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November 3-9, 2003

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Monday, November 3
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Photo
Rimsky-Korsakov on a Russian postage stamp
SYNOPSIS:
Rimsky-Korsakov’s bee takes flight ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844 – 1908): Flight of the Bumble Bee, from Tsar Saltan
Philharmonia Orchestra; Vladimir Ashkenazy, cond.
London 460 250
&
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844 – 1908): Flight of the Bumble Bee, from Tsar Saltan
Budapest Clarinet Quintet
Naxos 553427
&
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844 – 1908): Flight of the Bumble Bee, from Tsar Saltan
Itzhak Perlman, violin; Samuel Sanders, piano
EMI 54882

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s operas

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1587—Baptism of German composer and organist Samuel Scheidt, in Halle-on-Saale;
1801—Italian composer Vincenzo Bellini, in Catania, Sicily;
1911—Russian-American composer Vladimir Ussachevsky, in Hailar, Manchuria;

Deaths:
1939—French composer and organist Charles Tournemire, age 69, in Arcachon, France;
1993—Russian inventor Lev Sergeivitch Termen (anglicized to Leon Theremin), age 97, in Moscow; He invented the "theremin," an electronic instrument whose sound was either used or imitated (by specially constructed and easier to play electronic instruments) in any number of film scores ("Spellbound," "The Day the Earth Stood Still", etc.) and even in the Beach Boys' song "Good Vibrations";

Premieres:
1726 — Bach: Sacred Cantata No. 49 ("Ich gehe und suche mit Verlangen")performed on the 20th Sunday after Trinity as part of Bach's third annual Sacred Cantata cycle in Leipzig (1725/27);
1844 — Verdi: opera "I due Foscari" (The Two Foscari), in Rome at the Teatro Argentina;
1888 — Rimsky-Korsakov: “Scheherazade,” in St. Petersburg (Julian date: Oct. 22);
1898 — Rimsky-Korsakov: opera “The Tsar’s Bride,” at the Solodovnikov Theatre in Moscow, with Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov conducting (Julian date: Oct. 22);
1900 — Rimsky-Korsakov: opera “The Tale of Tsar Saltan,” at the Solodovnikov Theatre in Moscow, with Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov conducting (Julian date: Oct. 21);
1927 — Hindemith: "Kammermusik" No. 5, Op. 46, no. 2, in Berlin at the Kroll Opera, with Otto Klemperer conducting and the composer the viola soloist;
1943 — Shostakovich: Symphony No. 8, at the Moscow Conservatory by the USSR State Symphony conducted by Yevgeny Mravinsky, for an invited audience of musicians, artists, critics, and journalists; The first public performance took place the following evening;
1945 — Shostakovich: Symphony No. 9, by the Leningrad Philharmonic, Yevgeny ravinsky conducting;
1946 — Prokofiev: opera "Betrothal in a Monastery" (or "The Duenna") in Leningrad;
1950 — David Diamond: Symphony No. 3, by the Boston Symphony, Charles Munch conducting;
1958 — Per Norgaard: "Constellations" for 12 solo strings, in Copenhagen;
2002 — Milton Babbitt: “From the Psalter,” David Lang: “how to pray,” and Shulamit Ran: “Supplications,” at Carnegie Hall in New York by soloists, the New York Virtuoso Singers and the American Composers Orchestra, Steven Sloane conducting;

Other:
1783—Mozart completes his "Linz" Symphony (No. 36 in C, K. 425) the day before its first performance in that Austrian town.


