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Aug 31
Maurice Ravel
In Ravel's Bolero, the lead snare drummer plays a simple pattern 168 times in a row, gradually getting louder for 16 minutes. It's a study in deep concentration, and percussionist David Corkhill has it mastered. From a concert two weeks ago at the Royal Albert Hall in London, rock-solid David Corkhill and the rest of the Philharmonia Orchestra give a riveting performance of Bolero.
Aug 29
Mozart
Karen Geoghegan was 19 years old, and bored. So she signed up to take part in "Classical Star," a TV talent show for young classical musicians in England. As a bassoonist, her expectations were low...but to her surprise she made the final round, and came in second during a live national TV broadcast. She's become something of a celebrity in the UK, she has a record contract, and three weeks ago made her debut at the big summer music festival in London, the Proms. We'll hear the now 21 year-old Karen Geoghegan give a knockout performance of Mozart's Bassoon Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Aug 28
Heather Schmidt
Every Friday, Performance Today features 21st century music. This week: "Lunar Reflections" by 35 year-old Canadian composer Heather Schmidt. It's not in five movements, Schmidt says it's in five "moons." From the delicate beauty of a "February Snow Moon" to the clangorous energy of a "July Thunder Moon." We'll hear the world premiere, from a concert in Toronto by the Gryphon Trio.
Aug 27
tartini
The second movement is some of the most calming, comforting music ever written, and the third movement is a raucous party scene. It's Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5, the "Emperor" Concerto. Arnaldo Cohen at the piano, Michael Palmer conducting the Bellingham Festival Orchestra, at the Bellingham Festival of Music, in Washington state. Plus listener comments and calls about 21st century music, about "Bravo Man," and about an *alleged* Tartini Adagio.
Aug 26
Bruce Adolphe
Every week on our Piano Puzzler, Bruce Adolphe re-writes a familiar tune in the style of a classical composer. We get one of our listeners on the phone to guess the tune, and the composer Bruce is mimicking. Even if you're not the one calling this week, play along! See if YOU can guess the tune and the composer, in our Piano Puzzler.
Aug 25
Susanna Malkki
Susanna Malkki was the only woman in her conducting class in Helsinki ten years ago, but she doesn't want to talk about being a female conductor. Malkki says "If I forget about it then others may forget about it too." Malkki led the BBC Symphony Orchestra last month at the BBC Proms in London, in a lean and rhythmically-charged performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 4.
Aug 24
Mozart
Karen Geoghegan was 19 years old, and bored. So she signed up to take part in "Classical Star," a TV talent show for young classical musicians in England. As a bassoonist, her expectations were low...but to her surprise she made the final round, and came in second during a live national TV broadcast. She's become something of a celebrity in the UK, she has a record contract, and three weeks ago made her debut at the big summer music festival in London, the Proms. We'll hear the now 21 year-old Karen Geoghegan give a knockout performance of Mozart's Bassoon Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Aug 22
Bruce Adolphe
It could be "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in the style of Claude Debussy. Or "Somewhere over the Rainbow" in the style of Beethoven. Every week, composer Bruce Adolphe takes a familiar tune and re-writes it in the style of a classical composer. See if you can guess the hidden tune, and the composer whose style Bruce is imitating.
Aug 21
Bruce Adolphe
Alan Fletcher is President and CEO of the Aspen Music Festival, and he's a composer. He used to think novelists were silly when they would say "my characters speak to me." But then Fletcher noticed that the concerto he was working on seemed to take on a life of its own, and he felt himself observing and even assisting the piece, rather than merely composing it. This week's 21st century work is the Clarinet Concerto by Alan Fletcher, from a concert at the 2009 Aspen Music Festival and School.
Aug 20
Cesar_Franck
The big venue at the Aspen Music Festival is a Teflon-coated fiberglass tent, hardy enough to withstand Rocky Mountain winters. We'll hear a couple of summer 2009 concerts under the Benedict Music Tent: violinist Adele Anthony and pianist Inon Barnatan (EE-nohn BARN-a-tun) play the Violin Sonata by Cesar Franck. And Andrey Boreyko leads the Aspen Chamber Symphony in Franz Schubert's Symphony No. 8, the "Unfinished" Symphony. We'll also talk with some of the locals who like to sit outside the tent, and listen to concerts under the Rocky Mountain sky.
Aug 19
Bruce Adolphe
It could be "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in the style of Claude Debussy. Or "Somewhere over the Rainbow" in the style of Beethoven. Every week, composer Bruce Adolphe takes a familiar tune and re-writes it in the style of a classical composer. See if you can guess the hidden tune, and the composer whose style Bruce is imitating.
Aug 18
David Zinman
Our week of highlights from the Aspen Music Festival and School continues with Music Director David Zinman talking about the mysterious art of conducting. (Zinman compares conducting to being a traffic cop and to riding a horse, and adds that you must be the "conscience of the orchestra," and in the end, the conductor must "BE the music.") Zinman talks the talk, and walks the walk - we'll hear him conduct the Aspen Festival Orchestra in Dvorak's rollicking Carnival Overture. And the Takacs Quartet plays Robert Schumann's A-Major Quartet.
Aug 17
marc-andre hamelin
There are so many venues to choose from in Aspen: the big white tent, the cozy underground concert hall, the historic opera house, the top of the mountain. We'll sample music from nearly all the Aspen venues as we begin a week-long celebration of the Aspen Music Festival and School. We'll hear from the 2009 opening concert by pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin, an all-star performance of Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, featuring violinist Gil Shaham and conductor Nicholas McGegan. And we'll take the gondola to the top of Aspen Mountain to hear from an outdoor concert under the Rocky Mountain sky featuring a student brass quintet.
