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February 10-16, 2014

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Monday, February 10
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American composer and conductor Howard Hanson
Hanson's "Merry Mount" at the Met ...

Howard Hanson (1896-1981):
Merry Mount Suite
Seattle Symphony;
Gerard Schwarz, cond.
Delos 3105

On Howard Hanson

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

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;

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.

Tuesday, February 11
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Austrian composer Anton Bruckner
The varieties of Bruckner ...

Anton Bruckner (1826-1894):
Symphony No. 6 in A
Bavarian Radio Symphony;
Eugen Jochum, cond.
DG 429 790
Symphony No. 9 in d :
Minnesota Orchestra;
Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, cond.
Reference 81

List of different Bruckner Symphony versions on record

1795—Swedish song composer Carl Mikael Bellman, age 55, in Stockholm;
1939—Austrian composer Franz Schmidt, age 72, in Perchtoldsdorf;

1725 — Bach: Sacred Cantata No. 127 ("Herr Jesu Christ, wahr' Mensch und Gott") performed on Estomihi Sunday as part of Bach's second annual Sacred Cantata cycle in Leipzig (1724/25);
1727 — Handel: opera “Admeto” in London (Julian date: Jan. 31);
1785 — Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 20 in d, in Vienna, with the composer as soloist;
1840 — Donizetti: opera "La fille du régiment" (The Daughter of the Regiment), at the Opéra-Comique in Paris;
1843 — Verdi: opera "I Lombardi" (The Lombards) in Milan at the Teatro alla Scala;
1883 — Bruckner: Symphony No. 6 (2nd and 3rd movements only), by Vienna Philharmonic, with Wilhelm Jahn conducting; Gustav Mahler led the Vienna Philharmonic on February 26, 1899, in the first, heavily cut, performance of the complete work;
1892 — Rachmaninoff: “Trio élégiaque” (Elegiac Trio) No. 1 in G minor, for violin, cello, and piano, in Moscow, with David Kreyn (violin), Anatoly Brandukov (cello), and the composer at the piano (Julian date: Jan. 30);
1903 — Bruckner: Symphony No. 9 in a version prepared by Ferdinand Löwe, by the Vienna Symphony, with Löwe conducting; The original version of Bruckner's Ninth was first performed at a private concert in Munich on April 2, 1932, and then at a public Vienna Philharmonic concert conducted by Clemens Krauss on October 23, 1932;
1938 — Ernest Bloch: "Evocations" for orchestra, by the San Francisco Symphony, Pierre Monteux conducting;
1949 — Stravinsky: "Orpheus" ballet (as a concert work), by the Boston Symphony, Serge Koussevitzky conducting; The staged ballet had premiere in New York on April 28, 1948;
1952 — Hugo Weisgall: opera 'The Tenor," in Baltimore;
1953 — Chávez: Symphony No. 4 ("Sinfonía romantica") by the Louisville Orchestra, with the composer conducting;
1971 — Henze: "Compases para Preguntas ensimismandes" in Basel, Switzerland;
1973 — Feldman: "Voices and Instruments II," in Buffalo, N.Y.;

1841—First documented American performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 at the New York's Broadway Tabernacle, by the German Society of New York, Uri Corelli Hill conducting; Three movements of Beethoven's symphony (excluding the third) were given in April 3, 1841, at Boston's Odeon by the Academy of Music, Henry Schmidt conducting; The complete symphony was included on the first program given by the New York Philharmonic on December 7, 1842; The Symphony was presented next in Philadelphia (April 3, 1848), Baltimore (March 9, 1849), Louisville (May 14, 1853), St. Louis (May 17, 1853), and Milwaukee (April 27, 1855); On March 28, 1856, 30 players of the San Francisco German Society performed Beethoven's Fifth at the Music Hall in that city, with Rudolf Herold conducting (The San Francisco Chronicle review the following day noted: "The pieces in the program are very beautiful, but it must be said that some of them appeared to be considered very tedious by the greater number of the audience. The Adagio, Scherzo and Finale of Beethoven's Symphony in C Minor, for instance, are portions of a very grand and celebrated composition, but they caused many to yawn."); The first public performance of this symphony had occurred in Vienna, with the composer conducting, on Dec. 22, 1808;
1847—American inventor Thomas A. Edison, the developer of the phonograph, is born in Milan, Ohio;
1907—Italian composer Giacomo Puccini attends the American premiere of his opera "Madama Butterfly," conducted by Arturo Toscanini at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Wednesday, February 12
Play today's program

Portrait of J.W. Johnson by Laura Wheeler Warring
The Brothers Johnson write an anthem ...

