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Classical Music

Classical Classroom, Episode 66: When Classical Music Strikes, With Pierre Jalbert

Composer Pierre Jalbert on how Ravel and Crumb changed his life.



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Pierre Jalbert

Producer Todd has been wandering around somewhere in the woods for the past week. We think he’s found his way out, but while he readjusts to civilization, please enjoy this episode from the Classical Classroom vault!


"You gotta hear this one song. It'll change your life." – Pierre Jalbert to me*.

Have you ever heard a piece of music that truly moved you? Has a piece of music actually changed the course of your life? Ravel and George Crumb wrote pieces of music that played huge roles in the life of a young Pierre Jalbert. He talks about these two pieces of music, how he encountered them, how they work, and how they are woven into the fabric of his life and work.

Audio production in this episode by Todd "Toots" Hulslander with angry Footloose dancing from Dacia Clay.

Music in this episode:

  • Maurice Ravel: String Quartet in F major, fourth movement, played by the Emerson String Quartet
  • George Crumb: Black Angels, "God-music", played by the Miro Quartet
  • Pierre Jalbert:
    • Visual Abstract, for chamber ensemble: II. Dome of Heaven (from the CD Chamber Music)
    • Icefield Sonnets for string quartet

Hear music from our episode using this handy Spotify playlist!


*Actually, Pierre didn't say this to me. But, Natalie Portman says it to Zach Braff in the movie Garden State about a song by the Shins called "New Slang", which is, actually, a darn good song.