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Classical Notes

Click on Classical this Weekend: celebrating choirs and cellists

Posted at 4:00 PM on October 24, 2014 by Steve Staruch (0 Comments)
Filed under: Click on Classical


Composer Stephen Paulus (MPR photo/Jeffrey Thompson)

I'm back from vacation, and I have a number of very good things to share with you that you can find on Classical MPR's website this weekend.

Remember Stephen Paulus

Last Sunday, we lost one of the region's finest composers; Stephen Paulus passed away at the age of 65. But his music lives, and we've compiled an archive of Paulus's music and interviews from Classical MPR. You can listen to that, and you can also read tributes from a number of people in the music world, and you can share your own thoughts as well.

Celebrate Philip Brunelle

On Thursday, we presented a special called "The Myriad Voices of Philip Brunelle", a special all about VocalEssence (and its predecessor, Plymouth Music Series). The program includes pieces by Argento, Larsen and Paulus, and is hosted by my colleague Bill Morelock.

On a related note, I had Dale Warland and Dominick Argento in for Music with Minnesotans this past week, and they spoke about a piece by Argento that VocalEssence will perform this weekend.

Read a delightful essay

Edward Kelsey Moore is a professional cellist with the Chicago Philharmonic and the Chicago Sinfonietta, and he's also the best-selling author of the novel, The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat. Moore is going to write a series of essays exclusively for Classical MPR, and the first one published this past Tuesday. It's a wonderful reflection about a useful expression Moore learned while performing at a long and arduous gig.

Have a great weekend!

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Here's the musical notation for Jeff Goldblum's Jurassic Park laugh

Posted at 4:13 PM on October 22, 2014 by Jay Gabler (0 Comments)
Filed under: Fun finds

jeff-goldblum-laugh-sheetmusic.jpg

Actor Jeff Goldblum's growling laugh from Steven Spielberg's 1993 film Jurassic Park has taken on a life of its own. The laugh has been sampled and incorporated into electronic dance music by the artist FLIPSH0T, garnering the better part of a million YouTube views. Here's the original laugh, as heard in the film.

Now, you can play Goldblum's laugh on any instrument, thanks to a transcription by Evan Kent. In Kent's transcription, the laugh should first be played mezzo-piano, rising briefly to Fortissimo before concluding mezzo-forte. Pick up your favorite instrument and play along with the movie!

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On the Air This Week

Posted at 5:07 PM on October 21, 2014 by Jennifer Allen (0 Comments)
Filed under: On the air

Highlights from October 21 to 28

Tuesday, 7:15 am: Teacher Feature: Matthew Krage, of Virginia High School.
Tuesday, 5 pm: Music with Minnesotans: Dale Warland and Dominick Argento discuss Seasons.
Tuesday, 7:15 pm: Teacher Feature: Matthew Krage, of Virginia High School.
Thursday, 3 pm hour: Regional Spotlight.
Thursday, 7 pm: Dale Warland and Dominick Argento discuss Seasons.
Thursday, 7:30 pm: Archive on the Radio: The Myriad Voices of Philip Brunelle.
Friday, 8 pm: Minnesota Orchestra: Edo de Waart conducts works by Richard Strauss.
Saturday, 8 pm: Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra: Beethoven's Eroica Symphony and Mozart's 20th Piano Concerto, with pianist Jeremy Denk.
Sunday, 6 am: Pipedreams: At Saint Paul, in St. Paul's.
Sunday, noon: From the Top.
Sunday, 1 pm: SymphonyCast: The New York Philharmonic plays Brahms and Tchaikovsky.
Monday, noon: Learning to Listen: Scary Sounds.
Monday, 8 pm: Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Tuesday, 7:15 am: School Spotlight.
Tuesday, 5 pm: Music with Minnesotans: Mitch Pearlstein, director of the Center of the American Experiment.
Tuesday, 6:45 pm: School Spotlight.

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Click on Classical: ​A musician's best friend, how to get to Carnegie Hall, and the woes of wedding gigs

Posted at 8:50 AM on October 20, 2014 by Jay Gabler (0 Comments)
Filed under: Click on Classical

Wedding 425.jpg

Every Monday morning at 9:15, I visit the Classical MPR studio to talk about stories we're featuring on our website. Here are the stories Alison Young and I will be discussing this morning.

