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Jan 31
Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata (Violin Sonata No. 9) has primed the creative pumps of plenty of other artists. Tolstoy wrote a book about it. Prinet painted this picture of it. Leos Janacek wrote a string quartet about it. There was even a silent movie, starring Hollywood vamp Theda Bara. Today, we'll hear a bit of the original, plus the Janacek version, from a performance at Washington's Smithsonian.
Jan 30
In Richard Strauss' opera, "Der Rosenkavalier," an older woman gracefully steps aside so her young lover can be with someone new. Mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade often sings the role of the dashing young Octavian. But in real life, she's getting ready to say goodbye to the stage after a long and glittering career. Join us today to hear the final scene from "Der Rosenkavalier," featuring Frederica von Stade.
Jan 29
Concertgebouw
In English, its name translates to "concert building." Not exactly an awe-inspiring name. But among musicians, it's talked about with a certain reverence, awe. Amsterdam's Concertgebouw is, arguably, the finest concert hall in the world. Today, we'll hear its resident orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw, in performance. Pianist Severin von Eckardstein joins them for Beethoven's "Emperor" concerto.
Jan 28
On the surface, it doesn't seem like an equitable trade at all. A soldier sells his soul to the devil for a book. But it turns out to be a very special book. It can predict the future of the economy. No doubt many Washington pundits would be willing to strike a similar bargain these days. It's Igor Stravinsky's "The Soldier's Tale," and we'll hear it today by the London Sinfonietta, in concert in Minneapolis.
Jan 27
Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata (Violin Sonata No. 9) has primed the creative pumps of plenty of other artists. Tolstoy wrote a book about it. Prinet painted this picture of it. Leos Janacek wrote a string quartet about it. There was even a silent movie, starring Hollywood vamp Theda Bara. Today, we'll hear a bit of the original, plus the Janacek version, from a performance at Washington's Smithsonian.
Jan 26
That's essentially the philosophy of pianist Lars Vogt when performing. All the miniscule details that go into a great performance, the notes, the phrasing, the quest for perfection - worry about that in the practice room. But when you get on stage, just relax and let the magic happen. Today, we'll hear Lars Vogt and the North German Radio Symphony performing Mozart's Piano Concerto Number 20 in Hanover, Germany. Plus, we'll visit a birthday concert at New York's Carnegie Hall in honor of mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne.
Jan 24
When French composer Darius Milhaud visited New York in 1923, he made a bee-line for Harlem to hear some great new American music called "jazz." When he got back home, he wrote a piece called "The Creation of the World," and infused it with the jazz rhythms and harmonies he had heard on his trip. Today, we'll hear it played by members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
Jan 23
Richard Goode
Pianist Richard Goode can be difficult to work with - not because he's feisty or temperamental, but because he's such a perfectionist. He's never satisfied, always working towards that elusive goal of getting things exactly right. Today, we'll hear him reach that goal as he performs Beethoven's second piano concerto with Ivan Fischer and Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Jan 22
When French composer Darius Milhaud visited New York in 1923, he made a bee-line for Harlem to hear some great new American music called "jazz." When he got back home, he wrote a piece called "The Creation of the World," and infused it with the jazz rhythms and harmonies he had heard on his trip. Today, we'll hear it played by members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
Jan 21
Leonard Bernstein
It's always good to make your exit while you're at the top of your game. In today's show, we'll feature final performances by some of the great classical artists of our time, including conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein, pianist Vladimir Horowitz, and violinist Nathan Milstein. Plus, we'll feature John Williams'"Air and Simple Gifts," played at yesterday's presidential inauguration.
Jan 20
Flag
Today, the country celebrates the inauguration of the nation's 44th president, Barack Obama. We'll have two hours of inauguration-related music, including early-American political songs from Baltimore, and a performance of Copland's "Lincoln Portrait," with the Atlanta Symphony and narrator Andrew Young. Plus, we'll feature several of the performers scheduled to play at today's inauguration ceremony.
Jan 19
Martin Luther King Jr
Today's show honors Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. We'll take you to Atlanta to hear last week's King Celebration concert. Given every year at Morehouse College, King's alma mater, this year's concert features performances by the Atlanta Symphony with conductor Robert Spano, and the combined choirs of Spelman and Morehouse colleges.
Jan 17
Martin Luther King Jr
Jan 16
For as long as humans have been around, we've had strong ties to our land. And we've been writing music about it, too. Today's show features an hour of Spanish music, followed by an hour of performances from Atlanta, Georgia. They're two very different worlds, with unique and exciting musical landscapes.