Tuesday, November 4
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Photo
Chinese composer Bright Sheng
SYNOPSIS:
Schoenberg and Sheng ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Arnold Schoenberg (1874 – 1951): A Survivor from Warsaw
Simon Callow, narrator; London Symphony; Robert Craft, cond
Koch 7263
&
Bright Sheng (b. 1955): String Quartet No. 3
Shanghai Quartet
BIS 1138

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Arnold Schoenberg
On Bright Sheng

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1841—Polish pianist and composer Carl Tausig, in Warsaw;

Deaths:
1847 —German composer Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, age 38, in Leipzig;
1924—French composer Gabriel Fauré, age 79, in Paris;
1953—Music patroness and amateur composer Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, age 89, in Cambridge, Mass.; She organized concerts and music festivals in Washington, D.C., and her Foundation commissioned works from Bartók, Malipiero, Schoenberg, Copland, Hanson, Piston, and many others; The recital hall at the Library of Congress bears her name;
1957—French composer and writer, Marie Joseph Canteloube (de Malaret), age 78, in Grigny (Seine-et-Oise);

Premieres:
1732 — Handel: opera “Catone” in London at the King’s Theater in the Haymarket (Gregorian date: Nov. 15);
1783 — Mozart: Symphony No. 36 ("Linz"), by the orchestra of Count Thun in Linz;
1863 — Berlioz: "Les Troyens à Carthage" (The Trojans at Carthage), Part 2 (Acts 3-5) of the opera "Les Troyens" (The Trojans), in Paris at the Théatre-Lyrqiue; The complete opera was not staged in France until 1920;
1876 — Brahms: Symphony No. 1, in Karlsruhe, Germany, with Felix Otto Dessoff conducting;
1883 — Chabrier: "Espana" in Paris, with Charles Lamoureux conducting;
1890 — Borodin: opera “Prince Igor” (completed and arranged posthumously by Rimsky-Korsakov and Glazunov), at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg (Julian date: Oct. 23);
1922 — Hindemith: String Quartet No. 3, in Donauschingen (Germany), by the Amar Quartet (with Hindemith as the violist);
1924 — R. Strauss: opera "Intermezzo," in Dresden at the Schauspielhaus;
1932 — Cowell: “Polyphonica” for 12 instruments, at the New School Auditorium in New York City, by the Pan American Association orchestra, Nicholas Slonimsky conducting; On this same concert was the premiere performance of “Those Everlasting Blues,” by Jerome Moross, with contralto Paula Jean Lawrence as the soloist;
1932 — Revueltas: "Ventanas" for orchestra, in Mexico City;
1948 — Schoenberg: "A Survivor from Warsaw" for narrator, chorus and orchestra, by the Civic Symphony of Albuquerque, New Mexico, with Kurt Frederick conducting;
1957 — José Serebrier: Symphony No. 1, by the Houston Symphony, Leopold Stokowski conducting;
1976 — Ned Rorem: “Women’s Voices,” at Alice Tully Hall in New York City, by mezzo Joyce Mathis and pianist Warren Wilson;
1993 — Bright Sheng: String Quartet No. 3, in Boulder, Colo., by the Takacs Quartet;
1993 — David Ward-Steinman: "Night Winds," for woodwind quintet, at the Festival of New American Music in Sacramento, Calif., by the Arioso Wind Quintet.


Wednesday, November 5
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Photo
American composer Dominick Argento
SYNOPSIS:
The Minneapolis Symphony & the Minnesota Orchestra ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Dominick Argento (b. 1927): A Ring of Time
Minnesota Orchestra; Eiji Oue, cond.
Reference 91

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On the history of the Minnesota Orchestra

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1494—German poet and songwriter ("Master Singer") Hans Sachs, in Nuremberg; He is the subject of German Romantic operas by Lortzig ("Hans Sachs," 1840) and Wagner ("Die Meistersinger," 1868);
1935—British composer Nicholas Maw, in Grantham, Lincolnshire; Maw now lives in Washington, D.C.;

Deaths:
1942—American songwriter and vaudevillian George M. Cohan, age 64, in New York City; He won the Congressional Medal for his patriotic song, "Over There" (recorded by Enrico Caruso among others);
1956—American jazz pianist and improviser Art Tatum, age 47, in Los Angeles;

