JPR Classics

JPR Classics
11:44 am
Mon December 29, 2014

At 90, 'Fiddler' Lyricist Tells His Story

"Any successful lyricist has to be part playwright and has to be able to put himself into the minds and the hearts and the souls of the characters," Sheldon Harnick tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

Originally broadcast April 30.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Upcoming JPR Classics Special
9:26 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Vienna Philharmonic Live New Year's Day Concert

Maestro Zubin Mehta conducts the 2015 New Year's Day concert from Vienna.

On Thursday morning at 8am, join JPR's Classics & News Service for New Year's Day from Vienna 2015, a live broadcast featuring the Vienna Philharmonic.

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JPR Classics
4:46 am
Sat December 27, 2014

Steinway Bids Farewell To Its Historic Hall

The rotunda at the historic Steinway Hall in Manhattan. The building will be torn down to build luxury condominiums.
Steinway & Sons

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 8:10 am

New York is saying goodbye to another historic building. Steinway Hall, the main showroom for Steinway & Sons pianos, will be moving to a new location, leaving its home of almost 90 years on 57th Street near Carnegie Hall. The first floor has been designated a landmark and will be preserved, while the rest of the building will be torn down to build high-rise luxury condominiums.

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JPR Classics
1:08 pm
Thu December 25, 2014

The 1914 Christmas Truce Is Set To Music At Symphony Hall

To mark the 100th anniversary of the Christmas Truce of 1914, the Boston Pops commissioned a new narrated work that combines words and music. (Courtesy of the Boston Pops)

Audiences who come to see the Holiday Pops can usually expect jaunty chestnuts like “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” or “The Polar Express.”

But this year conductor Keith Lockhart was stirred by a bittersweet episode from history: an impromptu and unsanctioned ceasefire that took place during World War I.

“The particular thing about this story is that the uniting force, the thing that brings people together, is music,” Lockhart explained.

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JPR Classics
1:23 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Scoring The Screen: Thomas Newman And the Music Of 'Shawshank'

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 4:33 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Seeing a movie isn't just about seeing. It's equally about hearing words and music.

(SOUNDBITE OF VARIOUS FILM SCORES)

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JPR Classics
2:11 am
Thu December 18, 2014

How Tchaikovsky's 'Nutcracker' Became A Holiday Tradition

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 9:31 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Here is a holiday tradition that seems as old as Christmas trees and mistletoe.

(SOUNDBITE OF PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY SONG, "NUTCRACKER OVERTURE")

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JPR Classics Special Series
9:38 am
Wed December 17, 2014

New Music from Bowling Green, Season 2: Sunday Evenings at 7pm

Brad Cresswell hosts Living American Composers: New Music from Bowling Green Sunday evenings at 7pm on the Classics & News Service

JPR's Classics & News Service presents the second season of a special classical series from WFMT called Living American Composers: New Music From Bowling Green, Sunday evenings at 7pm through the end of March.

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JPR Classics
6:54 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

A Bicentennial For Boston's Handel And Haydn Society

Harry Christophers leads the Handel and Haydn Society, now celebrating its bicentennial.
James Doyle Handel and Haydn Society

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:14 pm

Boston's Handel and Haydn Society is one of the oldest continuously running performing arts organizations in the country. To celebrate its bicentennial this season, the group made a new recording of a holiday perennial, Handel's Messiah, which also happens to be one of the first works it staged nearly 200 years ago. Still, the Handel and Haydn Society is very different from what it was when it started.

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JPR Classics
7:03 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Best Classical Albums Of 2014

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Become Ocean by John Luther Adams is one of NPR Classical's favorite albums of 2014.
Cantaloupe

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 7:59 am

Most years, Tom Huizenga and I spend a lot of time after Thanksgiving and well into December battling over — or, more truthfully, having many friendly but spirited discussions about — which recordings should comprise our 10 favorites of the year. We each come up with a list of 10, and then we start hammering things out in some amount of exquisite music-nerd agony. Some albums we agree upon, some are our individual picks.

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JPR Classics
11:12 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Soprano Renee Fleming Releases A Christmas Album

Renee Fleming's new album is "Christmas in New York." (© Timothy White/Decca)

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 11:26 am

Famed soprano Renee Fleming has performed numerous times at the Metropolitan Opera, she sang the national anthem at the Super Bowl and she’s won several Grammy awards for her classical recordings. But until this year, Fleming had not made a holiday album.

Now she’s released “Christmas in New York,” where she collaborates with musicians including Wynton Marsalis, Chris Botti and Rufus Wainwright.

