On Now

Music Through The Night®
Andrea Blain
Listen to the Stream
  • Symphony No. 4 12:07 Robert Schumann
    Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
    Riccardo Chailly
    Buy Now
  • Oboe Quintet: Canzonetta 12:01 Theodore Dubois
    Trio Hochelaga
    Jean-Luc Plourde, viola
    Philippe Magnan, oboe
    Buy Now
Other MPR Radio Streams
Choral Stream
MPR News
Radio Heartland

You can now listen to Classical and Choral Music on your iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad) or Android device.

Blog Archive

December 2014
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      

Master Archive

Contact Us

Purchase the Music

  • Buy the music you've heard on-air! Your purchase helps support our classical service.


Classical Notes

Category Archive: Programs

Nystedt legacy continues with Knut's grandson

Posted at 2:30 PM on December 9, 2014 by Vaughn Ormseth (0 Comments)
Filed under: Choral Music, Programs

Håkon Daniel Nystedt is artistic director for the Oslo Chamber Choir (photo by Helge Lien)

Knut Nystedt, who passed away this week at the age of 99, left a lasting mark on the world of music. Meanwhile, Nystedt's grandson, Håkon Daniel Nystedt, continues his grandfather's legacy as conductor of the Oslo Chamber Choir (Oslo Kammerkor).

The Oslo Chamber Choir did a perfchat on Performance Today during my time with the program, and it became one of the all-time listener favorites of 2009 — people went wild for these elegiac Nordic songs, some of which were layerings of folk songs with other classical choral works (Bruckner, etc.). Asked about the lingering melancholy of these songs, Håkon Daniel Nystedt joked the emotion "is our speciality."

You can listen to the Oslo Chamber Choir's 2009 performances from Performance Today here:
PART I: Grieg and A Wedding March
PART II: Sheep herding songs and Rachmaninoff

One of the most beautiful works on the choir's 2012 CD Strid ("Struggle") is Håkon Daniel Nystedt's own arrangement of The Bridal March of Myllarguten.

The CD was featured on New Classical Tracks with Julie Amacher; you can also listen to the disc via Spotify:


Night Gallery: Caption Challenge

Posted at 9:42 AM on May 12, 2014 by Luke Taylor
Filed under: Classical hosts, Fun finds, Programs

Radio, like the Internet, is a 24/7 operation. If, for example, it's just before midnight on Christmas Day, there are people working in the building at Minnesota Public Radio.

So what do people get up to during those hours?

Scott Blankenship is one of the hosts of Music Through the Night (MTTN), the overnight programming on Classical MPR. The MTTN audience members are a loyal bunch, and they tend to engage with the hosts via the Music Through the Night Facebook page.

Among the many music-related offerings on the page is the occasional caption challenge. Last week, Scott Blankenship posted this picture:

... and then he invited people to submit their caption ideas. Other audience members vote for their favorites by liking (in the Facebook sense) the submissions. Scott writes, "The most likes at the end of the night gets braggin' rights for the week!"

Here are some of the higher-ranking entries:

Will Anderson: "He was doing alright, right up until he went flat."

Steve Fusselman: "Sounds like I need a tune-up"

Kat Cooper: "just a little bass-ic soap box derby engineering"

Basha Yonis takes a Far Side approach: "Being from a family involved in classical music, Bobby completely misunderstood when he overheard the older kids talking about 'driving bass'."

Rachel Kopel: "School district combines music classes and Shop to reduce budget."

Looking at the number of likes given to each entry, it appears Rachel may have earned those "braggin' rights" Scott offers!

You can read these, among 40-plus additional comments and caption ideas, by checking out the full post on the Music Through the Night Facebook page.

What other caption ideas do you have? Share them below.

Soundtracks to on-screen adventures

Posted at 12:21 PM on April 10, 2014 by Emily Reese
Filed under: Fun finds, In the media, Programs

Music is an integral part of the gaming experience. Even though the first game, Pong, didn't have music, it wasn't long before every on-screen adventure had its own soundtrack.

In the early days, composers had access to two or three channels that could each produce one sound at a time. As a result, a lot of early scores end up simulating Baroque-era figured bass and early counterpoint. Eventually, gaming technologies caught up with present day. Now, gamers are treated to full orchestral scores, depending on the game itself. Consistently, I'm surprised and in awe of the talented composers who are writing soundtracks for video games.

For instance, Gustaf Grefberg's score for Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is captivating. Grefberg, an unknown quantity to me until I heard this score, works for a Swedish game developer called Starbreeze Studios. For the Brothers soundtrack, he mimicked an old Scandinavian singing tradition called "kulning", used primarily by women to call back the herds at the end of each day. Grefberg's kulning is used to great effect, in a game about family and loss.


Peter McConnell wrote a terrific score to Broken Age, demonstrating his love of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring at a moment in the game involving a fairytale-esque sacrifice. McConnell's instrumentation is always a delight — his scores demand musicianship from the performers.

The fandom for video game music is deep and wide. Lately, a handful of string quartet projects have popped up in celebration of that fandom. The Videri String Quartet formed recently in the Boston area, and a project called The String Arcade recorded a string quartet album of game music to raise money for an El Sistema-based after-school program in California.

As always, it's a pleasure to share this music with you, and I look forward to bringing you more in the future!

Roll Credits: 07/23/2012

Posted at 2:10 PM on July 24, 2012 by ClassicalMPR
Filed under: Programs, Roll Credits

John Barry - Out of Africa
John Barry, conductor
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Richard Rodgers - Carousel: June is Bustin' Out All Over Ballet
Alfred Newman, conductor
20th Century Fox Orchestra

Richard Adler/Jerry Ross - The Pajama Game: Steam Heat
Hal Hastings, conductor
Original Broadway Cast

Dave Grusin - On Golden Pond: Main Theme
Erich Kunzel, conductor
Cincinnati Pops

Irving Berlin - Alexander's Ragtime Band: Heat Wave

Henry Mancini - Hatari: Baby Elephant Walk
Henry Mancini and His Orchestra

Arthur Freed/Nacio Herb Brown - Singin' in the Rain: Singin' in the Rain
Lennie Hayton, conductor
MGM Studio Orchestra

Harold Arlen - The Wizard of Oz: Over the Rainbow
Herbert Stothart, conductor
MGM Symphony Orchestra

John Williams - Jaws: Theme
John Williams, conductor
Boston Pops Orchestra

Leonard Bernstein - West Side Story: Cool
Johnny Green, conductor
Studio Orchestra

Frank Loesser - Neptune's Daughter: Baby, it's Cold Outside
Georgie Stoll, conductor
MGM Studio Orchestra

Roll Credits: 03/26/2012

Posted at 11:54 AM on March 27, 2012 by ClassicalMPR (1 Comments)
Filed under: Programs, Roll Credits

Mikos Rozsa: Sinbad Battles and Finale from The Golden Voyage of Sinbad
City or Prague Phil/Kenneth Alwyn
Silva 1056

Nino Rota: The Godfather Finale
Studio Orchestra
MCA 10231 3:50

Bernstein: Finale and End Credits West Side Story
Sony 89226
Original Soundtrack re-release

Maurice Jarre: Is Paris Burning?
BBC Concert Orchestra/Jarre
RCA 35793

Rodgers and Hammerstein: Finale to Oklahoma
Angel 27350

Rodgers and Hammerstein: So Long, Farewell and Climb Every Mountain
Sound of Music Soundtrack
RCA PCD1-2005

