Classical

Courtesy of Texas Tenors

Pack up the car, turn up your favorite public radio station, and set your GPS for these Iowa arts destinations on this summer’s road trip. The June and July Iowa Arts Showcase features:

·         Barbara Lounsberry and Mary Taylor, Steering Committee Members, reveling in this year’s Cedar Falls Authors Festival

·         Composer Michael Ching and Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre’s Artistic Director Daniel Kleinknecht filling us in on the CROT’s upcoming production of Speed Dating Tonight!

Aladár Székely

Composer Zoltán Kodály was one of the world’s first ethnomusicologists. In 1905, he trekked across Hungary to secluded villages to collect folk songs sung by the villagers who lived there. He recorded them on an Edison phonograph, and as a result, preserved an entire culture. He then became fast friends with fellow composer Béla Bartók and shared his methods of song collection with him. The two set out on more musical road trips together, and were lifelong champions of each other’s music.

In the late-Romantic musical world, Wagner’s works dominated concert stages. His numerous operas exhibited a distinctly “German sound” and featured Aryan characters in their lead roles. French composer Erik Satie was one of the first to call for a change for music of the time period. He issued a challenge for a French approach to music, “without sauerkraut!” inspiring the French Six (Darius Milhaud, Francis Poulenc, Arthur Honegger, Georges Auric, Louis Durey, and Germaine Tailleferre) as well as Maurice Ravel.

Photograph of a painting by Ernst Hader

Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique set a new precedent for the symphony. Berlioz wrote his Symphonie to depict “the life of an artist” after he had fallen instantly and wildly in love with actress Harriet Smithson while seeing her in a production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in London.

Chris Wahlberg, courtesy San Francisco Symphony

When the San Francisco Symphony appointed the American conductor, composer, and pianist Michael Tilson Thomas as its music director, the chemistry was perfect from the start. The orchestra and "MTT" inspired each other creatively, and conveyed the artistic excitement to listeners. That was in 1995, and since then the orchestra has gained even more international renown than it already had, winning the most prestigious international prizes, including the Gramophone Award, France's Grand Prix du Disque, Japan's Record Academy, and no fewer than 11 Grammy Awards.

Wolf Trap Opera

The Des Moines Metro Opera concludes Iowa Public Radio’s 2017 Arias in April series with a performance from their 44th Festival Season. IPR’s first DMMO broadcast features Verdi’s Falstaff on Saturday, May 6th at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, May 7th at 11:00 p.m.

www.mayoclinicproceedings.org

May is flowering with a bountiful array of arts events around the state! This month’s Iowa Arts Showcase features:

•         Michael Egel, General and Artistic Director of the Des Moines Metro Opera, filling us in on their 45th festival season

•         Gail Naughton, President and CEO of the National Czech and Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids, and Stephanie Kohn, Museum Curator, delving into the glass artist Dale Chihuly’s exhibit currently on display at the museum

Roger Thomas

Jazz and classical artist, Branford Marsalis, of the famed Marsalis musical family, has established a career as a performer of international renown, equally at home in both concert halls and jazz clubs. Growing up in the rich environment of New Orleans as the oldest son of pianist and educator Ellis Marsalis, Branford was drawn to music along with siblings Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason. His first instrument, the clarinet, gave way to the alto and then the tenor and soprano saxophones when the teenage Branford began working in local bands.

jasonweinberger.com

Come join us this Thursday at Iowa Public Radio’s Annual Open House at our Cedar Falls studio! Music Director and Conductor of the wcfsymphony, Jason Weinberger, will make a guest appearance along with the symphony’s guest pianist extraordinaire, Mimi Solomon. Solomon, an American pianist, has been heard as recitalist, chamber musician, and orchestral soloist in the United States as well as in China, Japan and Europe.

Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre

Iowa Public Radio’s 2017 Arias in April series continues with a brilliant January performance by the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre. We’ll broadcast Verdi’s La Traviata on Saturday, April 29 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 30 at 11:00 p.m.

robertthies.org

In 1995, pianist Robert Thies received worldwide recognition when he won the Gold Medal at the Second International Prokofiev Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia. No American pianist since Van Cliburn, who won the International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1958 in Moscow, had accomplished such a feat.

Tim Schoon, University of Iowa

Our classical request show debuted in March, and it was so much fun that we plan to bring it back monthly. The next edition will air live on Friday, April 28th, from 2 PM-4 PM. What pieces would you like to share with other Iowa listeners?  Send your requests to classical-request@iowapublicradio.org  by Thursday, April 27th. Please ask for not one but two pieces, in case one of your choices has been broadcast recently. Thanks! 

Iowa Public Radio’s 2017 Arias in April series this year includes the University of Northern Iowa Opera Theatre in concert. IPR’s broadcast will present the UNI Opera Theatre’s performance of Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah on Saturday, April 22 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 23 at 11:00 p.m.

Christian Steiner

This week’s Symphony of Iowa features Orchestra Iowa’s Showcase Chamber “A Point of Departure” concert on Sunday, April 16 at 4 p.m. and Monday, April 17 at 7 p.m.

