Classical Concerts

Hear Music From The Royal Wedding

Friday, April 29, 2011
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(photo:  AP)

England's Royal Wedding of 2011 for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge included stunning musical performances.  Hear them on demand:

Processional Sequence:

For Queen Elizabeth:  March from The Birds, by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry
For the clergy:  Prelude on Rhosymedre, by Ralph Vaughan Williams
For the bride:  "I was Glad," by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry


"Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer," words by William Williams, translated by Peter Williams and others, and music by John Hughes
"Love Divine All Love Excelling," words by Charles Wesley and music by William Penfro Rowlands
"Jerusalem," by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, words by William Blake


"This is the day which the Lord hath made," by John Rutter, commissioned by Westminster Abbey as a wedding present and performed by both the Choir of Westminster Abbey and the Chapel Royal Choir

"Ubi caritas," by Paul Mealor, a Welsh composer

"Blest pair of Sirens," words by John Milton from At a Solemn Musick, music by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry

The National Anthem

Recessional Sequence:

"Valiant and Brave," after the motto of No. 22 Squadron (Search and Rescue Force), composed for the occasion by Wing Commander Duncan Stubbs, Principal Director of Music in the Royal Air Force
Crown Imperial, by William Walton
Toccata, from Symphonie V, by Charles-Marie Widor
"Pomp and Circumstance March No. 5," by Edward Elgar


And if you missed any of Cathy Fuller's pre-wedding interview this week with conductor Christopher Warren-Green, you can hear it here.

Simon Trpceski Plays Liszt

Friday, April 29, 2011
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Soprano Dawn Upshaw

Friday, April 29, 2011
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Dawn Upshaw is one of the music world's most innovative and inspirational singers.  On Friday, April 29, she'll perform a recital with pianist Stephen Prutsman, presented by the Celebrity Series of Boston. She visited 99.5 All Classical to talk with host Cathy Fuller about the program and her new recording of music by Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy.

In 2008 she visited WGBH, and hosts Cathy Fuller and Richard Knisely had the opportunity to talk with her work and the state of classical music in our culture.

Suzuki Conducts Bach

Thursday, April 21, 2011
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Masaaki Suzuki has, over the course of many years, established an approach to Bach's sacred music that combines scholarly thoughtfulness with a lyrical interpretive style that elucidates the relationship of the text and music. His dozens of recordings of Bach's cantatas with the ensemble he founded, Bach Collegium Japan, have engendered a wide following amongst audiences and critics.

Suzuki conducts his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut with Bach's St. John Passion in the final version by Bach, revised in 1749 in the year before his death.

The soloists include soprano Hana Blažíková, mezzo-soprano Ingeborg Danz, tenor Christoph Prégardien, and bass-baritone Hanno Müller-Brachmann.

Here are excerpts from the Boston Symphony Orchestra's program notes, written by Helen M. Greenwald.  The complete notes and text translation are available from the BSO.

Traditional Holy Week observance includes the daily reading and/or musical performance of accounts in the four Canonic Gospels—Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John—of the events in the last week of Jesus’s life. The term “Passion” refers specifically to the suffering of Jesus, and John’s version of it, read each year on Good Friday, ends at the burial after the crucifixion ... Bach’s St. John Passion is thus a text-driven work with a well-defined functional history...

... It is important to understand its two intersecting planes—the first, a narrative (recitatives and choruses) and the second, commentary and reflection (chorales and arias). The story is told by the Evangelist, and selected events are reenacted through dialogue between characters—Jesus, Pilate, the Girl, Peter, and the Servant—and the crowd...

... In 1749, when he conducted the St. John Passion at St. Thomas [right], his eyesight had been failing for quite some time. By 1747, he had already delegated some of his cantor’s responsibilities to his pupil and copyist, Johann Nathanael Bammler, for whom he later wrote a reference—the last known document in Bach’s own hand, dated April 12, 1749, just a week after his final performance of the St. John Passion.

Zhou Long's Madame White Snake Wins 2011 Pulitzer Prize

Monday, April 18, 2011
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Chinese-American composer Zhou Long has been awarded the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for his opera Madame White Snake, premiered in February 2010 by Opera Boston and broadcast in April 2010 on 99.5 All Classical. It was the first work commissioned by Opera Boston, and you can learn more below, as well as hear the entire opera on demand.
Listen now

Listen to 99.5 All Classical's world-premiere broadcast of Madame White Snake.


The World

WGBH's The World takes you behind the scenes of Madame White Snake.

WGBH on Twitter
Once upon a time...

A cross-cultural drama of passion and transformation, Madame White Snake is a story drawn from a beloved Chinese legend: A powerful white snake demon longs to become human to experience love. She grasps love for one fleeting instant before it is swept away by a flood of deceit, doubt, and distrust.
Who is Madame White Snake?
Watch as Opera Boston artists and Bostonians on the street try to answer, "Who is Madame White Snake?"

The birth of Madame White Snake
The creative team behind this world-premiere opera talks about the inception of the piece and the process of bringing it to the stage.

...the final step
The final preparations for Opera Boston's World Premiere, just before opening night!

The artists
Ying Huang, Madame White Snake
Chinese soprano Ying Huang has generated an extraordinary level of critical acclaim and popularity in a career that has already spanned many arenas, including opera and concert stages, television, recordings, and motion pictures.
Ms. Huang is consistently sought after on stages throughout the world for her portrayals of Mozart soprano roles. Her performances as Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Despina in Così fan tutte and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte have been seen in opera houses throughout North America, Asia, Europe, and South America.

Zhou Long, composer
Zhou Long is recognized internationally for creating a unique body of music that brings together the aesthetic concepts and musical elements of East and West. Deeply grounded in the spectrum of his Chinese heritage, particularly its philosophical and spiritual ideals, he is a pioneer in combining the idiomatic sounds and techniques of ancient Chinese musical traditions with contemporary Western ensembles and compositional forms.

Gil Rose, music director
Gil Rose is recognized as one of a new generation of American conductors shaping the future of classical music. His orchestral and operatic performances and recordings have been recognized by critics and fans alike. In 1996, Rose founded the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), the leading professional orchestra in the country dedicated exclusively to performing and recording music of the 20th and 21st centuries. Under his leadership, BMOP's unique programming and high performance standards have attracted critical acclaim and earned the orchestra eight ASCAP awards for adventurous programming as well as John S. Edwards Award for Strongest Commitment to New American Music. Since 2003, Rose has also served as music director of Opera Boston, an innovative opera company in residence at the historic Cutler Majestic Theatre.

Zhou Long's Madame White Snake Wins 2011 Pulitzer Prize

Monday, April 18, 2011
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