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Courtesy of CBC Radio 2

CBC Radio 2: Tempo

Renowned opera singer showcases a wide array of composers from all eras

By Malcolm Macpherson

Weekdays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Hosted by Julie Nesrallah

Classical music lovers can relax: there is life after the former CBC Radio 2. For those needing their classical music fix, Tempo, hosted by Julie Nesrallah, offers a five-hour classical kaleidoscope. The show broadcasts a wide array of composers from all eras and features a variety of performances styles from chamber music to symphonia, opera to choral.

Nesrallah, an internationally renowned operatic mezzo-soprano, takes the listener on a mini-tour of each piece, usually telling her audience how each work came to be famous. Her delivery is lively, informative and entertaining, and she is adept at weaving suspense and intrigue into her narratives.

Most of Nesrallah’s selections are brief, allowing a wide variety of music to fill the hours. She occasionally plays long concerti, interviews a conductor or devotes a whole hour to detailing a specific work by a master composer. One recent example was Beethoven’s December 1808 Vienna concert, where many of his most famous symphonies were performed in one evening — albeit with many calamities in the orchestra due to limited rehearsal time.

High-calibre Canadian artists are often featured on Tempo, such as Angela Hewitt, Les Violons du Roi and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard your favourite works early in the week. You will certainly hear some of them by week’s end.

It may not be the nearly nine hours of weekday classical listening of old, but Tempo’s producers guarantee an uplifting daytime trip through the world’s great anthology of classical music.

Malcolm Macpherson chairs the Music Under the Steeple concert series at First United in Truro, N.S.
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