Crescendo Project and Classical MPR Present Roll Credits Live!

Are you a young professional who loves classical music? Join us for Roll Credits Live on Wednesday, May 16. It’s a free event, open to Classical MPR listeners in their 20s and 30s and members of the Crescendo Project, the Minnesota Orchestra’s Young Professionals Group.

To be honest, watching the recording of a disc-based radio show normally offers all the excitement of a cow looking over a fence. A couple of people playing CDs and chatting. Flash mob fodder! Of course, Guernseys have their charms, and so does Roll Credits, live at the UBS Forum. Classical MPR hosts Lynne Warfel and Bill Morelock will play film music — the classics and the new — and chat!

Enlivening the evening may be Lynne’s threatened dramatic reading of President Merkin Muffley’s monologue from Doctor Strangelove, in the voice of Katherine Hepburn. They will, certainly, trot out the old favorites from the Golden Age of Hollywood, when the music was better than the acting, and from today’s films, when the acting is better than … well, we can argue about that when the time comes. So if you’re a movie music fan, come on Wednesday, May 16, at 6 p.m., and hang out with a couple of movie music fans, and join ’em in the pasture. Cue the Copland and the open chords!

Ticket Information

For more music and movies, visit our Roll Credits and Flicks in Five page.

On the Air This Week

On the Air This Week

Highlights from April 24 to May 1

Wednesday, noon: Music with Minnesotans: Retired social worker Richard Wintersteen

Thursday, 3 pm hour: Regional Spotlight: Compline Choir

Friday, 8 pm: Minnesota Orchestra: Music of Michael Berkeley and Ravel; Mark Wigglesworth conducts

Saturday, 11 am: Metropolitan Opera: Wagner’s Die Walküre

Saturday, 8 pm: The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, live from the Ordway; Roberto Abbado conducts

Sunday, 6 am: Pipedreams: Dutch Masters

Sunday, noon: From the Top

Sunday, 1 pm: SymphonyCast: The Minnesota Orchestra, with violinist Christian Tetzlaff

Sunday, 4 pm: Minnesota Varsity Showcase Concert, live from the Fitz

Sunday, 7 pm: Carnegie Live: The Pavel Haas Quartet

Monday, 8 pm: Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra: Paul Goodwin leads music of Purcell, Britten, Tippett and others

On the Air This Week

Highlights from April 17 to 24

Wednesday, noon: Music with Minnesotans: Hypnotist Daniel Andersen

Thursday, 3 pm hour: Regional Spotlight: The Artaria Quartet plays Shostakovich

Friday, 8 pm: Minnesota Orchestra: Stanislaw Skrowaczewski conducts Bruckner’s Eighth

Saturday, 11 am: Metropolitan Opera: Wagner’s Siegfried

Sunday, 6 am: Pipedreams: Celebrating Eglise Saint Sulpice

Sunday, noon: From the Top, including Minnesota’s Quartet Tzigane, playing Walton

Sunday, 1 pm: SymphonyCast: The Cleveland Orchestra

Monday, 8 pm: Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra plays music with a Venetian connection. Mark Russell Smith conducts.

Reawakening the Sacred: A Jeremy Denk Book Review

Jeremy Denk, the compelling and persuasive artist, American concert pianist, avid chamber musician, exploratory in his choice of repertoire has now moved from the ivory keyboard of his Steinway to his dimly lit laptop to become a writer for none other than the New York Times’ book reviews.


Last Thursday (April 12th, 2012), Denk was published in the New York Times Book Review, an honor not stopping at simple publication. His review boasts the largest thumbnail picture on the page — the featured article!

The book: The Great Animal Orchestra written by Bernie Krause, a self-proclaimed child prodigy, folk musician, author and soundscape recordist in a newly coined term called biophony.

Krause’s book comes years after his short stint with folk ensemble The Weavers, some exploration into electronic music, creating the synthesizer group Beaver & Krause (which you can hear with bands such as The Monkeys, The Byrds, The Doors and Stevie Wonder) and then years spent in the Muir Woods recording the sounds of nature.

Muir woods.jpg

As Denk puts it, the book “resembles a howl more than an argument” as Krause exposes our abandonment and exile of the world’s sound. Krause uses scientific data, his own observation, and some hearsay in order to criticize our entire human culture as wall-building and ignorant of the beautiful array of sound in nature that is as much creative as it is practical.