Henry Mancini: Pink Panther Theme
Boston Pops/Williams
Philips 47362

Irving Berlin: There's No Business Like Show Business
Boston Pops/Williams
Philips 438070

Richard Rodgers: Slaughter on Tenth Avenue

Irving Berlin: Easter Parade Finale
Judy Garland and Fred Astaire
CBS 45392

Meredith Willson:
Goodnight my Someone and 76 Trombones from The Music Man
Shirley Jones and Robert Preston
Warner Brothers 27158

Barry: Goldfinger End Credits


Roll Credits: 03/19/2012

Posted at 2:44 PM on March 21, 2012 by ClassicalMPR
Filed under: Programs, Roll Credits

Irving Berlin. arr. Morton Stevens - There's no business like show business from Annie Get Your Gun
John Williams, conductor
Boston Pops
Philips 412 132

Robert and Richard Sherman - Super . . . from Mary Poppins
Original Soundtrack Recording
Disney 16

Lerner & Loewe - Overture and I wonder what the king is doing tonight from Camelot
Original Cast Recording
Sony 275

Meredith Willson - Pick a Little Talk a Little from The Music Man
Original Soundtrack Recording
Warner 1459

Bock/Harnick - Fiddler on the Roof
John Williams, conductor
Boston Pops
Philips 438 070

Kern/Hammerstein - Ol' Man River
Paul Robeson, vocal
Omega 3007

Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein - Shall We Dance
Yul Brynner, vocal
Marni Nixon, vocal
Angel 27351

Rodgers & Hammerstein - If I Loved You
Gordon MacRae
Angel 64692

Richard Rodgers - Carousel Waltz
Original Soundtrack

Warren and Gordon - Get Happy from Summer Stock
Original Soundtrack Recording
Judy Garland, vocal
CBS 46199

Irving Berlin - Alexander's Ragtime Band
Canadian Brass
Philips 434 276

Irving Berlin - A Couple of Swells from Easter Parade
Fred Astaire & Judy Garland, vocals
Sony 45392

Roll Credits: 03/12/2012

Posted at 9:55 AM on March 13, 2012 by ClassicalMPR (1 Comments)
Filed under: Programs, Roll Credits


Richard Rodgers - The King and I: Main Title; Is a Puzzlement
Alfred Newman, conductor
Studio Orchestra
Yul Brynner, vocal

Rodgers and Hammerstein - Oh What a Beautiful Morning from Oklahoma
Original Soundtrack
Gordon MacrRae, vocal

Leonard Bernstein - West Side Story: Overture; Prologue
Studio Orchestra
Sony 48211

Meredith Willson - The Music Man: Main Title/Rock Island/Iowa Stubborn
Ray Heindorf, conductor
Studio Orchestra
Warner 1459

Frederick Loewe - My Fair Lady: Overture; I'm an Ordinary Man
Franz Allers, conductor
Original Broadway Cast
Rex Harrison, vocals

Arthur Freed - Make 'em Laugh from Singin' in the Rain
Original Soundtrack
Sony 45394

Richard Rodgers - Oklahoma: Overture
Jay Blackton, conductor
Studio Orchestra
EMI 27350


Roll Credits: 02/27/2012

Posted at 12:52 PM on February 28, 2012 by ClassicalMPR
Filed under: Programs, Roll Credits


Erich Korngold - The Adventures of Robin Hood: Robin Hood and his Merry Men
John Scott, conductor
Royal Philharmonic Pops
Denon 75470

Bronislau Kaper - Mutiny on the Bounty: Main Title
Erich Kunzel, conductor
Cincinnati Pops
Telarc 80682

Leigh Harline - Pinocchio: When You Wish Upon a Star
John Williams, conductor
Boston Pops Orchestra
Philips 454736

Ludovic Bource - The Artist
Original Soundtrack Recording

William Walton - Hamlet: The Ghost
Neville Marriner, conductor
Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Chandos 8842

George Gershwin - An American in Paris: Our Love is Here to Stay
Johnny Green, conductor
MGM Studio Orchestra
Gene Kelly, vocals
Rhino 72720

Charlie Chaplin - Limelight
Thomas Beckmann, cello
Swiss Broadcasting 62

Maurice Jarre - Lawrence of Arabia: Overture
Tony Bremner, conductor
Silva 5006

Henry Mancini - Moon River
Henry Mancini, conductor
Mancini Pops Orchestra
RCA 55938

Bill Conti - The Right Stuff: Yeager's Triumph
Bill Conti, conductor
London Symphony Orchestra
Varese Sarabande 66460

Roll Credits: 02/20/2012

Posted at 11:10 AM on February 21, 2012 by ClassicalMPR
Filed under: Programs, Roll Credits


Jerry Goldsmith - Air Force One
Varese Sarabande 6460

John Williams - Star Wars: The Phantom Menace: Main Title/The Flag Parade
Erich Kunzel, conductor
Cincinnati Pops
Telarc 80535

Miklos Rozsa - Ben-Hur: Parade of the Charioteers
Kenneth Alwyn, conductor
City of Prague Philharmonic
Silva 1056

George M Cohan - Yankee Doodle Dandy: Strictly Off The Record
James Cagney, vocals
Hollywood Soundstage 4002

Richard Wagner - Ride of the Valkyries
Erich Leinsdorf, conductor
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Sheffied Labs 10052

John Williams - JFK: Prologue
John Williams, conductor
Studio Orchestra
Elektra 61293

John Williams - Star Wars: Main Title
John Williams, conductor
Boston Pops
Philips 420

Erich Korngold - King's Row: Main Title
Charles Gerhardt, conductor
National Philharmonic Orchestra
RCA 7890

John Williams - Jurassic Park
John Mauceri, conductor
Hollywood Bowl Orchestra
Philips 442425

John Williams - March from "1941"
John Williams, conductor
Boston Pops Orchestra
Philips 420178

Roll Credits: 02/13/2012

Posted at 8:00 PM on February 13, 2012 by ClassicalMPR
Filed under: Programs, Roll Credits


Barry: Out of Africa
Royal Phil/Barry

Steiner: Tara Theme GWTW
Royal Phil/Serebrier
RPO 017

Michel Legrand: I Will Wait for You
Cincinnati Pops/Kunzel
Telarc 80319

Rosza: Spellbound Concerto

Mark Knopfler: Storybook Love from Princess Bride
Warner Brothers 25610

Max Steiner: Casablanca
National Philharmonic/Gerhardt
RCA 0422

Weill/Anderson: September Song
Walter Huston
Pro Arte 509

Franz Waxman: Peyton Place
Hollywood Bowl Orchestra/John Mauceri
Philips 446681

Alex North: Unchained

John Barry: Lion in Winter
City of Prague Philharmonic
Silva 6018

Waxman: Philadelphia Story
National Philharmonic/Gerhardt
RCA 0708

Roll Credits: 02/06/2012

Posted at 11:29 AM on February 7, 2012 by ClassicalMPR
Filed under: Programs, Roll Credits


Williams: Theme from Schindler's List
Cincinnati Popos/Kunzel
Telarc 80495

Karas: Third Man Theme
Andre Riu
Philips 312522933

Alexandre Desplat: Remembering Marilyn from "My Week with Marilyn"
Lang Lang, piano
Sony 88697983672

