JPR Classics

Classical music posts.

First Listen: John Adams, 'Scheherazade.2'

Sep 27, 2016

Violence against women is no modern tragedy. Composer John Adams found that out when he saw an exhibition about the tales of the Arabian Nights — ancient stories in which Scheherazade tells her murderous husband a new tantalizing tale each night for 1001 nights, thus sparing her life a day at a time. The composer, writing in Scheherazade.2's booklet notes, says he was surprised by how many of the stories included women suffering brutality.

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

Oct 3 M Franz Schubert: Rondo in A major
Oct 4 T Johannes Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Haydn
Oct 5 W Domenico Cimarosa: Concerto for Two Flutes
Oct 6 T Karol Szymanovski*: Violin Concerto No. 2
Oct 7 F Franz Liszt: Réminiscences de Don Juan

Talk to nearly any classical music critic about heroes of the trade and one name usually comes up: Virgil Thomson. Anthony Tommasini of the New York Times advises: "Every practicing and aspiring critic today should read Thomson's exhilarating writings."

From Trash To Triumph: The Recycled Orchestra

Sep 15, 2016

When you think of an orchestra, you're probably picturing refined woodwoods, brass, and strings. But one ensemble I recently met is made up mostly of kids who play instruments made out of literal trash. This is the Recycled Orchestra from Cateura, Paraguay, and their group is the subject of a new documentary film.

On Saturday afternoon, October 15th at the conclusion of the San Francisco Opera broadcast, JPR will welcome the Danish String Quartet into the studio for a live performance.

First Listen: Pretty Yende, 'A Journey'

Sep 9, 2016

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.

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.

Pages