February 25 - March 1, 2019
Latin Carnival – Latin America has a five-century musical history forged by many different indigenous peoples clashing with Spain and Portugal, both ambitious colonial powers. Bill has conducted music from Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina and has a deep appreciation for Latin America’s vast and varied musical landscape. He insists “we can hear the echoes of those collisions” into our era. Highlighting Padilla and Ponce as well as Ginastera, Villa-Lobos and Piazzolla, among others, Bill begins with harmonies from Mexico and extends throughout the region’s diverse orchestral and operatic works.
February 18 - 22, 2019
Nobody Ever Builds a Statue to a Critic – As Hollywood mogul Samuel Goldwyn said, “Don't pay any attention to the critics - don't even ignore them.” Bill reminds us: “Sibelius said, ‘They never built a statue for a music critic.’” But instead of pillorying critics for being wrong, Bill goes positive with those who could hear and write clearly about music that not only was good on arrival but would also endure. For example, Robert Schumann, who was both composer and critic; he gave strong support to Chopin. In addition to the music, Bill interviews several esteemed music critics about their role in shaping culture. And for this week, Mahler gets the last sound.
February 11 - 15, 2019
Wunderkinder, Part 2 – More performers and composers whose exceptional musical gifts emerged at an early age are our subject this week. It’s amazing to think that many of these musicians, like Mendelssohn, are still best known today for works that they composed in their early teens. Conductor Eugene Ormandy said that all his violinists were prodigies, so we end the week with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee played by the entire first and second violin sections of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Please enjoy this week of wunderkinder playing the works of wunderkinder.
February 4 - 8, 2019
Wunderkinder, Part 1 – Blazing talents whose remarkable and sometimes-perilous lives overflowed with natural gifts at a young age, and audiences couldn’t get enough of them. Starting with compositions by Mozart and Mendelssohn, all played by today’s whiz kids. We continue with Niccolò Paganini performed by violinist Julia Fischer, and by violinist Julian Sitkovetsky with his mother, Bella Davidovich, accompanying him on the piano. Bill ends the week with a full hour devoted to Frédéric Chopin performed by some of the great prodigy-pianists of today— Maurizio Pollini, Garrick Ohlsson, and Frederic Chiu. Bill says when these musicians were children they were like gifts from above.
January 28 - February 1, 2019
Pacific Overture, Part 2 – Oo-ee baby - won't ya let me take you on a sea cruise… for a trip around the Pacific Rim! We’ve borrowed the title from Stephen Sondheim’s 1976 musical, and you’ll hear a selection from that when our tour reaches Asia. But first we start where we left off last week, in Chile and Columbia, then we head up into Mexico where we’ll hear Silvestre Revueltas and Carlos Chávez, before motoring to the Pacific Northwest and Canada, where we’ll hear music written by Glenn Gould’s piano teacher! Then everybody back on the boat for a long, long sail all the way down to the Philippines, to Java, to China, Korea, and Japan, and finally, because after a trip like this we could use a break, we land in the Hawai’ian Islands.
January 21 - 25, 2019
Pacific Overture, Part 1 – Oo-ee baby - won't ya let me take you on a sea cruise… for a trip around the Pacific Rim! This is a two-week long adventure, and we’re starting off in a Land Down Under. In Australia we’ll hear Aboriginal music along with pieces from Percy Grainger and Peter Sculthorpe, then Maori music plus Dame Gillian Whitehead and Kiri Te Kanawa in New Zealand, and then we’ll continue sailing west to South America and hear music from Argentina and Chile. It’s a two part show, so tune in next week to see where else we’re going!
January 14 - 18, 2019
The Symphony, Part X: Alexander Scriabin to Samuel Barber – The symphony remained the pinnacle of achievement for many 20th century composers. This week, Bill McGlaughlin continues his multi-part exploration of this vibrant, exciting musical form with symphonies written between 1900 through 1920. Bill focuses on works rarely heard in concert, or on the radio for that matter: Alexander Scriabin’s Symphony No. 3 conducted by Riccardo Muti, an important interpreter of the Scriabin color wheel; George Enescu’s Symphony No. 2; and Samuel Barber’s Symphony No. 1, conducted by Marin Alsop.
January 7 - 11, 2019
Beethoven Quartet – Studying Ludwig van Beethoven through his magnificent 16 string quartets played by well-established ensembles from around the world: the Guarneri, Takács, Tokyo, and Alban Berg string quartets. The string quartets offer well-defined early, middle, and late stages both in his life as well as the string quartet as a form, including the Grosse Fuge, Op.133 (which Beethoven wrote while he was stone deaf), and the Cavatina from String Quartet No. 13 in B-flat Major.
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