Howard Shore: The Chase from "Hugo"
Howe Records HWR 1007

Francois Parisi: Ballade du Paris from Midnight in Paris
Madison Gate Records

Bernard Herrmann: Citizen Kane
National Philharmonic/Charles Gerhardt

Elmer Bernstein: To Kill a Mockingbird
Royal Philharmonic Pops/Bernstein
Denon 75288

Henry Mancini: Charade
Royal Philharmonic Pops/Mancini
Denon 2320

Roll Credits: 01/30/2012

Posted at 2:35 PM on January 31, 2012 by ClassicalMPR
Filed under: Programs, Roll Credits



Rachel Portman - Emma Prague Philharmonic - Silva 6018

Elmer Bernstein - The Great Escape -Royal Philharmonic Pops - Denon 75288

Paul Anka - The Longest Day: March -Cincinnati Pops - Telarc 80175

John Williams - The Adventures of Tintin: selections - Studio Orchestra - Sony 97588

Charles Williams - The Apartment: Main Theme - Boston Pops Orchestra - RCA 60393

Ludovic Bourse - The Artist: selections - Brussels Philharmonic - Sony 97895

Frank Loesser - How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying: I Believe In You - Original Broadway Cast

Miklos Rozsa - Madame Bovary: Waltz - Hollywood Bowl Orchestra - Philips 438685

Mychael Danna - Moneyball: selections - Studio Orchestra

Continue reading "Roll Credits: 01/30/2012"

Roll Credits: 01/23/2012

Posted at 2:09 PM on January 24, 2012 by ClassicalMPR
Filed under: Programs, Roll Credits


Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II, arr. Alfred Newman - The King and I Overture
Original Soundtrack Recording
EMI 27351

Jerry Goldsmith - The Generals March
London Symphony
Telarc 80433

Randy Newman - Ragtime
Studio Orchestra
Rhino 78245

Randy Newman - She Loved Me from Toy Story 2
Nonesuch 79689

Jerome Moross - The Big Country
Philharmonia Orchestra
Silva 1048

Irving Berlin - There's No Business Like Show Business
Philips 439 070

Dmitri Tiomkin - Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling
Telarc 80141

John Williams - War Horse: Dartmoor
Original Soundtrack
Sony 97528

Alfred Newman - How the West Was Won
Cincinnati Pops
Telarc 80141

Alfred Newman - Cathy's Theme from Wuthering Heights
National Philharmonic
RCA 184

Max Steiner - Gone with the Wind Main Theme
Boston Pops
Philips 411 037

Roll Credits: 08/29/2011

Posted at 1:18 PM on August 30, 2011 by ClassicalMPR
Filed under: Programs, Roll Credits

Alan Silvestri - Forrest Gump
Original Soundtrack
Epic 66430

Lalo Shifrin - Main Title and Tar Sequence from Cool Hand Luke
Original Sountrack
Aleph 022

Don Ray/Hughie Prince - Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
The Osborne Sisters
Telarc 80366

Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein II - The Last Time I Saw Paris
The Four Freshmen
Capitol 98475

John Barry - Suite from The Lion in Winter
David Temple, conductor
The City of Prague Philharmonic
Silva 6015

Cole Porter - Friendship from Dubarry Was a Lady
Ethel Merman, vocal
Bert Lahr, vocal
ProArte 473

Leonard Rosenman - East of Eden Main Title
Skitch Henderson, conductor
New York Pops
Angel 54499

Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein II - Sure Thing/Long Ago and Far Away
Sylvia McNair, soprano
Andre Previn, piano
David Finck, double-bass
Philips 442 129

John Williams - Seven Years in Tibet
John Williams, conductor
Studio Orchestra
Yo-Yo Ma, cello
Sony 51333

Frank Churchill/Ned Washington - Baby Mine from Dumbo
Wally Harper, conductor
Studio Orchestra
Barbara Cook, vocal
MCA 6244

Roll Credits: 08/23/2011

Posted at 2:14 PM on August 23, 2011 by ClassicalMPR
Filed under: Programs, Roll Credits


Berlin: There's No Business Like Show Business
Patti Lupone/hollywood Bowl Orchestra
Philips 446406

Kern/fields: The Way You Look Tonight
Fred Astaire
Sony 44233

Harline: When You Wish Upon A Star
Boston Pops/fiedler
Rca 60393

Berlin: White Christmas From Holiday Inn
Bing Crosby And Marjorie Reynolds
Vintage Jazz Classics 1012

Berlin: Count Your Blessings From White Christmas
Patti Lupone/hollywood Bowl Orchestra/mauceri
Philips 446406

Newman: Captain From Castile
Gerhardt/national Philharmonic
Rca 184

Mancini: Days Of Wine And Roses
Mancini/studio Orchestra And Chorus
Rhino 72278

Legrand/the Bergmans: I Will Wait For You
Jessye Norman/john Williams
Philips 422401

Barry: Theme From Goldfinger
Kunzel/cincinnati Pops
Telarc 80251

Jones/lubbock/temperton: The Color Purple
Itzhak Perlman/williams/pittsburgh Symphony
Sony 63005

Williams: Theme Form Schindler's List
As Above

Horner: Re-entry And Splashdown From Apollo 13
Kunzel/cincinnati Pops
Telarc 80437

Desplat: Snape Goes To Malfoy Manor
From Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1
Warner Brothers 39212

Kaper: Hi Lili, Hi Lo
Jimmy Durante
Warner Brothers 45456

Garrison Keillor to retire in 2013

Posted at 2:41 PM on March 16, 2011 by Brett Baldwin (2 Comments)
Filed under: Programs

Garrison KeillorGarrison Keillor, creator and host of A Prairie Home Companion, recently announced his intention to retire in the spring of 2013 in an article in AARP magazine.

Over the past couple years, Garrison Keillor has talked about the eventual retirement, but this is the first instance of him setting a date. Keillor intends to find a replacement host for the program over the next two years, a topic he's joked about frequently on the program. This January, bluegrass singer-songwriter Sara Watkins acted as guest host.

MPRNews' Marianne Combs is following the story with a series of blog posts and more in-depth coverage as the story develops.

Meanwhile, the program continues with a compilation show this weekend, and the spring run of shows picks up March 26 at The Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. You can hear A Prairie Home Companion every Saturday at 5 p.m. on Classical MPR.


A Korngold Euro Classic

Posted at 2:40 PM on September 14, 2010 by Ward Jacobson
Filed under: Programs

Erich Korngold hit it big in this country as one of the pioneers of film music composition, winning two Academy Awards along the way.

Korngold was never too comfortable with all that Hollywood success though, fearing his more serious music would be brushed aside.

Classical MPR's exclusive Euro Classic (12:05am, Thursday) offers up something from Korngold that was never in a film - a Piano Trio he composed 100 years ago, at age 13. You'll hear a concert recorded live in 2009 at the Parish Church of Santa Maria, Vilabertran, with Trio Parnassus.

Hope you can stay up a little later Wednesay night!

Classical Music is alive at the State Fair!

Posted at 11:19 AM on September 3, 2010 by Alison Young
Filed under: Events, Musician stories, Programs

Six fabulous young opera singers from the Minnesota Opera Resident Artist Program were my guests yesterday at the State Fair. The eager crowd "bravo-ed" and "brava-ed" a selection of Rossini, Donizetti as well as a kind of barbershop styled "O Mio Babbino Caro." The three low-voiced men even sang a dueling "Toreador" from Carmen. It was a gas!

