Singing and other Sins is broadcast on Hawaii Public Radio Saturday afternoons at 5pm (on HPR 2 for those who wish to stream.) You can read more on the history of the program and its name.
If you want to hear a program again, or you missed a program, most of them are archived here.
Listen to as little or as much of a program as you like. If you have requests, comments or suggestions, please let me know.
Streisand: 24 June Barbra Streisand Sings Art Song: In a career that spans six decades, the American singer, songwriter, actress, and filmmaker even ventured into the realm of art song with her album Classical Barbra recorded in 1973. Host Blair Boone-Migura compares some of Streisand’s interpretations of Fauré, Debussy, Wolf, and others with more traditional performances by Elly Ameling, Benita Valente, Renée Fleming, and Jessye Norman.
McCormack/Pears: 17 June A Tale of Two Tenors: Host Blair Boone-Migura celebrates the June birthdays of two remarkable tenors, Irishman, John McCormack and Englishman, Peter Pears. Blair pays tribute to the two tenors with samples from their many art song performances of Schubert, Schumann, Britten, Rachmaninoff, and more.
Brahms: 20 May 2017 The beauty of Brahms. Host Blair Boone-Migura, looks at some of the most beloved Lieder by the master of the melodic line, Johannes Brahms. Featured are treasures from his catalog of songs including, Wiegenlied, Wie Melodien zieht es mir, Die Mainacht, and many more, as well as excerpts from some of Brahms’s solo piano works.
Dichterliebe: 13 May 2017 Blair compares two excellent singers’ recordings of Schumann’s Dichterliebe. Tenor, Fritz Wunderlich and baritone, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau are the two great voices, but there’s an added dimension. Blair has chosen different recordings of DFD: the pianists include Brendel, Horowitz, Moore, and Eschenbach.
Debussy: Ariettes Oubliées: 29 April 2017 Blair speaks French and has made a specialty of studying mélodies, so it’s a natural fit for him to share his love of these mature Debussy songs. You’ll hear each song twice: once by a French native and the second time by a non-French singer. A lot of beauty!
Four Last Songs: 15 April 2017 Blair samples various recordings of the Richard Strauss Four Last Songs and is thus able to play each of them twice. His choices are wonderful and historic.
Röschmann/Uchida: 8 April 2017 This combination of opera soprano and solo pianist made for a Grammy award and rightly so. Everything was performed with unanimity and understanding of the relationship between the text and the music.
A. E. Housman: 25 March 2017 Housman’s Shropshire Lad was a successful group of poems relating to the English countryside, as well as to love and death. The book, as well as other individual poems by Housman were set by many early 20th century English composers. We hear multiple versions of single poems.
Thomas Muraco: 18 March 2017 Muraco, conductor, pianist, vocal coach, speaks about the singers with whom he’s worked in an interview with Blair Boone-Migura. You’ll hear Muraco at the piano in live recordings with singers such as Ben Hepner, Maureen Forrester, John Cheek, and others.
Bartoli: 11 March 2017 Cecilia Bartoli, mezzo soprano, possesses a wonderful voice which can be as flexible or expressive as she wants. On this program we sample both her art songs and opera arias.
Art Songs of Ukraine: 4 March 2017 For the first time in either Great Songs or SaoS, we offer the songs of Ukraine (from the Ukrainian Art Song Project), beginning with their most famous composer, Mikola Lysenko.
Lotte Lehmann Studio vs Live: 25 February 2017 We celebrate Lehmann’s birthday by listening to studio recordings compared with the same song performed on the recital stage. You be the judge. Does one sound more spontaneous or immediate?
February Gals: 18 February 2017 Blair produced a program that features mezzo sopranos and soprano of the past and recent past that were all born in February. And what a list of wonderful singers of great art songs: Anderson, Ameling, Price, Freni, Lehmann, and many more!
Björling: One of the Great Voices: 5 February 2017 Blair and Gary discovered that they both loved the voice of Jussi Björling so they developed this joint program. You’ll hear him sing Lieder, a Swedish song and a few surprises.
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau vs Mattias Goerne: 22 January 2017 Goerne studied with DF-D so it makes for an interesting program to listen to these two baritones sing the same Lied.
