© 2023 WXXI-FM | WXXI Public Broadcasting, 280 State St. Rochester, NY 14614, (585) 325-7500
Perfectly Tuned to Your Day
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

"Everybody's a critic" - Exploring Music in February


Host Bill McGlaughlin explores Sibelius' quote the week of February 21st - weeknights at 7pm

Week of February 7, 2022 - Pacific Overtures II - This week we continue our trip around the Pacific Rim. We’ve borrowed the title from Stephen Sondheim’s 1976 musical, and you’ll hear a selection from that when our tour reaches Asia. First, we start where we left off last week, in Chile and Columbia, then we head up into Mexico where we’ll hear Silvestre Revueltas and Carlos Chávez, before motoring to the Pacific Northwest and Canada, where we’ll hear music written by Glenn Gould’s piano teacher. Then everybody back on the boat for a long sail all the way down to the Philippines, to Java, to China, Korea, and Japan, and finally, because after a trip like this we could use a break, we land in the Hawai’ian Islands.

Week of February 14, 2022 - First Love...Then Later - For centuries, composers have found inspiration in love stories, love poems, and often their own love affairs. Clara and Robert Schumann wrote music for each other; Gustav Mahler wrote the Adagietto of his Fifth Symphony while madly in love with his new wife, Alma Schindler; and when Peter Lieberson read the love sonnets of Pablo Neruda, he knew right away that he would set them to music for his wife, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. Berlioz, Prokofiev, Bellini, and Delius were some of the many composers who fell under the spell of the Romeo and Juliet story. We know that no week of love songs would be complete without hearing Pavarotti and Callas in arias from La Bohème, Carmen, and Tosca.

Week of February 21, 2022 - Nobody Ever Builds a Statue to a Critic - As Hollywood mogul Samuel Goldwyn said, “Don’t pay any attention to the critics – don’t even ignore them.” Bill reminds us: “Sibelius said, ‘They never built a statue for a music critic.’” But instead of pillorying critics for being wrong, Bill goes positive with those who could hear and write clearly about music that not only was good on arrival but would also endure. For example, Robert Schumann, who was both composer and critic; he gave strong support to Chopin. In addition to the music, Bill interviews several esteemed music critics about their role in shaping culture. And for this week, Mahler gets the last sound.

Week of February 28, 2022 - Martha Graham and her Music - Martha Graham changed the way we think about dance, as much as Igor Stravinsky did with music, and Pablo Picasso with his paintings and sculpture. Her choreography was born out of a close relationship to fresh-off-the-page music: she commissioned ballets from American composers Samuel Barber, Aaron Copland, and Louis Horst— whose music would be all but forgotten if it were not for archival films of Graham’s early dances like her 1931 Primitive Mysteries. She lived a long, passionate life and her ashes are scattered across the Sangre de Cristo Mountains above Santa Fe, New Mexico. There they mingle with the memories of so many artists from her generation.