Support Saint Paul Sunday with your purchases
  • News/Talk
  • Music
  • Entertainment
Saint Paul Sunday home page


2012 |  2011 |  2010 |  2009 |  2008 |  2007 |  2006 |  2005 |  2004 |  2003 |  2002 |  2001 |  2000 |  1999 |  1998 |  1997 |  List all shows


December 28: Kronos Quartet "Early Music"

Now just past 30, Kronos Quartet remains as true as ever to its searching spirit. Its bold dedication to new work continues to exhilarate the repertoire, and its intrepid craft enlivens music of both contemporary and ancient sources. This week on Saint Paul Sunday, Kronos balances old and new, offering arrangements of medieval chant, traditional Irish folksong, and ancient Greek scales as well as several works by living composers. (more)

December 21: Lyra Concert; David Douglas, violin; Ellen Hargis, soprano


December 14: James Ehnes, violin; Eduard Laurel, piano

Virtuosi Various: Works of four composers who wrote with special brilliance for the violin come to life this week under the touch of the young Canadian violinist James Ehnes, who matches their mastery at every turn. Mr. Ehnes and pianist Eduard Laurel open their program with Maurice Ravel's bewitching (and bluesy) Sonata in G Major and conclude the hour with works of Pablo de Sarasate and Fritz Kreisler. J.S. Bach's beloved third partita for solo violin takes center stage, a pinnacle Ehnes prizes as much for its structure as for its "infinite possibilities." (more)

November 23: Johannes String Quartet

What happens when four of the world's top orchestral musicians join forces to play chamber music? Find out this week when the Johannes Quartet brings us dazzling performances of quartets by Haydn and Berg. The foursome includes the concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony, the associate principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the principal cello of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the first American to win the Paganini Violin Competition in 24 years. When exploring the quartet literature they love, however, titles don't matter: passion, virtuosity and poetry do. (more)

November 20: Colin Carr, cello; Lee Luvisi, piano

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


Cellist Colin Carr and pianist Lee Luvisi first met in Mr. Carr's 20s and have in one way or another been making music together ever since. This week, the acclaimed duo brings cello music of three German composers whose lives and art often intertwined. Robert Schumann's moving "Adagio and Allegro" opens the program, followed by a supreme work of the solo cello repertoire, the Sarabande from J.S. Bach's sixth cello suite. As if to tie the whole together, the performers finish with the first cello sonata of Johannes Brahms, a composer whom Schumann mentored and who drew heavily on Bach's "Art of the Fugue" in the sonata's concluding movement.


November 16: Gottlieb Wallisch, piano

Full Pallete: The acclaimed Viennese pianist Gottlieb Wallisch visits Saint Paul Sunday this week for a program that searches his instrument's subjective and coloristic possibilities to their fullest. First we'll hear a Mozart fantasy that ventures beyond its familiar classical confines into stormy Romantic territory; next an evocative sound-picture of moorish Spain by Debussy; and finally Robert Schumann's dazzling "Carnaval," a coded panoply of the composer's loves, theatrical passions, and alter egos. Mr. Wallisch inhabits each work with the virtuosity for which he is warmly noted. (more)

November 16: Renée Fleming, soprano; Richard Bado, piano

Jewel Song: Whenever she lifts her voice, American soprano Renée Fleming commands a beauty of tone, an intelligence, and a presence that are hers alone. She is truly a singer for our time. This week on Saint Paul Sunday, Bill McGlaughlin welcomes Ms. Fleming and her long-time friend and collaborator Richard Bado for a program that draws freely from her rich stylistic palette. We'll hear two songs of Richard Strauss; arias by Puccini, Catalani, Gounod, and André Previn; and several American works, including Harold Arlen's "Over the Rainbow," and a timely new song by Gene Scheer that recalls poignant memories of war. (more)

