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June 24: 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)

June 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)

June 10: 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)

May 28: 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 27: 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 14: 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 13: 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 06: 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)

April 29: Nobilis

Con moto: Pianist Stephen Prutsman, violinist Ruggero Allifranchini, and cellist Suren Bagratuni each have distinguished careers as a solo performers, but when they get together as a trio, something magical happens - they play as one. This week, Bill welcomes this piano trio, Nobilis, with a rich and varied program of Schumann, Schubert, Rachmaninoff, and Arno Babadjanyan. These musicians form fascinating connections between these diverse works, played "con moto:" with motion, spirit, and spontanaeity. (more)

April 22: 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)

April 15: 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)

April 08: 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 01: 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 25: 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)

March 18: 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)

March 11: 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)

March 04: David Finckel, cello; Wu Han, piano

Appassionato: Ludwig van Beethoven's life story finds no more vivid expression than in the very music that engendered, and reflected, its ferocity and drama. This week, two superb guides—Emerson String Quartet cellist David Finckel and celebrated pianist Wu Han—trace both the tragedy and grandeur of Beethoven's life as they are reflected in his five sonatas for cello. The duo surveys all of them, offering between performances how and where each corresponds to Beethoven's life and development. Don't miss a transporting hour. (more)

February 26: 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)

February 19: 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 12: 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 05: 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 29: 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)

January 22: 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)

January 15: 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)

January 08: Brentano String Quartet


January 01: 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)