Classical for Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
From the Archives with Frank Byrne
Saturdays from 11 a.m-noon and Sundays, 6 - 7 p.m.

From the Archives is a curated tour of the world’s greatest composers, conductors and performers, captured in distinctive and memorable audio recordings.

Building on a lifetime of collecting recordings, host Frank Byrne shares the best performances he knows, each with a special element that sets it apart. A lifelong student of classical music, Byrne’s love of collecting classical music is only eclipsed by his joy in sharing it with friends.

Thanks to the wealth of recorded classical music available today, we have the opportunity to explore and consider performances that the average listener may never have heard. Listening together on From the Archives, we will gain insights to those great musicians who truly bring this music to life. Please join us.

  • Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote the score for the 1948 film “Scott of the Antarctic” – a dramatization of the ill-fated expedition led by Capt. Robert Falcon Scott to be the first humans to the South Pole. Vaughan Williams’ inspiration was such that he expanded the film score into a five-movement symphony that is both compelling and moving.
  • Some composers have the gift to paint with sound, to create musical pictures in our minds. We’ll hear cinematic music by Ferde Grofé and Ottorino Respighi in spectacular recordings that more than demonstrate music’s power to communicate.
  • The team of Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony set a standard that has rarely been equalled. We’ll hear this dream team in two of Mozart’s most beloved symphonies and a Mozart moment from Reiner’s time in the opera pit.
  • We might think of “pastoral” as being soft music with bird calls, but the word’s roots go back more to rural scenes and shepherds. This week we have two contrasting, self-described “pastoral” works by Emanuel Chabrier and Alexander Glazunov.
  • The French horn is expressive. it can be mellow, it can be heroic. It has some of the greatest parts in the orchestral literature, but is also a thrilling solo instrument. We’ll hear it in a chamber music setting and as a soloist partner with a tenor. The full resources of the instrument are on full display.
  • When Antonin Dvorak received a state stipend allowing him to compose full-time, music poured from him including his lovely String Serenade Op. 22. We’ll hear the original version of the serenade, contrasted with a compelling arrangement for winds and strings that’s inspired by a prior version of the serenade Dvorak then later scored for strings. It’s a fascinating comparison.
  • Sometimes, less is more. That’s definitely the case with the incredible octets by Felix Mendelssohn and Ludwig van Beethoven on this week’s show. One was composed at age 16 and it’s a work of genius that still amazes scholars, musicians, and audiences.
  • Just over 30 years ago, an obscure symphony by an obscure Polish composer took the classical world by storm and sold over a million copies of the new recording. We’ll hear that recording and experience it for ourselves.
  • The guitar is a wonderful solo instrument alone but when paired with an orchestra, it can be even more beautiful. We have two outstanding 20th century guitar concertos that bring out all the colors and textures of the instrument.
  • The story of Cinderella is found in cultures around the world and it existed well before the Disney franchise. We’ll hear Prokofiev’s brilliant ballet score in a classic recording that is superb in both performance and recorded sound.