WFIT Features

Beethoven wrote his piano concerti with the specific aim of displaying his talents both as a composer and as a pianist when he moved to the great musical center of Vienna. We'll hear the second concerto, as we go through the cycle of five over these few weeks. Progressive hearing loss was to doom his career as a performer, even as his skills as a composer reached unsurpassed heights.

This week we begin the cycle of the Beethoven piano concerti, of which there are five.

Beethoven arrived in Vienna as a young man the way Bob Dylan later arrived in New York: a country bumpkin determined to make a big splash in the world. and what better way to do it than with his own concerti featuring himself as soloist. Alas, things went badly for Beethoven: as his writing became more ambitious, progressive hearing loss robbed him of his ability to  perform ensemble works. We'll listen to the process as it unfolded this Thursday and over the next four weeks.

Blues With a Twist hosts Sister Mary and Jeanie Kelly have put together their list (in no particular order)of the the top 10 blues albums of 2015.

Artist / Album

Anthony Geraci And The Boston Blues All Stars / Fifty Shades of Blue

If you didn't know any better and got plopped into 19th century Europe, you'd probably think that this guy Shakespeare was a pretty good librettist or ballet impressario rather than a substantial playwright himself.

It seemed for a few decades that half the major composers were tripping over each other adapting the Bard's plays into operas, ballets, and other musical forms. Gounod, Bellini, Verdi, Berlioz, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Faure, and others gave it a try -- often several tries.

With the coming of the Renaissance, a new kind of music was coming into vogue in many of the countries of Europe.

It was coming out of the churches and out of the royal courts. It was a secular music that anyone could enjoy if they had an opportunity to hear it --- or play it. Some of it was what we would today call folk music.

We'll look at some of the Renaissance music of France in the first half of this week's program.

Then, staying in France, we'll bump things up a few centuries with music of Hector Berlioz and Albert Alain.

Pages