VPR Classical

VPR Classical is Vermont's statewide classical music station. We bring you the broad world of classical music with a strong local connection: local hosts throughout the week, live performances, news about events in your community, and more.

VPR Classical hosts, clockwise from the top left: Kari Anderson, Walter Parker, James Stewart, Linda Radtke and Peter Fox Smith.

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La voix humaine

15 hours ago

Francis Poulenc's La voix humaine, with libretto by Jean Cocteau, is preceded by two short 20th century opera tidbits: an orchestral excerpt from Der Rosenkavalier conducted by Richard Strauss; and William Mayer's very short A Brief Candle.

Listen Saturday, October 1 at 12 noon.

photo: Kathy Chapman / CM Artists

Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Mozart: Abduction from the Seraglio Overture  (Sarah Hicks, conductor)
Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, Op. 15  (Peter Serkin, piano; Jaime Laredo, conductor)

Listen Wednesday September 28 at 8 p.m.

BBC Proms Festival

From the BBC Proms
Staatskapelle Berlin
Daniel Barenboim, piano and conductor

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K. 491
Bruckner: Symphony No. 4 in E-flat Romantic
Britten: Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes  (Jiri Belohlavek, conductor)

Listen Friday September 23 at 8 p.m.

Porgy and Bess

Sep 20, 2016

We mark the September 26, 1898 birthday of George Gershwin with excerpts from the most successful of all American operas, Porgy and Bess.

Listen Saturday, September 24 at 12 noon.

Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Vermont Symphony Orchestra
Jaime Laredo, conductor

Wagner: Prelude to Act 1 of Die Meistersinger
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6  Pathetique

Listen Wednesday September 21 at 8 p.m.


U.S. Public Domain

Of all the advancements of the 20th century, the advent of recording technology has affected the world of music like no other. For centuries, classical music was the privilege of the rich and powerful. It was relegated to the church, concert hall, opera house or salon. But today, we can access the masterpieces of any era, anytime, anywhere played by the world’s most talented musicians.

U.S. Public Domain

At the dawning of the 20th century the world stood on the edge of immense change. No one could have guessed what the next hundred years would bring. Previous centuries saw most composers following specific aesthetic ideals, but music fractured in the 20th century like never before. In reality, we’re still trying to figure out where music goes from here.

Timeline is a project from VPR Classical, a service of Vermont Public Radio. It is intended to be an informative, entertaining overview of music history. This work will hopefully stir the curious on to study the subject further. Here we have provided a list of suggested reading.  It contains references and suggestions of how to go deeper.

BBC Proms Festival

From the BBC Proms:
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Alexander Vedernikov, conductor
Stephen Hough, piano

Tchaikovsky: Hamlet Fantasy-Overture
Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 3
Sibelius: Symphony No. 2  (Thomas Beecham, conductor)

Listen Friday September 16 at 8 p.m.

Gounod & Offenbach

Sep 14, 2016

We hear excerpts from two French operas: Gounod's Faust, featuring the superb tenor Léopold Simoneau; and Offenbach's little-known operetta Madame l'archiduc.

Listen Saturday, September 17 at 12 noon.

Christian Steiner / Frank Salomon Associates, Inc.

Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Mozart: Marriage of Figaro Overture  (Anthony Princiotti, conductor)
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5  (Jaime Laredo, conductor)

Listen Wednesday September 14 at 8 p.m.

U.S. Public Domain

What would you do if you spent your childhood being declared the next Brahms or Wagner? Well, if you were composer Richard Strauss, you would rise to the occasion.

On our annual "Jussi Björling In Memoriam" program, we present recently released rare recordings by the great Swedish tenor.

Listen Saturday, September 10 at 12 noon.

BBC Proms Festival

From the BBC Proms:
Halle Orchestra
Sir Mark Elder, conductor
Alice Coote, mezzo-soprano; Gregory Kunde, tenor

Berlioz: King Lear Overture
Matthews: Berceuse for Dresden
Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde ('Song of the Earth')
Vaughan Williams: Oboe Concerto  (Stephane Rancourt, oboe)

Listen Friday September 9 at 8 p.m.

Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Vermont Symphony Orchestra
Jaime Laredo, conductor

Erik Nielsen: Fanfare in B-flat (premiere)
Mozart: Symphony No. 31 in D, K. 297  Paris
Schumann: Symphony No. 1 in B-flat, Op. 38  Spring

Listen Wednesday September 7 at 8 p.m.

U.S. Public Domain

The Scandinavian composer, Jean Sibelius wrote 7 symphonies, many symphonic poems and over 100 vocal songs. He was the voice of his homeland, Finland, at a time of great political upheaval and change.

Boston Symphony Orchestra

Boston Symphony Orchestra
Andris Nelsons, conductor
Thomas Rolfs, trumpet; Robert Sheena, English horn
Rachel Willis-Sorensen, soprano; Ruxandra Donose, mezzo-soprano; Joseph Kaiser, tenor; Wilhelm Schwinghammer, bass; Tanglewood Festival Chorus

Copland: Quiet City
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9

Listen Sunday September 4 at 1 p.m.

BBC Proms Festival

From the 2016 BBC Proms
National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain
Edward Gardner, conductor
Schiphorst: Gravitational Waves
R. Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra
Holst: The Planets
Delius: Brigg Fair  (Halle Orchestra; Sir Mark Elder, conductor)

Listen Friday September 2 at 8 p.m.

Fred Collins / Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson-Trio.com

Vermont Symphony Orchestra
Jaime Laredo, conductor
Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio

Sibelius: Valse triste
Honegger: Pastorale d'ete
Beethoven: Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano in C, Op. 56

Listen Wednesday August 31 at 8 p.m.

Timeline: Amy Beach

Aug 29, 2016
U.S. Public Domain

In the 19th century, composition was a man’s world. The stigma of being a female composer made it difficult for a woman’s work to be read or heard.  One woman helped to break through this glass ceiling and pave the way for a generation of female composers, her name was Amy Beach.