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Classical 101

Concerts @ Ohio State: Barber, The Wind Symphony and Schubert on January 24!

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The Ohio State University Wind Ensemble

Concerts at Ohio State presents performances by the students and faculty of the School of Music at The Ohio State University, Sunday afternoons at 1 p.m. on Classical 101.

Three great names in American music got together nearly 60 years ago and the result was a now iconic American work, the solo cantata Knoxville, Summer of 1915.

The text comes by James Agee was later introduced into his novel, A Death in the Family. A family is observed "sitting on their porches" as the young protagonist runs, plays, prays and is put to bed. The music is by Samuel Barber, and the work was commissioned by American soprano Eleanor Steber.  

Barber learned to write gracefully for the voice; I suspect genetically. His aunt was the great American contralto Louise Homer (1873-1947), who began programming "Sammy's" music in her concerts when the composer was 12-years old.

I welcome any opportunity to hear Barber's Knoxville.  Concerts at Ohio State presents an arrangement for winds. Dr. Russel Mikkelson conducts the Ohio State Wind Symphony, with radiant soprano Laura Portune.

I've been very taken the young pianistOrlay Alonso. The grace and style of Schubert's Four Impromptus for Piano are a great match for him. The Wind Symphony's ongoing tribute to the work of Frederic Fenell continues with a performance of Walter Hartley's Sinfonia 4 with guest conductor Phillip Day.

Music by Schubert, Hartley and Barber with guest artists Laura Portune and Phillip Day, pianist Orlay Alonso, and the OSU Wind Symphony conducted by Dr. Mikkelson. He's radiant, too.

Listen Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. on Classical 101.