Leonard Bernstein once wrote that the songs of The Beatles could easily stand next to the best songs of Schumann and Schubert. At the time his remarks were met with some skepticism – how could this pop group expect to stand the test of time the way the classical greats had? Today his remarks have been vindicated: not only are the Beatles more popular than ever, but their work has had a massive impact on today's world of new music.
Today's show explores composers and performers who have taken material from the Beatles and turned it into their own pieces, reflecting their own voices. We'll hear arrangements, transcriptions, and crazy interventions from the likes of Frederic Rzewski, Cuban guitarist/composer Leo Brower, Indie mainstay Sufjan Stevens, jazz great Anthony Molinaro and New York legend Matt Marks.
And can you believe John Cage made a chance piece for 6 pianos, where all of the material is made of snippets of Beatles songs? So awesome, and the best place to hear it is with us, The Brothers Balliett.