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PROGRAMS

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2011

December 25: Joshua Bell, violin; Frederic Chiu, piano

Spring in Winter: Two longtime friends—violinist Joshua Bell and pianist Frederic Chiu—come back to the studio this week for music that gives each artist's celebrated virtuosity free reign. They begin with the joyous "Spring" sonata, one of Beethoven's most beloved and infectiously hopeful works. Next, two shorter works of Tchaikovsky reveal the performers' exquisite sense of line and timing. And the program concludes with Pablo de Sarasate's Introduction et Tarantelle, a dazzling work which in Mr. Bell's hands affirms again why he's a violinist cherished the world over. (more)

December 18: Ellen Hargis, soprano; Paul O'Dette, lute and theorbo

Joyeux Noel: With each passing year, the hubbub around the holidays seems to crowd out more of the mystery and beauty of the season. Take an hour off this week as Bill welcomes soprano Ellen Hargis with lutenist Paul O'Dette. We'll journey back to France and Italy for 16th century noels and then slip across the English Channel to hear Christmas pieces from the time of Shakespeare. Enjoy an extra special Christmas gift this week from Saint Paul Sunday. (more)

December 11: Steven Isserlis, cello; Ana Maria Vera, piano

British cellist Steven Isserlis has performed with the world's greatest orchestras and recently he's become a writer of children's books as well. Listen in as the author of Why Beethoven Threw the Stew plays a program of little-known works by Felix Mendelsson, Joseph Suk and Bohuslav Martinu. Pianist Ana-Maria Vera joins Isserlis for some lively music and conversation with Saint Paul Sunday host Bill McGlaughlin. (more)

November 27: Celin and Pepe Romero, guitars

All My Children: The mastery and spirit of the late Spanish guitarist Celedonio Romero lives on in two generations of guitar virtuosos. This week his sons Celin and Pepe return to the studio and reveal how the Romero legacy comes alive with every performance. They'll bring us music of the illustrious Spanish tradition—guitar solos and duos of Albéniz, Granados, Falla, and Torroba—as well as an enchanting prelude by Brazilian composer Hietor Villa-Lobos. Each of these works carries strong early associations for the brothers, who share their vivid memories and stories as well. (more)

November 20: OPUS ONE, Tsontakis, Martinů, Brahms

Camaraderie: When they're not performing with either TASHI, or the Guarneri and Orion string quartets, the accomplished soloists of OPUS ONE join forces out of a warm mutual admiration for each another's artistry. They freely share in the excitement of performing the great music of their particular combination. In their most recent visit to Saint Paul Sunday, violinist Ida Kavafian, violist Steven Tenenbom, cellist Peter Wiley, and pianist Anne-Marie McDermott offer us some of the most spirited piano quartets in the repertoire—works of Mozart, Brahms, and Martinů—side by side with arresting new music of another collaborator, composer George Tsontakis. (more)

November 13: Claude Frank, piano

Living Link: Celebrated pianist Claude Frank is a living link to the great Romantics whose music he has enlivened for over half a century. This week he brings us works of two of them—Beethoven and Schumann—along with a beloved sonata of Mozart. Mr. Frank not only conveys a sense of these works' depth and beauty, but their bracing humanity as well. He concludes Beethoven's epic Opus 110 sonata, a signature work for pianist and composer alike. (more)

November 06: Anonymous 4 with Darol Anger & Scott Nygaard

American Angels: The 4 singers of Anonymous 4 depart from their a capella tradition and invite a few friends into the studio with them as they bring an all-American program of ballads, shape-note tunes, and folk hymns. Darol Anger accompanies on violin and mandolin, along with guitarist Scott Nygaard. Your spirit will dance along. (more)

October 30: Divertimento

Three of a Kind: Three string instruments playing together is a combination you don't hear often. Yet there is something delicate and satisfyingly spare about a violin, viola and cello moving intricately around one another in a continuous and constant whirl of sound. The string trio Divertimento joins Bill this week on Saint Paul Sunday. Violinist Soovin Kim, violist Michael Tree and cellist Margo Tatgenhorst Drakos play little-known trios of Beethoven and Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů, and they'll show us exactly how just three of a kind is sometimes... just enough. (more)

