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December 25: The Empire Brass

Sleigh Ride: Brass music lends the holidays a special grandeur, and this week the celebrated Empire Brass visits Saint Paul Sunday to help ring in the season. Along with traditional tunes and carols, the quintet will play glorious antiphonal and classical works that evoke the spirit of the time. We'll hear music of Russian composers, including two of Pytor Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Dances, as well as works by Susato, Purcell, Holborne and Albinoni. (more)

December 18: Chanticleer

Gloria: In the Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer dubs a rooster "Chanticleer" for his clear and beautiful singing:

"There was not his equal in all the land. His voice was merrier than the merry organ that plays in church, and his crowing from his resting place was more trustworthy than a clock."

Some six centuries later, twelve singers from San Francisco aspired to the name themselves and soon set a gold standard for transporting vocal music. This week Chanticleer brings us music from Chaucer's time up to our own—from early sacred works of Dufay and Purcell to Australian composer Sarah Hopkins's hypnotic Past Life Melodies. The hour comes to a rousing close with the African-American gospel song "My Soul is a Witness" as arranged by music director Joseph Jennings, who joins in the fun. (more)

December 11: 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)

December 04: 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)

November 27: Fretwork and Emma Kirkby, soprano

Musick for a While: The songs of Elizabethan composer William Byrd marry text and music with both superb delicacy and emotional intensity. This week, one of the greatest living interpreters of Byrd's songs, soprano Emma Kirkby, joins forces with the acclaimed viol consort Fretwork for several of them, along with others by Purcell, Gibbons, and Dowland. Listen in for a truly transporting hour. "Sometimes when I hear music from this period," says Bill McGlaughlin, "I think music never really got any better. There's nothing like it." (more)

November 20: 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)

November 13: 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)

November 06: Anthony McGill, clarinet; Natalie Zhu, piano

Guest host: Brian Newhouse, Host and Senior Producer of the Minnesota Orchestra broadcasts


Another Place: "You know, this music takes you to another place—straight to your soul, straight to your heart," says clarinetist Anthony McGill this week of Johannes Brahms's multi-hued second clarinet sonata. "I started playing music because of that feeling." Mr. McGill's affection for the work dovetails with its initial inspiration, clarinet virtuoso Richard Mühlfeld, whom Brahms met late in life and admired intensely, and whose playing helped the composer break new creative ground. We'll also get to hear two of Anthony McGill's other favorites: Debussy's Première Rhapsodie and Poulenc's sole clarinet sonata.


October 30: Hilary Hahn channels Mozart

Ice Breaker: Music has the power to capture a boundless range of time and experience—from the most urgent and impassioned to the most fleeting and delicate. This week renowned American violinist Hilary Hahn joins forces her distinguished colleague and longtime friend, pianist Natalie Zhu, for works that seek out this truth in multiple ways. Anchoring their program is Ernst Bloch's fearlessly probing sonata for violin, a work Ms. Hahn likens at one point to a "frozen landscape when the ice is about to break." The duo also brings remarkable intensity and maturity to music by Mozart and Stravinsky. (more)

October 23: eighth blackbird performs Chen Yi

Sparks: The intrepid artists of eighth blackbird—a sextet of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, and percussion—are as acclaimed for the brilliance of their playing as they are for sparking inspiration in the composers who write for them. This week we get generous tastes of each. Of the four works they perform, three were created especially for them: David Kellogg's Divinum Mysterium, an ecstatic elaboration on sacred chant; Fireflies, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez's powerful vision of a Central American massacre; and finally "Glacial Exhalations," a vivid opening movement from the larger concerto Split Horizon, whose composer, David Schober, joins eighth blackbird in the studio. We'll also hear a fourth work that puts percussionist Matthew Duvall through his paces: Chen Yi's multi-textured Qui. (more)

October 16: 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)

October 02: 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)

September 25: 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)

September 18: 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)

September 11: Guarneri String Quartet

Four by Forty: Having recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, the Guarneri String Quartet is among the most revered and enduring ensembles of its kind in the world. It makes a warmly awaited return visit this week to perform Zoltán Kodály's songful and incisive second string quartet, two haunting movements of Robert Schumann's third quartet, and some variations by the "Spanish Mozart"—Juan Crisostomo Arriaga—who earned the moniker for the brilliance of his too-brief career. As it has for over four decades, the Guarneri lends a peerless radiance to every note and phrase. In June 2007, the ensemble announced plans to retire in 2009. (more)

