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Sticky Notes is a classical music podcast for everyone, whether you are just getting interested in classical music for the first time, or if you've been listening to it and loving it all your life. Interviews with great artists, in depth looks at pieces in the repertoire, and both basic and deep dives into every era of music. Classical music is absolutely for everyone, so let's start listening! Note - Seasons 1-5 will be returning over the next year. They have been taken down in order to be ...
 
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High Notes

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High Notes

Aspen Music Festival and School

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Recorded in front of a live audience, High Notes is a weekly summer series from the Aspen Music Festival and School, hosted by AMFS President and CEO Alan Fletcher and featuring discussions with the brightest stars and minds of the classical music world. This season on High Notes: violinists Sarah Chang, Augustin Hadelich, and Jennifer Koh; pianists Joyce Yang, Jonathan Biss, and Inon Barnatan; cellist Alisa Weilerstein; composers Robert Levin, Christopher Theofanidis, and Daniel Kellogg; co ...
 
Our live afternoon series of “impromptu” music and conversation features some of today’s most sought-after musicians from around the world. Previous guests on Impromptu have included cellist Yo-Yo Ma, mezzo-soprano Joyce Di Donato, and author Salman Rushdie. Other guests have included Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, tenor Joseph Calleja, violinist Joshua Bell, and the vocal ensemble Chanticleer. Broadcast live from the Levin Performance Studio at WFMT, the program also features local performers ...
 
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In 1956, Dmitri Shostakovich wrote: “I am now writing my 11th symphony, dedicated to the First Russian Revolution...I would like in this work to reflect the soul of the people who first paved the way to socialism.” Soviet loyalists were thrilled with the piece, but his friends were disappointed at this seemingly blatant act of propaganda. But quick…
 
On October 15, 2015, the extraordinary American tenor, Lawrence Brownlee, and the superb collaborative pianist, Craig Terry, shared repertoire by Rossini – a Brownlee specialty – as well as a spiritual, “Come By Here” and Britten’s lovely “Down By the Sally Gardens.” The post Lawrence Brownlee, tenor & Craig Terry, piano appeared first on WFMT.…
 
Wagner is probably the most admired AND the most reviled composer in Western Classical Music history. I've always been uncomfortable with Wagner's music, so I decided to sit down with the wonderful conductor(and my brother-in-law), Rafael Payare to try and understand how to embrace Wagner. We talk about emotional manipulation, the length of his ope…
 
Hailed by the Philadelphia Inquirer for “projecting polished charisma and a singing sound,” cellist John-Henry Crawford has a passion for sharing powerful music with audiences near and far. His collaborator in this 2016 Impromptu Encore is pianist Victor Santiago Asuncion. The post John Henry Crawford, cello and Victor Santiago Asuncion, piano appe…
 
Elgar told us all about how the inspiration for his first great success: “I began to play, and suddenly my wife interrupted by saying: “Edward, that’s a good tune!... ‘What is that?’ I answered, ‘Nothing – but something might be made of it." This little improvisation turned into one of Elgar’s greatest pieces, a piece that made him a legend. This w…
 
Almost everyone classical music fan has a memory of the first time they saw Fantasia. The brilliant combination of music and visuals made lifelong classical music fans out of millions of people. There's no audio only version of Fantasia, so this week I chose 7 brand new pieces that are a perfect entry point into classical music. These pieces repres…
 
It's 1905 and you've just come to the premiere of Debussy's La Mer. The orchestra begins playing, and a magical and completely unique journey begins. Gone are the peaceful and placid portrayals of water in music of the past. Instead, you hear strange harmonies and a diffuse language that seems to revel in ambiguity. In fact, it sounds more like an …
 
Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony is a piece that can practically define the classical era symphony. Mozart pulls out every trick in the compositional book and practically sums up everything written before him. It is a symphony full of musical cliches, self-references, and in some cases, flat out thefts from other composers. But as always with Mozart, the …
 
Eugenia Moliner and Denis Azabagic are a Chicago-based husband-and-wife flute and guitar duo who make music as the Cavatina Duo. Violinist Desirée Ruhstrat and cellist David Cunliffe, also a married couple, are both members of the Lincoln Trio, one of Chicago’s most celebrated chamber ensembles. In this Impromptu Encore from 2016, the quartet perfo…
 
Schumann’s life was marked with severe mental health issues. In 1844, Schumann suffered one of his worst breakdowns yet. He was dizzy, weak, had vision problems, couldn’t sleep, and couldn't listen to music. By 1845 Schumann slowly began to recover and the first wholly new work he produced was a symphony in C Major. As Schumann said, “I began to fe…
 
Originally broadcast in May 2019, this Impromptu Encore features violinist Sergey Khachatryan, cellist Alisa Weilerstein, and pianist Inon Barnatan in an outstanding performance of Beethoven’s “Ghost” Piano Trio in D Major, Op. 70, No. 1. The post Alisa Weilerstein, cello, Sergey Khachatryan, violin, and Inon Barnatan, piano appeared first on WFMT.…
 