October 23: Jonathan Biss

Dual Personality: Twenty-six year-old pianist and rising star Jonathan Biss brings his artistry and his insight to the studio this week. On the program are sonatas by Beethoven and Mozart, along with selections from Robert Schumann's Davidsbündlertäunze. In this work the composer brings to life the two opposing personalities that often appear in his music. Schumann even gave them names: the fiery and passionate Florestan, and Eusebius, the dreamy and instrospective character. Jonathan Biss gets in touch with both sides of Schumann's musical personality, and we get to hear firsthand why he's one of the most sought-after pianists performing today. (more)

October 16: Orion String Quartet

Celestial Spheres: The Orion String Quartet, much like the constellation with the same name, is one of the best known and most brilliantly shining chamber groups of our time. For the past twenty years they've been known for their heavenly playing as well as their diverse programming, and this week on Saint Paul Sunday we'll get to sample both. They'll start us off with a groove, in Chick Corea's "Adventures of Hippocrates." Leon Kirchner's colorful and beautiful String Quartet in F Major follows, and then we'll hear what made Orion famous - Beethoven. Another signature work, the finale from Dvorak's "American" quartet will leave you smiling. Don't miss these shining stars while they are in full view. (more)

October 09: Endellion String Quartet

Discovery: "How extraordinary that we can arrive to rehearse a quartet that we have performed more than a hundred times and experience again the passion, wonder, and sense of discovery of the very first rehearsal....How miraculous that we have as our raw materials the infinite subtlety and good humor of Haydn (and) Beethoven's electrifying synthesis of humanity and spirituality..." These thoughts of Andrew Watkins, cellist of the Endellion String Quartet, describe the engagement that makes the ensemble one of the best in the world. In addition to music of Haydn and movements of Beethoven's "Dear Quartet," we'll hear the forceful Allegro from Schubert's "Death and the Maiden" quartet. The program offers a vivid spectrum of the Endellions' repertoire. (more)

October 02: Anne-Sophie Mutter, Lambert Orkis

Kindred Spirits: For three decades now, Anne-Sophie Mutter has been known simply as one of the greatest violinists alive. As part of her ambitious Mozart Project, a survey of the composer's major works for solo violin, she'll be celebrating his 250th birthday with a program of Mozart violin sonatas. In her playing and in her words, there's no mistaking that Anne-Sophie Mutter feels a true kinship with Mozart. She understands this music and its creator like few people today do. Join Bill McGlaughlin when he welcomes one of the world's greatest violinists, Anne-Sophie Mutter, with pianist Lambert Orkis, in a tribute to Mozart. (more)

September 25: Helen Callus, viola; Phillip Bush, piano

Affettuoso: Acclaimed British violist Helen Callus not only plumbs the potential of an instrument beloved for its eloquence: she also seeks out new ways to expand its reach. This week she joins pianist Phillip Bush for music that explores the viola to the fullest. Along with music of Brahms and Prokofiev, she brings us music of two little-known composers with whom she shares a great deal. Both female at a time when British composers were almost exclusively men, Rebecca Clarke and Pamela Harrison each carved out wonderful new terrain for the viola. Ms. Callus takes us through it with the passion of a fellow-traveler. (more)

September 18: Milan Turkovic, bassoon; David Shifrin, clarinet; Shai Wosner, piano

Trio Bel Canto: Acclaimed bassoonist Milan Turkovic doesn't think about the keys on his instrument when he performs—he listens instead for its natural voice. That way “it's like singing,” he says, “because the human voice is the most natural instrument we have.” This week Mr. Turkovic is joined by two celebrated friends who share the same vision: clarinetist David Shifrin and pianist Shai Wosner. In addition to a heart-on-sleeve trio by Beethoven, the performers will play another work that fits their lyrical approach just as beautifully—Mikhail Glinka's Trio Pathètique in d minor. The Russian composer’s enduring passion for Italian opera graces each phrase. Listen in for some exquisite instrumental bel canto. (more)

September 11: Hespèrion XXI

Jordi Savall and the famed ensemble Hespèrion XXI—which this week on Saint Paul Sunday includes soprano Monsterrat Figueras, their two children Arianna and Ferran Savall, and percussionist Pedro Estevan—make a warmly anticipated return visit. Though playing instruments with ancient-sounding names like viol da gamba, arpa doppio and tiorba, the emotional immediacy of their performances makes them sound composed in the moment. (They often are.) “There can be no museum for ancient music,” notes Mr. Savall. "Music exists only when you play it." (more)

