Music Features

6:54 am
Fri December 7, 2012

The Other Side of Brubeck: An Interview from 2003

In 2003, Dave Brubeck joined forces with the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Voices, baritone Alan Opie and the Dave Brubeck Quartet on CLASSICAL BRUBECK, based on sacred text.

Jill Pasternak's interview with Dave Brubeck on Crossover from November, 2003
Jazz giant Dave Brubeck passed away December 5th, 2012. His quartet’s legendary 1959 recording of Paul Desmond’s Take Five, and the LP it came from, Time Out, helped to define jazz for a generation and beyond.

But there was another side to Brubeck. Whether instilled by his mother’s attempts at classical training, or his mid-'40s studies with composers Darius Milhaud and Arnold Schoenberg, a latent classical gene started making itself known by the late 1960s. In early 1968, The Light in the Wilderness for baritone solo, choir and organ, was premiered by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra conducted by Erich Kunzel. The next year, Brubeck produced The Gates of Justice, a cantata mixing Biblical scripture with the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.                                                                                                                                                                                    
In November 2003, Dave Brubeck appeared on Crossover to speak about his work in the classical realm, and his then brand-new Telarc CD, Classical Brubeck.

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CD Selections
3:50 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Dave Brubeck's Secret

In Jailhouse Rock, Elvis plays an ex-con rube hoping to make it in the music business. He’s dragged to a swanky party, where he’s wedged between society snobs who try to look intellectual and hip by discussing modern music. They toss around lingo like “dissonance” and “atonality,” and the names of some musicians, including that of Dave Brubeck. Elvis’s increasing discomfort wells up when the hostess asks his opinion. Rather than revealing his ignorance, he barks crudely at her and stalks out.

Hollywood knows a good stereotype when it sees one, hick or slick, and “Brubeck” meant cerebral, cool, West Coast. The Dave Brubeck Quartet was already one of the hottest ensembles in jazz in the ’50s, playing hundreds of concerts, and releasing multiple LPs, every year. Brubeck’s face had been on the cover of Time magazine in 1954, Jailhouse Rock came out in 1957, and it would still be two years before the Quartet had its incandescent burst into the stratosphere—and into jazz history—with the release of Time Out.

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Now is the Time
8:28 pm
Sat December 1, 2012

Simple Songs of Birth and Return on Now is the Time

Sidiki Conde

from Sidike Conde: Moriba Djassa

We search for roots of different kinds on Now is the Time, Sunday, December 2nd at 10 pm. Jeremy Gill bases his Book of Hours for piano on the ancient observances of the monastery. The birth of an orchestral season is trumpeted by Tomas Svoboda. Robert Lombardo entrances with mandolin and marimba, and Nathan Davis, with the mbira, or African thumb piano.

The roots of the banjo are also in Africa. Sidiki Conde is joined by banjo while he sings and drums, on his infectious Moriba Djassa.

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8:47 am
Sat December 1, 2012

Famed German Counter-Tenor Andreas Scholl: Master of Baroque Song

Jill Pasternak speaks with Andreas Scholl on Crossover, December 1, 2012

Our guest this week is celebrated and much-lauded counter-tenor Andreas Scholl.  Mr. Scholl made his debut in 1998 at the Glyndebourne Festival singing the role of Berarido in Handel's Rodelinda.  Stupendous reviews followed repeat performances in Paris, and at the Met in 2006 performing opposite Renee Fleming. 

Mr. Scholl appears in our area on December 5th at the Ware Center's Steinman Hall in Lancaster. We speak with Mr. Scholl, and listen to excerpts from his new Decca CD, Wanderer, in which he explores music of Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, and Brahms, accompanied by the stellar Israeli pianist Tamar Halperin.

This video was produced and shot by Andreas Scholl

Creatively Speaking
7:56 am
Sat December 1, 2012

PCMS: The Authors of the City's Vibrant Chamber Music Scene

PCMS presents The Modigliani Quartet on October 25th at 8pm at the Kimmel Center's Perelman Theater.

Philadelphia is a city rich with classical musical offerings, from Philadelphia Orchestra concerts at the Kimmel Center to recitals in homes, neighborhood churches, and community centers.  But there haven't always been public venues to hear chamber music – or presenters to bring in top talent.  

WRTI’s Susan Lewis looks at a driving force behind the city’s vibrant chamber music scene:  The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. PCMS has been presenting world-class chamber music and recital concerts to the Greater Philadelphia region for more than a quarter century. The organization is committed to offering affordable tickets to listeners from all walks of life.

Check out the PCMS website for a lineup of extraordinary performances.

Creatively Speaking
7:29 am
Sat December 1, 2012

The "Low Key" Approach Of The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director Manfred Honeck

The Philadelphia Orchestra has a genteel rivalry with its illustrious neighbor to the west, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Though not among the"Big Five" American orchestras, Pittsburgh is certainly in that league. And then there were those neck-and-neck European tours where Pittsburgh had more, and classier, dates than Philadelphia.

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Creatively Speaking
10:07 am
Sat November 24, 2012

Pianist Seymour Lipkin: Still Scaling Artistic Heights

The Philadelphia Inquirer's ’s David Patrick Stearns profiles Seymour Lipkin, a pianist who - in his mid 80s -  is taking on Beethoven's massive Hammerklavier sonata, among other daunting musical feats.

A video of Mr. Lipkin playing Mozart:

Creatively Speaking
9:15 am
Sat November 24, 2012

Satchmo At The Waldorf: The Man Behind The Legend

As The Wilma Theater in Philadelphia stages the Terry Teachout play about the legendary trumpet player Louis Armstrong, Susan Lewis explores the life and work of this musical icon.

Information about Satchmo At The Waldorf at The Wilma Theater through December 2nd.

Now is the Time
4:55 pm
Fri November 23, 2012

Lonely Motel on Now is The Time

from Steven Mackey: Lonely Motel, Music from Slide

It’s the composer/electric guitarist Steven Mackey on Now is the Time, Sunday, November 25th at 10 pm. Performed by eighth blackbird, Lonely Motel: Music from Slide considers isolation and self-delusion. A psychologist whose fiancée has abandoned him contemplates his fate while looking at his research slides.

The theater piece also rocks, with homages, Mackey says, to Dowland, Mozart, Stravinsky, Piazzola, and The Beatles.

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8:39 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Clarinetist Alexander Bedenko: From Ukraine to Curtis and Now The World

Jill Pasternak interviews Alexander Bedenko

Here's the impressive story of a young Russian clarinetist who moved all the way to Philadelphia at age 17 for musical training and is now a rising star - one of the most prominent talents of his generation.

Born in 1982 in Kharkov, Ukraine, Alexander studied at The Curtis Institute of Music with Donald Montanaro, graduating in 2005. His accomplishments range from taking top honors at major international competitions to holding principal positions with leading orchestras under world-renowned conductors. He's been in demand as both soloist and ensemble player - attracting the attention of major conductors, as well as leading orchestras, ensembles, and festivals in the United States, Europe and Asia.