This prominent review is no doubt a great honor for Jeremy Denk. But isn’t this a story Westerners have been hearing about for quite some time — disillusionment and numbness to our world. As we continue down the overstated economic downturn, as education continues to be left to simmer on the back-burner, as our political system becomes unconscionably polarized (and no less corrupt), and as our religious and spiritual selves become bankrupt we are left with no choice but to turn toward nature, to seek refuge for some morsel of the sacred.

It is not as though our experience with nature is in anyway unique, quite the opposite. Rather, it seems a bit uncanny because of its nostalgia and necessity, a sort of overcompensation.

I can remember that during college the only refuge I had from the abundance of assigned papers, endless nights cut by the wedge of a coffee-induced stare, countless performances and the occasional breakdown was the soundscape piece by Steve Reich called “Music for 18 Musicians.” This hour-long, harmonically swirling pulse would drive me into a trance. Often I would find myself with arms wide, leaning back, head held erect as I mentally wandered the mountain ranges of Montana (the place where I spent my summers), forgetting that I was sitting in a crowded computer lab lit by florescent bulbs.

Whether your experience with societal life is a positive or negative one, Jeremy Denk’s review sheds light on the offerings of Bernie Krause’s book The Great Animal Orchestra, a reawakening to the harmony and melody of nature.

After you peruse the review and maybe even the book, take time to notice the sounds of the world and think of your own refuge…

On a side note (and shamelessly promoting the Twin Cities music scene)… Jeremy Denk will be playing two separate concert series here in Saint Paul this weekend. The first, a series featuring works by Charles Ives, Mauricio Kagel and György Ligeti is showing from April 19-21. The second, featuring works by Edward Elgar, Hugo Wolf, Sergei Prokofiev, Johannes Brahms and Antonín Dvořák showing from April 20-22. Get your tickets at the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s website.

On the Air This Week

Highlights from April 10 to 17

Wednesday, noon: Music with Minnesotans: From Red Wing, William Foot

Wednesday, 8 pm: The Minnesota Opera production of Bernard Herrmann’s Wuthering Heights

Thursday, 3 pm hour: Regional Spotlight: Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies, led by Amir Kats

Friday, 8 pm: Minnesota Orchestra: Ginastera, James Stephenson, and Beethoven, with violinist Jennifer Frautschi

Saturday, noon: Metropolitan Opera: Verdi’s La Traviata

Sunday, 6 am: Pipedreams: Spring Is Here

Sunday, noon: From the Top

Sunday, 1 pm: SymphonyCast: The Minnesota Orchestra plays Elgar, Schumann, and Walton

Monday, 8 pm: Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra: Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and Korngold

In memoriam Mike Wallace: violinist and classical music fan

The unique and unforgettable Mike Wallace died yesterday, age 93. Face the Nation aired this excellent tribute from Morley Safer. While it makes passing reference to Mike Wallace’s early study of the violin, it omits that he studied at the famous Interlochen summer music camp.

Safer’s tribute does mention that for all the celebrities, crooks, and presidents that Mike Wallace met in his career, his favorite interview was with a classical musician. Wallace even badgered him into playing “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” From 1977, when Giants roamed the Earth — Mike Wallace and Vladimir Horowitz:


This and that, spotted on the Web: A new classical label is starting up, though its name will be familiar to many. . . . For $5000, a Keaton musical typewriter can be yours. . . . The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Hilary Hahn made an acclaimed recording of the Barber Violin Concerto. It’s used in the recently released movie The Deep Blue Sea, apparently to striking effect. . . . Minnesotan Bill Eddins finally gets the invite from Cleveland. . . . Dept. of Wacky Videos: Cellos eat free.

On the Air This Week

Highlights from April 3 to 10

Wednesday, 6 pm: Reflections for Holy Week: Choral Music with Dale Warland

Thursday, 3 pm hour: Regional Spotlight: The Augsburg Master Chorale and Orchestra

Thursday, 6 pm: Westminster Cathedral Choir, singing Victoria’s Requiem

Friday, 10 am: Bach’s St. John Passion, with the Bach Society of Minnesota

Friday, 8 pm: Minnesota Orchestra: Enescu, MacMillan, and Rachmaninoff, with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet

Saturday, 11 am: Metropolitan Opera: Massenet’s Manon

Saturday, 8 pm: Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, live from the Ordway

Sunday, 6 am: Pipedreams: Prayers and Alleluias

Sunday, noon: From the Top

Sunday, 1 pm: SymphonyCast: From Warsaw, Mozart’s C Minor Mass and Beethoven’s Fifth

Sunday, 8 pm: From Darkness to Light: A Celebration of Easter Sunday

Monday, 8 pm: Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra: Britten, Beamish, Vaughan Williams, and Haydn