Classical 91.5

Classical Blog

This is a place where our classical hosts, interns and artists can share their stories, viewpoints and point of view on topics related to classical music and the arts in general.  Come back to this page often to read the latest and share your comments.

Ways to Connect

Photo: Brenda Tremblay

A few months ago, I had the privilege of meeting with music students at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York.  In preparation for the session, Professor Roy Stein had asked them to research and write about the theory that classical music is a dying art form.   Here are all the things I forgot to say.

Dear Professor Stein,


This is the recipe for Curried Turkey Spread that my mom makes after Thanksgiving. 


¾ lb. Turkey
½ cup mayonnaise
8 ounce package cream cheese
3 tbl. Curry powder
3 tbl. Chutney
1 cup almonds

In addition to writing four violin concertos dedicated to each of the seasons, Antonio Vivaldi wrote a poem for each season too.  

Winter doesn't technically start for another few weeks, but I think the current weather makes it appropriate to turn to Vivaldi's "Winter": 

A baroque singalong. Bachaholics Anonymous.

A few familiar composers, others you’ve never heard of.

A variety of voices, instruments, and spaces. 

All you need to bring: open ears.

Simple Gifts

Nov 11, 2016
Brenda Tremblay

I was trying to remember who ruled Austria when Beethoven was working on his Fifth Symphony.  German Emperor Francis II?  Napoleon?   Can you name the Holy Roman Emperor in power when Mozart was putting the finishing touches on The Magic Flute?   Which U.S. President lived in the White House when Aaron Copland wrote Appalachian Spring

Unless you majored in music in college, you probably can’t toss off these names without a little help from Google.

Election Day

Nov 5, 2016
Brenda Tremblay

I was scribbling in a notebook at work the other day when someone walked by and asked what I was doing.  I said I was working on a morning playlist for Classical 91.5 for Election Day. He stared at the page and said, “You should post that. People would be interested.”

Okay then.

In the Roberts Wesleyan College Community Orchestra, we are rehearsing the strikingly beautiful Andante Moderato from Mahler's Sixth Symphony for an upcoming concert. Our music director, Paul Shewan, loves this music very much - it shows in how he conducts it and speaks about it in rehearsal, so I asked him to write some thoughts on the music to share here on my blog. The timings he mentions in the piece coincide with the recording embedded in the post - with Riccardo Chailly conducting the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. ~Mona 


Old coats

Oct 24, 2016

Chilly? Try these on for size:

“It cost me much to part with the blue coat which I wore the first time I danced with Charlotte. But I could not possibly wear it any longer. But I have ordered a new one, precisely similar, even to the collar and sleeves, as well as a new waistcoat and pantaloons.

But it does not produce the same effect upon me. I know not how it is, but I hope in time I shall like it better.”

– The Sorrows of Young Werther, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

photo by Brenda Tremblay

Composer Glenn McClure is on a journey to Antarctica.   The SUNY Geneseo and Eastman professor will pitch a tent on an ice shelf and listen, working with scientists to collect data which will ultimately shape a piece of music.  His trip is being funded by the National Science Foundation.  Before he left, he spoke with WXXI's Brenda Tremblay.

On Saturday, October 8th, I attended the Eastman School of Music’s Innovate. Lead. Music. Conference 2016, presented by the Paul R. Judy Center for Applied Research at ESM.  The conference focused on innovative ways that creative artists, ensembles and musical organizations can work together, structure their work, and partner with other arts organizations to provide opportunities for artists in the 21st century, support integrated arts education in communities, and “enrich the world with music” (Dean Jamal Rossi).