Music + Culture

Music + Culture
10:23 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Classical Composer (And Satirist) P.D.Q. Bach Will Entertain In Ellensburg

Anything but delicate, Peter Schickele will turn 80 this year.
Credit Peter Schickele / http://www.schickele.com/index.htm

What’s your favorite P.D.Q. Bach bit? How about two sports announcers doing a play-by-play “broadcast” of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony? Or the “Fanfare for the Common Cold?” How about wondering what kind of person can create such comedy mayhem, and then turn around and compose a sublime string quartet?

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Music + Culture
9:54 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Do Billboard Magazine Lists Matter? Yes, If You’re Anne Akiko Meyers

Anne Akiko Meyers holding the Vieuxtemps Guarneri violin.
Credit Molina Visuals

She’s played in person at the Orcas Island and Seattle Chamber Music Society festivals, but it’s the audiences beyond the concert hall who put violinist Anne Akiko

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Music + Culture
8:57 am
Mon December 15, 2014

The Sound of Hanukkah

Isaac Azose, Seattle Sephardic music maestro, with NEA National Heritage Fellow Flory Jagoda, composer of “Ocho Kandelikas.”
Credit Gigi Yellen

Christmas carols, they’re not. But for Hanukkah, the music and storytelling on the NWPR special programs for that holiday have become public radio traditions, even as concert music for Hanukkah remains, in a way, a chestnut still on the tree.

Firmly fixed on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev (so its Gregorian calendar dates vary) Hanukkah shares the season of joy with classical-music-rich Christmas, but its traditional music remains closer to folk than to classical. Why?

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Music + Culture
11:21 am
Sat December 13, 2014

A Bicentennial For Boston's Handel And Haydn Society

Harry Christophers leads the Handel and Haydn Society, now celebrating its bicentennial.
James Doyle Handel and Haydn Society

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:14 pm

Boston's Handel and Haydn Society is one of the oldest continuously running performing arts organizations in the country. To celebrate its bicentennial this season, the group made a new recording of a holiday perennial, Handel's Messiah, which also happens to be one of the first works it staged nearly 200 years ago. Still, the Handel and Haydn Society is very different from what it was when it started.

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Classical Comedy
7:19 am
Thu December 11, 2014

"Classical Style" Proves Classical Music Can Be Funny, Too

Zankel Hall, where "The Classical Style" was performed.
Credit Jeff Goldberg / Esto

Share a good laugh when you read this New York Times review of a cheeky little piece of musical-insider comedy, “The Classical Style,” that played last week at Carnegie Hall. In heaven, Beethoven grumbles, Haydn complains, Mozart rages about the movie Amadeus and demands a cut of the box office. And, of course, Dominant is always followed around by Tonic, a joke for the music theorists in the audience.

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Music + Culture
8:51 am
Sat December 6, 2014

In The Italian Alps, Stradivari's Trees Live On

Marcello Mazzucchi, a retired forest ranger, stands in the Fiemme Valley in the Italian Alps. Renaissance luthiers such as Antonio Stradivari came here to handpick trees that would be crafted into the world's finest instruments.
Graziano Panfili for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 4:05 pm

Antonio Stradivari, the master violin maker whose instruments sell for millions of dollars today, has been dead for nearly three centuries. Only 650 of his instruments are estimated to survive.

But the forest where the luthier got his lumber is alive and well. And thanks to the surprising teamwork of modern instrument makers and forest rangers, Stradivari's trees are doing better than ever.

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From the Top
7:52 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Sempre Sisters: These Two Bellevue Sisters Are String Virtuosos

Charlotte and Olivia Marckx at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts at UCONN
Credit From the Top

Videos like this are why we love From the Top so much.

From the Top, the show highlighting extraordinary young people in music, this week will feature two sisters from Bellevue.

String duo "Sempre Sisters," 12-year-old Charlotte Marckx and her 15-year-old sister Olivia, perform and talk about writing and playing music together.

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Music + Culture
9:54 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Storytelling and Music: Holiday Programs 2014

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Get in the holiday spirit with these special programs throughout December.

All programs on the NPR and Classical Music Service unless otherwise specified.

December 16, 8 PM: Celebrate the first day of Hanukkah on NWPR with stories of all sorts on Hanukkah Lights, hosted by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz.

December 17, 8 PM: The Western Wind and narrator Leonard Nimoy will once again bring you Chanukah in Story and Song, filled with everything from Eastern European Yiddish melodies to modern Israeli tunes.

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Music + Culture
8:56 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Stabat Mater: Young Composers Explore An Ancient Text

The British choral group called The Sixteen have taken on new settings of the ancient Stabat Mater text.
Molina Visuals The Sixteen

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 6:10 am

The words of the Stabat Mater come from an ancient Latin text describing Mary weeping at the cross over her son, Jesus. While the Catholic poem has been set to music by many — from Vivaldi to Arvo Pärt — three contemporary composers have put their own spin on the old verses.

Alissa Firsova was born in Moscow, but has lived in England since she was 4.

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Music + Culture
8:53 am
Mon December 1, 2014

For The Season, Trio Mediaeval Spans Centuries

Trio Mediaeval is (from left) Berit Opheim, Anna Maria Friman and Linn Andrea Fulgseth.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun November 23, 2014 10:26 am

For all those who just can't bear to hear "Jingle Bell Rock" or any of the other Yuletide earworms that will invade shopping malls and radio waves in the coming months, Norway's Trio Mediaeval has some new old music for the holiday season.

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