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

Alison Young

Just a little over a century ago, the St. Olaf College pastor, a few soloists and choir — all singing in Norwegian — presented a Christmas program the evening before the campus closed for the holidays. Those that were there report that the St. Olaf Choral Union stood solemnly — but sang like angels.

We look back and think that must have been a simpler time. Life was slower and traditions were quaint. But some things don’t change. Even then, students were madly cramming for finals, figuring out how to get home, choosing gifts, and, of course, figuring out how to pay for it all while dealing with the myriad emotions of the season. Taking the time to stop for just a moment and bask in the beauty of the meaning of Christmas was just as vital then as it is now.

At this very hectic time of year filled with expectation and hope, and non-stop busy-ness in a demanding and frenetic world, our thirst for an uplifting peace is great. Join me this Sunday, Dec. 4, at 3 p.m., and quench that thirst with the more-than-100-year-old cherished tradition — the St. Olaf Christmas Festival!

Alison Young, Classical MPR host, 10 am – 1 pm


Noteworthy News

Flicks in Five: The Polar Express
On this week's Flicks in Five, we'll hear some of Alan Silvestri's beautiful score for 'The Polar Express', based on an award-winning children's book by Chris Van Allsburg.

Met Opera: Manon Lescaut
Join us Saturday at 11:30 a.m. for a live broadcast of Puccini's Manon Lescaut, from the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Anna Netrebko stars as the alluring heroine, with Marcelo Alvarez as her obsessed lover.

Bringing A Christmas Classic To Wonderful Life -- On Stage
Librettist Gene Scheer says the drama of George Bailey's life is 'an operatic story.' So he, along with composer Jake Heggie, turned 'It's a Wonderful Life' into an opera.

Classical 'country music': Composers inspired by rural areas
Some classical compositions really seem to speak of the beauty of farms, fields, nature, and animals. In some of these cases, the composer was specifically attempting to draw the listener's attention to these details, and in others the pastoral theme is more subtle.

Minnesota Varsity: Where are They Now? - Julian Maddox
Violinist Julian Maddox from Minneapolis was a 2015 Minnesota Varsity Featured Artist. He recently got in touch with Classical MPR's Christine Sweet to share his latest news.

New Classical Tracks Uncut: Pinchas Zukerman
Sometimes the best stories get left on the cutting room floor. This year, Julie Amacher picks those stories up and shares them with you. She'll count down her six favorite New Classical Tracks interviews of 2016 on 'New Classical Tracks, Uncut.' For December 2, Julie shares her full conversation with violinist, violist and conductor Pinchas Zukerman.

Choral Featured Album: 'Drop Down, Ye Heavens'
In their debut album "Drop Down, Ye Heavens," Siglo de Oro explores imaginative settings of Advent antiphons.

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Upcoming Events

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

Penumbra Theatre: Black Nativity
December 3, 2016
At Penumbra Theatre

Penumbra Theatre: Black Nativity
December 3, 2016
At Penumbra Theatre

Programming Highlights

Note: Paste from On The Air highlights in Classical Notes blog



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