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November 4-10, 2013

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Monday, November 4
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Photo
American composer David Ward-Steinman
SYNOPSIS:
A second wind for Reicha and Ward-Steinman? ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Antonin Reicha (1770-1836):
Wind Quintet No. 23 in a No. 23, Op. 100
Albert Schweitzer Quintet
CPO 999027
&
David Ward-Steinman (b. 1936):
Woodwind Quintet No. 2 (Night Winds)
Arioso Quintet
Fleur de Son Classics 57935

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Reicha
On Ward-Steinman

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1841—Polish pianist and composer Carl Tausig, in Warsaw;

Deaths:
1847 —German composer Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, age 38, in Leipzig;
1924—French composer Gabriel Fauré, age 79, in Paris;
1953—Music patroness and amateur composer Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge, age 89, in Cambridge, Mass.; She organized concerts and music festivals in Washington, D.C., and her Foundation commissioned works from Bartók, Malipiero, Schoenberg, Copland, Hanson, Piston, and many others; The recital hall at the Library of Congress bears her name;
1957—French composer and writer, Marie Joseph Canteloube (de Malaret), age 78, in Grigny (Seine-et-Oise);

Premieres:
1732 — Handel: opera “Catone” in London at the King’s Theater in the Haymarket (Gregorian date: Nov. 15);
1783 — Mozart: Symphony No. 36 ("Linz"), by the orchestra of Count Thun in Linz;
1863 — Berlioz: "Les Troyens à Carthage" (The Trojans at Carthage), Part 2 (Acts 3-5) of the opera "Les Troyens" (The Trojans), in Paris at the Théatre-Lyrqiue; The complete opera was not staged in France until 1920;
1876 — Brahms: Symphony No. 1, in Karlsruhe, Germany, with Felix Otto Dessoff conducting;
1883 — Chabrier: "Espana" in Paris, with Charles Lamoureux conducting;
1890 — Borodin: opera “Prince Igor” (completed and arranged posthumously by Rimsky-Korsakov and Glazunov), at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg (see Julian date: Oct. 23);
1922 — Hindemith: String Quartet No. 3, in Donauschingen (Germany), by the Amar Quartet (with Hindemith as the violist);
1924 — R. Strauss: opera "Intermezzo," in Dresden at the State Theater, conducted by Fritz Busch, with vocal soloists Lotte Lehmann (Christine Storch) and Josef Correck (Robert Storch);
1932 — Cowell: “Polyphonica” for 12 instruments, at the New School Auditorium in New York City, by the Pan American Association orchestra, Nicholas Slonimsky conducting; On this same concert was the premiere performance of “Those Everlasting Blues,” by Jerome Moross, with contralto Paula Jean Lawrence as the soloist;
1932 — Revueltas: "Ventanas" for orchestra, in Mexico City;
1948 — Schoenberg: "A Survivor from Warsaw" for narrator, chorus and orchestra, by the Civic Symphony of Albuquerque, New Mexico, with Kurt Frederick conducting;
1957 — José Serebrier: Symphony No. 1, by the Houston Symphony, Leopold Stokowski conducting;
1976 — Ned Rorem: “Women’s Voices,” at Alice Tully Hall in New York City, by mezzo Joyce Mathis and pianist Warren Wilson;
1993 — Bright Sheng: String Quartet No. 3, in Boulder, Colo., by the Takacs Quartet;
1993 — David Ward-Steinman: "Night Winds," for woodwind quintet, at the Festival of New American Music in Sacramento, Calif., by the Arioso Wind Quintet.


