Classical 101

Classical 101 is the only classical music station in Central Ohio. The Classical 101 hosts provide insight into classical music news from Columbus and around the world. 

We also present a series of podcasts as well as archived audio from musicians who perform live in our studio

color photo of Olivia de Havilland as Maid Marian and Errol Flynn as Robin Hood in The Adventures of Robin Hood
Warner Bros. Pictures / Wikimedia Commons

The first Academy Awards given for music in films, a practice that began in 1934, named only the head of the music department of the studio instead of the individual composer.

Max Steiner (see the first in this pair of blog posts), who wrote the music for King Kong (1933), was the head of the music department for RKO Pictures when his score for the 1935 film The Informer won that year, so technically he may have been the first composer to be named for the awards.

black-and-white photo of Fay Wray as Ann Darrow in 1933 King Kong film
Radio Pictures / Flickr

With the Academy Awards coming up this Sunday, I got to thinking about music in movies. This first of two blog posts offers a few personal—and maybe quirky—reflections on music from the early days of sound movies and a few old classic films that made innovative use of sound, especially symphonic music from three very talented composers.

color photo of person reading a book on a hammock
Pixabay

Maybe you’ve dipped your toe into classical music and liked it. Are you ready to venture a little deeper into the pool?

A number of years ago, I remember playing Debussy’s “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun” and commenting on air that it always made me want to curl up in a hammock under a sunbeam with a good book.

Recently I was reminded that Mozart wrote his final opera, Die Zauberflöte "The Magic Flute," as entertainment for a suburban theater outside Vienna. He expected the audience to be engaged, energetic and joyful. After all, those elements are clear in Mozart's music, and Emanuel Schikaneder's Theater auf der Wieden included a tavern and a casino. Between wine, billiards and Mozart, a good time was had by all.

No wine and no billiards, but Opera Columbus did a smashing job last week with an abridged Magic Flute adapted for kids.

color photo of Mohammed Fairouz in front of ivy
Samantha West / mohammedfairouz.com

My taste in music is probably the only area of my life that can be described as "conservative"—I tend to be a questioner, muckraker and troublemaker. But when it comes to music, I think we can't study or listen to Mozart and Beethoven enough.

Sadly, this predisposition means I can sometimes be dismissive of young artists working today.

Don't be like me. Take a few minutes to meet Arab-American composer Mohammed Fairouz and listen to his oratorio Zabur.

Classical 101 went to the picture shows Thursday morning with brand-new music written by a Central Ohio composer for a classic Charlie Chaplin film.

color photo of the flutist, cellist and violinist of Infusion Baroque playing thier instruments
WOSU Public Media

The award-winning, Montreal-based early music ensemble Infusion Baroque performed live in the Classical 101 studio this morning, and we captured the performance—and the dish about composers doing things they shouldn’t do—on video.

color photo of the four musicians of Infusion Baroque wearing black gowns and holding violins and recorders
Elizabeth Delage / infusionbaroque.com

It’s one thing to give elegant, award-winning performances of music composed by Baroque-era composers who were, as my Kentucky grandmother used to say, no better than they oughta be. It’s quite another thing to serve up the dirt about the composers, too.

Friday morning at 11, get the scuttlebutt on Sebastian Bach and hear all the jabber about Jean-Marie Leclair live on Classical 101 and on Classical 101’s Facebook page (we'll have a Facebook Live video so you can watch as you listen along). Montreal-based Infusion Baroque will be in our studios the day of the ensemble's debut album release to perform a preview of “Rebels and Rivalries,” a program of sublime music and all the news about some Baroque composers that's not fit to print.

black-and-white still photo of Charlie Chaplin as the Little Tramp and sitting on a snowy landscape in The Gold Rush
Flickr

There might not be a lot of chatter in Charlie Chaplin’s films, but there’s certainly a lot of chatter about them—at least in this neck of the woods. Thursday morning, some of that Chaplin chatter will be on Classical 101. 

Johann Sebastian Bach
Portrait by Elias Gottlob Haussmann / Wikimedia Commons

If Ludwig van Beethoven's longing for love was not completely fulfilled in his life, except through the great music he left us, there were other composers who were perhaps a bit luckier in love during their lifetimes.

Red and blue photo of violinists Vadim Gluzman and Philippe Quint
ProMusica Chamber Orchestra

You probably have a friend like this: No matter how long it's been since you've gotten together last, you just pick up where you left off. It's as though you were never separated.

That is the scene as Vadim Gluzman, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra's creative partner and principal guest artist, and Philippe Quint, his close friend and ProMusica's Soirée guest, walk into the Classical 101 studios earlier this week.

Wikimedia Commons

Ah, "the sad heart of love." As we approach this year's St. Valentine's Day, I've been wondering, how much great music is inspired by love? Of course, music can be inspired by many things, but love is certainly one of the most interesting and humanly engaging musical themes.