Emily Michael, a writer and singer who is blind, shared a fascinating essay on how she's trained her new guide dog to maneuver in classical music halls — whether Emily is in the stalls or on the risers.

Karl Jenkins might write a short piece just for your choir — yes, yours​. The catch? You have to impress him (or at least his music publisher) first, on YouTube.

Many classical musicians love playing wedding gigs — but not Abigail Sandberg, who hates playing weddings and shared the five reasons why​.

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Click on Classical this Weekend: share your scary music picks

Posted at 4:00 PM on October 17, 2014 by Steve Staruch (2 Comments)
Filed under: Click on Classical, Fun finds


Some Halloween treats can be tasty and healthy. (Rob Hainer via Shutterstock)

I'm on vacation this week, but as you're browsing the Internet this weekend, there's something that's a lot of fun to check out on Classical MPR this weekend.

Specifically, what music do you like to hear on Halloween? Help us create the perfect Halloween playlist by submitting your ideas to our Creepy Classics nominations.

Maybe it's a piece of classical music you always thought sounded a little spectral and spooky. Maybe it's a music score from a film that made your hair stand on end. Be imaginative, be playful. Think of what the trick-or-treaters might like to hear to get them in the spirit of jack-o-lanterns and moonlight.

Send your nominations to our Creepy Classics and we'll vote on the countdown starting next week.

Have a great weekend!

(2 Comments)

Karl Jenkins will write a piece for your choir to maybe perform at Carnegie Hall - if you win this competition

Posted at 10:28 AM on October 16, 2014 by Jay Gabler (0 Comments)
Filed under: Choral Music

Normandale Choir 2.jpg

A letter to the editor in the November issue of BBC Music Magazine identifies Karl Jenkins as a "Marmite composer": you either love him or you hate him. If you fall into the former group, you'll want to get your choir in tune for a competition being run by music publisher Boosey & Hawkes. The choir that wins the competition will have a short piece written specially for them by Jenkins, and will have the opportunity to perform the piece at either Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center.

Here's how it works: you buy the score for Jenkins's motets (read more about a new recording of these works) from Boosey & Hawkes. You perform it, and upload a video of your performance to YouTube. You let Boosey & Hawkes know that you're throwing your hats (or your robes, as it were) in the ring. They choose a winner.

If you win, Jenkins will write "a new short a capella choral work" for your choir, and dedicate it to you. You will then have the opportunity to perform the piece as part of the Distinguished Concerts International New York series at either Carnegie Hall or Lincoln Center. (They choose the venue, and FYI: your choir assumes all expenses for travel and lodging.)

Ready to sing it out? Details regarding the contest, which has a deadline of April 30, are at boosey.com.


Photo: members of the Normandale Lutheran Church Choir, happy to be performing in Ireland this summer, jumping for joy such as your choir might do if you win the Jenkins competition.

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On the Air This Week

Posted at 4:58 PM on October 14, 2014 by Jennifer Allen (0 Comments)
Filed under: On the air

Highlights from October 7 to 14

Tuesday, 7:15 am: School Spotlight: Willmar High School Cardinal Choir.
Tuesday, 5 pm: Music with Minnesotans: Guitar teacher Gary Lee Joyner.
Tuesday, 6:45 pm: School Spotlight: Willmar High School Cardinal Choir.
Thursday, 3 pm hour: Regional Spotlight: The Artaria String Quartet plays music by Pleyel, from Sundin Hall.
Friday, 8 pm: Minnesota Orchestra: Osmo Vanska conducts works by Richard Strauss, including Burleske with pianist Andrew Staupe.
Sunday, 6 am: Pipedreams: From Darkness to Light.
Sunday, noon: From the Top.
Sunday, 1 pm: SymphonyCast: The National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America.
Monday, noon: Learning to Listen: Remembering Stephen Paulus and Leigh Kamman.
Monday, 8 pm: Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra: Bach and Haydn.
Monday, 9:15 pm: The Composer's Voice: Stephen Paulus.
Tuesday, 7:15 am: Teacher Feature: Matthew Krage, of Virginia High School.
Tuesday, 5 pm: Music with Minnesotans: Dale Warland and Dominick Argento discuss Seasons.
Tuesday, 7:15 pm: Teacher Feature: Matthew Krage, of Virginia High School.