Brahms spent much of his life battling with his ambition to write great symphonies and his terror at the spectre of Beethoven looming over him. His first symphony was a success, and with immense relief, Brahms quickly turned out a second symphony in just 4 months, a bit less than the 14 tortured years it took him to craft the first. At first glance…
 
Gramophone Magazine praised the Calidore String Quartet as “a miracle of unified thought.” This vibrant, young ensemble won the 2016 Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship, the first North Americans to be so honored. The group continues to earn high praise, incliudng a place on the prestigious roster of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two. T…
 
The 1950s featured a musical battle, pitting composers like Boulez, Carter, and Babbit against Bernstein, Copland, and Messaien. But how did the Post World War II movement towards total serialism and the avant-garde came about? And how did even the most forward thinking of artists become caught between the two camps of the tonalists and the seriali…
 
This week we're talking all about atonal music! I'm going to tell you all about the history of this controversial development in classical music, its development, and perhaps most importantly, I’ll try to find a way to help you enjoy this music in all of its complexity, intensity, and yes, beauty. Part 1 is focused on 12 tone music and the beginnin…
 
From the end of WWI until 1933, classical music in Germany, Austria, and Eastern Europe was flourishing, with composers such as Zemlinsky, Weill, Krenek, Korngold, Schreker, Schulhoff, Haas, Krasa, and Ullmann writing spectacularly innovative and thrilling music. The Nazis exiled or murdered many of these musicians while in power, but their music l…
 
In 1901, in the throes of the Finnish Independence movement, Jean Sibelius composed his legendary 2nd Symphony. Sibelius’ close colleague, the conductor Robert Kajanus, said that the symphony "strikes one as the most broken-hearted protest against all the injustice that threatens at the present time to deprive the sun of its light and our flowers o…
 
Within three months of his arrival in New York, Antonin Dvorak was enamored with the sound of American music. Quickly he put forth what was at the time a controversial idea: "In the Negro melodies of America I discover all that is needed for a great and noble school of music..." This inspiration is threaded through almost every note of the New Worl…
 
Havergal Brian’s ambitious Gothic Symphony has been called many things - massive, ambitious, barbaric, incompetent, insane, moving, brilliant, awful, torture, and much more. It is almost never performed due to the forces it requires and its two hour duration. Today on the show I’ll tell you about the background to this monumental work, and then I’l…
 
With the rise of Wagner, the symphony seemed to be left for dead. But one composer in particular, Anton Bruckner, decided to take the plunge back into the symphonic genre, though he did it with a markedly Wagnerian touch. His most popular symphony? The 7th. We’ll talk about the connection between Wagner and Bruckner throughout the show, but we’ll a…
 
Gabriela Lena Frank is currently serving as Composer-in-Residence with the storied Philadelphia Orchestra and was included in the Washington Post's list of the 35 most significant women composers in history, I've always been a huge fan of Lena Frank's music, and I was so thrilled to talk with her about how she approaches writing, the sense of fanta…
 
In 1961, a poem appeared by the young poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, entitled Babi Yar. The first line of this poem is: “There are no monuments over Babi Yar.” In September of 1941 at least 33,771 Jews were murdered at the Babi Yar ravine in Ukraine; the largest single massacre of Jews to that point in WWII. Shostakovich, moved by the bravery of Yevtush…
 
Never heard of Tom Wiggins? You're in for a treat with this episode! Tom Wiggins was a fantastic 19th century pianist and composer who was ruthlessly exploited by his owner/guardian on account of his race and his mental condition. He was known as one of the greatest performers of his era and yet was never paid for his work. I sat down with Deirdre …
 
The Bach Chaconne is one of the great masterpieces of Western Classical Music, and today we're going to be diving straight into this monumental work. We'll talk about the legends behind its composition, the work itself, different interpretations of the piece, and its many many arrangements. As Brahms wrote about the piece: “On one stave, for a smal…
 
I had the chance to sit down with virtually with the legendary Wynton Marsalis for a conversation about Jazz, comparing jazz and classical pieces, why so many classical composers writing jazz fail and vice versa, and about his massively ambitious Blues Symphony. About halfway through the show Wynton takes you straight through the first movement of …
 
The cycle is complete! Would it surprise you to find out that Beethoven’s 9th Symphony wasn’t his last piece? Would it surprise you that he was actually considering an all instrumental movement for the last movement? Or how about that the second performance of the piece was given to a half full hall and it took decades for the piece to become popul…
 
More has been written about the meaning of Beethoven’s 9th than any other symphony. There are more recordings of it, more performances of it, and more uses of its most famous theme, the Ode to Joy, than any other piece. But what is often talked about less than the political and social ramifications of the piece, is the music itself - this shocking,…
 
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