Streams

 

Classical

The Concerto: A 400-Year-Old Recipe That Still Cooks

Thursday, June 12, 2014

In the tradition of Vivaldi's Four Seasons, composers from Japan, Armenia and the U.S. paint colorful pictures by posing soloists in front of orchestras.

Comment

Rafael Fruhbeck De Burgos, Versatile Spanish Conductor, Dies At 80

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A week after announcing publicly that he had cancer, the widely beloved Spanish conductor has died at age 80.

Comment

The Composer As Sphinx: A Richard Strauss Puzzler

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Although his music is popular, Strauss remains an enigma to some and a polarizing figure for others. To mark the composer's sesquicentennial, here's a puzzler to test know-it-alls and tempt newbies.

Comment

I Hear Bells: The NPR Music Wedding Puzzler

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Like brides and grooms, wedding songs come in all varieties. Test your smarts with this smorgasbord of matrimonial music.

Comment

What Weeks Of Debate Have Shown Us About Women In Classical Music

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Two weeks after the initial furor regarding mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught's first performance at the Glyndebourne Festival in the U.K., we're still examining how women are valued onstage.

Comment

Soundcheck

Jamie Cullum Plays Live; Concertmaster Glenn Dicterow On 34 Years Leading The NY Phil

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

In this episode: British singer and pianist Jamie Cullum is known for his energetic live shows and his jazz-inflected reinterpretations of modern rock as well as old classics. He plays songs from his new album Momentum live in the Soundcheck studio, and sneaks in a surprising cover too.

Then: Thirty-four years after he began his tenure with the New York Philharmonic, concertmaster Glenn Dicterow is “retiring” back to his native California. He plays his final performance with the NY Phil on June 28, and talks about his decades in the lead seat.

Comment

Simone Dinnerstein: Tiny Desk Concert

Monday, June 02, 2014

Watch the celebrated pianist play Bach's Two-part Inventions, which can zing with the speed of a sewing machine, or unfold slowly like a gentle aria.

Comment

Morning Edition

The Silence And Awe Of Arvo Pärt

Monday, June 02, 2014

The Estonian composer's contemplative yet powerful music has found popularity beyond the borders of classical music. He's making a rare appearance in the U.S. to attend a festival of his music.

Comments [1]

Morning Edition

Post-Apocalyptic Picnics And Hollywood Steakhouses In Gabriel Kahane's LA

Friday, May 30, 2014

Though the composer and singer-songwriter wasn't raised in Los Angeles, The Ambassador feels like a musical tour of the city, right down to specific addresses used as song titles.

Comment

Soundcheck

Hauschka Plays Live; Summer Songs; The Origins Of Twee Culture

Friday, May 30, 2014

In this episode: Hauschka's hypnotic music blends electronics with the rhythmic, percussive sounds of prepared piano, using normal household items. The German composer's latest album, Abandoned City, explores the phenomenon of abandoned cities and ghost towns around the world. Hear the inventive prepared pianist transform the instrument in the Soundcheck studio.

Then: All week, Soundcheck has been asking listeners and readers to give us their favorite summer song. We got so many great ones, we created our Ultimate Summer Mix, a giant Spotify playlist of seasonal classics and unsung gems that will be the perfect soundtrack for your barbecues, beaches, and roadtrips all summer long.

And: Calling something "indie" can be divisive, and categorizing a musician as "twee" can be an accusation. But veteran music writer Marc Spitz has happily compiled the ultimate guide to twee culture in his new book, Twee. Spitz unites Walt Disney, Pitchfork, and the soft strums of Zoey Deschanel's ukulele as examples of a "gentle revolution" in his extensive history of twee music, books, and pop culture.

 

Comment

Soundcheck

Hauschka: The Hypnotic, Curious Sounds Of Prepared Piano

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hauschka's hypnotic music blends electronics with the rhythmic, percussive sounds of prepared piano, using normal household items. The German composer's latest album, Abandoned City, explores the phenomenon of abandoned cities and ghost towns around the world. Hear the inventive prepared pianist transform the instrument in the Soundcheck studio. 

Comment

All Things Considered

State Of The Art: New York Philharmonic's Biennial

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Under music director Alan Gilbert, the orchestra is taking a page from the visual arts world by launching an 11-day festival featuring both established and emerging composers.

Comment

Music By Arvo Pärt, Live From The Met Museum's Temple Of Dendur

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir performs an extended piece derived from an ancient canon of repentance. Unfolding as a long prayer, the music is rich, multilayered and mesmerizing.

Comment

Read Joyce DiDonato's Inspiring Juilliard Commencement Speech

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A star mezzo shares forthright and inspiring thoughts about making a life as an artist. "You will never make it," she says. "'It' doesn't exist for an artist."

Comment

All Things Considered

How Do You Get Latino Kids Into Classical Music? Bring The Parents

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

"If they hold an instrument, they will not take a drug. They will not hold a gun," says Santa Cecilia Orchestra conductor Sonia Marie De Leon De Vega. "It's that powerful."

Comment

Soundcheck

Alan Gilbert Launches New York Philharmonic's New Biennial

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

For the New York Philharmonic's latest concert series, music director Alan Gilbert has taken inspiration from the visual art world. The NY Phil Biennial programs 21 concerts over 11 days and features new music from a host of different composers and a diverse array of styles. In a conversation with Soundcheck host John Schaefer, Gilbert talks about the Biennial and some of the new music to be heard.

Comment

Mark Stewart On Q2 Music's 'Spaces'

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Conch shells, a 19th-century relative of the tuba, and wooden nose flutes are just a few of the odd instruments you'll find in the apartment of Paul Simon's music director.

Comment

Soundcheck

Sharon Van Etten Plays Live; NY Philharmonic's Biennial; Enigma's 'Sadeness' Was A Hit?!?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

In this episode: Since she last visited Soundcheck, Sharon Van Etten has opened up for The National, toured as a backup singer with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and recorded a Bruce Springsteen cover at the Stone Pony. Hear the singer-songwriter and her band perform songs from her just-released fourth album, Are We There, in the Soundcheck studio.

Then: New York Philharmonic music director and conductor Alan Gilbert talks about dreaming up the first-ever NY Phil Biennial, which kicks off this week. We take a listen to some of the new music that will be showcased.

And: Charts guru and writer Chris Molanphy explores the puzzling success of another chart-topping single -- this time, the sexy New Age, Gregorian chant-laden “Sadeness” by Enigma -- as part of our series That Was A Hit?!?

Comment

First Listen: Gabriel Kahane, 'The Ambassador'

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The composer and singer-songwriter's new album is a set of 10 vignettes about buildings in L.A. Throughout The Ambassador, Kahane speaks many musical languages fluently and beautifully.

Comment

All Things Considered

A Few Words With Ennio Morricone

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Learn how the 85-year-old composer got his start spoofing on John Cage, and hear his best impression of the coyote howl from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Comment