• Ferdinand Ries Violin Sonatas – Elegant and refined

    Ferdinand Ries was many things to Beethoven; student, assistant, copyist, colleague, champion. He was a virtuoso pianist went on to have a successful career both as a performer and as a composer. Reis’ 18 sonatas for violin and piano were mostly composed between 1807-1809, while he was living in Paris. And perhaps for that reason, […]

  • The Most Beautiful Opera Houses in the World

    For those of us who love opera, the experience of what we hear and see on the stage is only part of the pleasure we derive from the experience. Opera houses are far more than simply a venue for the performance. Almost from the birth of the art form in about 1600, opera houses have represented […]

  • Live Classical Music on WTJU: Thursday, April 23 at 8 am

    Music Feeds Us is an annual free concert series in Charlottesville and Staunton, which raises money for the local food bank and promotes hunger relief generally. This year, their concerts will be held as follows: Wednesday, April 22, 7:30pm – free concert at Trinity Episcopal Church, Staunton Thursday, April 23, 7:30pm – free concert at […]

  • Just a Few Friends Observes the Week of Remembrance

    This week¹s show of Just a Few Friends observes the Week of Remembrance, which runs from the Sunday before Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah) through the following Sunday, this year falling on April 19. We will observe the Week of Remembrance with music rooted in the culture of the people who were systematically killed during the Holocaust. In particular, […]

  • Gulda Plays Beethoven

    Vienna’s Friedrich Gulda (1930-2000) was one of the last century’s greatest artists and most curious eccentrics.  Among other antics, he and his girlfriend once appeared on stage nude for a recital of Schumann songs.  Despite his stupendous talent, he claimed to have gotten bored with classical music later in his career and attempted to reinvent […]

  • Just A Few Friends Honors National Autism Awareness Month, April 5

    In 2007 the United Nations designated April 2 as World Autism Awareness Day, and April is National Autism Awareness Month. Classical host Federico Cilberto did some research and found that Bela Bartok, Glenn Gould, and Erik Satie were mentioned multiple times as having Asperger’s disorder, which falls under the umbrella diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. […]

  • Kaija Saariaho – Émilie Suite delivers emotionally

    Opera is all about emotion. And Kaija Saariaho’s Émilie Suite is an hour of raw emotion compressed into a 20-minute opera. Émilie du Châtelet was a French mathematician and physicist during the Age of Enlightenment. The opera focuses on a single evening as she struggles to complete her translation of Newton’s Principia Mathematica while in […]

  • Edward Burlingame Hill – the Gershwin of Harvard?

    Edward Burlingame Hill forms a link in the development of American classical music. He studied under one of the preeminent American composers of the late 19th century, John Knowles Pain at Harvard, In turn, as a Harvard professor himself, taught the next two generations of American composers, including Leonard Bernstein, Walter Piston, Virgil Thomson, Roger […]

  • Charles Villiers Stanford Piano Trio 2, Piano Quartet 1

    To my ears, Stanford’s music has always sounded like Brahms with an Irish accent. That’s not a bad thing. Like Brahms, Stanford constructed his music within accepted classical frameworks. But within those frameworks he crafts his motifs and harmonies with a great deal of imagination. Which is what makes this new Naxos release a pleasure […]