Pierre Bernac Two: 15 January 2017 Blair Boone-Migura celebrates the birthdays of Francis Poulenc, one of his favorite singers, Pierre Bernac, and Bernac’s disciple and melody expert, Thomas Grubb, all born in January. He interviews Mr. Grubb on his influential book, his famous pupils, misunderstandings about singing in French and more. Besides recordings of Poulenc songs with the composer himself at the piano and Bernac singing, you’ll hear this duo in other composers’ works. Mr. Grubb has graciously provided a recommended reading list for listeners interested in further exploration of the French vocal repertoire.
Pierre Bernac One: 8 January 2017 Blair Boone-Migura celebrates the birthdays of Francis Poulenc, his favorite singer, Pierre Bernac, and Bernac’s disciple and melody expert, Thomas Grubb, all born in January. He interviews Mr. Grubb on his studies with Bernac and many other facets of the world of mélodie. You’ll hear recordings of Poulenc songs with the composer himself at the piano and Bernac singing.
Emily Dickinson Poems as Song: 11 December 2016 Celebrating Dickinson’s birthday and standing as the most often set American poet. So often that I can offer three or four different composers’ versions of the poems.
Bohuslav Martinu: 4 December 2016 We celebrate his birthday with a broad sampling of his songs, as well as instrumental music.
Bach Solo Songs: 27 November 2016 Devotional songs, as well as their counterparts in chorus, and classic Bach instrumentals.
Swedish Songs: 20 November 2016 Many of the great Romantic composers of Sweden sung by Björling, Bonney, von Otter, Hagegård, and even Lotte Lehmann.
Symphonic Voices: 13 November 2016 A chance to hear “songs” indebted in a symphony orchestra’s sound. Everything from Mahler to Shostakovich.
Rorem: 23 October 2016 Blair Boone-Migura joins me in a telephone interview with the great American composer, pianist, and author Ned Rorem to celebrate his 93rd birthday. We play recordings of favorite Rorem songs, chamber music, and other instrumental works.
Henri Duparc II: 9 October 2016 Blair Boone-Migura hosts the second of his two programs of the beautiful songs of Duparc. This program features the French Romantic composer’s impressive mature works. Translations
Henri Duparc I: 2 October 2016 Blair Boone-Migura hosts the first of two programs featuring the mélodies of this enigmatic and under appreciated composer. Duper’s world will sweep you away! Translations
Marni Nixon Memorial: 25 September 2016 Marni died in July 2016 and this program tries to demonstrate that she was more thantthe “ghostess with the mostess.” You’ll hear samples of her performances of cabaret, American Song Book, classical, and art song. You’ll hear her speak and even sing the serial technique music of Boulez!
John Ireland: 14 July 2016 This English composer is unjustly neglected and with so many fine recordings of his songs available, I try to play each of these beautiful songs twice, so that you can get to know their contours.
Art Songs with Obligato Instrument(s): 31 July 2016 We begin with the most obvious: Schubert’s Shepherd on the Rock with clarinet and sample Romantic and modern examples of this beautiful genre.
Gender Identity: 17 July 2016 Can you guess the gender of a composer by listening to his/her work?
Summer Songs from All Over: 10 July 2016
Recent American ArtSong: 3 July 2016
Lullabies: 26 June 2016
Walt Whitman: 29 May 2016 Songs inspired by the poetry of Walt Whitman.
Introduction to Art Song: 22 May 2016 For the person who doesn’t know enough art song to know if she/he likes it, this program offers a variety of ways to find out: songs with guitar, songs to tunes we know, songs in English, songs performed by beautiful voices, etc. Playlist
Brigitte Fassbaender: 20 March 2016 Sampling the new 8 CD box set from EMI.
Peter Schreier: 13 March 2016 Sampling the new 8+ CD box set from Berlin Classics.
Christa Ludwig: 6 March 2016 Sampling the new 5 CD box set from Warner Classics.
Lotte Lehmann B’day: 28 February 2016 You can hear arias and art songs (Lieder) along with excerpts from my iBook: Lotte Lehmann & Her Legacy.
Elly Ameling B’day: 7 February 2016
Winter Songs: 31 January 2016 Those songs that make you snuggle up to a warm blanket.
Mystery Singer: 27 December 2015 See if you can guess the name of the singer.
