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January 28-February 3, 2013

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Monday, January 28
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Photo
American composer Elinor Armer
SYNOPSIS:
Armer's musical sci-fi in SF ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Elinor Armer (b. 1939):
Uses of Music in Uttermost Parts
SF Chamber Singers;
Women's Philharmonic;
JoAnn Falletta, cond.
Koch 7331

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Elinor Armer
and Ursula K. Le Guin

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1791—French opera composer Louis Joseph F. Herold, in Paris;
1898—Italian-American composer Vittorio Rieti, in Alexandria, Egypt;
1944—British composer Sir John Tavener, in London;

Deaths:
1935—Russian composer Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov, age 75, in Moscow;
1947—Venezuelan-born French composer Reynaldo Hahn, age 72, in Paris;

Premieres:
1725 — Bach: Sacred Cantata No. 92 ("Ich hab in Gottes Herz und Sinn") performed on Septuagesimae Sunday after Epiphany as part of Bach's second annual Sacred Cantata cycle in Leipzig (1724/25);
1828 — Schubert: Piano Trio in Bb, Op. 99 (D. 898), at a private performance by Ignaz Schuppanzigh (violin), Josef Linke (cello), and Carl Maria von Bocklet (piano);
1830 — Auber: opera "Fra Diavolo" in Paris at the Opéra-Comique;
1876 — Tchaikovsky: "Serenade mélancolique" for violin and orchestra, in Moscow (Julian date: Jan. 18);
1897 — Glazunov: Symphony No. 5, in London;
1915 — Ravel: Piano Trio in a, in Paris, by Gabriel Wilaume (violin), Louis Feuillard (cello), and Alfredo Casella (piano);
1916 — Granados: opera "Goyescas," at the Metropolitan Opera in New York;
1927 — Copland: Piano Concerto, by the Boston Symphony conducted by Serge Koussevitzky, with the composer as soloist;
1941 — Copland: "Quiet City," at Town Hall in New York City by the Little Symphony conducted by Daniel Saidenberg; This music is based on incidental music Copland wrote for Irwin Shaw's play of the same name produced by the Group Theater in New York in 1939;
1944 — Bernstein: Symphony No. 1 ("Jeremiah"), at the Syria Mosque in Pittsburgh by the Pittsburgh Symphony conducted by the composer, with mezzo-soprano Jennie Tourel as vocal soloist;
1972 — Scott Joplin: opera "Treemonisha" (orchestrated by T.J. Anderson), in Atlanta;
1990 — Joan Tower: Flute Concerto, at Carnegie Hall in New York, with soloist Carol Wincenc and the American Composers Orchestra, Hugh Wolff, conducting;
1995 — Elinor Armer: “Island Earth” (to a text by Sci-Fi writer Usula K. Le Guin), at the University of California, Berkeley, by the various San Francisco choirs and the Women’s Philharmonic, conducted by JoAnn Falletta; On the same program were the premiere performance’s of Chen Yi’s “Antiphony” for orchestra and Augusta Read Thomas’s “Fantasy” for piano and orchestra (with piano soloist Sara Wolfensohn);
1997 — Morten Lauridsen: “Mid-Winter Songs” (final version) for chorus and orchestra, by the Los Angeles Master Chorale, John Currie conducting; Earlier versions of this work with piano and chamber orchestra accompaniment had premiered in 1981, 1983, and 1985 at various Californian venues;
2000 — André Previn: "Diversions," in Salzburg, Austria, by the Vienna Philharmonic, the composer conducting;

Other:
1742—Jonathan Swift, Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin (and the author of "Gulliver's Travels"), objects to the cathedral singers taking part in performances of Handel's works while the composer is in that city (Gregorian date: Feb. 8); Rehearsals for the premiere performance of Handel's "Messiah" would begin in April of that year, involving the choirs of both Christ Church and St. Patrick's Cathedrals in Dublin;
1971—William Bolcom completes his "Poltergeist" Rag (dedicated to Teresa Sterne, a one-time concert pianist who was then a producer for Nonesuch Records); According to the composer's notes, the "Poltergeist" Rag was written "in a converted garage next to a graveyard in Newburgh, N.Y."