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Yo-Yo Ma attends daughter's wedding without cello

Posted at 4:30 PM on October 13, 2014 by Luke Taylor (0 Comments)


Cellist Yo-Yo Ma (Todd Rosenberg)

Unlike freelance writer Abigail Sandberg, cellist Yo-Yo Ma may not hate to play weddings; after all, in 2006 Ma released an album of a wedding music.

That said, Performance Today's Fred Child recently shared a story from WQXR New York that reported how Ma's daughter, Emily Hornor Ma, asked that her father not perform at her wedding, which was held Sept. 27, in Lenox, Mass.

But before jumping to any conclusions about a father-daughter rift, it's notable that the New York Post (which, to be fair, would not be above covering a family-feud story) reported that Ms. Ma wanted her father to "just be a dad that night."

Here's the wedding announcement in the New York Times. WQXR reports that father and daughter danced to "My Girl" at the reception.

World-renowned musician or not, when it comes to a daughter's wedding, being "just a dad" is more than enough. Some might say it's the best one can be.

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Click on Classical this Weekend: name that car!

Posted at 3:50 PM on October 10, 2014 by Steve Staruch
Filed under: Click on Classical, Fun finds


What name would you give Tesfa's new car?

As you're browsing the Internet this weekend, perhaps as you listen to Classical Minnesota Public Radio, I've got these must-sees for you:

Test your knowledge of the flute

My colleague Alison Young has written a wonderful flute quiz for you to try. Whether you're a longtime flute player or an admirer of flute music, you'll enjoy this fun and interactive quiz.

Get the flutist's perspective on the orchestra

Speaking of flute, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra's Julia Bogorad-Kogan has shared her thoughts about what it's like to be a flutist. I love her description of the instrument she recalls picking up for the first time and finding it to be "love at first breath."

Help name Tesfa's new car

Our Choral Initiatives Manager, Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, bought a new car that he'll be driving around the state, sharing the joy of choral music. But he needs a good name for the car. What would you call it? Send in your idea and you'll be entered for a chance to win a box of choral-music CDs.

Listen to Bell play Bach

Speaking of CDs, my colleague Julie Amacher spoke to Joshua Bell about his new album of Bach music. Can you believe this is Joshua Bell's first recording of Bach? He gathered some good friends to help him on it — the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Listen to the music, and you can also enter for a chance to win a copy of the new disc.

Have a great weekend!

On the Air This Week

Posted at 5:27 PM on October 7, 2014 by Jennifer Allen
Filed under: On the air

Highlights from October 7 to 14

Tuesday, 7:15 am: Teacher Feature: Paul Kile, Director of Bands at Edina High School.
Tuesday, 5 pm: Music with Minnesotans: Kevin Held, Ultimate Frisbee enthusiast.
Tuesday, 7:15 pm: Teacher Feature: Paul Kile, Director of Bands at Edina High School.
Thursday, 3 pm hour: Regional Spotlight: Mozart's Kegelstatt Trio.
Friday, 8 pm: Minnesota Orchestra: Andrew Litton conducts music by Richard Strauss.
Sunday, 6 am: Pipedreams: Some Anniversaries.
Sunday, noon: From the Top.
Sunday, 1 pm: SymphonyCast: The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra plays Beethoven and Shostakovich.
Monday, noon: Learning to Listen.
Monday, 8 pm: Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra: Beethoven, Rossini, and Kevin Puts' How Wild the Sea with the Miro Quartet.
Tuesday, 7:15 am: School Spotlight: Willmar High School Cardinal Choir.
Tuesday, 5 pm: Music with Minnesotans: Guitar teacher Gary Lee Joyner.
Tuesday, 6:45 pm: School Spotlight: Willmar High School Cardinal Choir.