Podcast: Liszt’s musical makeovers

From composer to transcriber to performer—less instantaneous than modern transmissions, but it’s how many works first came to be known by music lovers before the dawn of the age of technology. Around half of Liszt’s 800 compositions were transcriptions of other composers’ works. In this week’s podcast Raymond Bisha introduces pianist Sergio Gallo breezing through virtuoso transcriptions by Read More …

Podcast: The latest from the Canadian Classics series

Canada’s Gryphon Trio was established in 1993 and its founding members remain the same to this day. Indefatigable as performers, teachers and administrators at institutions around Canada, the trio has commissioned over 75 new works since its inception. Raymond Bisha explores their latest recording of works by four distinguished Canadian composers: Brian Current, Andrew Staniland, Read More …

Podcast: Toward a Season of Peace

Contemporary American composer Richard Danielpour calls them ‘siblings’: two discrete yet connected works that ponder the current endless cycle of brutalization and despair in the Middle East. Raymond Bisha introduces ‘Darkness in the Ancient Valley’ and ‘Toward a Season of Peace’, perfectly channeled subject areas for a composer who describes himself as “a 21st-century American Read More …

Podcast: Hindemith’s String Quartets Nos. 1 and 4

Violinist, violist, pianist, conductor, composer, teacher, concert presenter and author—the impact of Paul Hindemith (1895–1963) on twentieth-century music is vast. Critic Paul Bekker said of him: “He doesn’t just compose—he musics!” Hindemith composed seven string quartets between World Wars I and II, and they have all been recorded and released on a highly-acclaimed cycle with Read More …

Podcast: Tower of strength

Based in the United States, Joan Tower is one of today’s most successful composers. A 2007 Naxos release of her orchestral music (8.559328) won 3 GRAMMY awards. Rick Phillips introduces the latest disc to feature three more of her fascinating and varied compositions for orchestra: Stroke, the Violin Concerto and Chamber Dance. Tower’s flexible style Read More …

Podcast: Handled with care

George Frideric Handel: impresario, performer, composer. The Great Bear, as he was referred to in his time, remains an Ursa Major of the musical firmament to this day. Raymond Bisha illustrates Handel’s creative genius with Vol. 2 in pianist Philip Edward Fisher’s recordings of his Keyboard Suites. View album details of Handel’s Keyboard Suites Vol. Read More …

Podcast: Courtly Couperin – ‘Les Nations’

Raymond Bisha presents a new recording of Couperin’s Les Nations, a truly international affair with the French composer’s genius expertly realised by Juilliard Baroque, a New York-based Who’s Who of early instrument performers. They bring to life the work’s four extended suites which meld French and Italian styles and are dedicated to four major European Read More …

Podcast: The Kernis Kaleidoscope

Raymond Bisha introduces us to the eclectic and exuberant imagination of the American composer Aaron Jay Kernis, whose works are inhabited by a host of influences—musical, historical and personal. This new disc of three of his diverse compositions features deliciously titled works in delectable performances. View album details of Aaron Jay Kernis’ Three Flavors / Read More …

Podcast: Poised purity. Poulenc’s choral settings

Raymond Bisha introduces the latest Naxos recording of the Elora Festival Singers in performances of Poulenc’s unaccompanied choral works. Transcending a backcloth of geopolitical and personal turmoil, these gems marry a delicacy of form with harmonic pungency, described by conductor Noel Edison as “like putting a stained glass to song.” View album details of Francis Read More …

Podcast: A forgotten founding father

Charles Ives, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein—names such as these are familiar friends. But what constituted the musical bedrock from which they sprang? In this week’s podcast, conductor JoAnn Falletta discusses with Mark Simmons the vital contribution that composer John Knowles Paine made to the burgeoning roots of American music in the run-up to the twentieth Read More …