Arts & Culture

KPAC Blog
11:46 am
Wed April 24, 2013

What Was Old Is New Again With Beethoven's Sonata No. 30

Flickr user Jochen Spalding (b_lumenkraft) cc

After his mighty "Hammerklavier Sonata," Ludwig van Beethoven continued with writing sonatas, but on a smaller and more intimate scale.

The "Sonata No. 30 in E" is a rare combination of nostalgia, youthful vigor and an antiquarian's love of baroque musical forms.

In the first movement, the music swims out of the void into being and the composer weaves passages that simultaneously project them forward and fall back into reminiscence.

Read more
KPAC Blog
4:27 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

One Of Beethoven's Greatest Testaments, The 'Hammerklavier Sonata'

1820 portrait of Beethoven done by Joseph Karl Stieler, color by Greg Firlotte

My piano teacher told me about the story of Ludwig van Beethoven's creation of his biggest Piano Sonata the "Hammerklavier."

It goes back to John Broadwood sending him his best and biggest piano, and Beethoven's reply was this groundbreaking work. When I looked up to confirm what I was told, I found out the story was even more amazing.

Read more
KPAC Blog
4:53 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Parker Makes Stravinsky Ballets One Man Band

Jon "Jackie" Kimura Parker
John Clare / Texas Public Radio

Igor Stravinsky made an original piano version of his ballet "Petrushka," so why would someone else make one?

"Well, I played it as a student, and I remember thinking, you know, I would actually trill this octave, not that one," says Jon "Jackie" Kimura Parker.

Parker has made a solo piano version of the entire ballet, not just a few scenes.

Read more
KPAC Blog
12:25 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Beethoven Transcends His Time With 28th Piano Sonata

Even in his dark period, Beethoven was too stubborn to let it keep him down.
unknown

What is a musical genius to do? Ludwig van Beethoven had been composing piano sonatas with his own technical prowess in mind since he was eleven years old, and thirty five years later he hits a brick wall.

The new ideas and experimentation that stimulated so much of his music wasn't happening. This was the situation Beethoven found himself in 1816. The composer was a crotchety and difficult man at the best of times and after 1815 his physical problems and lack of energy brought his compositional growth to a standstill.

Read more
World Music
5:07 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

World Music Celebrations: Miao Girls Festival

Miao girls.
L-Bit (Kia Ora) Wikimedia Commons

Each week on World Music (Saturday nights from 8-10 on KSTX 89.1 FM), I take a look at celebrations happening around the world. This week, learn about the Chinese equivalent of Valentine's Day. 

SISTERS MEAL FESTIVAL

Read more
KPAC Blog: Metropolitan Opera
2:42 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Richard Wagner's "Siegfried," The World's Last Hope

Jay Hunter Morris as Siegfried.
Ken Howard Metropolitan Opera

In "Siegfried" we return to the origins of Wagner's conception of "The Ring." Before there was an explanation and an event, a plot before a back story.

These various sketches, fragments and early drafts were separated by a quarter of century from the opera's first performance (1851-1876).

We recreate the fairytale atmosphere of "Das Rheingold" with a dwarf, a dragon, giants, a singing bird and a boy so innocent he has "never" seen a girl.

Read more
World Music Pick
3:19 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Get Friendly With Los Amigos Invisibles "Repeat After Me"

Nacional Records

In the early 1990s in Venezuela, a group of young musicians decided to compose and play music unlike any thing they heard in the clubs of Caracas.

Los Amigos' style is described as disco/funk and is definitely dance music. Amazingly, the original line up is unchanged over their twenty years of playing together.

Read more
KPAC Blog
1:53 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Beethoven And The Painful Farewell - Art In Uncertain Times

1820 portrait of Beethoven done by Joseph Karl Stieler.

Context is everything. Ludwig van Beethoven dedicated his 26th piano sonata to Archduke Rudolph of Austria. The nickname of the sonata is "Les Adieux" or "Farewell," and I've heard speculation on the supposed relationship between the composer and his patron and friend.

Just knowing the title page on the first edition helps clarify some facts: "On the departure of his imperial highness, for the Archduke Rudolph, in admiration."

Why was his highness leaving? War.

Read more
KPAC Blog
12:00 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Beethoven Gets Payback For His "Raise" With 'A Therese' Sonata

Flickr user southtyrolean cc

What a difference there was between Mozart and Beethoven. Where the former was often forced to wear livery and eat with the servants, Beethoven hobnobbed with nobility and taught some of them music and piano.

When he didn't feel he was getting what he deserved, the composer, in 1808, put out the rumor that he was considering a position with a Napoleon brother and would leave for Westphalia.

Read more
Classical Spotlight
11:59 am
Wed April 17, 2013

SA Symphony Celebrates Fiesta With Traditional And Baroque Music

Conductor Akiko Fujimoto
Chris Eudaily TPR News

Three concerts span fun Fiesta and Riverwalk themes with Akiko Fujimoto!

This weekend the San Antonio Symphony adds cellos, oboes, and more to mariachi sounds with their annual Fiesta Pops at the Majestic Theatre Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m.

Read more

Pages