Podcast: Florence Price. Leo Sowerby. Avalon String Quartet.

Raymond Bisha introduces a new album of works for string quartet by Florence Price and Leo Sowerby, who were both prominent members of the Chicago music community in the 1930s and 1940s. Most of Florence Price’s compositions remained unpublished at her death, and her String Quartet in A minor was not performed in her lifetime. Read More …

Podcast: Bach-Rheinberger • The Goldberg Variations

Raymond Bisha’s latest podcast introduces the world premiere recording of Joseph Rheinberger’s arrangement for two pianos of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Composed by Bach in 1741, the work fell into oblivion before re-emerging as part of a movement of discovery generations later. In order to breathe new life into them, such masterpieces might undergo arrangements, transcriptions Read More …

Podcast: Peter Boyer’s Rhapsody in Red, White and Blue.

George Gershwin’s ever popular Rhapsody in Blue was first performed in February 1924. To mark the centenary of that celebrated event, pianist Jeffrey Biegel commissioned composer Peter Boyer to write a work for piano and orchestra that would be a 21st-century partner to Gershwin’s original. Raymond Bisha talks to both composer and soloist about the Read More …

Podcast: Abbey Simon plays Chopin

Raymond Bisha introduces a programme of works for piano and orchestra by Chopin, performed by legendary pianist Abbey Simon. Once hailed by renowned critic Harold C. Schonberg of The New York Times as a “supervirtuoso”, Simon was a great American pianist in the great Romantic tradition, who imbued his effortless virtuoso technique with a uniformly Read More …

Podcast: Billy Arcila. A guitarist’s autobiography in sound.

Raised in Medellín, Colombia, Billy Arcila has lived in the United States for over 40 years, where he teaches and performs as one of California’s foremost guitarists. In this podcast, Raymond Bisha presents the first  album to be made of his music. Performed by the composer himself, it contains works written across Ancila’s entire compositional Read More …

Podcast: Haydn’s baryton trios. Refined rarities. Perfect performances.

Joseph Haydn was music director of the Esterházy Court at Eisenstadt for twenty-five years. It was where Prince Nikolaus commissioned him to write trios for the baryton, a bowed, stringed instrument similar to the viol but with extra plucked strings that enabled performers to accompany themselves. Haydn wrote string trios (baryton, viola, cello) of elegance, Read More …

Podcast: Godowsky’s Complete Piano Works • Konstantin Scherbakov concludes his masterly edition.

Raymond Bisha introduces the fifteenth and final volume in Konstantin Scherbakov’s recordings of the complete piano works of Leopold Godowsky, in which the programme comprises a number of the arrangements Godowsky made of Chopin’s Études. Reflecting on his mammoth undertaking, the virtuoso pianist notes that “this project to record Leopold Godowsky’s complete piano works began Read More …

Sounds Interesting: Cherry Christmas

This podcast from the Sounds Interesting series considers the roots and branches of trees featured in a selection of traditional Christmas carols in various styles.         Links to the music featured in this podcast: Roderick Elms Cherry Tree Carol (8.570793) Bob Chilcott Cherry Tree Carol (8.573159) Imogen Holst As I sat under Read More …

Sounds Interesting: All the Fun of the Fanfare

This podcast from the Sounds Interesting series spotlights a selection of fanfares composed for a variety of occasions during the last century.         Links to the music featured in this podcast: Maurice Ravel L’Éventail de Jeanne (8.573354) Morton Gould Fanfare for Freedom (8.572629) William Alwyn Fanfare for a Joyful Occasion (8.570705) David Read More …

Podcast: VOX • 3. Stanisław Skrowaczewski and the Minnesota Orchestra

Stanisław Skrowaczewski spent 19 years as music director of the Minnesota Orchestra, from 1960 to 1979, during which time he developed it into one of the finest orchestras in North America. They made many recordings together, mostly for the VOX and Mercury labels, from which Raymond Bisha has selected two remastered albums from the VOX Read More …