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A Tour Of Dvorak's 8th, New Classical Recordings Featuring KC's Joyce DiDonato

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Antonin Dvorak's Symphony No. 8 is joyful and romantic — fitting for the season, as we bid adieu to the bitter winter weather.

“It was written when Dvorak was at a resort, and this symphony sounds like that,” Kansas City Symphony executive director Frank Byrne told Steve Kraske on Up To Date.

Byrne gave listeners a guided tour of the composer's 8th symphony, from the gradual build of the first movement, the lilting waltz of the third, and the no-holds-barred finale, which Byrne describes as "one of the best things in music."

He recommended a recording of this work performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Manfred Honeck. 

Byrne also shared some of his other favorite new recordings, featuring Bach, Chopin, and two of Kansas City's own artists — organist Jan Kraybill and soprano Joyce DiDonato

Selections (Listed by composer, selection, ensemble/conductor):

  • Antonin Dvorak, Symphony No. 8, performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony/Manfred Honeck.
  • Johann Sebastian Bach, Air on the G-String, Academy of Ancient Music/Richard Edgarr.
  • Giovanni Pacini, Aria from Stella di Napoli, Orchestre and Chorus of the Opera de Lyon/Riccardo Minasi. Featuring Joyce DiDonato, soloist.
  • Morton Gould, Boogie Woogie Etude, Benjamon Grosvenor, piano.
  • Frederic Chopin, Polonaise in A-flat Major, Op. 53, Maurizio Pollini, piano.
  • Sergei Prokofiev, Montagues and Capulets, Chicago Symphony/Ricardo Muti.
  • Eugene Gigout, Grand Choeur Dialogue, Jan Kraybill, organ.
  • Leo Delibes, March and Procession of Bacchus from Sylvia, San Francisco symphony/Michael Tilson Thomas.
In addition to being KCUR's afternoon newscaster, Lisa Rodriguez covers city hall and other news around Kansas City. Follow her on Twitter @larodrig.