Composer Arvo Part turns 85 this Friday. Few composers of our time have managed to garner both such exuberant critical acclaim and the emphatic love of audiences as Part has. Steve Seel honors Part with performances of his "Magnificat" and "Berlin Mass" on this edition of the program, in addition to works by Johann Johannsson, Marc Mellits, Kate Moore, and others.
Classical MPR's Steve Seel spoke with Kyu-Young Kim, artistic director and principal violin with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, about the plans for the virtual fall season, and what audiences can expect to hear and see.
In classical music today, the guitar has become just as commonplace an instrument as the violin and the piano. What might surprise you though is the inroads the <i>electric</i> guitar has made. Steve Seel features both acoustic and electric guitars in a host of new works on this week's program, including pieces by Chris Brubeck (son of jazz great Dave Brubeck), Elena Kats-Chernin, Judd Greenstein, and others.
This week's program features reflections on the "sharing of wisdom" from one to another, and the value of individual and collective memory. Steve Seel showcases a stirring work from Israeli composer Shulamit Ran on the lessons of the Holocaust, plus Michael Torke's "Four Proverbs" and Judd Greenstein's "In Teaching Others We Teach Ourselves." We also hear music from Tan Dun, Huang Ro, Michael Kurth, and others.
Composer Adam Schoenberg says his <i>American Symphony</i> was inspired by the 2008 presidential election, "where both parties asked the people to embrace change and make a difference." While not a patriotic work, he says, "it's about our collective ability to restore hope within ourselves and our neighbors, both here and around the world." Steve Seel features the work as part of an all American hour on this week's episode.
Composer Kyle Sanna says that the best still photographs tell a story about motion. He wanted to pay tribute to that quality in music, and he called his piece, "Sequence for Minor White" - named after one of the most influential American photographers of the mid-20th century. Steve Seel features that work on this week's episode, played by the quartet Brooklyn Rider. In the second hour, Steve explores works that embody a sense of stillness and motion at the same time.
Guest host Valerie Kahler features pieces that explore themes of "above and below" on this week's episode, including Jeffrey Mumford's "her eastern light amid a cavernous dusk," Michael Daugherty's "The Marfa Lights," Arvo Part's "Tabula Rasa," and Nico Muhly's "Choral Pointing Downwards."
Were you around for the "Be-Ins" of the 1960s? You might remember them as gatherings of hippie culture, some specifically devoted to opposing the Vietnam War and racism. Bass clarinetist and composer Evan Ziporyn takes a look back at those counter-culture gatherings of old, in a work called "Be-In" on this week's episode. Steve Seel also features music by Michael Torke, Philip Glass, Terry Riley, and more.