JPR Classics

Classical music posts.

First Listen: Pretty Yende, 'A Journey'

19 hours ago

As a 16-year-old, Pretty Yende was sitting with her parents in their rural South African home watching TV when a British Airways ad came on. As the sweet music swelled and voices intertwined, Yende was mesmerized. The only problem: She had no idea what to call the beautiful music she'd just heard.

Beginning Sunday evening, October 2nd, JPR's Classics & News Service will begin airing the new season of weekly programs called Concerts from the Library of Congress.

Featured Works for September – First Concert 
(*Indicates September birthday)

Sep 1 T Johann Pachelbel*: Chaconne in F minor
Sep 2 F Alphons Diepenbrock*: Lydian Nights

Interested in Steve Jobs, Georgia O'Keefe or Alice in Wonderland? They are all explored in new music in the upcoming American concert season.

Featured Works for September – First Concert
(*Indicates September birthday)

Sep 1 T Johann Pachelbel*: Chaconne in F minor
Sep 2 F Alphons Diepenbrock*: Lydian Nights

Sep 5 M Giacomo Meyerbeer*: Ballet of the Nuns from “Robert le Diable”
Sep 6 T Anton Diabelli*: Guitar Sonata No. 3
Sep 7 W François-André Danican Philidor*: Overture to Le Jardinier et Son Seigneur
Sep 8 T Antonin Dvorák*: Overture ‘Othello’
Sep 9 F Johann Christoph Pez*: Concerto Pastorale

Tracing The People's Republic Of Beethoven

Aug 25, 2016

Imagine you're a teenager in Beijing in the 1960s and '70s, during the Cultural Revolution. Everything that's deemed Western and bourgeois is banned — so listening to a 78 rpm recording of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, powerfully transformative as it might be, is off limits.

Songs We Love: The Westerlies, 'Saro'

Aug 18, 2016

Many stylistic winds blow through the repertoire of The Westerlies. The unconventional brass quartet from New York (Riley Mulherkar and Zubin Hensler, trumpets; Andy Clausen and Willem de Koch, trombones) embraces jazz, classical, new music and dance — and in this case, puts a new spin on an old British ballad.

Yesterday in New York, something very big happened outside Lincoln Center: One thousand people gathered to sing a new piece by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang. Entitled the public domain, it was a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Mostly Mozart festival.

Anna Netrebko's Mournful 'Mamma Morta'

Aug 12, 2016

"They killed my mother in the doorway." How's that for an opening line?

We're talking opera — specifically, the aria "La mamma morta" from Umberto Giordano's 1896 French Revolution thriller Andrea Chénier. The soprano is Anna Netrebko.

Rachel Barton Pine: Tiny Desk Concert

Aug 10, 2016

The music of Johann Sebastian Bach is essential, like air and water, for many classical musicians. Pianist András Schiff starts every day with Bach — sometimes before breakfast. "It's like taking care of your inner hygiene. There's something very pure about it," he says.

Featured Works for August – First Concert
(*Indicates August birthday)

Aug 1 M Jerome Moross*: Symphony No. 1
Aug 2 T Paul Dukas: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Britt 2015)
Aug 3 W Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Violin Sonata in F major
Aug 4 T Samuel Barber: Second Essay (Britt 2015)
Aug 5 F Leonardo Leo*: Concerto for Four Violins

David Cameron, Musical Muse?

Jul 14, 2016

Song For A Pony And A Blue-Eyed Girl

Jul 7, 2016

From its mesmerizing ebb and flow and the purity of the choristers' blend alone, you'd be forgiven for thinking this might be one of Henryk Górecki's many sacred choral works. There's a palpable air of serenity and reflection. But instead, it's a song about a little pony and a blue-eyed girl.

JPR is once again hosting the Pre-Concert Conversations at the Britt Classical Festival. Prior to each concert, there are informal talks in Britt's new Performance Garden beginning at 7pm for those who want to learn a little more about the music and composers.

NPR

As our nation gets decked out in red white & blue to celebrate Independence Day, have you ever wondered what qualifies as the most patriotic song? I do think about these things. It’s the rabbithole I usually find myself going doing when sitting in 100 degree heat watching a parade go by while waving a little flag and slowing dying of heatstroke.

Featured Works for July – First Concert
(*Indicates July birthday)

July 1 F George Frideric Handel: Concerto Grosso in F major
 

July 4 M Barbara Harbach: Freedom Suite
July 5 T Paul Ben-Haim*: Three Songs Without Words
July 6 W Camille Saint-Saëns: Cello Sonata 
July 7 T Gustav Mahler*: Songs of a Wayfarer 
July 8 F George Antheil*: Valentine Waltzes 

An American Opera Impresario Takes His Final Bow

Jun 16, 2016

In 1970, a young business school grad — and failed opera singer — named David Gockley landed a job as business manager of the Houston Grand Opera. After two years, at age 27, he moved up to general director.

Over the next 30 years, Gockley transformed the company into a hothouse for new and revived American opera. During his tenure in Houston, Gockley presented 35 world premieres, including John Adams' Nixon in China, Stewart Wallace's Harvey Milk, Leonard Bernstein's A Quiet Place, Mark Adamo's Little Women and three operas by Carlisle Floyd.

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