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Sep 30
Sergei Rachmaninoff
For years and years, Sergei Rachmaninoff received negative music reviews for breaking tradition. In response he once wrote, "I'm more focused saying simply and directly that which is in my heart." No more is that focus more evident than in his Second Symphony. We'll hear a concert with Marin Alsop directing the Sao Paolo Symphony Orchestra. Also ahead, Ottorino Respighi composes slithering sounds in music after a visit to the Butantan Snake Institute in Brazil. On Monday's Performance Today, from APM.
Sep 28
Scriabin
Mozart's music often sounds so simple, but unpack it and you will find complexity. Pianist Jeffrey Kahane unravels Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 6 with the New York Philharmonic. Plus, music to open realms of mass enlightenment. Metaphysical music from Alexander Scriabin's Piano Concerto in concert from Belgium. This weekend on Performance Today, from APM.
Sep 27
Jean Sibelius
Finnish composer Jean Sibelius once wrote, "Compositions are like butterflies. Touch them even once, and the dust of color is gone. They can still fly, but are nowhere near as beautiful." That is, let your ears and your gut be your guide, not your analytical mind. We'll admire a musical butterfly this hour: the Symphony No. 7, by Sibelius. Also on the way, a world-premiere performance of chamber music inspired by ephemeral sculptures of Andrew Goldsworthy. On Friday's Performance Today, from APM.
Sep 26
Felix Mendelssohn
As a young man, Felix Mendelssohn took a road trip across Europe and brought back his own kind of souvenirs: musical impressions of travel memories. We'll hear about a visit to the Sistine Chapel, and take in Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Also ahead, cellist Lynn Harrell talks about the evocative Elgar Cello Concerto from the Bellingham Festival. On Thursday's Performance Today, from APM.
Sep 25
Mozart
Mozart's music often sounds so simple, but unpack it and you will find complexity. Pianist Jeffrey Kahane unravels Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 6 with the New York Philharmonic. Plus, violinist Christian Tetzlaff and friends test the acoustics at a de-commissioned power plant in the German mountains. On Performance Today, from APM.
Sep 24
Nightingale
Compared to other animals, birds seem to get all the attention. That's the case in music, at least. We'll hear Igor Stravinsky's musical depiction of fluttering and singing birds in "The Song of the Nightingale," based on Hans Christian Andersen's storytelling. Plus, musical images of the power and beauty of the sea in "La Mer" by Claude Debussy, played by the New York Philharmonic. On Tuesday's Performance Today, from APM
Sep 23
Franz Joseph Haydn
Joseph Haydn was abruptly laid off after working three decades for a Hungarian prince. He took that lemon and made lemonade. Haydn took a trip to London, wrote a dozen symphonies, and found great success late in his career. We'll hear a performance of his "London" Symphony from Belgium. Plus, music as metaphysics with a piano concerto by the young Alexander Scriabin.
Sep 21
Franz Schubert
Franz Schubert wrote a heart-wrenching piano sonata in the fall of 1828, just 2 months before he died at age 32. Pianist Inon Barnatan says even if Schubert was not foreseeing his own passing, it's still some of the most deeply introspective music ever written. PT Host Fred Child joins Barnatan for an exclusive conversation from Steinway Hall in New York City.
Sep 20
Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung
Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung met when they were both in a major piano competition. Instead of becoming arch rivals, they they began to fall in love and now they're married. They'll join PT host Fred Child in the APM studios. Plus, music for string quartet by our PT Piano Puzzler (TM) composer, Bruce Adolphe. On Friday's Performance Today, from APM.
Sep 19
Ravel
It started out as charming piano music Maurice Ravel wrote for the children of a dear family friend. He enjoyed the childlike curiosity he wrote in the work, based on Mother Goose stories, that he expanded it into a full orchestral suite. We'll hear a performance with the New York Philharmonic. Plus, the dazzling, virtuosic fingers of Frederic Chiu at the piano playing Chopin Etudes. On Thursday's Performance Today, from APM.
Sep 18
Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos
"The older I get the younger I feel," says Spanish conductor Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos. He just turned 80 but you can hear his youth come out in a thrilling performance of Beethoven's 5th Symphony, on stage in Copenhagen, Denmark. Plus, folk inspired music by Dvorak that tends to draw cheers, not just claps from the audiences. On Wednesday's Performance Today, from APM.
Sep 17
Richard Strauss
It is no surprise Richard Strauss wrote music that features exciting French Horn parts. His own father was one of the best horn players in Europe. We'll hear a concerto Strauss wrote for his father's 60th birthday. Plus, Israeli pianist Inon Barnatan sits down with PT host Fred Child at Steinway Hall in New York City to perform music with a split personality. On Tuesday's Performance Today, from APM.
Sep 16
Franz Schubert
Franz Schubert wrote a heartbreaking piano sonata in the fall of 1828, just about 2 months before he died at age 32. Pianist Inon Barnatan says even if Schubert was not foreseeing his own passing, it's still some of the most deeply introspective music ever written. PT Host Fred Child joins Barnatan for an exclusive conversation from Steinway Hall in New York City. On Monday's Performance Today, from APM.