September 04: Borromeo String Quartet

What is it about the string quartet as a form that so captivates the world's greatest composers? We'll find out this week when the celebrated young Borromeo String Quartet surveys its repertoire with all the warmth, virtuosity, and passion it inspires. Beginning with music of Franz Joseph Haydn—the father of the string quartet—the Borromeo gives us the haunting Andante Moderato from Brahms's 2nd quartet, and concludes with Janácek's "Intimate Letters," music that chronicles the 70-year old composer's intense devotion to a much younger woman. (more)

August 28: Charles Wadsworth and Friends

Chee-Yun, violin; Todd Palmer, clarinet; Andrés Díaz, cello; Wendy Chen, piano

Historic Charleston, South Carolina is a beguiling maze of alleys and churchyards, and if you're lucky enough to find yourself meandering through it on an early summer evening, you might also hear some of the best chamber music playing in the world through open windows... This week, Saint Paul Sunday welcomes Charles Wadsworth, founder of Charleston's renowned Spoleto Chamber Music Festival, who brings along with him four of the younger artists who make the event so special year after year. Violinist Chee-Yun, clarinetist Todd Palmer, cellist Andrés Díaz, and pianist Wendy Chen join Charles for in various combinations for music of Dvořák, Mendelssohn, Schumann, and another Spoleto regular (and Saint Paul Sunday guest), Stephen Prutsman. It's more than enough to whet your appetite until you can make the pilgrimage to Charleston yourself.

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August 21: Dawn Upshaw, soprano; Gil Kalish, piano

Seekers: Dawn Upshaw joins longtime friend and collaborator pianist Gil Kalish this week for songs that illuminate the expansive range of this cherished American soprano. Few singers of any time combine Ms. Upshaw's rare vocal limpidity and command with such a searching contemporary awareness. The duo brings us music of Schubert, Mahler, Debussy, and Bartok, as well as two American composers—William Bolcom and John Harbison—whose works Ms. Upshaw has long championed. Listen in for a truly special hour. (more)

August 14: Shai Wosner, piano

Tempest & Fantasy: The acclaimed young pianist Shai Wosner—recent recipient of the Avery Fisher Award—performs two breakthrough works this week. First we'll hear Frédéric Chopin's Opus 49 Fantasy in f minor, a work whose unconventional makeup gave the composer license to break a spell of artistic anxiety and stasis. Its dynamic shifts of mood and color resonate well with the program's concluding work, Beethoven's "Tempest" sonata, of whose Allegro Beethoven said "The piano must break!" The sonata charted fresh territory for the composer, weaving together an astonishing range of techniques new to him, each of which Mr. Wosner navigates with his own special artistry. Between these two masterworks we'll hear a brief haunting "Night Piece" of Robert Schumann. (more)

August 07: Imani Winds plays Haas, del Aguila

Titilayo: Imani Winds makes a warmly anticipated return visit to Saint Paul Sunday this week for music that both gives its signature exuberance free reign and lets us in on the depth and range of this remarkable quintet. Two of the program's works—Jeff Scott's Titilayo and Valerie Coleman's reimagination of the spiritual Steal Away—were composed from within the ensemble. Pavel Haas's stylistically prescient 10th wind quintet reveals these performers' capacity to illuminate the rarer gems of their repertoire. And Uruguayan composer Miguel del Aguila's 2nd wind quintet, which closes the hour, seems to embrace all that comes before. (more)

July 24: REBEL performs Mozart, Telemann

Pearls: "Baroque" comes from the Portugese word originally used to describe pearls prized for their misshapen and often fantastic forms. These rarities helped inspire a style of architecture that took extravagant license with inherited traditions and eventually also came to refer to musical forces that did the same. This week, the masterful performers of REBEL plunge into Baroque repertoire with all the freedom and zest their name implies. They trace its development from early origins in Mozart and Bach through and beyond Georg Philipp Telemann's thrilling stylistic juxtapositions. We'll also hear lesser known pearls of Francesco Mancini and Johann Joachim Quantz. All the works are brought to life with what REBEL's Matthias Maute calls "the fireworks of passion." (more)

