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.

The Primavera Porte&ntildeo Tango, by Astor Piazzolla
Prayitno Hadinata, FLICKR

Welcome to Day Two of SPRING WEEK on IPR's Kids Commute!

This week, we're celebrating the season with composers across the world.

Today, we travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a Springtime tango by composer Astor Piazzolla.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 (Ep. 131)
Four Seasons of Buenos Aires
Primavera Porteño 
Astor Piazzolla

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Photo by Chris Lee/Metropolitan Opera.

Verdi’s Luisa Miller returns to the network for the first time since 2006. It stars Sonya Yoncheva as Luisa, and Piotr Beczala as Rodolfo, the lover she is forced to betray. Both artists make role debuts in this production. Singing Luisa’s father, Miller, Plácido Domingo also adds a new role to his repertoire – the 149th of his legendary career. The cast also features Olesya Petrova as Duchess Federica, Alexander Vinogradov as Count Walter, Rodolfo’s father, and Dmitry Belosselskiy as the scheming Wurm. Bertrand de Billy conducts this thrilling, but lesser-known Verdi score.

Ballet: An Illustrated History by Mary Clarke and Clement Crisp

Happy Monday! Welcome to the first day of SPRING WEEK on IPR's Kids Commute - classical music for kids!

This week, we're welcoming Spring with music inspired by the season from composers all over the world!

Today, we head to Russia for Alexander Glazunov's ballet, The Seasons.

Monday, April 9, 2018 (Ep. 130)
THE SEASONS: Spring
Alexander Glazunov

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Metropolitan Museum of Art

Thanks to listeners in Carp Lake, Torch Lake, Lake Leelanau, Bear Lake, Mullet Lake and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Kow Otani, music from the original motion picture soundtrack of Blade of the Immortal

2. Domenico Gabrieli, Cello sonata in G minor; Richte van der Meer, Roel Dieltiens, Konrad Junghänel

3. Maurice Ravel, Bolero; Eiji Oue/Minnesota Orchestra

4. Charles Tournemire, Symphony no. 1 (first movement); Antonio de Almeida/Moscow Symphony Orchestra

5. Frederic Chopin, Heroic Polonaise in A-flat major; Vladimir Horowitz

Eighth Blackbird percussionist Matthew Duvall performed excerpts from John Cage's In a Landscape and Steve Reich's Clapping in Studio A at Classical IPR.

Duvall talked with IPR's Kate Botello about the significance of Reich's work, his influences, and how Reich affects what Duvall calls, "rhythmic perception."

Eighth Blackbird will perform the works of Steve Reich (Sextet and Music for 18 Musicians) with Third Coast Percussion in Corson auditorium tonight at 7:30 p.m. For more details, visit tickets.interlochen.org


Happy Friday, and welcome to the last day of 21ST CENTURY WEEK on IPR's Kids Commute!

All week, we've been asking, "what's new?" as we explore the work of living composers.

Today, we'll hear Stephen Hartke's, "Celebrations," from, "Meanwhile," a set of music written for puppet shows...that don't exist!

Special thanks to Eighth Blackbird percussionist Matthew Duvall for providing us with today's introduction!

Friday, April 6, 2018 (Ep. 129)
Meanwhile: Celebrations
Eighth Blackbird

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All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton chats with NPR Music's Lars Gotrich, Tom Huizenga, Marissa Lorusso, Sidney Madden and Ann Powers about some of the best new albums dropping on Apr. 6, from the scorching punk of Norway's Dark Times to the mesmerizing cello drones of Clarice Jensen, rap phenom Cardi B, dance pop singer Kylie Minogue's country turn and much more.

Featured Albums

  • Dark Times: Tell Me What I Need
  • Christina Vantzou: No. 4
  • Cardi B: Invasion of Privacy

Welcome to Day Four of 21st CENTURY WEEK on IPR's Kids Commute!

This week, we're asking, "What's new?" and celebrating music written recently, by living composers.

Today, we'll hear what happens when rock music turns into chamber music!

Thursday, April 5, 2018 (Ep. 128)
Radiohead: Paranoid Android
Sybarite5

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Pianist Maurizio Pollini has just released a new album featuring Book II of Claude Debussy's Preludes. The album is a long-awaited follow-up to Pollini's 1998 recording of Debussy's Book I of preludes.

