Music in the Making

Music in the Making: April Showers…

Bring May flowers! Spring has sprung in this nature-themed episode.

We’ll embrace the proverb “April showers bring May flowers,” as our theme on this week’s episode of Music in the Making. We’ll hear music by Debussy, Ravel, and others in this springtime special!

Claude Debussy: Estampes
Larissa Dedova, piano
Moores Opera House

Comprised of three movements, Debussy’s “Estampes” sends the listener to three different landscapes. The first two are exotic in nature; Pagodas imitates Javanese gamelan music, while Evening in Grenada moves us to the Iberian peninsula. The final movement, though less fanciful, is just as descriptive: in Gardens in the Rain, one hears the pattering of the rain in a toccata-like movement.

Claude Debussy
Claude Debussy

Richard Danielpour: The Enchanted Garden, Preludes, Book 1
Jeanne Kierman Fischer, piano
Duncan Recital Hall

Our second selection, titled “The Enchanted Garden,” is described by composer Richard Danielpour as a “garden of the mind.” The first movement, though, was also literally reflects the outdoors: Danielpour was inspired his daily walks through New York’s Central Park.

New York City's Central Park
New York City’s Central Park

Maurice Ravel: Jeux d’eau
Robert Brownlee, piano
Moores Opera House

Returning to those April showers, we’ll hear Ravel’s pictorial piece for piano, “Jeux d’eau.” Written early in his career in 1901, the work reflects many of the pianistic innovations that would come to characterize Ravel’s music. Rapid arpeggios and new harmonic colors aurally communicate the quote that prefaces the score: “”The river god laughs as the water tickles him.”

Maurice Ravel
Maurice Ravel

Joseph Canteloube: Chants d’Auvergne
Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra
Stude Concert Hall

For our final selection, we’re heading to the countryside of South central France, specifically, Auvergne. We’ll hear a collection of folk songs, arranged for soprano and orchestra by Joseph Canteloube. Many of the songs are inspired by the nature of the region itself, with titles like, “The Shepherdess in the Fields,” and “The Cuckoo.”

Countryside of Annonay, in the Auvergne region, where Canteloube was born
Countryside of Annonay, in the Auvergne region, where Canteloube was born.


This episode originally aired Sunday, April 30th, 2017. Catch Music in the Making every Sunday at 7:06 PM on Classical.