David Finckel, cello; Wu Han, piano
What makes Russian music Russian? On Saint Paul Sunday this week, Bill McGlaughlin explores this captivating question with two extraordinary artists who have taken Russian music to heart. Cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han will perform three great twentieth-century sonatas - one each by Sergei Rachmaninov, Sergei Prokofiev, and Dmitri Shostakovich - noting, along the way, how each composer characterizes a unique facet of the Russian musical soul.
Sergei Rachmaninoff: Sonata for cello and piano, Op.19
About the Sonatas
When American poet Wallace Stevens wrote his Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, little could he have known that some 70 years later the enigmatic and beautiful lines of the poem's eighth stanza would be adopted, in spirit and name, by six brilliant young musicians. Happily, eighth blackbird -- an Oberlin-trained sextet of violin, cello, flute, clarinet, piano, and manifold percussion -- did just that. This week Bill McGlaughlin welcomes eighth blackbird into the Saint Paul Sunday studio for a program of three works composed especially for them. Movements from Thomas Albert's kaleidoscopic setting of the poem "Thirteen Ways" conclude the program with poignant evocations of Stevens's imagery and thought.
David Schober: Variations
The Eroica Quartet
This week on Saint Paul Sunday, meet the Eroica Quartet, an extraordinary ensemble of four of Britains leading period instrumentalists. The group has developed a unique style recalling the mid-nineteenth century. Founded on their belief in intense and careful study of the performance techniques of the Romantic period, the Eroica Quartet will play music by Schumann, Beethoven and Mendelssohn as the first audiences for these works might have heard them; a fascinating discussion further illuminates their chosen style.
Robert Schumann: Quartet in A major, Op. 41, No.3
The Robison-Lubambo-Baptista Trio
An enchanting collaboration began when renowned flutist Paula Robison-first lady of the flute"-joined forces with two friends from Brazil, guitarist Romero Lubambo and percussionist Cyro Baptista. The trio visits Saint Paul Sunday this week, conjuring up nights in Rio with Brazilian music from the choro tradition scored for flute, guitar, and a host of unusual percussion instruments. They also take us to Paris on the wings of their own version of Debussys Clair de lune."
Jaco do Bandolim: Noites Cariocas ("Rio Nights")
September 29, 2002
Its often assumed that musical maturity comes with age; however, there are those who are meant to break such rules, to the delight of their audience. Chinese pianist Lang Lang, who has just turned nineteen, is this kind of artist, and he is Bill McGlaughlins guest this week on Saint Paul Sunday. Lang Lang has won international competitions and performed with leading orchestras from a very young age, and his youthful enthusiasm, great sensitivity and blazing fireworks have been earning him rave reviews around the world. A captivating musical storyteller, Lang Lang will bring us a delightful Haydn sonata, six pieces of Brahms Opus 118, and the spectacular Islamey (Oriental Fantasy)" by Russian composer Mily Balakirev. Tune in for sounds that are guaranteed to thrill.
View photos from Lang Lang's visit to the studio.
Franz Joseph Haydn: Sonata in E major, Hoboken XVI:31
Audio from previous shows is archived in the program catalog. Go to the catalog to listen to previous shows.