HPR’s International Art Song Contest Winners 2015: 20 December 2015 Three Winners perform mini-recitals of art songs. The Winners are: Ina Kancheva with pianist Ludmil Angelov; Jennifer Piazza-Pick with pianist Cheryl Cellon Lindquist; Franco Pomponi with pianist Michael Fennelly. Translations
Sibelius Two: 13 December 2015 The second of two programs celebrating the birthday of Jan Sibelius. Not really art song, these are vocal works (usually of sagas etc) with full rich orchestra accompaniment.
Sibelius One: 6 December 2015 The first of two programs celebrating the birthday of Jan Sibelius. Not really art song, these are vocal works (usually of sagas etc) with full rich orchestra accompaniment.
Wm Blake Poetry as Art Songs 2015: 29 November 2015
Benjamin Britten Canticles 2015: 22 November 2015
Copland Songs to Dickinson Poems: 15 November 2015 This is a replay. Now you can follow along with the Dickinson poetry. Just scroll down to 2012 and you’ll find the original program. Thanks.
Ned Rorem 2015: 25 October 2015 Celebrating Rorem’s 92nd b’day: phone interview and classic recording of his songs.
Art Song Contest Semi-Finalists 2015: 18 October 2015
Neapolitan Songs: 4 October 2015
Bastile Day French Light Songs: 15 July 2015
American Parlor Songs: 5 July 2015
Janacek Songs: 28 June 2015
Korngold’s Songs: 31 May 2015
Michael Tippett Songs: 24 May 2015
French Opera and French Song: 17 May 2015
Brahms Folk Songs: 3 May 2015
Guitar-Accompanied Art Songs: 8 February 2015. Classical and modern song with guitar accompaniment.
Spirituals: 11 January 2015. Some of the most beautiful recordings of spirituals from throughout the 20th century: Roland Hayes, Marion Anderson, Leontyne Price, etc.
Stoner Art Songs: 4 January 2015. Not just Jabberwocky, but spacey songs by Brahms, Schubert, and even Mussorgsky.
Guess the Composers: 28 December 2014. I play ten composers and give hints as to who they are. Some of the hints are facts, others the art song. You identify the composer.
Mildred Miller 90th B’day I : 14 December 2014. The first of two programs honoring the great American mezzo soprano, Mildred Miller. On this first one she sings the classic Bruno Walter/New York Philharmonic version of Mahler’s Lied von der Erde. Translation
Mildred Miller 90th B’day II: 21 December 2014. The interview with Ms. Miller continues and she sings Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen and the Brahms Alto Rhapsody with Bruno Walter conducting. Then excerpts from Robert Schumann’s Op. 39 Liederkreis with John Wustman, piano.
Heinrich Heine’s Poems as Songs: 7 December 2014. More songs (Lieder) have been written to the words of Heine than any other poet! By far. On this program I sample some of them and provide recordings of various settings of the same words. Translation
21st Century Art Songs (First): 2 November 2014. The first of five programs celebrating the art songs of our time.
21st Century Art Songs (Second): 9 November 2014. The second of five programs celebrating the art songs of our time.
21st Century Art Songs (Third): 16 November 2014. The third of five programs celebrating the art songs of our time.
21st Century Art Songs (Fourth): 23 November 2014. The fourth of five programs celebrating the art songs of our time.
21st Century Art Songs – Dickinson (Fifth): 30 November 2014. The fifth of five programs celebrating the art songs of our time, with an emphasis on those written to Dickinson poems.
Bizet 2014: 26 October 2014. Celebrating his b’day with mélodie as well as a few other sins.
Countertenors : 21 September 2014. A survey of countertenors at work, from Baroque to Pop and everything in between.
Rorem: 19 October 2014. Songs and instrumental works to celebrate the composer’s 91st birthday. He was kind enough to allow a phone interview, which also is available as part of this program.
Scottish: 12 October 2014. Scotland was in the news so much that it seemed appropriate to play Scottish folk songs, art song, instrumental music (of course, Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy) and even some authentic Kaeltic singing.
Yom Kippur: 5 October 2014. With a little help from Cantor Cohen, I was able to assemble this program which features various versions of Kol Nidrei as well as some cantors of the past intoning varous prayers.
Folk Songs as Art Songs: 7 September 2014. This theme works in both directions: some composers have arranged folk songs as art songs. Brahms, Bartok and Britten were prime examples. From the other direction, we know of art songs by Schubert and Brahms et al which, though they began as art songs, become folk songs.
