‘From the Village to the Concert Hall: Folk Meets Classical’ on KRCU 90.9 FM

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Jan. 21, 2005 – National Public Radio’s (NPR) “Performance Today,” which can be heard weekdays from 9 to 11 a.m. on KRCU 90.9 FM at Southeast Missouri State University, will present a special five-part series during the week of Jan. 24.

The series seeks its roots in the folk music of Hungary, Scotland, China, Spain and the United States. “Performance Today” will go outside the concert hall in this series “From the Village to the Concert Hall,” and some top-notch folk musicians will come into NPR’s Studio 4A to play live. 

On Monday, Jan. 24, Hungarian violinist/fiddler Barnabas Kelemen will play gypsy violin.  Peter Laki joins

“Performance Today” host Fred Child to talk about Bartok and the thousands of folk tunes he collected. And a Hungarian gypsy band will play in the Esterhazy Palace where Joseph Haydn had to dress in a powdered wig and stockings to appear before the prince.

Tuesday, Jan. 25, is Robert Burns’ birthday, so Scottish music is inevitable. A recipe for haggis should set your juices flowing, and music by Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser, Cape Breton  flutist Chris Norman, and the ensemble Ferintosh will lead into the classical Scottish Fantasy by Max Bruch. 

Wednesday, Jan. 26, will be a world apart along the Silk Road to China. Pipa player Wu Man and friends will mix up Chinese and western music.  The Silk Road Ensemble, a combination of classically trained and ethnic Chinese folk musicians, will be in Studio 4A, and the Shanghai Quartet will play western arrangements of Chinese folk songs. 

On Thursday, Jan. 27, Performance Today will travel to the land of fandangos and bulerías.  Chatham Baroque will play 17th century Spanish dances, and Eva Encinias from the National Institute of Flamenco will deconstruct the complex rhythms that make up the modern national dance of Spain, known as flamenco.  Pepe Romero will join Fred in Studio 4A with the national instrument of Spain. 

On Friday, Jan. 28, Performance Today will come back home for American folk music.  Fiddler Mark O’Connor will demo American fiddling styles — bluegrass, jazz, ragtime, swing, country, Appalachian, blues, Cajun and Texas.  The group Hesperus will be live in studio 4A with early American tunes.  Bela Fleck will bring his banjo and his buddy, Edgar Meyer, will play their unique classical/folk mix, and Cecile Licad will make the piano into a banjo, in music of Scott Joplin.

 “The wall between folk and classical is crumbling, because the folk roots are creeping under the wall, and the classical branches are hanging over it,” says “Performance Today” host Fred Child.

The series will exam where folk music and classical music intersect.  It will ask, “Is it the musicians who play in a Celtic band one weekend and in the symphony the next?  Is it the music – classical settings of folk tunes and folksy settings of Bach and Beethoven?   Is it the instruments – a violin used as a fiddle, or a cimbalom in the orchestra?  Or is it some new fusion that’s being created fresh?”

The answer is “yes” to all of the above. 

“From the Village to the Concert Hall” can be heard all week Jan. 24-28 on NPR’s “Performance Today.”

Southeast Public Radio is Cape Girardeau’s local Public Radio International affiliate and a National Public Radio member station, providing national and local programs that are both informative and entertaining. For more information, visit www.krcu.org.