Aug 15
Aaron Copland
While he was composing it, the working title for one of Aaron Copland's most beloved works was simply, "Ballet for Martha." Martha was Martha Graham, and just before it premiered, the ballet got its name, "Appalachian Spring." We'll hear music from "Appalachian Spring" on today's show, courtesy of the Marlboro Music School and Festival in the southern hills of Vermont.
Aug 14
beethoven
It's not easy to be co-leaders, but pianists Richard Goode and Mitsuko Uchida find a way to make it work at the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont. This hour we'll get to experience the results the beautiful colaborations at Marlboro as Mitsuko Uchida gets together with violinist Soovin Kim and cellist David Soyer in Beethoven's Archduke Trio.
Aug 13
sir_edward_elgar
We'll go to London's Royal Albert Hall to hear a perfect piece for the BBC Proms. Edward Elgar's celebration of an ideal London--without care, without want, and without restrictions--the Cockaigne Overture. Charles Mackerras leads the BBC Philharmonic.
Aug 12
Aaron Copland
While he was composing it, the working title for one of Aaron Copland's most beloved works was simply, "Ballet for Martha." Martha was Martha Graham, and just before it premiered, the ballet got its name, "Appalachian Spring." We'll hear music from "Appalachian Spring" on today's show, courtesy of the Marlboro Music School and Festival in the southern hills of Vermont.
Aug 11
Conductor John Eliot Gardiner says there's one Bach motet that has a special "zing.""Sing to the Lord a New Song," or in German: "Singet dem Herrn," with a "zzz" sound in the word "Singet." Gardiner talks about the visceral fun for singers of that "zzz," which creates an almost percussive effect in the music. And we'll hear Gardiner conduct his Monteverdi Choir in concert two weeks ago at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Bach's motet "Singet dem Herrn," from the 2009 BBC Proms.
Aug 10
Johannes Brahms
The gentlemanly American pianist Richard Goode has never cared for the hype and hyperbole of the music business. Which is one of several reasons he's perfectly suited to his role as co-artistic director of Marlboro Music, the unique artistic retreat in the hills of Vermont. Richard Goode joins us to talk about the value of time and silence at Marlboro, a place that cultivates musical depth over sheer virtuosity. And we'll hear Richard Goode team up with two Marlboro friends for a ravishing performance of the Brahms Horn Trio.
Aug 8
Alondra de la Parra
Leonard Bernstein was a brash young New Yorker when he wrote the music for "West Side Story," mixing classical with jazz and Latin American rhythms. We'll hear a group of brash young *21st century* New Yorkers playing the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story: The Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, founded by 28 year-old conductor Alondra de la Parra. Their concert was this spring at Lincoln Center in New York City.
Aug 7
Arvo Part
Every Friday, Performance Today features 21st century music. This week, the Symphony No. 4 by Arvo Part, dedicated to a man currently imprisoned in Siberia, a political opponent of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Part says "With my composition, I would like to reach out my hand...to the prisoner, and...to all those imprisoned without rights in Russia." Cem Monsur conducts the Helsinki Philharmonic, in concert in Helsinki.
Aug 6
Alondra de la Parra
Leonard Bernstein was a brash young New Yorker when he wrote the music for "West Side Story," mixing classical with jazz and Latin American rhythms. We'll hear a group of brash young *21st century* New Yorkers playing the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story: The Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, founded by 28 year-old conductor Alondra de la Parra. Their concert was this spring at Lincoln Center in New York City.
Aug 5
Bruce Adolphe
This week's Piano Puzzler is on today's show. Composer Bruce Adolphe takes a familiar tune and re-writes it in the style of a great classical composer. A PT listener calls in, tries to guess the hidden tune, and the composer whose style Bruce is imitating. This week, a listener from Lawton, Oklahoma plays his piano right back at Bruce, over the phone!
Aug 4
Mozart
They were there the whole time - two newly-discovered works by the boy Mozart. They're in his father's handwriting, so they were ignored for years. But now that someone actually looked at them, it's clear they're not in the pedantic style of Mozart's father, they're the work of a much more adventurous mind. We'll hear the unveiling of these two newly discovered pieces by Mozart, from a concert (that was also a news conference) in Salzburg on Sunday.
Aug 4
Mozart
They were there the whole time -- two newly-discovered works by the boy Mozart. Theya€™re in his fathera€™s handwriting, so they were ignored for years. But now that someone actually *looked* at them, ita€™s clear theya€™re not in the pedantic style of Mozarta€™s father, theya€™re the work of a much more adventurous mind. Wea€™ll hear the unveiling of these two newly discovered pieces by Mozart, from a concert (that was also a news conference) in Salzburg on Sunday.
Aug 3
Giuseppe Verdi
Host Fred Child wraps up his long weekend at the Interlochen Music Camp in Michigan by sharing a 2009 highlight from the astonishingly talented high schoolers in the World Youth Symphony Orchestra, playing a Verdi overture.
Aug 1
Franz Joseph Haydn
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. And in 1798, Joseph Haydn told that story in music. Haydn's greatest work may have been his oratorio, "The Creation." Music that is at once reverent, and ravishingly beautiful. We'll hear Part One from Haydn's Creation in a glorious concert a week and a half ago at the 2009 BBC Proms, in London. Paul McCreesh conducting his Gabrieli Consort, and a massed ensemble of nearly 200 musicians and singers.