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January 8-14, 2007

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Monday, January 8
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Photo
Czech composer Jaromir Weinberger
SYNOPSIS:
Weinberger in Europe and America ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Jaromir Weinberger (1896 –1967): Schwanda the Bagpiper
Munich Radio Orchestra; Heinz Wallberg, cond.
CBS/Sony 36926

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
More on Weinberger

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1792—American composer and educator Lowell Mason, in Medford, Massachusetts;
1812—Swiss composer and pianist Sigismond Thalberg, in Pâquis, near Geneva;
1896—Czech composer Jaromir Weinberger, in Prague;
1899—Russian-born American composer Alexander Tcherepnin (Gregorian date: Jan. 21);
1905—Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi, in La Spezia;
1924—Russian-American composer Benjamin Lees (née Lysniansky), in Harbin, Manchuria;
1924—Austrian-born American composer Robert Starer, in Vienna;
1935—The charismatic rock 'n' roll performer Elvis Presley is born in Tupelo, Miss.;
1937—American composer Robert Moran, in Denver;

Deaths:
1713—Italian composer and violinist Arcangelo Corelli, age 59, in Rome;
1831—Moravian-born composer and violinist Franz Krommer, age 71, in Vienna;
1998—British composer Sir Michael Tippett, age 93, in London;

Premieres:
1705 — Handel: opera "Almira" in Hamburg; This was Handel's first opera (see also Dec. 5 & 30 for related contemporary incidents);
1720 — Handel: opera "Radamisto" (2nd version), in London (Julian date: Dec. 28, 1720);
1735 — Handel: opera "Ariodante" in London at the Covent Garden Theater (Gregorian date: Jan. 19);
1843 — Schumann: Piano Quintet in Eb, Op. 44, at Leipzig Gewandhaus with pianist Clara Schumann;
1895 — Brahms: Clarinet Sonata, Op. 120, no. 1 (first public performance), in Vienna, by clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld, with the composer at the piano, as part of the Rosé Quartet's chamber music series; The first performance ever of this work occurred on September 19, 1894, at a private performance in the home of the sister of the Duke of Meiningen at Berchtesgaden, with the same performers; Brahms and Mühlfeld also gave private performances of both sonatas in Frankfurt (for Clara Schumann and others) on November 10-13, 1894; at Castle Altenstein (for the Duke of Meiningen) on Nov. 14, 1894; and on Jan. 7, 1895 (for members of the Vienna Tonkünstler Society);
1911 — Florent Schmitt: "La tragédie de Salomé" for orchestra, in Paris;
1927 — Berg: "Lyric Suite" for string quartet, in Vienna, by the Kolisch Quartet;
1928 — Hindemith: "Kammermusik" No. 7, Op. 46, no. 2, in Frankfurt, with Ludwig Rottenberg conducting and Reinhold Merten the organist;
1940 — Roger Sessions: Violin Concerto, by the Illinois Symphony conducted by Izler Solomon, with Robert Gross as soloist; The work was to have been premiered by Albert Spalding with the Boston Symphony under Koussevitzky in January of 1937, but did not take place);
1963 — Shostakovich: opera "Katerina Izmailova" (2nd version of "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District"), in Moscow at the Stanislavsky-Nemirovich-Dachenko Music Theater;
1971 — Shostakovich: Symphony No. 15, in Moscow, by the All-Union Radio and Television Symphony, with the composer's son, Maxim, conducting;
1987 — Christopher Rouse: "Phaethon" for orchestra, by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Riccardo Muti conducting;
1988 — Schwantner: "From Afar . . . " (A Fantasy for Guitar and Orchestra), by guitarist Sharon Isbin with the St. Louis Symphony, Leonard Slatkin conducting;

Other:
1923—First broadcast in England of an opera direct from a concert hall, Mozart's "The Magic Flute" via the BBC from London;


