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February 4-10, 2013

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Monday, February 4
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Photo
American composer Alan Hovhaness
SYNOPSIS:
A Hovhaness premiere ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Alan Hovhaness (1911 - 2000):
Lousadzak
Keith Jarrett, piano;
American Composers Orcehstra;
Dennis Russell Davies, cond.
MusicMasters 60204

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Hovhaness

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1740—Swedish song composer Carl Michael Bellman, in Stockholm;
1892—Finnish song composer Yrjo Kilpinen, in Helsingfors;
1893—American composer Bernard Rogers, in New York;

Deaths:
1781—Bohemian-born composer Josef Mysliveczek, age 43, in Rome;
1997—American composer Ross Lee Finney, age 90, in Carmel, Calif.;
2001—Romanian born, Greek-French composer and architectural engineer Iannis Xenakis, age 78, in Paris;

Premieres:
1725 — Bach: Sacred Cantata No. 126 ("Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort") performed on Sexagesimae Sunday after Epiphany as part of Bach's second annual Sacred Cantata cycle in Leipzig (1724/25);
1884 — Tchaikovsky: Orchestral Suite No. 2, in Moscow (Gregorian date: Feb. 16);
1908 — First public performance of Stravinsky: Symphony in Eb in St. Petersburg, conducted by Felix Blumenfeld (Julian date: Jan. 22); A private performance of two movements of this symphony had occurred on April 14/27, 1907, also in St. Petersburg;
1945 — Hovhaness: "Lousadzek" (Coming of Light) for piano and strings, in Boston, with the composer conducting from the piano;

Other:
1837—Franz Liszt performs a chamber recital in Paris, featuring the then-unfamiliar Piano Trios of Beethoven; At the last minute, the performers decided to reverse the printed order of the program, performing on the first half of the concert a trio by Pixis, and a Beethoven trio on the second half; The audience (and critics) warmly applaud the Pixis, mistakenly thinking it was the Beethoven work, and react coolly to the Beethoven, assuming it was by Pixis; Among the critics, only Berlioz notices the program switch.
1854—First documented American performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4 in G, at Boston's Odeon by the Germania Musical Society conducted by Carl Bergmann, with Robert Heller the soloist;
1887—American premiere of Bruckner: Symphony No. 7, by the Boston Symphony, Wilhelm Gericke conducting;


Tuesday, February 5
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Photo
Arnold Schoenberg
SYNOPSIS:
Schoenberg hissed ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Arnold Schoenberg (1874 — 1951):
String Quartet No 1, Op 7
Kolisch Quartet
Music & Arts 1056

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Arnold Schoenberg

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1810—Norwegian composer and violinist Ole Bull, in Bergen;
1909—Polish composer Grazyna Bacewicz, in Lódz;
1943—French-American composer Ivan Tcherepnin, in Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris;

Deaths:
1907—German composer Ludwig Thuille, age 45, in Munich;
1962—French composer Jacques Ibert, age 71, in Paris;

Premieres:
1887 — Verdi: opera "Otello," in Milan at the Teatro all Scala, with composer conducting (and cellist Arturo Toscanini in the orchestra);
1895 — Ippolitov-Ivanov: “Caucasian Sketches,” in Moscow, with the composer conducting (Julian date: Jan. 24;
1907 — Schoenberg: String Quartet No. 1 in d, Op. 7, in Vienna, by the Rosé Quartet;
1939 — Carl Orff: opera "Der Mond" (The Moon), in Munich at the Nationaltheater;
1958 — Tippett: Symphony No. 2, in London, by the BBC Symphony, with Sir Adrian Boult conducting;
1969 — Thea Musgrave: Clarinet Concerto, in London;
1970 — Elliott Carter: "Concerto for Orchestra" by the New York Philharmonic, Pierre Boulez conducting;
1995 — Olly Wilson: "Shango Memory" for orchestra, by the New York Philharmonic, Neeme Järvi conducting;
2000 — Ellen Taaffe Zwilich: Symphony No. 4 ("The Gardens"), for chorus, children's chorus and orchestra, by Michigan State University ensembles conducted by Leon Gregorian.

