Barney Sherman

Classical Music Host

Barney Sherman joined Iowa Public Radio member station KSUI in fall 2001 as Classical music host. In his role with Iowa Public Radio, Barney hosts weekday and Sunday afternoon Classical programs. He has written about music in books for Oxford and Cambridge University Presses and in articles for the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Journal of the American Musicological Society, Early Music, and many other publications. Another topic he has written about is Iowa, for The Atlantic (and for Iowa Public Radio!).

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She was once called "the greatest violinist you've never heard of" - but since then she' s won many major awards. Hear Isabelle Faust play the Brahms Concerto on Barney Sherman's show in the afternoon, and then the two Bach violin concertos on the New York Philharmonic broadcast at 7 pm. Discover why the New York Times says, "her sound has passion, grit and electricity but also a disarming warmth and sweetness that can unveil the music's hidden strains of lyricism."

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Wednesday, May 29 is the 100th anniversary of the first performance of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, and while it no longer causes riots it still sounds radical, wild, and fresh. Hear it - introduced by New Yorker music critic Alex Ross - in the 6 PM hour of Performance Today.  In the afternoon Barney Sherman will play part of it in the version Stravinsky first published, for piano four hands.

Sébastien Barré at flickr.com

The Boston Symphony Orchestra performing Beethoven's Fifth and Sixth (Pastoral) Symphonies and third Leonore Overture under the stars at Tanglewood with noted Beethovenian Christoph von Dohnanyi - sound enticing? Tune in Tuesday at 7 pm to hear it on SymphonyCast on IPRClassical.

Orchestra Iowa

Tune in tonight at 7PM as the Orchestra Iowa Chamber Players perform Beethoven’s Variations on Mozart's "La ci darem la mano” ; Ibert’s  Five Pieces for Trio; Halvorsen’s Passacaglia and Sarabande with variations on a theme by Handel; Prokofiev’s spirited Piano Quintet in g minor; and Vanhal’s Divertimento in G Major.

Christoph Müller-Girod from flickr.com

Tune in Saturday at 7AM or Sunday at 6PM to hear the ISU Wind Ensemble led by Michael Golemo playing Mendelssohn's Overture for Winds and three modern works for the ensemble - including Eric Whitacre's riotous "Godzilla Eats Las Vegas." Written when Whitacre  was an undergrad at Juilliard, it has become a modern classic.  Says Whitacre, "The idea that this piece is being played all over the world in serious concert venues is the single funniest thing I have ever heard.

WFMT and Lyric Opera of Chicago

Tenor superstar Matthew Polenzani portrays the smitten poet Werther in the Lyric Opera of Chicago's production of Massenet's opera, based on the Goethe novel that rocked Europe.  Sophie Koch stars as the unfortunate object of his affection, Charlotte.

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The New York Philharmonic's "Bach Variations" festival continues at 7 PM Thursday with the Mass in B Minor - Bach's "most spectacular choral work," as the scholar and conductor John Butt calls it.

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Today is the 200th birthday of Richard Wagner. Performance Today at 5 will be almost all Wagner; Barney Sherman from 1-5 will play just a little of his music, but will also feature music by composers who respond, in some way, to or against Wagner: Debussy (a recording of him playing his own "Children's Corner"), Faure, John Adams, Leonard Bernstein, and a movement by Bruckner. We'll also sample a new recording of one of the works that most influenced Wagner, Beethoven's 9th. (And for more, Bill McGlaughlin continues his week-long series on Wagner at 9 PM.)

PercyGermany on Flickr.com

What do we make of the complex legacy of Richard Wagner on the 200th anniversary of his birth, Wednesday? Both Performance Today with Fred Child (5-7 PM) and Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin (9-10 PM) are exploring the question this week with fascinating results. Tune in tonight to PT, for example, to hear Gabriel Faure's "Souvenirs of Bayreuth" - a cheeky quadrille on themes from the Ring Cycle - as well as Wagner in concert by leading performers (among those on PT this week are Bryn Terfel, Deborah Voigt, Sir Simon Rattle, and Esa-Pekka Salonen).

Bach-Archiv Leipzig (bach-digital.de)

"The Heavens Laugh, the Earth Rejoices"  is the title of a Bach cantata and of the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony's concert of Easter-related Bach, which you can hear tonight at 7 PM. The Brandenburg Concerto no. 1 is preceded by sinfonias from several cantatas (including "The Heavens Laugh, the Earth Rejoices" BWV 31) and the Easter Oratorio, and by the entirety of the beautiful Cantata 104, "Hear, O Shepherd of Israel" (with the University of Northern Iowa Cantorei and soloists Jeffrey Brich and John Hines). Music Director Jason Weinberger conducts.