July 17: Imogen Cooper

Traced Overhead: Fresh from a triumphant recital at Carnegie Hall, pianist Imogen Cooper returns to Saint Paul Sunday this week for music of Haydn, Schumann, and the final movement of Thomas Adès's Traced Overhead, a work of otherworldly beauty which she commissioned herself. In quite different ways, each of the works demands awesome technical virtuosity and great emotional agility—powers Ms. Cooper possesses in abundance. Perhaps above all she reveals the music from the inside out, taking us with her as she goes, and leaving no treasure concealed. (more)

July 10: eighth blackbird performs Rzewski

Infinities Contained: Great music always inspires new directions and interpretations—a freedom the six adventurers of eighth blackbird delight in every chance they get. This week eighth blackbird brings us two works that take us a few steps further. Frederic Rzewski's Les Moutons des Panurge uses hopscotch-like addition and repetition to spark ever changing patterns of sound and line: each performance of it generates an entirely new composition. And in his Fantasy Etudes, Fred Lerdahl elaborates simple themes into variations of increasing color and richness, showing us in the process how eighth blackbird's assorted textures can interact in countless different ways. The blackbirds animate both with characteristic brilliance and verve, as they do the two works that complete their program Derek Bermel's Tied Shifts and Ashley Fure's Inescapable. (more)

July 03: Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

Friends Old and New: The first guests whom Saint Paul Sunday (then known as Saint Paul Sunday Morning) welcomed into its studio are the same performers you'll hear this week: the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. On that inaugural broadcast, which aired in March of 1981, the SPCO joined forces with the Dale Warland Singers for an all-Bach program. The auspicious beginning turned into a long and happy affair, delighting listeners with some twenty seven more programs. This week, discover again why this "orchestra of soloists" is an American musical treasure. They'll bring us music from a vibrant trio of composers-a Haydn symphony, a Schubert rondo, and two of Astor Piazzolla's vivid Porteno. (more)

June 26: Paul Coletti, viola; Lydia Artymiw, piano

Viola Voilá!: Violas and violists are now such a familiar presences in classical music that we may surprised to learn how long it took for the greatest composers to channel the instrument's unique spirit into extended solo works. This week, Bill welcomes return visits by violist Paul Coletti and pianist Lydia Artymiw—two remarkable soloists joining forces to explore a trio of the earliest and best works composed for the viola. (more)

June 19: Marilyn Horne and Friends

The Song Continues: Legendary singer Marilyn Horne's career spanned four decades and permanently changed the world of opera. One of the greatest singers of all time, her devotion to vocal music continues today even though she herself has retired from singing. With a commitment to insuring the future of the art song recital, she founded the Marilyn Horne Foundation in 1993, providing recital opportunities and education for talented young singers. This week on Saint Paul Sunday, "the Star-Spangled Singer," as Marilyn Horne is known, returns to the studio with two representatives from her foundation, soprano Erica Strauss and tenor Will Ferguson. Pianist Thomas Bagwell joins them for a rich and charming program of art song. "Vocal recitals were essential to my development as a singer," Ms. Horne says. "I want young singers in this new millennium to have the same opportunities I've had in bring the art of song to audiences everywhere." (more)

June 12: Mark O'Connor and the Appalachia Waltz Trio

Vistas: Fiddle virtuoso Mark O'Connor is one of those musicians whose talents and ideas are as limitless as the American landscapes that inspire him. This week on Saint Paul Sunday, along with his new Appalachia Waltz Trio, O'Connor brings a program of original compositions, including a new piece called "Vistas," a work which draws from the views of the land around him as well as the many different personal views of musicians. O'Connor is at home in many styles, from Texas swing to jazz to traditional folk tunes to classical. As he explains, his music is all about the journey. And as in most worthwhile trips, he crosses boundaries of all kinds. (more)

June 05: Matt Haimovitz, cello; Jean Marchand, piano

Great classical artists have always been pioneers. This week on Saint Paul Sunday we welcome Matt Haimovitz, a brilliant young performer who combines an acclaimed concert career with intrepid forays into the unlikeliest places for a classical cellist -- jazz clubs and punk bars, just to name a few. This week he steps out solo for music of Bach and Osvaldo Golijov, then joins forces with pianist Jean Marchand for Dmitri Shostakovich's remarkable Cello Sonata in d minor. And no matter where you happen to hear Matt's program this week, you'll be captivated. (more)

