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Classical Music Features

  • Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians: Still a near-religious experience
    Reich's masterpiece is not just a piece of music; it's something to bask in, like a sun-drenched beach chair after jumping into a cold ocean.September 10, 2014
  • River Rhapsody on the Danube with Fred Child
    This new trip, hosted by Performance Today's Fred Child, travels to venues, concerts and activities along the Danube River. It features an exclusive private concert at Vienna's Mozarthaus, where Mozart lived for three years. Learn more about the itinerary.September 10, 2014
  • New Classical Tracks: 'Homecoming, A Scottish Fantasy'
    Violinist Nicola Benedetti has an Italian name, but she grew up in Scotland. Her new disc celebrates those Scottish roots, with a classical fantasy on Scottish melodies, a tribute to Robert Burns, and a selection of traditional folk tunes.September 10, 2014
  • Music with Minnesotans: Penelope Freeh
    Penelope Freeh is a dancer and choreographer, a writer and a teacher. Her playlist is both rhythmic and colorful.September 9, 2014
  • What makes a piece of music feel relaxing?
    Music is often most affecting when a performance is so natural, and a composition so well-crafted, that a listener is able to let go and relax into a state of pure experience. But what is it that allows music to bestow this state upon a listener?September 9, 2014
  • SPCO hires Julie Albers as principal cellist
    The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra has named Julie Albers as its new principal cellist. Albers will officially begin her tenure in the 2015-16 season, but will join the SPCO on stage for eight weeks of the current season, including this weekend. MPR News Arts Reporter Marianne Combs has more.September 9, 2014
  • Music Teacher Feature: Ed Schaefle
    Back for its second year, Classical MPR's Teacher Feature highlights the lives and work of music teachers throughout Minnesota. This week, we meet Ed Schaefle, orchestra teacher at Blaine High School in Blaine, Minn.September 9, 2014
  • Ordway builds plans for month-long opening celebration
    When the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts unveils its sparkling new $75 million concert hall next spring, it will do so in elaborate and enduring style. In a month-long celebration that begins March 1, the Ordway will introduce the public to its intimate new venue for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Euan Kerr has more.September 8, 2014
  • Is Faure's "Pavane" the world's favorite piece of relaxing music?
    I'm hard-pressed to think of a more relaxing piece of music than Gabriel Faure's Pavane. The orchestral arrangement, taken at a slow, deliberate but delicate tempo, always puts me in a pleasingly melancholy mood, its gently swooning main melody being perfect for a quiet rainy day or an afternoon free of classes.September 8, 2014
  • Learning to Listen: Books on How to Write Music
    There are a surprising amount of rules when it comes to writing music. Thankfully, several talented composers throughout history wrote a few books on how to do it right.September 8, 2014
  • Morning Glories: Those Who Can, Teach
    As teachers and students begin a new school year, our Morning Glories continue the theme of Music for Learning with five soloists who are also dedicated to music education.September 8, 2014
  • America's soprano Renee Fleming opens Minnesota Orchestra season
    The Minnesota Orchestra will open its new season on Friday with an operatic superstar who aims to redefine what it means to be an American singer. MPR News Arts Reporter Euan Kerr has more.September 5, 2014
  • Renee Fleming on the importance of teachers, curiosity and hard work
    As Classical MPR marks back-to-school month and as the Minnesota Orchestra kicks off its season with special guest, soprano Renee Fleming, we've located this archival interview clip in which Fleming highlights the role of education in any singer's career.September 5, 2014
  • Tension and release: The strange magic of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata
    Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor, which he titled Quasi una Fantasia (Almost a Fantasy), is filled with discord - which is exactly what makes it so effective as a piece of music that can help you relax.September 5, 2014
  • Moveable Feast: Lowertown Eats
    The Concrete and Grass Festival returns to Lowertown in St. Paul this weekend, inspiring John Birge and Minnesota Monthly's Rachel Hutton to discuss a theater-cum-restaurant in the area.September 5, 2014