Celebrate Black History Month with Classical 101

Feb 10, 2017
Wynton Marsalis playing trumpet
Eric Delmar / Wikimedia Commons

Black History Month is a time to recognize and celebrate the contributions of African-Americans, and in classical music that contribution is profound. Throughout the month of February, Classical 101 will be highlighting some of those legacies.

photo of ticket stub from 1973 Washington Cathedral concert, conducted by Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein Facebook page

Richard Nixon's second inauguration, on Jan. 19, 1973, featured a starry concert at the then-new Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The Philadelphia Orchestra—then and now among the world's finest—conducted by Eugene Ormandy, performed Edvard Grieg's Piano Concerto in a minor, with Van Cliburn, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture.

screencap of the National Endowment for the Arts' Opera Honors interview with Leontyne Price
National Endowment for the Arts / Wikimedia Commons

The magnificent American soprano Leontyne Price celebrates her 90th birthday Feb. 10.

Classical 101 by Request invites you to a birthday celebration. We'll be playing your favorite performances by the great lady from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10.

To get in on the party, go to wosu.org/requests, and let me know what you'd like to hear.

Joanne by Lady Gaga album art
ladygaga.com

With the upcoming Super Bowl LI on Feb. 5 and the 59th annual Grammy Awards the following weekend, it seems a good time to discuss music.

Huh?

Liberace with candelabras
Allan Warren / Wikimedia Commons

As the saying goes, laugh and the world laughs with you; cry and you cry alone.

And — hello? — who wants to cry alone?

American composer Philip Glass turns 80 years old on January 31. To mark the occasion, we asked several of Glass' colleagues and collaborators to pick a piece of his music and write about it.

Kaupo Kikkas / Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir

The Baltic nation of Estonia is home to one of the world’s most esteemed choral traditions, rich with gigantic choral festivals and some of the finest professional choirs around, and inextricably linked with Estonia’s political history.

One of the crown jewels among Estonia’s choral treasures is the multi-Grammy Award-winning Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. This Saturday, Feb. 4, Columbus music lovers will have a chance to hear the choir sing and its artistic director talk about the choir’s work within Estonia’s fascinating choral music tradition.

pdclipart.org

There are many tried-and-true music jokes. I will not tell any viola jokes, because they get picked on all the time. Ditto for the bassoons. How about this one?

How many sopranos does it take to change a light bulb?

colorphoto of Benedict Cumberbatch and James Rhodes sitting at a grand piano
from YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sm4OKds30k8

A couple of years ago, The New Yorker published a cartoon by Joe Dator that truly catches the spirit of our times.

In the single panel, a pregnant woman undergoing an ultrasound exam looks befuddledly at a face on the ultrasound monitor screen. The mouth of the woman giving the exam is slightly open, as though in mid-speech. The cartoon’s caption reads, “Oh, don’t worry. That’s Benedict Cumberbatch. He’s in everything.” View the cartoon here.

Wikipedia

There have been 78 world premieres at Carnegie Hall to date, beginning with Dvořák's Symphony No. 9, the "New World Symphony," which premiered Dec. 16, 1893.

American composer Philip Glass will raise that number to 79 world premieres next week, on Jan. 31, and what's more, he'll do it on his 80th birthday.

Some of the traditional Chinese musical instruments on display in the Legacy of Imperial Beijing: The Bliss M. and Mildred A. Wiant Collection of Chinese Art exhibition at OSU's Urban Arts Space.
CHRISTINA MATHISON / OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY

Behind every great piano and every great pianist is a technician on whom everything depends. For most of the last half century in Columbus, that piano technician has been Ben Wiant.

Two recent events — one musical, the other related to the world of Chinese art — have brought Wiant out from behind the scenes and into the spotlight.

chicagoarchitecture.org

Here in Central Ohio, we are fortunate to hear the Mighty Morton theater organ on a regular basis. Clark Wilson is the current resident organist at the Ohio Theatre, where the organ has lived since the theater opened in 1928.

Opera Columbus

Opera Columbus presents Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio in an updated staging, complete with James Bond, dry martinis, beautiful people and villains just waiting to be vanquished.

Showtimes for Mission: Seraglio include 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27 (Mozart's 261st birthday) and 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29th at the Southern Theatre.

The opera is sung in German, with English-language dialog.

Vimeo

New Netflix original series The Crown is earning critical hosannas and wicked-high TV ratings internationally.

The series traces the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, from her early dewy days as a bride, to a monarch thrust into the position by her father's premature death, which was blamed in part on the selfishness of Edward, Duke of Windsor, who preferred marriage to a American divorcee than life as King of England.

Google Books

There are perhaps no two men more qualified to talk about their pursuit of music and literature than Haruki Murakami and Seiji Ozawa. So when I discovered that the two had sat down at various intervals over the course of a few years to discuss music and transcribe their conversations, I knew I had to read Absolutely on Music.

"Dance as though no one is watching" is a familiar encouragement to lower your inhibitions and let the music move you. But what if you can't even take two steps without tumbling to the ground?

Such was the case for Sarah Hansen, who, because of a progressive neurological disease, could barely put one foot in front of the other without support.

Wikimedia Commons

The world just got a little sadder. The New York Times, Opera News and a variety of print and online screeds are reporting the death of soprano Roberta Peters, at her home in New York, at the age of 86.

Ken Howard/The Metropolitan Opera

Charles Gounod's opera Roméo et Juliette was first performed in Paris in 1867. This year, The Metropolitan Opera is staging a new production of the opera, with Diana Damrau and Vittorio Grigolo in the title roles. 

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