J.W. (1871-1938) & J.R. (1873-1954) Johnson:
Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing
Choirs and Boston Pops Orchestra;
Keith Lockhart, cond.
BMG/RCA 63888

On J.W. Johnson
More on Johnson

1567—Baptism of English composer and poet Thomas Campion, in London;
1760—Bohemian composer and keyboard virtuoso Jan Ladislav (Johann Ladislaus/ Ludwig) Dussek (Dusik), in Cáslav;
1898—American composer Roy Harris, in Chandler, Oklahoma;
1923—American composer Mel Powell, in New York City;

1799—Czech composer and pianist František Xaver Dušek (Duschek, Duscheck or Dussek), age 67. in Prague; He was a friend and colleague of Mozart;
1896—French composer Amboise Thomas, age 84, in Paris;
1906—Russian composer Anton Arensky (Gregorian date: Feb. 25);
1915—French composer, conductor and pianist Emile Waldteufel, age 77, in Paris;
1959—American composer George Antheil, age 58, in New York;
1972—English composer Benjamin Frankel, age 67, in London;

1760 — Rameau: comedy-ballet "Les Paladins," in Paris;
1797 — Haydn: "A National Song," in Vienna, in honor of the birthday of the Austrian Emperor Franz II (who reigned from 1792-1835); This melody was later used as a theme in Haydn's "Emperor" String Quartet, Op. 76, no. 3, and eventually became the Austrian national anthem;
1894 — Rachmaninoff: “Trio élégiaque” (Elegiac Trio) No. 2 in d minor, for violin, cello, and piano, in Moscow, with Yuly Konyus (Julius Conus) (violin), Anatoly Brandukov (cello), and the composer at the piano (Julian date: Jan. 31);
1905 — Koussevitzky: Double-Bass Concerto (Gregorian date: Feb. 25);
1909 — Paderewski: Symphony in b ("Polonia"), by the Boston Symphony, Max Fiedler conducting;
1924 — Gershwin: "Rhapsody in Blue," at Aeolian Hall in New York, with Paul Whiteman conducting and the composer as soloist;
1936 — David Diamond: Three "Vocalises" for soprano and viola, at the third "Composer's Forum Laboratory" in New York City (sponsored by the WPA Federal Music Project), by soprano Louise Taylor and violist John Howell;
1964 — Cowell: "Quartet Euphometric," at Philharmonic Hall in New York City, by the Galimir String Quartet; This music was composed between 1916-1919;

1785—Likely date of the premiere performances of three of Mozart's "Haydn" Quartets (K.458, 464, and 465), at Mozart's apartment in Vienna, with Haydn present and a quartet made up of Leopold and Wolfgang Mozart with the Barons Anton and Bartholmaus Tinti.

Thursday, February 13
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Johann Strauss Jr. and his band
Johann Strauss and Philip Glass in 3/4 time ...

Johann Strauss, Jr. (1825-1899):
Blue Danube Waltz, Op. 314
Vienna State Opera Orchestra;
Jascha Horenstein, cond.
Chesky 95
Philip Glass (b. 1937):
Modern Love Waltz
Gloria Cheng, piano
Telarc 80549

About the Waltz
On the Strauss family
On Philip Glass

1778—Spanish composer and guitarist Fernando Sor, in Barcelona;
1870—American composer and virtuoso pianist Leopold Godowsky, in Soshly, near Vilnius;
1946—English composer Colin Matthews, in London;

1741—Austrian composer Johann Joseph Fux, age c. 80, in Vienna;
1883—German composer composer Richard Wagner, age 69, in Venice;
1968—Italian composer Ildebrando Pizetti, age 87, in Rome;

1724 — Bach: Sacred Cantata No. 181 ("Leichgesinnte Flattergeister") and No. 18 ("Gleichwie der Regen und Schnee") performed on Sexagesimae Sunday as part of Bach's first annual Sacred Cantata cycle in Leipzig (1723/24);
1725 — Handel: opera “Rodelinda,” in London at the King’s Theater in the Haymarket (Gregorian date: Feb. 24); On May 6/17 that same year, the score to this opera was published, the first Handel score to be offered to the public by subscription;
1867 — Johann Strauss, Jr.: "Blue Danube" Waltz, in Vienna;
1881 — Tchaikovsky: opera “The Maid or Orleans,” in St. Petersburg (Gregorian date: Feb. 25);
1926 — Honegger: opera "Judith" (2nd version), at the Monte Carlo Opéra;
1943 — William Schuman: "Prayer in Time of War," by the Pittsburgh Symphony, Fritz Reiner conducting;
1944 — Antheil: Symphony No. 4, by the NBC Symphony, Leopold Stokowski conducting;
1956 — Toch: "Peter Pan (A Symphonic Fairy Tale)" for orchestra, in Seattle;
1959 — Martinu: "The Parables" for orchestra, by the Boston Symphony, Charles Munch conducting;
1961 — Bernstein: "Symphonic Dances," from "West Side Story," by the New York Philharmonic conducted by Lukas Foss;
1978 — Roger Reynolds: "Fiery Winds" for orchestra, in New York;