Tuesday, January 29
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Photo
Austrian composer Franz Schubert
SYNOPSIS:
Schubert and the Maiden? ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Franz Schubert (1797–1828):
String Quartet in d (Death and the Maiden)
Emerson String Quartet
DG 459 151

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Schubert

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1715—Austrian composer Georg Christoph Wagenseil, in Vienna;
1782—French composer Daniel-François-Esprit Auber, in Caen;
1852—British composer Frederic Hymen Cowen, in Kingston, Jamaica;
1862—English composer Fritz (Frederick) Delius, in Bradford, Yorkshire;
1876—English composer Havergal Brian, in Dresden, Staffordshire;
1924—Italian composer Luigi Nono, in Venice;

Deaths:
1946—British composer Sydney Jones, age 84, in London, age 84;
1962—Austrian composer and violinist Fritz Kreisler, age 86, in New York City;

Premieres:
1728 — Gay & Pepusch: ballad-opera, “The Beggar’s Opera,” at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London; This work, mounted by the London impresario John Rich, proved so popular that it was staged 62 times that season; As contemporary wags put it, the wildly successful work “made Gay Rich and Rich Gay&rdquo(Gregorian date: Feb. 9);
1781 — Mozart: opera, "Idomeneo" in Munich at the Hoftheater;
1826 — Schubert: String Quartet in D minor, "Death and the Maiden," as a unrehearsed reading at the Vienna home of Karl and Franz Hacker, two amateur musicians; Schubert, who usually played viola on such occasions, could not perform since he was busy copying out the parts and making last-minute corrections;
1882 — Rimsky-Korsakov: opera "The Snow Maiden," in St. Petersburg (Gregorian date: Feb. 10);
1892 — Chadwick: “A Pastoral Prelude,” by the Boston Symphony. Arthur Nikisch conducting;
1916 — Prokofiev: "Scythian" Suite ("Ala and Lolly"), Op. 20, at the Mariinsky Theater in Petrograd, with the composer conducting (Julian date: Jan. 16);
1932 — Gershwin: "Second Rhapsody" for piano and orchestra, in Boston, with the Boston Symphony conducted by Serge Koussevitzky and the composer as soloist;
1936 — Constant Lambert: "Summer's Last Will and Testament" for chorus and orchestra, in London;
1981 — John Williams: first version of Violin Concerto (dedicated to the composer's late wife, actress and singer Barbara Ruick Williams), by Mark Peskanov and the St. Louis Symphony conducted by Leonard Slatkin; Williams subsequently revised this work in 1998; This premiere date is listed (incorrectly) as Jan. 19 in the DG recording featuring Gil Shaham;


Wednesday, January 30
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Photo
Composer and cornet virtuoso Herbert L. Clarke
SYNOPSIS:
Herbert L. Clarke ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Herbert L. Clarke (1867 - 1945):
Sounds from the Hudson (Valse brillante)
Wynton Marsalis, cornet;
Eastman Wind Ensemble;
Donald Hunsberger, cond.
CBS 42137

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Herbert L. Clarke

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1697—German composer and flutist Johann Joachim Quantz, in Oberscheden, Hannover;
1861—French-born American composer Charles Martin Loeffler, in Alsace;
1862—German-born American composer and conductor, Walter Damrosch, in Breslau;

Deaths:
1963—French composer Francis Poulenc, age 64, in Paris;

Premieres:
1724 — Bach: Sacred Cantata No. 81 ("Jesus schläft, was soll ich hoffen?") performed on the 4th Sunday after Epiphany as part of Bach's first annual Sacred Cantata cycle in Leipzig (1723/24);
1735 — Bach: Sacred Cantata No. 14 ("Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit") performed in Leipzig on the 4th Sunday after Epiphany;
1892 — Rachmaninoff: “Trio élégiaque” No. 1 in G minor (Gregorian date: Feb. 11);
1893 — Brahms: Fantasies for piano Nos. 1-3, from Op. 117 and Intermezzo No. 2, from Op. 117, in Vienna;
1917 — Zemlinsky: opera "A Floretine Tragedy," in Stuttgart at the Hoftheater;
1920 — Frederick Converse: Symphony in c, by the Boston Symphony, Pierre Monteux conducting;
1942 — Copland: Orchestral Suite from "Billy the Kid" ballet, by the Boston Symphony;
1948 — Harold Shapero: "Symphony for Classical Orchestra," by the Boston Symphony conducted by Leonard Bernstein;
1958 — Walton: "Partita" for orchestra, in Cleveland;
1959 — Hindemith: "Pittsburgh Symphony," by the Pittsburgh Symphony, conducted by the composer;
1970 — William Schuman: "In Praise of Shahn," in New York;
1985 — Libby Larsen: Symphony ("Water Music"), by the Minnesota Orchestra, Sir Neville Marriner conducting.


