Jim Cunningham calls from backstage at the Palau de la Musica in Barcelona, where the PSO is having its first rehearsal of the tour for this evening's concert of Mahler's Symphony #2. Principal piccolo Rhian Kenny talks about her part in the Mahler and describes the hall. Cellists Bronwyn Branerdt shares her impressions of Barcelona and Mahler, and Adam Liu explains why he's travelling with a practice cello that looks like something you might find at IKEA.
Jim Cunningham files his first report of the tour from sunny Barcelona, where the orchestra has arrived by various flights and will adjust to the six-hour time change at the ultra-modern beachside Hotel Arts Barcelona. Violist Marylene Gingras-Roy talks about meeting up with relatives for sighteesing, and the concerts she's looking forward to on this tour. Jim assesses Spain's TV morning shows, and looks forward to concerts in Spain with a new organ and Spanish choir.
Jim Cunningham is joined by Pittsburgh Symphony violinist Alison Fujito in Barcelona on the night of a big soccer tournament. Like other PSO players, she's glad to be reunited with her instrument from the orchestra's instrument trunks and talks about rehearsing on the road and preparing for the concerts and recording session. Jim describes Adam Liu's collapsible practice cello, which looks like something IKEA might make.
At the Miró Museum in Barcelona, not one of a handful of PSO players could single out the fairest work by Spanish modernist Joan Miró. String players Paul Silver, Michael Lipman, David Premo, Carolyn Edwards, and Aron Zelkowicz are on their way to a castle. We get a construction update on Gaudi's Segrada Familia, and a rave for Spanish hot chocolate. Jim paints a verbal picture of the hill known as Montjuïc, and Paul Silver wraps up last night's Barcelona vs. Celtic soccer match.
QED 89.3's Jim Cunningham interviews Swiss yodeler Melanie Oesch, who fronts her family folk band, die Dritten. From the Bernese Oberland, the Oesch family has found success with traditional yodeling accompanied by large and small accordion, guitar, and electric bass.
PSO Contrabassonist James Rodgers joins QED's Jim Cunningham, who describes his visit to Barcelona's Picasso Museum in and the joys of tapas. Rodgers has been touring the city with a college roommate, experiencing things off the tourist maps. They met at a music store, where Rodgers wound up buying an unusual double-reed instrument. Rodgers tested his heavy contrabassoon as soon as it finally became accessible. He talks about the colorful exterior of the Palau de Musica, where the orchestra will perform with the Orfeo Catala, which locals say is an impressive choir.