Originally published on Tue December 27, 2011 9:24 am
The folk music of Azerbaijan pervades the very rarely heard symphonic works on this album. A winning synthesis of East and West, these pieces — mostly for piano — feature five of the country's most celebrated composers, including Farhad Badalbeyli, who's also the principal piano soloist.
This Christmas season, musicians around the country are continuing a centuries-old holiday tradition: performing George Frideric Handel's Baroque masterpiece, Messiah.
In Washington, D.C., the National Symphony Orchestra has finished its 58th annual performance of the work. This year, guest conductor Matthew Halls led the orchestra, which was accompanied by four soloists and the University of Maryland Concert Choir.
Though the performance marked Halls' debut with the NSO, he is not a newcomer to Messiah.
Christmas is a time of traditions, and over the years, NPR has created a few traditions of its own. In this hourlong special, wistfulness, joy, doubt, hope — all the emotions we feel at this time of year — are summoned up in memorable stories from the NPR broadcast archives.
NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. Perhaps you remember these tales fondly. Or maybe you'll fall in love with them for the first time.
Santa Claus, Private Eye by the Duck's Breath Mystery Theatre of San Francisco