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Playlist: Classical

Compiled By: PRX Editors

Image by VintageBlue Credit:
Image by VintageBlue
Curated Playlist

Fancy it up with these classical programs on PRX. If you have any questions on airing these, just compose an email to us.

Meet the Composer with Nadia Sirota - Season 2 (Series)

Produced by WQXR

From New York Public Radio’s Q2 Music, a five-part Peabody award winning radio series that takes listeners into the minds and creative processes of the composers making some of the most engaging, innovative, and beautiful music today. Season 2 features host Nadia Sirota with Meredith Monk, Kaija Saariaho, Ingram Marshall, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, and Nico Muhly

Available on the PRX marketplace.

Most recent piece in this series:

Bonus Track: 'Viola Concerto: Part II' by Nico Muhly

From WQXR | Part of the Meet the Composer with Nadia Sirota - Season 2 series | 09:53

Mtc_itunes_sb_medium_small Says Nadia Sirota, "Nico wrote the concerto in 2014, and in a lot of ways it's the fruit of 10 years of our working together.  The piece is in three movements, and this movement, Part II, is sort of the emotional heart of the piece.  It's soulful and colorful and I adore playing it.

At the end of the movement the viola line suffers a sort of massive emotional breakdown, which is then answered by a huge orchestral explosion, featuring a giant tam-tam (gong) and all sorts of low-brass rumbles.  In the aftermath, individual members of the orchestra play small phrases independently of each other, finally reuniting in a wounded coda.  

This is my favorite part of the concerto to play."

Classical Guitar Alive! (Series)

Produced by Tony Morris

Classical Guitar Alive is a weekly one-hour music with interviews program that is free to all stations.

Available on the PRX marketplace.

Most recent piece in this series:

20-43 Music for Halloween: Bach, Falla, Koshkin, and more

From Tony Morris | Part of the Classical Guitar Alive! series | 58:57


TO: All Stations

FR: Tony Morris

DT: October 20, 2020

RE: ***** CLASSICAL GUITAR ALIVE!  20-43 Music for Halloween


 In Cue: MUSIC IN "Hello and welcome to…"

Out Cue: "…another edition of Classical Guitar Alive!"

Program Length:58:57



 Bizet: Carmen Suite: Prelude          Los Romeros, guitar quartet

                                             (Philips 412-609)


     Bach:   Toccata & Fugue in d                  Philip Hii, guitar                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

                 “Bach Transcriptions”                (GSP 2000) (7:41)


     Schafer:  The Cry of Merlin                    Norbert Kraft, guitar

               “Michael Tippett: The Blue Guitar” (Chandos 8784)  (12:55)                                      


     Searle: 2 Practical Cats                         Patrick Mason, narrator

                                                                    David Starobin, guitar

                                                                    Susan Palma, flute/picc

                                                                    Timothy Eddy, cello

                  “New Music with Guitar, vol 4”  (Bridge 2011)  (10:23)


     Koshkin: Usher Waltz                            Ricardo Cobo, guitar

                     “Tales for Guitar”                   (Essay 1993)  (6:19)


     Kleynjans: At Dawn of the Last Day       Roberto Aussel, guitar

           “Roberto Aussel Plays 20th Century Music   (GHA 2006) (9:`2)


     Falla: El Amor Brujo: Ritual Fire Dance    LA Guitar Quartet

                     “Evening in Granada”            (Delos 1994)   (3:36)






This week’s edition of CLASSICAL GUITAR ALIVE! features a wide variety of music for Halloween, ranging from the comically spooky to the disturbingly eerie, with music by Bach, Falla, Nikita Koshkin, R Murray Schafer, Humphrey Searle, and Francis Kleynjans.


The program begins with music often identified with gothic horror films, most notably The Phantom of the Opera: Bach’s Toccata & Fugue in d minor, BWV 565. Philip Hii performs his solo guitar transcription.


One of most chilling works of the guitar repertory is Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer’s The Cry of Merlin. This programmatic work tells of the Wizard Merlin of Arthurian legend who feels his magical powers waning as civilization advances. He retreats deeper into the forest in a futile attempt to regain them, where his cries are heard. This piece contains a surprise toward the ending: taped animal sounds which, combined with the music, is profoundly eerie. Also, be warned that if you have any house pets within earshot of these animal sounds- they may behave strangely!  I personally witnessed a tame lap dog turn vicious and threatening while this piece played!


Humphrey Searle used 2 poems of T.S. Eliot as the text for his darkly humorous Two Practical Cats. The first is Macavity the Mystery Cat, followed by Growltiger’s Last Stand. The piece is scored for narrator and chamber ensemble with guitar.


