• Franz Ignaz Beck — Symphonies Op. 2: Light and delightful

    Franz Ignaz Beck is considered an early symphonist. His first set of symphonies was publicized in 1756, the year of Mozart’s birth. The collection featured in this recording, his Opus 2 set of 6 symphonies was published in 1758 — around the same time Haydn composed his first symphonies. These are relatively simple works; each […]

  • Rare renaissance gems from Blue Heron

    The Blue Heron Choir is on a mission: they want to bring to life music that has gone unheard since the reign of Henry VIII. The Peterhouse Partbooks (stored in Peterhouse College, Cambridge) were compiled in 1540 by Thomas Bull. Written for liturgical use at the Canterbury Cathedral. Since these were performing copies, the music […]

  • Celebrate John Rutter’s 70th birthday with WTJU!

    This Thursday, the world-renowned composer, arranger and conductor of choral music, John Rutter, turns 70 (although he claims it’s just a repeat of his 30th birthday!). And this Friday, September 25th, from 6-9 am, WTJU will be holding a special party for him.  We recently spent a delightful afternoon chatting with him about his life, […]

  • Les Grandes Eaux Musicales de Versailles

    The liner notes for this release read “Alpha invites you to prolong the pleasure of your visit to Versailles with this recording of the music you heard in the gardens.”  I’m sure it’s offered in the gift shop at Versailles (and obviously several other places as well — like Amazon). “Les Grandes Eaux Musicales de […]

  • Bacewicz string quartet cycle off to good start

    In their survey of string quartets by Grazyna Bacewicz, the Lutoslawski Quartet has done something interesting: they don’t present them in order. Volume 1 of the series features four of Bacewicz’s seven quartets. It opens with the 1960 String Quartet No. 6, one of her more avant garde quartets. Bacewicz uses a version of 12-tone […]

  • Divertimento, 6-8 pm on Thursday evenings: Relax to sweet melodies

    Make sweet melody, sing many songs, that you may be remembered. Isaiah 23:16 The song is ended, but the melody lingers on. Irving Berlin We invite you to join us on Thursdays, 6-8 pm for WTJU’s evening classical show, Divertimento.  Greg Cox hosts a delightful mixture of classical music and more, all designed with melody […]

  • Elements Eternal – Contemporary Canadian Classics

    I’m not very familiar with Canadian composers, so I was very interested in auditioning Elements Eternal. The release features world premier recordings from four Canadian composers. The works were commissioned by the Gryphon Trio, who performs them on this release. It’s a heady mix of music that I found appealing, intriguing, substantial and enjoyable. The […]

  • Max Kowalski Lieder – Unusual music, unusual presentation

    I was not familiar with the music of Max Kowalski before listening to this new release. Kowalski was a mainly self-taught singer and composer (primarily of lieder), though professionally he was a lawyer. He survived Buchenwald, and died in London in 1956, a well-respected singing teacher and composer. Kowalski’s output is almost exclusively lieder, and […]

  • Bizet – Roma Symphony

    There’s more to Bizet than “Carmen.” And while the works on this new collection aren’t likely to replace Bizet’s greatest hit, they do provide insight into the composer’s style and make for some enjoyable light listening. The disc starts with the Marche funébre in B minor. It’s not quite the downer you might think. Bizet’s […]