Airs Friday, January 4 at 12:00 noon In December of 1891, Czech composer Antonin Dvorak accepted the offer of Jeanette Thurber to become the director of the National Academy of Music in New York City. Mrs. Thurber hoped that the conservatory, which she founded in 1885, would foster the development of American concert music. It was Dvorak's opinion that the future music of America must be based on its folk melodies, which would serve as the real foundation of any serious and original school of composition in the United States. The first half of this special features a performances of Dvorak's music by the Emerson String Quartet, including the String Quartet No. 10 in E-flat Major Opus 51 and the String Quartet No. 12 in F Major Opus 96 ("The American"). Dvorak’s final two quartets, with their mastery of form, color and expression,are a fitting summation of Dvorak's exceptional achievement in this genre. On the 2nd half of this special we’ll hear the Emerson Quartet performed the Cypresses for string Quartet and his Opus 105, the 13th quartet written by Dvorak.
Airs Thursday, January 3 at 8:00 p.m. The first of two episodes culled from the Punch Brothers 2011 performance at the Trustees Theater during the Savannah Music Festival The tradition of stringband playing in the United States dates back at least 200 years. In the early 19th century, the fiddle-banjo duo that was essential to the dance music of the day eventually incorporated other instruments such as the guitar, mandolin and double bass. Such an assemblage, of whatever instrumentation, became known simply as a "stringband." By the 1870s, African-American dance houses had musicians who played violin, banjo and bass fiddle, and by the 1920s and 30s, stringbands were among the forerunners of modern country music and bluegrass. Soon, artists began to record stringband music in collaboration with other popular music styles such as blues and jazz. In this episode, we listen to a stringband that has drawn upon nearly every style of music from the past 100 years, the Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile. Part one of two.
Airs Thursday, December 27 at 8:00 p.m. The complete performance by Junior Brown at SMF 2011 as part of a double bill with The Flatlanders entitled "Giants of Texas Country". In this episode, we listen to the complete 2011 performance by Junior Brown at the Lucas Theatre for the Arts, where he played an hour-long, non-stop set on his original instrument made up of a 6-string electric and a lap steel guitar. He calls it the "guit-steel", and like his singing voice, it's eclectic, but definitely the one and only.
Airs Thursday, December 20 at 8:00 p.m. Selections from the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis' performance as part of our SMF Live concert series As the concept of a jazz orchestra approaches nearly 90 years of existence, the big bands still around and touring with their own style and identity are few and far between. One group that has persisted in sustaining an international presence, while extending and refining the tradition, continues to be lead by a man that has never backed down in his quest to clarify our American mythology through the lens of jazz. Tune in for a March 1, 2012 performance by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis from our SMF Live concert series.
Airs Thursday, December 13 at 9:00 p.m. Tune in to hear banjoist Bela Fleck with pianist Marcus Roberts and his trio, live from Savannah in their debut performance together. The history of the banjo in jazz dates back to the earliest ensembles of the 20th century in New Orleans, when banjo players were occasionally the star of the band. Over the next 100 years, however, the banjo changed within American musical culture, gradually falling out of favor as a primary instrument within a jazz band. In the spring of 2011, the Savannah Music Festival premiered a project featuring banjoist Bela Fleck with pianist Marcus Roberts and his trio. The results proved that the banjo has always been a wonderful solo instrument in jazz, particularly in the hands of a great improvisor like Bela Fleck. Tune in to hear Marcus Roberts on piano, Jason Marsalis on drums, Rodney Jordan on bass and Bela Fleck on banjo, live from Savannah in their debut performance.