The Classical Post is a weekly newsletter that discusses the latest music we're listening to, working on and talking about, along with attempts at humor.

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Andrea Blain

July 31 is exactly halfway between last New Year’s Eve and the next one, but while we think of December 31 as a time to reflect and to say goodbye to all kinds of things, we probably don’t have the same feelings about the end of July. And yet, this week, the music world says good bye to two very different ventures.

The Minnesota Orchestra’s Sommerfest ends this weekend with contrasting concerts — one of which will be broadcast live on Classical MPR on July 31. The Festival, which began July 5, has featured a broad spectrum of music, including music from Spanish-speaking countries, piano classics, opera, film music and Strauss waltzes. Friday’s concert features Sommerfest Artistic Director Andrew Litton in the double-threat roles of conductor and piano soloist. In addition to Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7 and Copland’s El Salón México, Litton will play and conduct Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F. The live broadcast begins at 8 p.m., and it is hosted by Val Kahler.

Also happening on Friday, July 31, Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, pays tribute to a distinguished choral musician with a concert featuring alumni who sang in Luther’s famous Nordic Choir under the direction of Weston Noble, who, at the age of 93, has never fully retired from choral work. Each year since 2006, a Weston Noble Alumni Choir (WNAC) has formed for the purpose of singing under Noble’s direction, either in concert or on tour. But, in the words of (quite possibly) Geoffrey Chaucer, “all things must come to an end,” and this Friday’s concert at 7:30 p.m., in Luther College’s Center for Faith and Life, will be the last ever. The choir will be joined by tenor Eric Cutler, a Luther alumnus whose career has taken him to the Metropolitan Opera on numerous occasions. According to the WNAC website, “To quote the great Robert Shaw … [We sing] not just because we want to, but because we feel we absolutely must!”. Classical MPR will air excerpts from an extended interview with Weston Noble, along with selections from decades of Nordic Choir recordings, during this reunion week (July 27 to 31).

Andrea Blain, Host, Classical Music


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Programming Highlights

Highlights from January 27 to February 3

Tuesday, 7:15 am: Teacher Feature Cheryl Henningsgaard, Early Childhood Music Faculty Member, MacPhail Center for Music.
Tuesday, 5 pm: Music with Minnesotans: choreographer Penelope Freeh.
Tuesday, 7:15 pm: Teacher Feature: Cheryl Henningsgaard, Early Childhood Music Faculty Member, MacPhail Center for Music.
Thursday, 3 pm: Regional Spotlight: The String Orchestra of Minnesota Youth Symphonies play Vivaldi.
Friday, 8 pm: Minnesota Orchestra: Three takes on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
Saturday, noon: The Metropolitan Opera: The Tales of Hoffmann, by Offenbach.
Sunday, 6 am: Pipedreams: Longwood Laureates.
Sunday, noon: From the Top.
Sunday, 1 pm: SymphonyCast: Jeffrey Kahane leads the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in works by Chopin and Haydn.
Monday, noon: Learning to Listen.
Monday, 8 pm: Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Tuesday, 7:15 am: School Spotlight.
Tuesday, 5 pm: Music with Minnesotans.
Tuesday, 7:15 pm: School Spotlight.


 

 

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