© 2021 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Classical 101

Variety is the Spice of Life for Choral Composer Eric Whitacre

His Top Ten List is a Musical Pastiche Worth Exploring

Most of us probably imagine "classical" composers immersing themselves in a daily diet of the masters...Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Stravinsky, etc.  You can just see them sitting in a warm, darkened study with a snifter of cognac poring over manuscripts before launching into a notating frenzy.  One look at the top ten list of contemporary choral composer Eric Whitacre blows that Masterpiece Theatre setting right out of the water.  It also might make you rethink your own list! Whitacre also put together a virtual choir made up of voices from all over the world.  You can see the finished work below. Explore Eric Whitacre's Top Ten Music List (Limelight Magazine) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7o7BrlbaDs

Even Classical Music Has Its Share of One-Hit Wonders

In pop music, the term one-hit wonders is usually said with a note of derision in the voice.  Remember Giorgio's Son of My Father?  Didn't think so.  What was the followup hit for Mountain after Mississippi Queen?  And where did Daddy Dewdrop go after his smash Chick-A-Boom?  I really don't want to know. While you can't compare these songs musically, you get my point...catching lightning in a bottle is tough.

Writing one piece of music that is a 'hit' is difficult enough, but try doing it over and over again.

It certainly makes us appreciate Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, and the boys even more, doesn't it? For every one of those prolific classical composers whose music we still enjoy today, however, there are those could be considered one-hit wonders of their day.  They made a living writing music for all occasions, but really have only one work which resonates with us today.  Check out the list below and tell me what you think. Read The Top Ten One-Hit Wonders in Classical Music (Limelight magazine)

North Korean Orchestra Performs in France

We see North Korea in the news usually when there is a bit of sabre-rattling going on.  It is a rare event when the western world actually sees anything north of the Demilitarized Zone.

One good thing which has come out of North Korea is the Unhasu Orchestra, which joined the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra on Wednesday night in a concert at the Salle Pleyel.

Orchestra members have visited Versailles and The Louvre, handlers alongside, of course.  Myung-Whun Chung, who conducted the two orchestras in a performance of Brahms' Symphony No. 1, had been in North Korea last fall and was surprised to hear them practicing Beethoven's Ninth.  Find out why below. Read North Korean Orchestra Performs in France (NY Times)