Thursday, January 31
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Photo
Michael Colgrass
SYNOPSIS:
"Old Churches" by Michael Colgrass ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Michael Colgrass (b. 1932):
Old Churches
University of Minnesota
Symphonic Band; Craig Kirchoff, dir.
Hal Leonard (full score, parts & CD)
HL-04002008

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Michael Colgrass
On the "BandQuest" series

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1759—French composer a François Devienne, in Joinville;
1797—Austrian composer Franz Schubert, in Lichtenthal near Vienna;
1906—English composer Benjamin Frankel, in London;
1937—American composer and performer Philip Glass, in Baltimore, Maryland;
1960—English composer and pianist George Benjamin, in London;

Premieres:
1727 — Handel: opera "Admeto" in London at the Haymarket Theater in London; This premiere was scheduled for earlier in the month, but was delayed awaiting the arrival in London of the Italian castrato Senesino, who was recovering from an illness (Gregorian date: Feb. 11);
1925 — Vladimir Dukelsky(a.k.a. Vernon Duke): ballet "Zéphir et Flore" in Paris;
1935 — Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Cello Concerto, by the New York Philharmonic, with Gregor Piatigorsky as the soloist;
1943 — R. Strauss: "Divertimento on pieces by Couperin," in Vienna;
1952 — Leon Kirchner: "Sinfonia" in New York City;
1953 — Vittorio Giannini: opera "The Taming of the Shrew" (in concert form) in Cincinnati;
1959 — Martinu: “Fantasia concertante” for piano and orchestra, in Berlin, with Margrit Weber the soloist;
1986 — Joan Tower: Piano Concerto ("Homage to Beethoven"), by the Hudson Valley Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra conducted by Imre Pallo, with piano soloist Jacquelyn M. Helin;
1987 — David Maslanka: Wind Quintet No. 2 at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall in New York, by the Manhattan Quintet.


Friday, February 1
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Photo
American composer Michael Torke
SYNOPSIS:
Torke abroad ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Michael Torke (b. 1961):
An American Abroad
Royal Scottish National Orchestra;
Marin Alsop, cond.
Naxos 8.559167

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Michael Torke

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1690—Italian composer Francesco Maria Veracini, in Florence;
1701—Swedish composer Johan Joachim Agrell, in Löth;
1859—Irish-born American composer and cellist Victor Herbert, in Dublin;
1869—Russian composer and violinist Julius Conus (Yuly Konyus), in Moscow (Julian date: Jan. 20);
1907—Hungarian-born Swiss composer Sándor Veress, in Kolozsvár;
1928—German-born American composer Ursula Mamlok, in Berlin;

Deaths:
1824—Austrian composer and pianist Maria Theresia von Paradis, age 64, in Vienna;
1875—British composer Sir William Sterndale Bennett, age 58, in London;
1981—German composer Ernst Pepping, age 79, in Berlin;
1981—Norwegian composer Nils Geirr Tveitt, age 72, in Oslo;

Premieres:
1893 — Puccini: opera, "Manon Lescaut," in Turin at the Teatro Regio;
1896 — Puccini: opera "La Bohème," in Turin at the Teatro Regio, with Arturo Toscanini conducting;
1916 — Nielsen: Symphony No. 4 ("The Inextinguishable") with the orchestra of the Copenhagen Music Society, the composer conducting;
1918 — Lehar: operetta "Wo die Lerche singt" (Where the Lark Sings) in Budapest;
1930 — Schoenberg: opera "Von Heute af Morgen" (From One Day to the Next), at the Frankfurt Opera;
1947 — Hindemith: "Sinfonia Serena" by the Dallas Symphony, Antal Dorati conducting;
1982 — Tobias Picker: Violin Concerto, by the American Composers Orchestra, Paul Dunkel conducting, with Rolf Schulte the soloist;
1984 — John Harbison: chamber orchestra version of “Mirabai Songs” (to poems of Mirabai, translated by Robert Bly), at Sanders Theater in Cambridge, Mass., with mezzo-soprano Hance Felty and the ensemble Collage, Gunther Schuller conducting; The original voice and piano version of this work premiered in Boston on Nov. 15, 1983;
1996 — George Walker: "Lilacs" for voice and orchestra, by soprano Faye Robinson and the Boston Symphony, Seiji Ozawa conducting; This work was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for music;
2002 — Michael Torke: "An American Abroad" for orchestra, in Edinburgh, Scotland, by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Marin Alsop conducting;

Other:
1881—After a private performance of the late Jacques Offenbach's final work, "The Tales of Hoffmann," at the Opéra Comique in Paris, runs longer than anticipated, extensive cuts and alterations are made to the score before its first public staging.
1862—American premiere of Brahms's Serenade No. 2 in A, at Irving Hall in New York, by the New York Philharmonic, Carl Bergmann conducting; The world premiere performance of this work had occurred in Hamburg, Germany, on Feb. 10, 1860, with the composer conducting;
1864 —First documented American performance of Beethoven's Triple Concerto, at Milwaukee's Music Hall, by the Musical Society under Frederick Abel, with three unnamed soloists;