Tuesday, November 5
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Photo
Samuel Barber on a U.S. postage stamp
SYNOPSIS:
Barber offers "two for the price of one" ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Samuel Barber (1910-1981):
First Essay for Orchestra, Op. 12
Detroit Symphony;
Neeme Järvi, cond.
Chandos 9053
&
Samuel Barber (1910-1981):
Adagio for Strings, Op. 11
Berlin Philharmonic;
Semyon Bychkov, cond.
Philips 434 108

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Samuel Barber

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1494—German poet and songwriter ("Master Singer") Hans Sachs, in Nuremberg; He is the subject of German Romantic operas by Lortzig ("Hans Sachs," 1840) and Wagner ("Die Meistersinger," 1868);
1935—British composer Nicholas Maw, in Grantham, Lincolnshire; Maw now lives in Washington, D.C.;

Deaths:
1942—American songwriter and vaudevillian George M. Cohan, age 64, in New York City; He won the Congressional Medal for his patriotic song, "Over There" (recorded by Enrico Caruso among others);
1956—American jazz pianist and improviser Art Tatum, age 47, in Los Angeles;

Premieres:
1724 — Bach: Sacred Cantata No. 115 ("Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit") performed on the 22nd Sunday after Trinity as part of Bach's second annual Sacred Cantata cycle in Leipzig (1724/25);
1846 — R. Schumann: Symphony No. 2, by Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, conducted by Felix Mendelssohn;
1876 — Tchaikovsky: “Marche slav” in Moscow (Gregorian date: Nov. 17);
1888 — Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5, in St. Petersburg (Gregorian date: Nov. 17);
1895 — R. Strauss: tone-poem "Till Eulenspiegels Merry Pranks," in Cologne, conducted by Franz Wüllner;
1926 — de Falla: Harpsichord Concerto, with Wanda Landowska as soloist with the composer conducting;
1927 — Shostakovich: Symphony No. 2 ("To October"), by the Leningrad Philharmonic and Academic Choir, Nikolai Malko conducting;
1938 — Barber: "Adagio for Strings" and "Essay for Orchestra" No. 1, on a broadcast concert by the NBC Symphony, Arturo Toscanini conducting;
1943 — Martinu: Concerto for Two Pianos, with Luboshutz and Nemenoff Duo, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy conducting;
1987 — Broadway premiere of Sondheim: musical "Into the Woods";

Other:
1903—First concert by a 50-member Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra (the current Minnesota Orchestra), conducted by Emil Oberhoffer, with Metropolitan Opera soprano Marcella Sembrich as guest soloist;
1955—Karl Böhm conducts a performance of Beethoven's "Fidelio" at the gala re-opening of Vienna Opera House (damaged by Allied bombs on March 12, 1945); During the rebuilding of the Opera House, performances had continued in two nearby Viennese halls: the Theatre and der Wien and the Volksoper.


Wednesday, November 6
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Photo
Instrument inventor Adolphe Sax
SYNOPSIS:
Mr. Sax's instrument and Ms. Perry's Quartet ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Anita D. Perry (b. 1960):
Quartet for Saxophones
Amherst Saxophone Quartet
innova 516

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On the saxophone, past and present

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1814—Belgian inventor of the saxophone, Adolphe Sax, in Dinant; He invented the instrument around 1840, and was granted a 15-year patent in 1846;
1854—American composer and bandmaster John Philip Sousa, in Washington, D.C.;
1860—Polish composer, piano virtuoso, and statesman, Ignace Jan Paderewski, in Russian Poland (Gregorian date: Nov. 18);

Deaths:
1672—German composer Heinrich Schütz, age 87, in Dresden;
1795—Czech-born German opera composer Jiri Antonin (Georg Anton)Benda, age 73, in Köstritz;
1893—Russian composer Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky, age 53, dies of cholera after drinking un-boiled water during an epidemic in St. Petersburg (see Julian date: Oct. 25); Some speculate this was a deliberate and suicidal act;
1965—Franco-American composer Edgard (or Edgar) Varèse, age 81, in New York City;

