Classical

The University of Iowa Symphony Orchestra, under William LaRue Jones, performs Gompper, Bristow, and Dukelsky, recorded live on February 29 and March 28, 2012.

The University of Iowa Symphony Orchestra, under William LaRue Jones, performs Brahms and Beethoven, recorded live on February 29, 2012.

Drake Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Akira Mori, recorded on March 12, 2012, featuring winners of the 2011 Concerto Competition.

“Crème de la Crème” benefit concert for the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, recorded May 6, 2011.

A flute recital by Drake professor Leslie Marrs, recorded on January 25, 2011.

A UNI faculty recital by horn player Yu-Ting Su, with pianist Dmitri Vorobiev, recorded on October 12, 2011.

For this Easter weekend, we'll hear a performance of parts II and III of Handel's Messiah, originally performed by the four choirs of ISU in May 2011.

ISU's two women's choirs, Cantamus and Lyrica, both under the direction of Kathleen Rodde, recorded in concert in October 2010.

The Drake University Wind Symphony, recorded live on February 19, 2012.

The Iowa Statesmen, ISU's male choral ensemble directed by James Rodde, recorded in concert on November 7, 2010.

Drake University's Leanne Freeman-Miller, soprano; Michelle Havlik-Jergens, piano. in a  concert titled "Letters From the Garden: Contemporary Songs by Female Composers", recorded on August 27. 2010.

A faculty recital from trumpeter Randy Grabowski of UNI, recorded on January 24, 2012.

Orchestra Iowa’s Chamber Players present their second concert of the season. Among the pieces performed is Bach’s Concerto for Violin, Viola and Continuo. The Chamber Players present Hurnik’s Sonata da Camera. Hurnik is known for his film scripts, radio plays and concerts for children. The music of Bach’s fifth child, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach graces the concert with the Duet for Flute and Violin. The concert continues with yet another work by Bach’s son, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach. W.F.

Kodály’s Variations on a Hungarian Folksong, sometimes referred to as the “Peacock Variations,” was commissioned in 1939 by the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam. For the main thematic material, Kodály chose an ancient Hungarian folk song titled Fly, Peacock Fly, the text of which metaphorically advocated for political freedom. Pianist Dror Biran joins Jason Weinberger and the Waterloo Cedar Falls Symphony for a masterful performance of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto.

Members of Orchestra Iowa’s Chamber Players bring to life Schubert’s String Trio in Bb Major which Schubert wrote during a time when he was involved in informal chamber music performances. The Orchestra Iowa Chamber Players also present a lively rendition of Mozart’s Trio in C Major, written in the summer of 1788. Finally, the Chamber Players will fill the air with Faure’s Piano Quartet in G minor. This piece is known for its tranquil and harmonically rich melodies.

(Concert recorded Sept. 21 and Sept. 23, 2012)

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony’s opening concert of their eighty-third season begins with selections from Henry Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, a semi-opera adapted from William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Composer and singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane joins the WCFSO for a performance of his recent work for baritone and chamber orchestra, Crane Palimpest. The program closes with Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony, which he summarizes in his autograph score:

Iowa Public Radio’s 2012-2013 Symphonies of Iowa season kicks off with Maestro Giunta and the Des Moines Symphony opening their seventy-fifth season with music from the Austrian film composer, Ernest Korngold.

Tchaikovsky Gold Medalist Barry Douglas makes his Iowa debut with the Des Moines Symphony playing Rachmaninoff’s blazing third piano concerto. The sultry Danzon by Marquez has become a DMSO audience favorite. The orchestra’s Spirit of America season concludes with perhaps the most quintessentially American work – Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story.

(Concert recorded May 12-13, 2012)

Orchestra Iowa’s 2011-2012 season concludes with a program featuring the music of Dvořák, Bartok and Shostakovich. Dvořák’s Slavic Dance No. 8 is from a series of pieces inspired by Brahms’ Hungarian Dances. Bartok’s Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta is truly a piece that is meant to be heard live, as the strings are divided into two groups and placed antiphonally on opposite sides of the stage. Following a series of works denounced by the Communist Party, Shostakovich delivered a rousing symphony that not only pleased critics, but audiences too.

Maestro Mark Russell Smith, Music Director and Conductor of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, leads the orchestra in an international collaboration culminating in a large-scale performance of Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem. This epic masterwork combines a non-liturgical setting of the Requiem Mass with nine poems by English poet and fallen World War I soldier, Wilfred Owen.

