Monday, October 26, 2020

Halloween Music

WGUC has celebrated Halloween over the past two decades with six different Tunes from the Crypt specials. Classical music has a wealth of pieces that set the perfect atmosphere for the holiday and the music written for film provides another rich source for an experience that sends chills up your spine.

Even in the dead of summer, the first few notes of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue or Saint-SaĆ«ns’ Danse Macabre will invoke images of graveyards, skeletons and witches brew.

The time is here! Halloween celebrations will look a little different this year. But, Tunes from the Crypt is one tradition we can still enjoy without hesitation - and maybe find a new scary piece to add to your list of favorites.

We’ve started a list of favorites not to be missed. What are yours?

  1. Camille Saint- Saëns: Danse Macabre
  2.  Gustav Holst: The Planets: Mars, the Bringer of War
  3. Modest Mussorgsky: Night on Bald Mountain
  4. Manuel DeFalla: Dance of Terror
  5. Andrew Lloyd-Webber: Overture from Phantom of the Opera
  6. Hector Berlioz: Dream of a Witches Sabbath from Symphonie Fantastique
  7. Richard Wagner: “Ride of the Valkyries” from Die Walkure
  8. Jerry Goldsmith: The Omen

Monday, October 19, 2020

The People United Shall Never Be Defeated

by Elaine Diehl

Composer Sergio Ortega wrote, “One day in June, 1973, three months before the bombing by Pinochet’s military coup, I was walking through the plaza in front of the Palace of Finance in Santiago, Chile, and saw a street singer shouting, ‘The people united will never be defeated’ – a well-known Chilean chant for social change.”

Two years later, Ortega’s friend Frederic Rzewski composed a stunning set of 36 variations on the song. 

Dr. Matthew Phelps

On Sunday, November 8 at 3 p.m., Dr. Matthew Phelps, Founder and Artistic Director of Vocal Arts Nashville, will perform the piece at Xavier University in a concert that will be streamed online.

We talked to the Cincinnati native about the piece:

Monday, October 12, 2020

Sharon Isbin: Affinity

by Brian O'Donnell

In the Spring of 2020 guitarist Sharon Isbin released not one but two CDs simultaneously. One is called Strings For Peace and the other, Affinity.

On Affinity, Sharon performs brand new works written specifically for her by four composers - Leo Brouwer, Tan Dun, Richard Danielpour and Chris Brubeck, the son of the legendary jazz man, Dave Brubeck. Dave Brubeck had a Cincinnati connection in the 1960s and ‘70s due to his great working relationship with Erich Kunzel and the CSO and Cincinnati Pops, having performed and recorded together on a number of occasions.

As you’ll hear Sharon tell us, there’s a beautiful bit of Dave Brubeck in his son’s terrific piece called Affinity: Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra.

Now, enjoy this beautiful brand new Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra called Affinity by Chris Brubeck. Guitarist Sharon Isbin is joined by the Maryland Symphony Orchestra conducted by Elizabeth Schulze.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Chili Klaus & Classical Orchestra

Listening to Classical Music in a grand concert ha: Make sure your phone is off! Please try not to sneeze during the performance! Dresses and suits are preferred attire!

I get it. Sometimes this beautiful music can seem like it’s behind a screen of “high society”. Considering that most professional classical musicians are highly educated, highly trained and amazingly focused, they too can seem almost “superhuman” at times. 

 So, with that said, here’s the members of the Danish National Chamber Orchestra playing Tango Jalousie while eating the world’s hottest chili peppers… Because we all need a laugh or two these days.

 - Andy Ellis