Premieres:
1724 — Bach: Sacred Cantata No. 115 ("Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit") performed on the 22nd Sunday after Trinity as part of Bach's second annual Sacred Cantata cycle in Leipzig (1724/25);
1846 — R. Schumann: Symphony No. 2, by Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, conducted by Felix Mendelssohn;
1876 — Tchaikovsky: “Marche slav” in Moscow (see Nov. 17);
1888 — Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5, in St. Petersburg (see Nov. 17);
1895 — R. Strauss: tone-poem "Till Eulenspiegels Merry Pranks," in Cologne, conducted by Franz Wüllner;
1926 — de Falla: Harpsichord Concerto, with Wanda Landowska as soloist with the composer conducting;
1927 — Shostakovich: Symphony No. 2 ("To October"), by the Leningrad Philharmonic and Academic Choir, Nikolai Malko conducting;
1938 — Barber: "Adagio for Strings" and "Essay for Orchestra" No. 1, on a broadcast concert by the NBC Symphony, Arturo Toscanini conducting;
1943 — Martinu: Concerto for Two Pianos, with Luboshutz and Nemenoff Duo, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy conducting;
1987 — Broadway premiere of Sondheim: musical "Into the Woods";

Other:
1903—First concert by a 50-member Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra (the current Minnesota Orchestra), conducted by Emil Oberhoffer, with Metropolitan Opera soprano Marcella Sembrich as guest soloist;
1955—Karl Böhm conducts a performance of Beethoven's "Fidelio" at the gala re-opening of Vienna Opera House (damaged by Allied bombs on March 12, 1945); During the rebuilding of the Opera House, performances had continued in two nearby Viennese halls: the Theatre and der Wien and the Volksoper.


Thursday, November 6
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Photo
Italian composer Elisabetta Brusa
SYNOPSIS:
Beethoven and Brusa take it slow ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827): Symphony No. 7
Berlin Philharmonic; Claudio Abbado, cond.
DG 471 490
&
Elisabetta Brusa (b. 1954): ) Adagio
Ukraine National Symphony; Fabio Mastrangelo, cond.
Naxos 555267

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Elisabetta Brusa

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1814—Belgian inventor of the saxophone, Adolphe Sax, in Dinant; He invented the instrument around 1840, and was granted a 15-year patent in 1846;
1854—American composer and bandmaster John Philip Sousa, in Washington, D.C.;
1860—Polish composer, piano virtuoso, and statesman, Ignace Jan Paderewski, in Russian Poland (Gregorian date: Nov. 18);

Deaths:
1672—German composer Heinrich Schütz, age 87, in Dresden;
1795—Czech-born German opera composer Jiri Antonin (Georg Anton)Benda, age 73, in Köstritz;
1893—Russian composer Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, age 53, dies of cholera after drinking un-boiled water during an epidemic in St. Petersburg (Julian date: Oct. 25); Some speculate this was a deliberate and suicidal act;
1965—Franco-American composer Edgard (or Edgar) Varèse, age 81, in New York City;

Premieres:
1825 — Beethoven: String Quartet in a, Op.132, in Vienna, by the Schuppanzigh Quartet; The was the first public performance (The same players performed the work at a private performance two months earlier, on September 9, for an audience of fourteen at the Tavern Zum Wilden Mann in Vienna);
1891 — Tchaikovsky: symphonic balled “The Voyevode” in Moscow (Gregorian date: Nov. 18);
1902 — Cilea: opera, "Adriana Lecouvreur" in Milan at the Teatro Lirico;
1913 — Saint-Saëns: "Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso" for violin and orchestra, in Paris;
1924 — Janácek: opera "The Cunning Little Vixen," in Brno at the National Theater;
1935 — first complete performance of Walton: Symphony No. 1, by the BBC Symphony, Sir Hamilton Harty conducting; Harty had conducted the premiere performance of this work's first three movements (the fourth and final movement had not yet been written) on a London Philharmonic concert of Dec. 3, 1934;
1936 — Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 3, by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Leopold Stokowski conducting;
1940 — Florence Price: Symphony No. 3, in Detroit, by the Michigan WPA Symphony, Valter Poole conducting; Also on the program was Price’s Piano Concerto (which had premiered earlier in Chicago) with the composer as soloist; First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt attended a rehearsal for this concert, and wrote favorably about Price’s Symphony in her national newspaper column “My Day” for November 14, 1940;
1943 — Orff: "Catulli carmina," in Leipzig at the Städische Bühnen;
1950 — Copland: Clarinet Concerto, on an NBC Symphony broadcast conducted by Fritz Reiner, with Benny Goodman as soloist;
1953 — Nikolaus Nakokov: Cello Concerto ("Les Hommages"), with Lorne Munroe, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy conducting;
1976 — Andrew Imbrie: opera "Angle of Repose," in San Francisco;
1999 — Elisabetta Brusa: “Adagio” for strings, by the Virtuosi of Toronto, Fabio Mastrangelo conducting;