September 04: Anonymous 4: "The Sacred Harp"

Sweet Hour: First published in 1844 and in continuous use since, the Sacred Harp is an American tunebook that assigns to each musical note a shape (whether a diamond, triangle, round, or square) and a corresponding syllable ("me," "faw," "sol," or "law") in a system devised to simplify singing for participants who might otherwise be unable to read music. This week the widely beloved ensemble Anonymous 4 offers us distinctive songs of this country's own early vocal traditions. They'll sing shape-note music from the Sacred Harp along with several other affecting songs of our folk and gospel heritage. (more)

August 28: 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)

August 14: Los Romero


July 31: 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)

July 24: 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)

July 17: 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)

July 10: 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)

July 03: 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)

June 26: Alexandre da Costa, violin; Margo Garrett, piano

The "ghosts of great violinists hover over your whole program," observes guest host Ara Guzelimian this week as he welcomes two remarkable (and quite corporeal) guests into the studio. The young Canadian violinist Alexandre da Costa joins forces with acclaimed American pianist Margo Garrett for several works by composers who were either great violinists themselves, or who wrote with specific virtuosi in mind, or both. Mr. da Costa plays music of Brahms, Falla, Ysaÿe, and Sarasate with artistry as compelling as it is historically aware. The duo encores with a bravura arrangement of music for a different time and instrument: Jimi Hendrix's "Manic Depression." (more)

June 19: 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)

June 12: 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)

June 05: Hélène Grimaud, piano

Intuitionist: In all she plays, pianist Hélène Grimaud reveals a searching and singular voice. This week from the stage of New York City's Academy of Arts and Letters—a suitable setting for an artist whose earliest creative discoveries were often literary—she brings alive three companionable forms. Opening with "Fantasia on an Ostinato," John Corigliano's hypnotic homage to Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, she continues with a pair of rhapsodies by Johannes Brahms and a trio of Sergey Rakhmaninov's Étude Tableaux. Ms. Grimaud fathoms each composer's distinct vision with uncompromising faith in her own. (more)

May 29: 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)

May 22: 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)

May 15: 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)

May 08: 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.


May 01: Leif Ove Andsnes performs Schumann, Debussy

Dubbing him "the most interesting pianist of his generation," The New York Times recently hailed Leif Ove Andsnes for his "gorgeous tone, fleet-fingered technique, rhythmic integrity, and textural clarity." Mr. Andsnes brings each of these prodigious powers to bear on his wide-ranging program for Saint Paul Sunday this week, first touring us through Vienna at Carnival-time with Robert Schumann's mercurial Faschingsschwank aus Wien, and next offering three transporting works by Debussy, including the beloved Isle Joyeuse. (more)

April 24: Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

Soul Garden: A constellation of six stars from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center visits Saint Paul Sunday this week to illumine seldom-heard music by Mozart and Dvořák—sextets that mine a richness and force of expression unavailable to smaller ensembles. We'll also hear Derek Bermel's "Soul Garden", a work based on the composer's own experience in the African-American gospel tradition and written for violist Paul Neubauer, who takes its lead role this Sunday. Joining him are violinists Ida Kavafian and Joseph Silverstein, violist Toby Appel, and cellists Fred Sherry and Ronald Thomas. (more)

April 17: 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 10: 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)

April 03: 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)

March 27: VocalEssence Ensemble Singers

Sing, My Soul: This week on Saint Paul Sunday we'll explore American verse and song with conductor Philip Brunelle and the Ensemble Singers of Vocalessence, from William Billings' early New England anthems through the musical and poetic voices of our own time. Performing works by Libby Larsen, Eric Whitacre, Ned Rorem and Moses Hogan, Vocalessence has the unique ability to create our American landscape though the human voice. Don't miss one of our most treasured choral institutions, as they give life to American artistry. (more)

March 27: 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)

March 20: Ani Kavafian, violin and viola
David Shifrin, clarinet
André-Michel Schub, piano

