Live and Local on KWTU: A Note About the Music

Apr 5, 2018

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who supported our Spring Fund Drive on KWTU last month. For me, it was more than just a wonderful opportunity to make the case for supporting Public Radio Tulsa; it was also a chance to play some of my favorite recordings for you on Classical 88.7.

I collaborated with composer Michael Daugherty on the libretto to his song cycle This Land Sings when it premiered here in Tulsa in 2016. You could tell Daugherty’s iconoclastic style would be a perfect fit for the wit and wisdom of Woody Guthrie just by hearing his earlier tribute to Americana, Route 66.

I first met South African pianist Petronel Malan on Twitter (of all places) back in 2010; since then, she has performed in Tulsa four times, and I’ve written the liner notes two of her albums; her interpretation of Brahms’s Opus 39 Waltzes from her 2016 CD is particularly stunning.

Singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens is having a moment right now, with one of his poignant songs from the film Call Me By Your Name receiving an Oscar nomination. His suite from Run Rabbit Run, arranged for The Knights, was a highlight on one of my favorite 2017 releases, and while it might push the limits of classical music for some, I think it represents a bright future for the art.

A visiting harpsichordist recently raved about Dutch conductor Jos van Immerseel’s iconoclastic interpretation of Ravel’s Bolero, and while never I thought I needed another recording of that old chestnut, I was astounded by the sounds produced by the Anima Eterna orchestra using French instruments from the 1920s. It really helped me to hear the piece with new ears.

These are just some of the works I was able to program across the eight hours of our KWTU Spring Fund Drive. I hope they made your own day that much brighter. As for me, I know I’m already looking forward to the fall!