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March 25-31, 2013

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Monday, March 25
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Photo
American opera composer Jack Beeson
SYNOPSIS:
Beeson's "Lizzie Borden" ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Jack Beeson (b. 1921):
Lizzie Borden
New York City Opera;
Anton Coppola, cond.
CRI 694

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
A Columbia University profile of Beeson
On the real Lizzie Borden

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1699—German opera composer Johann Hasse, in Bergedorf, near Hamburg;
1867—Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini, in Parma;
1881—Hungarian composer Béla Bartók, in Nagyszentmiklós;
1882—English composer Haydn Wood, in Slaithwaite;

Deaths:
1918—French composer Claude Debussy, age 55, in Paris;

Premieres:
1724 — Bach: Sacred Cantata No. 182 ("Himmelskönig, sei willkommen") performed on the Feast of the Annunciation as part of Bach's first annual Sacred Cantata cycle in Leipzig (1723/24);
1725 — Bach: Sacred Cantata No. 1 ("Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern") performed on the Feast of the Annunciation as part of Bach's second annual Sacred Cantata cycle in Leipzig (1724/25);
1734 — Handel: anthem "This is the day which the Lord hath made" (Julian date: March 14);
1874 — Brahms: "13 Variations on a Hungarian Song" for piano, in London;
1875 — Gilbert & Sullivan: one-act operetta "Trial by Jury" at the Royalty Theatre in London;
1879 — Dvorak: Symphony No. 5 in F, in Prague;
1881 — Dvorák: Symphony No. 6, with Prague Philharmonic, Adolf Cech conducting;
1939 — Villa-Lobos: "Bachianas Brasilieras" No. 5 for soprano and eight cellos, in Rio de Janeiro;
1943 — Edward Joseph Collins: Piano Concerto No. 3 in b, by the Chicago Symphony with Frederick Stock conducting and the composer as soloist;
1946 — Stravinsky: "Ebony Concerto" at Carnegie Hall, with the Woody Herman orchestra conducted by Walter Hendl;
1960 — Elliott Carter: String Quartet No. 2, in New York City, by the Juilliard String Quartet;
1965 — Jack Beeson: opera "Lizzie Borden," in New York City;

Other:
1938—American premiere of Prokofiev: "Peter and the Wolf," by the Boston Symphony, conducted by the composer;
1949—Shostakovich (accompanied by KGB "handlers") arrives in New York for his first visit to America, for the Cultural and Scientific Conference for World Peace, held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel; His anti-Western statements and criticism of Igor Stravinsky embarrassed his American sponsors, including Aaron Copland, and later provided political fodder for the notorious Red-hunter, Senator Joseph McCarthy.


Tuesday, March 26
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Photo
American composer Philip Glass
SYNOPSIS:
Glass in Rome ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Philip Glass (b. 1937):
Rome Section, fr The Civil Wars
Giuseppe Sabbatini, tenor;
American Composers Orchestra;
Dennis Russell Davies, cond.
Nonesuch 79487

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Philip Glass
On Robert Wilson

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1925—French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, in Montbrison;

Deaths:
1566—Spanish composer and organist Antonio de Cabezón, age c. 56, in Madrid;
1827—German composer Ludwig van Beethoven, age 56, in Vienna;
1918—Russian composer Cesar Cui, age 83, in Petrograd (St. Petersburg);
1977—British composer, pianist and actress Madeleine Dring, age 53, in Streatham, London;

