VPR Classical

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Composers were not the only ones who shaped the course of music. Sometimes a librarian influences the future in ways that no one could ever imagine. Baron Gottfried van Swieten is a name that isn’t too familiar in the musical world today but his work, energy and encouragement touched a generation of composers.

Musicians have been sampling other artists' songs for decades. Though some get into hot water when they blur the lines between homage and theft, when pop culture borrows a tune from classical music, it's usually more flattery than fines.

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The years 1813 to 1816 were a dry period for Beethoven. He was wrestling with his health and with his family.

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At the dawning of the 19th century, Beethoven had not given up hope that his doctors would find a treatment to reverse his hearing loss. His condition was not only affecting his musical output but also his social life, which was very important to him.

Ludwig van Beethoven has been called the most admired composer in all of music history. His legacy stands as a monument for the entire 19th century and beyond.

Billy Reed / Flickr

With the holiday season come performances of Handel's Messiah

Know of a Messiah performance or sing-along not listed here?  Tell us about it! 

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The word "symphony" is one of the most iconic musical terms, but what makes a piece of music a symphony? The term itself is a compound word with Greek roots meaning “sounding together."

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Franz Joseph Haydn is a towering figure of the Classical era. He didn’t just mimic the changes of the late 18th century, in a large way, his music was the change. He forged new genres. 

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December's Student Composer Showcase features Erik Heitsmith, a 7th grader at Black River Middle School in Ludlow. Erik's pieces begin with a musical germ inspired by "an everyday activity. Like brushing your teeth, or eating breakfast.”

Broadcast Monday Dec. 7 at 11:30 a.m.; Wednesday Dec. 9 at 8:30 a.m.; Friday Dec. 11 at 4 p.m.; Saturday Dec. 12 at 9 a.m.

Ken Howard/Metropolitain Opera

Launched in 1931, the Metropolitan Opera’s Saturday matinee broadcasts are the longest-running continuous classical music program in radio history. Find information about these productions here.

Listen Saturday afternoons during the Met season at 1.

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The Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century called into question the powers of the monarchy and religious dogma. There was an emphasis on scientific rigor and simplicity. This movement found its start in the writings of philosophers and made it ways into politics and eventually art – even the world of opera through the reforms of Christoph Willibald Gluck.

Bayreuth Festival 2015 / Enrico Nawrath

Wagner from the source, in the very theater the composer designed for his music dramas. Deutsche Welle presents Tristan and Isolde by Richard Wagner, recorded from the opening concert of the Bayreuth festival 2015. Hear the Bayreuth Festival Chorus & Bayreuth Festival Orchestra conducted by Christian Thielemann.

Broadcast Saturday, Nov. 28 at 1 p.m.

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The death of J.S. Bach in 1750 has traditionally been regarded as the end of the Baroque Period. The well-known Classical era of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven is said to have begun in 1775.  The transitional, 25 year period between is known as Rococo.

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Every month, VPR Classical highlights the music of a young local composer in a feature called the Student Composer Showcase. For November, we meet Waterbury’s Rachel Schwartz, a Junior at Harwood Union High School.

Broadcast Monday 11/2 at 11:30 a.m.; Wednesday 11/4 at 8:30 a.m.; Friday 11/6 at 4 p.m.; Saturday 11/7 at 9 a.m.

Credit Ben Resnik

It's time once again for the insights and selections of our favorite musical cross-pollinator. This month, VPR's Reuben Jackson takes us through the world of contemporary American opera.

October features an interview with Peter Stopschinski, whose Bum Phillips: An All American Opera recently premiered in Houston, where Phillips was coach of the Houston Oilers.  We'll also hear jazz-tinged versions of works by Samuel Barber, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and others.

Broadcast Monday, October 26th at 8 p.m.

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Georg Philipp Telemann was unquestionably the most prolific composer of his generation. He wrote over 3,000 individual works ranging from chamber music to opera, from oratorios to cantatas.  

VPR Classical In Middlebury Moving To 90.1 FM

Oct 8, 2015
VPR

VPR Classical’s Middlebury station, WOXM 89.1 FM, will move to 90.1 FM on October 12, 2015.

The move is necessary because we recently discovered that our 89.1 signal was interfering with the radio system used by VELCO, the Vermont Electric Power Company, to respond to emergencies. As we head into the winter storm season, it's important to be able to dispatch emergency power line workers quickly and reliably. In order to achieve this goal, we've agreed to move Middlebury's VPR Classical station to 90.1 FM.

Courtesy of the Alexander Family

Each month VPR Classical features the work of a young composer, in a feature called the Student Composer Showcase. This October we'll meet Wayne Alexander, an 8th grader at the Glover Community School.

Broadcast Monday 10/5 at 11:30 a.m.; Wednesday 10/7 at 8:30 a.m.; Friday 10/9 at 4 p.m.; Saturday 10/10 at 9 a.m.

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During the Baroque, several families made their mark in the world of music. In Italy there were few families more influential than the Scarlattis.

Isabel Weinger Nielsen

The curtain goes up this week on a new production of an opera based on characters from David Budbill’s book and play, Judevine.

The production comes at a time when some of the story’s themes have a new relevance.


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