Classical 91.5

Classical Blog

This is a place where our classical hosts, interns and artists can share their stories, viewpoints and point of view on topics related to classical music and the arts in general.  Come back to this page often to read the latest and share your comments.

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Witches, ghosts, and devils - these traditional fixtures of the halloween season are no strangers to the operatic stage. You can find witches advising Macbeth in Verdi's opera and ghosts of opera characters of old reanacting their tales in John Corigliano's Ghosts of Versaillesas well as plenty of devils in Gounod's Faust, Boito's Mefistofele, and others. 

A few operas really stand out to me as being particularly creepy, beyond the apperance of a touch of the supernatural. 

Paths and Patterns, a Historical Perspective

Sep 27, 2018

Should music strive to be clear? More specifically, do composers have a responsibility to make the logic and processes behind a piece of music accessible to the average listener, and, if so, to what extent?

When I was about four years old my parents bought a record player for me.  They probably never imagined that one day I would be on the radio playing music from a turntable or a CD player on Classical 91.5. In those days there were records that played at 78, 45 or 33 and one third RPM (Revolutions Per Minute).

My first LP (long playing) record featured Victor Herbert’s “March of the Toys” from Babes In Toyland. It has special meaning for me because it was my first classical recording that I owned.

Ruth Phinney

When The New York Times published "5 Minutes That Will Make You Love Classical Music," your friends at WXXI began thinking of their own cherished pieces.

Here are four pieces we think you might fall for.

1. Dmitry Kabalevsky's Overture to Colas Breugnon

Two days into the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival, and already we have a bold statement on these times. Words, and music, coming back to us from 150 years ago.

Gerry Szymanski

It depends on your point of view.

An upcoming Fringe Festival performance by Rochester chamber choir First Inversion is embroiled in unexpected controversy after recent social media posts slammed the event for offering African-American spirituals sung by a nearly all-white choir. (Disclaimer: the writer of this post is a member of the ensemble.)

"The Fiery Furnace"

Aug 24, 2018
University of Rochester

To those who knew him, Paul Burgett was a professional encourager.

In the video below, see him tell his story.

It starts with his arrival as a student at the Eastman School of Music in 1964, where he entered what he called the "fiery furnace."

 We must all enter the fiery furnace, he says.

Leonard Bernstein was a grand character (who actually wore a cape!) yet he was also famed for being down to earth and relatable when presenting music.  

These contrasting sides of Bernstein and the impression he left came through in conversation with Mark Watters this week. 

This Summer in Rochester: Music-Making in a Library

Aug 3, 2018

The WXXI Education team is halfway through this summer’s Exploration Station Series at the Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County, NY.  We have explored this year’s theme, “Libraries Rock!” by providing music learning activities at our free, family-focused events. 

Summer of Music: Upcoming Music Festivals in Summer 2018

Jul 23, 2018
Jessica Novak, https://www.syracusenewtimes.com/summer-times-music-fests/

From Buffalo to New York City, there’s one thing all New Yorkers have in common: our love of celebrating our warm and stunningly beautiful summers! Here are a few highlights of places and upcoming events where you can celebrate summer with great music here in New York:

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