Other:
1717—J.S. Bach temporarily imprisoned by his employer, Duke Wilhelm Ernst of Weimar, who was upset that Bach had taken another post (with Prince Leopold of Coethen) without first securing the Duke's permission to do so.


Friday, November 7
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Photo
Igor Stravinsky conducting
SYNOPSIS:
Stravinsky in C Major ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Igor Stravinsky (1882 – 1971): Symphony in C
Chicago Symphony; Sir Georg Solti, cond.
London 458 898

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Stravinsky

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1810—Hungarian composer Ferenc (Franz) Erkel, in Gyula;
1859—Russian composer Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov, in Gatchina (Gregorian date: Nov. 19);
1905—English composer William Alwyn, in Northampton;

Deaths:
1983 —French composer Germaine Tailleferre, age 91, in Paris;

Premieres:
1723 — Bach: Sacred Cantata No. 60 ("O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort" I)performed on the 24th Sunday after Trinity as part of Bach's first annual Sacred Cantata cycle in Leipzig (1723/24);
1867 — Liszt: "Dante Symphony" in Dresden;
1875 — Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 3, in Moscow (Gregorian date: Nov. 19);
1924 — American premiere of Mussorgsky (arr. Ravel): “Pictures at an Exhibition,” by the Boston Symphony, Serge Koussevitzky conducting;
1934 — Rachmaninoff: "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini," in Baltimore, by the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski, with the composer as soloist;
1940 — Stravinsky: Symphony in C, by the Chicago Symphony, with the composer conducting; This work was commissioned by Mrs. R. Woods Bliss in honor of the Chicago Symphony's 50th Anniversary;
1987 — Daniel Asia: "Scherzo Sonata" for piano, at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., by pianist Jonathan Shames (who commissioned the work);
1988 — Leo Ornstein: Piano Sonata No. 7, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, by pianist Marvin Tartak;
1991 — Christopher Rouse: “Karolju” for chorus and orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony and Chorus, David Zinman conducting;
1997 — Peter Maxwell Davies: Piano Concerto, in Nottingham, England, with soloist Kathryn Stott and the Royal Philharmonic, conducted by the composer;

Other:
1785—The first American musical society founded at Stoughton, Massachusetts;
1950—A "Look" magazine feature on composer Edgar Varèse attracts the attention of 9-year old Frank Zappa and leads to a life-long fascination with the music of Varèse; Zappa would later found the unconventional rock band "The Mothers of Invention."


Saturday, November 8
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Photo
The “real” Beethoven
SYNOPSIS:
“Beethoven’s” Jena Symphony ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Friedrich Witt (1770 – 1832): Jena Symphony in C
Westphalian Symphony; Hubert Reichert, cond.
Turnabout LP TV-S 34409

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Witt’s “Jena” Symphony
And more on Beethoven

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1770—German composer Friedrich Witt, in Niederstetten, Württemberg; Like Beethoven, he composed 9 symphonies, and one of them, his “Jena Symphony,” was for a time mistakenly believed to be an early work by Beethoven;
1883—English composer Arnold Bax, in Streatham;
1945—American composer and pianist Judith Lang Zaimont, in Memphis;

