first place that they heard classical music was in cartoons. Be it Disney's "Fantasia," Looney Tunes or something fairly fresh like "Wall-E," great music has found its way to our ears while accompanying animation. We'll spend an hour with music made famous by cartoons, celebrating the centennial of the birth of composer Raymond Scott and talking to Lang Lang about how "Tom and Jerry" made him want to become a pianist.
Sep 9
Valery Gergiev
Days after a cease fire was negotiated between Georgia and Russia, conductor Valery Gergiev flew to South Ossetia to lead the Mariinsky Theater Orchestra in a concert in front of Tskhinvali's bomb-damaged parliament building. We'll go there to hear him conduct music from Shostakovich's "Leningrad" Symphony and Tchaikovsky's "Pathetique" Symphony.
Sep 8
Violinist Rachel Barton Pine
Violinist Rachel Barton Pine believes that Beethoven's Violin Concerto isn't an entirely original piece. In fact, she'll demonstrate that many of its themes showed up earlier in a concerto by Franz Clement, the violinist who premiered Beethoven's concerto. She'll perform some of each with Jose Serebrier and the Royal Philharmonic.
Sep 6
sunrays
We'll spend most of our second hour with music inspired by summer. The Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet plays Samuel Barber's "Summer Music" in Cleveland. And violinist Joshua Bell plays "Spring" and "Summer" from Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" with the UBS Festival Chamber Orchestra at California's Festival del Sole.
Sep 5
Pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin has been getting raves for his collection of Haydn piano sonatas, as well as a Gramophone Award and a Grammy nomination. We'll go to Colorado's Aspen Festival to hear him play one of Haydn's sonatas, as well as an etude that Hamelin wrote, inspired by Johann Goethe's poem, "Erlkonig."
Sep 4
Degas Ballet Rehearsal painting
A lot of outstanding orchestras perform at London's BBC Proms. So what does the top hometown band, the London Symphony, do to re-assert its status as one of the best? At a concert two weeks ago, Valery Gergiev led them in Tchaikovsky's complete music for the ballet, "Sleeping Beauty," all three-plus hours of it. We'll have excerpts from that concert both today and tomorrow.
Sep 3
sunrays
We'll spend most of our second hour with music inspired by summer. The Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet plays Samuel Barber's "Summer Music" in Cleveland. And violinist Joshua Bell plays "Spring" and "Summer" from Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" with the UBS Festival Chamber Orchestra at California's Festival del Sole.
Sep 2
Sergei Rachmaninoff
Sergei Rachmaninoff's first symphony had a disastrous premiere. The critics hated it. Even Rachmaninoff decided he didn't like it. It was never played again during his life. But the piece has been resurrected, and it received a sizzling performance last month at the Proms in London. We'll take you there today on PT.
Sep 1
We'll hear music about two great cities from London's BBC Proms Music Festival. First, Duke Ellington's musical depiction of Harlem on a Sunday morning, played by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Next, George Gershwin's classic, "An American in Paris," courtesy of the BBC Concert Orchestra. Plus lots more American music for the Labor Day holiday.