May 29: The Seattle Chamber Players and Friends

Emerald City, Baltic Lands: Seattle has long drawn treasure and world travelers into its port and heart. This week, Saint Paul Sunday travels to the Emerald City for a program of Baltic repertoire performed by several of its own musical treasures. The acclaimed Seattle Chamber Players, true to their collaborative spirit, invite guest artists to join them for works from Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—music that invites us into new soundworlds as it expands the bounds of our listening. Seattle Pro Musica, another celebrated group that calls its namesake home, joins SCP in the final work of the broadcast, Pēteris Vasks's cosmic "Plainscapes." (more)

May 22: Ensō String Quartet

The Ensō String Quartet—an acclaimed young foursome whose members hail from England, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States—takes its name from the Japanese Zen circle, a symbol representing many contrasting ideas at once. This week on Saint Paul Sunday we'll discover why their chosen title suits them so well as they perform masterpieces of Haydn and Schumann with what one critic calls "just the right quotient of sass." (more)

May 15: Trio Mediæval

Out of Time: Trio Mediæval are three extraordinary female vocalists from Norway and Sweden who take music from very early sources and sing it side-by-side with powerful contemporary works composed especially for them. The contrasts are awe-inspiring—from Oleh Karkavyy's ravishing Kyrie to 14th century music discovered on the back side of accounting documents for the construction of an English castle. Whether ancient or modern, it's music out of time. The program ends with a set of poignant Nordic folksongs. (more)

May 08: Rachel Barton Pine, violin; Matthew Hagle, piano

Gem of Chicago: This week on Saint Paul Sunday, Bill McGlaughlin welcomes a daughter of Chicago—violinist Rachel Barton Pine—whose richly varied offerings, including Ravel's "Blues" sonata, reveal the virtuosity and exuberance that are her trademark. She'll also perform a trio of Baroque solo works, a delightful Scottish Suite, and the world premiere of a breathtaking new work called "Rush" by another Chicagoan, composer Augusta Read Thomas. Don't miss it. (more)

May 01: Stephen Prutsman, piano

Pianist Stephen Prutsman drops by the studio this week for music as eclectic and daring as he is. Along with music of Liszt and Ravel—works Bill McGlaughlin rightly dubs "knucklebusters" —he plays J.S. Bach's sixth English Suite, a piece he says inspired him to become a pianist in the first place. We'll also get a wonderful taste of Mr. Prutsman's prodigious musical imagination through two of his own compositions. Along the way we'll find out what else he's up to, including conducting, chamber music, and teaching. Don't miss the chance to meet an American original. (more)

April 24: Saint Olaf Choir

For nearly a century, the St. Olaf Choir has enthralled audiences around the world with extraordinary musicianship, a poetic acumen for phrasing and text, and its own rich and distinctive sound. Bill McGlaughlin welcomes the celebrated ensemble and its conductor, Anton Armstrong, into the Saint Paul Sunday studio this week for a special Easter program spanning five centuries. We'll hear music of Palestrina, Billings, Gretchaninoff, Copland, and two of the choir's former conductors: founder F. Melius Christiansen and noted living composer Kenneth Jennings. (more)

April 17: St. Lawrence String Quartet performs Haydn, Berger

Eli Eli: As listeners who've heard the Saint Lawrence String Quartet's earlier Saint Paul Sunday programs can attest, its four members enter into each work they play with utter passion and humanity—as though it were the only music on earth. Appropriately enough, this week they perform two movements of Maurice Ravel's sole foray into the form alongside music by the composer most often credited with inventing it: the "Joke" quartet of Franz Joseph Haydn. We'll also hear powerful music by a composer who has collaborated directly with the ensemble: Jonathan Berger's "Doubles" and his "Eli Eli," a deeply affecting tribute to slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. (more)

April 10: The Amelia Piano Trio

Dispatches Intently Followed: Though formed just six years ago, the Amelia Piano Trio has already won significant acclaim, not least for its adventurous collaboration with living composers. This week it brings one of the most beloved works in chamber music—Felix Mendelssohn's wondrous D minor piano trio, a work Robert Schumann hailed as "the master trio of the age"—and pairs it with a movement from a new work written especially with the Amelias in mind: "Short Stories" by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Harbison. The threesome leads off with a vivid Schubert scherzo. (more)

