Support Composers Datebook with your Amazon.com purchases
Search Amazon.com:
Keywords:
  • News/Talk
  • Music
  • Entertainment
Composers Datebook home
Archives
Find past shows by date:
Document Complete archive
COMPOSERS DATEBOOK DAILY E-MAIL:
Sign up now to receive a free daily e-mail from Composers Datebook.
Public Radio Market

Your purchase from Public Radio Market helps support the American Composers Forum and Composers Datebook.




May 14-20, 2012

Playing audio requires the free Adobe Flash Player from the Adobe Flash Player Download site. More info.
Monday, May 14
Play today's program

Photo
Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara
SYNOPSIS:
Rautavaara's Fifth ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Einojuhani Rautavaara (b. 1928):
Symphony No. 5
Leipzig Radio Symphony;
Max Pommer, cond.
BMG 62671

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Rautavaara
More Rautavaara

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1885—German conductor and composer, Otto Klemperer, in Breslau;
1917—American composer Lou Harrison, in Portland, Ore.;

Deaths:
1847—German composer Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, age 41, in Berlin; She was the sister of Felix Mendelssohn;

Premieres:
1723 — Handel: opera "Flavio, re de' Langobardi" (Flavio, King of the Langobards), in London at the King's Theater in the Haymarket (Gregorian date: May 25);
1832 — Mendelssohn: "Hebrides" Overture ("Fingal's Cave"), in London, conducted by the composer;
1914 — R. Strauss: ballet "Josephslegende," in Paris;
1919 — Debussy: Saxophone Rhapsody (orchestral version by Roger-Ducasse), at a Société Nationale de Musique concert conducted by André Caplet at the Salle Gaveau in Paris;
1923 — Holst: "The Perfect Fool," in London at Covent Garden Opera House;
1941 — Cage: "Third Construction" for four percussionists, in San Francisco;
1942 — Copland: "Lincoln Portrait," by the Cincinnati Symphony conducted by André Kostelanetz, with William Adams the narrator;
1953 — American premiere of Stravinsky's opera, "The Rake's Progress," at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, with the composer conducting; The world premiere performance occurred on September 11, 1951, in Venice, again with the composer conducting;
1966 — Ginastera: "Concerto per Corde," by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy conducting;
1986 — Rautavaara: Symphony No. 5, in Helsinki, by Finnish Radio Symphony, Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting;
1987 — Alvin Singleton: "Shadows" for orchestra. By the Atlanta Symphony, Robert Shaw conducting;
1992 — James MacMillan: "Sinfonietta" at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, by the London Sinfonietta, Martyn Brabbins conducting;
1993 — Philip Glass: opera "Orphée" (based on the Jean Cocteau film), by the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass.;

Other:
1719—Handel is commanded by the Lord Chamberlain (Thomas Holles, Duke of Newcastle), to hire singers for the recently established Royal Academy of Music's productions of Italian operas (Gregorian date: May 25);
1974—Final London concert performance by conductor Leopold Stokowski, age 92 conducting the New Philharmonia Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall: The program was Symphony No. 4 by Brahms, the "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis" by Vaughan Williams, the "Merry Waltz" by Otto Klemperer, and the "Rapsodie espagnole" by Ravel; This was not Stokowski's "final" concert appearance, however; He was on the podium again in Venice in July of that year, and continued to make studio recordings; He died on September 13, 1977, at the age of 95 in his house in Nether Wallop, Hampshire, England;


Tuesday, May 15
Play today's program

Photo
American composer Randall Thompson
SYNOPSIS:
Thompson's Third ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Randall Thompson (1899 – 1984):
Symphony No. 3
New Zealand Symphony;
Andrew Schenck, cond.
Koch 7074

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Thompson
On Thompson's choral & vocal music

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1567—Baptismal date of Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi, in Cremona;
1808—Irish composer Michael William Balfe, in Dublin;
1908—Swedish composer Lars-Erik Larsson, in Akarp (near Lund);
1941—American composer and pianist Richard Wilson, in Cleveland;