Other:
1875—American premiere of J.S. Bach's Concerto for Two Violins in D minor, at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, with the Theodore Thomas Orchestra and soloists S.E. Jacobsohn and Richard Arnold; The same performers also gave the New York City premiere at Steinway Hall the following day; Following a Dec. 10, 1881, New York Philharmonic performance under Thomas with the same soloists, the New York Times reviewer wrote: "The concert possesses no interest to anyone but a violinist and even for a musically disposed audience is not a felicitous selection."


Wednesday, February 6
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Photo
Jennifer Higdon
SYNOPSIS:
Higdon's Violin Concerto ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Jennifer Higdon (b. 1962):
Violin Concerto
Hilary Hahn, vn;
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic;
Vasily Petrenko, cond.
DG 146980-2

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Jennifer Higdon
On Hilary Hahn

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1941—American composer Stephen Albert, in New York;

Deaths:
1497—Flemish composer Johannes Ockeghem, age c. 76, in Tours;

Premieres:
1724 — Bach: Sacred Cantata No. 144 ("Nimm, was dein ist, und gehe hin") performed on Septuagesimae Sunday as part of Bach's first annual Sacred Cantata cycle in Leipzig (1723/24);
1727 — Bach: Sacred Cantata No. 157 ("Ich lasse dich nicht, du segnest mich denn") for a funeral service in Leipzig;
1813 — Rossini: opera "Tancredi," in Venice at the Teatro La Fenice;
1851 — R. Schumann: Symphony No. 3 ("Rhenish"), in Düsseldorf, conducted by the composer;
1930 — Roussel: "Petite Suite" for orchestra, in Paris;
1933 — Henry Brant: "Angels and Devils" for solo flute and flute ensemble, at a Pan-American Association of Composers concert at Carnegie Chapter Hall in New York City, with the famous French-born flautist Georges Barrère as the soloist; On the same program, Brant accompanied soprano Judith Litante at the piano in the premiere performances of three songs by Charles Ives: "Afterglow," "Ann Street," and "Like a Sick Eagle";
1941 — Hindemith: Cello Concerto, at the Sanders Theater (Cambridge, Mass.) by the Boston Symphony conducted by Serge Koussevitzky, with Gregor Piatigorsky the soloist;
1944 — Schoenberg: Piano Concerto, by the NBC Symphony conducted by Leopold Stokowski, with Eduard Steuermann as soloist;
1959 — Poulenc: opera "La voix humaine" (The Human Voice), in Paris at the Opéra Comique;
1976 — John La Montaine: opera "Be Glad, Then, America," at University Park, Pa.;
1996 — Stephen Paulus: "Dramatic Suite," for flute, viola, cello and piano, in St. Cloud, Minn., by members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center;

Other:
1838—Mendelssohn finishes his String Quartet in Eb, Op. 44, no. 3.


Thursday, February 7
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Photo
American composer Ellen Taafe Zwilich
SYNOPSIS:
Zwilich times Three ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Ellen Taafe Zwilich (b. 1939):
Triple Concerto
Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio;
Florida State University;
Michael Stern, cond.
Koch 7537

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
More on Zwilich

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1871—Swedish composer Wilhelm Stenhammar, in Stockholm;
1883—American jazz pianist and song composer Eubie Blake, in Baltimore;
1897—American composer Quincy Porter, in New Haven, Conn.;
1925—Rumanian-born French composer Marius Constant, in Bucharest;

Deaths:
1652—Italian composer and Papal Chapel singer Gregorio Allegri, age .c 70, in Rome;
1779—English composer and organist William Boyce, age 67, in Kensington;

