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.

The Classical Post Classical MPR

Rex Levang

The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols always begins the same way. A young choir boy from King’s College sings "Once in Royal David’s City" — completely unaccompanied, and live on the radio to an audience of millions. Pretty stressful for the kid, right?

Actually — not so much. No one knows who that soloist is going to be — until moments before the start, the director gives one of the boys a nod, and the service gets underway. There’s no time in which to get nervous.

Well, that’s one way of dealing with holiday jitters for you. Here’s hoping that this busy time of year isn’t too stressful for you, and that in the midst of the bustle, you’ve had a chance to sit back and enjoy music. Thanks so much for listening to Classical MPR, and all best wishes for the season!

Rex Levang, Music Director, Classical Music


Noteworthy News

  A Dayton's display window in 1957
Christmas music should be a choice, not a clangor
Now, I'm no Scrooge - but I've continued to be saddened by the emphasis on consumerism at this time of year. It doesn't fit with the really beautiful holiday music.

Michael Keaton in Birdman
How classical music torpedoed 'Birdman' composer's chances at an Oscar
Despite critical acclaim, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has ruled that the innovative Birdman score is ineligible for Oscar consideration. Why? Because the movie contains too much classical music.

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
Hosted by Michael Barone, this is a live stereo music and spoken-word broadcast from the chapel of King's College in Cambridge, England. The 30-voice King's College Choir performs the legendary Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols service of Biblical readings and music.

Trio Mediaeval, 'Aquilons'
New Classical Tracks: Rich harmonies, from just three voices
Carols and Advent music are part of the new disc from the Norwegian group Trio Mediaeval, whose "instrument" is a blend of three women's voices. Hear samples of 'Aquilonis' on this week's New Classical Tracks; you can also enter for a chance to win a copy of the CD.

White Christmas
Flicks in Five: 'White Christmas'
Irving Berlin's song, 'White Christmas', premiered on radio and starred in two motion pictures; Bing Crosby's version made the Guinness Book of World Records for its millions of sales. On this week's Flicks in Five, we'll hear that beloved song.

Dan Wascoe
Music with Minnesotans: Dan Wascoe
Retired Star Tribune columnist Dan Wascoe is also a pianist and composer. He a man full of surprises. He shares his story and playlist on today's Music with Minnesotans.

The ten best TV scores of 2014
It's often said that television is having a good run lately with long-form storytelling and mini-series packages attracting top-tier content. What's less often recognized is that television score composition is also having a renaissance.

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Upcoming Events

Choir of King's College, Cambridge
March 23, 2015
Cathedral of Saint Paul

Opera on a Schtick
December 28, 2014
At Saint Paul's United Church of Christ

Programming Highlights

Programming highlights from December 23 to 30

Tuesday, 10 am: Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra: Handel's Messiah.
Tuesday, 5 pm: Music with Minnesotans.
Tuesday, 7 pm: Rose Ensemble: And Glory Shone Around.
Wednesday, 9 am: A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, live from Cambridge, England.
Wednesday, 11 am: Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker.
Wednesday, 5 pm: A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols (repeat).
Wednesday, 7 pm: Carol with Classical MPR.
Saturday, 12 noon: The Metropolitan Opera: Verdi's La Traviata.
Sunday, 6 am: Pipedreams: Holiday Highlights.
Sunday, noon: From the Top.
Sunday, 1 pm: SymphonyCast: Gustavo Dudamel leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic, in music of Beethoven and John Adams.
Monday, noon: Learning to Listen.
Tuesday, 5 pm: Music with Minnesotans.



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