Music + Culture

 

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.

Wikimedia Commons

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.  

Trumpeter Rolf Smedvig, praised for his beautiful tone and virtuosic style, died Monday afternoon at his home in West Stockbridge, Mass. The cause of death, according to his long-time manager Mark Z. Alpert, was a heart attack. Smedvig was 62.

A warm and cheery voice familiar to millions is going away. Bruce Bradberry is retiring. Bradberry, who has been a fixture on NWPR's Weekend Edition for 20 of the last 26 years (he retired a few times before), will turn off the mic for probably the last time on April 26 to take up the next chapter of the Book of Bradberry, whatever it may be.

It was 1964 when the young Philip Glass found himself in Paris. He was on a Fulbright scholarship to study with the revered pedagogue Nadia Boulanger. It was a career move carefully planned. Glass wanted to be a composer and he knew Boulanger's rigorous lessons in traditional Western harmony and counterpoint would sharpen his skills.

Mobeen Ansari / http://www.npr.org/

Imagine your life if attending a concert were against the law. Now imagine trying to bring the music back to life, in a country where the skills to play it have been almost lost. A new documentary takes you to Pakistan, where it's more than just an imaginary scenario.

Peter Serling / http://www.npr.org/

Northwest Public Radio's classical music programming staff has lately been making sure to include women composers on our playlists. Here's one you might not have heard of -- but now you will. Julia Wolfe has received the Pulitzer Prize for her oratorio about coal miners and their families.

NWPR

Happy Birthday to the Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare! As you heard all throughout April 23 on Northwest Public Radio, his theatrical genius has inspired countless composers over the centuries. Since music is "the food of love," play on!

Check the "Schedules and Playlist" tab for all the Shakespeare related music on the April 23 playlist. 

Matthew Hamm / http://www.flickr.com/

So you love your coffee, but do you know your beans? To help you get started on your way to becoming a coffee aficionado, here are some coffee basics.

Where The Beans Come From

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