No one broke character even when a PA system took over or when a few drops of rain threatened to end the fun.

If you're planning to take in the fair, drop by the MPR booth. I should be preparing just now to introduce Cantus this afternoon - MPR's new artists-in-residence. But as I sit at my desk, I am glued to our web-cam with the three gubernatorial candidates holding forth - there is one guy talking non-stop....I won't say who, you'll have to watch for yourself!

Still more great stuff at the MPR booth at the State Fair - visit us in person or online.

Euro Classic Fantastique

Posted at 2:13 PM on August 31, 2010 by Ward Jacobson (1 Comments)
Filed under: Programs

It's so cool we're doing it in two installments.

Gustavo Dudamel leads the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra and the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra in the Symphonie Fantastique by Hector Berlioz - a performance recorded live last October at the Salle Pleyel in Paris.

It's a long work, so we're taking two Euro Classics to get it all in on Classical MPR. The first two movements (Dreams & Passions and A Ball) are at 12:05am (CDT, Thursday, Sept. 2) with the final three movements (Scenes in the Fields, March to the Scaffold, and Dream of a Witches' Sabbath) to follow next Thursday (9/9, 12:05am, CDT).

Symphonie Fantastique is an epic work that tells the story of an artist's self-destructive passion for a beautiful woman. And that artist just happens to be Berlioz himself.

Plus, it's Dudamel....with two orchestras - that's exciting all by itself. Hope you can stay up late this week and next, with Classical MPR.


Minnesota Orchestra (and MPR) at the Proms

Posted at 8:32 AM on August 27, 2010 by Rex Levang (1 Comments)
Filed under: Concerts, Musician stories, Programs

Today's the day when the Minnesota Orchestra begins its two-day stand at the Proms in London. MPR's Brian Newhouse is also in London to host the broadcast, which you can hear at 1:30 (Minnesota time) this afternoon.

Britons who may be less familiar with the Orchestra and its conductor can do prep work by reading an article in Wednesday's Telegraph. The headline writer may have gotten a tad carried away in describing the Orchestra's pre-Osmo "obscurity"--but see what you think. Complete article here.


PT...the Proms...Paul Lewis...and Beethoven

Posted at 1:46 PM on August 10, 2010 by Ward Jacobson
Filed under: Musician stories, Programs

Paul Lewis was born in Liverpool two years after the Beatles broke up. Now he's on a quest to become the first pianist to perform all five Beethoven piano concertos in one summer at the BBC Proms in London, although not necessarily in order. Order, shmorder.

Performance Today featured Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2 on today's show. No. 3 is coming up on Thursday's program. No. 5 comes later this month.

And just in case you missed it back in July, here's a sampling of Mr. Lewis at the Proms playing No. 4, with that exquisite opening phrase (it gets me every time).

Tonight's Euro Classic: Berlioz

Posted at 2:44 AM on August 4, 2010 by Ward Jacobson
Filed under: Programs

Hector Berlioz composed three operas. Benvenuto Cellini was the first, loosely based on the memoirs of the Florentine sculptor of the same name. The opera failed at the Paris Opera (in 1838) and was a major setback in the composer's career. Technically, the opera is very challenging and it's rarely if ever performed today. But the Overture is a different matter. Tonight's Euro Classic (12:05am CDT, Thursday) is a performance recorded live in October, 2008, featuring the Spanish Radio & Television Symphony Orchestra. Here's a video primer.

Hatzis and the Multi-Media

Posted at 1:51 PM on August 3, 2010 by Ward Jacobson
Filed under: Programs

Whether you're staying up really, really late Tuesday night, or getting up really, really early Wednesday morning, check out Music Through the Night just after 4:45am (CDT, Wednesday). You'll hear the piano trio movement ("Old Photographs") from a multi-media work called "Constantinople" by Christos Hatzis - a work written for mezzo-soprano, Arabic singer, violin, cello, piano, and (wait for it)...electronic audio. "Constantinople" offers an exploration of age-old cultural and religious issues. Hatzis was born in Greece in 1953, was educated in the U.S., became a Canadian citizen 25 years ago, and is now considered one of that country's most important composers today. Get a preview from the video below.

Another Euro This Weekend

Posted at 1:26 AM on July 29, 2010 by Ward Jacobson
Filed under: Programs

Hope you've found some time to stay up a little later on Wednesday nights this summer for our weekly Euro Classic (12:05am Thursdays). Last night (okay, earlier this morning) we featured a terrific recording from July, 2009 with the Szymanowski Quartet playing Haydn's String Quartet No. 66 (opus 77, #1) at the Wartburg Castle in Eisenach, Germany. Such vigorous and energetic music from a man who was admittedly exhausted (he had just completed The Creation) and wasn't all that excited about getting the commission. But of course, Haydn was never one to mail it in.

There's another exclusive Euro Classic concert coming up on Classical MPR Saturday night, and it promises to pack a pretty strong punch. Gustavo Dudamel conducts the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra in Santa Cruz de Pacairigua by Evencio Castellanos in an October, 2009 concert recorded live at the Salle Pleyel in Paris. Be listening Saturday night at 8:05.

Euro-Cello...Late Night

Posted at 3:10 AM on July 21, 2010 by Ward Jacobson
Filed under: Programs

Tonight's Euro Classic comes from the Teatro Monumental in Madrid. It's a concert recorded in October, 2008, featuring a concerto by a French composer who hit the big time with a work that called upon his Spanish ancestry.

Edouard Lalo specialized in French Chamber Music during the 19th century. But it was his Symphony Espanol (1873) that was his breakout achievement. Four years later, he followed it up with another work bursting with Spanish elements, the Cello Concerto (d minor). Cellist Xavier Phillips joins the RTVE Symphony Orchestra (also known as the Spanish Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra, which services RTVE, the Spanish National Broadcasting Network).

If you're up late tonight, be sure to tune in to Classical MPR, just after midnight.

A Late Night Taste of Poland

Posted at 3:15 AM on June 2, 2010 by Ward Jacobson
Filed under: Programs

His father made violins. His mother was a talented violinist. And Andre Panufnik became one of the most important Polish composers of the 20th century. In his autobiography, Composing Myself, Panufnik wrote that In his early years, he never consciously listened to his mother's playing, but it was constantly in his ears, a background music, part of the fabric of his life. He said, "The music was an instrinsic part of my existence, like cleaning my teeth, eating my meals, even breathing."

Two of the 12 symphonies Panufnik composed were destroyed during the Warsaw Uprising of World War II. Many of his pieces drew from the traditional folk songs of his homeland, making his music uniquely Polish.

Tonight's (12:05am, Thursday) Euro-Classic comes from the Philharmonic Concert Hall in Krakow, with the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra performing Panufnik's A Procession for Peace. Hope you can stay up late with Classical MPR.

Late Night with Brubeck on Classical MPR

Posted at 3:46 AM on May 26, 2010 by Ward Jacobson
Filed under: Programs

Later this summer, jazz legend Dave Brubeck has two gigs with the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall and then it's down to the Blue Note in NYC for three shows - and that's just the first two weeks of June!

In December, Brubeck celebrates his 90th birthday. Amazing.

