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Explore music inspired by the Caucasus, Exploring Music for April 2021

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The Caucasus

The Caucasus is a land of legends; a landscape of imposing peaks and hidden medieval villages. The Caucasus have always been considered Russia's wild frontier, and a source of inspiration for writers, romantics and composers alike.  We'll explore composers of the region during the Weeknights April 19-23 @ 7pm.

Week of April 5, 2021 - How Strange the Change from Major to Minor, Part II  When our listener wrote asking Bill to describe the different scales and modes in music, he said a week ought to do it. Bill quickly realized that a week ought NOT to do it, and two weeks were better! So, this week we continue listening to music change from major to minor, plus harmonic surprises that composers add to their music. Come listen with fresh new ears to Franz Schubert, Gustav Mahler, plus favorite folk songs and jazz standards.

Week of April 12, 2021 - Carl Nielsen (1865-1931)  Bill welcomes us to a weeklong look at the life and music of Carl Nielsen, who rose from humble beginnings to one of Denmark’s most prominent composers. A remarkably original and appealing composer, he wrote in every genre – chamber music, concerti, operas, piano music, and composed six symphonies. We will hear Nielsen’s orchestration of Danish folk tunes, his popular woodwind quintet, and Danny Kaye singing “Wonderful Copenhagen!”

Week of April 19, 2021 – From the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea On a clear day, when you stand on top of Mount Elbrus in the Caucasus Mountains, you can see from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea, and it’s this area that is the center of Bill’s musical exploration. This week’s journey starts in Armenia and Azerbaijan, continues through Georgia and Ukraine, and ends on the western banks of the Black Sea. Baroque composers to musicians of the present day, each telling a musical story of the people between Eastern Europe and Western Asia. Our composers include Giya Kancheli, Aram Khachaturian, and Richard Yardumian.

Week of April 26, 2021 - The World of the Virtuoso What distinguishes a virtuoso from a merely great musician? This week we feature the musicians who had it all. We start in the 16th century with the development of violin and keyboard instruments that brought the rise of the virtuoso. Bill follows his ear through the centuries from Sephardic composer Thomas Lupo, played by violinist Andrew Manze, through Niccolò Paganini performed by Michael Rabin, to the present day with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra playing the Octet for Wind Instruments by Igor Stravinsky.