classical

Scary Movie Scores
9:57 am
Tue October 1, 2013

The Scores That Haunt You

A recreation of one of the most iconic scenes in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. The score that accompanied this moment is a staple of classic horror film music.
Credit Rain Rannu / Flickr

With another Halloween approaching, horror, thriller, and supernatural films
come to the fore.  Many of these pictures feature original music by composers
who have the gift for pushing our buttons and sending our pulses racing.

Bernard Herrmann, a frequent collaborator with director Alfred Hitchcock,
helped make history with his searing, astringent score for Psycho (1960).
Violins have never quite seemed the same.  Nor has taking a shower.

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Music + Culture
11:03 am
Fri September 6, 2013

"Last Night of the Proms"

George Lloyd served on the HMS Trinidad and suffered from post traumatic stress after serving on the ship.
Credit Parnall, C H (Lt) Royal Navy official photographer / Wikimedia Commons

The “Last Night of the Proms,” one of the biggest classical music parties of the summer, is tomorrow night with performances in London, Belfast and Glasgow.

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Music + Culture
12:04 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

What Do Salmon Ladders and Opera Have in Common? Thomas Hampson Explains

Thomas Hampson argues that opera is still applicable. He is in Salzburg Festival this month as Rodrigo in the production of Don Carlo.
Credit Dario Acosta

You don’t have to have roots in Walla Walla to become the world’s favorite defender of the art form known as opera, but the Grammy-winning opera star Thomas Hampson does, and he knows how to use them. In a surprisingly buzzworthy confrontation on a BBC show called Hardtalk, Hampson (raised in Spokane; studied at Eastern Washington; endowed a scholarship at Walla Walla U.) faced down a hostile interviewer’s accusation that opera is only for elitist rich people.

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Music + Culture
2:32 pm
Fri August 9, 2013

And in This Corner: A Baritone Fights For Opera On The BBC

Baritone Thomas Hampson takes his punches for opera on a BBC talk show.
Dario Acosta

With an interview show named HARDtalk I suppose the host might be expected to come out swinging. And recently the BBC's Sarah Montague did not disappoint.

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Northwest Music
10:04 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Remembering Toby Saks

Acclaimed cellist Toby Saks led the Seattle Chamber Music Society's popular festivals for years. She was 71 when she died on August 1, 2013.
Credit Seattle Chamber Music Society

Northwest music lovers are mourning the death of Toby Saks, founder of the Seattle Chamber Music Society. A major figure in the musical and civic life of the Pacific Northwest, Saks was well known in the region's classical community. Two of Northwest Public Radio's classical announcers remember her:

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Vaughan Williams and Ezra Meeker
9:36 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Ezra Meeker, Ralph Vaughan Williams, And Beer: Historic Homes. Historic Hops

Leith Hill Place, Ralph Vaughan Williams’s family home in Surrey, England, just opened to the public this summer.
Credit British National Trust

Perhaps you’re enjoying a cold Northwest craft brew on an August evening and listening to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams, whose sweet orchestral sounds often keep you company on Northwest Public Radio.

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Smetana: Ma Vlast
12:39 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Smetana’s “Ma Vlast” And The Idea Of “Home”

In this rare image taken on July 19, 2013, the wide-angle camera on NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured Saturn's rings and our planet Earth and its moon in the same frame.
Credit NASA

Have you seen this latest photo of our home?

I hope someone is composing some new music, expressing the feeling of that photo, the feeling that renews our sense of what “home” means.

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Arts
11:33 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Icicle Creek International Chamber Music Festival

Jessie Jacobs in an airplane, clearly preparing for her role as your Friday afternoon classical music host.
Credit Andrew Jacobs

    Robin Rilette and Jessie Jacobs are in Leavenworth this weekend as part of the Icicle Creek International Music Festival.  Robin will host a program featuring the music of Brahms and Mozart performed by the Avalon String Quartet and pianist, Oksana Ezhokina.  Join Robin and Jessie Friday evening at 8:00 at the Icicle Creek Music Center in Leavenworth.  Click here for more information. 

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Music + Culture
10:53 am
Tue July 2, 2013

In Search Of The Great American Symphony

Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony have been consistent champions of American music of all shapes and sizes. Are there — or will there be — American symphonies that stand with those of Mozart and Beethoven, Mahler and Shostakovich?
Bill Swerbenski San Francisco Symphony

Critics and fans love a good debate over the great American novel or great American movie. But what about the great American symphony?

Is there one? If not, why? If so, which symphonies are good candidates for the title? (Check out our Spotify list for some contenders.) And in the land of the melting pot, what does it mean for a symphony to be "American" in the first place?

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Music + Culture
11:36 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Why Tchaikovsky's Bells And Cannons Sound Every July 4

The Boston Pops rehearses for its Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular on July 3, 2012, at the Charles River Esplanade.
Paul Marotta Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 12:44 pm

The Fourth of July is just around the corner, and on the big day, Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture will be heard from coast to coast, complete with fireworks and cannons. But how did a Russian composition, depicting the rout of Napoleon's Army, end up as the unofficial soundtrack for our most quintessentially American holiday?

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