JPR Classics

Classical music posts.

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.

Shalimar the Clown is Salman Rushdie's eighth novel. Published in 2005, it tells the story of a young man who seeks revenge after he's jilted by the love of his life. There's intrigue, violence, and conflict between tradition and modern society — the sort of stuff that makes for grand opera.

Now, Shalimar the Clown is just that. Adapted by composer Jack Perla and Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Rajiv Joseph, the opera premieres tonight at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

Rushdie says the novel sprang from one tragic image.

Watch Yo-Yo Ma Play A Moving Tribute To Going Home

Jun 10, 2016

Since it was founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma 16 years ago, the Silk Road Ensemble — an artistic collective comprised of master musicians and other artists from more than 20 countries, spanning the globe — has become an incubator for inspiring cross-cultural collaborations.

The Metropolitan Opera Baton Passes To Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Jun 6, 2016

It's not quite right to say the news came as a shock when the Metropolitan Opera announced Thursday that Yannick Nézet-Séguin would become the house's new music director, beginning in the 2020-21 season. He follows in the footsteps of James Levine, who said in April that he was stepping down after leading the Met for four decades.

The Metropolitan Opera announced that the acclaimed conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin will be the company’s new Music Director. The position has previously been held by only two artists in the company’s storied 133-year history—James Levine, who after 40 years in the position stepped down at the end of the recently concluded season to become the company’s first Music Director Emeritus, and Rafael Kubelik, who held the title briefly in the company’s 1973-74 season.

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

June 1 W Ernest Bloch: Concerto Grosso No. 1 (PACO)
June 2 T Edward Elgar*: Nursery Suite
June 3 F George Whitfield Chadwick: Tam O’Shanter

June 6 M Vincent Persichetti*: Symphony No. 4
June 7 T Camille Saint-Saëns: The Muse and The Poet
June 8 W Tomaso Albinoni*: Oboe Concerto in D minor
June 9 T Carl Nielsen*: Suite from Aladdin
June 10 F Igor Stravinsky: Symphonies of Wind Instruments

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