Saturday, February 2
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Photo
Fritz Kreisler
SYNOPSIS:
Kreisler in the style of Kreisler ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Fritz Kreisler (1875 — 1962):
Violin Concerto (in the style of Vivaldi)
Gil Shaham, violin;
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
DG 439933

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Fritz Kreisler
Kreisler's "Four Weeks in the Trenches"
(WWI memoirs)


ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1669—French composer and organist Louis Marchand, in Lyons;
1813—Russian composer Alexander Dargomizhsky (Gregorian date: Feb. 14);
1873—Austrian operetta composer Leo Fall, in Olmütz;
1875—Austrian-American composer and violinist Fritz Kreisler, in Vienna;

Deaths:
1594—Italian composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, age 68, in Rome;
1789—French composer, organist and harpsichordist Armand-Louis Couperin, age 61, in Paris;
1934—Brazilian composer and pianist Ernesto Nazareth, age 70, in Rio de Janeiro;
1974—Belgian composer Jean Absil, age 80, in Brussels;

Premieres:
1724 — Bach: Sacred Cantata No. 83 ("Erfreute Zeit im neuen Bunde") performed on the Feast of the Purification as part of Bach's first annual Sacred Cantata cycle in Leipzig (1723/24);
1725 — Bach: Sacred Cantata No. 125 ("Mit Fried und Frued ich fahr dahin") performed on the Feast of the Purification as part of Bach's second annual Sacred Cantata cycle in Leipzig (1724/25);
1795 — Haydn: Symphony No. 102, in London at the King's Theater, with the composer conducting;
1884 — Loeffler: "Fantastic Concerto," by the Boston Symphony, Emil Paur conducting;
1890 — Dvorák: Symphony No. 8, Op. 88, in Prague, with the composer conducting;
1900 — Chadwick: "Adonais" (Elegiac Overture), by the Boston Symphony, Wilhelm Gericke conducting;
1900 — Gustave Charpentier: opera, "Louise," in Paris at the Opéra-Comique;
1920 — Stravinsky: ballet, "The Song of the Nightingale," at the Paris Opéra, with choreography by Massine;
1921 — Bretan: opera "Luceafarul" (The Evening Star), in Cluj, Romania;
1926 — Cowell: String Quartet No. 1 ("Quartett Pedantic"), at Aeolian Hall in New York City by the Ralph Henkle String Quartet;
1977 — Ned Rorem: "A Quaker Reader" for organ, in New York City;
1978 — Peter Maxwell Davies: Symphony No. 1, in London at Royal Festival Hall, by the Philharmonia Orchestra, Simon Rattle conducting.


Sunday, February 3
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Photo
Chen Yi
SYNOPSIS:
Chen Yi's "Spring Festival" ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Chen Yi (b. 1953): Spring Festival
University of Minnesota Symphonic Wind Ensemble;
Craig Kirchhoff, cond.
Hal Leonard (full score, parts & CD)
HL-04001978

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Chen Yi
On the BandQuest series
On the College Band Directors National Association

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1525—earliest possible birth date for the Italian composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, who was probably born between February 3, 1525 and February 2, 1526, most likely at Palestrina (near Rome);
1809—German composer Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, in Hamburg;
1842—American poet, flutist and composer Sidney Lanier, in Macon, Ga.;
1904—Italian composer Luigi Dallapiccola, in Pisino, Istria;
1910—Mexican composer Blas Galindo Dimas, in San Gabriel, Jalisco;
1911—French composer and organist Jehan Alain, in Paris;

Deaths:
1814—Bohemian composer Johann Antonin Kozeluch, age 75, in Prague;

Premieres:
1823 — Rossini: opera "Semiramide," in Venice at the Teatro la Fenice;
1844 — Berlioz: "Roman Carnival" Overture, in Paris at the Salle Herz, with the composer conducting;
1867 — Brahms: String Sextet No. 2, Op. 36, in Vienna, by the Hellmesberger Sextet; This work had received some informal performances in Zürich the preceding year;
1868 — Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 1, in Moscow (Gregorian date: Feb. 15);
1884 — Tchaikovsky: opera “Mazeppa” in Moscow (Gregorian date: Feb. 15);
1894 — Glazunov: Symphony No. 4, in St. Petersburg (Julian date: Jan. 22);
1945 — Stravinsky: "Scènes de ballet," in New York City by the New York Philharmonic, conducted by the composer; This work was commissioned by Broadway impresario Billy Rose for a 1944 revue titled "The Seven Lively Arts";
1956 — Elie Siegmeister: Clarinet Concerto, in Oklahoma City;
1989 — Michael Torke: "Ash," in St. Paul, Minn., by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, John Adams conducting;
2002 — Philip Glass: Symphony No. 6, at Carnegie Hall, by the American Composers Orchestra conducted by Dennis Russell Davies.