Premieres:
1733 — Handel: opera “Orlando” in London (Julian date: Jan.27);
1786 — Mozart: opera "Der Schauspieldirektor" (The Impressario), in Vienna at the Orangerie at Schönbrunn;
1792 — Cimarosa: opera "Il Matrimonio segreto" (The Secret Marriage), in Vienna at the Burgtheater;
1873 — Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2 (“Little Russian”), in Moscow (Julian date: Jan. 26);
1875 — Lalo: "Symphonie espagnole" for Violin and Orchestra, in Paris, Edouard Colonne conducting, with Pablo de Sarasate the soloist;
1882 — Borodin: String Quartet No. 2 in D, in St. Petersburg (Julian date: Jan.26);
1893 — Brahms: Capriccio in d, No. 7 from "Fantasies" for Piano, Op. 116, in Vienna;
1908 — Chadwick: "Symphonic Sketches," by the Boston Symphony, with Karl Muck conducting;
1907 — Rimsky-Korsakov: opera “Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh,” in St. Petersburg (Gregorian date: Feb. 20);
1922 — Stenhammar: incidental music for Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," at the Lorensberg Theater in Gothenburg, Sweden;
1931 — Deems Taylor: opera "Peter Ibbetson" at the Metropolitan Opera in New York;
1941 — first public performance of Barber: Violin Concerto, by Philadelphia Orchestra, with Eugene Ormandy conducting and Albert Spalding the soloist;
1941 — Hindemith: Cello Concerto, Op. 7, by the Boston Symphony, Serge Koussevitzky conducting with Gregor Piatigorsky the soloist;
1953 — Martinu: "The Marriage," one-act opera (after Gogol) on the NBC TV network; One of the earliest operas specifically written for television, it is nowadays all but forgotten;
1957 — Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 7 (arr. Bogatiiryov), in Moscow; This arrangement uses sketches for Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 3 and for another unfinished work for piano and orchestra as the basis for a "new" symphonic work by the late composer;
1964 — Sessions: Symphony No. 5, by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy conducting;
1988 — Tan Dun: "Out of Peking Opera" for violin and orchestra, at Lincoln Center, with soloist Vera Weiling Tsu and the New York City Symphony, David Eaton conducting;
1996 — Zwilich: Triple Concerto for violin, cello, piano and orchestra, by the Minnesota Orchestra, Zdenek Macal conducting, with the Kalichstein/Laredo/Robinson Trio as the soloists;

Other:
1973—On his 90th birthday, Jazz pianist and song composer Eubie Blake, the son of former slaves, is honored by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).


Friday, February 8
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Photo
Frederick Fennell in the 1950's
SYNOPSIS:
The Eastman Wind Ensemble's first concert ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
W. A. Mozart (1756 - 1791):
Serenade No. 10 in Bb, K. 361
Eastman Wind Ensemble;
Frederick Fennell, cond.
Mercury 434 399

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On the Eastman Wind Ensemble
On the College Band Directors
National Association


ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1741—Belgian-born French composer André Grétry, in Liège;
1932—American composer and conductor John Williams, in New York City;

Deaths:
1709—Italian composer Giuseppe Torelli, age 50, in Bologna;
1909—Polish composer Mieczyslaw Karlowicz, age 32, near Zakopane, Tatra Mountains;

Premieres:
1874 — Mussorgsky: opera “Boris Godunov”, at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, with bass Ivan Melnikov in the title role, and Eduard Napravnik conducting; This was the composer’s own revised, nine-scene version of the opera, which originally consisted of just seven scenes (Julian date: Jan.27);
1897 — Kalinnikov: Symphony No. 1 (Gregorian date: Feb. 20);
1904 — Sibelius: Violin Concerto (first version), in Helsinki, by the Helsingsfors Philharmonic conducted by the composer, with Victor Novácek as soloist; The revised and final version of this concerto premiered in Berlin on October 19, 1905, conducted by Richard Strauss and with Karl Halir the soloist;
1907 — Schoenberg: Chamber Symphony No. 1 in Vienna, with the Rosé Quartet and members of the Vienna Philharmonic;
1908 — Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2 in St. Petersburg, with the composer conducting (Julian date: Jan. 26);
1909 — Liadov: “Enchanted Lake” (Gregorian date: Feb. 21);
1910 — Webern: Five Movements, Op. 5, for string quartet, in Vienna;
1925 — Cowell: "Ensemble" (original version for strings and 3 "thunder-sticks"), at a concert sponsored by the International Composers' Guild at Aeolian Hall in New York, by an ensemble led by Vladimir Shavitch that featured the composer and two colleagues on "thunder-sticks" (an American Indian instrument also known as the "bull-roarer"); Also on program was the premiere of William Grant Still's "From the Land of Dreams" for three voices and chamber orchestra (his first concert work, now lost, dedicated to his teacher, Edgard Varèse);
1925 — Miaskovsky: Symphonies Nos. 4 and 7, in Moscow;
1934 — Virgil Thomson: opera "Four Saints in Three Acts" (libretto by Gertrude Stein), in Hartford, Conn.;
1942 — Stravinsky: "Danses concertantes," by the Werner Janssen Orchestra of Los Angeles, with the composer conducting;
1946 — Bartók: Piano Concerto No. 3 (completed by Tibor Serly after the composer's death), by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy conducting and György Sándor as the soloist;
1959 — Elie Siegmeister: Symphony No. 3, in Oklahoma City;
1963 — Benjamin Lees: Violin Concerto, by the Boston Symphony, with Erich Leinsdorf conducting and Henryk Szeryng the soloist;
1966 — Lou Harrison: "Symphony on G" (revised version), at the Cabrillo Music Festival by the Oakland Symphony, Gerhard Samuel condicting;
1973 — Crumb: "Makrokosmos I" for amplified piano, in New York;
1985 — Earle Brown: "Tracer," for six instruments and four-track tape, in Berlin;
1986 — Daniel Pinkham: Symphony No. 3, by the Plymouth (Mass.) Philharmonic, Rudolf Schlegel conducting;
2001 — Sierra: "Concerto for Orchestra," by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Wolfgang Sawallisch conducting;

Other:
1875—American composer Edward MacDowell admitted to the Paris Conservatory;
1877—German-born (and later American) composer Charles Martin Loeffler admitted to the Paris Conservatory;
1880—German opera composer Richard Wagner writes a letter to his American dentist, Dr. Newell Still Jenkins, stating "I do no regard it as impossible that I decide to emigrate forever to America with my latest work ["Parsifal"] and my entire family" if the Americans would subsidize him to the tune of one million dollars.


Saturday, February 9
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Photo
American composer Ron Nelson
SYNOPSIS:
Ron Nelson's "Rocky Point Holiday" ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Ron Nelson (b. 1929):
Rocky Point Holiday
Dallas Wind Symphony;
Ron Nelson, cond.
Reference Recording RR-76

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Ron Nelson
On the College Band Directors National Association

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1834—German composer Franz Xaver Witt, in Walderbach, Bavaria;
1885—Austrian composer Alban Berg, in Vienna;
1909—German composer Harald Genzmer, in Blumenthal, near Bremen;

Deaths:
1740—German composer, organist and teacher Vincent Lübeck, age c. 85, in Hamburg;
1812—German composer Franz Anton Hoffmeister, age 57, in Vienna;
1960—Hungarian composer Ernö (Ernst von) Dohnányi, age 82, in New York City;

Premieres:
1722 — ; first documented concert performance of Handel: “Water Music” at the Stationer’s Hall in London (Gregorian date: Feb. 20); Handel’s “Water Music” had been premiered on July 17/28, 1717, during a famous royal barge excursion on the river Thames;
1727 — Bach: Sacred Cantata No. 84 ("Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke") probably performed on Septuagesimae Sunday as part of Bach's third annual Sacred Cantata cycle in Leipzig (1725/27);
1728 — Gay & Pepusch: ballad-opera, “The Beggar’s Opera,” in London (Julian date: Jan. 29);
1812 — Beethoven: private premieres of "The Ruins of Athens" and "King Stephen" Overture and Incidental Music, as part of a production at the opening of a new theater in Pest, Hungary (see also Feb. 10 for offical public premiere);
1886 — Mussorgsky (arr. Rimsky-Korsakov): opera “Khovanschchina,” posthumously, in St. Petersburg (Gregorian date: Feb. 21);
1893 — Verdi: opera, "Falstaff," in Milan at the Teatro alla Scala; This was Verdi's last opera;
1909 — Albéniz: piano suite, "Iberia," in Paris;
1919 — Chadwick: symphonic poem "Angel of Death" in New York;

Other:
1784—Mozart finishes his Piano Concerto No. 14 in Eb, K. 449, and enters it as the first item in his own catalogue of his compositions; The concerto may have been performed by Mozart in Vienna on March 17 that year, and also outside Vienna at the home of Barbara von Ployer, one of Mozart's pupils, for whom the work was written.