Premieres:
1825 — Beethoven: String Quartet in a, Op.132, in Vienna, by the Schuppanzigh Quartet; The was the first public performance (The same players performed the work at a private performance two months earlier, on September 9, for an audience of fourteen at the Tavern “Zum Wilden Mann” in Vienna);
1891 — Tchaikovsky: symphonic balled “The Voyevode” in Moscow (Gregorian date: Nov. 18);
1902 — Cilea: opera, "Adriana Lecouvreur" in Milan at the Teatro Lirico;
1913 — Saint-Saëns: "Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso" for violin and orchestra, in Paris;
1924 — Janácek: opera "The Cunning Little Vixen," in Brno at the National Theater;
1935 — first complete performance of Walton: Symphony No. 1, by the BBC Symphony, Sir Hamilton Harty conducting; Harty had conducted the premiere performance of this work's first three movements (the fourth and final movement had not yet been written) on a London Philharmonic concert of Dec. 3, 1934;
1936 — Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 3, by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Leopold Stokowski conducting;
1940 — Florence Price: Symphony No. 3, in Detroit, by the Michigan WPA Symphony, Valter Poole conducting; Also on the program was Price’s Piano Concerto (which had premiered earlier in Chicago) with the composer as soloist; First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt attended a rehearsal for this concert, and wrote favorably about Price’s Symphony in her national newspaper column “My Day” for November 14, 1940;
1943 — Orff: "Catulli carmina," in Leipzig at the Städische Bühnen;
1950 — Copland: Clarinet Concerto, on an NBC Symphony broadcast conducted by Fritz Reiner, with Benny Goodman as soloist;
1953 — Nikolaus Nakokov: Cello Concerto ("Les Hommages"), with Lorne Munroe, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy conducting;
1976 — Andrew Imbrie: opera "Angle of Repose," in San Francisco;
1999 — Elisabetta Brusa: “Adagio” for strings, by the Virtuosi of Toronto, Fabio Mastrangelo conducting;
2004 — Augusta Read Thomas: "Brass Rush" for brass band, by the Illinois Brass Band at the U.S. Open Brass Band Competition in Arlignton Heights, Il.

Other:
1717—J.S. Bach temporarily imprisoned by his employer, Duke Wilhelm Ernst of Weimar, who was upset that Bach had taken another post (with Prince Leopold of Coethen) without first securing the Duke's permission to do so.


Thursday, November 7
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Photo
Sergei Rachmaninoff at the piano
SYNOPSIS:
Rachmaninoff writes "something for audiences" ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943):
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43
Jon Nakamatsu, piano;
Rochester Philharmonic;
Christopher Seaman, cond.
Harmonia Mundi 90.7286
&
Niccolo Paganini (1782-1840):
Solo Violin Caprice No. 24
James Ehnes, violin
Telarc 80398
&
Andrew Lloyd Webber (b. 1948):
Variations
Julian Lloyd Webber, cello;
London Philharmonic;
Lorin Maazel, cond.
Philips 420 342

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Sergei Rachmaninoff
On Andrew Lloyd Webber

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1810—Hungarian composer Ferenc (Franz) Erkel, in Gyula;
1859—Russian composer Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov, in Gatchina (Gregorian date: Nov. 19);
1905—English composer William Alwyn, in Northampton;

Deaths:
1983 —French composer Germaine Tailleferre, age 91, in Paris;

Premieres:
1723 — Bach: Sacred Cantata No. 60 ("O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort" I)performed on the 24th Sunday after Trinity as part of Bach's first annual Sacred Cantata cycle in Leipzig (1723/24);
1867 — Liszt: "Dante Symphony" in Dresden;
1875 — Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 3, in Moscow (Gregorian date: Nov. 19);
1924 — American premiere of Mussorgsky (arr. Ravel): “Pictures at an Exhibition,” by the Boston Symphony, Serge Koussevitzky conducting;
1934 — Rachmaninoff: "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini," in Baltimore, by the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski, with the composer as soloist;
1940 — Stravinsky: Symphony in C, by the Chicago Symphony, with the composer conducting; This work was commissioned by Mrs. R. Woods Bliss in honor of the Chicago Symphony's 50th Anniversary;
1987 — Daniel Asia: "Scherzo Sonata" for piano, at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., by pianist Jonathan Shames (who commissioned the work);
1988 — Leo Ornstein: Piano Sonata No. 7, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, by pianist Marvin Tartak;
1991 — Christopher Rouse: “Karolju” for chorus and orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony and Chorus, David Zinman conducting;
1997 — Peter Maxwell Davies: Piano Concerto, in Nottingham, England, with soloist Kathryn Stott and the Royal Philharmonic, conducted by the composer;

Other:
1785—The first American musical society founded at Stoughton, Massachusetts;
1950—A "Look" magazine feature on composer Edgar Varèse attracts the attention of 9-year old Frank Zappa and leads to a life-long fascination with the music of Varèse; Zappa would later found the unconventional rock band "The Mothers of Invention."


