Monday, April 26, 2021

Spring Music

For those of us in parts of the Midwest, we woke up from our sleep one day last week to snow on the ground as a lovely, but unnecessary, Spring surprise. However, it did get me thinking that the best revenge against Mother Nature’s little trick would be to share with you a few of my favorite Spring-themed classical pieces, and hope you’ll share with me some of yours. Please be kind in your assessment of my choices as I’m not the music director, just the marketing guy who enjoys classical music.

It’s probably no surprise that Vivaldi’s Spring is at the top of my list. I’ve always enjoyed The Four Seasons concerto, and the Anne Akiko Meyers CD is a personal favorite -I’ve added a small clip of her performing it. Is it possibly overused in films, television, commercials, etc.? Maybe, but it is so part of my consciousness that it always causes a bit of a smile when I hear it.

Next for me is Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring. Having grown up near, and went to college in, Appalachia, Copland’s music does evoke the beauty of the land as well as the spirit of the people. Those opening notes, the dawn of another day, so beautifully set the mood for his musical visit to a special part of our country. Here’s a performance from the Cincinnati Pops with Erich Kunzel conducting.

Felix Mendelssohn (who is our Classics for Kids featured composer in May) wrote the lovely Spring Song, perhaps one of the most performed pieces in young pianists’ recitals! I love what I perceive as his upfront honesty about this composition – “here is my spring song, that’s what I’m calling it, and it’s lighthearted and joyous so enjoy!” Here’s a piano version by the one and only Vladimir Horowitz.

My last choice is Smetana’s The Moldau. I really enjoy this symphonic poem and the images it evokes of the river flowing the way many rivers do, one minute serenely and peacefully, the next pounding against rocks, ultimately finding its way to the next river to continue its journey. Here’s a spirited performance from The National Symphony Orchestra.

I know there are many, many more beautiful works celebrating Spring and its feelings of warmth and renewal. Please help me round out my Top 5 by sharing your favorite seasonal piece. Drop be a note at Thanks for indulging me and I hope your Spring is full of music and hope!

Kevin Reynolds
Marketing Manager
Cincinnati Public Radio

Monday, April 19, 2021

Meet Jenell Walton

Many of you may remember Jenell Walton from her long broadcasting career on Cincinnati television, but now you get to meet her in her new role: Vice President of Content for Cincinnati Public Radio.

She's now responsible for the programming and marketing of 91.7 WVXU and 90.9 WGUC, and she's been on board since March. WVXU News Director Maryanne Zeleznik recently sat down with Jenell so you could meet her.

Enjoy their conversation!

Monday, April 12, 2021

New Music from Miami University's Frank Huang

By Elaine Diehl

Miami University Professor of Piano, Dr. Frank Huang announces his new album, Solo Piano Works of Nikolai Medtner, Vol. 1, scheduled to be available on Amazon, iTunes, and other various outlets on Friday, April 16, 2021.

Dr. Huang remarks, “This album, the first of a nine-disc set, marks the beginning of a long journey that I decided to take in 2017. I had always wanted to perform and record the music of Nikolai Medtner, a composer that I felt has long been neglected by the general public. This project is my humble attempt to bring Medtner’s music to the forefront with the hope that you will appreciate these works as much as I do!”

Frank Huang and I talked about the album and the composer:

Monday, April 5, 2021

A Conversation with Michael Torke

by Brian O'Donnell

It’s always a thrill when we at WGUC are able to play music by living composers... composers whom we may even be able to interact with at times. 

Michael Torke is one such composer. Here, he talks about growing up in the Midwest, taking piano lessons as a young boy AND starting to compose music at a very young age.

Later, Torke got a good break when he was summoned to write music for the Olympic games and that worked out very nicely.

In his own words, listen to composer Michael Torke tell it: