Around the World

Around the World

Feel like experiencing classical music around the world without leaving the couch? Stingray Classica brings you concerts out of South America, North America, Europe, and Asia, every Friday evening in August.

On August 6, we kick things off with the documentary Heitor Villa-Lobos: From Bach to Brazil. Gerard H. Béhague, a professor of Latin-American music, called Mr Villa-Lobos: “the single most significant creative figure in 20th-century Brazilian art music”.

After that, we visit the historical epicentre of tango dancers: Argentina. Tango – Café de Los Maestros and Friends will delight you in what the London Dance called: “an enjoyable display of tango music’s evolution and innovation, letting tangueros absorb a masterclass in how its sounds and rhythms have metamorphosed with the changing times”.

On August 13, we show one of Charles Ives’ most popular performances, the Orchestras Set No. 1, also known as Three Places in New England. It’s a short work, taking less than twenty minutes to complete its three movements, but the work is famed for its successful appropriation of other musical works.

After that, we feature the works of the wealthiest composer of all time: George Gershwin (estimated earnings by The Guardian). Mr Gershwin was nominated for a Grammy in 1937 for best original song and received a Congressional Gold medal in 1985. His most famous works include Rhapsody in Blue and An American in Paris. The concert took place in 2003 at the Waldbühne in Berlin, at the annual summer concert of the Berliner Philharmoniker.

On August 20, we travel to Café Sperl, Vienna. The Strauss Waltzes get performed by The Philharmonics. The Strauss Waltzes got arranged by Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern in the early 20th century and first performed in 1921 for fundraising Schoenberg’s musical organization: The Society for Private Musical Performances. The goal of this organization was to bring highly professional performances of newly composed music to genuinely interested patrons.

Later that same night, we get a taste of genuine 19th-century Viennese ballroom dances. A period instrument orchestra, Wiener Akademie, will perform the music while actual ballroom dancers glide on the dance room floor. Featured performances include the Blue Danube WalzTritsch Tratsch Polka, and The Radetzky March. The show is called A Night in Vienna and will feature celebrated soprano Lesly Garret CBE.

On the final night, we bring you a unique documentary featuring a legend torn between two nations. In Between: The Composer Isang Yun features a man acknowledged and celebrated by North and South Korea. Despite their shared icon, each country has a different idea of who the man was and the life he lived. This documentary explores that divide.

Our last performance will feature the oldest orchestra of the land of the free and home of the brave, performing in the most famous of active totalitarian dictatorships: The New York Philharmonic in Pyongyang, North Korea. The historic program started with the anthems of both countries. The Prelude to Act II of Lohengrin by Richard Wagner was next, followed by Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9: “From the New World”. The night’s program ended with George Gershwin’s An American in Paris. There were multiple encores. The night officially ended with a rendition of the beloved North Korean folk song “Arirang”.

Venture out into the world from your couch in Around the World, Friday evenings in June on Stingray Classica (ch 332)
From Friday, August 6

Author: Jan Hendrik Harmse