KSS for short, music for life: Musicians are inveterate travelers, and this week on Saint Paul Sunday guest host Brian Newhouse welcomes three wonderful performers who first came together as a trio in an airport coffee shop on their way from one music festival to another. Join him with violinist Ani Kavafian, clarinetist David Shifrin, and pianist André-Michel Schub—the KSS Trio—for works that make their unusual combination shine. Along with a trio of Mozart and Schumann's "Fairy Tales," we'll hear Béla Bartók's aptly named "Contrasts." It's an hour companionship and music making you won't want to miss. (more)

March 13: 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)

March 06: Jacques Ogg, harpsichord; Wilbert Hazelzet, flute

Tasty fare: Tafelmusik originally meant "music composed for a banquet," and this week we'll sample a feast of music—including some of Georg Phillipp Telemann's own Tafelmusik—with flutist Wilbert Hazelzet and harpsichordist Jacques Ogg. This remarkable Dutch duo brings a lively sensibility to its chosen repertoire, adding gusto or delicacy as required. They'll also bring us lovely works by J.S. Bach and his son C.P.E. Bach. (more)

February 27: Sequenza

"Sequenza," which literally means "following," suits this piano trio perfectly, conveying at once admiration for the past and a vibrant commitment to the future. Violinist Mark Kaplan, cellist Colin Carr, and pianist Yael Weiss, each of whom enjoys a distinguished solo career, came together in 2001 out of their mutual love for ensemble playing. This week on Saint Paul Sunday, Sequenza brings us fresh interpretations of Romantic works-music of Brahms and Schubert-along with a performance of a trio by contemporary composer Bright Sheng. Listen to the performance in for music making of perpetual reinvention. (more)

February 20: Belcea String Quartet

England's acclaimed Belcea Quartet opens its program with Benjamin Britten's first quartet, a work that allows each player to shine by giving the solo line to a different instrument for each of the four movements. The Belcea Quartet takes a correspondingly egalitarian approach to the spectrum of its own repertoire, going on to play a Haydn allegro, Italian opera music by Hugo Wolff, and a haunting movement from "Arcadiana" by young British composer Thomas Adès. To whatever it performs, the Belcea brings a luminous insight. (more)

February 13: 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)

February 06: Antares

Fun Frolic: Dodecaphunphrolic—a work composed by Stephan Freund for the unusual combination of clarinet, violin, cello, and piano—aptly describes Antares, the ensemble that performs it this week on Saint Paul Sunday. The "dodeca" of the title refers to the twelve-note scale around which the piece is written. Antares makes the "phunphrolic" part obvious. These brilliant young performers also bring us romantic music by Walter Rabl, a movement from Messiaen's ecstatic "Quartet for the End of Time," and a recent commission from John Mackey called "Breakdown Tango." (more)

January 30: 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)

January 23: The Dale Warland Singers

For Cherishing: On March 22, 1981, Saint Paul Sunday aired its first broadcast, an all-Bach program featuring the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and this week's celebrated guests, the Dale Warland Singers. Since that day, Dale and his colleagues have brought several programs to Saint Paul Sunday, each one demonstrating the depth, beauty, and scrupulous craft that are their signature. This Sunday's program, their twelfth, gives the Warland artistry free reign. We'll hear diverse American works, two British memorials that share a special history, and a trio of "Cathedral Classics"—works whose spacious soundworlds offer perhaps the fullest sense of the choir's amplitude. (more)

January 16: Ilya Gringolts, violin; Christopher Guzman, piano

Some of music's greatest works were inspired by great performers. This week we'll hear two virtuosic pieces—Bela Bartók's free-ranging second violin sonata and Maurice Ravel's "Tzigane," a dizzying homage to gypsy music—that were composed for the same violinist, Jelly d'Aranyi. Each work gets a brilliant interpretation from a virtuoso of our own time, the young Russian violinist Ilya Gringolts, whose artistic insight and technical command have earned international raves. What Mr. Gringolts says of the Bartók sonata can be said of his own playing: "It's music that knows no bounds." (more)

January 09: James Galway, flute; Phillip Moll, piano

Pan: Beloved the world over for his singular artistry and sound, this week Sir James Galway also gives us a taste of his infectious wit and warmth. The legendary flutist joins friend and longtime collaborator Phillip Moll for a program that reveals the wide-ranging mastery of the "Man with the Golden Flute." Sir James brings music of several French composers to life and honors his Irish origins, too, with a poignant pennywhistle tune called "Dawning of the Day." Tune in for a truly special hour. (more)

January 02: 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)