Poster Upper joint of a Bohm system clarinet
Upper joint of a Bohm system clarinet
Wikimedia Commons
Performance Today®

Gnarly Buttons

American composer John Adams wrote a piece for clarinetist Michael Collins: "Gnarly Buttons." That unusual title is a half joking reference to how difficult it is to play the clarinet, which has all those difficult keys on it, those... gnarly buttons. On today's show, hear Michael Collins and members of the Minnesota Orchestra play this fun, yet emotional piece of music.

Episode Playlist

Hour 1

Bohuslav Martinu: Magical Bag from the ballet "Spalicek" Suite No. 2
Prague Chamber Orchestra
Evening Tunes in Prague
Denon 78926

Paul Dooley: Northern Nights
Lisa Pegher, solo percussion; Lake George Music Festival Symphony; Roger Kalia, conductor
Lake George Music Festival, Lake George High School, Lake George, NY

Piano Puzzler: This week's contestant is Deb Anderson from Robbinsdale, MN

Bohuslav Martinu: Nonet No. 2
Frisson Ensemble; Tom Gallant, conductor
Beaches Fine Arts Series, Jacksonville Florida, St. Paul's By the Sea Church, Jacksonville, FL

Hour 2

John Adams: China Gates
Nicolas Hodges, piano
John Adams: Road Movies
Nonesuch 79699

Mel Bonis: Suite Orientale
Sylvan Trio
First Congregational Church of Webster Groves, Webster Groves, MO

Frederic Chopin: Scherzo No. 3 in C-sharp Minor, Op.39
Anna Han, piano
Southeastern Piano Festival, University of South Carolina School of Music Recital Hall, Columbia, SC

John Adams: Gnarly Buttons for Clarinet and Small Orchestra
Michael Collins, clarinet; Members of the Minnesota Orchestra; Osmo Vanska, conductor
Minnesota Orchestra, Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis, MN

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About Performance Today®

To find a station near you on our Stations Listings page, click here.

American Public Media’s Performance Today® is America’s most popular classical music radio program and a winner of the 2014 Gabriel Award for artistic achievement. The show is broadcast on hundreds of public radio stations across the country, including at 1 p.m. central weekdays on Minnesota Public Radio. More information about our stations can be found at APM Distribution.

Performance Today® features live concert recordings that can’t be heard anywhere else, highlights from new album releases, and in-studio performances and interviews. Performance Today® is based at the APM studios in St. Paul, Minnesota, but is frequently on the road, with special programs broadcast from festivals and public radio stations around the country. Also, each Wednesday, composer Bruce Adolphe joins host Fred Child for a classical musical game and listener favorite: the Piano Puzzler.

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