November 09: Imani Winds performs Förster, Berio

Faith: Imani-literally "faith" in Swahili-embodies the mission of Imani Winds: to bridge European and African musical traditions, to explore repertoire of diverse cultures, and to reflect its five members' own rich experiences as classical musicians of color. This week on Saint Paul Sunday, each of these aspirations shines. We'll hear original works by two members of the quintet, music of Czech composer Josef Bohuslav Förster, and "Tom Cats," a charming narrated movement from Luciano Berio's Opus No. Zoo. (more)

October 26: The Harp Consort ("Missa Mexicana")

Old & New: The Hispanic Baroque knit together often-dizzying contrasts of its culture and beliefs into works of great beauty and vitality. This week on Saint Paul Sunday, Andrew Lawrence-King and the Harp Consort give us a vivid musical taste of that world in "Missa Mexicana," a program juxtaposing an exuberant 17th-century Mass setting by Spanish-born composer Juan Gutierrez de Padilla, chapel master of Mexico's Puebla Cathedral, with the Latin-American and African folk dances that in part inspired it. It's a lively Baroque fusion of the Old World and the New. (more)

October 19: Takács String Quartet

Nature and Nurture: One mark of a masterful ensemble is its power to convey the idiomatic vision behind each work it performs—all while leaving no doubt as to its own. This week, the Takács Quartet offers absorbing takes on three works whose composers bear remarkably different approaches to the form: Beethoven's bracing "Serioso" quartet, a "sad burlesque" from Béla Bartók's sixth quartet, and the radiant opening movement of Maurice Ravel's Quartet in F Major. At each turn, the Takács' faithfulness to these works' individuality is underpinned by a voice, and virtuosity, all its own. (more)

October 12: Gil Shaham, violin; Akira Eguchi, piano

Fauré: Though in life he encountered one "ism" of the times after another, Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) sustained throughout a compositional voice distinctly his own, leaving us some of the most beguiling chamber works of the past two centuries. This week on Saint Paul Sunday, Mssr. Fauré finds his perfect interpreter in Gil Shaham. With the sensitive collaboration of pianist Akira Eguchi, he brings us the composer's first violin sonata and several beautiful shorter works. Mr. Shaham calls his affinity for the composer "Fauré Fever." Under the spell of his masterful playing, you'll catch it too. (more)

October 05: OPUS ONE perform Kernis, Mozart, Brahms

The four individually acclaimed artists of OPUS ONE first came together out of their admiration for one another's music making. This week on Saint Paul Sunday they join forces for one of the greatest chamber works ever written: Johannes Brahms' transcendent third piano quartet in c minor, a work begun by a heart-stricken 22-year old and revised for publication decades later by a far more seasoned and serene spirit. The foursome opens its program with a charming Mozart allegro and a nimble homage to Mozart by Aaron Jay Kernis. (more)

September 28: Pepe Romero, guitar


September 21: Imogen Cooper, piano


September 14: King's Singers


August 31: Michala Petri, recorder; Lars Hannibel, guitar


August 17: Eroica Quartet


August 10: The Dorian Wind Quintet

Musical Gifts: Hailed by TIME magazine as "one of chamber music’s most sparkling and eloquent ensembles," the Dorian Wind Quintet joins Bill McGlaughlin in the studio this week for a program that shows us why. After performing music of Anton Reicha, "the father of the wind quintet," the fivesome offers three imaginative new variations on his beloved E-flat Major Quintet-works written by living composers specifically to celebrate the Dorians' forty years together as an ensemble. Along with anniversary variations by Richard Rodney Bennett, George Perle and Lee Hoiby, we'll also hear charming music of Darius Milhaud and Lalo Shifrin, all played with the quintet's customary virtuosity and verve. (more)

