WFIT Features

Back in the 1500s and 1600s, you couldn't just use your Eurailpass to hop on a train from one country in Europe to another. Yet a surprising number of the composers of the time managed to get around, bringing Italian styles to Germany, Flemish music to Venice, and so forth, and the resulting cross fertilization is one of the hallmarks of the Renaissance and early Baroque. We'll look at some of this  mixture this week with music of the continent in the mid-millennium.

NPR

In 1892, Antonin Dvorak, rapidly becoming the toast of Europe, accepted the director’s post at a New York conservatory. The school – totally integrated racially and by gender – wanted a “name,” and Dvorak wanted an opportunity to study American music. Could there have been a better match? The conservatory didn’t last, but Dvorak’s music “From the New World” did. We’ll feature one of those works, the Cello Concerto, this week.

A keyboard duet can be anything from two kids picking out "Chopsticks" on an old upright piano to the cathedral-filling two-organ concerti of Antonio Soler.

We'll have a selection of music for four hands this week - some of it meant for the concert hall, some for the parlor; some of it virtuosic recital material, some mostly for fun.

And we'll leave the "Chopsticks" behind, thank you very much.

NPR

Late 19th-century Paris opera-goers felt cheated if their evenings-out didn't include a ballet scene somewhere in the performance. When Giuseppe Verdi was told that he had to write such a score and insert it into the drama, interrupting the action, he was apalled. When told that he had do do it if he wanted to make any money, he became more tractable. Hence our featured work this week: the ballet suite from Il Trovatore -- just for Paris.

Vermont Public Radio

Edvard Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite used to be one of those "Introduction to classical music" pieces than many first heard as children -- like Peter and the Wolf and The Nutcracker. The suite had its origins in Ibsen's play of the same name, a play not intended for children by any means, but the imagery of Grieg's music makes the scenes come alive to young and old alike. We revisit this old favorite as our featured work this week, up in the Attic.

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