Morning Glories: Embracing Winter

by Jennifer Anderson, Minnesota Public Radio
December 2, 2013

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Every weekday morning at 10 a.m., the hosts at Classical MPR play a standout work based on the theme for the week. We call these works Morning Glories.

The snowflakes are flying, the cold air's here to stay. Let's embrace the winter and revel in some new recordings of familiar and unfamiliar works.

Monday

Franz Schubert: Piano Sonata in Bb, D. 960
Rudolf Buchbinder, piano

It seems that there's Schubert for every season: sunny symphonies sound perfect in the summer, and when winter's cold sets in, the multifaceted piano sonatas shimmer like snowflakes on a dark night. You'll want to curl up in a warm blanket when you hear this crystalline, clear performance by Buchbinder.

Tuesday

Sergei Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 1
BBC Philharmonic; Gianandrea Noseda, conductor; James Ehnes, violin

At times gracefully lyrical, but then fiery and furious, Prokofiev's first violin concerto traverses a wide range of moods, much like a tempestuous winter storm. James Ehnes brilliantly showcases the passionate and energetic sides of Prokofiev in this new collection of his works for violin.

Wednesday

Anton Bruckner: String Quartet
Zehetmair Quartet

This early work by Bruckner is warm and expansive, with a touch of melancholy. ECM's characteristically clear production enhances the delicate yet forceful playing by the Zehetmair Quartet.

Thursday

Johann Sebastian Bach: Violin Sonata No. 4, BWV 1017
Janine Jansen, violin; Jan Jansen, harpsichord

Janine Jansen simply sparkles with a luminous tone and assured technique; on this disc of Bach's violin music, her father, noted organist Jan Jansen, accompanies her with a twinkling, joy-filled harpsichord.

Friday

Antonin Dvořák: Symphony No. 2
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; José Serebrier, conductor

Dvořák's earlier symphonies were heavily influenced by Romantic era composers like Brahms, but his unique Slavonic sound is already present in his second symphony. Playful and pastoral, it's a majestic symphony that echoes snow-covered forests and mountains of Bohemia.

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