Concerts Performances from today's top artists, filmed at venues and festivals across the country.

The Decemberists Soar with 'Crane Wife' Live

Portland, Oregon's literate and theatrical rock group The Decemberists have just released what some critics are calling the year's best album. Hear selections from The Crane Wife and some of the band's earlier albums in a full concert, recorded live from Washington, D.C.

Sean Lennon in Concert

XPN

Being the son of a musical legend doesn't automatically qualify Sean Lennon to be a great musician, so it's a pleasant surprise to hear his beautiful, simple melodies and evocative voice. Lennon continues to develop as a musician, releasing Friendly Fire this month.

Sean Lennon in concert on XPN Live Fridays - 10/27/2006

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The Takacs Quartet on Beethoven's Message to God

In the spring of 1825, Beethoven got terribly sick. Came close to dying, in fact. After his recovery, he revised a string quartet he'd been working on. He added a long, reflective middle movement — a musical "thank you" to God for his life. The Takacs Quartet plays Beethoven's "Heiliger Dankgesang" in the NPR studios.

The Takacs Quartet on Beethoven's Message to God

Audio will be available later today.

Janine Jansen: A Rising Violinist Tackles Grieg

Janine Jansen is a 28-year-old rising star of the violin. Last week, she was featured by the BBC at one of its lunchtime concerts from London's Wigmore Hall. We'll sample that concert and hear Jansen's performance of the Violin Sonata No. 2 by Edvard Grieg. Itamar Golan is at the piano.

California Guitar Trio in Concert

XPN

California Guitar Trio's members are candid about the kind of music they play, which is evident from the band's name: It's an L.A.-based group of three highly skilled acoustic-guitar players. But its music isn't that simple, as it blends blues, folk, jazz, classical and surf-rock.

California Guitar Trio in concert on XPN Live Fridays - 10/20/2006

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Soukhovetski: Tchaikovsky in Style

Russian pianist Konstantin Soukhovetski weighs in with an opinion on the importance of style and fashion in the classical-music world, and he plays Tchaikovsky in concert. We're at Lincoln Center in New York to hear Soukhovetski play "June: Barcarolle" from Tchaikosky's suite The Seasons.

Soukhovetski: Tchaikovsky in Style

Audio will be available later today.

Rafal Blechacz was the first Polish pianist to win the Chopin Prize since Krystian Zimerman in 1975. Courtesy of artist. hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of artist.

Chopin by an Award-Winning Pianist

Pianist Rafal Blechacz won the 2005 International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, so he's qualified to play Chopin. He was back in Warsaw this past summer to play the Barcarolle, Op. 60, and the Etude Op. 10, No. 8.

Jenny Lewis In Concert

Singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis has a hauntingly soulful voice. Her latest CD, Rabbit Fur Coat is inspired by her lifelong love for folk, country and Southern gospel, with beautifully crafted story songs. Hear Lewis in a full concert recorded live from Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club.

Hear Jenny Lewis in Concert

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The Diamond Ensemble Plays Franz Danzi

Copenhagen is a town that loves classical music and supports it enthusiastically. While ensembles in other places have to tour constantly to make a living, the Diamond Ensemble has full support, both financially and in terms of community. They play in the Danish Royal Library now: Franz Danzi's Wind Quintet No. 2.

The Diamond Ensemble Plays Franz Danzi

Audio will be available later today.

John Gorka in Concert

XPN

Gorka's music demonstrates an easy melodic sensibility: Nothing is contrived or overproduced. His work is built around little more than his unmistakable voice and the simple, clean sounds of his guitar. Gorka performs a solo set from WXPN and World Cafe Live in Philadelphia.

John Gorka in concert on XPN Live Fridays - 10/13/2006

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Rodrigo's 'Concierto de Aranjuez' in Buffalo

From the final round of this year's JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Competition, runner-up Masao Tanibe performs the popular "Concierto de Aranjuez" by Joaquin Rodrigo. Falletta leads the Buffalo Philharmonic, in concert at Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo.

The Art of the Fugue with the Juilliard Quartet

The music world celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Juilliard Quartet Wednesday. Host Fred Child talks with the quartet's first violinist, Joel Smirnoff. And, from a 1987 Juilliard Quartet recording, we hear Bach's Contrapuncti Nos. 2, 7 and 9 from The Art of the Fugue.

The Art of the Fugue with the Juilliard Quartet

Audio will be available later today.

Built To Spill In Concert

Boise, Idaho's Built to Spill has been making smart, catchy, sometimes trippy guitar rock for nearly 15 years. Hear the band recorded live in concert from Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club, with Camper Van Beethoven.

Stephen Hough plays "Alborada del Gracioso"

In concert in Oregon at Portland Piano International, Stephen Hough plays Maurice Ravel's "Alborada del Gracioso."

Stephen Hough plays "Alborada del Gracioso"

Audio will be available later today.

Chris Smither in Concert

XPN

With 12 albums under his belt, Chris Smither qualifies as a veteran of the music industry. His elegant lyrics are arranged simply, with mostly just his own masterful finger-picking and foot-tapping to accompany him. His music qualifies as folk, but the blues influences are undeniable.

Chris Smither in concert on XPN Live Fridays - 10/06/2006

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