Claire McAdams

The third opera in Iowa Public Radio’s 2017 Arias in April series showcases the Des Moines Metro Opera’s production of Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice. The opera, dating from 1762, will be broadcast on Saturday, April 15 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 16 at 11:00 p.m.

Barney Sherman

A number of you have asked about the Spring Silent Drive spot featuring some of IPR's youngest supporters:

wcfsymphony.org

This week’s Symphony of Iowa features the wcfsymphony’s “Four Seasons II” concert on Sunday, April 9 at 4 p.m. and Monday, April 10 at 7 p.m.

Ben Easter

Iowa Public Radio’s 2017 Arias in April series continues with a performance from the Des Moines Metro Opera’s 44th Festival opera season. This broadcast features Jules Massenet’s Manon on Saturday, April 8th at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 9th at 11:00 p.m.

EUYO YEC 2015 (c) Peter Adamik.jpg at wikimedia.com

Join Barney from 2-4pm today (Friday) for the inaugural spin of IPR Classical's monthly request show. Your requests filled up the two-hour playlist quickly, with welcome favorites and neglected delights. Tune in to hear what you and other listeners chose!

Bill Adams

Let IPR’s Iowa Arts Showcase keep you in the loop during one of the busiest months of the year! This month’s Showcase features:

·         Timothy Shipe, curator of the International Dada Archive at University of Iowa Libraries, filling us in on the Dada exhibit at the UI Main Library Gallery in Iowa City

·         Dean of Iowa State’s College of Ag and Life Science, Wendy Wintersteen, and Lynette Pohlman, Director and Chief Curator of University Museums, sharing details about ISU’s portrait-painting sessions “Faces of Iowa State”

This week’s Symphony of Iowa features Orchestra Iowa’s “American Mystics” concert on Sunday, April 2 at 4 p.m. and Monday, April 3 at 7 p.m.

Peter Adamik By Euyo editor - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46860288

Is there a classical piece you'd love to share on Iowa's airwaves? Now you can. IPR's monthly classical request feature will debut on Barney's show on Friday, March 31st, from 2-4 PM, and it's easy to participate. Here's how:

 1.) Send your request by email to classical-request@iowapublicradio.org by midnight, Thursday, March 30th.

Claire McAdams

The lengthening days can only mean one thing: Spring has arrived, and with it comes Iowa Public Radio’s Arias in April series! For five weeks, listeners can tune in to enjoy opera productions from the Des Moines Metro Opera, UNI Opera Theatre, and Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre.

Cheryl Gorski

Acclaimed by the New York Times as “one of the finest conductors of her generation,” JoAnn Falletta is a much-sought guest conductor and a vibrant presence on the podium. This energetic concert opens with Brahms’s lively Academic Festival Overture. Next, the virtuosic Oasis Quartet plays Bolcom’s Concerto Grosso, a masterpiece for four saxophones and orchestra. Finally, Bruckner’s monumental Fourth Symphony, his “cathedral of sound,” will take your breath away with its blazing power and majesty. Tune in Sunday, March 26th at 4 p.m.

Monika Rittershaus / per OTRS - Pressestelle der Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker

At 4 PM Sunday or 7 PM Monday, tune in for a Carnegie Hall concert of Beethoven's 4th and 6th ("Pastoral") Symphonies by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle. After 16 years as principal conductor in Berlin, Rattle is heading home next year to the UK for a new post with the London Symphony Orchestra. But first he and the Berlin wanted to do the Beethoven cycle, and here's a chance to hear part of it in concert!

Lou Brutus at Wikipedia

Just how much is classical music about classics? According to the 2016 Mega-Meta-List, about 80%. Yes, I'm joking when I answer a complex, subjective question with a number (trust me, it was funny in Douglas Adams), but quantifying the unmeasurable is sort of what the meta-list project does.

Keaton Scovel

Iowa flutist, conductor, and composer Harvey Sollberger received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Flute Association in 2015, as well as a funding grant from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs for a recording and tour featuring work created over six decades of composing music in Iowa. The IWO Flute Quartet (named after the members' home states of Idaho, Washington, and Oregon) honors his achievements by performing his works on this performance live from IPR’s Studio One!

Rachel Bearinger

Please note this Performance Iowa broadcast will not air in March as originally scheduled. We will reschedule the broadcast. Please check this website for updates, and follow Iowa Public Radio on Facebook and Twitter for more information.

wcfsymphony.org

The wcfsymphony brass section is taking over this week’s Symphonies of Iowa on Sunday, March 12th and Monday March 13th! Bask in the glorious sound of brass and organ with the wcfsymphony brass choir and guest organist Nathaniel Parrish in this special concert. Tune in Sunday, March 12th at 4 p.m. and again on Monday, March 13th at 7 p.m. for IPR’s Symphonies of Iowa broadcast!

PROGRAM

DUKAS – La Péri, Fanfare

MARCELLO – Estro poetico-armonico: Psalm 18

STRAUSS – Feierlicher Einzug

city_of_dis, Wikimedia Commons

For this year's classical mega-meta-list, I found 70 "best classical of the year" lists from 27 countries,  entered them into a spreadsheet, and hit "sort." A few albums soared to the top, and in Part 1 I celebrated tho

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