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May 10th & 11th - How Suite It Is

Piano suites are the focus for this week’s Between the Keys episode. The word “suite” comes from the French meaning “followers." In Western music, a suite refers to a group of dances or dance-like movements. This primarily applied to Baroque works, while Romantic era suites expanded into other areas, such as ballet or opera highlights. Basically a suite is any multi-movement work that is not a symphony, sonata or concerto.

For The Classical Network's Artist-in-Residence and Between the Keys host, producer and creator Jed Distler, exploring piano suites was like falling down the proverbial rabbit hole. "The repertoire is staggeringly wide-ranging," Jed says. "We'll hear Rameau, Albeniz, Shostakovich, Rameau, Smetana, Rachmaninov and even Duke Ellington. And we'll compare four different recordings of the Prelude from Schoenberg's Suite for Piano, as well as a rarely heard four-movement suite by Norman Dello Joio."

Tune in this week to on Tuesday night at 10, or for the rebroadcast Wednesday at noon for some "sweet suites" on Between the Keys.

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Jed Distler is Artist-in-Residence for The Classical Network and program host of Between the Keys, Tuesdays at 10 pm.