Sunday, February 10
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Photo
Ernst Krenek
SYNOPSIS:
Krenek spielt auf? ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Ernst Krenek (1900 — 1991):
Jonny spielt auf
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra;
Lothar Zagrosek, cond.
London 436 631

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Ernst Krenek
An interview with Krenek

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1908—Canadian composer and pianist Jean Coulthard, in Vancouver;
1929—American film score composer Jerry Goldsmith;
1939—American composer Barbara Kolb, in Hartford, Conn.;

Premieres:
1744 — Handel: oratorio “Semele,” in London at the Covent Garden Theater (Gregorian date: Feb. 21);
1749 — Handel: oratorio “Susanna” in London at the Covent Garden Theater (Gregorian date: Feb. 21);
1794 — Haydn: Symphony No. 99, conducted by the composer, at the King's Theatre in London;
1812 — Beethoven: public premieres of "The Ruins of Athens" and "King Stephen" Overture and Incidental Music, as part of a production at the opening of a new theater in Pest, Hungary (see also Feb. 9);
1860 — Brahms: Serenade No. 2 in A, Op. 16, in Hamburg, with the composer conducting;
1878 — Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4, in Moscow (Gregorian date: Feb. 22);
1881 — Offenbach: opera "The Tales of Hoffmann," posthumously, in Paris at the Opéra Comique;
1882 — Rimsky-Korsakov: opera “The Snow Maiden” (first version), in St. Petersburg, Napravnik conducting (Julian date: Jan. 29);
1896 — Walter Damrosch: opera "The Scarlet Letter," in Boston;
1903 — Rachmaninoff: Piano Preludes Nos. 1, 2, and 5, from Op. 23 and “Variations on a Theme of Chopin” (Gregorian date: Feb. 23);
1927 — Krenek: "jazz" opera "Jonny spielt auf" (Johnny Strikes Up the Band), in Leipzig at the Stadttheater;
1934 — Howard Hanson: opera "Merry Mount," (staged premiere) at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Tulio Serafin conducting;
1949 — Antheil: Symphony No. 6, by the San Francisco Symphony, Pierre Monteux conducting;
1950 — William Schuman: Violin Concerto, by Isaac Stern with the Boston Symphony with Charles Munch conducting and Isaac Stern the soloist;
1961 — Piston: Symphony No. 7, by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy conducting; This work was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1961;
1966 — Richard Rodney Bennett: Symphony No. 1, in London;
1976 — Ulysses Kay: "Southern Harmony," by the North Carolina Symphony;
1995 — Daniel Asia: Piano Concerto, by the Grand Rapids (Mich.) Symphony, conducted by Carl St. Clair, with André-Michel Schub the soloist;
2001 — Pierre Jalbert: "L'amour infini," (Infinite Love), by the Albany Symphony, David Alan Miller conducting;

Other:
1859 —First documented complete American performance of Handel's oratorio "Israel in Egypt," at Boston's Melodeon, by the Handel and Haydn Society, Carl Zerrahn conducting; Selections from this work had been performed previously in New York and Boston; The Feb. 19 edition of Dwight's Journal enthused: "Israel at last! The great work, occasionally nibbled at, attacked in fragments, in fits of resolution few and far between, was finally essayed in earnest; and after eight more rehearsals, the giant Handel's greatest work, with the sole exception of the 'Messiah' . . . was offered to the public, and the public wouldn't have it . . . the hall was only two-thirds full";
1921—Charles Ives hears Igor Stravinsky's "The Firebird" Ballet Suite at an all-Russian program by the New York Symphony at Carnegie Hall; Also on the program were works of Glinka, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Rachmaninoff (with Rachmaninoff as piano soloist); Walter Damrosch conducted.