On the Air This Week

Highlights from June 1 to 7

Wednesday, noon: Music for Minnesotans: Sam Wai

Thursday, 3 pm hour: Regional Spotlight: Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra

Thursday, 8 pm: Minnesota Varsity Concert Broadcast

Friday, 8 pm: the Minnesota Orchestra plays music of Kernis, Beethoven, and Sibelius

Sunday, 6 am: Pipedreams: Off the Shelf

Sunday, 1 pm: SymphonyCast: The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Brahms

Monday, 8 pm: Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra

The Short Version: Humorous

Long ago, your health and behavior were, according to the most advanced science, dictated by four humors, the sources of which included blood and bile. But I can never keep black bile and yellow bile straight, and who would want to (not to mention phlegm; as Joe Pesci might say, “Fuggedaboutit!”)? But with the help of Carl Nielsen, as well as Mr. Pesci, here are some vivid humorous associations, to make medieval diagnosticians of us all.

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Do Musicians Have Better Brains?

From the Freakonomics blog:

“A new study argues that musicians have more highly developed brains.

This makes musicians alert, interested in learning, disposed to see the whole picture, calm, and playful. The same traits have previously been found among world-class athletes, top-level managers, and individuals who practice transcendental meditation.

Musicians also exhibited higher levels of moral reasoning and had more frequent “peak experiences”- intense moments of happiness and feelings of transcending limitations.”

You can read the report at the Freakonomics blog.

And don’t forget to join our friends from Freakonomics Radio when they come to the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul June 9. MPR members get a discount!

The Great Outdoors and its soundtrack

Tune in tomorrow and Friday for a “Morning Glory” with host Alison Young as we continue to celebrate the great outdoors this week on Classical MPR. At 10 a.m., she’ll play longer works composed by Schumann and Poulenc that were inspired by nature.

at the end of my rope_summer 2008 005.jpg

I just returned from a five-day backpack trip on the Superior Hiking Trail.

I’m a section hiker of this 277 mile footpath and try to catch as many miles as I can when I have a few days off. This was a particularly stunning time to be there as the leaves were just beginning to pop and wild-flowers were pushing their way up through mats of dead leaves.

Even with rain, it was stunning and I was inspired to sing a little Mozart here, a snatch of Debussy there – there was one moment when I got a bit carried away and tried singing all of the parts of “The Rite of Spring.” Good thing it was just me, my hiking buddy and nature herself listening to that!

Minnesota is filled with an abundance of beauty outdoors. As we get closer to summer, we’re wondering what you’re up to. Where are your favorite state parks? What do you look forward to most when the weather gets nice and you can be outdoors without five layers? Are you a kayaker cranking through breakers along the North Shore trail? Do you prefer a lazy dip in the Saint Croix River? Or are you more the hang-out-in-my-hammock type in the shade? Maybe biking is your thing – or a round of disc-golf.

And if music plays a role in your outdoor adventure, we’d love to know that too. Maybe we can sing Stravinsky duets!

(Alison climbing “Sugar Plum Fairy” at Tettegouche State Park. MPR photo/Alison Young)

The Short Version: Essential

He lived before we applied the epithet Genius to musicians of stratospheric talent. We wait on that one for Mozart’s legacy, and Beethoven’s. He labored in backwaters for petty princes and church fathers. So his personality seems less vivid to us than the anecdote-rich lives of Spendthrift and Storm-Tossed. Yet he remains apart, a kind of bedrock. A few details about this essential artist.

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On the Air This Week

Highlights from May 18 to 25

Thursday, 11:30 am: Cantus visits our studio

Thursday, 3 pm hour: Regional Spotlight: composer Joshua Fishbein, winner of the National Lutheran Choir competition

Friday, 3 pm: Friday Favorites

Friday, 8 pm: Mark Wigglesworth leads the Minnesota Orchestra in Rachmaninoff, Ravel, and Stravinsky

Sunday, 6 am: Pipedreams: Dutch Treats

Sunday, 1 pm: SymphonyCast: The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Monday, 8 pm: Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra