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Looking back at 2020 on Between the Keys December 15th and 16th

“Originally I planned to present a Beethoven 250th anniversary program this week,” explained the Classical Network’s Artist-in-Residence Jed Distler. “But I kept thinking that maybe instead I should look back on this crazy year, and reflect on the musical milestones. Which, of course, include Beethoven, but not exclusively.”

As a consequence, Episode 286 of the  ASCAP Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award winning program Between the Keys will feature the work of pianists Peter Serkin, Keith Jarrett, Igor Levit , Ivan Lilic, and harpsichordist Jory Vikikour. Distler also showcases music by Harold Shapero in celebration of this underrated American composer’s centenary, and remembers his late friend and colleague Noah Creshevsky, who passed away this month. “Noah’s hyperrealism aesthetic resulted in a large body of stimulating and provocative electroacoustic compositions,” says Distler. “His work is painstakingly crafted and wildly imaginative, yet firmly controlled by virtue of an inherent classicism. Out of all the creator of electronic music I know, Noah was one of the few who I consider to be a real composer.”

Naturally Beethoven’s birthday looms large, and Distler will discuss Daniel Barenboim’s fourth complete cycle of Beethoven Piano Sonatas  to be released on audio CDs, recorded this past spring in Berlin during lockdown. “To prepare for reviewing this set, I underwent intensive marathon listening sessions, where I compared these new recordings alongside Barenboim’s three earlier cycles,” says Distler, “and it was fascinating to trace more than fifty years of Barneboim’s interpretive evolution. I’ll give you a little sample of what I observed.”

Tune in this Tuesday December 15th at 10 PM for Between the Keys, with a rebroadcast Wednesday December 16th at noon, exclusively on The Classical Network and