50 years ago, Brubeck wrote some music for the American Ballet Theatre. Points on Jazz is a ballet suite for two pianos - a set of rhythmic variations on an earlier work that was inspired by the composer's visit to the Chopin Museum in Warsaw.

Tonight's (12:05am, Thursday) Euro-Classic comes from Rome. It's a performance recorded live last October with the Bostonian brothers Anthony and Joseph Paratore (and two pianos!).

Haydn's Protest Music

Posted at 1:26 AM on May 19, 2010 by Ward Jacobson
Filed under: Programs

Haydn mixing it up with the likes of Bob Dylan, Peter Paul & Mary, and Springsteen? Well, yeah - when you consider his own brand of protest music, the Symphony No. 45, known as the "Farewell" Symphony.

Haydn composed #45 with the intent to get his musicians at Esterhaza some much-deserved time-off to be with their wives. The "protest" would come in the symphony's finale, where the players would blow out their candles and leave, one at a time, until there were just two violinists left playing at the very end, Haydn and his first chair, Luigi Tomasini.

Tonight's Euro Classic (12:05am, Thursday) features the Barcelona Symphony, the National Orchestra of Catalonia, in a performance recorded live last October at L'Auditori in Barcelona.

The 2009-10 concert season began (as it always does) with the Mozart Festival. The Haydn Symphony was intened to bid farewell to Christian Zacharias as the Director of the Festival. Mr. Zacharias leads the orchestra in tonight's performance. Hope you can stay up late with Classical MPR.

Don't forget Mom!

Posted at 8:23 AM on May 7, 2010 by Alison Young
Filed under: Programs, The blog

I was gabbing with my mom yesterday via Facebook (can you believe my MOM knows more about social networks then me?!) I was telling her about what I've been up to lately:

"This Sunday I'm taking dedications and requests from 8-2 for Mother's Day...oh, woops, right, uh...mom, Happy Mother's Day!"

I had nearly forgotten MY mom, so I very deftly filled out a Mother's Day request form then and there...I was saved!

If Mother's Day slipped your mind too, there's still time to request a special piece of classical music for mom either today on Friday Favorites or on Sunday.

Not Your Typical 14-year-old

Posted at 12:43 AM on May 5, 2010 by Ward Jacobson
Filed under: Programs

Felix Mendelssohn was 13 when he composed his first Piano Quartet. His second came a year later, and there's a noticeable change in the sound and feel of #2. Confidence. Maturity. Musically speaking, Mendelssohn was 14 going on 40, and the virtuoso dominance of the pianist over the string players stands out. The pianist's fingers fly around at high speed while the strings hunker down, offering more compact, less flamboyant bits.

Stay up late with Classical Minnesota Public radio tonight (12:05am, Thursday) for another exclusive Euro-Classic performance. The Mozart Piano Quartet performs Mendelssohn's Piano Quartet No. 2 in a concert recorded live last July during the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Northern Germany.

Euro Classics SING This Week

Posted at 3:07 AM on April 28, 2010 by Ward Jacobson
Filed under: Programs

Classical MPR's exclusive Euro-Classics focus on the voice this week.

In the mid 17th century, Claudio Monteverdi was in his 70s and still going strong composing all sorts of varied music involving the voice. His collection entitled Selva Morale e Spirituale (Moral and Spiritual Forest) contained nearly 40 vocal works - motets, psalms, mass settings and madrigals. They all varied in size, from the small motet for solo voice and continuo to the more grand settings like the "Gloria" for seven voices, two violins, four violas, four trombones, and continuo. Stay up late tonight (12:05am Thursday) to hear selections from Monteverdi's "Selva Morale e Spirituale" in a performance recorded live in June, 2009 at St. Kastor Basilica in Koblenz, Germany with the ensemble La Venexiana.

Late Night Dudamel

Posted at 1:17 AM on April 21, 2010 by Ward Jacobson
Filed under: Programs

Stay up late tonight (12:05am, Thursday) with Classical MPR for our exclusive Euro-Classic. That sensation of the podium, Gustavo Dudamel, conducts the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra performing the 2nd Suite from Ravel's Daphnis and Chloe in a concert from October, 2009, recorded at the Salle Pleyel in Paris.

The original ballet score was the largest work Ravel ever composed, calling for an enormous orchestra (with 15 distinct percussion instruments), and a wordless chorus, heard both onstage and offstage. From that massive score came two suites, with the second suite drawing its music from the ballet's final three numbers.

So try to squeeze in a nap today and stay up late with us tonight!

Euro-Classic Goes to the Opera

Posted at 12:37 AM on April 15, 2010 by Ward Jacobson (1 Comments)
Filed under: Programs

I hope you're getting the chance to stay up late with Classical MPR on Wednesday nights for our weekly Euro-Classic (Thursdays, 12:05am). Last night featured a splendid performance from pianist Ivan Martin playing five sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti, a concert recorded live in the medieval Spanish monastery known as Santa Maria de Vilabertran.

You can also hear these exclusive Euro-Classic performances on the weekend - specifically Saturday nights just after 8:00. This Saturday, soprano Soile Isokoski joins the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra in the Final Scene from the Richard Strauss opera Capriccio, A Conversation Piece for Music. The performance took place in March, 2009 in Luxembourg.

Capriccio is the last completed opera by Richard Strauss. In one act, the opera was inspired by a late 18th century comical work by Antonio Salieri and librettist Biambattista Casta about tensions among opera personalities.

Tensions among opera personalities? Say it ain't so!

Check it out Saturday night.


The Mendelssohn Workout

Posted at 12:51 AM on April 7, 2010 by Ward Jacobson
Filed under: Musician stories, Programs

British violinist Daniel Hope (who happens to have a pretty terrific website) seems too busy for a workout. Not only is the guy a world-class soloist, he's also a broadcaster, author, musical activist, and producer - among other things. But if he is looking for a good sweat, he can bypass the gym. There's always Mendelssohn.

Tonight's (Thursday, 12:05am) Euro-Classic features Mendelssohn's beloved E minor Violin Concerto - a vigorous, athletic work. The composer was still in his 20s when he started it, and yet it's music brimming with wisdom.

Stay up late with Classical MPR to hear a recording from last September, with Daniel Hope and the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra at Olav's Hall in Trondheim, Norway.

And there's another Euro-Classic Saturday night at 8:05, as Piers Lane plays the Paderewski Piano Concerto with the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Music for Good Friday

Posted at 10:48 AM on April 2, 2010 by Alison Young
Filed under: Programs

"To think that it took an actor and a Judensohn (a Jewish boy) to revive the greatest Christian music for the world."

Thus said Felix Mendelssohn in 1829 after his successful revival of Bach's monumental "St. Matthew Passion," the first in nearly 100 years, and one that sparked a world-wide revival of music that had been labeled stuffy and too intellectual.

Bach wrote his Passion while living in Leipzig. It sets chapters 26 and 27 of the Gospel with interspersed arias and chorales and was most likely premiered on Good Friday in the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, where Bach was the Kapellmeister

Listen to Classical MPR at 1:00 on this Good Friday to a new recording with Riccardo Chailly, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Choir of the Thomaskirche.

