Monday, April 16, 2018

An Interview with Jesús López Cobos

On March 2 of this year, the world lost a great conductor and Cincinnati lost a friend. Maestro Jesús López Cobos served as Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra from 1986–2001, bringing the orchestra into the world’s view as a top-tier group of musicians. In memory of Maestro López Cobos, I’ve pulled selections from an interview he gave with WGUC back in April of 2001, just before completing his tenure as Music Director here in Cincinnati. 

 Segment 1: Thoughts on leaving Cincinnati and the CSO

 Segment 2: How orchestra members feel about his departure

 Segment 3: Memories from his 15-year tenure
 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Paddle to the Sea from Third Coast Percussion


One of 2018’s top classical releases thus far is Paddle to the Sea from Third Coast Percussion. Cedille released the album in February from the Grammy Award-winning, Chicago-based percussion ensemble. This dynamic quartet of Sean Connors, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, and David Skidmore is one that those seeking a good “beat” must get to know. Their use of a wide array of pitched and non-pitched percussion and ability to seamlessly blend with one another is superb, not to mention they are a blast to watch perform if you ever have the opportunity!

Paddle to the Sea gets its name from the album’s centerpiece, which is based off the 1941 children’s book of the same name by Holling C. Holling. The story tells of a small wooden figure in a canoe that travels through the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean, highlighting its encounters along the way. Third Coast Percussion wrote a piece to perform with the 1966 film adaptation of the book. The remainder of the album shares the water theme, containing music by others who have influenced the quartet over the years.

Personally, I find the four selections from Philip Glass’s Aguas da Amazonia to be a stand out. These pieces are named after four rivers and come from a group of twelve that Glass originally wrote for piano and then was adapted for custom built instruments by the Brazilian group, Uakti. Third Coast Percussion makes the music their own by arranging it for their ensemble. The four pieces are Madeira River, Xingu River, Amazon River, and Japura River (check out the video of Third Coast Percussion performing Japura River in that last link – you can’t help but move as you watch them work those wine bottles!)

Like what you hear? You’re in luck. 90.9 WGUC is offering this incredible album as a way to thank YOU for your donation during our spring fund drive in May. Make your donation online at wguc.org and ask about how you can add this new release from Third Coast Percussion to your library.


Monday, April 2, 2018

Music for Rocking a Baby to Sleep

I recently had a baby – my husband and my first – and have already begun to introduce him to the world of classical music. You can never begin your journey to discovering good music too soon, so I am sure to have 90.9 WGUC playing in our home and in the car so that Hudson can listen. I find it calms him down and helps him to relax during nap time each day. That got me thinking – what music best works to help rock a baby to sleep? Whether you are like me and trying to sooth your youngster to sleep or are trying to catch a few extra Z’s yourself, perhaps this Spotify playlist will offer some suggestions on where to begin.

Babies are unpredictable as I’ve learned in recent months. The truth is, my sweet boy prefers this when falling asleep to any of the calming music in the above playlist. That’s what makes being a parent so special – you never know just how your child will put a smile on your face.

What are some of your favorite pieces for falling asleep? Let me know and I can add them to our playlist!