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Oct 31
Phantom of the Opera
Musical spirits will haunt the PT airwaves on Halloween. Gentle, blessed spirits by Christoph Gluck. The ghost of Banquo, from Shakespeare's Macbeth, by Richard Strauss. A pinch of Edgar Allan Poe. Some music inspired by Dracula. A dancing devil. And the preferred music of every movie villain who ever had a pipe organ stashed in his basement, Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.
Oct 29
Brooklyn Rider
They take their name from New York City's most populous borough. But the string quartet that calls itself Brooklyn Rider specializes in crossing geographical and musical boundaries. Brooklyn Rider joined host Fred Child in the PT studios recently. In this weekend's show, we'll hear a couple of their genre-bending tunes, Gypsy music from Finland and an Argentinian tango.
Oct 28
Brooklyn Rider
They take their name from New York City's most populous borough. But the string quartet that calls itself Brooklyn Rider specializes in crossing geographical and musical boundaries. Brooklyn Rider joined host Fred Child in the PT studios recently. In today's show, we'll hear a couple of their genre-bending tunes, Gypsy music from Finland and an Argentinian tango.
Oct 27
Ludwig van Beethoven
Somehow it seems appropriate that an orchestra dedicated to equality and brotherhood should be playing the music of Beethoven in today's show. Those themes, so prominent in his Ninth Symphony, show up in much of Beethoven's work. We'll hear conductor Daniel Barenboim and the West Eastern Divan Orchestra, made up of Israeli and Arab musicians working side-by-side, performing Beethoven's Fifth Symphony in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Oct 26
Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower was built for the Exposition of 1889, changing the Parisian landscape forever. But the Exposition also changed the soundscape of Paris, and of the world. Claude Debussy went there and heard Indonesian gamelan music for the first time. He was fascinated with the sounds and rhythms, and immediately started incorporating them into his music, paving the way for what would become Impressionism. The Borromeo String Quartet plays Debussy's String Quartet, profoundly influenced by his encounter with the sound of the gamelan.
Oct 25
Swan
Today's show is all about the swan song, that last gasp of creative energy and beauty before dying. We'll hear the final performances of several 20th century greats, including conductor Leonard Bernstein and pianist Vladimir Horowitz. And the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra performs Tchaikovsky's Sixth Symphony. Nine days after its premiere in 1893, Tchaikovsky was dead.
Oct 24
Richard_Strauss
Franz Schubert was a musical Peter Pan, who never got the chance to grow old. By contrast, Richard Strauss (pictured) lived well into his 80s. In today's show, a musical snapshot of each man as he came of age. We'll hear Schubert's Symphony No. 3 from Paris, and Richard Strauss' Serenade for 13 Wind Instruments from the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont, both written when the composers were 18.
Oct 22
Liszt
How to sum up Franz Liszt in just a few words? A musician of such immense skill that people whispered he was in league with the devil. A savvy businessman who encouraged those rumors, knowing that there's no such thing as bad press. A reformed rock star with a wild youth and an intensely spiritual old age. We'll hear all sides of Franz Liszt this weekend, in celebration of his 200th birthday.
Oct 21
Liszt
Franz Liszt wrote hundreds of original piano works and piano transcriptions. But his magnum opus for the piano is the B Minor Sonata. Marc-Andre Hamelin performs it, from a special PT event several weeks ago in Boston, hosted by Fred Child. Plus, we'll hear the late great poet Bill Holm reading his own poem, based on Franz Liszt's "Forgotten Romance."
Oct 20
Till Eulenspiegel
Richard Strauss reached back to the Middle Ages to find a thoroughly modern character, the class clown. Till Eulenspiegel was a legendary German folk-hero who thumbed his nose at just about everybody. His antics got him in trouble with the authorities, and eventually earned him a one-way trip to the gallows. Kent Nagano and the Montreal Symphony play Strauss' rollicking tone poem, "Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks," in concert in Montreal.
Oct 19
piano
If pianos could feel fear, they'd probably all turn tail and scamper offstage when they know Franz Liszt's music is coming. In today's show, two unsuspecting instruments get a workout. Olga Kern gives a ferocious, keyboard-busting performance of his Totentanz, or Dance of Death, with the Nashville Symphony. And Roberto Plano joins Fred Child in the studio to play Lizst's expressive Transcendental Etude No. 11.
Oct 18
Gustavo Dudamel
In today's show, two great American orchestras, from Los Angeles and Philadelphia. Gustavo Dudamel leads the west-coast band in Mozart's Symphony No. 35, the Haffner Symphony. And pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet joins the east-coasters on a European tour. They play Liszt's Second Piano Concerto, from a concert in Berlin.
Oct 17
Liszt
How to sum up Franz Liszt in just a few words? A musician of such immense skill that people whispered he was in league with the devil. A savvy businessman who encouraged those rumors, knowing that there's no such thing as bad press. A reformed rock star with a wild youth and an intensely spiritual old age. We'll hear all sides of Franz Liszt this week, in celebration of his 200th birthday.
