© 2024 WXXI Public Broadcasting, 280 State St. Rochester, NY 14614, (585) 325-7500
Celebrating 50 years on FM 91.5
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Exploring the Viola, weeknights @ 7pm beginning 6/24

Week of June 3, 2024 - Child’s Play  In hundreds of years of music-making, childhood remains an inexhaustible inspiration. This week, we’ll hear how composers from Purcell to Prokofiev were influenced by the creative energy of youth. Plus, we will hear the music of young composers and listen to great artists captured during their tender years. Bill says, “In short, we are going to see if we can’t discover some musical pleasures in child’s play.”

close up of a viola face and notes on a C-clef staff
Angela Corbin

Week of June 10, 2024 - Richard Strauss (1864-1949) Richard Strauss – whose musical life spanned nine decades, two world wars, and the Third Reich – was one of Germany’s most gifted and controversial figures. We’ll explore his tone poems, operas, and both his public and private lives. We end this five-part biography with his Four Last Songs performed by Jessye Norman with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra conducted by Kurt Masur.

Week of June 17, 2024 - Invitation to the Dance, Part 1 Which came first, the composition or the dance? Can we even pull them apart? It’s hard to say, but this week we’ll follow the dance through solo works, the opera, and the symphony. We will listen to Medieval dances and Strauss waltzes, Bach gigues and Chopin Mazurkas, plus Haydn minuets and Mahler Ländler.

Week of June 24, 2024 - The Viola A weeklong celebration of the exquisite music written for this “inner voice.” The viola is the middle sister of the stringed instruments, sitting between the violins and the cellos, and playing in a clef written just for her. The viola is often misunderstood and mistaken for a “larger violin” or sometimes either forgotten about or made the butt of jokes. But the viola sings with a dark richness that composers loved! Mozart, Brahms, and Dvorak played the viola; Hindemith did too. These composers, plus many more, figured out how to let this instrument have her day in the sun with concertos, tone poems, and orchestral solos. This week, you too will fall in love with the viola.