Premieres:
1723 — J.S. Bach: "St. John Passion," at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig;
1735 — Handel: Organ Concerto Op. 4, no. 5 in London as an intermission feature during a revival performance of Handel's oratorio "Deborah" at the Covent Garden Theater (Gregorian date: April 6);
1827 — Rossini: opera "Moïse et Pharaon" (Moses and Pharaoh) at the Paris Opéra; This is the 3rd and French-language version of Rossini's Italian opera "Mosè in Egitto" (see March 3 and 7 above);
1943 — William Schuman: cantata "A Free Song" (after Walt Whitman), in Boston; This work won the first Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1943;
1958 — Henry Cowell: "Ongaku" a symphonic suite on Japanese themes, by the Louisville Orchestra. Robert S. Whitney conducting;
1958 — Lutoslawski: "Marche funèbre" (in memory of Béla Bartók), in Katowice, Poland;
1960 — Ralph Shapey: "Evocation" for violin, piano and percussion, in New York City;
1984 — Philip Glass: Act V ("The Rome Section"), from "The CIVIL warS," at the Rome Opera, Marcello Panni conducting;
1986 — Ned Rorem: "The End of Summer" for clarinet, violin, and piano, at Patkar Hall in Bombay (India), by the Verdehr Trio;
1998 — Zwilich: Violin Concerto, at Carnegie Hall in New York, by the Orchestra of St. Luke's, Hugh Wolff conducting, with soloist Pamela Frank;
2001 — Corigliano: "Mannheim Rocket," in Mannheim (Germany), by the Mannheim National Theater Orchestra;

Other:
1828—Franz Schubert gives a concert of his own works in Vienna, to great success.


Wednesday, March 27
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Photo
Franz Joseph Haydn on a 50 Euro gold coin
SYNOPSIS:
Haydn in Vienna ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Franz Josef Haydn (1732 - 1808):
The Creation
English Baorque Soloists;
John Eliot Gardiner, cond.
Archiv 449 217

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Haydn

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1851—French composer Vincent d'Indy, in Paris;
1892—American composer and arranger Ferde Grofé, in New York;

Deaths:
1757—possible death date for the Bohemian-born composer and violinist Johann (Jan) Wenzel (Waczlaw /Václav) Anton (Antonin/Antonín) Stamitz, age 39, in Mannheim; He was buried in Mannheim on March 30;
1975—British composer Sir Arthur Bliss, age 83, in London;

Premieres:
1745 — Handel: oratorio "Belshazzar," at the King's Theater in London (Gregorian date: April 7);
1897 — Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 1, in St. Petersburg, conducted by Alexander Glazunov (Julian date: Mar. 15);
1914 — Vaughan Williams: original version of Symphony No. 2 ("A London Symphony"), at Queen's Hall in London;
1917 — Puccini: opera "La Rondine" (The Swallow), in Monte-Carlo at the Opéra du Casino;
1925 — Edward Joseph Collins: Piano Concerto No. 1 in Eb, by the Chicago Symphony, Frederick Stock conducting and the composer as soloist;
1960 — Mayuzumi: "Mandala-Symphonie," in Tokyo;
1984 — Andrew Lloyd-Webber: musical "Starlight Express," in London;
2001 — Kevin Volans: String Quartet No. 6, in London, by the Vanbrugh Quartet;

Other:
1808—Franz Joseph Haydn makes his last public appearance at a performance of his oratorio "The Creation" in Vienna in honor of the composer's approaching 76th birthday; Beethoven and Salieri attend the performance and greet Haydn.


Thursday, March 28
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Photo
Ludwig van Beethoven
SYNOPSIS:
Beethoven in Vienna ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 - 1827):
The Creatures of Prometheus
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
DG 453 713

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Beethoven

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1871—Dutch conductor Willem Mengelberg, in Utrecht;
1890—American bandleader Paul Whiteman, in Denver, Colo.;
1930—American composer Robert Ashley, in Ann Arbor, Mich.;

Deaths:
1881—Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky, age 42, in St. Petersburg (Julian date: Mar. 16);
1911—Lithuanian painter and composer Mikolajus Konstantinas Ciurlionis (Gregorian date: April 10);
1937—Polish composer Karol Szymanowski, age 54, in Lausanne, Switzerland;
1943—Russian-born composer Sergei Rachmaninoff, age 69, in Beverly Hills, Calif.; A few weeks before his death he became an American citizen;
1949—Rumanian composer and violinist Grigoras Dinicu, age 59, in Bucharest; He is best known for his virtuoso violin showpiece "Hora staccato" (1906);
1958—American composer and "father of the blues" William Christopher (W.C.) Handy, age 84 in New York;

