Classical 91.5

On Record

A collection of discussions between special guests and Music Director and midday host, Julia Figueras. 

Archived episodes on SoundCloud.  Newest episodes appear at the bottom of the page.

There are just two pieces in this week's Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra concert: "Romeo and Juliet" by Berlioz, and Brahms' massive Piano Concerto No. 1 with soloist Jeremy Denk. Jeremy and RPO Music Director Ward Stare talked to Classical 91.5 Music Director Julia Figueras about the pieces: the passion of Berlioz and the perfection of Brahms. And teachers. And Nina Simone.

Your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is about to perform one of the great choral works of all time: Mozart's Requiem.  RPO Music Director Ward Stare and tenor Anthony Dean Griffey, who is a professor at the Eastman School of Music, joined WXXI-FM Music Director Julia Figueras to chat about its curious history and how to approach the work. Also discussed: Hovhaness's fugues and Stravinsky's War Symphony.

The upcoming Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra program is filled with power and passion, from the romantic look east in Ravel's "Shéhérazade" to the dark portrait of the Soviet Union with Elliot Goldenthal's "Pravda" and Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5. Music Director Ward Stare and soprano Nicole Cabell came to our studios to chat with Classical 91.5 Music Director Julia Figueras about the works, with a backward glance by Nicole at her alma mater, the Eastman School of Music,  and the magic moment she was crowned the Cardiff Singer of the World.

The second half of your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra's season begins on the dance floor--from the tranquil and often spritely Beethoven violin concerto to the waltz tempi of Ravel's Noble and Sentimental Waltzes and the suite from Richard Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier. Ward Stare, the RPO Music Director, chats with Classical 91.5's Music Director about these three works and how two of them overcame rough premieres.

Christopher Warren Green, who has played for royalty, takes on Handel's "Messiah" this weekend--a work that was premiered before royalty...during the Lenten season. So how did this glorious work become a corner stone of Christmas

programming? Maestro Warren Green and Eric Townell, Artistic Director of the Rochester Oratorio Society talk about that, along with the many ways one can perform what some have said is one of the greatest pieces ever written.

Decca/Andrew Eccles

On November 12, Renee Fleming and the Eastman Philharmonia under the baton of Neil Varon, will premiere "Letters from Georgia," a new work by Eastman School of Music alum Kevin Puts.  The song cycle, which sets letters from Georgia O'Keeffe to music, was created on commission from the school and tailored to the voice of Ms. Fleming. After the world premiere in Rochester, they will repeat the performance in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center.

WXXI Music Director Julia Figueras chatted with Renee Fleming about the piece, and about her involvement with her alma mater.

Currie/Edinburgh Festival;Stare/RPO

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is wrapping up the first American Music Festival with a concert that includes works by Samuel Barber, Jennifer Higdon, and Aaron Copland. Percussionist Colin Currie, who commissioned Higdon for the concerto he's playing the RPO, discusses the genesis and architecture of the piece, and how his performance has changed since he premiered it 11 years ago.

RPO Music Director Ward Stare chimes in with a chat about Barber's depiction of Medea's tenuous sanity and the nobility and glory that is Copland's Third Symphony.

Ward Stare
Halski Studio

RPO Music Director Ward Stare has unveiled the American Music Festival, which celebrates some of the best music American composers have given us.  He stopped by our studios to talk about the festival and its importance to Rochester -- and beyond -- with Music Director Julia Figueras.

Seaman: wikipedia.org/VonOeyen: Marco Borgreve

It's been almost exactly 10 years since pianist Andrew Von Oeyen made his debut with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra with then Music Director Christopher Seaman.  Now, Maestro Seaman is Conductor Laureate for the RPO, and Andrew Von Oeyen has a new recording contract with Warner Brothers.

They're back together again, and made a trip to the WXXI studios to chat with Music Director Julia Figueras about their concert, the decade past, and the dangers of pushing young talent too hard and too soon.

Nakamastu: Peter Schaaf. Star: wardstare.com

The new season for your Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is about to begin.  RPO Music Director Ward Star and pianist Jon Nakamatsu stopped by our studios to chat with Classical 91.5 Music Director Julia Figueras. In their conversation, they talked about Rachmaninov as chamber music, Beethoven as  master of the dance, and the art of designing a season.

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