August 03: Kalichstein/Laredo/Robinson Trio


July 27: Robison-Lubambo-Baptista Trio


July 25: Guarneri String Quartet


July 20: Lang Lang


July 13: Jorja Fleezanis, violin; Cyril Huve, forte piano


June 29: The Ahn Trio: From Haydn to Jim Morrison

Ahn-Plugged: From Haydn to Jim Morrison, whatever music the Ahn Trio performs it does so with equal parts artistry and flair. And as these celebrated sisters point out, why shouldn't classical music be fun? It's all about the music when the Ahn Trio stops by the Saint Paul Sunday studio this week to play the last trio of a master, two pieces by living composers and a special arrangement of a different kind of "classic"—"Riders on the Storm." (more)

June 22: Hesperion XXI


June 15: Pieter Wispelwey, cello; Dejan Lazić, piano

Kaleidoscope: A human voice, a beam of light, a fiery village dance? Whatever impressions the cello stirs in you, cellist Pieter Wispelwey and pianist Dejan Lazic add their own brilliant luster. This week on Saint Paul Sunday, the acclaimed duo brings to life three distinct faces of the instrument: music from the late eighteenth, middle nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries. Along with sonatas of Beethoven and Zoltán Kodály, we’ll hear Chopin’s little known Grande Polonaise Brillante for Cello and Piano in C Major. The mix is irresistable. (more)

June 08: Shifrin/Sherry/McDermott (CMSLC)

Lease on Life: Whether we're 6 or 60, we all need a fresh start from time to time. This week on Saint Paul Sunday, we hear a work that gave the 58-year old Johannes Brahms a new lease on life. After having vowed to retire, Brahms heard a performance by clarinet virtuoso Richard Mühlfeld. So moved was he that he took up the pen again and composed a clarinet trio---his sole venture in the form. This week Bill McGlaughlin welcomes a brilliant threesome drawn from the ranks of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center to play it. In addition to Mühlfeld's trio, clarinetist David Shifrin, cellist Fred Sherry, and pianist Anne-Marie McDermott also perform Aaron Jay Kernis's "Trio in Red," a work that charts distinctly different emotional territory. (more)

June 01: Concertante

Shapeshifters: The nine exceptionally gifted young artists of Concertante perform as various ensembles, from familiar combinations of five and six to the rarer mélange of the nonet. This week on Saint Paul Sunday, Concertante visits the studio as a sextet to play two seldom-heard jewels of the chamber repertoire: Johannes Brahms's Opus 18 String Sextet, a serene and sunny work that nonetheless reflects hard-won transcendence of loss, and Pyotr Tchaikovsky's suggestively beautiful Souvenir de Florence. In whatever form it happens to take, Concertante performs with great insight and dash. (more)

May 25: Marilyn Horne and Friends: Dina Kuznetsova, soprano; Troy Cook, baritone; and Brian Zeger, piano

This week, Bill McGlaughlin welcomes one of America's most beloved musical artists and one of the greatest singers of our time. Marilyn Horne visits the Saint Paul Sunday studio with three noted associates of the Marilyn Horne Foundation, an institution dedicated to the presentation of promising young singers in song recitals. Soprano Dina Kuznetsova, baritone Troy Cook, and pianist and foundation board member Brian Zeger come together to perform a varied and beautiful program of classical song. Along the way, we'll hear more about the recital as a vocal art form and the unique riches it offers our cultural life. (more)

May 18: Emerson String Quartet

Converging Lines: For over a quarter century, the Emerson String Quartet has led audiences into profound encounters with the composers central to its repertoire. This week on Saint Paul Sunday, the renowned ensemble gives us peak examples of four—Haydn, Beethoven, Bartók, and Shostakovich—and flavors the mix with an American twist: music by Charles Ives and doublebass virtuoso Edgar Meyer, who joins the Emerson in a performance of his own "Quintet for String Quartet and Doublebass." (more)

May 11: Edgar Meyer, doublebass; Mike Marshall, guitar & mandolin

Back Porch Harmony: Sometimes all we really need is to sit on the back porch and listen to friends play music. This week on Saint Paul Sunday, we get that chance when two of America's musical treasures, doublebass virtuoso Edgar Meyer and mandolinist and guitiarist Mike Marshall, bring us several of their own compositions and arrangement. It's a vivid quiltwork of classical and other styles. Tune in and pull up a chair. (more)

