Category Archives: Programs

Nystedt legacy continues with Knut's grandson

Håkon Daniel Nystedt is artistic director for the Oslo Chamber Choir (photo by Helge Lien)

Knut Nystedt, who passed away this week at the age of 99, left a lasting mark on the world of music. Meanwhile, Nystedt’s grandson, Håkon Daniel Nystedt, continues his grandfather’s legacy as conductor of the Oslo Chamber Choir (Oslo Kammerkor).

The Oslo Chamber Choir did a perfchat on Performance Today during my time with the program, and it became one of the all-time listener favorites of 2009 — people went wild for these elegiac Nordic songs, some of which were layerings of folk songs with other classical choral works (Bruckner, etc.). Asked about the lingering melancholy of these songs, Håkon Daniel Nystedt joked the emotion “is our speciality.”

You can listen to the Oslo Chamber Choir’s 2009 performances from Performance Today here:

PART I: Grieg and A Wedding March

PART II: Sheep herding songs and Rachmaninoff

One of the most beautiful works on the choir’s 2012 CD Strid (“Struggle”) is Håkon Daniel Nystedt’s own arrangement of The Bridal March of Myllarguten.

The CD was featured on New Classical Tracks with Julie Amacher; you can also listen to the disc via Spotify:

Night Gallery: Caption Challenge

Radio, like the Internet, is a 24/7 operation. If, for example, it’s just before midnight on Christmas Day, there are people working in the building at Minnesota Public Radio.

So what do people get up to during those hours?

Scott Blankenship is one of the hosts of Music Through the Night (MTTN), the overnight programming on Classical MPR. The MTTN audience members are a loyal bunch, and they tend to engage with the hosts via the Music Through the Night Facebook page.

Among the many music-related offerings on the page is the occasional caption challenge. Last week, Scott Blankenship posted this picture:

… and then he invited people to submit their caption ideas. Other audience members vote for their favorites by liking (in the Facebook sense) the submissions. Scott writes, “The most likes at the end of the night gets braggin’ rights for the week!”

Here are some of the higher-ranking entries:

Will Anderson: “He was doing alright, right up until he went flat.”

Steve Fusselman: “Sounds like I need a tune-up”

Kat Cooper: “just a little bass-ic soap box derby engineering”

Basha Yonis takes a Far Side approach: “Being from a family involved in classical music, Bobby completely misunderstood when he overheard the older kids talking about ‘driving bass’.”

Rachel Kopel: “School district combines music classes and Shop to reduce budget.”

Looking at the number of likes given to each entry, it appears Rachel may have earned those “braggin’ rights” Scott offers!

You can read these, among 40-plus additional comments and caption ideas, by checking out the full post on the Music Through the Night Facebook page.

What other caption ideas do you have? Share them below.

Soundtracks to on-screen adventures

Music is an integral part of the gaming experience. Even though the first game, Pong, didn’t have music, it wasn’t long before every on-screen adventure had its own soundtrack.

In the early days, composers had access to two or three channels that could each produce one sound at a time. As a result, a lot of early scores end up simulating Baroque-era figured bass and early counterpoint. Eventually, gaming technologies caught up with present day. Now, gamers are treated to full orchestral scores, depending on the game itself. Consistently, I’m surprised and in awe of the talented composers who are writing soundtracks for video games.

For instance, Gustaf Grefberg’s score for Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is captivating. Grefberg, an unknown quantity to me until I heard this score, works for a Swedish game developer called Starbreeze Studios. For the Brothers soundtrack, he mimicked an old Scandinavian singing tradition called “kulning”, used primarily by women to call back the herds at the end of each day. Grefberg’s kulning is used to great effect, in a game about family and loss.


Peter McConnell wrote a terrific score to Broken Age, demonstrating his love of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring at a moment in the game involving a fairytale-esque sacrifice. McConnell’s instrumentation is always a delight — his scores demand musicianship from the performers.

The fandom for video game music is deep and wide. Lately, a handful of string quartet projects have popped up in celebration of that fandom. The Videri String Quartet formed recently in the Boston area, and a project called The String Arcade recorded a string quartet album of game music to raise money for an El Sistema-based after-school program in California.

As always, it’s a pleasure to share this music with you, and I look forward to bringing you more in the future!