Violinist Miriam Fried joins Maestro Intriligator and the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra for a performance of the Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D Major. Written in 1878, the concerto features a rich thematic material, folk-like melodies and a fiery final movement. The DSO opens the concert with another dramatic favorite, Mozart’s Overture to Don Giovanni, followed by his Symphony No. 39.

(Concert recorded Feb. 11-12, 2012)

The Des Moines Symphony opens with one of Iowa’s most celebrated composers—the three-time Grammy-winner Michael Daugherty. His brilliant and fun Red Cape Tango celebrates a certain superhero from his Metropolis Symphony, and there is nothing more American than being “able to leap tall buildings!” The young American cellist Joshua Roman makes his Des Moines debut and Maestro Guinta conducts his favorite Dvořák symphony.

(Concert recorded April 14-15, 2012)

Select Orchestra Iowa wind players open this Chamber Showcase concert with Arnold Bax’s Elegiac Trio, inspired by Ireland’s 1919 Easter Rebellion. The brief but brilliant Entr’acte for Flute and Harp by French composer Jacques Ibert follows, and Dvořák’s Piano Quintet in A, abounding with Bohemian folk melodies, closes the program.

(Concert recorded April 14, 2012)

It caused a riot at its premiere and later, a battle of words between its composer and the Walt Disney Company. Now, nearly a century after its composition, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring still retains the capacity to shock and move us more than almost any other work in the orchestral repertoire. This third and most revolutionary of the ballet scores Stravinsky composed for the legendary impresario Serge Diaghilev, was written between 1911 and 1913.  The Rite of Spring may no longer set off riots, but it still packs quite a wallop.

Composed for Good Friday services during Bach’s first year at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, the St. John Passion is a dramatic representation of the Passion as told in the Gospel of John. The work is constructed of recitatives and choruses, reflective chorales and arias, and is framed by a two choruses, the second of which is followed by one final chorale. Luther College’s Nordic Choir joins Orchestra Iowa to present this monumental work.

(Concert recorded March 24-25, 2012)

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony performs Mussorgsky’s oft-arranged piano masterwork, Pictures at an Exhibition, in a rarely-heard version made just after the composer’s death. Michael Pawlak, the WCFSO’s principal percussionist, provides an unusual opportunity to hear a live performance of Joseph Schwantner’s celebrated Percussion Concerto.

(Concert recorded March 24, 2012)

Jennifer Frautschi, the Grammy-nominated and Avery Fisher Prize-winning American violinist, makes her Iowa debut collaborating with Maestro Giunta and the Des Moines Symphony in Barber’s tuneful and rhythmic Violin Concerto. The DMSO also performs Tchaikovsky’s great soul-searching last symphony, the “Pathetique.”

(Concert recorded March 10-11, 2012)

Brahms’ melancholy Horn Trio for horn, piano and violin may have been written as a wordless requiem for his mother. The trio opens with a gentle Andante instead of the usual Allegro. Images of nature, represented by the horn, pervade the elegiac mood of the piece. Chamber works by J. S. Bach and Michael Haydn, the prolific younger brother of Franz Joseph, compliment the Horn Trio.

(Concert recorded Feb. 18, 2012)

Orchestra Iowa’s Season of Fifth Symphonies continues with Bruckner’s bombastic and brassy middle symphony. Timothy Hankewich leads the orchestra in their performance of Bruckner’s Fifth Symphony, which epitomizes the height of the German romantic period. The Bruckner Society of America, formed in 1931, promotes the work of Bruckner and helped make this Orchestra Iowa concert possible. The society also presents the Bruckner Medal of Honor, which has been received by such distinguished music directors as Serge Koussevitsky, Eugene Ormandy, and Arturo Toscanini.

Keeping with their Spirit of America season, Maestro Giunta invites Sarah Hicks, Resident Music Director of the Minnesota Orchestra, to conduct an American program with the Des Moines Symphony. The concert includes Barber’s Adagio for Strings, an inspirational work revered for its unsurpassed beauty, and Copland’s lively Billy the Kid. Manny Laureano, principal trumpet of the Minnesota Orchestra, joins the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra for a virtuoso performance of Alexander Arutiunian’s Trumpet Concerto in A-flat Major.

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