Snowy owls and superb music this week in the mornings on Classical 91.5

I keep thinking about recent chatter on social media about the relevancy of classical music. The whole debate seems ludicrous when I consider the passion and dedication of thousands of amateurs and hundreds of professional musicians working and living in Rochester, not to mention the tens of thousands of listeners and supporters of our full-time classical music station on WXXI.  Thank you for sharing with me the beauty and energy of music, day in and day out.  Remember, if you have a smartphone, you can listen wherever you go with the WXXI mobile app for iPhone and Android Phone. 

More owls?  Click here for one of the most striking images I've seen of snowy owls spotted in Western New York.

Here's what's coming your way in the mornings this week:

Tuesday, January 28

Renée Fleming will sing a beautiful aria from an opera being staged at Eastman this coming weekend.  You'll hear how an appearance on From the Top changed flutist Jennifer Zhou.  The Composer’s Datebook profiles Sir John Tavener.  On Writer’s Almanac, readers react to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. On the playlist: a thrilling overture by Shostakovich, the Dance of the Hours, and Vaughan Williams’ English folk song suite.

Wednesday, January 29

Wake up to wistful pastoral music, a set of Swedish airs, a recording of the legendary Hermann Prey singing Mozart.  John Williams rings in the concert hall on the Composer’s Datebook.   On the Writer’s Almanac, "comedy is a serious business.”

Thursday, January 30

George Gershwin evokes the busy streets of Paris.  Julianne Baird suspends time in an exquisite song by John Dowland.  On the Composer’s Datebook Composer and cornet virtuoso Herbert L. Clarke. Julia Figueras previews an evening in Paris in conversation with Russian-American violinist Philippe Quint and RPO guest conductor Fabien Gabel, and you’ll have the chance to win tickets to Thursday night’s concert featuring Stravinsky’s Firebird!

Friday, January 31

Start another cold morning with music for moving, dancing, getting ready for the day. The playlist includes Paul Schoenfield’s Café Music, Saint-Saens’ Dance Macabre, and Assad’s Turkish Dance. On the Composer’s Datebook, we’ll visit "Old Churches" by Michael Colgrass.