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Classical Music Features

  • Learning to Listen: Alisa Weilerstein discusses the cello
    Cellist Alisa Weilerstein's third recording is a love letter to the cello, and its evolution as a solo instrument. Hear her talk about cello, and hear selections from her new recording on this week's Learning to Listen.December 15, 2014
  • Morning Glories: Birthday Beethoven
    This week brings us the birthday of the man who for many is the archetypal composer in the classical tradition, Ludwig van Beethoven (the evidence points to a December 16 birthday -- no one is absolutely sure). We'll note the anniversary with five Morning Glories, each in a different genre: sonata, symphony, string quartet, ballet, and choral.December 15, 2014
  • Wagner works serious themes into rom-com wrapper
    There's something of a romantic-comedy plot in Richard Wagner's 'Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg', but there's much more. Even when writing comedy, Wagner couldn't restrain himself from exploring serious themes. Classical MPR's Rex Levang sheds light on this ahead of Saturday's Met Opera broadcast.December 12, 2014
  • New Holiday Albums: a gift-giving guide
    The holiday season means music, and for many, it also means gift-giving. Classical MPR's Associate Music Director Jennifer Allen has a look at some of the year's new holiday albums as you consider gifts for the music lover in your life (maybe even for yourself).December 12, 2014
  • Which Nutcracker recording is for you?
    Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker has always been one of my favorite pieces of classical music, and come December, I'm ready to listen to the best recording of the 1892 ballet. Wait...which recording is that?December 12, 2014
  • 12 Days of Choral Christmas
    Starting Dec. 12, Classical MPR's Tesfa reveals a choral special as he counts his way to Christmas Eve. Check this page each day at 11:45 a.m. to hear the day's feature, and listen to the Choral Stream.December 12, 2014
  • Light and Gold: The Music of Eric Whitacre
    Eric Whitacre is the most popular choral composer today, and his works are beloved by choirs throughout the world. In this one-hour programs, he introduces the music with co-host Brian Newhouse and describes the often-colorful backstory of how each piece came to be.December 12, 2014
  • Moveable Feast: Restaurateurs of the Year
    This week on Moveable Feast, John Birge and Minnesota Monthly's Rachel Hutton discuss the "Restaurateurs of the Year" -- the chef/owners of Travail.December 12, 2014
  • Regional Spotlight: Augsburg Advent Vespers
    In this week's Regional Spotlight, we continue our holiday selections with two very recent performances from the 2014 Augsburg Advent Vespers in Minneapolis.December 11, 2014
  • How I learned to love modern music
    My parents loved the big bands, polkas, and what they called "real" classical music - i.e. the music of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and most of their contemporaries. They disliked the music of Gustav Mahler, Arnold Schoenberg, and anything else they deemed to be "noise." To my dismay, they also lumped the Beatles in that category.December 11, 2014
  • Top Score: Composer Trevor Morris
    Trevor Morris received his first commission at 13 years old, when he wrote a song for the Pope. Now, Morris's commissions are for the 'Dragon Age' video games. Morris is Emily Reese's guest on this week's Top Score.December 11, 2014
  • Interview: Podcast star Laurent Girard of Melodium
    Laurent Girard is a French composer and performer releasing work as Melodium. His instrumental music draws on classical, ambient, folk, and pop influences. He sometimes uses the term folktronica.December 10, 2014
  • New Classical Tracks: The Warmth of Christmas from the Sunny South
    Miami-based Seraphic Fire's new album, 'Candlelight Carols', captures the beauty of the group's live holiday performances. It also includes works by Minnesota composers Jake Runestad and Abbie Betinis. What's more, you can enter for a chance to win a copy of the CD.December 10, 2014
  • Flicks in Five: 'It's a Wonderful Life'
    Just before its release at Christmas in 1946, composer Dimitri Tiomkin's original score to 'It's a Wonderful Life' was overhauled. On this week's Flicks in Five, we'll hear Tiomkin's original finale for the film.December 9, 2014
  • SPCO celebrates balanced budget and record audiences
    While orchestras nationwide experienced a decline in ticket sales of more than 20 percent in the last decade, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra audience has increased by more than 40 percent.December 9, 2014