May 04: Kronos Quartet (Nuevo)

Nuevo: The music of contemporary Mexico is as vibrant and diverse as the country itself. This Sunday, four days ahead of Cinco de Mayo, Kronos Quartet performs "Nuevo," a multi-textured program embracing Mexico's kaleidoscopic musical soul. We'll hear works by Severiano Briseño, Agustín Lara, Chalino Sánchez, and others, most in arrangements by Osvaldo Golijov. Alberto Domínguez's Perfidia—which first enchanted Kronos violinist David Harrington when he heard it played on an ivy leaf by a Mexico City street performer—and the 1968 piece Mini Skirt by Juan García Esquivel, "king of space-age bachelor pad music," typify the breadth of Kronos' bold explorations. (more)

April 27: Midori, violin; Robert McDonald, piano

Allegro Vivo: At just 11, Midori performed music of Paganini with the New York Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta, winning the hearts of music lovers around the country. In the decades since, she's performed as a beloved soloist with major orchestras worldwide and continues to reach out to new audiences—from inner-city youngsters in New York's public schools to those outside the main performing arts centers. This week on Saint Paul Sunday Midori joins esteemed pianist Robert McDonald for a wide-ranging program that reveals her multi-faceted artistry. We'll hear sonatas of Brahms, Debussy, and Schulhoff along with Amy Beach's Romance for Violin and Piano, and Pablo de Sarasate's fiery Introduction and Tarantella. Don't miss this hour of extraordinary music making. (more)

April 20: VocalEssence Ensemble Singers

Long treasured for its outstanding choral artistry and programmatic daring, VocalEssence seeks "to engage and enrich audiences who expect the unexpected." This Easter day on Saint Paul Sunday, the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers under founding artistic director Philip Brunelle do just that, introducing us to ten diverse contemporary works-several composed for the performers themselves. We'll hear Easter and springtime music of Dominick Argento, Stephen Paulus, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, and a host of others. Since first performing over three decades ago, the Ensemble Singers have explored the texts of their wide-ranging repertoire as perceptively as they have its music. On Sunday's program a number of striking poem settings give this eloquence free reign. (more)

April 13: Jon Kimura Parker

Generous Spirit: Great classical music weaves its spell on multiple layers at once, and it's the rare artist who animates both its particulars and its larger expanses with equal aplomb. This week on Saint Paul Sunday, host Bill McGlaughlin welcomes renowned Canadian pianist Jon Kimura Parker for a joyous Beethoven sonata, Maurice Ravel's quietly revolutionary "Jeux d'Eau," and a stunning new fantasy on Harold Arlen's music for the "Wizard of Oz" composed for Mr. Parker himself. (more)

April 06: St. Lawrence String Quartet; Todd Palmer, clarinet; Osvaldo Golijov, composer

Dreams & Prayers: This week Bill McGlaughlin welcomes celebrated Argentinean composer Osvaldo to Saint Paul Sunday for an hour-long immersion into his unique artistry. Five acclaimed performers—clarinetist Todd Palmer and the St. Lawrence String Quartet—bring a trio of Golijov compositions to life. First we'll hear Yiddishbuk, a visceral work inspired by drawings of children who were imprisoned at Theresienstadt, the nightmarish "model ghetto" built by the Nazis in 1941. Next, Todd Palmer assumes the role of klezmer with flair, joining the St. Lawrence for two movements of Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind, a work that summons the fading, often insular world of East-European Jewish émigrés in Argentina. The combined quintet closes the program with music from Tenebrae, a composition occasioned by Golijov's encounter with François Couperin's mystical Holy Week settings. Golijov translates the works' shared name as "darkness illuminated by candelight." (more)