Jan 15
London's Philharmonia Orchestra started its life as a studio orchestra, only occasionally giving live concerts. Over the years, they've transformed into a more typical orchestra, giving up studio headphones in favor of tuxes and gowns. We'll hear them twice today, performing Brahms' Fourth Symphony, and the final two movements of Schubert's Ninth Symphony ("The Great").
Jan 14
Joann Falletta Michael Ludwig
German composer Max Bruch had a soft spot in his heart for the music of Scotland. He once said his best work was inspired by folk music. We'll hear one of his most popular works, the "Scottish Fantasy," for violin and orchestra. Violinist Michael Ludwig joins the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and conductor JoAnn Falletta, in concert in Norfolk, Virginia.
Jan 13
Peter Tchaikovsky
On a trip to Rome, Tchaikovsky's hotel was next door to a cavalry barracks. Every morning, the company bugler would wake everyone up, including Tchaikovsky, with a bugle call. That musical alarm clock found its way into his "Italian Capriccio," along with songs from street vendors, and lots of other local color. Today, the Hungarian Symphony performs the "Italian Capriccio" in Budapest.
Jan 12
piano hands
Today, we'll feature performances from two outstanding Russian pianists - Mikhail Pletnev and Nikolai Lugansky. Pletnev performs the Grieg concerto with the Rotterdam Philharmonic at Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, and Lugansky performs the Schumann concerto with the Berlin Radio Symphony in Berlin. If you're a fan of great piano music, you won't want to miss today's show.
Jan 10
Igor Stravinsky
It was an unlikely chain of events that brought Igor Stravinsky and "The Firebird" together. The Ballet Russes first considered four other composers before turning, in desperation, to the young, unknown Stravinsky. The result was a masterpiece, and Stravinsky became an overnight star. Today we'll hear the Netherlands Symphony perform a suite from Stravinsky's ballet.
Jan 9
Karim Al-Zand
Every Friday beginning today, we'll feature a 21st century work, including interviews with the composer. Today, we'll hear the world premiere of "Visions from Another World," by Karim Al-Zand. JoAnn Falletta conducts Houston's River Oaks Chamber Orchestra in the performance. Al-Zand composed this whimsical work based on three different 19th century illustrations. You can view them by scrolling down to Today's Fredlines.
Jan 8
beethoven
We're used to hearing Beethoven's Fifth Symphony come thundering at us from about a hundred musicians on stage. Today, we'll hear the work on a much smaller scale. The Chamber Orchestra of Europe, about half the size of a full symphony orchestra, tackles the Fifth, and brings out its more intimate side. Bernard Haitink conducts the performance, from a concert in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Jan 7
Franz Schubert
Belgium's KlaraFestival aims to get classical music out of the concert hall and into interesting new spaces, holding concerts in train stations, and even the Brussels International Airport. Today, we'll hear a performance from the 2008 KlaraFestival. The National Orchestra of Belgium performed Franz Schubert's Symphony No. 6 - not in an airport, but in a more conventional location, a concert hall in Brussels.
Jan 6
Igor Stravinsky
It was an unlikely chain of events that brought Igor Stravinsky and "The Firebird" together. The Ballet Russes first considered four other composers before turning, in desperation, to the young, unknown Stravinsky. The result was a masterpiece, and Stravinsky became an overnight star. Today we'll hear the Netherlands Symphony perform a suite from Stravinsky's ballet.
Jan 5
After we hear William Walton's musical evocation of this etching by Thomas Rowlandson, Fred Child sits down in our Maud Moon Weyerhaeuser Music Studio for a chat with pianist Rudolf Buchbinder. He's a lover of the live experience: Almost all of his recordings are from concerts. But he'll break with form by playing Schubert and Johann Strauss in the studio. Then we'll go to Amsterdam to hear him perform music from Brahms' Second Piano Concerto.
Jan 3
Concertgebouw
Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra was recently ranked as the top orchestra in the world. And their home, the Concertgebouw, is widely regarded as the best concert hall in the world. Add to that mix conductor Mariss Jansons, whom some have called the best conductor in the world, and you've got an unbeatable combination. Today we'll hear the Royal Concertgebouw with Mariss Jansons at the Concertgebouw, playing Schubert's Symphony No. 3.
Jan 2
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.
Jan 1
Richard_Strauss
The only way to get five of a kind in poker is to cheat. Today, we'll feature five different works by the Waltz King, Johann Strauss, Jr. Plus a suite from "Der Rosenkavalier," by Richard Strauss. No cheating, we swear. We've laid all our cards on the table, and they add up to one great New Year's Day show.