Classical 91.5

Live from Temple B’rith Kodesh: A Rosh Hashanah Celebration

Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of the Jewish year, and this year is the 5,777th birthday of the world. Rosh Hashanah marks the start of the Days of Awe leading up to Yom Kippur, and is a time to look back at the past year and plan changes for the year ahead. The new year is replete with family gatherings, special meals and symbolic foods, such as apples dipped in honey to represent the hope for a sweet year ahead. On Sunday, October 2, 2016 at 8:00 pm, WXXI will broadcast the Rosh Hashanah...
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Recent blog posts

Bach-to-Bach Punning

Sep 21, 2016
Penny R. Frondelli

Blame it all on Jeffrey Biegel. He and several orchestras commissioned a new piano concerto from PDQ Bach...which got Jeffrey thinking.  There were already so many Bachs--JSB, CPE, WF, JC, JCF, to name a few.  How many other Bachs, he wondered, were out there? So Jeffrey asked us, the trusty world of classical announcers, if we knew of any.  And things got pretty silly.

Some of the suggestions:


One day I walked into the doctor’s office and noticed the receptionist wearing an unusual necklace, a thick chain with a large, gold llama hanging at the end.   I complimented her llama.  Her eyes lit up behind glasses as she explained that she and her family raised llamas and showed them at the New York State Fair.  They had even won prizes, she said.  

I said, “That’s nice!  I know someone who runs an alpaca farm.” 

She shrugged dismissively and said, “I just don’t get the whole alpaca thing.”

News from the world of Classical Music

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Ginette DePreist in memory of James DePreist

The new National Museum of African American History and Culture opens in D. C. this weekend.  Visitors will see a vest worn by Jimi Hendricks, an autographed photograph of Eubie Blake playing the piano, and this silk and velveteen ensemble worn by contralto Marian Anderson at her 1939 Lincoln Memorial concert. 

Tomorrow, two final works from composer James Horner will reach American ears: a concert piece being released on CD, and his score for the remake of the Western adventure The Magnificent Seven. The composer died a little more than a year ago in a plane crash, after creating more than 100 film scores over nearly 40 years.

American composer Julia Wolfe has won one of the biggest windfalls in the arts world. She is one of this year's MacArthur Fellows, recipients of the so-called "genius grants" given to a wide range of talented figures from the arts, humanities, sciences and social services. The 2016 class of fellows was announced early Thursday morning.

Violence against women is no modern tragedy. Composer John Adams found that out when he saw an exhibition about the tales of the Arabian Nights — ancient stories in which Scheherazade tells her murderous husband a new tantalizing tale each night for 1001 nights, thus sparing her life a day at a time. The composer, writing in Scheherazade.2's booklet notes, says he was surprised by how many of the stories included women suffering brutality.

If there's one piece by Chopin that can truly be called "trippy," it's the Mazurka in A minor, Op. 17, No. 4 – especially in this spellbinding performance by pianist Pavel Kolesnikov. The young Russian has just released a new album of Chopin's Mazurkas, arranged not chronologically but by mood and texture, flowing like a mixtape.

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