Happy New Ears

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To quote Charles Ives, "Beauty in music is too often confused with something that lets the ears lie back in an easy chair. Many sounds that we are used to do not bother us, and for that reason we are inclined to call them beautiful." Let your ears party with some new music on this episode of All Ears.

Listen to composers who were always searching for something new, without losing touch with the beauty and hardship of day-to-day life. On this first night of 2011, think Frederic Rzewski, Charles Ives, Luciano Berio, and Osvaldo Golijov to help you deal with that mysterious headache you've had all day.

Always looking both ways, Rzewski (pronounced zheff-skee) has earned a reputation as a folk-savvy piano wizard and politicized composer (whose teachers include Milton Babbitt and Roger Sessions). In an interview on Perfect Sound Forever magazine, Rjewski says:

"In a way similar to the notion of the ancient Egyptians about life after death (a very strange idea), in the 20th Century there was the strange idea that it was possible to freeze the music into a piece of plastic which you could then buy it in a store. I think that we have had some kind of return to a more traditional view, namely that music is something that one does, not something that comes to you. It's some form of activity so I think that we'll find new forms of folk music, something that appears spontaneously."

Listen to Rzewski performing his compositional ode to the traditional, Down by the Riverside, Ives' Four Songs, and more.


A New Day
Misha Alperin
Misha Alperin, piano; Anja Lechner, cello

"North American Ballads": 'Down By the Riverside'
Frederic Rzewski
Marc-Andre Hamelin, piano

Osvaldo Golijov
Jeremy Flower, laptop
Michael Ward-Bergeman, hyperaccordian

Four Songs
Charles Ives
Arctic Brass
Simax Classics

Elegy for Violin and String Orchestra
Keith Jarrett
The Fairfield Orchestra
Thomas Crawford, conductor
Michelle Makarski, violin

Song Book: Summer Song
David Maslanka
Steven Jordheim, saxophone; Dane Richeson, percussion

Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra
David Baker
Czech National Symphony Orchestra
Paul Freeman, conductor
Thomas Walsh, alto saxophone

"Consecration of the House" Overture in C, Op. 124
Ludwig van Beethoven
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Riccardo Muti, conductor

Luciano Berio
National Orchestra of France
Pierre Boulez, conductor
New Swingle Singers; Regis Pasquier, violin