Fans of Jane Austen know that the author of “Sense and Sensibility” and “Pride and Prejudice” never published under her own name, and began writing in the late 1700s to entertain her family.

Music was very much a part of their gatherings, too. Austen and her siblings collected their favorite musical pieces and compiled them in family music books, a common practice at the time.

Johannes Brahms published three violin sonatas during his lifetime. Violinist Tasmin Little and pianist Piers Lane present complete performances of all three sonatas on a new album from Chandos.

Vespers, the traditional late afternoon prayer service, gets an enigmatic twist in a new video by director James Darrah, premiered here, with music from Missy Mazzoli, performed by the spirited violinist Olivia De Prato. The track is from her new album, Streya.

Eleanor Roosevelt, 1933
Library of Congress

Welcome to Day Two of 21st CENTURY WEEK on IPR's Kids Commute!

This week, we'll hear music written by living composers, and talk about what's new to music in each composition.

Today, we'll hear the musical meandering thoughts of Eleanor Roosevelt - First Lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018 (Ep. 126)
In Eleanor's Words: An Anonymous Letter
Stacy Garrop

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Richard Termine/Metropolitan Opera

Donizetti’s bel canto tragedy Lucia di Lammermoor, starring soprano Olga Peretyatko-Mariotti in the iconic title role. Tenor Vittorio Grigolo stars opposite her as Lucia’s lover, Edgardo. They are joined by baritone Massimo Cavalletti as Enrico, the brother who pushes Lucia into a forced marriage, and bass Vitalij Kowaljow as the chaplain Raimondo. Roberto Abbado conducts.

Listen LIVE on Classical IPR on Saturday, April 7 at 1:00pm ET.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Thanks to listeners in Ludington, Petoskey, Williamsburg, Cadillac, and many other places for your requests this week.

1. Camille Saint-Saens, Africa fantasie; Geoffrey Simon/London Philharmonic Orchestra/Gwendolyn Mok

2. Johann Sebastian Bach, Christ ist erstanden (chorale prelude); Simon Preston

3. Franz Reisenstein, Concerto popolare (A Piano Concerto to End All Piano Concertos); Norman del Mar/Hoffnung Symphony Orchestra/Yvonne Arnaud

4. Martin Luther, A Mighty Fortress is Our God; James Litton/American Boychoir

The experiences of black men in America today are making their way onto the classical concert stage, thanks to internationally acclaimed tenor Lawrence Brownlee. Brownlee enlisted the help of two other prominent African-American artists, composer Tyshawn Sorey and poet Terrance Hayes.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.


Cellist Clarice Jensen says the music on her debut solo album solicits "meditation and disorientation" — two words that, while not mutually exclusive, seem to suggest both a remedy for, and the reality of, a complicated world.

When Johann Sebastian Bach compiled the first book of the Well-Tempered Clavier in 1722, he wrote that the 24 preludes and fugues were "for the profit and use of musical youth desirous of learning, and especially for the pastime of those already skilled in this study."

The Doric String Quartet is in the process of recording all of Franz Joseph Haydn's string quartets. They recently released their third volume of quartets. This new two-disc set features all six quartets from Haydn's opus 64.

Haydn composed all six of the op. 64 quartets in 1790, at the same time that he was leaving his long-time employment as a court composer and exploring options as a freelance composer in London. The most famous of the six quartets is no. 5, called "The Lark" for its soaring, birdlike themes. 

The Calidore String Quartet is one of the most remarkable new string quartets on the classical music scene today. In 2016, they were the first winners of the M-Prize International Chamber Music Competition, which came with a $100,000 grand prize. They’ve also been recognized as a Lincoln Center Emerging Artist, and BBC Radio 3 has named them a New Generation Artist.

Paola Kudacki/Metropolitan Opera

Così fan tutte, Mozart’s comedy about love and fidelity. Amanda Majeski and Serena Malfi are the sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella, unwitting victims of an elaborate hoax; Tony Award winner Kelli O’Hara is their conniving maid, Despina; Ben Bliss and Adam Plachetka are their fiancés Ferrando and Guglielmo, who conspire to test the sisters’ fidelity; and Christopher Maltman is the cynical mastermind Don Alfonso. David Robertson conducts.

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911 was an industrial disaster that killed 146 garment workers in New York City. The fire became a touchstone for the labor movement of the 20th century. An opera inspired by the disaster tells the story from a different point of view and it's getting a special type of New York debut.

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