Tuesday, January 9
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Photo
Hungarian composer Béla Bartók
SYNOPSIS:
Bartók's "Contrasts" ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Béla Bartók (1881 –1945): Contrasts
Benny Goodman, clarinet; Joseph Szigeti, violin; Bela Bartok, piano
CBS/SONY 42227

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Bartók
Clarinetist Richard Stolzman on the "classical" Goodman

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1839—American composer John Knowles Paine, in Portland, Maine;

Premieres:
1724 — Bach: Sacred Cantata No. 154 ("Mein liebster Jesus ist verloren") performed on the 1st Sunday after Epiphany as part of Bach's first annual Sacred Cantata cycle in Leipzig (1723/24);
1880 — Rimsky-Korsakov: opera "May Night," in St. Petersburg (Gregorian date: Jan. 21);
1904 — Debussy: "Estampes," by Spanish pianist Ricardo Viñes, in Paris;
1909 — Ravel: "Gaspard de la Nuit," by Spanish pianist Ricardo Viñes, in Paris;
1937 — Schoenberg: String Quartet No. 4, in Los Angeles, by the Kolisch Quartet;
1939 — Bartók: "Rhapsody" (two movements) for clarinet, violin, and piano, in New York City, with clarinetist Benny Goodman, violinist Joseph Szigeti, and the composer at the piano; For the 1940 recording session of this work, commissioned by Goodman, Bartók added a middle movement and changed the title to "Contrasts";
1947 — Roger Sessions: Symphony No. 2, by the San Francisco Symphony, Pierre Monteux conducting;
1947 — Kurt Weill: opera "Street Scene," in New York City at the Adelphi Theater;
1948 — Walter Piston: Symphony No. 3, Serge Koussevitzky conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra; This work was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1948;
1976 — William Bolcom: "Seasons" for guitar, in New York City;
1987 — Joan Tower: "Silver Ladders," by the St. Louis Symphony, Leonard Slatkin conducting;
1988 — Alvin Singleton: "After Fallen Crumbs" for orchestra, by the Atlanta Symphony, Michael Palmer conducting.


Wednesday, January 10
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Photo
American composer Joan Tower
SYNOPSIS:
Joan Tower's "Fanfares" ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Joan Tower (b. 1938): Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman
Colorado Symphony; Marin Alsop, cond.
Koch 7469

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Joan Tower
A 1987 interview with Tower

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1910—French composer and conductor Jean Martinon, in Lyons;
1916—American composer Milton Babbitt, in Philadelphia;

Deaths:
1895—French composer Benjamin Godard, age 45, in Cannes;
1941—British composer Frank Bridge, age 61, in Eastbourne;

Premieres:
1676 — Lully: opera "Atys," in St. Germain;
1713 — Handel: opera "Teseo" at the Queen's Theater in London; On the second night of the performance, the theater manager, a certain Owen Swiney, flees to Italy with the box office receipts (Gregorian date: Jan. 21);
1867 — Verdi: opera "Don Carlos" (2nd Italian-language version in 4 acts), in Milan at the Teatro alla Scala;
1886 — first performance with orchestra of Bruckner: "Te Deum" in Vienna;
1897 — d'Indy "Istar" for orchestra, simultaneously by Willem Mengelberg in Amsterdam and Eugène Ysayë in Brussels;
1928 — Gershwin (and Sigmund Romberg): musical "Rosalie" at the New Amsterdam Theater in New York City; This show included the classic Gershwin songs "How Long Has This Been Going On?" and "Say So!";
1931 — Ives: “Three Places in New England,” in New York City, by the Chamber Orchestra of Boston, Nicholas Slonimsky conducting;
1934 — Franz Schmidt: Symphony No. 4, by Vienna Symphony, Oswald Kabasta conducting;
1960 — Stravinsky: "Movements," at Town Hall in New York, by pianist Margit Weber during a Stravinsky Festival, with the composer conducting;
1978 — Dutilleux: "Timbres, espaces, mouvement" for orchestra, in Washington, D.C.;
1987 — Joan Tower: "Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman" No. 1 (later dedicated to Marin Alsop), by the Houston Symphony, Hans Vonk conducting;
1998 — Kernis: String Quartet No. 2, at Merkin Concert Hall in New York, by the Lark Quartet; This work won that year's Pulitzer Prize for Music;

