Posted at 8:06 AM on May 16, 2007
by John Birge
Welcome May, and Classical Minnesota Public Radio's Pieces of Spring.
Every day, we'll play a springtime classic. Visit our online playlist to find each day's spring piece or, in the Twin Cities, listen to 99.5 every morning at 8. Enter the correct title here, and you have another chance to win fresh flowers delivered to your door for a year! Check back here every day to see if you got it right.
Yesterday's piece was "Spring Dawn," from Peter Schickele's String Quartet #5. Peter Schickele might have come to fame through his “discovery” of Johann Sebastian Bach’s forgotten son P.D.Q. Bach, but he is also an accomplished composer of more than 100 works. His String Quartet No. 5, subtitled “A Year in the Country,” was inspired by a year Schickele spent at his home in Woodstock, New York. Though many of his pieces have wonderfully descriptive names, Schickele doesn’t like the idea of non-musical associations. The titles, such as “Spring Dawn” and “Bugs,” came after he had finished composing the music.
If you're intrigued by opera with a Minnesota spin, you might want to check out this staging of Rossini's "Barber of Seville," to be offered this summer by Duluth Festival Opera: the setting will be Roaring '20s Duluth, on a fictitious estate somewhere in the Zenith City, with Count Almaviva recast as a local rich kid.
Of course (Scrabble players take note), you could add just two letters to that opera's title, and set it in another Minnesota municipality. . . .