Click here for the Tanglewood Broadcast Schedule
For WMNR Fine Arts Radio the beginning of summer starts when the Tanglewood season opens in the Berkshires at the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. This year, our many broadcasts include all-Mozart, all-Beethoven and all-Tchaikovsky concerts led by world-class conductors such as Rafael Fru¨hbeck de Burgos who opens the season, Charles Dutoit, Christoph von Dohna´nyi, and Bernard Haitink who will close the season with "Beethoven's Symphony No. 9." Some conductors will also be heard as soloists including Pinchas Zukerman as violinist and violaist in a program of Vivaldi and Bach, Christoph Eschenbach bringing us a Mozart piano concerto and Christian Zacharias performing a Beethoven piano concerto.
We will bring you renowned artists such as Yefim Bronfman, Leon Fleisher, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Garrick Ohlsson, Lang Lang, Emanuel Ax, Peter Serkin, Yo-Yo Ma, Gil Shaham and Joshua Bell. The Boston Pops Orchestra will appear in three concerts with Keith Lockhart, David Newman and John Williams as conductors. Major works on the schedule include Ravel's complete "Daphnis et Chloe´," Mahler's "Symphony No. 3" and the third act from Wagner's "Die Walku¨re" with Bryn Terfel.
One of the many highlights of WMNR's Tanglewood broadcasts will be Verdi's "Requiem" with the new music director designate of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Andris Nelsons, as conductor. Click here for the full season schedule.
My Weekly Journey by Will Duchon
Somewhere, some place, I am sure there is a car (most likely a mini-van) with a bumper sticker which reads "Life is a Process...Enjoy the Journey!" It's one of those compact little sayings that make me cringe, because although the immediate effect of the sentiment seems trite and simplistic, I basically agree with the philosophy. As we all know, "the journey" to any given destination can be enjoyed, but can also require struggle, frustration and some hard work. Maybe the bumper sticker should be revised to read "Life is a Process...Experience the Journey" (without the exclamation point please).
Preparing a weekly radio program is a very particular kind of journey, which involves a mysterious mix of inspiration, memory, spontaneity and sometimes just plain luck. My programs on WMNR, Friday Evening Classics and The Night Café are two very different programs. Friday Evening Classics runs from 6:00 to10:00 pm and instead of slogging through four hours of "varied" music without any discernible theme, I break the program into segments: "Musical Mystery Quiz" (a call-in trivia quiz), an hour-long "Concert Stage" feature and "Words & Music" which features music and poetry. When this segment ends at 10:00 pm, I turn a mental switch and jump into the world of jazz vocals in The Night Café. These segments afford me the opportunity to cover the five hours in more manageable increments.
I prepare my programs by first deciding on some large-scale works (a Brahms piano concerto or an Elgar symphony, etc.) and build the rest of the show around these anchors. But where do these ideas come from? Anywhere and everywhere. A friend mentions an obscure work by Gerald Finzi, so I look it up and listen. Finzi was an English composer, so I wonder, what would complement this piece? How about another English composer, not so well-known? And so it goes. I discovered the music of Ivor Gurney through a mystery novel by Peter Robinson. One night driving home from a choir rehearsal I happened to hear a haunting piece of music for strings on the radio (not WMNR) and discovered the music of Clarice Assad. For The Night Café, I rely on not only my knowledge of the jazz world, but the ideas of smart people like Bill Stine and Rich Moran, who inspire me to listen and learn about new artists. It's all a process.
I have known some broadcasters who plan their programs weeks and sometimes months in advance. I respect this, but for me this feels as unnatural as planning what I'm going to eat for dinner six weeks from next Tuesday. One element of planning my weekly program is the freedom to be spontaneous. By nature, music is sensual and visceral. If the night is rainy or cold or warm or there is a full moon, it might mean that I skip Debussy's "L'isle joyeuse" in favor of "La plus que lente." The beauty of WMNR is having the freedom as a broadcaster to make these spontaneous changes.
It's Friday night and Jimmy Durante has just concluded The Night Café with "Make Someone Happy." I lock up and step out into the dark of the night, take a deep breath and start thinking about next Friday's show.
WMNR's Internet Video
To celebrate our 30th Anniversary there is a new WMNR Fine Arts Radio internet video featuring 27 broadcasters and staff. It is a loving tribute that gives you an inside look at the people who make up the station. Produced by WMNR’s own H. William Stine, with Associate Producer Megan Stine. To view the video click the photo.
Meet Broadcaster David Citronberg
David Citronberg of Tuesday Evening Classics tells us that WMNR Fine Arts Radio is his "first and only radio gig." He has enjoyed the medium since childhood when the Saturday evening symphony broadcasts would keep him company when his parents went out. Since then, and over his 26 years at WMNR, David has expanded his knowledge of composers and seen radio technology change dramatically.
When David puts together his program he has no particular approach, rather he puts together favorites with pieces he has heard elsewhere that he'd like to share with his listeners. Most of his selections can be found amongst the thousands of CDs in the WMNR library. He keeps the fact that his program is two hours long in mind, as he doesn't want to use of too much of that time on a single long piece.
Says David "I like to spread it around, but it is always music designed to uplift. I enjoy powerful music." He rarely plays contemporary composers, but will mix in some Copland from time to time. His favorite era is the Romantic period and he names Beethoven's "Ninth Symphony" as the "finest piece of music ever written." David tells us the greatest benefit to be derived from WMNR is that the broadcasters pick their own music and create their own playlists. "I pick the music for myself and when I pick it for me, I'm really picking it for you."
To read WMNR's Theatre Reviews with Rosalind Friedman click here