Photochiel from Flickr.com

Tune in today at 12 noon for the season's first broadcast from the Lyric Opera of Chicago, featuring Verdi's Simon Boccanegra -  "essentially a heartwarming story about a compassionate political leader... who is reunited with his lost daughter...and makes peace with two political enemies" (as the New York Times summarizes the plot). The renowned American baritone Thomas Hampson heads the stellar cast.

Marco Borggreve (from Indiana Public Media)

Tune in Thursday at 7 PM as Masaaki Suzuki - one of the world's most renowned Bach interpreters - kicks off the New York Philharmonic's month-long Bach Festival.  The Japanese keyboardist/conductor, one of the few recipients of the Royal College of Music's "Bach Prize," has been recording the complete sacred vocal works, keyboard works, and orchestral works for the prestigious BIS label, to great acclaim. Hear him conduct Bach's Magnificat and motet "Sing to the Lord a New Song" (as well as Felix Mendelssohn's Magnificat and Christus).

RobertFrancis at Flickr

Join Barney Sherman Tuesday afternoon to hear a strong candidate for "most-inspired recording ever of Schubert's last symphony." Also on the show is a major new recording of Beethoven's "Moonlight" Sonata and a Trio Sonata by .... it's complicated, but you can hear it at 1 PM.

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Join us Monday at 7 PM as the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra, led by music director Joseph Giunta, performs Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony. Before the performance is a presentation from the "Beyond the Score" series (co-sponsored with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra) taking us into the rich sources of this masterpiece, from Beethoven to ballet to Russian folk song. (you can sample it at:

Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

Wagner's mighty "Ring" Cycle reaches its finale with "The Twilight of the Gods," broadcast live on IPR starting at 10 AM Saturday. Deborah Voigt is Brünnhilde - "a role she has made her own," according to the New York Times, which also praised conductor Fabio Luisi, for drawing "a muscular, passionate, but never hurried performance from the orchestra."

Lisa-Marie Mazzucco (from emanuelax.com)

Hear great piano playing from Emanuel Ax today on IPR. This afternoon, Barney Sherman broadcasts Ax's powerful new recording of Beethoven's "Eroica Variations," and tonight the New York Philharmonic (where Ax is artist-in-residence) features him in Mozart's Piano Concerto no. 25, a work that was a major inspiration for Beethoven.  Ax, a Polish-born American, is best known as recital partner of Yo-Yo Ma, but if you haven't heard his solo work lately you are in for a treat.

Caroline Wilkinson / Bachhaus Eisenach

Here's what forensic scientists think Bach looked like without his wig. And you can hear what scholars think some of his works sounded like in lost original versions on Barney Sherman's show each afternoon. Thursday's show also includes the "Courtly Dances" from Britten's Gloriana, a powerful new recording of Beethoven, and much more.

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Join IPR's Barney Sherman for four hours of classical music this afternoon starting at 1. Along with music of Poulenc, Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and more, Barney will begin a daily series of reconstructions of lost works by J. S. Bach, "Back-engineered Bach." Up today: the Cello Suite no. 4, which may have started life as... well, tune in to hear!

Carl D. Bromberg / Orchestra Iowa

Tune in at 7 PM to hear Orchestra Iowa in one of music director Tim Hankewich's favorite works: Brahms's Third Symphony. Also on the program is a Concertino by Carl Maria von Weber, with euphonium soloist Roger Oyster, and Edward Elgar's "Enigma" Variations. The concert was recorded in March and is part of our Symphonies of Iowa series.

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Join Jacqueline Halbloom for previews of some major arts events in our state. This month, director Laura Johnson leads off, telling us about the production in Iowa City this weekend of Mozart's second-to-last opera, La Clemenza di Tito. Next comes David Janssen of the Brucemore in Cedar Rapids on this summer's events; then Hugh Pettersen of the Gallagher-Bluedorn in Cedar Falls tells us about the upcoming Creme de la Creme 13. Finally, Michael Egle of the Des Moines Metro Opera updates us on its next season. Hear them at 5 PM Saturday on IPR Classical.

juliabullard.com

Tune in Saturday at 7 AM or Sunday at 6 PM to hear a new Iowa-centered chamber group, Trio 826,  recorded in concert. The Trio - violist Julia Bullard of UNI, cellist Hannah Holman, formerly of the Maia Quartet, and violinist Susanna Klein - are joined by pianist Rene Lecuona of the University of  Iowa. On the program are string trios by Borodin (transcribed by Dr. Bullard) and Kodaly, a work by Robert Washut, and Faure's Piano Quartet no. 1. The broadcast is part of our University Concert series.

Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera (c)

Francis Poulenc's "Dialogue of the Carmelites," one of the Met's most acclaimed productions, airs live today starting at 12 noon. Poulenc tells the story of Carmelite nuns martyred  in the French Revolution with what the New York Times calls "eloquent music that hardly calls attention to itself yet lingers with you." Patricia Racette, Erin Morley, Isabel Leonard, and Felicity Palmer head the cast; Louis Langree conducts.

Yvonne Kao (from Flickr)

Tune in Thursday at 7 pm to hear "Prospero's Rooms"  - a piece by Christopher Rouse based on Edgar Allen Poe's  "Masque of the Red Death" - premiered by the New York Philharmonic  with music director Alan Gilbert. Also on the program is  Charles Ives's Fourth Symphony, inspired in part by Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Celestial Railroad," and Leonard Bernstein's "Serenade," inspired by Plato's "Symposium," performed by Joshua Bell. The broadcast is hosted by Alec Baldwin.

musical photo man (at Flickr.com)

The players stomped their feet to applaud the conductor, Yannick Nézet-Séguin - that's how great the Philadelphia Orchestra's recent Carnegie Hall concert was.  Hear it for yourself tonight at 7 on SymphonyCast. The New York Times said, "The ensemble, famous for its glowing strings and homogeneous richness, has never sounded better." On the program are Ravel's La Valse, Szymanowski's Violin Concerto (Leonid Kogan is the soloist), and Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony.

Jason Weinberger (via Flickr)

Join us tonight at 7  to hear the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony perform three works inspired by the Midwest. Jonathan Chenette’s Rural Symphony is his creative response to Iowa's prairies and farm life. Antonin Dvorak’s “American Suite” draws on his visit to the United States, including a summer in Iowa. Aaron Copland’s The Tender Land depicts the story of a young girl about to leave her home on a Midwestern farm. Jason Weinberger conducts, on this Symphonies of Iowa encore broadcast.

UNI Opera Theatre

Tune in Saturday at 7 PM for the UNI Opera Theatre's irresistible production of Johann Strauss Jr's witty, melodious  "Die Fledermaus." It's performed in communicative English and led by Jonathan Girard.  The broadcast is part of our "Arias in April" series. (Bonus: watch the rehearsal of the overture:

Yuan2003, Flickr.com

Tune in at 7 tonight to hear pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard play Mozart's 23rd Concerto, plus a new concerto written for him by fellow Frenchman Tristan Murail. Also, American David Robertson conducts Beethoven's irresistible Symphony no. 2, and a work by the mystical Frenchman Olivier Messiaen. As usual, Alec Baldwin hosts this weekly broadcast of the New York Philharmonic.

Amsterdam Municipal Department for the Preservation and Restoration of Historic Buildings and Sites (bMA)

Hear the orchestra voted the world's finest with the rising Taiwanese conductor Shoa-Chia Liu in Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and Debussy's Images at 7 pm on IPR Classical. Liu, who was music director of the Hannover State Opera and now heads the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan, has been called "exceptionally gifted" and a "master of nuance" by the German press. As for the Royal Concertgebouw, it came in #1 in a 2010 Gramophone poll of international critics. The concert comes to us from SymphonyCast.

Des Moines Symphony Orchestra

Hear Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, one of America's leading violinists, tonight at 7 with the Des Moines Symphony. She performs the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with what the Des Moines Register called "intense focus but a light touch... lilting through the middle section and scampering like a giddy squirrel through the finale."
Also on the progam: music from Wagner's Die Meistersinger and Franck's beautiful Symphony in D Minor. Music Director Joseph Giunta conducts on this Symphonies of Iowa encore broadcast.

Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Siegfried, the third part of Wagner's epic "Ring" cycle, airs live from the Metropolitan Opera starting at 10 AM Saturday on IPR Classical.  Jay Hunter Morris reprises his acclaimed portrayal of the title hero, and Deborah Voigt returns as Brunnhilde.

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