Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Happy New Year from 90.9 WGUC!

Happy New Year from Clef Notes and 90.9 WGUC, Cincinnati’s Classical Public Radio! If you’re looking for great music to accompany your New Year’s Day, join us from 8pm until 10pm for the annual New Year’s Day from Vienna. You can also listen online at wguc.org or with the free mobile app.

As we close up 2016 and enter the new year, we need your help. First, what were some of your favorite posts/topics discussed on Clef Notes in 2016? Second, are there any specific topics you would like to learn more about in 2017?

Thanks for your input and have a wonderful holiday!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Happy Holidays from 90.9 WGUC!

Needing some great music to accompany your holiday activities? Tune into 90.9 WGUC for excellent classical programming for Christmas, Hanukkah, and the New Year. You can also join us for several specials on the following days:

Thursday, December 22, 7:00 PM
St. Olaf Christmas Festival: A service in song and word that has become one of the nation’s most cherished holiday celebrations. Tickets to the event - which takes place at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN - are always gone months in advance. The festival includes hymns, carols, choral works, as well as orchestral selections celebrating the Nativity and featuring more than 500 student musicians in five choirs and the St. Olaf Orchestra.

Friday, December 23, 6:00 PM
A Chanticleer Christmas: A one-hour program of holiday favorites, new and old, presented live in concert by the superb 12-man ensemble known as "an orchestra of voices."

Saturday, December 24, 10:00 AM
A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols: Hosted by Michael Barone, this is a live service of spoken-word and music (choral and organ) broadcast from the chapel of King's College in Cambridge, England. The 30-voice King's College Choir performs the legendary Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols service of Biblical readings and music.

Sunday, December 25, 8:00 PM
A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols: ENCORE

Monday, December 26, 6:00 PM
Candles Burning Brightly: A one-hour celebration of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights with an exploration of Hanukkah foods and traditional activities ... and plenty of music.

Wednesday, December 28, 7:00 PM
Music of Hanukkah: Our annual celebration with stories and music, hosted by Naomi Lewin.

Friday, December 30, 6:00 PM
Itzhak Perlman’s Hanukkah Radio Party: Itzhak Perlman invites you to his Hanukkah Radio Party.  Join the superstar violinist as he tells the story of the Jewish festival of lights, and shares his favorite recordings for the holiday – some serious, some silly.  This engaging one-hour special includes numbers from Itzhak Perlman’s radio-addicted childhood in Israel; evocative songs in Yiddish and Ladino; classical music that revolves around the Maccabee heroes of the story; and Hanukkah gems by American folk singers.  The master storyteller also regales you with jokes and memories, plus tales of three classic Hanukkah symbols: the menorah, the latke, and, of course, the dreidel.  A good time for the whole family, at Itzhak Perlman’s Hanukkah Radio Party!

Sunday, January 1, 8:00 PM
New Year’s Day from Vienna 2017: The Vienna Philharmonic presents its ever popular annual New Year's Day concert from the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna. You'll hear your favorite waltzes, polkas and more -- a festive way to start off the New Year. Presented by NPR Music.

90.9’s programming is also available on our website or with the free mobile app for those tuning in from out of town or if you’re traveling during the holidays!

From all of your friends at 90.9 WGUC, happy holidays!

Monday, December 19, 2016

O magnum mysterium

In light of Christmas this week, I thought it would be appropriate to contemplate the beauty and meaning in an ancient Christmas text, O magnum mysterium. Below you can read the English translation of this text and then I’ve followed it with five musical settings. Which is your favorite, or do you have another favorite that is not listed here?

O great mystery,
and wonderful sacrament,
that animals should see the new-born Lord,
lying in a manger!
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb
was worthy to bear
Christ the Lord.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Celebration of Beethoven's Life

In light of it being Beethoven’s birthday week, I thought it would be fun to gather a list of some of my favorite Beethoven works. This was more difficult than I anticipated, however, because really all of his works are great! Therefore, I limited myself to ten favorites. What would you add to the list?

Want even more of Beethoven? Check out Spotify for a Beethoven’s Birthday Playlist and don't forget to celebrate on December 16! 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Nationalism in Music

Over the past month, we have looked at composers whose music finds influence in nationalism. We’ve looked at music characterized by traits from Hungary, Poland, the United Kingdom, the United States, Spain, and Romania. There are many other composers and countries not represented in this month’s blog. Do you have a favorite nationalist composer you’d like to learn more about? Comment below you your suggestion may be considered for a future Clef Notes post on nationalism!

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Romanian Rhapsodies of Georges Enesco

Let’s talk about music from Romania! Georges Enesco (1881–1955) was a virtuoso violinist during his day, and also known for composing works that drew from his native Romania. The talented Enesco entered conservatory at the young age of seven. He is known primarily for his violin and piano sonatas, string quartets, symphonies, and opera. Most famous of all, though, are his Romanian Rhapsodies, specifically the first.

The Romanian Rhapsody #1 draws from folk tunes, using songs and dances popular in Romania. It is thought that Enesco also found inspiration in Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies when writing this work. Does this piece sound folksy to you?

Enesco was not happy that his Romanian Rhapsodies became his most well-liked pieces as he considered them to be works of his youth.

Join me next time as we wrap up our look at nationalism in music! 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Goyescas: A Piano Suite and an Opera

Last time we looked at the Spanish flavor found in the music of Isaac Albeniz. Today, let’s look at Enrique Granados (1867–1916), who often collaborated with Albeniz during his lifetime. Like Albeniz, Granados was a pianist who studied with Spanish nationalist Felipe Pedrell. He is primarily known for his piano works, chamber music, opera and other vocal works, and symphonic poems. His piano suite Goyescas (1911) is perhaps what he is best known for. This piece provides Granados’ reflections on the artwork of Spanish painter Francisco de Goya. Granados believed de Goya’s work exceptionally displayed a Spanish character that he hoped to convey in his own suite. Following the completion of the piano suite, he went on to adapt the work into an opera that premiered in New York City in 1916. While traveling home from the premiere, Granados drowned in the English Channel after his boat was torpedoed.
Here you can enjoy Goyescas both as the piano suite and the opera by Granados. Do you sense a Spanish character?