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New Classical Tracks with Julie Amacher

Minnesota Public Radio

Host Julie Amacher provides an in-depth exploration of a new classical music release each week.

Location:

Saint Paul, MN

Description:

Host Julie Amacher provides an in-depth exploration of a new classical music release each week.

Language:

English

Contact:

480 Cedar Street St. Paul, MN 55101 1-800-228-7123


Episodes

Cellist Matt Haimovitz honors Thomas de Hartmann's music

2/21/2024
On the latest episode of ‘New Classical Tracks,’ conductor Osmo Vanska and the Minnesota Orchestra present their recording of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 8 ('Symphony of a Thousand'). Find out more!

Duration:00:26:26

Osmo Vanska and Minnesota Orchestra present Mahler's 'Symphony of a Thousand'

2/14/2024
On the latest episode of ‘New Classical Tracks,’ conductor Osmo Vanska and the Minnesota Orchestra present their recording of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 8 ('Symphony of a Thousand'). Find out more!

Duration:00:30:54

Lara Downes reimagines Gershwin's 'Rhapsody in Blue'

2/7/2024
On the latest episode of ‘New Classical Tracks,’ Lara Downes presents a reimagined ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ arranged by composer Edmar Colón in a performance alongside Edwin Outwater and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Orchestra. Find out more!

Duration:00:25:17

Angele Dubeau and La Pieta honor music of Philip Glass with 'Signature'

1/31/2024
On this week’s episode of ‘New Classical Tracks,’ violinist Angele Dubeau honors the music of Philip Glass alongside her ensemble La Pieta on her latest album, ‘Signature.’ Listen now!

Duration:00:26:23

Weiss Kaplan Stumpf Trio presents Beethoven's complete piano trios

1/24/2024
On this week’s episode of ‘New Classical Tracks,’ the Weiss Kaplan Stumpf Trio present their latest recording featuring all of Beethoven’s piano trios. Listen now!

Duration:00:44:32

Tina Davidson connects with family, life and nature on 'Hymn of the Universe'

1/17/2024
On this week’s episode of ‘New Classical Tracks,’ composer Tina Davidson explores her connection to family, life and nature in her latest album, ‘Hymn of the Universe.’ Listen now!

Duration:00:28:56

John Jeter and Fort Smith Symphony honor composer Louis Wayne Ballard

1/10/2024
On this week’s episode of ‘New Classical Tracks,’ John Jeter and the Fort Smith Symphony release an album featuring the music of Native American composer, performer and educator Louis Wayne Ballard. Listen now!

Duration:00:28:56

Guitarist Milos Karadaglic finds 'Baroque' sound on his new album

1/3/2024
On this week’s episode of ‘New Classical Tracks,’ guitarist Miloš Karadaglić collaborates with UK-based early music ensemble Arcangelo and conductor Jonathan Cohen on his new album, ‘Baroque.’ Listen now!

Duration:00:21:57

Listen to New Classical Tracks' top episodes of 2023

12/27/2023
We love sharing the most exciting new recordings on New Classical Tracks every year. Listen to this special end-of-year episode and find out which albums made the list of the 10 most popular episodes of 2023. Listen now!

Duration:00:39:20

Alyssa Reit offers a delightful collection of carols on 'A Christmas Feast'

12/20/2023
On this week’s episode of ‘New Classical Tracks,’ harpist and arranger Alyssa Reit offers a delightful collection of Christmas carols for a variety of instruments on her new release, 'A Christmas Feast.' Find out more!

Duration:00:39:18

Voces8 presents 'A Choral Christmas'

12/13/2023
On this week’s episode of New Classical Tracks, Voces8 joins with the Voces8 Foundation Choir and Orchestra, led by co-founder and artistic director Barnaby Smith, in their new holiday album, ‘A Choral Christmas.’ Find out more!

Duration:00:34:20

Chicago a Cappella celebrates Hanukkah on 'Miracle of Miracles'

12/6/2023
On this week’s episode of New Classical Tracks, the vocal ensemble Chicago a Cappella, under the direction of John William Trotter, presents a wide range of music for the Hannukah season on its latest album, ‘Miracle of Miracles.’ Find out more!

Duration:00:22:14

Kellen Gray and Royal Scottish National Orchestra present 'African American Voices II'

11/29/2023
On this week’s episode of New Classical Tracks, conductor Kellen Gray and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra explore the diversity and array of aesthetics among African American composers in their latest album, ‘African American Voices II.’ Find out more!

Duration:00:36:51

String ensemble Sybarite5 champions new music on its latest album, 'Collective Wisdom'

11/22/2023
On this week’s episode of New Classical Tracks, string ensemble Sybarite5 demonstrates its commitment to new music on its latest album, 'Collective Wisdom.' Find out more!