Friday, November 8
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Photo
American jazz trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis
SYNOPSIS:
Musical tales from Stravinsky and Marsalis ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971):
L'histoire du soldat Suite
Philharmonia Orchestra;
Robert Craft, cond.
Koch 7504
&
Wynton Marsalis (b. 1961): The Fiddler's Tale
Wynton Marsalis, trumpet;
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Sony 60979

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Stravinsky
On Wynton Marsalis

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1770—German composer Friedrich Witt, in Niederstetten, Württemberg; Like Beethoven, he composed 9 symphonies, and one of them, his “Jena Symphony,” was for a time mistakenly believed to be an early work by Beethoven;
1883—English composer Arnold Bax, in Streatham;
1945—American composer and pianist Judith Lang Zaimont, in Memphis;

Deaths:
1599—Spanish composer Francisco Guerrero, age 71, in Seville;
1890—Belgian-French composer César Franck, in Paris, age 67;
1894—Russian composer Anton Rubinstein, age 64, near St. Petersburg (Gregorian date: Nov. 20);
1924—Russian composer Sergie Liapunov, age 65, in Paris;

Premieres:
1879 — Brahms: Violin Sonata No. 1 in G, Op. 78, in Bonn, by violinist Joseph Joachim and the composer at the piano;
1919 — Stravinsky: "The Soldier's Tale" Suite (for violin, clarinet and piano), in Lausanne; The staged version of "The Soldier's Tale" had premiered in Lausanne at the Théatre Municipal on September 28, 1918;
1926 — Gershwin: musical "Oh, Kay!" at the Imperial Theater in New York City; This show featured Gertrude Lawrence, and included the classic Gershwin songs "Clap Yo' Hands," "Do, Do, Do," and "Someone to Watch over Me";
1936 — Jean Françaix: Piano Concerto, in Berlin.


Saturday, November 9
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Photo
Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo
SYNOPSIS:
Senor Rodrigo's popular Concierto ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Joaquin Rodrigo (1902-1999):
Concierto de Aranjuez
Manuel Barrueco, guitar;
Philharmonic Orchestra;
Placido Domingo, cond.
EMI 56175

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Joaquin Rodrigo (in English and Spanish)
More on the Miles Davis album "Sketches of Spain"

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1907—American composer Burrill Phillips, in Omaha, Nebraska;

Deaths:
1951—Hungarian-born American operetta composer, Siegmund Romberg, age 64, in New York City;

Premieres:
1879 — Dvorák: String Sextet No. 1, Op. 48, in Berlin;
1881 — Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2, in Budapest, by the National Theater Orchestra conducted by Alexander Erkel and the composer as the soloist;
1901 — Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 18 (first complete performance), in Moscow, with Alexander Siloti conducting and the composer as soloist (see Julian date: Oct 27); The second and third movements had been premiered in Moscow on Dec. 2/15, 1900, by the same conductor and soloist (Rachmaninoff finished the first movement of this concerto on April 21/May 4, 1901);
1926 — Hindemith: opera, "Cardillac" (1st version) in Dresden at the Sächisches Staatstheater;
1940 — Rodrigo: "Concierto de Aranjuez" for guitar and orchestra, in Barcelona;
1945 — American premiere of Prokofiev: Symphony No. 5, by the Boston Symphony, Serge Koussevitzky conducting.
1967 — Takemitsu: "November Steps" for biwa (Japanese lute), shakuhachi (bamboo flute) and orchestra, by the New York Philharmonic, Seiji Ozawa conducting; Corigliano: Oboe Concerto, in New York City;
1975 — Corigliano: Oboe Concerto, at Carnegie Hall in New York City by the American Symphony, with Kazuyoshi Akiyama conducting Bert Lucarelli the soloist;
1994 — Michael Torke: “Nylon” for guitar and chamber orchestra, at the Assembly Rooms in Derby (U.K.), by the East of England Orchestra conducted by Malcolm Nabarro, with Nicola Hall the soloist;
2000 — Karen Tanaka: "Guardian Angel," at Carnegie Hall in New York, by the Brooklyn Philharmonic;
2002 — David Del Tredici: “Grand Trio” for piano, violin and cello, in College Park, Md., by the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio;