Premieres:
1913 — Debussy: ballet "Jeux" (Games), at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées by the Ballet Russe, Pierre Monteux conducting;
1920 — Stravinsky: ballet "Pulcinella," by Ballet Russe; at the Paris Opéra, with Ernest Ansermet conducting;
1939 — Douglas Moore: opera "The Devil and Daniel Webster," in New York City;
1949 — Hindemith: Concerto for Winds, Harp and Orchestra, in New York;
1949 — Randall Thompson: Symphony No. 3, Columbia University, in New York, Thor Johnson conducting;
1958 — Cage: Piano Concerto, in New York City;
1960 — Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 7, in Leningrad, by the Beethoven Quartet;
1972 — Rochberg: String Quartet No. 3, at Tully Hall in New York City, by the Concord Quartet;
1992 — Stephen Paulus: "Air on Seurat (The Grand Canal)", for cello and piano, at the National Cello Competition at Arizona State University in Phoenix, Ariz.;
1993 — Steve Reich: opera "The Cave," in Vienna at the Wiener Festspielhaus;

Other:
1750—First documented report of an audience standing during the "Hallelujah" chorus of Handel's "Messiah"; On May 1 and 15 in 1750, "Messiah" had been performed as a benefit for the Foundling Hospital charity (Gregorian dates: May 12 and 26, respectively).


Wednesday, May 16
Play today's program

Photo
American composer Joan Tower
SYNOPSIS:
Tower's "Concerto for Orchestra" ...

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

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Joan Tower
A 1987 interview with Tower

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1931—American composer Donald James Martino, in Plainfield, N.J.;

Deaths:
1910—Russian composer Mily Balakirev (Gregorian date: May 29);

Premieres:
1726 — Handel: opera "Alessandro" (Julian date: May 5);
1889 — Massenet: opera "Esclarmonde" at the Paris Opéra;
1948 — Quincy Porter: Viola Concerto, in New York City;
1948 — Wallingford Rieger: Symphony No. 3, in New York City;
1966 — Ralph Shapey: "Rituals," in Chicago;
1966 — Villa-Lobos: Sinfonia No. 9, by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy conducting;
1969 — Cage: "HPSCHD," for amplified harpsichord and 51 tapes, in Urbana, Ill.;
1971 — Britten: opera "Owen Wingrave," as a telecast on BBC-TV in England and NET (National Educational Television) in the United States;
1972 — Jaocb Druckman: "Windows" for orchestra, by the Chicago Symphony; This work was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1972;
1974 — Bernstein: ballet "Dybbuk," by the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center, with choreography by Jerome Robbins and the composer conducting;
1991 — Joan Tower: "Concerto for Orchestra," by the St. Louis Symphony, Leonard Slatkin conducting;

Other:
1792—The Teatro la Fenice ("The Phoenix") opens in Venice;
1888—Emile Berliner gives the first public display of his invention, the flat gramophone disk, at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.


Thursday, May 17
Play today's program

Photo
Bernstein on a U.S. postage stamp
SYNOPSIS:
Bernstein's Philharmonic "stats" ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Leonard Bernstein (1918 – 1990):
Symphony No. 2 (The Age of Anxiety)
Marc-Andre Hamelin, piano; Ulster Orchestra;
Dmitry Sitkovetsky, cond.
Hyperion 67170

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Bernstein

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1866—French composer Erik Alfred-Leslie Satie, in Honfleur;
1901—German composer Werner Egk, in Auchsesheim, near Donauswörth; His original last name was Mayer, and it is said (although denied by the composer) that the he chose the acronym E-G-K because it stood for "ein grosser Komponist" ("a great composer");
1923—American composer Peter Mennin, in Erie, Pa.;

Deaths:
1935—French composer Paul Dukas, age 69, in Paris;

Premieres:
1779 — Gluck: opera "Iphigénie en Tauride" (Iphigenia in Taurus), at the Paris Opéra;
1890 — Mascagni: "Cavalleria Rusticana," in Rome at the Teatro Costanzi;
1904 — Ravel: "Schéhérazade," in Paris, with vocalist Jane Hatto and Alfred Cortot, conducting;
1919 — Ravel: "Alborado del gracioso" (orchestral version), in Paris at Pasdeloup Concert;
1929 — Prokofiev: Symphony No. 3, in Paris, by the Orchestre Symphonique de Paris, with Pierre Monteux conducting;
1933 — Cowell: "Reel," for small orchestra, in New York;
1939 — Prokofiev: cantata "Alexander Nevsky," in Moscow;
1946 — Martin: "Petite Symphonie Concertante," in Zurich, Paul Sacher conducting;
1960 — Ned Rorem: "11 Studies for 11 Players," for chamber ensemble, at the State University of Buffalo (N.Y.), conducted by the composers;
1990 — Rautavaara: "Vincent," in Helsinki at the Finnish National Opera;
2000 — Michael Torke: "Corner in Manhattan," by the Minnesota Orchestra, Eiji Oue conducting;
2001 — Christopher Rouse: Clarinet Concerto, by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Christoph Eschenbach, with Larry Combs the soloist;

Other:
1922—Music of "The President's Own" reached homes across the nation when the first Marine Band radio program was broadcast;
1969—Leonard Bernstein's last concert as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, having conducted 939 concerts with the orchestra (831 as its Music Director); Bernstein conducted 36 world premieres with the orchestra; He continued to appear with the Philharmonic as an occasional guest conductor until his death in 1990;
1978—Philips Electronics of The Netherlands announces a new digital sound reproduction system from flat, silver "Compact Discs."


