Airs Friday, January 4 at 12:00 noon In December of 1891, Czech composer Antonin Dvorak accepted the offer of Jeanette Thurber to become the director of the National Academy of Music in New York City. Mrs. Thurber hoped that the conservatory, which she founded in 1885, would foster the development of American concert music. It was Dvorak's opinion that the future music of America must be based on its folk melodies, which would serve as the real foundation of any serious and original school of composition in the United States. The first half of this special features a performances of Dvorak's music by the Emerson String Quartet, including the String Quartet No. 10 in E-flat Major Opus 51 and the String Quartet No. 12 in F Major Opus 96 ("The American"). Dvorak’s final two quartets, with their mastery of form, color and expression,are a fitting summation of Dvorak's exceptional achievement in this genre. On the 2nd half of this special we’ll hear the Emerson Quartet performed the Cypresses for string Quartet and his Opus 105, the 13th quartet written by Dvorak.
Airs Thursday, January 3 at 8:00 p.m. The first of two episodes culled from the Punch Brothers 2011 performance at the Trustees Theater during the Savannah Music Festival The tradition of stringband playing in the United States dates back at least 200 years. In the early 19th century, the fiddle-banjo duo that was essential to the dance music of the day eventually incorporated other instruments such as the guitar, mandolin and double bass. Such an assemblage, of whatever instrumentation, became known simply as a "stringband." By the 1870s, African-American dance houses had musicians who played violin, banjo and bass fiddle, and by the 1920s and 30s, stringbands were among the forerunners of modern country music and bluegrass. Soon, artists began to record stringband music in collaboration with other popular music styles such as blues and jazz. In this episode, we listen to a stringband that has drawn upon nearly every style of music from the past 100 years, the Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile. Part one of two.
Airs Tuesday, December 1 at 10:00 a.m. The Vienna Philharmonic presents its ever popular annual New Year's Day concert from the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna. You'll hear your favorite waltzes, polkas and more -- a festive way to start off the New Year. Presented by NPR Music and WGBH, Boston.