Other:
1760—Joseph Haydn signs a marriage contract with Maria Anna Keller (after her younger sister, whom Haydn reportedly preferred, became a nun); See also Nov. 26 below for the actual ceremony;
1784 —Mozart finishes his String Quartet in Bb, K. 458 ("The Hunt");
1878—Leopold Damrosch conducts first concert of the New York Symphony Society Orchestra in Steinway Hall; This orchestra merged with its older competitor, the New York Philharmonic, in 1928;
1921—The American Academy in Rome awards American composer Howard Hanson its second two-year composition fellowship; The first fellowship was awarded to Leo Sowerby on October 4, 1921; The third fellowship was awarded to Randall Thompson on June 6, 1922; The Academy's fellowship awards for composers continue to this day.


Sunday, November 10
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Photo
Giuseppina Strepponi (Mrs. Verdi )
SYNOPSIS:
A cold welcome for Verdi? ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901):
Overture & Act II excerpt,
from La Forza del Destino
John Alldis Choir;
London Symphony;
James Levine, cond.
RCA/BMG 39502

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Giuseppe Verdi and his operas

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1668—French composer, organist and harpsichordist François Couperin ("Le Grand"), in Paris;
1873—French composer and conductor Henri Rabaud, in Paris;
1928—Italian film music composer Ennio Morricone, in Rome;

Premieres:
1726 — Bach: Sacred Cantata No. 98 ("Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan" II) performed on the 21st Sunday after Trinity as part of Bach's third annual Sacred Cantata cycle in Leipzig (1725/27);
1733 — Handel: opera "Semiramide" in London at the King's Theater in the Haymarket (see Julian date: Oct. 30);
1739 — Handel completes in London his Concerto Grosso in A, Op. 6, no. 11 (see Julian date: Oct. 30);
1862 — Verdi: opera "La Forza del destino" (The Force of Destiny) in St. Petersburg at the Grand Imperial Theater;
1872 — Bizet: suite, "L'Arlèsienne," in Paris, at a Pasdeloup concert;;
1896 — Dvorák: String Quartet No. 12 in Ab, Op. 105, in Vienna;
1910 — Elgar: Violin Concerto, at Queen's Hall, London, during a concert of the Philharmonic Society of London with the composer conducting, and Fritz Kreisler the soloist;
1932 — Bernard Wagenaar: Symphony No. 2, Arturo Toscanini conducting the New York Philharmonic;
1957 — Copland: incidental music for "The World of Nick Adams" (after stories by Ernest Hemingway), for a live CBS television dramatization;
1994 — Stephen Albert: Symphony No. 2, by the New York Philharmonic, with Hugh Wolff conducting;

Other:
1595—Lute virtuoso and composer John Dowland pens a letter from Nuremberg to Robert Cecil (a member of Queen Elisabeth the First’s Privy Council), warning of a plot against the Protestant Queen he discovered among some expatriate English Catholics in Italy; In the long, defensively autobiographical letter, Dowland protests his own loyalty, despite admitting his previous Catholic leanings;
1888—Fritz Kreisler, age 13, makes his New York City debut in recital at Old Steinway Hall;
1900—Russian pianist Ossip Gabrilowitsch makes his Carnegie Hall debut in New York City during his first American tour; In 1909 he married contralto Clara Clemens, the daughter of the American writer Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain (see also listing for Nov. 16);
1909—Gustav Mahler conducts the New York Philharmonic from the keyboard of a Steinway piano (whose action had been altered to imitate a harpsichord) in his symphonic arrangement of movements from Bach’s Orchestral Suites during the first of a series of “historical” concerts surveying music from the Baroque Age to the present day.