Premieres:
1733 — Handel: oratorio "Deborah" (Julian date: March 17);
1801 — Beethoven: ballet "The Creatures of Prometheus," at the Burgtheater in Vienna;
1871 — Tchaikovsky: String Quartet in D, Op. 11, in Moscow, by members of the Russian Musical Society (Julian date: Mar. 16);
1879 — Smetana: String Quartet in e ("From My Life"), in Prague, by Ferdinand Lachner, Jan Pelikán (violins), Josef Krehan (viola), and Alois Neruda (cello); This was the "official" premiere, although a private performance had taken place in Prague the previous year, with the young Antonin Dvorák performing on viola;
1896 — Giordano: opera "Andrea Chénier," in Milan at the Teatro alla Scala;
1940 — Britten: Violin Concerto, Op. 15, by the New York Philharmonic conducted by John Barbirolli, with Antonio Brosa the soloist;
1951 — Douglas Moore: opera "Giants in the Earth," in New York City; This work won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1951;
1958 — Rochberg: Symphony No. 1, in Philadelphia;
1960 — Cowell: Symphony No. 12, by the Houston Symphony, Leopold Stokowski conducting;
1972 — Bernstein: "Meditations Nos. 1 and 2" for Cello and Piano, in New York City, by cellist Stephen Katz and the composer at the piano;
2003 — Ned Rorem: Cello Concerto, by the Kansas City Symphony with Michael Stern conducting and David Geringas the soloist;

Other:
1739 —London music publisher John Walsh the younger issues Handel's Trio Sonatas, Op. 5 London (Gregorian date: April 8);
1842—The Vienna Philharmonic plays its first concert (as the "Vienna Court Orchestra") in the Redoutensaale under the director of composer Otto Nicolai, the director of the Vienna Court Opera; The program included Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, his concert aria "Ah, Perfido," and the "Leonore" No. 3 and "Consercration of the House" Overtures, along with other vocal selections by Mozart and Cherubini.


Friday, March 29
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Photo
Bright Sheng
SYNOPSIS:
Sheng's "Silent Temple" ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Bright Sheng (b. 1955):
String Quartet No. 4 (Silent Temple)
Shanghai Quartet
BIS 1138

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Bright Sheng

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1902—British composer Sir William Walton, in Oldham;
1936—British composer Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, in Broadstairs;

Deaths:
1697—German composer and organist Nicolaus Bruhns, age c. 32, in Husum;
1888—French composer Charles-Henri Alkan, age 75, in Paris;
1911—French composer and organist Alexandre (Felix) Guilmant, age 74, in Meudon;
1924—British composer Sir Charles Villiers Stanford, age 71, in London;
2001—American jazz pianist and composer John Lewis, a member of the Modern Jazz Quartet, age 80, in New York;

Premieres:
1795 — possible premiere of Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 2 in Bb, in Vienna, with the composer as soloist; This concerto was written and premiered before Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 in C, which was, however, published first;
1806 — Beethoven: "Leonore" Overture No. 3, as part of the second, revised version of the opera "Fidelio," at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna;
1836 — Wagner: opera "Das Liebesverbot" (The Ban on Love), in Magdeburg at the Stadttheater; Wagner's libretto is based on Shakespeare's play "Measure for Measure";
1874 — Dvorak: Symphony No. 3 in Eb, in Prague;
1879 — Tchaikovsky: opera "Eugene Onegin," in Moscow at the Malïy (Small) Theater (Julian date: Mar. 17);
1882 — Glazunov: Symphony No. 1, in St. Petersburg (Julian date: Mar. 17);
1892 — Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 1 (first movement only), in Moscow, Vasily Safanov conducting and with the composer as soloist (Julian date: Mar. 17);
1911 — Chadwick: "Suite Symphonique," by the Philadelphia Orchestra, with the composer conducting;
2000 — Bright Sheng: String Quartet No. 4, in Richmond, Va., by the Shanghai String Quartet;

Other:
1871—Royal Albert Hall is formally opened in London by Queen Victoria.


