Classical News from NPR

What makes a first-tier jazz legacy? A signature instrumental style, recognizable within a phrase or two. A body of exceptional recordings, in the studio and in concert. A legion of imitators, great and small. A sense of broad cultural relevance. Maybe even a hit song or two.

Until recently, most classical music videos have been humdrum affairs. Musicians, in concert attire, earnestly produce their notes with eyes closed and heads tilted in a beatific expression, somewhere between a migraine and an attempt to channel Bach from the heavens.

Two additional women, violinists Emilia Mettenbrink and Raffaela Kalmar, have made allegations of sexual misconduct against violinist William Preucil, the concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra and a now-former instructor at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM). Their accusations were printed in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Sunday.

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This week's CD of the Week on Classical 90.5 is a new-ish release from pianist Vassily Primakov and clarinetist Alexey Gorokholinsky. Their 2014 issue on Primakov's own LP Classics label features an update on a work that inspired both artists during their days at The Julliard School: Carl Maria von Weber's Grand Duo Concertante.

How to Listen to Classical 90.5

Jan 29, 2016

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard that we recently launched a new radio station, Classical 90.5. The station is dedicated to bringing you classical music, 24 hours a day.

If you don’t live in the Columbia/Boone County area, you’re probably wondering what your listening options are. Classical 90.5 is available for listening all over the world!

If you live in Columbia/Boone County:

Jane Ira Bloom On Piano Jazz

Jan 15, 2016

A supreme soprano sax player, Jane Ira Bloom is known for her innovative use of movement and her high-energy compositions. Bloom's debut album, Modern Drama, caught the attention of NASA, which commissioned her to write three pieces in 1989. She went on to release several studio albums, including her highly praised Sixteen Sunsets.

On this 1993 episode of Piano Jazz, Bloom and host Marian McPartland combine forces to freely improvise — and to play "My Romance."

Guitarists Nels Cline and Julian Lage appear together on Mountain Stage, recorded live in Charleston, W.Va. A bona fide super-duo, Cline and Lage span multiple generations and genres with fluidity, precision and grace.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released, but you can hear an excerpt below via YouTube.

Vermont musician Jamie Masefield has been improvising on the jazz mandolin for decades. He's recorded six albums, including one with Blue Note Records, and brings everything from folk and funk to the literature of Leo Tolstoy to the stage. But some years back, his eclectic creativity brought him to an unexpected second career.

When I meet Masefield at work, he's chipping away at some pinkish stone with a small hammer. "In the industry we call it 'rainbow stone,'" he offers. "It's very nice to work with."

James P. Johnson: The Father Of Stride

Jan 8, 2016

Many decades after James P. Johnson's death, his influence remains embedded in the playing of most jazz pianists. The early-20th-century musician's seminal work represents the cornerstone of jazz piano conception.

Here, Jazz Night In America visits Jazz at Lincoln Center to hear pianists like Aaron Diehl, Ethan Iverson, Marc Cary and ELEW pay tribute to one of the founding fathers of the art, and then digs into the James P. Johnson collection at the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University.

The title of Daniel Wohl's "Source" is something of a play on words. The actual sources of his captivating array of sounds are not completely clear. But it doesn't really matter. Just let the meticulously crafted, slightly surreal music from the Paris-born, Los Angeles-based composer soak in.

French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez was one of the most recognized figures in 20th century classical music. His outspoken advocacy for the music of his time earned him fans — and detractors. He died Tuesday at his home in Baden-Baden, Germany. He was 90 years old.

Just as the chaos of World War II was coming to an end, Pierre Boulez was emerging into his life as an artist.

Paul Bley, a jazz pianist whose thoughtful but intuitive commitment to advanced improvisation became widely influential, died of natural causes Sunday. He was 83.

Bley was surrounded by family at his winter residence in Stuart, Fla., according to his daughter Vanessa Bley.

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