Roll Credits: 07/23/2012

[apmaudio id=minnesota/classical/programs/2012/07/23/roll_credits_20120723_128]Featured Audio[/apmaudio]

John Barry – Out of Africa

John Barry, conductor

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Richard Rodgers – Carousel: June is Bustin’ Out All Over Ballet

Alfred Newman, conductor

20th Century Fox Orchestra

Richard Adler/Jerry Ross – The Pajama Game: Steam Heat

Hal Hastings, conductor

Original Broadway Cast

Dave Grusin – On Golden Pond: Main Theme

Erich Kunzel, conductor

Cincinnati Pops

Irving Berlin – Alexander’s Ragtime Band: Heat Wave

Henry Mancini – Hatari: Baby Elephant Walk

Henry Mancini and His Orchestra

Arthur Freed/Nacio Herb Brown – Singin’ in the Rain: Singin’ in the Rain

Lennie Hayton, conductor

MGM Studio Orchestra

Harold Arlen – The Wizard of Oz: Over the Rainbow

Herbert Stothart, conductor

MGM Symphony Orchestra

John Williams – Jaws: Theme

John Williams, conductor

Boston Pops Orchestra

Leonard Bernstein – West Side Story: Cool

Johnny Green, conductor

Studio Orchestra

Frank Loesser – Neptune’s Daughter: Baby, it’s Cold Outside

Georgie Stoll, conductor

MGM Studio Orchestra

Roll Credits: 03/26/2012

[apmaudio id=minnesota/classical/programs/2012/03/26/roll_credits_20120326_128]Featured Audio[/apmaudio]

Mikos Rozsa: Sinbad Battles and Finale from The Golden Voyage of Sinbad

City or Prague Phil/Kenneth Alwyn

Silva 1056

Nino Rota: The Godfather Finale

Studio Orchestra

MCA 10231 3:50

Bernstein: Finale and End Credits West Side Story

Sony 89226

Original Soundtrack re-release

Maurice Jarre: Is Paris Burning?

BBC Concert Orchestra/Jarre

RCA 35793

Rodgers and Hammerstein: Finale to Oklahoma


Angel 27350

Rodgers and Hammerstein: So Long, Farewell and Climb Every Mountain

Sound of Music Soundtrack

RCA PCD1-2005

Henry Mancini: Pink Panther Theme

Boston Pops/Williams

Philips 47362

Irving Berlin: There’s No Business Like Show Business

Boston Pops/Williams

Philips 438070

Richard Rodgers: Slaughter on Tenth Avenue

Irving Berlin: Easter Parade Finale

Judy Garland and Fred Astaire

CBS 45392

Meredith Willson:

Goodnight my Someone and 76 Trombones from The Music Man

Shirley Jones and Robert Preston

Warner Brothers 27158

Barry: Goldfinger End Credits

Roll Credits: 03/19/2012

[apmaudio id=minnesota/classical/programs/2012/03/19/roll_credits_20120319_128]Featured Audio[/apmaudio]

Irving Berlin. arr. Morton Stevens – There’s no business like show business from Annie Get Your Gun

John Williams, conductor

Boston Pops

Philips 412 132

Robert and Richard Sherman – Super . . . from Mary Poppins

Original Soundtrack Recording

Disney 16

Lerner & Loewe – Overture and I wonder what the king is doing tonight from Camelot

Original Cast Recording

Sony 275

Meredith Willson – Pick a Little Talk a Little from The Music Man

Original Soundtrack Recording

Warner 1459

Bock/Harnick – Fiddler on the Roof

John Williams, conductor

Boston Pops

Philips 438 070

Kern/Hammerstein – Ol’ Man River

Paul Robeson, vocal

Omega 3007

Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein – Shall We Dance

Yul Brynner, vocal

Marni Nixon, vocal

Angel 27351

Rodgers & Hammerstein – If I Loved You

Gordon MacRae

Angel 64692

Richard Rodgers – Carousel Waltz

Original Soundtrack

Warren and Gordon – Get Happy from Summer Stock

Original Soundtrack Recording

Judy Garland, vocal

CBS 46199

Irving Berlin – Alexander’s Ragtime Band

Canadian Brass

Philips 434 276

Irving Berlin – A Couple of Swells from Easter Parade

Fred Astaire & Judy Garland, vocals

Sony 45392

Roll Credits: 03/12/2012

[apmaudio id=minnesota/classical/programs/2012/03/12/roll_credits_20120312_128]Featured Audio[/apmaudio]


