In 1961, Ben Jaffe's parents, Sandra and Allan, created a space to preserve and honor the African-American tradition of jazz in New Orleans.  Today, Ben continues that legacy, and brings the Preservation Hall Jazz Band along with legendary composer and performer Allen Toussaint to Shea's Performing Arts Center, one night only, Wednesday, October 15th at 8:00.  WNED's Peter Hall learns how to say "New Orleans" and a whole lot more in this conversation.

Romantic music is much more than love songs, Vocalis Chamber Choir's Music Director James Burritt told WNED's Peter Hall. Explore the diversity of the Romantic period with music by Bruckner and Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Grieg and more when Vocalis sings Friday, October 17th at 8pm at the Amherst Community Church and Sunday, October 19th at 4pm at St. Paul's Cathedral in downtown Buffalo.  

Thursday, 09 October 2014 17:54

Pianist Fabio Bidini re: Rachmaninoff Festival

 Van Cliburn competition medalist Fabio Bidini returns to Buffalo by critical acclaim to perform the rarely heard Piano Concerto No. 4 in G minor by Rachmaninoff, part of the first of a two-weekend Rachmaninoff Festival with JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra at Kleinhans.  In a conversation with WNED's Peter Hall, Bidini talks about the joys and challenges winning competitions as well as playing Rachmaninoff.  He has nice comments about the American music conservatory system and discusses recording Marcel Tyberg's Piano Sonata No. 2 which can be found on the BPO's Naxos CD featuring Tyberg's Symphony No. 2.

Thursday, 09 October 2014 16:16

Composer of the Month Giuseppe Verdi

Happy birthday, Giuseppe Verdi!

Viva V.E.R.D.I  – “Viva Vittorio Emanuele Re D'Italia!” was the rallying cry of the Italian “Risorgimento,” (“Resurgence” or “Rising Again”) the 19th century movement for Italian unification that culminated in the establishment of the Kingdom of Italy in 1861 and Victor Emanuele II as king of Italy. 

How does the great operatic genius Giuseppe Verdi, born on Oct. 19, 1813, fit in to this?  A number of Italian opera composers were slyly inserting plot elements into their works that resonated with the “Risorgimenti.”  But, it was Verdi who was their best ally.

It wasn’t much of a stretch for Italians, whose country had been taken over by Austria, to connect with the words of “Va Pensiero,” especially with lines such as “O my country, so lovely and so lost.”  

Spreading throughout Italy, the slogan “Viva VERDI” expressed the people’s love for their favorite composer, Giuseppe Verdi, but it also had the secret meaning of “Viva Victor Emanuele, King of Italy.”  Even today, the chorus “Va Pensiero” is considered the unofficial national anthem of Italy.

 

This month’s classical composer profile was written by Peter Hall, Classical 94.5 WNED program host.

 

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The BPO is celebrating Rachmaninoff in a festival of his works over two weekends. Come learn about this composer and pianist who performed at Kleinhans himself and said, “Never have I performed in such a beautiful auditorium.” Paul Ferington presents a musical guide to the BPO's Rachmaninoff Festival during his BPOvations talks, October 8th and 15th at various libraries.  WNED's Peter Hall found out more.