Milhaud’s Birthday: 13 August 2014. Drawing on both his French and Jewish heritage, Darius Milhaud wrote many splendid songs. Whenever possible you’ll hear comparison recordings to allow you to get to know the elusive tunes. Translations
Songs About Music: 20 July 2014. Poets have always found music a tempting subject and their words have inspired composers from Schubert to Bernstein. As usual, I’ll try to offer comparison interpretations.
Poulenc 13 July 2014. We celebrated Bastille Day (a bit early) with this great French composer’s songs both in the classic recordings with the composer at the piano, as well as modern comparisons. Translations
Brahms 4 May 2014. We celebrate the birthday of Johannes Brahms with the complete Magelone Lieder, his only song cycle. Four singers and their pianists were chosen to best fit the “speaker” of the song: Britgitte Fassbaender, mezzo soprano, with Elisabeth Leonskaja, piano; Hans Peter Blochwitz, tenor and Eric Schneider, piano; Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone, with Sviatoslav Richter, piano, and finally a vintage recording of Hans Hotter, bass-baritone, with Michael Raucheisen, piano. Translations
Verlaine in Song 3 August 2014. The poet Paul Verlaine inspired many composers to write mélodie to his words. You’ll hear the same poems set by composers such as Fauré, Chausson, Debussy, Delius, Hahn, and Ravel. Translations
Who Is Native? 10 Aug 2014. Can you tell? The question is: which of the singers is singing in their native tongue? I play various art songs twice and you guess who is singing in a foreign langue. Translations
Fauré May 12, 2014. Honoring his birthday with a special presentation of “The Good Song” (La Bonne chanson) in comparison recordings featuring the one recently recorded by Thomas Meglioranza with Reiko Uchida. Translations
Berstein’s SongFest FirstHalf June 29, 2014. This wonderful set of songs deserves to be heard more often. I offer comparison recordings including one conducted by the composer himself.
Bernstein’s SongFest 2ndHalf July 6, 2014. This set was commissioned for the country’s bi-centennial, but wasn’t finished until 1977. The comparisons continue on this second half of the SongFest and ends with excerpts from Berstein’s “Arias and Barcarroles.”
Hugo Wolf March 16, 2014. We celebrate this great Lieder composer with the usual comparisons.
Shakespeare’s Birthday April 27, 2014. In celebrating Shakespeare we hear his words in song settings from his own time to 20th century songs.
Lori Laitman April 6, 2014. This living American composer writes approachable songs that appeal to many singers, pianists and of course, audience members.
Bolcom May 25, 2014. This living American composer has dedicated a lot of his writing to art song and I sample some of his best.
Christa Ludwig: PartOne December 8, 2013. Maya Hoover joins me to celebrate Kammersängerin Ludwig’s 85th year. Besides excerpts from our phone interview, you’ll hear Ludwig sing in many genres.
ChristaLudwig: PartTwo December 15, 2013. see above.
Introduction To Art Song 2013 The first program of the new year usually features songs that we already know, but don’t know they’re “art songs.”
Schubert Comparisons February 2, 2014. We celebrate Winter and Schubert’s birthday week, with songs from his Winterreise. The trick here is to see if you can tell which of the three comparison singers is NOT singing in his/her native language. Translations
Song Transcriptions January 5, 2014. Another way to be introduced to art song is hearing the song first in an instrumental transcription.
Rorem 2013: Part One October 20, 2013. Celebrating the 90th b’day of Ned Rorem with his song cycle for four voices called “Evidence of things not Seen.” You’ll hear an interview with Mr. Rorem, especially recorded for this program. Evidence
25th Anniversary: Part One September 1, 2013. I chose my favorite recordings of my favorite songs to celebrate the silver anniversary of Great Songs and Singing and other Sins.
25th Anniversary: Part Two September 29, 2013. There were so many “favorite” songs that it took two programs!
Shostakovich September 22, 2013. By popular request, in celebration of the birthday of Shostakovich, I replay the two amazing recordings of his Blok songs. One with Joan Rogers and the other with its dedicatee, Galina Vishnevskaya. Blok
Foster July 7, 2013. When Stephen Foster songs a sung by the masters, they become elevated to the status of art song. So we noted Independence Day, which is also Foster’s birthday!
Liszt November 6, 2011. I celebrate his b’day with comparisons of his piano and orchestrated versions of his songs, along with his non-song music.
