JPR Classics

JPR Classics
7:05 am
Thu May 21, 2015

'My Fair Lady' Couldn't Actually Dance All Night, So These Songs Had To Go

Julie Andrews starred as flower girl Eliza Doolittle in the Broadway premiere of My Fair Lady.
AP

Originally published on Wed May 20, 2015 4:17 pm

When a Broadway musical feels as effortlessly right as Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's did to audiences in 1956, it's easy to imagine that it simply sprang to life that way. Not My Fair Lady. The musical, based on George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, is filled to bursting with some of the best-known songs in Broadway history — "The Rain In Spain," "Wouldn't It Be Loverly," "On the Street Where You Live" — but it turns out the show originally had other tunes that almost nobody knows.

Read more
JPR Classics
6:53 am
Tue May 19, 2015

After 42 Years, Juilliard String Quartet Cellist To Step Down

After 42 years, cellist Joel Krosnick (foreground, left) is bidding farewell to the Juilliard String Quartet.
Sony Classical Simon Powis

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:00 am

The Juilliard String Quartet was established in 1946 as an all-purpose quartet that would embrace music from every era. Its founders' intent was to "play new works as if they were established masterpieces and established masterpieces as if they were new."

Read more
JPR Classics
7:58 am
Mon May 18, 2015

After Thaw, Minnesota Orchestra Returns To Cuba

The Minnesota Orchestra under the direction of conductor Osmo Vanska (center) performs during a concert at the Cuban National Theater in Havana on Friday.
Yamil Lage AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 17, 2015 7:44 am

The Minnesota Orchestra plays Havana this weekend. It's the first professional U.S. orchestra to perform in Cuba since the United States and the island nation began the process of normalization last December. For the musicians, this trip is about healing — both diplomatically and for themselves.

Read more
JPR Classics
7:39 am
Mon May 18, 2015

Boston Pops Gives The Audience What It Wants

Originally published on Sat May 16, 2015 8:23 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Read more
JPR Classics
3:27 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

Lang Lang In Concert At The Met Museum

Lang Lang brings a program of Chinese music, plus Chopin and Tchaikovsky, to the Met Museum in New York.
Stephanie Berger for NPR

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 1:59 pm

For more than half of his 32 years, Lang Lang has been in the spotlight, as an international star and arguably the most crowd-pleasing classical pianist on the planet. From venues as diverse as the Beijing Olympics and Brazil's World Cup to New York's Central Park and Stockholm's Nobel Prizes, Lang Lang routinely crisscrosses the globe playing to innumerable masses. Last month he filled London's cavernous Royal Albert Hall two nights in a row.

Read more
JPR Classics
7:25 am
Tue May 12, 2015

András Schiff's Confessional Schubert

Andras Schiff had a change of heart when it comes to the fortepiano.
Nadia F. Romanini ECM Records

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 1:10 pm

Twenty years ago, pianist András Schiff did not hide his disdain for the fortepiano — the smaller, quieter precursor to the modern grand piano. In the liner notes of five separate Schubert albums Schiff released in the early 1990s, he wrote: "Schubert's piano music has luckily not been discovered yet by specialists playing copies of Graf fortepianos."

Read more
JPR Classics
4:07 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

Flower Songs: A Springtime Opera Puzzler

Mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili sings amid a massive field of poppies in a Metropolitan Opera production of Borodin's Prince Igor.
Cory Weaver Metropolitan Opera

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 8:31 am

Spring finally seems to have arrived with an abundance of flowers. In the old poem, it's April showers that bring May flowers. But in opera, flowers pop up for a variety of reasons, and not all of them are pretty. While operatic flowers can be enjoyed for their beauty, their allure can also spell trouble. This springtime fleurs de l'opéra puzzler includes some lovely blossoms you might not want to sniff. Score high and come out smelling like a rose. Score low and feel yourself wilt with inadequacy.

Read more
JPR Classics
7:04 am
Mon May 4, 2015

3-D Printers Bring Historic Instruments Back To The Future

Sina Shahbazmohamadi places a 3-D printed copy of a recorder foot joint into a measuring device in a lab at the University of Connecticut's Center for Clean Energy Engineering.
Peter Morenus UConn

Originally published on Sat May 2, 2015 7:26 am

In a recital hall at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, a group of musicians got together to play Jean-Baptiste Singelée's 1857 quartet for saxophones on some very old, very special instruments.

Read more
JPR Classics
12:40 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

Brooklyn Rider Blurs Classical Boundaries On 'Almanac'

Originally published on Thu April 30, 2015 12:15 pm

Some 30 years ago, the Kronos Quartet created a sensation by releasing an album of chamber music that included an arrangement of Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze." Now Brooklyn Rider, another gifted string quartet, is again blurring the boundaries between classical and more popular kinds of chamber music. Fresh Air classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz says he admires that blur.

