Music + Culture

 

One of our favorite NPR shows plus Beethoven's famous little piano piece adds up to a must-listen moment!

From Fresh Air with Terry Gross (weekdays at 2 on our News Service; Sundays at 5 on our Classical Music Service): the show's music critic delights in a 1932 performance of Fur Elise, revived by a company called Pristine Audio.

NPR / npr.org

The host of your Sunday noontime show "From the Top," pianist Christopher O'Riley, and cellist Matt Haimovitz visit the cozy NPR home of Tiny Desk Concerts. Tucked into a casual office corner, backed by shelves of books and trinkets, reading the music off their tablets, they offer up some Beethoven and Philip Glass and Leo

Jazz bassist and composer Christian McBride recently finished a week-long West Coast tour in Seattle. It reminded him of how great a town it was for jazz, both historically and presently.

Does the name Jan Antonín Koželuh mean anything to you? It doesn't register even to most classical music geeks. But Albrecht Mayer would like to change that.

How The Northwest Started Loving Coffee

Mar 10, 2015
Benjamin Morris / NPR

Seattle is known for its love of coffee but as Pacific Northwesterners know, it's a passion not unique to the West Side. So how did coffee become such a Northwest staple?

Starbucks may be the first entity people think of as an answer to this question. And although Starbucks did play a significant role in the eventual coffee craze, the Northwest’s history with the beverage goes deeper than that.

Tiny Desk Concerts / NPR

We know you love guitar music. From Classical Guitar Alive (Sunday mornings at 9), to Inland Folk (Saturdays, 11am-2pm), to the guitar solos and concertos our classical music hosts bring you throughout the days and evenings, Northwest Public Radio listeners warm to this ageless, genre-spanning instrument.

A Film From Mali: The Day Before The Music Died

Mar 4, 2015

Just its title has an ominous sense of finality: The Last Song Before the War.

The documentary by Kiley Kraskouskas presents the 2011 Festival in the Desert, a showcase for Mali's incredible musicians that had been held underneath the stars outside of Timbuktu for 12 years. Ten months after the joyous celebration depicted in the film, Islamic extremists took over that part of the country. Among the horrors inflicted by the occupiers was a total ban on music.

marionandemiliefrancesbauer.com

  Susan Pickett’s Marion and Emilie Frances Bauer: From the Wild West to American Musical Modernism delivers exactly what the title suggests: adventures of two women in an exciting era of classical music. It follows them from their beginnings in Walla Walla, through European adventures, lives as musicians, critics, composers - and, for Marion – a career as a music teacher in New York City.

The (Not So) Secret World Of Northwest Curling

Mar 3, 2015
Peter Miller / Flickr

Curling: it's that sport with the stones and the brooms. You might have seen it played at the Olympics. Canadians play it. For many Americans, that's the extent of our curling knowledge. So this video might help bring everyone up to speed:

So that's curling. It's a little bit hockey, a little bit bowling, a little bit shuffleboard.

Note: Using the browser Google Chrome  can lead to issues accessing full Inland Folk shows. 

Click below to listen to any show:

January 3, 2015  Full Show

January 10, 2015  Full Show

January 17, 2015  Full Show

Updated at 1:16 p.m.

Actor Leonard Nimoy, best known for his role as Mr. Spock, the logical half-Vulcan, half-human in the original Star Trek series and several movies, has died at his home in Los Angeles, his granddaughter, Madeleine, told NPR. Nimoy was 83.

The cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, she said.

NPR's Neda Ulaby, who is reporting on the story, tells our Newscast unit:

The Power Of Storytelling

Feb 27, 2015
Mark Mullaney.

What stories do you tell? What stories could you be telling? On the occasion of National Public Radio's 45th birthday--celebrated this week--let's honor the power of storytelling. What stories could you tell about how music has affected your life?

P.A.D Studio/Courtesy of the artist

"Are you hearing me?" A conductor in China asks that question, and it will echo back across the ocean in 5 years of concerts. 40 new compositions. High profile performers. Yes, including that globe-spanning cello virtuoso Yo-Yo Ma, but not just.

Northwest Sinfonietta

Christophe Chagnard, founding director of the Northwest Sinfonietta, resigned after 24 years, reports the News Tribune. The chamber orchestra out of Tacoma is known regionally for its compositions and youth opportunities.