Saturday, March 30
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Photo
A rather dapper Richard Strauss
SYNOPSIS:
Symphonies by Strauss ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Richard Strauss (1864 - 1949):
Symphony in d
Bavarian Radio Symphony;
Karl Anton Rickenbacker, cond.
Koch/Schwann 365 322

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Richard Strauss

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1935—American composer Gordon Muma, in Framingham, Mass.;

Deaths:
1764—Italian composer Pietro Locatelli, age 68, in Amsterdam;

Premieres:
1725 — Bach: "St. John Passion" (S. 245, second version) performed at Vespers on Good Friday as part of Bach's second annual Sacred Cantata cycle in Leipzig (1724/25); The first version had premiered on Good Friday in 1724 (April 7);
1881 — R. Strauss: Symphony in d, in Munich, with Hermann Levi; This was Strauss' first major orchestral work;
1951 — Piston: Symphony No. 4, by the Minneapolis Symphony, Antal Dorati conducting;
2000 — Corigliano: "Phantasmagoria" (Suite from the opera "The Ghosts of Versailles"), in Minneapolis, by the Minnesota Orchestra, Giancarlo Guerrero conducting.


Sunday, March 31
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Photo
Czech composer Antonin Dvorák
SYNOPSIS:
Dvorak's "Rusalka" ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Antonin Dvorák (1841–1904):
O Silver Moon, fr Rusalka
Renée Fleming, soprano;
London Symphony;
Sir Georg Solti, cond.
London 455 760

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Antonin Dvorák

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1732—Austrian composer Franz Joseph Haydn, in Rohrau;
1872—Russian ballet impresario Sergei Diaghilev, in Gruzino, Novgorod district (Julian date: Mar. 19);

Deaths:
1880—Polish composer and violinist Henryk Wieniawski, age 44, in Moscow;
1901—British composer Sir John Stainer, age 60, in Verona, Italy;

Premieres:
1723 — Handel: Concerto in F (HWV 331) (Julian date: March 20);
1739 — Handel: Organ Concerto in A (HWV 296a) (Julian date: March 20);
1745 — Rameau: opera-ballet, "Platée," at Versailles;
1784 — Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 16 in D, K. 451, in Vienna, with composer as soloist;
1794 — Haydn: Symphony No. 100 ("Military"), conducted by the composer on his 62nd birthday, at the Hanover-Square Concert Rooms in London;
1841 — R. Schumann: Symphony No. 1 ("Spring"), by Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Felix Mendelssohn conducting;
1901 — Dvorák: opera "Rusalka," in Prague at the National Theater;
1913 — Webern: "Six Pieces" for orchestra, in Vienna;
1932 — Chávez: ballet "Horsepower," in Philadelphia;
1947 — Ulysses Kay: "Short Overture," in New York City;
1949 — William Grant Still: opera "Troubled Island," in New York City;
1951 — R. Strauss: "Munich Waltz," posthumously in Vienna; This music was originally written for the 1939 film;
1961 — Françaix: "L'Horloge de Flore," by oboist John de Lancie, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy conducting;
2001 — Peter Lieberson: Piano Quintet, at Carnegie Hall, by pianist Peter Serkin with the Orion String Quartet;

Other:
1837—Franz Liszt and Sigismond Thalberg, the two reigning virtuosi of their day, perform a sort of pianistic "duel" at a benefit concert in aid of Italian refuguees at the Parisian salon of Princess Cristina Belgiojso-Trivulzio.