Russian composer Nikita Koshkin was also inspired by classic literature. His Usher Waltz is inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s story, The Fall of the House of Usher. The piece reflects the story, which tells of a guitarist who is gradually driven insane as his house crumbles around him.


French composer Francis Kleynjans piece titled At Dawn of the Last Day is another programmatic work  which depicts the final moments of a condemned prisoner. The first movement, Waiting, describes the tense agony of the prisoner waiting in his cell as the clock ticks away his final hours. The second movement, Dawn, uses a 4-note repeated pattern to describe the man pacing in his cell and finally marching to his fate. The piece uses many unusual playing techniques for dramatic effect to simulate bells tolling the hours, footsteps, and creaking doors, and, finally, a falling guillotine blade!


The ballet El Amor Brujo, by Manuel De Falla, is a gypsy ghost story of a young woman under the spell of the ghost of her former lover. The program ends with the Hill-Wiltchinsky Duo from England performing Ritual Fire Dance.


Classical Guitar Alive! celebrates 22 years of national distribution, airing each week on over 200 stations. FUNDRAISER EDITION of Classical Guitar Alive! is available here to all stations: http://www.prx.org/pieces/187790-fundraiser-editio


CGA! is a winner at PRX's 13th Annual Zeitfunk Awards: #1 Most Licensed Producer, and #2 Most Licensed Series.

The Spanish Hour with Candice Agree (Series)

Produced by Candice Agree

There's no better way to know a country or a people than through its music. The Spanish Hour with Candice Agree invites everyone who has an interest in, a fascination of, and a love for the cultural life of Spain and the Spanish-speaking world to be entertained, enriched, and informed by this unique classical music program.

Available on the PRX marketplace.

Most recent piece in this series:

The Spanish Hour 2040: The "Spanish" Julian Bream

From Candice Agree | Part of the The Spanish Hour with Candice Agree series | 58:30

Julian_bream_1964_public-domain-web_small English guitarist and lutenist Julian Bream devoted much of his creative energy to the Spanish repertory. This week, we'll hear works by Albéniz, Turina, Granados, Rodrigo, and more. 

An American Stew

From KCME | 58:24

Michael Campion explores the diversity of American music with a potpourri of different kinds of works from different kinds of composers.

Available on the PRX marketplace.

An American Stew

Default-piece-image-2 Michael Campion explores the diversity of American music with a potpourri of different kinds of works from different kinds of composers.

Music and Conversation with Philip Glass

From The WFMT Radio Network | 58:44

To celebrate the incredibly influential American composer Philip Glass's 80th birthday, enjoy this music infused hour recorded last February when he was honored by his alma mater, the University of Chicago. WFMT host Kerry Frumkin speaks with him about his life in music, where he’s been, and what’s inspired him on his particular path.


The duration is 58:44, and the show is entirely self contained, with no breaks.
The following music is featured in the program:
PHILIP GLASS (1937 -  )
Wichita Sutra Vortex
Philip Glass, Solo Piano
CBS MK 45576
Line Up, excerpt
Peter Ind, Bass; Jeff Morton, Drums, Lennie Tristano, Piano
Atlantic 1224
PHILIP GLASS (1937 -  )
“Train” from Einstein on the Beach, excerpt
The Philip Glass Ensemble
CBS M4K38875
BILLY ECKSTINE (1914-1993)
I Want to Talk About You, excerpt
John Coltrane, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone; Jimmy Garrison, bass; Elvin Jones, drums; McCoy Tyner, 
MCA Impulse 29015
RAVI SHANKAR (1920-2012)
Ravi Shankar, Sitar
Columbia 82876745022
PHILIP GLASS (1937 -  ) & RAVI SHANKAR (1920-2012)
Ragas In Minor Scale
Private Music 2074-2-P
PHILIP GLASS (1937 -  )
Serra Pelada, excerpt
Elektra Nonesuch 79192-2
PHILIP GLASS (1937 -  )
Australia, excerpt
Mark Atkins, Didgeridoo; The Philip Glass Ensemble
OMM omm0021
PHILIP GLASS (1937 -  )
Wise Man, excerpt
Roberto Carillo Cocío, Guitar; Philip Glass, Piano; Daniel Medina de la Rosa, Violin
OMM omm0090
PHILIP GLASS (1937 -  )
The Gambia
The Philip Glass Ensemble
OMM omm0021

Fiesta! (Series)

Produced by The WFMT Radio Network

Fiesta! is an original production devoted to Latino concert music, and brings artistically significant compositions from Latin America, Spain and Portugal to your listeners.

Most recent piece in this series:

FST 20-28: A Visit to Mexico, 10/4/2020

From The WFMT Radio Network | Part of the Fiesta! series | :00

no audio file