Rachmaninoff's Swan Song

Posted at 3:22 AM on March 10, 2010 by Ward Jacobson
Filed under: Programs

The Symphonic Dances was Rachmaninoff's last complete work, composed initially for two pianos. Supposedly, the composer himself was surprised by how great the orchestrated version sounded when he attended its premiere. As he was being congratulated and patted on the back he is reported to have said, "I don't know how it happened, it must have been my last spark."

We'll hear that last spark later tonight (12:05am, Thursday) when our weekly Euro Classic ventures to Brussels for a 2008 performance with the Toulouse Capitol Orchestra.

Ah, Spring

Posted at 3:26 AM on March 3, 2010 by Ward Jacobson
Filed under: Programs

The last couple of days replete with sunshine and warmer temperatures have made the promise of spring all the more legit. Stay up late tonight (12:05am, Thursday) for another blast of spring - our weekly Euro-Classic comes from Luxembourg (where, appropriately, it was also supposed to be sunny and around 40-degrees all this week!). In a performance recorded live a year ago, the Luxembourgh Philharmonic Orchestra plays Claude Debussy's Spring Symphonic Suite (Printemps) - a work where, for the first time, the term impressionism was applied.

Mr. Kraus Goes to Sweden

Posted at 1:33 AM on February 24, 2010 by Ward Jacobson
Filed under: Musician stories, Programs

Joseph Martin Kraus made his way from Germany to Sweden when he was 21, desperately trying to get the attention of the music-loving King Gustav. Kraus lived in extreme poverty during his first three years in Stockholm, but eventually got his foot in the door and the King took notice. By 1781, Krauss had become Director of Sweden's Royal Academy of Music. Many of his symphonies have been lost or attributed to other composers, but there's an authentic Kraus symphony waiting for you late tonight (12:05am, Thursday) on Classical MPR. It's an exclusive, Euro-Classic performance by the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra, recorded live last June in Schwetzingen, Germany.

Our Saturday night (8:05pm) Euro-Classic returns to Germany (St. Kastor Basilica, Koblenz) where there's gorgeous choral music: selections from Monteverdi's Vespers of the Blessed Virgin, featuring the ensemble La Venexiana.

Late Night Classical - Palestrina

Posted at 3:22 AM on February 17, 2010 by Ward Jacobson
Filed under: Programs

Giovanni Palestrina became famous through his incredible output of sacred music - his masses alone (or at least most of them) appeared in 13 volumes printed between 1554 and 1601. Stay up late tonight with Classical MPR (12:05am, Thursday) to hear the Swiss Radio Choir in an exclusive performance, recorded live last October in the Pauline Chapel of Quirinale Palace, Rome. They'll sing Palestrina's Missa Gabriel Archangelus, tonight's Euro Classic.

Another Euro Classic awaits Saturday night (8:05pm), when pianist Andras Schiff, violinist Yuuko Shiokawa and cellist Miklos Perenyi perform Haydn's Piano Trio No. 31.

Off to Norway for Roman Festivals

Posted at 1:15 AM on February 10, 2010 by Ward Jacobson
Filed under: Programs

Stay up late tonight (12:05am, Thursday) with Classical MPR for a performance of Respighi's Roman Festivals, the final part of his spectacular trilogy of symphonic poems celebrating the Eternal City. Respighi wanted this piece to be big, bold and stand out from the crowd. So it's off to Olav Hall in Trondheim for a performance recorded live last September with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra and conductor Josep Caballe-Domenech.

Saturday night (just after 8pm), Classical MPR heads to Madrid for a performance of the Bizet Symphony in C featuring the RTVE Symphony Orchestra and conductor Adrian Leaper,

The exclusive Euro-Classic concerts are heard twice-weekly on Classical MPR.

Music Matters!

Posted at 11:39 AM on February 3, 2010 by Alison Young (1 Comments)
Filed under: Programs

On today's Performance Today, it's the first in a new monthly series "Music that Matters."

Fred brings us a story about the Reverie Harp. It's an instrument that anyone can pick up and play beautifully with no practice or musical skill. (How about that?!)

It's now being used in hospice and therapeutic settings - and it just happens to be made in Minnesota!


Late Night With Rachmaninoff's 4th

Posted at 1:17 AM on February 3, 2010 by Ward Jacobson
Filed under: Programs

Sergei Rachmaninoff came to America in the wake of the Bolshevik Revolution - all he brought with him was his family and his talent.

Rachmaninoff had to make money quickly, so he put composition and conducting on the shelf and went on extensive concert tours as a pianist. It wasn't until 1926 that he felt secure enough to take a break and start writing again.

Stay up late tonight and hear the end result of some of that writing - Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 4, played by Peter Donohoe with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta. Our weekly Euro Classic concert was recorded in February, 2009 at Hong Kong's Kwai Tsing Theatre and an exclusive performance awaits you tonight (12:05am, Thursday) on Classical Minnesota Public Radio.

You Could Be a Winner (Dept. of String Quartets)

Posted at 4:36 PM on January 27, 2010 by Rex Levang
Filed under: Events, Programs

Do you play in a high school or college string quartet? Would you like to win a trip to Saint Paul and take a master class from the Parker Quartet (currently wowing MPR audiences in live concerts all over our region)?

Performance Today is hosting a competition for young string quartets, and would love to hear from you--all the details are here.

(While you're surfing, and speaking of Performance Today ... check out their Facebook page.)

Strauss Up Late With Classical MPR

Posted at 2:41 AM on January 20, 2010 by Ward Jacobson (1 Comments)
Filed under: Programs

Richard Strauss was just 25 when he wrote Death and Transfiguration, a tone poem depicting the death of an artist. A man lies dying, with thoughts of his life passing through his head, his childhood innocence, the struggles of his manhood, achieving his worldly goals, and at the end, receiving the longed-for transfiguration "from the infinite reaches of heaven."

Tonight's EURO CLASSIC is an exclusive performance, recorded live on March 5th, 2009, from the Philaharmonie in Luxembourg, with the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Emmanuel Krivine. Stay up late (just after midnight, Thursday) with Classical MPR.


Low Cal Beethoven

Posted at 12:34 AM on January 13, 2010 by Ward Jacobson
Filed under: Ludwig van Beethoven, Musician stories, Programs

It was common practice in Beethoven's day to arrange large scale works for smaller forces. After all, getting to the concert hall wasn't always possible, so this allowed amateur musicians to experience great music right in their homes.

Beethoven's assistant, Ferdinand Ries arranged the "Eroica" Symphony for piano quartet, and you'll hear an exclusive performance by the Mozart Piano Quartet, recorded live last July at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Northern Germany.

Stay up late tonight for our weekly Euro Classic - just after midnight (12:05am, Thursday).

A Musical "First" for the first

Posted at 9:21 AM on January 1, 2010 by Alison Young (1 Comments)
Filed under: Musician stories, Programs

Today's a day of musical firsts - first symphonies, first performances, first recordings.

Just a moment ago, I played a newer rendition of the first performance ever to be recorded. Though other recordings had been made a decade earlier, this is the only one still in existence.

A representative of Edison saved this moment - a Friday afternoon concert in June of 1888. Sir August Manns led an orchestra of 500 and a choir of over 4,000, in front of an audience of something like 23,722 in London's Crystal Palace.

Though the wax cylinder recording is ghostly, it is a "musical first!"

Happy New Year and thanks to MPR member Bill in La Crosse for alerting me to this recording.