March 30: Andrew Manze, Baroque violin; Richard Egarr, harpsichord

The liberating influence exerted by Italian music on European composers from the Renaissance through the 17th and 18th centuries changed Western music ever after. This week on Saint Paul Sunday, the great Baroque violinist Andrew Manze and his longtime harpsichord colleague Richard Egarr trace this special impact: first as it came to inspire Handel and Bach, then in the often-ecstatic fluency it assumed in the music of Pandolfi and Corelli. (more)

March 23: Canadian flutist Jeffrey Khaner performs Aaron Copland

Pied Piper: Philadelphia Orchestra principal flute Jeffrey Khaner joins pianist Linda Mark to play three gems—one English, one French, and one American—of the 20th century flute repertoire. The program leads with Aaron Copland's affecting duo from 1971, a work that bears the unmistakable imprint of the composer's later years. Francis Poulenc's 1956 flute sonata, among the most beloved works in chamber music, concludes the hour. And between the two, a 1946 sonata by Edwin York Bowen affirms why the music of this neglected post-Romantic is enjoying a richly deserved renaissance. Mr. Kahner's masterful playing lends each work a lustrous élan all his own. (more)

March 16: Miami String Quartet and Nokuthula Ngwenyama, viola

New Frontiers: How has the New World enlivened those traditional forms it inherited from the Old? This week violist Nokuthula Ngwenyama and the Miami String Quartet offer some delicious clues. The centerpiece of the program is Mozart's first viola quintet, written when the composer was just 17, but prophetic of the richness to come. Movements from two more works—Antonín Dvořák's Opus 97 viola quintet, written during the composer's three-year stay in the United States, and Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera's first quartet—observe a European musical language in distinctly North and South American styles. (more)

March 09: The FOG Trio

FOG and Friendship: Among San Francisco’s endless charms, fog casts a spell all its own. This week on Saint Paul Sunday Bill welcomes three close friends who met in San Francisco and whose initials aptly reflect its gauzy bayside air. The FOG Trio—violinist Jorja Fleezanis, pianist Garrick Ohlsson, and cellist Michael Grebanier—will bring us great piano trios of Haydn and Dvořák alongside the opening Allegro of Schubert’s second piano trio, the composer’s own favorite of his ventures in the form. (more)

March 02: Anonymous 4


February 23: Paul Coletti, viola; Phillip Bush, piano


February 16: Los Angeles Guitar Quartet


February 09: Avalon String Quartet

Inspired Exchange: Owing to its intimacy and self-direction, chamber music at its best is always a give-and-take process. The Avalon String Quartet, Bill McGlaughlin’s guests this week on Saint Paul Sunday, lend dazzling musicianship to this chemistry, one that glows both within their close circle and through ongoing collaboration with several master ensembles of our day, including the Juilliard, Emerson, and Vermeer string quartets. Having recently completed a two-year quartet residency at the Juilliard School, the quartet was immediately engaged to be artists-in-residence at Indiana University at South Bend where they serve as full-time string faculty. Its emerging presence on the American music scene signals the arrival of an exhilarating new voice. (more)

February 02: Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

The piano music of Erik Satie radiates an unmistakable charm, and this week on Saint Paul Sunday we'll hear it performed by an artist whose affinity with the composer only deepens the spell. Celebrated French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet will perform several Satie works, including the radio première of his recently published seventh Gnossienne, a piece the pianist calls a "masterpiece...a world of its own." Thibaudet juxtaposes Satie with another composer he treasures-American jazz great Bill Evans-whose timely "Peace Piece" concludes the program. (more)

January 19: Osiris Trio

Ghost &: "It was by his gentleness alone that Osiris subjected country after country, winning and disarming their inhabitants by songs and the playing of musical instruments..." This week, three brilliant musicians from Amsterdam who have taken on the name of this Egyptian god of the underworld captivate us with spellbinding artistry of their own. Listen in as the Osiris Trio plays Beethoven's "Ghost" Trio, the first movement of the last chamber work Mendelssohn composed, and two evocative settings of Irish folk tunes by Frank Martin. (more)

January 12: TASHI