Deaths:
1599—Spanish composer Francisco Guerrero, age 71, in Seville;
1890—Belgian-French composer César Franck, in Paris, age 67;
1894—Russian composer Anton Rubinstein, age 64, near St. Petersburg (Gregorian date: Nov. 20);
1924—Russian composer Sergie Liapunov, age 65, in Paris;

Premieres:
1879 — Brahms: Violin Sonata No. 1 in G, Op. 78, in Bonn, by violinist Joseph Joachim and the composer at the piano;
1919 — Stravinsky: "The Soldier's Tale" Suite (for violin, clarinet and piano), in Lausanne; The staged version of "The Soldier's Tale" had premiered in Lausanne at the Théatre Municipal on September 28, 1918;
1926 — Gershwin: musical "Oh, Kay!" at the Imperial Theater in New York City; This show featured Gertrude Lawrence, and included the classic Gershwin songs "Clap Yo' Hands," "Do, Do, Do," and "Someone to Watch over Me";
1936 — Jean Françaix: Piano Concerto, in Berlin.


Sunday, November 9
Play today's program

Photo
American composer John Corigliano
SYNOPSIS:
Corigliano tunes up ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
John Corigliano (b. 1938): Oboe Concerto
Humbert Lucarelli, oboe; American Symphony; Kazuyoshi Akiyama, cond.
RCA/BMG 60395

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Corigliano

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1907—American composer Burrill Phillips, in Omaha, Nebraska;

Deaths:
1951—Hungarian-born American operetta composer, Siegmund Romberg, age 64, in New York City;

Premieres:
1879 — Dvorák: String Sextet No. 1, Op. 48, in Berlin;
1881 — Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2, in Budapest, by the National Theater Orchestra conducted by Alexander Erkel and the composer as the soloist;
1901 — Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 18 (first complete performance), in Moscow, with Alexander Siloti conducting and the composer as soloist (Julian date: Oct 27); The second and third movements had been premiered in Moscow on Dec. 2/15, 1900, by the same conductor and soloist (Rachmaninoff finished the first movement of this concerto on April 21/May 4, 1901);
1926 — Hindemith: opera, "Cardillac" (1st version) in Dresden at the Sächisches Staatstheater;
1940 — Rodrigo: "Concierto de Aranjuez" for guitar and orchestra, in Barcelona;
1945 — American premiere of Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5, by the Boston Symphony, Serge Koussevitzky conducting.
1967 — Takemitsu: "November Steps" for biwa (Japanese lute), shakuhachi (bamboo flute) and orchestra, by the New York Philharmonic, Seiji Ozawa conducting; Corigliano: Oboe Concerto, in New York City;
1975 — Corigliano: Oboe Concerto, at Carnegie Hall in New York City by the American Symphony, with Kazuyoshi Akiyama conducting Bert Lucarelli the soloist;
1994 — Michael Torke: “Nylon” for guitar and chamber orchestra, at the Assembly Rooms in Derby (U.K.), by the East of England Orchestra conducted by Malcolm Nabarro, with Nicola Hall the soloist;
2000 — Karen Tanaka: "Guardian Angel," at Carnegie Hall in New York, by the Brooklyn Philharmonic;
2002 — David Del Tredici: “Grand Trio” for piano, violin and cello, in College Park, Md., by the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio;

Other:
1760—Joseph Haydn signs a marriage contract with Maria Anna Keller (after her younger sister, whom Haydn reportedly preferred, became a nun); See also Nov. 26 below for the actual ceremony;
1784 —Mozart finishes his String Quartet in Bb, K. 458 ("The Hunt");
1878—Leopold Damrosch conducts first concert of the New York Symphony Society in Steinway Hall;
1921—The American Academy in Rome awards American composer Howard Hanson its second two-year composition fellowship; The first fellowship was awarded to Leo Sowerby on October 4, 1921; The third fellowship was awarded to Randall Thompson on June 6, 1922; The Academy's fellowship awards for composers continue to this day.