Duration:00:42:21

Violist Georgina Rossi and pianist Silvie Cheng explore Brazilian music in 'Chorinho'

11/15/2023
On this week’s episode of New Classical Tracks, violist Georgina Rossi and pianist Silvie Cheng explore Brazilian music, present and past, on their latest recording, 'Chorinho.' Find out more!

Duration:00:31:03

Pianist Shai Wosner explores Beethoven's 'Diabelli Variations' on new recording

11/8/2023
On this week’s episode of New Classical Tracks, pianist Shai Wosner presents his latest recording, featuring Ludwig van Beethoven’s ‘Diabelli Variations.’ Find out more!

Duration:00:39:23

James Newton Howard reimagines music from M. Night Shyamalan's movies on 'Night After Night'

11/1/2023
On this week’s episode of New Classical Tracks, composer James Newton Howard reimagines the music from director M. Night Shyamalan’s movies on ‘Night After Night,’ an album featuring Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Hilary Hahn and Maya Beiser. Find out more!

Duration:00:48:13

Pianist Awadagin Pratt, A Far Cry and Roomful of Teeth collaborate in 'Stillpoint'

10/25/2023
New Classical Tracks - Awadagin Pratt by Awadagin Pratt/A Far Cry/Roomful of Teeth – Stillpoint (Art of the Piano) “When I'm talking to a non-musician, they often say, ‘Oh, you’ve played in Carnegie Hall, sure, that’s great.’ But the only time they say, ‘Oh, well, you must be something!’ is when they find out I’ve been on Sesame Street,” says pianist Awadagin Pratt. “It was fun. I did a skit with Big Bird about sharing the piano. He was pecking away at the instrument, and then I entered the room and he said, ‘Do you play the piano?’ And I said, ‘Sure, I do.’ And he said, ‘Well, why don't you play a little something?’ The lesson was about sharing and turn-giving, so we took turns playing.” In the world of classical music, Awadagin Pratt has shared the stage as a pianist, a conductor and, on occasion, as a violinist. He grew up in Pittsburgh, lives in Cincinnati, and now commutes to San Francisco in his new role as a professor at the San Francisco Conservatory. Recently, he also shared the studio with two incredible ensembles, including the string orchestra A Far Cry and the vocal ensemble Roomful of Teeth. Together, they bring to life six newly commissioned works which appear on his latest release, Stillpoint. “I was thinking two things. One, we have to have African-American composers. The second thing, in terms of the unifying element was the poem The Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot, which I love. So I decided to fight. I decided we would look at The Four Quartets and see if the composers could take inspiration from some of the lines as a unifying element. “The five lines that I chose are the lines that I love, and they seem to be the right ones: At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless; Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is, But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity, Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards, Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point, There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.” — T.S. Eliot Time Past Time Future is the piece that Alvin Singleton wrote for you. He's an American composer who always hoped that one day he would hear you play his music. What was that experience like for both of you when you were playing his music? “It was great. I had met Alvin decades before and he has such a lovely personality, but he was also so generous. He liked what we were doing. The sound, it was demanding because of the dynamic range of four or five keys to the extreme of four or five fortes. It's challenging because of the stillness, but he loved it, which was really nice. It's always great when a composer is smiling when you finish playing, like, okay, that's pretty good!” The piece that Pēteris Vasks wrote for you is a solo piano work titled Castillo Interior, and it focuses on the past and future gathered. Can you explain what that means and how we hear that in the music? He wrote a piece for violin and cello called Castillo Interior, as well. And that's the piece that he transcribed for me with changes, and the title of the piece references Saint Teresa of Avila who has these seven castles built on the pathway to understanding God. You have, within religion, those opposites of ascetic and ecstatic, and maybe they're not exactly opposites, but there's sort of two opposing energies kind of working together as one. And so the piece is really compelling, people absolutely love it.” Listen on YouTube To hear the rest of my conversation, click on the extended interview above, or download the extended podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. Resources Awadagin Pratt/A Far Cry/Roomful of Teeth – Stillpoint (Amazon) Awadagin Pratt/A Far Cry/Roomful of Teeth – Stillpoint (Art of the Piano) Awadagin Pratt (official site) A Far Cry (official site) Roomful of Teeth (official site)

Duration:00:33:58

Guitarist Plinio Fernandes combines Bach and Brazilian music on 'Bacheando'

