Johann Strauss, Jr. wrote most of his waltzes for specific parties, conventions and other celebrations. Today he's our traditional go-to guy for a New Year's Day soundtrack. The Strauss brand was Festive, even if its namesake could be a little gloomy. And when he was lured by lucre to a strange, faraway land, Strauss saw menace in every smile.
In this essay, Bill Morelock muses about his development as a classical host, and the "peculiar" challenges of the job.
This may sound unusual, but there exists a kinship between golf and classical music that deserves exploring. For the benefit of golfers, if not musicians. Bill Morelock explains.
Life rushes on, and stops not for an hour, said a 14th century poet. Now chances are you're way too busy confirming the timelessness of medieval wisdom to put on the brakes. But here's something to keep, if rushing ever wrecks you: A retreat from a time-worn treadmill. A tactic for stopping a clock.
In this essay, Bill Morelock discusses the source of the saying "A little learning is a dangerous thing," and its meaning.
You're walking through the skyway on your way to an orchestra concert. There at the turn of the corridor a young woman is playing a violin. Her instrument case is open on the floor. She's playing something aching. Bach, maybe, though you're not sure.
On a bicycle built for pain.
Tune-in tonight for a new show: Roll Credits, a show about film music with hosts Bill Morelock and Lynne Warfel. Tonight, we'll look into what was in the Hollywood water on the eve of World War II. The single year 1939 gave us Gone With the Wind, Stagecoach, Wuthering Heights, Of Mice and Men, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and The Wizard of Oz, among others. Steiner, Herrmann, Copland, Tiomkin, Arlen. And that's just the beginning.
A Polish pianist developed a sense of mission when her keyboard interests turned decidedly old-school. Get the full story in the Short Version.
Easter Sunday from 3-4pm on Classical Minnesota Public Radio, you can hear the Coronation Mass by Mozart. A work, not surprising by the logic of nicknames, first presented on Easter Sunday, 1779.
If you heard last Friday night's Minnesota Orchestra broadcast on Classical Minnesota Public Radio, or attended the concert at Orchestra Hall, you've already been introduced to James MacMillan's music. Thursday evening you can hear a work from a different era -- and different musical world -- in MacMillan's career.
William Schwenck Gilbert was one of the most brilliant lyricists of the musical stage. But even genius sometimes welcomes a little prodding from the headlines. There Gilbert found the kernel for an essential Gilbert & Sullivan character. The Pirates of Penzance wouldn't have been the same without him.
This week on Classical MPR, we celebrate Dmitri Shostakovich. He walked the difficult tightrope of keeping the Soviet leadership pleased with his music and produced a catalog of rich, diverse masterpieces in the process.
It's an all-American week on Classical MPR. Bill Morelock hosts five symphonies each day this week by Aaron Copland, George Chadwick, Charles Ives, William Grant Still and Libby Larsen.
Archive recording of SPCO's first concert at the brand new Ordway Music Theatre in St. Paul