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IPR’s Classical Request Show Has Introduced Me To Musical Gems

Larisa Birta

On the last Friday of the month IPR Classical plays requests. Here are a few of our favorites that have been recommended by our audience.

It’s not surprising that J.S. Bach has drawn the most votes or that his Goldberg Variations are the most-requested work. But as I look back on four years of the show, what jumps out at me is music that had been off my radar but should have been on it.

Here’s a small sample of Request Day’s crowdsourced musical gold. If you have a request you'd like to submit for a Friday show, please do email me your picks! I'll continue to share great requests in the coming months.

Sergei Prokofiev - “Winter Bonfire”

I can’t think of a catchier children’s work than “Peter and the Wolf,” but I hadn’t heard of this other Prokofiev charmer for kids. Unlike “Peter,” this one is better without the narration. Check it out!

Meira Warshauer - Symphony No. 1, “Living, Breathing Earth”

Contemplating “the image of the rainforests as lungs of the earth,” the composer wrote this symphony inspired by “the rhythms and shadings of the earth.” An IPR Classical listener heard it on Performance Today, then requested it. Even without the imagery in mind it’s beautiful.

Carlos Chávez - Symphony no. 2, "Sinfonía india"

For this one-movement symphony, the great Mexican composer borrows melodies of the Yaqui, Sera, and Huichol tribes of northern Mexico, which he’d heard as a child. He also incorporated Mexican percussion instruments. For me, the result is impossible to resist.

Ennio Morricone - “Once Upon A Time In America: Deborah’s Song” performed by Yo-Yo Ma, with the Roma Sinfonietta conducted by Ennio Morricone

I really should have paid attention to this Italian composer’s film scores. Luckily, Yo-Yo Ma did so, but I neglected his recordings until an IPR Classical listener requested a sample.

IPR Music IPR Classical
Barney Sherman is a Senior Music Producer and Classical Music Host