Bartok March 25, 2012. I celebrate his b’day in spite of the fact that he’s not known for writing art song, having only written 10. But his folk song settings are very sophisticated and with comparison orchestrated versions, can sound like art song.
Mendelssohn February 5, 2012. What a joy to celebrate the birthday of Felix with comparison recordings of his best-known songs! And there’s his chamber music as interludes.
Werner Güra March 11, 2012. This must be one of the most able Lieder singers in the world today. I feature a two CD recent release of this wonderful tenor.
Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson February 19, 2012. On this program I concentrate on the intense performance that Hunt-Lieberson gives of a group of Brahms Op. 57 songs. It’s always fascinating to hear how other singers perform the same songs.
Rachmaninoff April 1, 2012. Celebrating his birthday is easy, because he wrote a lot of songs and even wrote piano transcriptions of two of them.
Rimsky-Korsakov March 18, 2012. Not well-known for his song output, R-K songs are enjoyable and a chance to hear them twice allows us to get to know them.
Ives November 27, 2011. Quirky and unpredictable, but beautiful, Ive’s music includes a lot of songs and instrumental music based on songs.
Delius January 29, 2012. I sample songs that he wrote in French and English with comparisons that include his orchestrated songs.
Lotte Lehmann’s B’day February 29, 2012. Not only do we hear Lehmann, but we have a chance to hear how other singers perform the selections.
Pop and Classical April 13, 2012. You’ll hear Jan de Gaetani compared with Fred Astaire, Elly and Ella, etc.
Virgil Thomson Recent Release January 22, 2012. This program features a recently released Thomson CD of both song and instrumental music featuring baritone Thomas Meglioranza. You’ll be very happy you listened.
University of Hawaii Composition Professors’ Art Songs April 8, 2012. Active and retired composers of UH Manoa have written many amazing songs and this is a chance to hear some of them.
Barbara Bonney April 22, 2012. This program celebrated Barbara’s birthday and I had scheduled an interview, but mixed up the time. But she answered some questions by email and I include those interesting subjects on the program.
English Poetry & Song This is a program from my Great Songs period, important in that it has readings of the poetry [by the likes of Auden!] before one hears the song.
Tchaikovsky May 6, 2012. I play each of his songs twice, mostly sung by Russian speakers/singers. You’ll also hear some Tchaikovsky short piano music that fits the mood of the songs.
X-Rated Songs! February 12, 2012. You’ll hear sensual and sensuous love songs from many cultures. Some of the comparisons are orchestrated versions of the songs.
Meyerbeer Songs May 20, 2012. Best known for his grand operas, Meyerbeer did write songs and University of Hawaii professor Dr. Wright is my guest guiding us through these wonderful works.
Flicka June 3, 2012. Frederica von Stade sings French songs with Martin Katz at the piano. When she visited Honolulu she consented to an interview, that you’ll hear on this program.
What Is Art Song? January 1, 2012. For those who think they don’t know what an “art song” is, I provide this program.
Song Transcriptions July 22, 2012. Songs for many other media than voice compared with their originals.
Fauré July 15 2013. I used the songs (mélodie) of Gabriel Fauré as a perfect way to celebrate “Quatorze Juillet.”
Goethe B’day Aug 2012 Songs inspired by Goethe’s poetry.
Liszt/Petrarch 25 November 2012. Liszt was inspired by Petrarch’s sonnets to write songs, then pianos pieces based on the songs, and finally a revision for low voice of the original songs. We’ll hear all of these!
Songs Of Travel We celebrate Ralph Vaughan Williams’ birthday with his songs (with comparison recordings, as usual) and some of his instrumentals for balance.
Gershwin B’day September 30, 2012. You’ll hear both classical and popular versions of Gershwin songs.
Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel 11 November 11, 2012. The songs of this composer, with comparison interpretations. Also, I offer you the chance to decide between two songs: which was by Felix and which by Fanny?
Chabrier B’day 13 January 13, 2013. There are so many wonderful mélodie from the pen of this composer, it was difficult to make the selections. The usual comparisons are offered.
Introduction To Art Song 2013 January 6, 2013. The first program of the year is usually devoted to introducing an audience to the world of art song.
Seniors Sing A program from a Great Songs broadcast many years ago.
Composer Accompanists Another Great Songs program from the past.