Friday, May 18
Play today's program

Photo
American composer Alan Hovhaness
SYNOPSIS:
"Big bang" symphony by Hovhaness? ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Alan Hovhaness (1911 – 2000):
Symphony No. 50 (Mount St. Helens)
Seattle Symphony;
Gerard Schwarz, cond.
Delos 3137

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Alan Hovhaness

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1830—Austro-Hungarian composer Karl Goldmark, in Keszthely, Hungary;
1901—French composer Henri Sauguet, in Bordeaux;

Deaths:
1733—German composer and organist Georg Böhm, age 71, in Lüneburg;
1909—Spanish composer Isaac Albéniz, age 48, in Cambo-les-Bains;
1910—French composer and opera singer Pauline Viardot-Garcia, age 88, in Paris;
1911—Austrian composer Gustav Mahler, age 50, in Vienna;
1975—American composer Leroy Anderson, age 66, in Woodburg, Conn.;

Premieres:
1885 — Bruckner: String Quintet in F (final version), in Vienna, by the Hellmesberger Quartet with guest violist; 24 years earlier, Joseph Hellmesberger had asked Bruckner to write a quartet for his ensemble; A partial performance of this work (minus the Finale, and with its original Scherzo replaced by an Intermezzo movement) was arranged in Vienna on November 27, 1881, by Bruckner's pupil Franz Schalk;
1887 — Chabrier: "Le Roi malgre lui" (The King in Spite of Himself), in Paris at the Opera Comique;
1897 — Dukas: tone-poem "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," in Paris, with the composer conducting;
1917 — Satie: ballet "Parade," in Paris by the Ballet Russe;
1922 — Stravinsky: opera, "Renard," at the Paris Opéra, with Ernest Anseremet conducting;
1939 — Douglas Moore: opera "The Devil and Daniel Webster," in New York City;
1940 — Luigi Dallapiccola: opera "Volo di Notte" (Night Flight), after the novel by Antoine Saint-Exupéry), in Florence;
1949 — Milhaud: "Sabbath Morning Service" at Temple Emanu-El, in San Francisco, composer conducting;
1950 — Lukas Foss: opera "The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" (after the short story by Mark Twain) in Bloomington, Ind.;
1978 — Cowell: "Quartet Romantic" for 2 flutes, violin and viola, at Alice Tully Hall in New York City, by Paul Dunkel and Susan Palma (flutes), Ralph Schulte (violin) and John Graham (viola); This music was composed in 1917;
1981 — Joan Tower: "Sequoia" in New York, with the American Composers Orchestra conducted by Dennis Russell Davies;
1988 — Philip Glass: opera "The Fall of the House of Usher" (after Poe) in Cambridge, Mass., at the American Repertory Theater;
1990 — John Harbison: Viola Concerto, in Bridgewater, N.J., with soloist Jaime Laredo and the New Jersey Symphony, Hugh Wolff conducting;
1996 — Philip Glass: opera "Les Enfants Terrible" (Children of the Game based on the novel by Jean Cocteau), by the Philip Glass Ensemble at the Theatre Casino in Zug (Switzerland), Karen Kamensek conducting.


Saturday, May 19
Play today's program

Photo
French composer Camille Saint-Saëns
SYNOPSIS:
Saint-Saens and "Babe" at the organ ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 – 1921):
Symphony No. 3 (Organ)
Matthias Eisenberg, organ;
Toulouse Capitole Orchestra;
Michel Plasson, cond.
EMI 56362

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Saint-Saëns

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1616—Baptismal date of German composer and organist Johann Jacob Froberger, in Stuttgart;

Deaths:
1935—American composer Charles Martin Loeffler, age 74, in Medfield, Mass.;
1954—American composer and insurance executive Charles Ives, age 79, in New York;

