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Program Highlight

Great Choral Works during a pandemic, Exploring Music, February 2021

Eastman Rochester Chorus 2017-2018

At a time when choirs have been shuttered, and large choral performances are not safe, Bill McGlaughlin presents a week of great choral music. Feb 8-12, 2021.

Week of February 1, 2021 - Invitation to the Dance, Part I

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. Highlights include gigues, gavottes, waltzes and galliards from John Dowland, JS Bach, Haydn, Mozart. We dance out the week with Shostakovich’s Tahiti Trot.

Week of February 8, 2021 - Great Choral Works, More Often Praised Than Listened To

Part of the fun with Exploring Music is making up titles for our various weeks. Bill came up with an outstanding doozy —Great Choral Works, More Often Praised Than Listened To— but not this week!  We’ll hear St. Paul and Elijah, two huge oratorios written ten years apart by Felix Mendelssohn; A Sea Symphony by Ralph Vaughan Williams, and a beautiful setting of Walt Whitman’s When Lilacs Last in the Door Yard Bloomed by Paul Hindemith. It’s a special treat to hear Robert Shaw, Sir Andrew Davis, and others, lead a stage full of a large orchestra, chorus, and soloists through these profound masterworks.

Week of February 15, 2021 - Nationalism in Music

Nationalism on its own can be a dangerous force, but it has inspired a number of profound pieces of music. This edition of Exploring Music examines what happens when a powerful pride in national identity enters a composer’s head. Bill starts by reading an excerpt from an essay about the history of nationalism in music by Ralph Vaughan Williams, who identifies Chopin as the first composer to write nationalistic music with his polonaises and mazurkas. From Poland we wander through 20th century Europe: the Czech Republic, Rumania, Hungary, France, Scandinavia, Russia, and Albion.

Week of February 22, 2021 - The Symphony, Part 8

This week, Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Vaughan Williams will be featured, continuing our massive series in examining symphony compositions.  The symphony is widely considered one of the most important forms of classical music. Our exploration this week continues with music from composers born around 1880.