April 03: A Dale Warland Singers Retrospective

Perspectives: "In March of 1981 Saint Paul Sunday aired its first broadcast, an all-Bach program featuring the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Dale Warland Singers. Over the next two and a half decades these celebrated singers brought twelve programs to Saint Paul Sunday, each one demonstrating the beauty of tone and scrupulous craft that are their signature. This week, Dale Warland and Bill McGlaughlin sit down in the studio to survey all of them. The results are often breathtaking---a concentrated experience of the Dale Warland Singers' evolution and enthusiasms, from their devotion to new work and commissioning to their inimitable musicianship and sound. Listen in for a nostalgic journey through this glorious body of work. " (more)

March 27: The Czech Nonet

Aerie: Now celebrating its 80th year, the Czech Nonet makes a visit to Saint Paul Sunday for a program that includes three works composed especially for its uncommon recipe of winds and strings. The legendary ensemble's longstanding alliance with composers has inspired some of chamber music's greatest works. We'll get tastes this week of Förster and Krejčí side-by-side with fuller courses of Dvořák and Martinů. The latter holds special significance for the ensemble and echoes an expansiveness typical of Martinů's music. Each day as a sickly young child, the composer's father, a watchman, carried him up 193 steps to the top of their village tower. Years later Martinů wrote that this sense of space was to become central to his music—"space which I always have in front of me." (more)

March 20: Brentano String Quartet

Guest host: Ara Guzelimian, Senior Director and Artistic Advisor at Carnegie Hall


Cris de Couer: The madrigals of Don Carlo Gesualdo comprise some of the most intensely expressive music ever composed. This week on Saint Paul Sunday the celebrated Brentano String Quartet brings five of them to us as they've been re-imagined for it by composer Bruce Adolphe. The Brentano captures all of the sweet torment of the pieces, whose vividly compounded moods set the stage well for what comes next: Mozart's A Major Quartet (K. 464), a work of peerless eloquence and technical brilliance that likewise explores zones hovering between pleasure and pain. The Brentano fathoms both composer's works with exhilarating insights all its own.

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March 13: The King's Noyse

Time Travel: Perhaps the surest sign of artistry among those musicians who specialize in early music is how convincingly they bid us into the world that first gave life to their chosen repertoire. This week, the celebrated King's Noyse—including soprano Ellen Hargis and lutenist Paul O'Dette—makes a warmly anticipated return visit for works of dashing wit and often haunting beauty. The King’s Noyse draws us into the time of Purcell, Praetorius, and others not only by remaining true to those composers’ origins but reviving them with its own particular magic. David Douglass directs a program that includes several of his own arrangements. (more)

March 06: Zehetmair String Trio

Less is More: The spare sound of the string trio drew from Mozart a lovely contradiction: a work of great elegance and richness. This week, we'll hear his Eb Divertimento performed by the masterful Zehetmair String Trio, who'll also play an often-overlooked fragment of Schubert and an exuberant work composed in 1944 by 23-year old Czech composer Gideon Klein when he was held prisoner at the nightmarish Nazi "show camp" Thieresenstadt. As if to tie these three great works together, Mr. Zehetmair then steps out by himself, concluding the hour with Eugène Ysaÿe's Ballade, a pinnacle of the solo violin repertoire. (more)

February 27: Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio

Old Friends: This week Bill reunites with some long-time friends of Saint Paul Sunday: the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio. Joseph Kalichstein, Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson have been playing together for almost thirty years and have made 18 recordings to date. When Bill asks them about their longevity, pianist Joseph Kalichstein jokes, "We're just trying to get it right." But you'll hear for yourself, they've gotten it right from the beginning. Two masterworks of Brahms and a touchingly beautiful movement from Beethoven will illustrate the point, and Andy Stein's arrangement of Gershwin's "Summertime" is just plain fun. You're invited to the reunion, and it promises to be a great time. (more)

February 20: Zuill Bailey, cello; Awadagin Pratt, piano

A to Z: Friendship has long been a wellspring for exalted music making, as this week's program with cellist Zuill Bailey and pianist Awadagin Pratt brilliantly attests. The two first met off hours in a ping pong duel when they were teenaged participants in a music festival. In the years since, they’ve kept the association alive through frequent collaboration on the great works of their shared repertoire—music than opens new vistas for both of these remarkable soloists. They'll bring us sonatas by Debussy, Beethoven, and Brahms. (more)

