Classical Music

Interlochen Public Radio is your gateway to news and classical music from Interlochen Center for the Arts. Learn about new music, upcoming performances and more.

Friday Concert: Schwanengesang Translation

May 12, 2017

Protests have been steadily building in Caracas, Venezuela — the capital of the once-prosperous, oil-rich nation that's now in economic and political turmoil. Earlier this week, amid the ongoing chaos, a young man named Wuilly Arteaga started playing his violin.

There's a musical asterisk on French president-elect Emmanuel Macron's bio: He is an avid amateur pianist. It's a facet of his life occasionally noted in passing, as in this piece from the French radio network Europe 1 titled "The Things You Don't Yet Know About Emmanuel Macron." Along with mentioning his abiding fondness for karaoke, Europe 1 reported that he studied piano for 10 years at the music conservatory in Amiens, where he won third prize.

Another day, another study undercutting the myth surrounding the 18th-century Italian violin maker Antonio Stradivari.

Since the early 20th century, musicians and instrument experts have been trying to figure out what, if anything, makes the violins he made sound better.

Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Soprano Renée Fleming sings her final performance of one of her signature roles, the Marschallin, in the Met’s new production of Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier. Sebastian Weigle conducts a starry cast that includes mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča in her final performance as the Marschallin’s young lover, Octavian, opposite soprano Erin Morley as Sophie, the innocent young woman with whom he falls in love, and bass Günther Groissböck as Baron Ochs, the Marschallin’s oafish cousin.

  Pentatone offers a new recording of three of Franz Joseph Haydn’s symphonies, numbers 53, 64 and 96.

 

For professional musicians, the instrument on which they play is more than just a tool of the trade. It can also be a muse, a partner and a voice.

Min Kym started playing the violin at age 6 and won her first competition at 11. Now, the former child prodigy is the author of a new book: Gone: A Girl, A Violin, A Life Unstrung, in which she shares her story of finding her perfect partner — only to have it stolen away.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thanks to listeners in Cadillac, Harbor Springs, Scottville, Cedar Creek Township, Bellaire, and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Antonin Dvorak, Symphony no. 8, fourth movement; Seiji Ozawa/Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra

2. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Larghetto and Allegro for two pianos; Joshua Pierce and Dorothy Jonas

3. Carl Scheindienst, Variations on “Gestern Abend war Vetter Michel da”; Lars Hannibal/Michala Petri

4. Aaron Copland, Fanfare for the Common Man; Gerard Schwarz/Seattle Symphony Orchestra

Although more women have been winning Pulitzer Prizes for music lately, it's still next to impossible to hear works by female composers performed by America's symphony orchestras.

This year's Pulitzer winner, Du Yun, has a lot to say about the situation.

  On Friday, May 5 at 7:30 PM, the Interlochen Arts Academy Jazz Ensemble will present “A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald.” Ella Fitzgerald, also known as “The First Lady of Song,” would have turned 100 last month.

 

The concert features two guest artists, jazz pianist and composer Gary Motley and singer Carmen Bradford. Motley and Bradford visited IPR’s Studio A to perform some music and to talk about the legacy of Ella Fitzgerald.

 

 

Conductor Gustavo Dudamel — one of the most famous Venezuelans in the world today and one of the world's most prominent classical musicians — issued an open letter today to the president and government in his native country.

Long reticent to address politics directly, he has published his comments in a letter titled "Levanto Mi Voz / I Raise My Voice," in both Spanish and English. (The full text is below, in both languages.)

http://www.matthewmcallister.com/

 Classical guitarist Matthew McAllister will present a recital tonight at 7 PM in the Dendrinos Chapel and Recital Hall. McAllister is Classical Guitar Tutor and Lecturer in Music at the University of St. Andrews and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Last year, the Tony Awards were swamped, particularly in the minds of many who only follow theater casually, by the phenomenon that was Hamilton. It got 16 nominations, it seemed like (and was) a lock to win many of them, and every other Tony story struggled to get a little bit of sunlight.

Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Franco Alfano’s Cyrano de Bergerac, starring tenor Roberto Alagna, who adds the opera’s gallant title character to his extensive Met repertory. Marco Armiliato conducts the revival of this rarely performed work. American soprano Jennifer Rowley makes her role debut as Roxane, Cyrano’s secret love, and the cast also features tenor Atalla Ayan as Christian and baritone Juan Jesús Rodríguez as de Guiche.

Listen LIVE on Classical IPR on Saturday, May 6 at 1pm ET.

As a composer, I entered a profession in which I knew I could actively alter our fractious present using the incomparable tools of art. After all, the intellectually curious and essentially progressive landscapes of our concert halls and opera houses seem like the perfect arenas in which to harness momentum for change and, through the aspirational craft of music, feel the resurrection of hope in the midst of despair and apathy.

  Pianist Mark Bebbington and the Somm label present The Piano Music of Ralph Vaughan Williams, a complete collection of Vaughan Williams’s compositions for solo and duo piano. Romanian-Nigerian pianist Rebeca Omordia joins Bebbington for the album’s two duo-piano selections.

 

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thanks to listeners in Mancelona, Alden, Mesick, Lewiston, and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Arvo Pärt, Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten; Angèle Dubeau/La pieta

2. Traditional, Aura Lee; Mormon Tabernacle Choir

3. John Rutter, “Pie Jesu” from the Requiem mass; composer conducting Aurora Orchestra and Cambridge Singers; Alice Halstead

4. PDQ Bach (a/k/a Peter Schickele), “The Abduction of Figaro,” opening scene; unidentified opera company

For this week's show, Bob Boilen and I throw open the studio door to welcome a parade of guests from the NPR Music team, each sharing their favorite April releases. This includes Jake Witz, one of our fabulous Spring interns, who has some relatively restrained music from U.K. grime artist Mr. Mitch.

One hundred years ago Tuesday, in a working-poor neighborhood of Newport News, Va., a laundress and a shipyard worker had a baby girl. The father soon disappeared, and the mother and child moved north to New York. The mother died. The girl ran away and became one of the most important singers of the 20th century.

Ella Fitzgerald could sing anything: a silly novelty song, like her breakthrough hit, "A-Tisket, A-Tasket." A samba that scatted. A ballad, spooling out like satin.

Richard Termine/Metropolitan Opera

Der Fliegende HolländerThe Flying Dutchman – the first Wagner opera that future Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin is conducting with the company. The opera, which has not been heard on a live Saturday broadcast since 2000, features baritone Michael Volle as the Dutchman, the ghostly sailor damned to sail the seas in search of the love that will set him free. Soprano Amber Wagner sings the role of Senta, who offers him redemption, and American tenor AJ Glueckert makes his Met debut this season as the huntsman Erik.

Sir Arthur Sullivan is best-known for his full-length operettas composed with W.S. Gilbert, including “H.M.S. Pinafore” and “The Pirates of Penzance.” Sullivan’s prolific output also includes oratorios, ballets, incidental music and dozens of songs and hymns.

This year, Chandos released a new record celebrating Sullivan’s vast songbook. “Arthur Sullivan - Songs” brings together four of England’s rising classical music artists for an album of these rarely-performed pieces.

What will Bill Murray do next?

The beloved actor's curiosity seems boundless. It should be no surprise, then, to learn that his new project finds him paired with a classical cellist.

Pages