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JPR Classics
7:27 am
Mon December 8, 2014

In The Italian Alps, Stradivari's Trees Live On

Marcello Mazzucchi, a retired forest ranger, stands in the Fiemme Valley in the Italian Alps. Renaissance luthiers such as Antonio Stradivari came here to handpick trees that would be crafted into the world's finest instruments.
Graziano Panfili for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 4:05 pm

Antonio Stradivari, the master violin maker whose instruments sell for millions of dollars today, has been dead for nearly three centuries. Only 650 of his instruments are estimated to survive.

But the forest where the luthier got his lumber is alive and well. And thanks to the surprising teamwork of modern instrument makers and forest rangers, Stradivari's trees are doing better than ever.

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JPR Classics
11:23 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Sharon Isbin, Guitarist Extraordinaire

Sharon Isbin has been called "the preeminent guitarist of our time." (J. Henry Fair/Shore Fire Media)

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 12:57 pm

Sharon Isbin has been called “the preeminent guitarist of our time,” and was voted “the best classical guitarist” by Guitar Player magazine.

She was one of the first woman musicians in a field where there are few. And she’s a guitarist in the classical world where few believed the instrument deserved a place.

After decades of pushing against those limitations, Isbin now has three Grammy Awards and numerous other awards under her belt, and has collaborated with many world class composers and musicians of various genres.

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JPR Classics
11:06 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Dublin Guitar Quartet: Tiny Desk Concert

Claire Eggers NPR

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 2:09 pm

Don't ask the members of the Dublin Guitar Quartet to play the time-honored classics of the Spanish repertoire. They might play traditional Spanish style classical guitars, but they're not your standard guitar ensemble. The Dubliners are strictly devoted to contemporary music. They've been commissioning new pieces and adapting others for both acoustic and electric guitars since 2002, when the group formed at the Dublin Conservatory of Music and Drama.

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JPR Classics
7:22 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Lyricist Adolph Green's Influence Remains 100 Years After His Birth

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 11:48 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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JPR Classics
8:45 am
Sat November 29, 2014

A Musical Tribute For A Waiter Who Spoke Out Against Racism

Justin Hopkins sings during a tribute show for Booker Wright, who worked in a whites-only restaurant in the Mississippi Delta.
Brandall Atkinson Courtesy of Southern Foodways Alliance

Originally published on Sat November 29, 2014 9:05 am

Editor's note: This story contains racial slurs.

A new musical work pays tribute to an unlikely and little-known civil rights activist: Booker T. Wright. You won't find his name in history textbooks. But his story is a testament to the everyday experiences of blacks in the Jim Crow South.

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JPR Classics
8:11 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Mendelssohn And Other Classic Composers Offer Musical Thanks

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 12:50 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

There are lots of ways to say thank you today that don't include turkey or cranberry sauce. For example, there is music.

(SOUNDBITE OF FELIX MENDELSSOHN ORATORIO, "ELIJAH")

CHORUS: (Singing in German).

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JPR Classics
10:44 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Stabat Mater: Young Composers Explore An Ancient Text

The British choral group called The Sixteen have taken on new settings of the ancient Stabat Mater text.
Molina Visuals The Sixteen

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 6:10 am

The words of the Stabat Mater come from an ancient Latin text describing Mary weeping at the cross over her son, Jesus. While the Catholic poem has been set to music by many — from Vivaldi to Arvo Pärt — three contemporary composers have put their own spin on the old verses.

Alissa Firsova was born in Moscow, but has lived in England since she was 4.

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JPR Classics
10:51 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Guest DJ Jessye Norman: From Augusta To Valhalla

Soprano Jessye Norman leaves the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York on Thursday after taping the Late Show with David Letterman.
Ray Tamarra WireImage

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 8:39 am

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Saturday Morning Opera
9:56 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Metropolitan Opera's 84th Season Debuts December 6th

Anna Netrebko and Željko Lucic in Verdi's Macbeth, scheduled for February 7th.

On December 6th at 10am, JPR's Classics & News Service is proud to kick off the Metropolitan Opera's 84th season of Saturday broadcasts with Rossini's Il Barbiere Di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville). This year, all broadcasts begin at 10am except Die Meistersinger on December 13th, which starts at 9am.

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JPR Classics
7:27 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Reviving 'Allegro': Even Rodgers And Hammerstein Had Flops

A commentary on the American dream, Allegro tells the story of Joe Taylor Jr., a small-town doctor who moves to Chicago.
Rodgers & Hammerstein

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 11:42 am

Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II may have been one of the most successful writing teams in Broadway history — think of Oklahoma! and The Sound of Music, just to name a couple of their hits.

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