February 13: OPUS ONE

Dream Team: If chamber music had a "dream team," Bill's guests this week, OPUS ONE, would be it. Four players representing the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Tashi, the Beaux Arts Trio and the Orion and Guarneri String Quartets, OPUS ONE is the result of a mutual love of music-making between these extraordinary instrumentalists and friends. That sheer joy in music, not to mention the friendship, shines throughout their performances of piano quartets by Mozart and Dvořák. Don't miss these virtuosos of the rarest kind, OPUS ONE, on Saint Paul Sunday this week. (more)

February 06: Jorja Fleezanis, violin; Karl Paulnack, piano

Missionaries: Now and then, music of our time needs its own champions, too—performers devoted to sharing it with listeners who haven't yet experienced just how it exhilarating can be. This week, violinist Jorja Fleezanis and pianist Karl Paulnack join forces to celebrate the music that originally brought them together. These missionaries of contemporary sound have made it their calling to engage and enlighten audiences with rarely performed 20th and 21st century works. Listen in for sonatas by Peter Mennin and Ernst Bloch as well as one of Alban Berg's hauntingly beautiful Seven Early Songs. (more)

January 30: Thomas Hampson, baritone; Craig Rutenberg, piano

Wondrous Free: Renowned baritone Thomas Hampson tells America's stories in song, bringing them to life through masterly performances and a passionate sense of their importance to our national soul. As part of his extensive collaboration with the Library of Congress, he unearths several previously neglected gems, singing them alongside more familiar favorites by Foster, Copland, Barber, and Ives. We also hear the fourth song in Stephen Paulus's "Heartland Portrait", a cycle commissioned for Mr. Hampson and set to luminous poems by Ted Kooser, thirteenth Poet Laureate of the United States. Pianist Craig Rutenberg, whose contributions have likewise enlarged our musical life, performs with equal mastery and heart. (more)

January 23: David Finckel, cello; Wu Han, piano

Portrait: The Wall Street Journal calls them "America's power couple of chamber music," but their fans just call them "wonderful." Cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han make a warmly anticipated return visit to Saint Paul Sunday this week for a program that fully engages the duo's enthralling way of revealing the music from the inside out. Along with Brahms's first cello sonata and one of his beloved intermezzi for solo piano, we also hear heartfelt music of Edvard Grieg. The program opens with "Portrait," a deft and lyrical work composed by David's own father, Edwin Finckel. (more)

January 16: Musicians from Marlboro

Common Ground: Vermont's famous and long-running Marlboro Festival, founded in 1951 by Rudolf Serkin and Adolf Busch, is a very unique environment for a chamber musician to spend the summer. This is a place where a young professional can collaborate side-by-side with an experienced master artist on a level playing field. The result? First-quality music-making, and a family environment unlike any other in the classical music world. Listen in this week as Bill McGlaughlin welcomes a part of this musical family into the studio. Musicians from Marlboro will play a wide variety of music from Mozart to Carter, with a little Ravel and Poulenc too, for good measure. Find out what makes the Marlboro Festival so special, and get to know these musicians through their playing and their words. (more)

January 09: Leif Ove Andsnes performs Schumann, Beethoven, Mompou

Northern Light: Celebrated pianist Leif Ove Andsnes makes a warmly anticipated return visit this week with music that reaffirms his astonishing technical and emotional powers. He begins with four short works of Robert Schumann, conjuring from each all of the rapidly mutating moods and colors they chart, and moves on to a work of even greater temperamental grandeur: Ludwig van Beethoven's Opus 110 piano sonata. In the echo of that monument, Mr. Andsnes's concluding performances of Lizst and Mompou sound all the more wondrous. (more)

January 02: Guarneri String Quartet performs Mozart, Ravel, Dvořák

Revelations: On the heels of their 40th anniversary, the Guarneri String Quartet returns to Saint Paul Sunday with music by Mozart, Dvořák and Ravel — works that reveal the heart and soul of this revered ensemble as movingly today as they did when it first performed them. Each composer's distinct voice shines, but refracted through a sound and mastery wholly the Guarneri's own. After more than four decades, both remain undimmed. (more)