Blog Posts on Music

Close encounters

Percy GraingerPercy GraingerPercy Grainger was born in Australia in 1882.   Until recently, he was pegged as a lightweight because of his folk song arrangements.  Recent releases reveal a more serious side, one that’s funny and sad, reflective and violent.
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Out of thin air

Music fans love to meet performers, but I'm thrilled to make contact with composers.  They're making music out of thin air using pure imagination.  One of my fond memories of the late Richard Gladwell is seeing his face suffused with pleasure as he told of meeting composer Ralph Vaughan Williams decades ago at a concert in London.  Williams' music is a cornerstone of twentie

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Summer travels

Summer gives you the chance to enjoy music in unusual settings.  Lakes. Woods. Corn fields. Festivals are popping up all over the region.  Last week I had the privilege of seeing four operas at Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown and interviewing the incoming director, Francesca Zambello.

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GrassRoots!

I rode a bicycle to Pittsburgh one summer years ago in the days before iPods. I think I brought about a dozen cassettes for my Walkman. Only some of them sounded good out there on the road under the sky in the sun and wind. Only some of them sounded right. Monk, Copland, Van Morrison…all good. Prince, not so much.

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Mystery piece, Glimmerglass

Road sign before GlimmerglassRoad sign before Glimmerglass     It’s percussive, graceful, and brimming with charm.

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Catching up

  My thanks to every listener who's e-mailed rad...@wxxi.org about the morning mystery pieces on Classical 91.5.  It's a delight to explore old and new repertoire, and I'm excited that so many music lovers are getting up a little early to guess the name of the mystery work at 6:40 a.m.  (One man told me he

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Son House

There's some new art in the South Wedge. The traffic control box on South and Gregory now sports a portrait of Son House. You don't usually think of icons like Muddy Waters or Robert Johnson as having had influences, but Son was a major inspiration to both. He lived in Rochester from the mid 40's until 1964, when he was tracked down by a couple fans, a discovery that spurred him back out on the road... to Carnegie Hall, among other venues. He kept at it while his health allowed, and died in Detroit in 1988.

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The Geek Epiphany

We raise our children, and try to guide them down a path.  Then light dawns on Marblehead. They already had it all figured out.

Glasses, perceptions

Perceptions change.   You wouldn't have heard much Philip Glass on WXXI-FM a few decades ago. Now his minimalist, relentless, mathmematical works spin out on a regular basis. Several listeners correctly identified the mystery piece on Classical 91.5 Thursday as Glass' "Company."  Writer Alex Ross argues that his style is the first original Ameri

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