Dmitri Shostakovich was born in St. Petersburg, Russia on September 25, 1906. Years after his death, he remains one of the most important figures in 20th-century classical music and one of the most controversial. Under pressure from Soviet authorities, he compromised his art. At least that was how it seemed.
To mark the centenary of the birth of Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, classical host Bill Morelock presented a program in Minnesota Public Radio's UBS Forum. Morelock discussed Shostakovich and his compositions with his guests, pianist Alexander Braginsky and cellist Tanya Remenikova.
How did Aaron Copland come to write music to accompany the balletic adventures of cowboys, desperadoes, and pioneer homesteaders? Open Air host Bill Morelock throws a lasso around the memory of this influential American composer.
How did it happen that a young man, son of Russian and Polish Jews, reared on the streets of Brooklyn, New York, nearsighted, who never so much as climbed on a horse or brushed the dust off his chaps... how did Aaron Copland come to write music to accompany the balletic adventures of cowboys and desperadoes and pioneer homesteaders?
On Nov. 13, 1943, 25 year-old Leonard Bernstein heard his song cycle "I Hate Music" premiered in New York. A fine title by a young man who, the very next day, would become the most famous musician in America. Open Air host Bill Morelock follows Leonard Bernstein on perhaps the most remarkable day in a remarkable life in music.
The American novelist Thomas Wolfe said that America is not only the place where miracles happen, but where they happen all the time. This is the story of a miracle, a true-life fairy tale, and appropriately enough it begins with the intervention of the Almighty.
When Johann Strauss, Jr. came to America in 1872, concert promoters in Boston went all out. They built a great wooden hall which held an audience of 100,000, not to mention an additional 20,000 singers and musicians. Strauss conducted his own music, communicating with the multitudes through 100 assistant conductors. A sincere expression of our love of Strauss' music (or celebrity?), or a megalomaniacal lust for spectacle? Strauss was pretty sure he knew. Bill Morelock looks at the American sojourn of a reluctant Waltz King.
When Johann Strauss, Jr. came to America in 1872, concert promoters in Boston went all out. They built a great wooden hall which held an audience of 100,000, not to mention an additional 20,000 singers and musicians. Strauss conducted his own music, communicating with the multitudes through 100 assistant conductors. A sincere expression of our love of Strauss' music (or celebrity?), or a megalomaniacal lust for spectacle? Strauss was pretty sure he knew.
Classical music host Bill Morelock remembers composer Edvard Grieg on his 162nd birthday.
Classical host Bill Morelock looks at how a proto-marketing campaign in 1917 made infamous the composers Darius Milhaud, Georges Auric, Germaine Tailleferre, Arthur Honegger, Francis Poulenc, and Louis Durey.
When French composer Erik Satie wrote the music for "Parade" during World War I, he set in motion the attitude for Paris of the 1920s.
The writer and artistic gadfly Jean Cocteau is most famously credited with having defined and led that group of young French composers known as "Les Six" Darius Milhaud, Georges Auric, Germaine Tailleferre, Arthur Honegger, Francis Poulenc and Louis Durey. However, a less well-known but equally remarkable character was as instrumental in creating the conditions in which The Six presented their music together for the first time, and became the most recognizable "brand" in French music.
Without Satie, the Six (Les Six) might have been four, or seven, or some other number not quantitatively, and certainly not qualitatively, six. Satie, in his impishness and spite, unwittingly invented an attitude. Just as Elvis and Chuck Berry struck the various poses that defined what a rock & roll musician was, Satie introduced the zests and spices, perversities and witticisms, hatreds and loves that characterized the anarchic musical ferment of the nineteen-teens and twenties in Paris. Satie--like an unrepentant patriarch of rock--angered and confused anyone complacent in his or her tastes and too awfully sure of how the world turned.
Sydney Fortunato lived, and died, in what may have been the last snippet of time during which the light in a small storefront bookstore on an early autumn evening could still calm the soul.
Twenty-five years ago Classical Music host Bill Morelock was a graduate student at Washington State University in Pullman. The day Mt. St. Helens erupted, Pullman was on the southern edge of the fan-shaped progress of the ash cloud as it drifted east. As dramatic as a 12-hour rain of volcanic ash and darkness in mid-afternoon were, the anniversary is always linked with and even overshadowed by a private spreading of ashes that day, and the loss of a friend. What follows is an elegy of sorts. A month after the eruption Morelock fled academia and began working in something called Public Broadcasting, another durable reminder of the day the mountain blew.