Other:
1710—Handel's music is performed in London for the first time, when orchestral works from his opera "Rodrigo" are performed as incidental music during a revival performance of Ben Jonson's play "The Alchymist" (Gregorian date: Jan. 21).


Thursday, January 11
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Photo
Austrian composer Oscar Straus
SYNOPSIS:
Oscar Straus ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Oscar Straus (1870 –1954): La Ronde Waltz
Budapest Strauss Symphony; Alfred Walter, cond.
Marco Polo 8.223596

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
Naxos Oscar Straus webpage
On his operetta "The Chocolate Soldier"

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1856—Norwegian composer Christian Sinding, in Kongsberg;
1875—Russian composer Reinhold Glière, in Kiev, Ukraine (Julian date: Dec. 30, 1874);
1902—French composer and organist Maurice Duruflé, in Louviers;
1944—German composer York Höller, in Leverkusen;

Deaths:
1801—Italian composer Domenico Cimarosa, age 51, in Venice;
1901—Russian composer Vassili Sergeievitch Kalinnikov, age 34, in Yalta (Julian date: Dec. 29, 1900);
1954—Austrian composer Oscar Straus, age 83, in Bad Ischl;

Premieres:
1754 — Rameau: opera "Castor and Pollux" (2nd version), in Paris at the Palais Royal Opéra;
1895 — Brahms: Clarinet Sonata, Op. 120, no. 1 (first public performance), in Vienna, by clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld, with the composer at the piano, as part of the Rosé Quartet's chamber music series; The first performance ever of this work occurred on September 19, 1894, at a private performance in the home of the sister of the Duke of Meiningen at Berchtesgaden, with the same performers; Brahms and Mühlfeld also gave private performances of both sonatas in Frankfurt (for Clara Schumann and others) on November 10-13, 1894; at Castle Altenstein (for the Duke of Meiningen) on Nov. 14, 1894; and on Jan. 7, 1895 (for members of the Vienna Tonkünstler Society);
1906 — Rachmaninoff: two one-act operas "The Miserly Knight" and "Francesca da Rimini" in Moscow (Gregorian date: Jan. 24);
1925 — Copland: Symphony for Organ and Orchestra, at Aeolian Hall in New York City by New York Symphony conducted by Walter Damrosch, with Nadia Boulanger the soloist;
1940 — Prokofiev: ballet, "Romeo and Juliet," in Leningrad;
1968 — Shchedrin: "Chimes" by the New York Philharmonic;
1976 — Broadway premiere of Sondheim: musical "Pacific Overtures";
1992 — John Harbison: song "The Flute of Interior Time" (text by Kabir, translated by Robert Bly), at the Shauspielhaus in Berlin, by baritone William Parker and pianist Allan Marks; This song became part of "The AIDS-Quilt Songbook" compiled by the late William Parker;
1997 — Henze: opera "Venus and Adonis," in Munich at the Bavarian State Opera;
2001 — American premiere of John Adams: oratorio "El Niño" at Davies Hall, San Francisco with Kent Nagano conducting the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Symphony Chorus, the Piedmont Children's Choir and the same soloists as the Paris world premiere performance at. Théâtre du Chatelet in Paris on December 15, 2000.

Other:
1946—German composer Paul Hindemith becomes a U.S. citizen.


