Classical Music with Jennifer Hambrick

Weekdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Classical 101

Jennifer Hambrick unites her extensive backgrounds in the arts and media, and her deep roots in Columbus to bring inspiring music to central Ohio as Classical 101’s midday host.

color photo of Lancaster Chorale performing
LancasterChorale Facebook page

There's nothing average about your average symphonic concert — the excitement as the musicians warm up onstage, the anticipation as the principal oboist tunes the other players, the astonishing moment when the conductor steps out and the orchestra unleashes wave after powerful wave of sound.

When LancasterChorale performs its Symphony of Voices concerts this weekend, you’ll experience all of the rich sounds, dazzling textures and powerful emotions of an orchestra concert sung by a full choir of professional singers.

Jolesch Enterprises / cleachmusic.com

What started with the chatter of nonsense syllables and virtuosic pitter-pattering on an exotic hand drum ended with an upside-down snare drum and the otherworldly sounds of a recorded phone call.

Wednesday's preview in the Classical 101 studios of Cameron Leach's solo electroacoustic percussion concert ELISION wasn't just drumming. It was a sight to behold, a sound to take in and an event that only begins to describe what this Saturday's ELISION concert is all about.

Cameron Leach performs ELISION at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3 at the Columbus Performing Arts Center's Van Fleet Theatre. The concert is supported by the Johnstone Fund for New Music. Admission is free.

color photo of the musicians of Quartet Davis
Quartet Davis Facebook page

Think you know what a string quartet sounds like? Quartet Davis might have you thinking again.

Founded at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Quartet Davis blends a classical string quartet sound with influences from jazz, bluegrass, R&B and folk music to create a truly unique musical experience. This creative, young quartet joined me last week in the Classical 101 studios for an intimate interview and performance.

a few lines of shape note music
Bill Smith/Creative Commons/Flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/byzantiumbooks/32773311793/in/photolist-34Ydj3-T7rmQE-RW4MMT-58v5mx-eciDGJ

A noted French author once said the accent of one's birthplace persists in the mind and heart as much as in speech.

The same holds true for musical works, and for two musical works, in particular — English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis and the American work it inspired, Thomas Canning’s Fantasy on a Hymn Tune.

color photo of clear wine glass and multicolored Christmas lights
BluEyedA73 / Flickr

The days are getting shorter, the cold is setting in and the holiday hubbub is descending on us like the Grinch down hillside in his overburdened sled.

But don’t let the darkness get you down. Join me for the Holiday Happy Hour, Christmas Eve at noon and Christmas Day at 10 a.m. on Classical 101.

color photo of the members of Alphorn Grüezie standing with their alphorns in front of the Swiss clock in Sugarcreek, Ohio
Heather Densmore / Alphorn Grüezie Facebook page

Ohio is not a state known for its mountains. The Hocking Hills, the Appalachian foothills and the state’s other areas of rolling terrain, though lush and beautiful, aren’t exactly the Alps.

But that’s not keeping growing numbers of people around the Buckeye State from picking up an instrument deeply tied to Alpine life, the alphorn, as a musical avocation. And it’s also not stopping Ohio’s premiere alphorn ensemble from appearing as the opening act in the 35th-anniversary performances of Merry TubaChristmas Columbus later this month.

black-and-white image of people in a standing ovation
Joi Ito / Flickr

“You know, Miss Ruth was a lady," begins the famous line from the period film Fried Green Tomatoes. "And a lady always knows when to leave.”

The same holds true with musical works. How a piece ends — how it leaves the room, so to speak — will linger in your mind and spirit long after all is said and done.

Here are some of my favorite musical farewells, exit lines and parting shots. Some go out in a proverbial blaze of glory; others are strong, silent types. But all of them leave you with that feeling that you’ve just experienced something amazing.

color photo of rolling hills in the English countryside
Kumweni / Flickr

I know, I know. Another seemingly sensationalistic claim tossed out into cyberspace like so much line at the fishing hole. Sure, winning the lottery can change your life — but a piece of music?

Of course. Even the most hardened Hannibal Lecters (remember the Goldberg Variations scene?) know that music does something deep inside us. Allow me to rhapsodize for a moment about some music that, I believe, does the human heart good.

'Alma Española' album cover
Bridge Records / bridgerecords.com

That old guitar that you strum from time to time — did you know it has a soul?

If musical instruments are said to have souls, then there is no instrument with a soul more Spanish than the guitar. And now, there is arguably no recording with a more Spanish soul than Alma Española, a new recording of Spanish music performed by two of classical music's most celebrated artists: guitarist Sharon Isbin and vocalist Isabel Leonard.

Black Violin / blackviolin.net

I know you're all about classical. But I’m guessing that you might be at least a little bit funky, too.

Good thing, then, there’s Black Violin — the classically trained violin-viola duo who blend classical and hip-hop music to create a sound that’s equal parts Bach and backbeat.

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