Orchestration: Composition's Good-Looking Cousin

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Some conical brass

Orchestration is the successful good-looking cousin of composition. Beneath its slick veneer lies a vital component to the expression of a musical idea. What if The Rite opened with a Euphonium solo? What if all of Chopin's Mazurkas were written for bagpipes? Probably world-wide havoc.

Today's show takes a magnifying glass to one slice of the orchestration spectrum: the glittering, the shiny, the sparkling. Think of the usual suspects, like vibraphone, harp, and piano, but also expect some surprises, like recorder and standard symphony orchestra. We'll be hearing some very aquatic Takemitsu, some truly sparkling Abrahamsen, music from master harpist Zeena Parkins and a piece about Skiing that will dazzle your eyes like sun on snow.