what’s playing now
Thanks to our sponsors:
Learn more about advertising
and sponsorship on WFMT.
Carl's Morning Quiz
Everyone loves the music of Fryderyk Chopin, Poland’s most well-known composer. But, how many other Polish composers do you know? Learn more about Poland’s best composers from one of Poland’s best composers: Marta Ptaszyńska more...
How well do you know movie music? Listen to the excerpts from the following famous film scores, and see if you can match the music to the correct movie. more...
Whether teaching the ABCs or addressing decidedly more grown-up topics, Sesame Street has expanded children's minds and hearts since its debut nearly fifty years ago. Many musicians have visited Sesame Street, introducing people of all ages to great music. There have been many inspiring musical moments on Sesame Street, but here are some of WFMT's favorites! more...
Christine Goerke has set the world on fire with what the Wall Street Journal described as her “big, blazing soprano.” Recently she’s set the internet ablaze not with her voice, but with her sense of humor. When Goerke posted a production photo from the Canadian Opera Company (COC) Siegfried, in which she plays the role more... more...
Thanks to our sponsors:
Learn more about advertising and sponsorship on WFMT.
It’s hard to imagine the Cologne contemporary music collective Ensemble Musikfabrik deliberately timing a release for Valentine’s Day, so let’s just call it a coincidence that love and light are the themes behind this latest programme from their excellent Westdeutscher Rundfunk radio concert series. The playing is as committed, frank and business-like as ever. Jonathan Harvey’s Sringara Chaconne glows and shimmers in a graceful exploration of Hindu notions of erotic love. Nimble solo lines from cellist Dirk Wietheger work like a flashlight darting about a vast frescoed cathedral, illuminating glittering dark corners in Kaija Saariaho’s cello concerto Notes on Light. The title track is Nonne Poppe’s Scherben – the German word for “shards”, describing a spasmodic musical prism of clinking little fragments. It’s a spiky listen, but it works. The last work on the disc is Emmanuel Nunes’s Chessed I, an austere 20-minute score from 1979 that lacks the sensual magnetism of the rest of the programme. The performance is impressive, though, particularly the fearless grit of the string playing.Continue reading...
French pianist Bertrand Chamayou has the right pedigree for Ravel: he studied with teachers at the Paris Conservatoire, whose lineage goes straight back to the composer, and it shows in the rock-solid technique and unfussy, unwavering interpretations he brings to this collection. There’s a confident swagger to the virtuosity of Valses Nobles et Sentimentales, and Chamayou articulates bittersweet melodies such as Pavane pour une Infante Défunte with striking straightforwardness. On the one hand, it’s refreshing to hear Ravel done so firmly, with zero hint of airiness, but the direct touch and staunch tempos end up leaving me a bit cold. Where’s the mystery in Gaspard de la Nuit when every note is so plainly defined? Where’s the majesty in the Sonatine when the cross rhythms are so literal? Mirroirs has more flux and Jeux d’Eau is relatively gentle, but it all feels fairly safe, measurable and sensible.Continue reading...
Giacinto Scelsi is one of classical music’s great eccentrics: a self-taught Roman playboy count who flirted with various eastern philosophies and decided his music was an intermediary between humans and their gods. His flute works mostly date from the 1950s and are either preoccupied with interpersonal relationships, for example the fluttering Ko-Lho duo for flute and clarinet, or with circular structures, such as the ceremonial gongs and spacial play of Hyxos. This disc features dauntless performances from Claudia Giottoli, who makes a big, breathy, wholesome kind of sound on the flute – playing in which the percussive noise of finger hitting keypad is as audible as any note. I like the physicality and the voluptuousness of it: it feels real, not too manicured and exactly right for a composer who was obsessed by the holistic nature of tone. “It contains everything,” he once wrote about what constitutes sound. “That’s how it becomes great, part of the cosmos, even when it’s minimal.”Continue reading...
Major powers agree to seek a nationwide "cessation of hostilities" in Syria to begin in a week's time, as well as measures to advance aid deliveries.
Companies that fail to address pay differences between male and female employees will be highlighted in new league tables.
Research for a teaching union suggests new tests for four-year-olds are unreliable and disrupt children's start to school.
The Illinois budget situation has been bad for a long time, but the current eight-month...
Very rarely are there close votes in the Chicago City Council, long criticized as a...
A Cook County woman once spent 221 days in Cook County Jail on minor charges for...
travel with wfmt
Tour Vienna next May! Join Carl Grapentine in exploring some of his favorite musical sites, attending performances, and sightseeing. Then on to Salzburg!
Cruise along the Rhine River thru Germany and The Netherlands next September! Join Kerry Frumkin and fellow WFMT listeners "River Cruising along the Rhine" in the heart of Germany and The Netherlands on YMT Vacations' 14-day Rhine River Cruise and Tour next September.
Embark on a music-lovers cruise! Join Peter van de Graaff on an exclusive 10 day classical music lovers cruise on Oceania Cruises' Marina to Spain and Portugal.
Brahms: Piano Trio & Quartet
Harmonia Mundi HMC-902222
Beethoven: Overtures & Triple Concerto
Sony Classical 88883763622
Images from the South
John Rutter: The Gift of Life
Downton Abbey: The Ultimate Collection