Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

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In 1968, Michigan Governor George Romney signed an agreement with the governor of Shiga Prefecture, which is one of Japan’s 47 state-like territories, to create a sister state relationship. The cultural partnership between the two states is one of the longest-running in the country and is still going strong today.

Actor and musician Jeff Daniels is a busy man, but not too busy to come back to entertain folks in his home state of Michigan. Daniels is doing a one-man stage show in seven Michigan towns.

It's not often that the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra takes center stage to fully showcase its brilliance.  Last May, the James Levine-led ensemble performed at Carnegie Hall and the concert was recorded and released recently by DG

  .  This week's What's New features the Met with Schubert's epic 9th Symphony.

Schubert/Symphony #9/Met Opera, Levine/DG

Grainger/Lisbon/New Sydney Wind Quintet/NSWQ

Gershwin/Concerto in F/Wang, Royal Scottish/Chandos

Lussier/Impressions del'Lamameda/Group of Twenty Eight/MSR

Violinist Joshua Bell demonstrates his amazingly versatile music making in his new release Musical Gifts from Joshua Bell and Friends

Three German groups and one American ensemble are featured on this edition of What's New.  The South West Radio Symphony Orchestra of Stuttgart is exceeded in name only by the South West Symphony Orchestra of Baden-Baden and Freiburg.  Sounds like something out of P.D.Q Bach routine.  Anyway, they present new releases of Ravel and Richard Strauss, respectively.The second hour of What's New explores Samuel Barber with the Cypress Quartet and Edvard Grieg's Piano Concerto from Nikolai Lugansky and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester, Berlin.

We'll hear the flip side of Helene Grimaud's fantastic new Brahms piano concerto CD...this time it's No. 2 with the Vienna Philharmonic.  Also, a new take on Leopold Stokowski's famous Bach arrangements for the Philadelphia Orchestra, plus Gustavo Dudamel's Strauss and a tribute to the late John Tavener.

Brahms/Piano Concerto #2/Grimaud, Vienna, Nelsons/DG

Bach arr. Stokowski/Little Fugue in g min/Philadelphia Orch, Nezet-Segun/DG

Tavener/The Protecting Veil selections/Isserlis, BBC Sym, Rozhdestvensky/BBC

Strauss/Also Sprach Zarathustra/Berlin, Dudamel/DG

Peter Whorf

MSU's College of Music West Circle Series features eight MSU faculty this Monday night in the all Debussy program, A French Master: Claude Debussy.  MSU flute professor Richard Sherman figures prominently, featured in two of the evening's works.  WKAR's Peter Whorf met with Richard in his studio today to talk about Debussy, the flute and Monday's concert...

Joe Linstroth/WKAR

On the night of April 19, 1989, a young white woman was raped in Central Park and left for dead. New York City was outraged by the crime. The next day police arrested 5 Black and Latino teenagers, and the media frenzy began.

Helene Grimaud scales twin peaks by Brahms in her new release of both piano concertos...we'll hear his first on today's edition of What's New.  And speaking of great pairs, Ilya Kaler performed both Prokofiev violin concertos last month with the Lansing Symphony Orchestra...we'll also hear the first of the two.

Cellist Marta Bagratuni takes you on a musical journey in her latest recording from Lansing's Blue Griffin...Pieces of the World.  And the Cypress String Quartet brings us home with Antonin Dvorak's "American" Quartet.

Several  local releases  are featured on this week's What's New.  Keith Jarrett and Michelle Markowski play a Bach

  violin and keyboard sonata from their new release of the complete duos and Alan Fiterstein again joins the San Francisco Symphony with a Weber Concerto.  Locally, The LSO is featured with violinist Ilya Kaler, MSU pianist Derek Polischuk performs and Ann Arbor's Dominican Sisters  sing from their latest release...

Bach/Violin and Keyboard Sonata in E/Makarski, Jarrett/ECM


Four great concertos make up today's show.  The electrifying pianist Lang Lang teams with the Berlin Philharmonic in Prokofiev's 3rd.  One of Weber's two clarinet concertos is new from Bridge Records

  .  And two of the four greatest German violin concertos come from violinists Tasmin Little (Bruch) and Rachel Barton Pine (Mendelssohn).  We'll hear the Brahms and Beethoven another time.

Bruch/Violin Concerto in g minor/Little/Orch of Wales/BBC Magazine

Prokofiev/Piano Concerto #3/Lang Lang, Berlin, Rattle/Sony

Two exciting artists bring you new concerto releases

   on today's show.  First, Chicagoan Rachel Barton Pine performs the Robert Schumann violin concerto, a long-neglected work now growing in popularity.  Fellow Chicacagoan Wendy Warner then plays the C Major Joseph Haydn Cello Concerto with Camerata Chicago.

Rounding out today's What's New is the Canadian duo Anagnason and Kinton with Schubert's Fantasie and the Moscow String Quartet's take on Mozart...

Schumann/Violin Concerto/Pine, Gottinger Sym/Cedille

Cellist Marta Bagratuni leads off with two selections from her new disc of diverse music called Pieces of the World.   The delightful new release pairs Marta with (among others) her father, MSU cello professor Suren Bagratuni.  Epic Stravinsky, a Chopin sonata and the Stuyvesant quartet round out What's New.  And be sure to catch the bonus track at show's end from The New Friends of Rhythm...a 1940's classical/jazz ensemble that was certainly new to me!

Sonata for 2 cellos/Fratres/Bagratuni/Blue Griffin a banjo concerto!  I couldn't either.  But banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck recently composed such a work entitled The Imposter.  Find out why Fleck calls it that on What's New.  The great Mario Lanza is also featured in a Turner Classic new Beethoven and Brahms.

Beethoven/Cello Sonata in A/Carr, Sauer/MSR

Brahms/Violin Sonata #1/Sant'Ambrogio, Winn/MSR

Various Arias/Lanza/Turner

Fleck/The Imposter/Fleck, Nashville/DG

This edition of What's New takes you back more than 30 years to a 1982 London performance by the great Vladimir Horowitz - newly reissued by BBC Music Magazine.  Chicago cellist Wendy Warner plays two Classical era cello concertos...and the music world's 2010 Chopin bicentennial is reprised with the trio in g minor.

Haydn/Cello Concerto in D/Warner, Camerata Chicago/Cedille

Chopin/Trio in g minor/Wissick, Willis, Luby/Albany

Myslivicek/Cello Concerto/Warner, Camerata Chicago/Cedille

Rachmaninov/Piano Sonata #2/Horowitz/BBC Music Magazine