But more dramatic than Chagnard's exit is the Sinfonietta's new musician-driven model. According to the News Tribune, the Sinfonietta will move to:

Wikimedia Commons / http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clara_Schumann

A little girl’s crush: you could say it all started like that, when she was a brilliant 9-year-old concert pianist, and he was her music-educator father’s brilliant 18 year old protégé. But little girls grow up. Right after her sixteenth birthday, he writes in his diary: “Clara’s eyes and her love…the first kiss…” and she writes in a letter to him: “When you gave me that first kiss, I thought I would faint; everything went blank and I could barely hold the lamp that was lighting your way out.”

WikiCommons

The obvious real-life romance in the classical world is Robert Schumann and Clara Wieck, so for a change of pace I will talk about Harriet Smithson and Hector Berlioz.

Harriet was an Anglo-Irish actress. In one performance of Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet in 1827​, in which Harriet played the leading ladies, Berlioz happened to be in attendance. He immediately fell in love with the beautiful and talented actress. 

Patty Colmer from Citrus Heights, United States / WikiCommons

Nothing says love like silk ties, long-distance correspondence, divorce and murder-suicide. OK, maybe a hug and kiss would do, but for your Valentine’s Day entertainment here are some historical Northwest stories that have something to do with love.      

Here Are A Few Great Songs For Valentine's Day

Feb 12, 2015
Leandroid / Flickr

We already know that NWPR staff have great taste in music. You only have to listen to our Classical Service to know that. And so with Valentine's Day on Saturday, we once again asked our staff for recommendations. Here's what we got:

When Amit Peled was 10, his parents gave him a gift: a cassette of music by cello master Pablo Casals. Peled had no classical background; his parents were not musicians. He says his own budding interest in the cello was a scam, a way of getting close to a girl in his town who happened to play the instrument. And yet, every night, he would fall asleep with the tape playing from a boombox beside his bed. The music made an impression.

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and alongside the pheromone-laced collars we ordered in the hopes that our cats will stop acting like jerks is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, thoughts on how the heartsick can avoid songs about love, sex and desire.

Wikimedia Commons

Seattle Symphony Wins A Grammy

Feb 9, 2015
The Seattle Symphony / http://www.seattlesymphony.org/

The Seattle Symphony's recording of Become Ocean by John Luther Adams won "Best Contemporary Classical Composition" at the 2015 Grammy Awards on Sunday. This marks a historic moment in the Symphony’s 111-year history as their first recording to win a Grammy after a total of 18 nominations.

How Do You Say That? Idaho Edition.

Feb 4, 2015
http://www.visitidaho.org/

Welcome to the second installment of the “How Do You Say That?” series. We started with Washington and a list of the state’s most confusing town names—the ones even Washingtonians sometimes say wrong. Next up is Idaho.

Pend Oreille

Probably one of the hardest Idaho names to say if you’re not already familiar with it is Pend Oreille. If it makes you feel any better, it’s a French name. PAWN-doh-RAY.

Factoid:

How Do You Say That? Washington Edition.

Jan 29, 2015
www.kevindemon.com

A while back, we asked our Twitter followers how they pronounce Boise, the capital of Idaho. Turns out Idahoans say Boise different than most people. 

They're celebrating Down Under. Today is Australia Day, a holiday marking the arrival of British ships at Sydney Harbour in 1788. A perfect day then to salute something truly Australian, something that speaks of national pride, austere landscapes and even the darker side of Australian history — the music of Peter Sculthorpe, who died last year at age 85.

Jeremy Kramer / Cincinnati Magazine

For more than 20 years, Sunday Baroque has explored the worlds of Vivaldi, Handel, Bach, and more. You can hear it on NWPR Sundays (of course) from 10 a.m to noon. It started at a station in Fairfield, Connecticut, grew to be carried nationwide, and in 2005 it went independent - parting ways with NPR to distribute and produce the show on its own.

Seattle Seahawks: The Internet Responds

Jan 21, 2015
Seattle Seahawks / http://www.seahawks.com/

Seattle was home to what many are calling NFL history last Sunday when the Seahawks beat the Green Bay Packers 28-22 and secured their place in Super Bowl XLIX. Fans and news agencies alike bombarded social media with live updates, reactions, and the best of Photoshop. Even we got into the action:

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