Classical Music

Weekdays 12N - 2pm
  • Hosted by Matt Jackfert
  • Local Host Frank Stowers

From plainchant to polyphony, Baroque to the Boston Pops, our mid-days are a celebration of the incredible diversity that is classical music.

The Montclaire String Quartet recently rehearsed Dr. John Beall's 3rd String Quartet at West Virginia Public Broadcasting this past Thursday (2/20) for the piece's premiere performance this Sunday (2/23) at 8:30 PM in Bloch Hall at the Creative Arts Center in Morgantown. We were able to record excerpts of the 2nd and 3rd movements, as well as the entirety of the 4th movement to give you all a sneak peak of the piece. Dr. Beall also talks about the influences of each of the movement and talks about the dedication of his 4th movement ("Redbird") to Senator Robert C. Bird in this special by West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

Jim Lange

We begin again, constantly.~ Robert Fripp

Pain is a powerful motivation.

The pain I am experiencing is causing me to re-evaluate many things. Pain areas, specifically my back, are causing me some alarm. Each movement, even remotely involving bending forward, or a wrong twist at the hips, is carefully considered because any wrong turn could send electric-like shocks through my back that cause subsequent immobility.

Flutist Lindsey Goodman is full of energy.

When I called her a dynamo, at first she looked puzzled, but I explained that I meant that she was full of enthusiasm, energy and drive. Just hearing about her performing and teaching schedule makes me want to take a nap.

But she is more than just a person with enthusiasm. She is a professional musician on a mission. This mission is her passion since she was 18 years old. Her mission is contemporary music.


Conductor Claudio Abbado passed this week (January 20, 2014) and today on Classical Music we pay tribute to the maestro.

President Giorgio Napolitano of Italy paid tribute: Mr. Abbado had “honored the great musical tradition of our country in Europe and all over the world.”

The New York Times has a tribute.

The "Dissonant" Mozart

Jan 3, 2014

Salieri: I was staring through the cage of those meticulous ink strokes - at an absolute beauty.

I can't say I've been on a Mozart kick, but some coincidences make me wonder.

The fabulous film, Amadeus, has been in my DVD player for a while. I marvel at the sheer virtuosity of its costumes, the sets, the magnificent acting of F. Murray Abraham who plays the burdened Salieri and of course, the storyline.

Interview With Violinist Michelle Makarski

Dec 16, 2013
Photo credit: Silvia Lelli

Violinist Michelle Makarski spoke with me about how she can play Bach Sonatas with such fiery passion but still not "burn the house down" as some Romantics do. She also mentions how she has been through West Virginia and has admired the state's incredible beauty, but regrets that she hasn't been able to perform in the state yet. Her and I both hope that will change soon.


Dr. Lucy Mauro, professor of piano at West Virginia University, was able to talk with me about the contributions of largely unknown American composer, Margaret Ruthven Lang. What I discovered was that Margaret Lang is a very prolific composer with over 200 songs, even though she would destroy her own music if she didn't like a particular piece. 

Shella Rock @ Decca / Used by permission.

Sir John Eliot Gardiner has had a life-long relationship with Bach. In  fact, the Haussmann portrait hung in the his home and the young Gardiner passed it every day. Imagine that.

Icy Music

Dec 2, 2013
Wikimedia Commons

Percussionists- let's tip our hats to them.

Drummers, per se, have been the butt of many a joke over the years, but the percussionist, a slightly more subtle animal, has to be given kudos. They have been a major force in moving music forward since the early part of the 20th century.

SIDEBAR: A drummer, in the most confined definition, is someone who plays a kit, a drum set. A percussionist, by my own definition, is someone who plays a wide variety of percussion instruments. That's the distinction for me. No emails, thanks.

Of Monarchs and Music

Dec 1, 2013

I love music history DVDs.

Blame it on my laziness (or my age). Those endless, small-print historical tomes with their insanely detailed texts only make my head swim. My eyes want to drink in the glorious cathedrals and paintings, to hear the perfect choirs and ensembles; all the while a dulcet-toned narrator guides me through musical antiquity. 

Igor Stravinsky, as drawn by Pablo Picasso
public doaain

Igor Stravinksy’s The Rite of Spring was a monumental work in so many ways: its size, its structure, and its ability to push the limits of what is known as music. The piece was so groundbreaking that at its premiere in Paris, France, on May 29th, 1913, a near-riot erupted in the audience.

Mind Your Pleas and Cues

Oct 13, 2013
Die Zeit, 1913

How should you act at a classical concert? Are there rules you should follow? Is everyone around you asleep or lost in reverential contemplation?

Scared to Write a Note

Oct 3, 2013
Copyright owned by Kevin Doyle

Thumbing through a copy of Opera News, an article on opera composer Ricky Ian Gordon revealed some very provocative words:

"The twentieth century is littered with a lot of composers who were terrorized out of writing what they heard-out of writing in ...their authentic voice. There was such a critical backlash against...tonal music. I mean you could were just laughed off the map."