Read more
JPR Classics
2:48 pm
Tue April 28, 2015

Dazzling Trumpeter Rolf Smedvig Dies Suddenly

Trumpeter Rolf Smedvig, of the Empire Brass Quintet, was acclaimed for his lustrous tone and virtuosity.
Columbia Artist Management

Originally published on Wed April 29, 2015 1:39 pm

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.

Read more
10:14 am
Tue April 28, 2015

Resurrection Of A Symphony

The Sacramento Philharmonic is resurrected, in more ways than one, with a little help from their friends in Detroit.
The Sacramento Philharmonic says it will return to performing with a seven-concert season. A team of consultants from the Detroit Symphony is helping to revive the group. The consultants say Sacramento can support a symphony that performs more.
Upcoming C&N Series
2:05 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

American Opera Series Returns May 16th

Los Angeles Opera's production of The Ghosts of Versailles
Credit Craig Henry

The WFMT Radio Network's American Opera Series returns to JPR's Classics & News Service on Saturday, May 16th following the conclusion of the Metropolitan Opera season. 

Read more
8:49 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Can Music Affect The Way Your Wine Tastes?

The studies may not be so scientific, especially after a few glasses of chardonnay, but some are saying music can affect the taste of wine. (You might want to conduct your own study.)
I WENT WINE SHOPPING recently in New Jersey. Bruce Springsteen was playing on the store's sound system-naturally. The Boss is an inescapable musical presence in his home state. Why not in a wine shop? But maybe because "Glory Days" isn't one of my favorites (my tastes, Bruce-wise, tend toward "Thunder Road"), I found the music distracting.
JPR Classics
7:38 am
Mon April 27, 2015

The World Music Education of Philip Glass

Philip Glass photographed in New York City in 1980.
Jack Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 3:23 pm

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.

Read more
JPR Classics
7:12 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Roomful Of Teeth: A Vocal Group That's 'A Band, Not A Choir'

Roomful of Teeth's new album is Render, out April 28.
Bonica Ayala Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 28, 2015 11:16 am

The vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth consists of eight classically trained singers incorporating Tuvan throat singing, Appalachian yodeling, operatic trills, rhythmic exhalations and whispered speech into music written by some of the most exciting young composers of the 21st century.

Read more
JPR Classics
7:09 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Young Armenian Composer Looks To Past, Future

Percussionist and composer Joseph Bohigian, 21, a senior at Fresno State University, has organized a concert to observe the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. (Alice Daniel/KQED)

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 11:41 am

A student at Fresno State University is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide with new music by contemporary Armenian composers. The concerts organized by Joseph Bohigian include original compositions inspired by his family, many who were killed by the Ottoman Turks around World War I, and music by other Armenians who live in Armenia and in the U.S. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Alice Daniel of KQED has our story.

Read more
JPR Classics
6:57 am
Fri April 24, 2015

Bang On A Can Riffs On John Cage

On the Bang on a Can All-Stars' new album, Field Recordings, composers riff on a range of recorded sounds.
Peter Serling Bang on a Can

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 6:38 am

Life changed a lot after that day in 1877 when Thomas Edison spoke "Mary had a little lamb" into a contraption he called a phonograph and discovered he could reproduce sound. Back then, tinfoil cylinders captured just a few flickering moments. Today Wagner's entire Ring cycle fits on a 16GB flash drive.

Read more
JPR Classics
12:49 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

How The Met Opera's Chorus Master Gets 150 To Sound Like One

Donald Palumbo became the Met's chorus master in the 2007-2008 season. He sang in choruses all his life, he says, and eventually worked his way up without any formal conservatory training.
Marty Sohl Courtesy of the Met

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 8:05 am

Metropolitan Opera Chorus Master Donald Palumbo knows voices, and how to instruct singers to protect them.

Palumbo says that all singers have to monitor their voices while rehearsing during the day. The goal, he says, is to insure singers are at their "freshest" and "most solid" for the evening performance.

Read more
JPR Classics
7:35 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Julia Wolfe Wins Music Pulitzer For 'Anthracite Fields'

Composer Julia Wolfe has won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for music for Anthracite Fields, an oratorio about coal miners and their families.
Peter Serling

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 8:03 am

Julia Wolfe, a composer associated with the New York music collective Bang on a Can, has won the Pulitzer Prize for music for Anthracite Fields.

Read more
JPR Classics
10:00 am
Tue April 14, 2015

The Hypnotic Groove Of Xenakis

Percussionist Kuniko's new album is devoted to music by Iannis Xenakis.
Linn Records

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 10:41 am

Percussionists back in Beethoven's day could be forgiven for feeling a little bored, waiting for the infrequent roll of the kettledrum or the occasional cymbal crash. But as orchestras grew bigger, percussionists got busier — even more so after World War I, when a new generation of composers began writing specifically for percussion.

Read more

Pages