On the Air This Week

Highlights from Nov. 27 to Dec. 4

Wednesday, 12 noon: Music with Minnesotans: Actor Ryan Shipley.

Thursday, 3 pm hour: Regional Spotlight: From Cuba, Schola Cantorum Carolina.

Friday, 8 pm: Minnesota Orchestra: An all-Brahms program, with Osmo Vänskä and James Ehnes.

Sunday, 6 am: Pipedreams: Open Microphone.

Sunday, noon: From the Top.

Sunday, 1 pm: SymphonyCast: The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

Sunday, 3 pm: Saint Olaf Christmas Festival, live from Northfield

Sunday, 5 pm: Advent Voices.

Monday, 7 pm: Hollywood Holiday.

Monday, 8 pm: Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra: Baroque music, including Bach’s Concerto BWV 1056, with pianist-conductor Christian Zacharias

Tuesday, 7 pm: Slavic Wonders, with the Rose Ensemble./

New Classical Tracks: Modern Mandolin Quartet – Americana Bonus Content

Modern Mandolin Quartet - Americana

Not all of the content from an episode of New Classical Tracks makes the audio cut. Here is further information and interviews relating to the new disc, Americana by the Modern Mandolin Quartet.

The Modern Mandolin Quartet welcomes this holiday season the same way they’ve welcomed almost every holiday season since they first started playing together in 1985 — with a special arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite that they’ll include on some of their upcoming concerts. Here’s what two of the group’s founding members, Paul Binkley and Dana Rath, have to say about this music (which was arranged for them by a former member of the MMQ — Mike Marshall):

Highlights from Nov. 20 to 27

Wednesday, 12 noon: Music with Minnesotans: Mary Lee, executive director of Cantus.

Thursday, 9 am: Giving Thanks.

Thursday, 3 pm hour: Regional Spotlight: From Moorhead, the Concordia Choir.

Thursday, 5 pm: Thanksgiving with Cantus.

Thursday, 6 pm: Giving Thanks (repeat).

Friday, 8 pm: Minnesota Orchestra: Music of Falla, Piazzolla and Copland. Robert Spano conducts.

Sunday, 6 am: Pipedreams: The American Muse.

Sunday, noon: From the Top.

Sunday, 1 pm: SymphonyCast: The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, with Steven Copes in the Korngold Violin Concerto

Monday, 8 pm: Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra: Mozart, Debussy, and Ravel, with soprano Dawn Upshaw.

On the Air This Week

Highlights from Nov. 14 to 20

Wednesday, 12 noon: Music with Minnesotans. Park Square Theatre’s Steven Lockwood.

Wednesday,8 pm: Minnesota Opera: Lucia di Lammermoor.

Thursday, 3 pm hour: Regional Spotlight: From a Chopin Society recital, pianist Lukas Vondracek.

Friday, 8 pm: Minnesota Orchestra: Britten, Sibelius (the Violin Concerto with Midori) and Debussy.

Saturday, 7 pm: Carnegie Hall Live: John Eliot Gardiner leads Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis.

Sunday, 6 am: Pipedreams: David Briggs.

Sunday, noon: From the Top.

Sunday, 1 pm: SymphonyCast: The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra plays Respighi, Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff.

Monday, 8 pm: Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra: Three of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos.

A Night in Havana!

I had the great privilege this past weekend to attend one of the premiere US concerts of the Cuban choir, Schola Cantorum Coralina, brought to us through the initiation of our very own Philip Brunelle and VocalEssence.

I didn’t quite know what to expect going into it. A few weeks ago I thought in my naïve, snobby Midwest “our choirs are the best” attitude, “Okay. A Cuban choir? This will be nice. Some mambo and Afro-Cuban percussion with added singing. Cute. Fun.”

…No. It was so much more than that. I was COMPLETELY blown away. Of course there was rhythm, but it was a side note. It was as if they said, “Well, yeah. We’re Cuban. Get over it. Now check this out!” I was taken by the tightness of their blend and expressive movement, the complexity of the repertoire, a genre seemingly lost to our American choral ears (Cuban choral music that is), and their unwavering communication. Their conductor (Alina Orraca) had enormous control of this choir who had the musical spectrum and control likened to a 1966 Pontiac GTO – beautiful, tender, muscular, fast, and sassy.

My mind has been consumed ever since, LITERALLY unable to stop thinking or talking about their performance!

A beautiful combination of high-caliber musical performance and commitment to youth education, instilling a passion for choral music in the Cuban community.

If you missed it, I am sorry. BUT, you can still check them out online. Here are some videos from their winning performance at the 2007 European Grand Prix for Choral Singing.

Ryan Cayabyab (Philippines): Sanctus and Angus Dei

Guido López Gavilán (Cuba): La Aporrumbeosis

Felix Mendelssohn: Denn er hat seinen Engeln befohlen

On the Air This Week

Highlights from Nov. 6 to 13

Wednesday, 7 pm: Carnegie Hall Live: Belcea String Quartet.

Thursday, 3 pm hour: Regional Spotlight: The Minnesota Sinfonia led by Jay Fishman.

Friday, 8 pm: Minnesota Orchestra: Britten, Stravinsky, and Beethoven.

Sunday, 6 am: Pipedreams: New from New Mexico.

Sunday, noon: From the Top.

Sunday, 1 pm: SymphonyCast: Mahler’s Third, with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

Monday, 8 pm: Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra: John Adams, Hindemith, and Mendelssohn.