10/18/2023
New Classical Tracks - Plinio Fernandes (radio edit) by Plinio Fernandes - Bacheando (Decca) “For me, playing the guitar gives me a sense of identity, because it's something that I have been doing since I was very, very young,” guitarist Plinio Fernandes says. “I don't really remember my life that well before I was 6 or 7, which is when I started to play. Like brushing my teeth, drinking water, showering and breathing, I just have to play a couple of notes and feel like that grounds me.” Fernandes is a Brazilian guitarist who grew up surrounded by music. As his father’s guitar rested on the sofa, Fernandes would pluck a few strings. Before he knew it, he was headed to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music. That’s where he met his roommate, friend and musical colleague, cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason. Fernandes and Kanneh-Mason recently completed a tour in support of Fernandes’ second recording, Bacheando. Fernandes says the album’s name is just a made-up word inspired by the title of Heitor Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras and as an homage to the great German master Johannes Sebastian Bach. How does the music of Bach and the rich culture of Brazil come together on this recording? “Villa-Lobos, our greatest composer of all time, who really reshaped Brazilian culture, was massively influenced by Bach. His contemporaries were massively influenced by that connection between Villa-Lobos and Baroque music. In addition to taking the pieces that already existed, Sergio Assad was one of the arrangers and composer on the album. He wrote a piece inspired by that concept to pair with the Prelude, Fugue and Vivace.” One of your favorite pieces by Bach, the Prelude, Fugue and Allegro, is at the heart of this recording. Why is this one of your favorite pieces? “Very simply, it’s one of the most beautiful pieces of music I’ve ever heard. And I grew up listening to it. The three movements represent to me what perfection is.” How did the piece that Assad created for you come about? “I came to him and we were discussing the repertoire for the album and said, ‘Sergio, I would love to have you writing something specifically for that.’ And then he was very keen on doing something that he first wrote, the Prelude and Fugues. It's the first fugue that he has ever written, which is quite something and a privilege to have that. And then it just kept on growing until it became this little suite of three movements.” Can you talk about what it means when you're describing colors in playing the guitar? “I was basically trying to use everything that the instrument has to offer. I think it is a very specific thing to the guitar. One can talk about the colors that you create with the piano, but with the guitar … you use both of your fingertips to produce the sound, so it's a very personal thing. Depending on the size of your fingers or the length of the nails, each person will have a very particular and unique sound.” Listen on YouTube To hear the rest of my conversation, click on the extended interview above, or download the extended podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. Resources Plinio Fernandes - Bacheando (Amazon) Plinio Fernandes - Bacheando (Decca) Plinio Fernandes (official site)

Duration:00:27:11

Simone Menezes honors the Amazon rainforest on her new collaborative album

10/11/2023
Simone Menezes, Camila Provenzale and Philharmonic Zurich – Amazônia: Villa-Lobos - Glass (Alpha Classics) New Classical Tracks - Simone Menezes (radio edit) by “I think it's very funny that people think I am creative,” conductor Simone Menezes says. “I just I feel like the ideas are in the air and I just take them.” Menezes is a Brazilian conductor who is known for her creative approach. With her new recording, Amazônia, she says it was just “so obvious” that this project should focus on the Amazonian rainforest. Her goal was to make an important point with no speech, just music. In other words, it’s art that goes straight to the heart. The centerpiece of the recording is a suite by Heitor Villa-Lobos, Floresta do Amazonas. It’s a work that Menezes believes should be part of the standard repertoire. “My opinion is that this music has some very strong points,” she says. “The first one: It's an epic. It sounds somehow like Carmina Burana. It has this large aspect and sounds like monumental music. The second, because of Villa-Lobos’ lyricism, is very touching. Sometimes we think about Latin American music as happy music. But in this case, it's deep music and the melodies come from the influence of fado, which is a deep Portuguese song.” Why did you want to bring the rainforest to the forefront through this music? “For me, the Amazonia is one of the biggest treasures of humanity. We should consider that we are in a beautiful garden that is this Earth, and we have our job as guardians of this garden. This project aims to make people see how touching and beautiful this place is. “And it's very funny that Villa-Lobos, when he wrote many pieces at the end of his life, he wrote, ‘Maybe my music is our letters from the posterity.’ And I think this is the case with this piece now.” As you are leading this piece of music with the orchestra, is there a part of it that you really enjoy? “The most touching is the ending of the speech. It's called the ‘Epilogue,’ or the very last movement, because it sums up everything. And the melody is sung by soprano Camila Provenzale, but she did not sing with lyrics. It's just a kind of vocalese with the orchestra. I have conducted this piece maybe 11 or 12 times recently, and this was the first time that I saw musicians crying during the concert.” Listen on YouTube To hear the rest of my conversation, click on the extended interview above, or download the extended podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. Resources Simone Menezes, Camila Provenzale and Philharmonic Zurich – Amazônia: Villa-Lobos - Glass (Amazon) Simone Menezes, Camila Provenzale and Philharmonic Zurich – Amazônia: Villa-Lobos - Glass (Alpha Classics) Simone Menezes (official site) Camila Provenzale (official site) Philharmonic Zurich (official site)

Duration:00:29:38