Emerson String Quartet Plays Beethoven

Posted at 2:40 AM on December 30, 2009 by Ward Jacobson
Filed under: Programs

In the early 19th century, the Russian Ambassador in Vienna was a fellow named Andreas Razumovsky, and he had a wide circle of musical friends - notably Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven. Some music historians believe it was Razumovsky who introduced Beethoven to Russian folk music.

Later tonight (12:05am, Thursday), you'll hear an exclusive performance (from June, 2009 at the Rococo Theatre in Schwetzingen, Germany) by the Emerson String Quartet, playing one of Beethoven's three Razumovsky Quartets, which were all dedicated to the Russian Ambassador. Stay up late for our weekly Euro Classic on Classical MPR.

Saturday's Euro Classic (8:05pm) features I Fagiolini performing Madrigals by Claudio Monteverdi.

Once in Royal David's City...

Posted at 9:18 AM on December 24, 2009 by Alison Young (3 Comments)
Filed under: Musician stories, Programs

For 90 years, this simple carol has opened A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from King's College in Cambridge, England.

Our broadcast host Michael Barone told me that the boy choristers all learn the first solo verse and don't know who will sing it until the conductor Stephen Cleobury points to the lucky one right before he has to sing!

It's an exciting moment and a beautiful service. We carry the Festival live this morning and repeat it tonight at 5:00 - Don't miss this Christmas Eve tradition of word and music!


Up Late Wednesday....

Posted at 3:10 AM on December 16, 2009 by Ward Jacobson
Filed under: Programs

Bella Bartok had been exiled by the Nazi's to the United States in 1940 - he was in rough shape physically, emotionally and professionally. But a group of colleagues, led by Fritz Reiner, arranged a commission for a major work for the Boston Symphony Orchestra - the perfect vehicle for Bartok's recovery. Bartok had been hospitalized at the time, and when Serge Koussevitzky arrived at the hospital with a substantial downpayment, the impact was immediate! Bartok rallied, and finished the piece within seven weeks.

Stay up late tonight (just after midnight, Thursday) with Classical MPR for an exclusive performance of Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra.

This week's Euro Classic comes from Salle Pleyel in Paris, with the Radio France Philaharmonic Orchestra (Philippe Jordan, conductor) in a performance recorded live on February 2nd, 2009.

There's another Euro Classic Saturday night. During the 8:00 hour, Karel Kosarek plays Martinu's Piano Concerto No. 2.

Honoring Marilyn Horne

Posted at 2:36 PM on December 9, 2009 by Rex Levang
Filed under: Musician stories, Programs

Earlier this year, there was a big birthday celebration for Marilyn Horne, in the form of a concert which we'll be bringing you tonight.

Now please note that this isn't a recital by Marilyn Horne. Rather, some of the brightest names in opera (Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Susan Graham, Thomas Hampson, Piotr Beczala, etc.) got together to perform in her honor. Here's a little hint of what you'll hear, with Dolora Zajick in an aria from St-Saens's "Samson and Delilah" (different performance, same artist and music).

Join Fred Child tonight at 8 for all the festivities.

Euro Classics

Posted at 3:20 AM on December 9, 2009 by Ward Jacobson
Filed under: Programs

Tonight's Euro Classic comes from that transitional time between the baroque and classical periods. Johann Stamitz (Carl's dad) was a hot commodity in the 1740s, and you'll hear one of the symphonies he composed during his early days as music director at the Mannheim Court.

Be listening just after midnight (12:06am Thursday) on Classical Minnesota Public Radio for a performance recorded live last June in Schwetzingen, Germany featuring the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra.

Saturday night, just after 8:00, there's another Euro Classic. The WDR Symphony Orchestra performs Rameau's Les Boreades Suite, from a concert recorded live last July in Wurzburg.

These exclusive recordings are heard one time, and one time only - so be sure to check out our Euro Classics this week.

VocalEssence: The Twelve Days of Minnesota

Posted at 10:20 PM on November 30, 2009 by John Birge (2 Comments)
Filed under: Fun finds, Programs

Our friends at VocalEssence, with help from Target, are ringing in the season with a new take on an old carol:

Twelve trucks a-towing,
Eleven plastic Santas,
Ten thousand lakes,
Nine warming houses,
Eight skaters skating,
Seven Snoopy statues,
Six loons a-laying,
Five hours of sun,
Four Fargo jokes,
Three salt bags,
Two "ya, you betchas,"
and a giant cherry on a huge spoon!

BTW, Philip Brunelle and VocalEssence join Kerri Miller December 2nd at 10a on MPR News. They'll broadcast from the Maud Moon Weyerhaueser Studio with a sneak preview of their "Welcome Christmas" concerts which begin this Sunday. And I'll be doing pre-concert conversations with this years' carol contest winners before the Welcome Christmas concerts on December 6 and 13. And of course we'll broadcast our annual Welcome Christmas holiday special on Classical MPR December 16 at 7pm. But if you want to listen early, it's already online here.

Meanwhile, the CPI is out: the Christmas Price Index.
Each year PNC Wealth Management tallies up the price all the items in the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas." This year, the bad economy is good news for your true love; the Christmas Price Index increased by a modest 1.8% compared to last year.

The Partridge in a Pear Tree is down 27% percent to $159.99.
Six Geese-a-Laying are down a sizable 38% percent at $150.00.
Four Calling Birds were unchanged, while Three French Hens gained 50%.

The eight Maids-a-Milking received an automatic raise for the third straight year due to another increase in the federal minimum wage.
Rising unemployment held wages steady for Drummers Drumming, Pipers Piping, and Lords-a-Leaping, while Ladies Dancing increased 15% percent to $5,473.07.

The sharp rise in gold prices pushed Five Gold Rings up 43% to $499.95.

This year, buying everything in "The Twelve Days of Christmas" carol will cost you $21,465.56, just $385.46 more than last year.

You can read the details, and download the complete spreadsheet, here.


Future Classics concert on-line beginning Monday

Posted at 12:51 PM on November 29, 2009 by Alison Young
Filed under: Concerts, Events, Programs

What will a classic be in 50 years? in 100 years?

The Minnesota Orchestra bets on the classics of the future with their week-long Composer Institute. Hundreds of submissions came in and seven emerging composers were chosen, their pieces performed by the Minnesota Orchestra and Osmo Vanska.

You can listen to the concert plus commentary from the composers at ClassicalMPR.org FOR ONE WEEK ONLY beginning tomorrow.

Don't miss it: atmospheric music about the seasons, a Satie-esque piece based on "The Little Prince," as well as a visceral flying experience, fire, obscure poeticals forms and more.

Start Your Thanksgiving with Rachmaninoff

Posted at 2:43 PM on November 24, 2009 by Ward Jacobson
Filed under: Programs

Okay, it may be a tad early, but I'm guessing some of you might be up late Wednesday (or up early Thursday for that matter!) preparing for Thanksgiving.

This week's Euro Classic (bright and early at 12:05am Thanksgiving day!) features Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor. The concerto was dedicated to a fellow named Nikolai Dahl, who was experimenting with hypnosis therapy. It was Dahl who helped the composer emerge from depression and a creative funk following the critical rejection of his First Symphony. Rachmaninoff completed the Second Piano Concerto shortly thereafter. Pianist Peter Donohoe joins the Hong Kong Sinfonietta in a concert recorded live in May, 2008.

