Music Features

Now is the Time
12:29 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

XY Etudes on Now is the Time

Etudes for piano and for bongos are on Now is the Time, Sunday, March 10th at 10 pm. Maria Corley performs seven of the twelve neo-romantic Etudes by Leslie Adams, journeying through changing harmonic relationships, with a sure touch by composer and pianist.

Bang on a Can co-founder Michael Gordon wrote XY for Doug Perkins, who hypnotizes on this recording. Perkins works over five (we think) bongos with mallets. It’s an etude in itself, a study in polyrhythms, but most of all, a seductively fascinating work.

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Now is the Time
11:55 am
Sat March 2, 2013

Ballads on Now is the Time

We're telling stories on Now is the Time, Sunday, March 3rd at 10 pm. Stephen Vincent Benét's The Ballad of William Sycamore ("My father, he was a mountaineer, His fist was a knotty hammer; He was quick on his feet as a running deer, And he spoke with a Yankee stammer...") is set pungently by John Biggs. Benjamin Broening accompanies the same clarinet music in two different—and fascinating—ways: with piano (Arioso), and with computer sounds (Arioso/Doubles).

Maurice Wright tantalizes with an excerpt from his Mythology cycle, and David Amram mythologizes a bit himself in his Elizabethan-inspired Sonata for piano.

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6:52 am
Sat March 2, 2013

Turkish Bass Burak Bilgili on Crossover

Last week's guest on Crossover was Turkish Bass Burak Bilgili. Turkish? Not necessarily the first nationality that comes to mind when you think "opera singer." But, wait till you hear that voice!

A 2004 graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, Bilgili made his international debut in 2002 - while still a student at AVA - as Duke Alfonso in Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia at La Scala. His Metropolitan Opera debut was May 7, 2004, when he sang Leporello without either a full-stage or orchestra rehearsal in the final performance of Don Giovanni that season. When he took his solo bow at the end of the performance, the audience roared in appreciation. He returned to the company in 2009 as Ferrando in Il trovatore.

Starting Saturday evening, March 2nd, Bilgili will appear in the lead role in the Academy of Vocal Arts' production of Don Quichotte. Performances run through March 9th at AVA, and March 12th and 14th at Haverford's Centennial Hall. The production will also be heard as a Sunday Opera Special on March 10th at 3 pm on WRTI and the all-classical stream at

Now is the Time
10:12 pm
Sun February 24, 2013

Incredible Purple on Now is the Time

We’re in the blue to purple section of the color wheel on Now is the Time, Sunday, February 24th at 10 pm. The blues are brought to us by Frank Ticheli’s wind orchestra, John King’s string quartet for Ethel, and Libby Larsen’s flute and guitar homage to Dizzy Gillespie and Ray Charles.

A Christopher Campbell interval spans wavelengths so that we may meet Efraín Amaya’s Venezuelan-spiced flute concerto. Joshua Stamper’s Incredible Purple sings the boundary between blues and something ineffable. Well, there’s a trombone.

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3:45 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Evenings at Zimmermann's on Crossover

Flutist Robert Stallman

This week virtuoso flutist Robert Stallman and renowned harpsichordist Edwin Swanborn invite you to join them at Leipzig's famed Cafe Zimmermann for Obbligato Sonatas for Flute and Harpsichord.  Featured composer is Johann Sebastian Bach, who has also brought along a pickup group of musician friends to flesh out the evening.  

Music lovers, professionals and amateurs are all welcome to share delicious coffee, stimulating conversation, spirits and the stories behind the great music.  Saturday, February 23, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm

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Now is the Time
11:48 am
Sat February 16, 2013

Episodes for Cello on Now is the Time

The cello sings on Now is the Time, Sunday, February 17th at 10 pm. The seven-movement Sonata No. 2 for Unaccompanied Cello of Michael Hersch is a journey of lament, passion, and poignancy. There is darkness and depth in all of Hersch's music, but it is always leavened with an inescapable, sincere lyricism. This is thoroughly involving.  

Allen Shawn has written operas on librettos by his brother, actor and playwright Wallace Shawn, music for the film My Dinner with Andre, and lots of piano and chamber music. He calls his own music eclectic, and there's always a wry element just around the corner. But don't allow that to cause you to miss his crafting of satisfying, skillful works, including these six Episodes for Cello and Piano.

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5:15 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Pianist Rudolf Buchbinder Returns to Crossover

Rudolf Buchbinder, pianist
Phillipp Horak

One of the world's foremost and most prolific artists returns to Crossover this week. But the Australian pianist Rudolf Buchbinder isn't just a virtuoso. He's a really interesting person as well. One who loves life just as much as music.

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CD Selections
4:51 pm
Sat February 9, 2013

Kile Smith Recommends: David Bennett Thomas, Paths

Listeners look for categories, but artists freely create, and David Bennett Thomas is, first of all, an artist. Neo-this, post-that, or fusion-with-something-else may be of interest to others, but the artist is interested only in creating.

David Bennett Thomas works in jazz and classical music, but he doesn’t put one foot in one and one in the other. He’s a professional, so he commits to either, depending on his purpose. He’s an artist, so he’s true, regardless of what he’s composing. He laughs and loves life, so his music is filled with humor and, perhaps what is most revolutionary in our earnest age, happiness.

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Now is the Time
8:35 pm
Fri February 8, 2013

A Valentine on Now is the Time

It's as if we were all sent Valentines on Now is the Time, Sunday, February 10th at 10 pm. We're proud of all the music by women composers our show has aired since we began in 2008, but this program we've set aside for them and to some pieces that could be Valentines. Maybe.

It's not that we take anything for granted, as Annie Gosfield reminds us in Don't Bite the Hand That Feeds Back. Linda Robbins Coleman's piano rag is a Valentine to a dear member of the family, her beloved cat. The Syncopated Lady may be Carol Barnett or her pianist, Tomoko Deguchi. Valentine's Day is filled with flowers and poetry; Jasmine Flower is from Victoria Bond's CD Peculiar Plants, and Jennifer Higdon wrote String Poetic for the outstanding violinist Jennifer Koh.

Warming up the day is Anne LeBaron on harp, augmented, with Heat Wave 1, and Nicola Melville plays the searing Tango Gardél of Stacy Garrop.

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7:57 am
Fri February 8, 2013

A First for Violinist Joshua Bell and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields

  Sony Classical's new disc featuring the venerable Academy of St. Martin in the Fields (ASMF) will be released on Feb. 12th; but this outing is different from any other ASMF recording. It's violinist Joshua Bell's first recorded appearance with the Academy as it's new music director.  

This week on Crossover, Jill premieres this recording of Beethoven's 4th and 7th symphonies, and speaks with Josh about his role as music director of the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.

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