Richard Rodgers – The King and I: Main Title; Is a Puzzlement

Alfred Newman, conductor

Studio Orchestra

Yul Brynner, vocal

Rodgers and Hammerstein – Oh What a Beautiful Morning from Oklahoma

Original Soundtrack

Gordon MacrRae, vocal

Leonard Bernstein – West Side Story: Overture; Prologue

Studio Orchestra

Sony 48211

Meredith Willson – The Music Man: Main Title/Rock Island/Iowa Stubborn

Ray Heindorf, conductor

Studio Orchestra

Warner 1459

Frederick Loewe – My Fair Lady: Overture; I’m an Ordinary Man

Franz Allers, conductor

Original Broadway Cast

Rex Harrison, vocals

Arthur Freed – Make ’em Laugh from Singin’ in the Rain

Original Soundtrack

Sony 45394

Richard Rodgers – Oklahoma: Overture

Jay Blackton, conductor

Studio Orchestra

EMI 27350

Roll Credits: 02/27/2012

[apmaudio id=minnesota/classical/programs/2012/02/27/roll_credits_20120227_128]Featured Audio[/apmaudio]


Erich Korngold – The Adventures of Robin Hood: Robin Hood and his Merry Men

John Scott, conductor

Royal Philharmonic Pops

Denon 75470

Bronislau Kaper – Mutiny on the Bounty: Main Title

Erich Kunzel, conductor

Cincinnati Pops

Telarc 80682

Leigh Harline – Pinocchio: When You Wish Upon a Star

John Williams, conductor

Boston Pops Orchestra

Philips 454736

Ludovic Bource – The Artist

Original Soundtrack Recording

William Walton – Hamlet: The Ghost

Neville Marriner, conductor

Academy of St Martin in the Fields

Chandos 8842

George Gershwin – An American in Paris: Our Love is Here to Stay

Johnny Green, conductor

MGM Studio Orchestra

Gene Kelly, vocals

Rhino 72720

Charlie Chaplin – Limelight

Thomas Beckmann, cello

Swiss Broadcasting 62

Maurice Jarre – Lawrence of Arabia: Overture

Tony Bremner, conductor


Silva 5006

Henry Mancini – Moon River

Henry Mancini, conductor

Mancini Pops Orchestra

RCA 55938

Bill Conti – The Right Stuff: Yeager’s Triumph

Bill Conti, conductor

London Symphony Orchestra

Varese Sarabande 66460

Roll Credits: 02/20/2012

[apmaudio id=minnesota/classical/programs/2012/02/20/roll_credits_20120220_128]Featured Audio[/apmaudio]


Jerry Goldsmith – Air Force One

Varese Sarabande 6460

John Williams – Star Wars: The Phantom Menace: Main Title/The Flag Parade

Erich Kunzel, conductor

Cincinnati Pops

Telarc 80535

Miklos Rozsa – Ben-Hur: Parade of the Charioteers

Kenneth Alwyn, conductor

City of Prague Philharmonic

Silva 1056

George M Cohan – Yankee Doodle Dandy: Strictly Off The Record

James Cagney, vocals

Hollywood Soundstage 4002

Richard Wagner – Ride of the Valkyries

Erich Leinsdorf, conductor

Los Angeles Philharmonic

Sheffied Labs 10052

John Williams – JFK: Prologue

John Williams, conductor

Studio Orchestra

Elektra 61293

John Williams – Star Wars: Main Title

John Williams, conductor

Boston Pops

Philips 420

Erich Korngold – King’s Row: Main Title

Charles Gerhardt, conductor

National Philharmonic Orchestra

RCA 7890

John Williams – Jurassic Park

John Mauceri, conductor

Hollywood Bowl Orchestra

Philips 442425

John Williams – March from “1941”

John Williams, conductor

Boston Pops Orchestra

Philips 420178

Roll Credits: 02/13/2012


Barry: Out of Africa

Royal Phil/Barry

Steiner: Tara Theme GWTW

Royal Phil/Serebrier

RPO 017

Michel Legrand: I Will Wait for You

Cincinnati Pops/Kunzel

Telarc 80319

Rosza: Spellbound Concerto

Mark Knopfler: Storybook Love from Princess Bride

Warner Brothers 25610

Max Steiner: Casablanca

National Philharmonic/Gerhardt

RCA 0422

Weill/Anderson: September Song

Walter Huston

Pro Arte 509

Franz Waxman: Peyton Place

Hollywood Bowl Orchestra/John Mauceri

Philips 446681

Alex North: Unchained

John Barry: Lion in Winter

City of Prague Philharmonic

Silva 6018

Waxman: Philadelphia Story

National Philharmonic/Gerhardt

RCA 0708