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Celebrating the life of Chopin and more on Exploring Music, August 2019

Chopin, daguerreotype by Bisson, c. 1849

Week of August 5, 2019 - Ottorino Respighi There’s much more to Ottorino Respighi than The Pines of Rome and The Fountains of Rome. This week we'll hear his connections with the music of Brazil, touch on his experiences in war-torn Europe, and see how this violinist, musicologist, and composer artfully moved Italian music into the 20th century. We will hear The Birds where a number of birds are characterized by Respighi. Bill samples the "cuckoo" sound heard within this suite. In Friday’s episode we meet an American woman, Elizabeth Coolidge, who in 1927 lands Respighi a commission to write Botticelli Triptych.

Week of August 12, 2019 - Frédéric Chopin A five-part biography to celebrate the life of Chopin, whose invention and innovation had an indelible effect on the world of Romantic music and the piano. Chopin (1810-49) embraces the most serene of nocturnes to a breakneck waltz lasting but a minute. “As a seven-year-old,” Bill says, “Chopin could not only play the piano beautifully, he composed very well,” and offers a polonaise to confirm. Bill drops in a recording of Rachmaninoff playing a waltz Chopin wrote at just 19. Bill takes to the piano to illustrate not only the beauty but also the ingenious techniques that, he says, “make the entire piano sing.”

Week of August 19, 2019 - Music of Scandinavia - The lighter these northern lands are in the summer just means the darker the winters will be, and these dark winters are in the living tissue of every Scandinavian. Their movies, orchestral works, poems, and paintings are comfortably at home expressing deep, dark emotions. Exploring Music has featured the works of Grieg and Nielsen, but there are a great many wonderful works by other composers that we will hear this week. Bill will feature composers like Wilhelm Stenhammar, Per Nørgård, and Lars-Erik Larsson, and we will hear this music performed by Scandinavian artists of today.

Week of August 26, 2019 - I Lost It at the Movies Music for (silent) film started in France when Saint-Saëns composed an original score for The Assassination of the Duke of Guise (L'Assassinat du duc de Guise, 1908) and Hollywood took it from there. Bill recalls some of his favorite original and arranged scores for many great films: Bernard Herrmann’s work for Citizen Kane and several Hitchcock films; Elmer Bernstein for To Kill a Mockingbird; Henri Mancini’s work on The Pink Panther; Ennio Morricone for various Westerns; and even some singing from Charlie Chaplin. Grab the popcorn and listen!