Podcast: Symphonic music by Claude Baker

The music on this new release of orchestral music by the American composer Claude Baker occupies a wide expressive range, ricocheting between wild brilliance and deep introspection. He translates literary references into a uniquely rich and imaginative sound world, with allusions to music by other composers by turns subtle and explicit. Raymond Bisha introduces Baker’s Read More …

Podcast: Saint-Saëns’ works for cello and orchestra

French composer Camille Saint-Saëns, one of the most extraordinary musical prodigies in the history of western music, was born in 1835 (when Mendelssohn was still in full compositional flow) and died in 1921 (the best part of a decade after Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring had delivered its shock waves). Amid all this change, Saint-Saëns retained Read More …

Podcast: Sister Carrie. The opera of the novel.

Sister Carrie, an opera by American composer Robert Aldridge, was first performed in 2012. Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie, the novel on which the opera was based, was written in 1900. It was one of the first American novels about social status which, for women around the turn of the 20th century, depended almost entirely on Read More …

Podcast: Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto

Raymond Bisha introduces Boris Giltburg’s latest album of music by Sergei Rachmaninov that features the Études-tableaux Op. 33 and his ever-popular Piano Concerto No. 2. The latter charts a dramatic course: from the passion, darkness and pain of the first movement, through the dreamy idyll of the second, to the unequivocal victory of the finale. Read More …

Podcast: The voice of Russia. Music by Georgy Sviridov.

Raymond Bisha introduces a new recording of music by the Russian composer Georgy Sviridov (1915–1998); the programme features one of his cantatas, a song cycle, and music for chamber orchestra. Sviridov was a prolific composer (his output encompassed film scores, symphonic suites and several thousand songs) and was fortunate to have Shostakovich as one of Read More …

Podcast: 3 concertos by George Tsontakis

Music by George Tsontakis adds to the ever-expanding Naxos American Classics Series with an inventive and colourful triptych of concertos, introduced on this podcast by Raymond Bisha. The works feature soloists Eric Berlin, member of Empire Brass and principal trumpeter of the Albany Symphony Orchestra; David Krakauer, one of the world’s finest klezmer clarinettists; and Read More …

Podcast: Granados @ 150

“Every time I do another podcast about Granados, I find new reasons to like his music,” says host Raymond Bisha. Join him as he marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Enrique Granados, one of the leading examples of Spanish musical nationalism, in a broadcast that surveys Granados’ varied oeuvre—from chamber music, to opera Read More …

Podcast: Vincent Persichetti’s harpsichord sonatas

Born in the United States in 1915, Vincent Persichetti’s contribution to music education eventually led him to a professorship at the Juilliard School of Music. Along the way, he composed prolifically for the harpsichord, including sonatas and other works, which rendered him one of the 20th century’s most important composers for the instrument. Raymond Bisha Read More …

Podcast: Padre Antonio Soler. His keyboard sonatas.

Born in 1729, the Spanish composer Antonio Soler entered holy orders aged 23 and died in his monastery in 1783, aged 54. Considering the fact that the order to which he belonged observed silence and solitude, it’s remarkable that he produced more than 500 works which clamour to be heard, including over 200 keyboard sonatas. Read More …

Podcast: Shining through the shadows of history. Chamber music by Mark Nowakowski.

This first full-length album of music by Mark Nowakowski affords a deeply affecting experience: the fusion of the composer’s Polish heritage and that country’s defiant survival of historical upheavals, his American upbringing, the influence of Catholic philosophy and mysticism, masterful playing by the Voxare String Quartet, and an ingenious use of mixed media. Raymond Bisha Read More …