Deceptive CadenceDeceptive Cadence

From NPR Classical

Nico Muhly's new holiday song is based on Longfellow's poem Snow-flakes. Matthew Murphy/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Matthew Murphy/Courtesy of the artist

Music Makers

Songs We Love: Nico Muhly, 'Whispered and Revealed'

Hear a deceptive take on the winter blues by way of a versatile choir, a young New York composer and a 150-year-old poem by Longfellow.

Listen Loading… 3:23
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/459092780/459227067" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Simon Smith's new album traces the career of Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov. Veronica Alva/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Veronica Alva/Courtesy of the artist

Tigran Hamasyan merges ancient Armenian sacred music with jazz piano. Vahan Stepanyan/ECM hide caption

toggle caption Vahan Stepanyan/ECM

Music Makers

Songs We Love: Tigran Hamasyan, 'Your Mercy is Boundless'

Award-winning pianist Tigran Hamasyan merges ancient sacred hymns from his homeland with improvisation, and a little mystery.

Listen Loading… 6:42
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/446928052/446929930" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Louis Moreau Gottschalk was America's first musical superstar. Library of Congress hide caption

toggle caption Library of Congress

Music Makers

Piano Twang: Steven Mayer Plays 'Le Banjo'

Music by New Orleans native Louis Moreau Gottschalk, America's first musical superstar, is a gumbo of styles including pop and classical.

Listen Loading… 3:56
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/436264390/436292676" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ gives a Gershwin classic an expressive, evocative twist with the đàn bâù, a traditional Vietnamese instrument. Nguyen Nhat Hoang/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Nguyen Nhat Hoang/Courtesy of the artist

Music Makers

'Summertime' In Hanoi

Performer and composer Vân-Ánh Vanessa Võ gives the Gershwin classic a distinct Vietnamese twist with the đàn bâù, an evocative traditional instrument.

Listen Loading… 7:15
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/429653092/429723378" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

William Schimmel distills Mahler's lengthy Ninth Symphony down to under seven minutes. Illustration by Joan Chiverton hide caption

toggle caption Illustration by Joan Chiverton

Music Makers

A Mahler Symphony Squeezed In A Squeezebox

Accordionist William Schimmel creates a daring yet touching six-minute distillation of Mahler's mighty Ninth, with detours for tango and trumpet solos by Wynton Marsalis.

Listen Loading… 6:40
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/427814263/427844509" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Sarah Kirkland Snider's song cycle Unremembered comes out Sept. 4. Willy Somma/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Willy Somma/Courtesy of the artist

Music Makers

Song Of A Haunted Childhood

"The Witch," from composer Sarah Kirkland Snider's new album Unremembered, inspires childlike fear. Hear singer Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond spin out a tale of terror.

Listen Loading… 6:30
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/425360991/425362618" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The Icelandic group Nordic Affect has commissioned new works for its forthcoming album, Clockworking. David Oldfield hide caption

toggle caption David Oldfield

Music Makers

Songs We Love: Nordic Affect, 'Clockworking'

A quartet of Icelandic women imagines the clicks and whirs of a giant clock. The blend of strings and electronics mimics the interaction of humans and machines.

Listen Loading… 7:37
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/422862575/422870128" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Pianist Bruce Brubaker has been playing Philip Glass' music for more than 20 years. Timothy Saccenti hide caption

toggle caption Timothy Saccenti

Music Makers

Bruce Brubaker's Flowing, Meditative Glass

In Philip Glass' music, the pianist shifts between delicate oscillation and stormy arpeggios.

Listen Loading… 16:58
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/407056893/407739135" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Andras Schiff had a change of heart when it comes to the fortepiano. Nadia F. Romanini/ECM Records hide caption

toggle caption Nadia F. Romanini/ECM Records

On the Bang on a Can All-Stars' new album, Field Recordings, composers riff on a range of recorded sounds. Peter Serling/Bang on a Can hide caption

toggle caption Peter Serling/Bang on a Can

Percussionist Kuniko's new album is devoted to music by Iannis Xenakis. Linn Records hide caption

toggle caption Linn Records

Music Makers

Songs We Love: Kuniko, 'Rebonds - B'

The modernist composer's solo percussion music — fueled by quick pulses in bongos and the fat punctuations of bass drums — flows in a new recording.

Listen Loading… 6:20
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/398323829/398349287" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Violinist Hilary Hahn. Michael Patrick O'Leary/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Michael Patrick O'Leary/Courtesy of the artist

Now Playing

Hilary Hahn Marches Through Mozart

Violinist Hilary Hahn has been playing Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5 since she was just 10 years old. Twenty-five years on, she brings grace and immense force and to this music.

Listen Loading… 8:55
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/396606726/396857766" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The Kronos Quartet. Jay Blakesberg/Courtesy of the artists hide caption

toggle caption Jay Blakesberg/Courtesy of the artists

Now Playing

Songs We Love: Kronos Quartet, 'Cercle Du Nord III'

Derek Charke's Cercle du Nord III teems with the sounds of life — modern and ancient — in the Arctic.

Listen Loading… 13:24
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/395100779/395111701" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The Tallis Scholars sing the music of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. Eric Richmond hide caption

toggle caption Eric Richmond

Music Makers

Songs We Love: The Tallis Scholars, 'Nunc Dimittis'

A British choral group, known for its incandescent sound, reveals bells and sunlight in the Estonian composer's Nunc dimittis.

Listen Loading… 5:49
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/393859651/393900416" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Tenor Bryan Hymel sings shining high Cs in the Rossini aria "Asile héréditaire." Dario Acosta/Warner Classics hide caption

toggle caption Dario Acosta/Warner Classics

Music Makers

Songs We Love: Bryan Hymel, 'Asile héréditaire'

A young tenor from New Orleans elegantly launches high Cs in a stirring but punishingly difficult Rossini aria. This is why we listen to opera!

Listen Loading… 9:04
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/388783314/388790791" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The new album by piano duo Anderson and Roe is devoted to J.S. Bach. Ken Schles hide caption

toggle caption Ken Schles

Music Makers

Songs We Love: Anderson & Roe, 'Erbarme Dich'

The bitter suffering and voluptuous lyricism of Bach's St. Matthew Passion are channeled with empathy by a popular piano duo.

Listen Loading… 6:09
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/384060300/384063133" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

The Knights play a mix of Reich, Bach, Stravinsky and a couple of their own compositions on their new album. The Knights hide caption

toggle caption The Knights

Music Makers

The Knights, Steve Reich: 'Duet' For Two Violins And Strings

Minimalism reaches back to its ancient roots when a vibrant young chamber orchestra shares six minutes of mesmerizing sunshine by Steve Reich.

Listen Loading… 5:50
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/376716265/376722936" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Composer Andrew Norman's new album is called Play. BMOP Sound hide caption

toggle caption BMOP Sound

John Luther Adams' new album, The Wind in High Places, evokes austere landscapes and mysterious light. Kris Serafin hide caption

toggle caption Kris Serafin