Oct 15
Debussy Claude
The sea. It's where life on earth began. And by some measure, Claude Debussy's "La Mer" (the Sea) is where 20th century music began. Completed in 1905, it's an orchestral masterpiece, an amazingly complex piece of music with a disarmingly simple name. We'll hear a terrific performance by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Thomas Sondergard. Plus, pianist Alessio Bax is in the PT studios to play three Rachmaninoff preludes.
Oct 14
Debussy Claude
The sea. It's where life on earth began. And by some measure, Claude Debussy's "La Mer" (the Sea) is where 20th century music began. Completed in 1905, it's an orchestral masterpiece, an amazingly complex piece of music with a disarmingly simple name. We'll hear a terrific performance by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Thomas Sondergard. Plus, pianist Alessio Bax is back in the PT studios to play three Rachmaninoff preludes.
Oct 13
Alessio Bax
When he was a boy, Alessio Bax wanted desperately to be an organist. He wasn't tall enough to reach the organ pedals, so had to settle for second-best, the piano. Safe to say it's a compromise that has worked out well for him. He has a busy solo and chamber music career and a couple of well-received CDs. We'll meet Alessio Bax when he joins host Fred Child in the PT studios, today and tomorrow.
Oct 12
Sergei Rachmaninoff
The combination of an unusually thin skin and some particularly sharp digs by critics completely deflated Sergei Rachmaninoff, and sent him into a tailspin after the premiere of his first symphony. One reviewer at the premiere compared it to the seven plagues of Egypt. Times and tastes have changed since then, and audiences today love it. Osmo Vanska and the Minnesota Orchestra give a rousing performance of this diamond in the rough, from a recent concert in Minneapolis.
Oct 11
Maurizio Pollini
A master pianist and one of the world's great orchestras rendezvous in a magnificent concert hall to play a Mozart concerto together. We'll go to Vienna to hear Maurizio Pollini play Mozart's Piano Concerto Number 12 at the Musikverein, with the Vienna Philharmonic. Plus, cellist Steven Isserlis plays a concerto by Saint-Saens with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
Oct 10
Aspen
Ralph Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis has been called one of the most beautiful pieces of the 20th century. It's in today's show, from a performance at one of the most beautiful spots in the U.S., the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado. Plus, violinist Joshua Bell plays a Beethoven Romance with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Oct 8
Conrad Tao
It was the opportunity of a lifetime, but it was also something a seasoned veteran might have to think twice about before agreeing to. Pianist Conrad Tao is seasoned, but he's also only 17. Still, when the call went out for a last-minute substitute for an ailing pianist, Tao jumped at the chance to give a solo recital on one day's notice. In today's show, Tao's talks about his last-minute solo recital in Fort Worth. And we'll hear from the performance that had Texas critics raving.
Oct 7
Itzhak Perlman
In the first half of the 20th century, thousands of children and young adults were stricken with polio. One of them was violinist Itzhak Perlman, who lost much of the use of his legs when he contracted polio at age 4. Perlman joined host Fred Child recently to talk about his experience with polio, and to discuss efforts at worldwide eradication of the disease. And we'll hear him in a performance of the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Oct 6
Conrad Tao
It was the opportunity of a lifetime, but it was also something a seasoned veteran might have to think twice about before agreeing to. Pianist Conrad Tao is seasoned, but he's also only 17. Still, when the call went out for a last-minute substitute for an ailing pianist, Tao jumped at the chance to give a solo recital on one day's notice. In today's show, Tao's talks about his last-minute solo recital in Fort Worth. And we'll hear from the performance that had Texas critics raving.
Oct 5
Jean Sibelius
When he was in his late 50s, Finnish composer Jean Sibelius' creative well was running dry. If only Sibelius himself could have dried out, he might have written more. An alcohol-fueled depression seemed to be at the root of the problem. In today's show a fellow Finn, conductor Osmo Vanska, leads the Minnesota Orchestra in Sibelius' final major work, his Symphony Number 6.
Oct 4
Gil Shaham
A Chinese folk tale became music in the hands of composers Chen Gang and He Zhanhao. Some have called it the Chinese Romeo and Juliet, a story of two star-crossed lovers. After violinist Gil Shaham heard it for the first time, he 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.
Oct 3
Boston
This week, we welcome all our new listeners in and around Boston. PT is now being carried by Classical New England in Boston. In today's show, we'll feature great performances by James Levine and the Boston Symphony, and pay visits to the Boston Early Music Festival and the New England Conservatory, representing just a part of the vibrant arts scene in this historic city.
Oct 1
Charlie Albright
PT's newest Young Artist in Residence is pianist Charlie Albright. He joins host Fred Child in the PT studios for music and conversation. We'll get a chance to meet this surprising and talented young man. He's pursuing a music career with all the passion and energy you might expect, but there's more to him than that. In today's show, he plays several Etudes by Frederic Chopin.