KPAC Blog

The KPAC Blog features classical music news and analysis.  From a detailed look at Wagner's masterpiece "Parsifal," to an inside look at the Latin Grammys, the KPAC Blog features writings about some of the music played on air as well as other interviews and essays about classical music.

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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.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:26 am
Thu April 18, 2013

The Conductor Who Gained Power By Giving It Up

Colin Davis found power in humility later in his career — and one astonished music journalist.
Alberto Venzago

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 2:09 pm

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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.

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KPAC Blog
1:57 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Hot Rod Beethoven Settles In For His 'Appassionata' Sonata

1820 portrait of Beethoven done by Joseph Karl Stieler.

We learn from others, or as Picasso said, "Good artists copy, great artists steal." Beethoven took this advice and borrowed from Mozart and Haydn, but quickly progressed.

Where some would borrow a sonata development or structure, Beethoven would take the layout, hacksaw it off and replace it with an invention of his own, or invert something and swap parts around, much like car nuts did in the early days of Hot Rod building.

But the composer's days of modifying others' ideas was over.

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KPAC Blog
12:21 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Caroline Shaw, 30, Wins Pulitzer For Music

Caroline Shaw, winner of this year's music Pulitzer, performing with the ACME ensemble in New York in September 2012.
AJ Wilhelm for NPR

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 5:16 pm

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KPAC Blog
6:24 am
Tue April 16, 2013

The Violin "a la Francaise" With Maria Bachmann

Trio Solisti
Courtesy of the artist

Maria Bachmann's latest CD, "French Fantasy," featuring pianist Adam Nieman, pays tribute to those lyrical and dramatic French composers  Claude Debussy, Camille Saint-Saens, and Cesar Franck, whose sonata she considers the "heart" of her latest album.

Deirdre Saravia spoke with her recently about her career and this latest solo release. 

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Deceptive Cadence
3:57 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Remembering Colin Davis, A Conductor Beloved Late In Life

The late Colin Davis conducting the last night of Proms at London's Royal Albert Hall in September 1968.
George Freston Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 1:59 am

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Camp KPAC
1:01 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Camp KPAC: One Student's Experience

TPR's Paul Flahive speaks to Kelly Holguin about her radio piece.
Nathan Cone

Last summer, seven area high school students took part in the inaugural Camp KPAC, learning radio and recording skills with TPR's James Baker, Nathan Cone, and Paul Flahive. Here's what Clark High School student Kelly Holguin said about her experience: 

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Classical Spotlight
9:43 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Trumpeter Alison Balsom Mixes Baroque And Modern On Tour

Trumpeter Alison Balsom
Manfred Thomas

Alison Balsom's U.S. tour covers the east coast, west coast and luckily, Texas! Trumpet fans around the country have been heralding Balsom as she performs with the Scottish Ensemble.  

In this interview, she shares insights about traveling with two trumpets and a two year old,  as well as keeping things fresh musically night after night. Alison is also excited to be on stage this summer in a new play written for her!

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Arts & Culture
12:16 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Adolph Herseth, Master Trumpeter, Dead at 91

Adolph Herseth
Wikimedia Commons

The hearts of all who love and care for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra are weeping today with the announcement of the passing of trumpeter Adolph Herseth. For over a half century (1948-2004), he was the principal trumpet of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Along with tubist Arnold Jacobs, Herseth and his brass playing colleagues evolved into the most powerful and accomplished orchestral brass section in the world. This is no exaggeration!

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