Saturday night, while you're enjoying yet another turkey sandwich, we'll supply a little french pastry with another Euro Classic - Francis Poulenc's Sept Chansons. I Fagiolini was recorded live last July in a concert from Castle Montabaur in Germany. Be listening around 8:05pm Saturday.

......and good luck in the kitchen this week!

Tonight's Euro Classic: A Mozart Divertimento

Posted at 2:36 AM on November 11, 2009 by Ward Jacobson
Filed under: Programs

Back in Mozart's day, the Divertimento was considered light-hearted, background music. Just don't give it that label today! Tonight's EURO CLASSIC concert on Classical Minnesota Public Radio is a performance of Mozart's Divertimento in E flat, with the Balkan Chamber Academy recorded live in Belgrade last February. Stay up late and join us just after midnight (12:05am, Thursday).

Saturday night, around 8:05, there's another EURO CLASSIC, with the Emerson String Quartet in a performance of Haydn's String Quartet No. 73, recorded live last June in Schwetzingen, Germany.

This Week's Euro Classics

Posted at 3:15 AM on November 4, 2009 by Ward Jacobson
Filed under: Programs

Okay all you classical music night owls, there's another Euro Classic coming up late tonight. Just past midnight I'll present an exclusive recording featuring the Aviv Quartet playing the Shostakovich String Quartet No. 3 in F. Shostakovich himself thought this Quartet was one of his finest achievements. It was composed in the immediate aftermath of World War II. Tonight's Euro Classic was recorded live in September, 2008 at the Beursschouwburg, Brussels.

And don't forget Saturday's Euro Classic. Just after 8pm, Philippe Jordan conducts the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra in Bartok's Two Pictures. This concert took place last February at Salle Pleyel in Paris.

Hope you can tune in, either on the radio or on-line.

Up Late With The Euro Classic

Posted at 2:08 AM on October 28, 2009 by Ward Jacobson
Filed under: Programs

I hope you're making it a habit to stay up late on Wednesdays for our weekly Euro Classic on Classical Minnesota Public Radio.

You can catch the Euro Classic each week, just after midnight (so it's actually Thursday morning!) - a recent European concert performance, recorded live and made available exclusively to Classical Minnesota Public Radio listeners.

Tonight I'll feature a performance by Finnish baroque violinist Sirkka-Liisa Kaakinen and the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra playing the D Major Violin Concerto by Johann Agrell. The performance took place last June at the Rococo Theatre in Schwetzingen, Germany.

And there's another Euro Classic Saturday night (October 31st, in the 8:00 hour), as Bob Christiansen presents a performance of Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 by Cedric Tiberghian and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta.

What does classical music mean to you?

Posted at 9:31 AM on October 23, 2009 by Alison Young (1 Comments)
Filed under: Musical philosophy, Programs

We're in the thick of our fall fund drive - audible groan - but even amidst the interrupted programs, the extra shifts and my stumbling over the myriad different ways of saying the same thing (that we need your support to keep the music you love on the air) an odd and glorious thing happens: listeners tell us WHY they listen. Just yesterday I read thank-yous from as far away as Anchorage and Dubai saying classical MPR is their "refuge," it keeps them sane, it's a place to feel free, energized and inspired. And the odd thing is that after reading these words, I begin to remember the reasons why I also need to be surrounded by classical music. Thanks for supporting the music - but most importantly, thanks for sharing with me what the music means to you!


The US needs 'El Sistema'

Posted at 9:09 AM on October 15, 2009 by Alison Young
Filed under: Musician stories, Programs

Last week we broadcast the live concert of Gustavo Dudamel in his new role as Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Tonight, we'll rebroadcast that amazing concert at 8:00 on SymphonyCast.

The "dude" is Venezuelan and the most famous and successful graduate of their system of music education that helps disadvantaged youths get off the streets to make music and become better citizens in the process. It's called "El Sistema" and it just might be making its way to the US.

The New England Conservatory in Boston has just begun a fellowship program. It provides tuition-free instruction and a living stipend for young postgraduate musicians who want to develop 'El Sistema' programs in the U.S. and beyond.

I'd call that a very good start.

L.A. 360

Posted at 10:14 AM on October 9, 2009 by Rex Levang
Filed under: Concerts, Fun finds, Programs

From the Los Angeles Times, here's a 360-decree panoramic view of the crowd at last night's Dudamel/Philharmonic opening concert--not inside the auditorium, but out on the plaza. (See if you can spot the face of Placido Domingo.)

And if you missed our broadcast last night, you can hear highlights on Performance Today. And as I should have mentioned, the complete concert will also be coming up on this week's SymphonyCast, Thursday evening at 8: Mahler's First, and a new John Adams piece (slyly humorous at times, at least to these ears), City Noir.

Dudamel Debut Online

Posted at 10:25 AM on October 8, 2009 by Rex Levang
Filed under: Concerts, Programs

Tonight's the night--the official inaugural concert of Gustavo Dudamel in his new job leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Anticipation and ticket demand are riding high, as this LA Times article suggests.

You can hear what all the excitement is about, tonight on this website (NB - not on the radio!) [update] and on the radio as well! The concert is at 9 Central, Mahler and John Adams are on the program, and Fred Child will be hosting.

You can't please 'em all

Posted at 12:18 PM on September 27, 2009 by Alison Young
Filed under: In the media, Programs

I was subbing for Steve the other day on Friday Favorites. I love hosting that show because it's always interesting hearing what you like (and what you don't like!) and what you want to hear more of.

One gal wrote a long missive begging us (with lots of explanation points and all-caps) not to play "On the Trail" from Grofe's "Grand Canyon Suite" but to PLEASE play one of the other movements. "Help me get that donkey song out of my head!!!!" she wrote.

Another listener asked us to play a very long piece by John Adams that he heard for the first time as a teenager and ever since has been a new music afficionado. Needless-to-say e-mails poured in from those not quite as eager to hear 20 minutes of Adams.

So I laughed when I read this in the Times this morning about other displeased audiences.

There Really Is a Penny Lane

Posted at 1:03 PM on September 25, 2009 by Rex Levang
Filed under: Programs

It's Beatles month wherever you turn. Over on the Current, they're asking listeners to meet the Beatles (again). On the classical side of things, David Patrick Stearns talks with composer Jennifer Higdon about the lasting influence that "Sergeant Pepper" has had on her music.

Imani Winds on SPS and in the WSJ

Posted at 10:32 AM on August 23, 2009 by Alison Young
Filed under: In the media, Musician stories, Programs

Great article in the Wall Street Journal about our featured guests on Saint Paul Sunday .

Hear the New Mozart

Posted at 1:21 PM on August 4, 2009 by Rex Levang
Filed under: Fun finds, In the media, Programs

In case you missed it: some recent discoveries of music by the young Mozart got a lot of press over the weekend, when the "new" pieces were performed for the first time in Salzburg. To hear them, go to the Performance Today Web site.

First Night of the Proms

Posted at 9:04 AM on July 23, 2009 by Rex Levang
Filed under: Concerts, Events, Programs

Last Friday, the BBC Proms got underway in London. We're going to be bringing you lots of music from the Proms--in fact, today's Performance Today will include some Elgar from that First Night of the Proms. (That's not to be confused with Last Night of the Proms, which also includes Elgar, and which we'll broadcast live.)

The Proms website is abundant and diverse, to say the least. Case in point: this page devoted to the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.