Vivaldi on Guitar

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Every weekday morning at 10:30 Alan Brandt presents the “Guitar Pick,” a musical selection that features the guitar in some form or fashion. It can be as a solo instrument, in a chamber setting or with orchestra. On Monday, Alan played a concerto by Antonio Vivaldi that has seen several different arrangements, including this arrangement for four guitars.

The Concerto, RV 580 by Vivaldi was originally written for 4 violins and orchestra. It was part of a published set under the opus number 3. The 12 concerti were collectively called L’Estro armonico or “The Harmonic Fancy” by its publisher. Johann Sebastian Bach, who met Vivaldi at one point, liked the concerto so much he transcribed it for 4 harpsichords and orchestra.

This recording doesn’t state who transcribed the work for 4 guitars, but it’s a good bet it was done by one of the family members of Los Romeros.

Other guitar picks this week:

JS Bach – Italian Concerto – Amadeus Guitar Duo
John Johnson – Pavan and Galliard – Bream and Williams
Joaquin Rodrigo – Concierto de Aranjuez – Milos
Fernando Sor – Rustic Fantasia, Op. 52 – Adam Holzman

And since I’m a ukulele aficionado, let’s leave you with this performance by the late, great John King.

Interview: Kaaija Saariaho

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(Photo credit: Priska Ketterer)

Kaaija Saariaho’s music is entrancing – sometimes disorienting. It’s lyrical and colorful. It often combines intricate textures with electronic elements, that can be delicate and ethereal or just loud and thick. Performances of her music have been steadily growing throughout the United States since the early 2000s, and earlier this year the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with Gustavo Dudamel and baritone Gerald Finley, commissioned and premiered her song cycle “True Fire.” In March of 2016 the Dutch National Opera will premiere her next opera “Only the Sound Remains.”

Saariaho’s work earned the admiration from audiences and critics, and she’s been the recipient of major prizes including the Polar Music Prize in 2013, the Nemmers Prize in 2011, and in 2003 the Grawemeyer Award in Music Composition for her opera “L’amour de loin,” an opera Anthony Tomassini of the New York Times named best new work of 2000. She is in Louisville as a guest for the 30th Anniversary of the Grawemeyer Award and sat down with Daniel Gilliam to talk about her career and music.


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Featured Album: Anne Akiko Meyers’ Serenade

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(Photo:VANESSA BRICEÑO-SCHERZER / CHRISTIE STOCKSTILL)

Awarded Billboard’s 2014 top-selling classical instrumentalist, Anne Akiko Meyers‘ latest recording, Serenade: The Love Album, drastically contrasts with most of her other recordings. Serenade: The Love Album showcases not only her virtuosic violin playing, but her love of modern and cinematic music. Executive produced by Meyers herself, the album also features the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Keith Lockhart.

The album begins with Leonard Bernstein’s Serenade, a five-movement piece based upon the Plato’s Symposium. This piece sets a tone for the rest of the album, what Ms. Meyer’s considers to be a tribute to her parents 50th wedding anniversary. Rather than choosing pre-existing arrangements for violin and orchestra to complete the album, Ms. Meyers herself commissioned seven arrangers to arrange the rest of the album’s music. The other ten arrangements are world premieres and and beautifully carry the message of love. The highlights from the rest of the album include George Gershwin’s Summertime and Wish Upon A Star composed by Leigh Harline.

You can receive a copy of her new album when you contribute $15 or more during our Fall Membership Drive, October 12-17, 2015. Call (502) 814-6565 or give online.

Video: Jooyoung Kim Plays Liszt

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Live In-Studio: Guitarist Ekachai Jearakul

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In 2014, Thai guitarist Ekachai Jearakul won the prestigious International Concert Artist Competition from the Guitar Foundation of America. He’ll be in Louisville to play at the University of Louisville, and perform a live in-studio here at Classical 90.5 on October 6th at 2pm.

Free and open-to-the-public. Doors open at 1:45pm.