Insight With Beth Ruyak

Hosted By Beth Ruyak

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Music With A Spin: New Releases On Old Classics


Classical host Kevin Doherty will host this week's Sound Advice. Below is his commentary about the music he will sample.

This Sound Advice is about some new releases and a yet to be released album, but I’ve found another thread as well: reinvention. Each of these selections is a fresh spin in some form or another on the classics.

Spring 1 - song

Daniel Hope, Violin; Zurich Chamber Orchestra - performed by

For Seasons - album

Max Richter - composer

Chances are, you’ve heard this melody at some point in your life:  

Vivaldi Sample


You may have heard it in an elevator, on hold, a television commercial, etc. It’s "Spring" from Vivaldi’s four popular violin concertos known as the "Four Seasons." It’s about as classical music as one can get.

 Five years ago, British Composer Max Richter released an album called "Recomposed," which is a reimagining of the Vivaldi Masterwork.

It’s a postmodern and sometimes minimalist version of the original. There are some movements that Richter changed completely and there are some that he just kind of tweaked slightly.

The movement we are about to hear appears on violinist Daniel Hope’s newest album called, appropriately enough, "For Seasons." It is called "Spring 1" and it’s the Richter’s version of the clip we heard earlier. It sounds different enough, it sounds modern, but it absolutely hangs on to the essence of the Vivaldi.

Max Richter’s Recomposed is on repeat for me right now. I’ve listened to them a lot and I’ll tell you what; they have helped me gain a new appreciation for Vivaldi’s original four concertos. Daniel Hope and Richter would tell you that too.

Trio Sonata No. 6/1 - song

Yo-Yo Ma, Cello; Chris Thile, Mandolyn; Edgar Meyer, Double Bass - performed by

Bach Trios - album

Johann Sebastian Bach - composer

A new Bach album featuring celebrity cellist Yo-Yo Ma, mandolin player and host of Prairie Home Companion, Chris Thile, and renowned double bassist and Oak Ridge, Tennessee native Edgar Meyer has just been released.

Ma, Thile, and Meyer are a true classical music super group. It’s the third time they’ve collaborated and their new album is very simply entitled "Bach Trios." They’ve chosen Bach because of the composer’s versatility. For example, this next piece was written for organ and here we are hearing cello, mandolin and double bass.

Whether Bach is writing for one instrument or several, there is no one who could write for each individual voice better and not detract from the ensemble.

There’s a line in the liner notes that I love and it’s this - “Suffering was not yet a requirement for the 18th-century composer.”

I think that’s mainly a shot at Beethoven, who we’ll hear from shortly. I love that statement because you can hear the joy and the light-heartedness in this composition. For Bach, music was a spiritual practice of the highest form.

CAPRICE NO. 24 - song




Rachel Barton Pine was in town last week and I was lucky enough to have the chance to chat with her.

She has a new album coming on May 19 out called "Bel Canto Paganini" and it’s the 24 Caprices of Nicolo Paganini. Paganini is one of the great and most influential violinists of all time and his Caprices are among some of the most virtuosic ever written.

Pine said these pieces aren’t about showing off but rather “it’s about taking audiences on a journey through what a violin is capable of.”

Paganini Sample


For more fireworks, check out the video of Rachel Barton Pine playing violin in our garden, taken by Multimedia Producer Andrew Nixon

Symphony No. 9/4 - song

Colorado Symphony Orchestra - performed by

Beethoven Symphony No. 9 - album

Ludwig Van Beethoven - composer

The Colorado Symphony out of Denver has made some serious strides in recent years to get themselves recognized as one of the top Symphony Orchestras in the country.

Their latest step in that direction was starting their own record label called "Colorado Symphony Multimedia and Recording." Kudos to the organization for taking a 21st-century approach to their first album on the new label; in the style of Drake and Beyoncé, its release was a surprise!

There is no better way to enter the market than with one of the greatest symphonies ever written, "Beethoven’s Ninth." The symphony came at the end of Beethoven’s life.

A life in which Beethoven encountered many struggles. The composer’s most well-known obstacle was his deafness. Fully deaf at the time of the premier performance, it was Beethoven’s first time back on stage conducting in 12 years.

The entire symphony is truly something to behold and the first to use voices in the genre. The fourth movement is dubbed the “Ode to Joy.”

Beethoven Sample

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