Premieres:
1842 — Donizetti: opera "Linda di Chamounix," in Vienna;
1886 — Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3 ("Organ"), in London;
1911 — Ravel: "L'Heure espagnole" (Spanish Hour), in Paris at the Opèra Comique;
1915 — Stravinsky: Three Pieces for string quartet, in Paris;
1932 — Shostakovich: incidental music for Shakespeare's "Hamlet," in Moscow at the Vakhtangov Theater;
1939 — Cowell: "Return" for 3 percussionists and wailer, at the Cornish School in Seattle, by John Cage and his Percussion Group;
1942 — Cage: music for the radio play "The City Wears a Slouch Hat" (text by poet Kenneth Patchen), broadcast in Chicago;
2000 — Robert X. Rodriguez: "The Last Night of Don Juan" for chorus and orchestra, by the San Antonio Symphony and chorus, Wilkins conducting;
2002 — William Bolcom: "Seventh Symphony (A Symphonic Concerto)," at Carnegie Hall in New York, by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, James Levine conducting.

Other:
1886 —American premiere of J.S. Bach's Mass in B minor (11 selections), during the May Festival in Cincinnati, conducted by Theodore Thomas; The next documented performance (12 sections) was given in Boston on February 27, 1887, by the Handel and Haydn Society, with Carl Zerrahn conducting a chorus of 432 and an orchestra of 50; In both the 1886 Cincinnati and 1887 Boston performances, the famous 19-century German soprano Lilli Lehmann appeared as one of the soprano soloists; The first complete performance of the work was apparently given either at the Moravian Church in Bethlehem on Mar 17, 1900, by the Bach Choir under J. Fred Wolf, or at Carnegie Hall in new York on April 5, 1900, by the Oratorio Society, Frank Damrosch conducting.


Sunday, May 20
Play today's program

Photo
The interior of New York's Castle Garden
SYNOPSIS:
Beethoven in New York ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827):
Symphony No. 9 (Choral)
Berlin Philharmonic;
Claudio Abbado, cond.
DG 471 491

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On George Templeton Strong, Sr.

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1804—Russian composer Mikail Glinka ((Gregorian date: June 1);
1943—American composer Tison Street, in Boston;

Deaths:
1896—German pianist and composer, Clara Wieck Schumann, age 76, in Frankfurt;
1995—American composer Ulysses Kay, in Englewood, N.J.;

Premieres:
1914 — Miaskovsky: Symphony No. 1, in Pavlovsk (Julian date: June 2);
1937 — John J. Becker: Symphony No. 3 ("Symphonia Brevis"), at the Saint Paul Auditorium by the Twin Cities Civic (Federal Music Project, Minnesota) Orchestra, with the composer conducting;
1948 — Milhaud: Symphony No.4, in Paris, composer conducting;
1950 — Dallapiccola: opera "Il prigionero" (The Prisoner)(first staged production), in Florence at the Teatro Comunale; The opera has been premiered in a concert performance in Turin on December 1, 1949;
1973 — Menotti: Suite for Two Cellos and Piano, in New York, with cellists Gregor Piatigorsky and Leslie Parnas, and pianist Charles Wadsworth;
1974 — Panufnik: "Sinfonia Concertante," in London;
1974 — Sondheim: incidental music for "The Frogs" (after Aristophanes), at the Yale swimming pool;
1977 — Hovhaness: "Rubaiyat" for narrator, accordion, and orchestra, in New York City;
1979 — Tobias Picker: "Romance" for violin and piano, at York College, by Linda Quan (violin) and Aleck Karis (piano);
1989 — Katherine Hoover: "Quintet Da Pacem," for piano quintet, at Alice Tully Hall in New York, by members of the New Jersey Chamber Music Society;

Other:
1846—American premiere of Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 ("Choral") by New York Philharmonic Society at New York's Castle Garden, George Loder, Jr. conducting; It appears that the Society tried unsuccessfully to invite Mendelssohn to attend this festival performance, which they organized to raise funds for "the erection of a suitable edifice for musical purposes" in Manhattan; The next documented performance of Beethoven's Ninth outside of New York was given in Boston on February 5, 1853 by the combined forces of the Handel and Haydn Society plus the Germania Society; Other 19 th century regional premieres of Beethoven Ninth occurred in New Haven (Dec. 10, 1870), Columbus (Dec. 13, 1870), Chicago (Dec. 17, 1870), Philadelphia (April 27, 1874), Milwaukee (Oct. 22, 1878), Baltimore (May 3, 1884) and Pittsburgh (May 25, 1889);
1943—The U.S. Marine Band performs a special wartime concert on the White House South Lawn for President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill; Despite a steady rain, Roosevelt and Churchill stayed throughout and sang "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" with the band at the conclusion.