Music + Culture

 

"The monastic life is very plain and ordinary," says Father Cassian Folsom, the founder and prior of the Monks of Norcia, ensconced in the St. Benedict Monastery in central Italy. "You get up, and you pray, and you do your work and go to bed and then the next day you do the same thing."

A large portion of the monks' daily routine is singing. "We chant the Divine Office and the Mass every day," Folsom tells NPR's Scott Simon. "And if you put all of those moments together it takes about five hours a day. Three hundred sixty-five days a year."

Jim Cornelison

Raised in Enumclaw and Sunnyside and trained in opera, Jim Cornelison will sing the national anthem for the Chicago Blackhawks when the NHL Stanley Cup finals begins. 

  

When Oscar Paz Suaznabar plays the piano, he does so with feeling.

The Alexandria, Va., resident has played at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and on the NPR show From the Top. He is 9 years old.

Oscar started playing his older sister's keyboard by ear when he was just 2. The sorrow he conveys when he plays "The Lark" by Russian composer Mikhail Glinka is drawn from the kind of loss any 9-year-old can understand.

You wouldn't normally expect one of the great composers of the last few centuries to be meek, but how's this for humility?

"Bach and Beethoven erected temples and churches on the heights. I only wanted to build dwellings for men in which they might feel happy, and at home."

Wikimedia Commons

  Music for Memorial Day serves two very different purposes: 1. honoring the nation’s fallen soldiers, and 2. acknowledging the holiday’s popular expression as the official start of summer. Below, you’ll see we’ve gathered a few suggestions for each of these.

“Decoration Day” was the original name of this last Monday in May, designated as the time for decorating the grave sites of American military who had made the ultimate sacrifice.

http://www.newdealdistillery.com/

Every major region of America has local distilleries. Both Seattle and Portland have tours where locals and tourists alike can venture through an array of neighborhood distilleries.

Erika Degens, owner and partner of Stone Barn Brandyworks in Portland, says there is something admirable about local distilleries.

    

Listen to the recreation of a vintage radio broadcast followed by a thought-provoking panel discussion on Evergreen Radio Live, recorded on April 25. 

Joel Peterson

Picking out a Mother’s Day card has never been easy for me. The cards with feminine designs and gold font catch my eye but the words never convey the difficult relationship between my mother and me. Sure I could go with the clichés of ‘You’re the best mom ever!” or try to fill a blank card with my own feelings. But sometimes those feelings are too intense for a card. Sometimes it's easier to send jewelry and pretend all is well. But so much is left unsaid.

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Every day is a day to be thankful for the moms of the world, but the second Sunday of every May is set aside as a nice reminder to show that appreciation and gratitude.

This year, celebrate Mother's Day with the Classical Music world. Antonín Dvořák, Johannes Brahms and Richard Wagner all felt the need to share their inspiration through music and Northwest Public Radio is sharing that music with you.

Gypsy Songs: “Songs My Mother Taught Me”, Antonín Dvořák

Songs my mother taught me,

Andrew Jacobs

  The Rimsky-Korsakoffee House in Portland, OR recently became the topic of conversation here at Northwest Public Radio. It seemed only natural to send word to my Portland-residing father, who decided to head over to the musically themed café that evening, buy himself some dessert and check things out.

He and I bonded over a love of Scheherazade when I was very young - one of those unconditional, slightly irrational feelings of love that has lasted a couple decades and is safe to assume will never go away.  

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