Sep 14
Maurice Ravel
At first, critics dismissed Maurice Ravel's string quartet as a total failure, but after Claude Debussy gave an enthusiastic thumbs up, Ravel's one and only string quartet has become a staple of the chamber music repertoire. We'll hear a recent performance in Minneapolis. Plus a rare, Gold-Medal winning performance during a major international music competition by a young Turkish Guitarist. This weekend on Performance Today, from APM.
Sep 13
Gustavo Dudamel
Belgium is quite proud of Adolphe Sax, the inventor of the saxophone. On Friday's show we'll go to the country where the saxophone was invented and hear the PT debut of a 28 year-old Belgian saxophone soloist, Simon Diricq, as he performs with the Liège Royal Philharmonic. Also, we'll go to a concert at Walt Disney Hall, the home-base of conductor Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. On Performance Today, from APM.
Sep 12
A fascinating 21st century work for guitar and orchestra by Roberto Sierra is based on a five hundred years old musical idea. We'll hear an award winning performance bya young Turkish guitarist at the JoAnn Faletta International Guitar Competition. Plus, Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic conjure up a musical image of scampering children amid tall pine trees in an ancient Italian landscape with Ottorino Respighi's masterpiece, The Pines of Rome. On Thursday's Performance Today, from APM.
Sep 11
Arnold Schoenberg
On Wednesday's Performance Today: new takes on older music. Ralph Vaughan Williams found inspiration from Elizabethan English music of the 1500's. We'll hear a Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis performed at the Prague Castle. Plus, Arnold Schoenberg loved the music of Brahms, but disliked the instrumentation of the piano quartet. Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the reorchestration by Schoenerg. On Performance Today, from APM.
Sep 10
Maurice Ravel
Maurice Ravel's string quartet was mostly dismissed as a failure by his teacher, by a prestigious contest and by music critics in Paris. But ever since Claude Debussy gave an enthusiastic thumbs up, Ravel's one and only string quartet has become a staple of the chamber music repertoire. Also we hear a double piano concerto by J.S. Bach that would have been played in a busy, bustling coffeehouse in Leipzig. On Tuesday's Performance Today.
Sep 9
Anton Bruckner
Maybe it's not as popular as Beethoven "Ode to Joy," but Anton Bruckner's towering 8th Symphony does fall among music's greatest symphonic works. We'll hear the last movement performed in Dallas, Texas. And, as a preview of our upcoming young artist in residence series this year, we sample a highlight from last season with violinist Xiang Yu playing the Bach Chaconne. On Monday's Performance Today, from APM.
Sep 7
Timo Andres
Pianist Simone Dinnerstein introduces us to a new piece for based on music by songwriter Leonard Cohen. Also, composer Timo Andres discusses his recomposition of Mozart's Coronation Concerto and why we shouldn't always put all composers up on a marble pedestal. This weekend on Performance Today from APM.
Sep 6
Timo Andres
When composer and pianist Timo Andres saw a partially incomplete piano score part by Mozart, he jumped at an opportunity. He discusses his own recomposition of Mozart's Coronation Concerto and why we shouldn't always put composers up on a marble pedestal. And for the Rosh Hashanah Holiday, a 21st century concerto for Shofar, Trombone and Orchestra.
Sep 5
Peter Tchaikovsky
Of all the great composers, Tchaikovsky may have been the biggest curmudgeon to his fellow composers, including Bach, Brahms and Strauss. But he loved Mozart's music so much he wrote an orchestra suite as a tribute: the "Mozartiana." We also hear Nigel Kennedy performing Vivaldi at the 2013 BBC Proms, and we field PT listener comments over his controversial comments on stage. On Thursday's Performance Today, from APM.
Sep 4
Haim Avitsur - Shofar
The sonorous call of the Shofar, a ram's horn, is especially significant for the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. We recognize the start of the high holiday with a performance of Ernst Bloch's Hebraic Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra, which imitates the booming sound of the Shofar. We have this week's Piano Puzzler, plus music from Scandinavia, on Wednesday's Performance Today.
Sep 3
Simone Dinnerstein
Simone Dinnerstein talks about the enduring appeal of songs by Leonard Cohen. She'll introduce us to a new piece for piano based on Cohen's music. Plus we hear from star violinist Leonidas Kavakos on a rarely performed Szymanowski concerto, on Tuesday's Performance Today.
Sep 2
Martha Argerich
In the mid-1500s, astronomer Nicholas Copernicus came up with a radical theory. The idea that the planets go around the sun, not around the earth. The annual summer music festival in Lugano, Switzerland has something similar. There, things don't revolve around a sun, but around Martha Argerich. We'll visit the Martha Argerich Project, a month-long festival where young, up-and-coming players get to rehearse and perform with the living legend of the piano, on Monday's Performance Today.