Friday, January 12
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Photo
American expatriate composer George Templeton Strong
SYNOPSIS:
Strong's "King Arthur" ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
George Templeton Strong (1856 –1948): King Arthur
Moscow Symphony; Adriano, cond.
Naxos 8.559048

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
Background on and reviews of recent recordings of Strong's music

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1715—French composer Jacques Duphly, in Rouen;
1876—Italian opera composer Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, in Venice;
1921—American composer and pianist Leo Smit, in Philadelphia;
1926 —American composer Morton Feldman, in New York City;
1927—American composer Salvatore Martirano, in Yonkers, N.Y.;

Deaths:
1674—Italian composer Giacomo Carissimi, age 68, in Rome;
1958—American composer Arthur Shepherd, age 77, in Cleveland;

Premieres:
1723 — Handel: opera "Ottone, re di Germania" (Otto, King of the Germans), in London at the King's Theater in the Haymarket, with the debut London performance of the Italian soprano Francesca Cuzzoni in a work by Handel (Gregorian date: Jan. 23); It was during a rehearsal of this opera with Cuzzoni in late Dec. of 1722 that the famous incident between Handel and Cuzzoni took place during which the composer supposedly said “Madam, I know you are a veritable devil, but I would have you know that I am Beelzebub, the chief of the devils!”;
1864 — Brahms: "Variations on a Theme by R. Schumann," Op. 23 for piano four-hands, in Vienna;
1883 — Chadwick: “Thalia” Overture, by the Boston Symphony, with the composer conducting;
1885 — Tchaikovsky: Orchestral Suite No. 3, in St. Petersburg (Gregorian date: Jan. 24);
1894 — Dvorák: String Quintet in Eb, Op. 97 (“American”), in New York, by the Kneisel Quartet (and violist M Zach);
1918 — George Templeton Strong, Jr.: tone-poem “Le Roi Arthur” (King Arthur), in Geneva, Switzerland, with Ernest Ansermet conducting the orchestra which would be named the Orchestra of the Suisse Romande ater that same year;
1934 — Bloch: "Sacred Service," in Turin, Italy;
1942 — Miaskovsky: Symphony No. 22 in Tbilisi;
1964 — Cowell: "Concerto Grosso," for chamber orchestra, in Miami Beach by the Miami Symphony Orchestra, Fabien Sevitzky, conducting;
2002 — Athena Adamopoulos: "Soliloquy" for cello and piano, at a "From the Top" recording session for Public Radio International at Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, by cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Christopher O'Riley; Ms. Adamopoulos was 15 years old at the time; Their performance was broadcast nationwide in early February, 2002;

Other:
1910 —Radio pioneer Lee De Forest experiments with live broadcasting from the Metropolitan Opera in New York; The signal was relayed from a rooftop transmitter at the Met to wireless installations, then by land lines to telephone receivers, and reportedly reached a few hundred listeners as far away as Newark, New Jersey; These were the first occasions on which a Met performance was heard live by audiences not present at the actual performance; De Forest’s 1910 “broadcasts” included part or all of Acts II and III of the Jan. 12th performance of “Tosca” (with soprano Olive Fremstad in the title role) and the following day’s double-bill of “Cavalleria Rusticana” (with soprano Emmy Destinn as Santuzza) and “Pagliacci”; Riccardo Martin sang the lead tenor roles in “Tosca” and “Cavalleria Rusticana,” Enrico Caruso in the “Pagliacci” performance; The first in the continuing series of complete live radio broadcasts from Met occurred on Christmas Day in 1931, when “Hansel and Gretel” was aired on the NBC network.


Saturday, January 13
Play today's program

Photo
Goodbye Mr. Chips movie poster
SYNOPSIS:
"Hello Mr. Addinsell?" ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Richard Addinsell (1904 –1977): Goodbye Mr. Chips
BBC Concert Orchestra; Kenneth Alwyn, cond.
Marco Polo 8.223732
&
Richard Addinsell (1904 –1977): Warsaw Concerto
Cristina Ortiz, piano; Royal Philharmonic; Moseh Atzmon, cond.
London 414 348

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
Richard Addinsell filmography
As a "light music" composer

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1690—German composer Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel, in Grünstadtl;
1866—Russian composer Vassili Sergeievitch Kalinnikov, in Voin (Julian date: Jan 1.);
1904—British composer Richard Addinsell, in London;

Deaths:
1864—American composer Stephen Foster, age 37, in Bellevue Hospital, New York;
1980—Russian-born American conductor and arranger André Kostelanetz, age 78, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti;

Premieres:
1726 — Bach: Sacred Cantata No. 32 ("Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen") performed on the 1st Sunday after Epiphany as part of Bach's third annual Sacred Cantata cycle in Leipzig (1725/27);
1775 — Mozart: opera "La finta giardiniera" (The Feigned Gardener), in Munich at the Opernhaus St. Salvator;
1873 — Rimsky-Korsakov: opera "The Maid of Pskov" (first version) in St. Petersburg, Napravnik conducting; This was Rimsky-Korsakov’s first opera (Julian date: Jan.1);
1904 — Bartók: tone-poem “Kossuth,” in Budapest; Bartók’s parody of the German national hymn in this work caused an uproar at the work’s premiere;
1944 — Stravinsky: "Circus Polka" (concert version) and "Four Norwegian Moods," in Cambridge at the Garden Theatre, with the Boston Symphony conducted by the composer;
1945 — Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5, by the Moscow State Philharmonic, with the composer conducting;
2000 — Danielpour: "Voices of Remembrance" for string quartet and orchestra, in Washington, D.C. with the Guarneri String Quartet and the National Symphony, Leonard Slatkin conducting.

Other:
1910—Lee De Forest relays experimental Met Opera performances via a radio transmitter (see also Jan. 12).


Sunday, January 14
Play today's program

Photo
Ticket for the premiere of Tosca
SYNOPSIS:
Puccini's shocker ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Giacomo Puccini (1858 –1924): Tosca
Soloists & Philharmonia Orchestra; Giuseppe Sinopoli, cond.
DG 431 775

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
More on Puccini's Tosca

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Deaths:
1676—Italian opera composer Pier Francesco Cavalli, age 73, in Venice;
1949—Spanish composer and pianist Joaquin Turina, age 66, in Madrid;
1984—German-born Israeli composer Paul Ben-Haim (originally Frankenburger), age 86, in Tel Aviv;

Premieres:
1725 — Bach: Sacred Cantata No. 3 ("Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid" I) performed on the 2nd Sunday after Epiphany as part of Bach's second annual Sacred Cantata cycle in Leipzig (1724/25);
1738 — Handel: opera "Faramondo" (Julian date: Jan. 3);
1900 — Puccini: "Tosca," in Rome at the Teatro Constanzi;
1914 — Stravinsky: "Three Japanese Lyrics," in Paris at the Salle Erard;
1932 — Ravel: Piano Concerto in G, at the Salle Pleyel in Paris by the Lamoureux Orchestra conducted by the composer, with Marguerite Long as soloist;
1934 — Gershwin: "I Got Rhythm" Variations for piano and orchestra, at Boston's Symphony Hall by the Leo Reisman Orchestra conducted by Charles Previn, with the composer as soloist;
1955 — Villa-Lobos: Harp Concerto (with soloist Nicanor Zabaleta) & Sinfonia No. 8, with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the composer conducting;
1960 — Creston: Violin Concerto No. 1, in Detroit;
1964 — Quincy Porter: Symphony No. 2, in Louisville, Kentucky;
1965 — Dutilleux: "Cinq métaboles," in Cleveland;
1994 — Michael Torke: Piano Concerto (with the composer as soloist) and Saxophone Concerto (with John Harle as soloist), at the Troy (N.Y.) Music Hall, with the Albany Symphony;
1998 — Michael Torke: "Brick Symphony" for orchestra, by the San Francisco Symphony, Alasdair Neale conducting.