1727—Handel applies for British citizenship (Gregorian date: Feb. 24); Handel received his official citizenship seven days later, on Feb. 20/Mar. 3;
1914—ASCAP (The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) is formally organized in New York City, with composer Victor Herbert as its first director.

Friday, February 14 (Valentine's Day)
Play today's program

Orff and "arf"?
Orff's "Trionfo di Aphrodite" ...

Carl Orff (1985 - 1981):
Trionfo di Aphrodite

On Carl Orff

1602—Italian opera composer Francesco Cavalli, in Crema;
1778—Baptism of Catalan composer and guitarist Fernando Sor, in Barcelona;
1813—Russian composer Alexander Dargomizhsky, in Troitskoye, Tula district (Julian date: Feb. 2);
1882—Polish composer and pianist Ignaz Friedman, in Podgorze, near Kraków;

1829 — Bellini: opera "La Straniera" (The Stranger), in Milan;
1880 — Fauré: Piano Quartet No. 1 in c, Op. 15, in Paris at a concert of the Société Nationale de la Musqique Français;
1915 — Miaskovsky: Symphony No. 3 (Gregorian date: Feb. 27);
1920 — Erik Sate: "Socrate," in Paris;
1922 — Zandonai: opera "Giulietta e Romeo" (Romeo and Juliet), in Rome;
1932 — Goldschmidt: opera "Der gewaltige Hahnrei" (The Magnificent Cuckold), in Mannheim at the National Theater;
1940 — Cage: "Second Construction," for four percussionists, in Portland, Ore.;
1953 — Orff: "Trionfo di Afrodite" (Triumph of Aphrodite), in Milan at the Teatro alla Scala; Note -- this premiere date is often listed (incorrectly) as Feb. 13, 1953, in many reference works and CD booklet notes;

1865—American premiere of J.S. Bach's Keyboard Concerto No. 7 in G minor, at Boston's Chickering Hall, with Benjamin J. Lang at the piano, accompanied by members of the Mendelssohn Quintet Club; The Feb. 18 edition of Dwight's Journal commented: "A novelty, a quaint one, and as it proved quite captivating . . . Mr. Lang played it with delicacy and nicety, entering into the lightsome, racy humor of it . . . After this experiment, may we not say that the Bach bug-bear is already vanishing?";
1911—Gustav Mahler conducts the New York Philharmonic in a program featuring new music by British (Elgar, Standford) and American (Chadwick, Loeffler, MacDowell and Hadley) composers.

Saturday, February 15
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British composer Edward Elgar
A belated Elgar premiere ...

Edward Elgar (1857-1934):
Symphony No. 3 (
elaborated by Anthony Payne)
BBC Symphony;
Andrew Davis, cond.
NMC 053

On Elgar

1571—possible birth date of German composer Michael Praetorius, in Creuzberg an der Werra, near Eisenach;
1847—Austrian composer Robert Fuchs, in Frauenthal, Styria;
1899—French composer Georges Auric, in Lodève;
1907—French composer and organist Jean Langlais, in La Fontenelle;
1947—American composer John Adams, in Worcester, Mass.;
1949—American composer Christopher Rouse, in Baltimore, Maryland;

1621—German composer Michael Praetorius, supposedly on his 50th birthday, in Wolfenbüttel;
1857—Russian composer Mikhail Glinka, age 52, in Berlin;
1887—Russian composer Alexander Borodin (Gregorian date: Feb. 27);
1974—Swedish composer Kurt Atterberg, age 86, in Stockholm;
1992—American composer William Schuman, age 81 in New York; He won the first Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1943 for his Walt Whitman cantata, "A Free Song";

1686 — Lully: opera "Armide et Renaud," (after Tasso) in Paris;
1845 — Verdi: opera "Giovanna D'Arco" (Joan of Arc) in Milan at the Teatro all Scala;
1868 — Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 1 ("Winter Dreams") (first version), in Moscow (Julian date Feb. 3); A revised version of this symphony premiered in Moscow on Nov. 19/Dec. 1, 1883;
1874 — Bizet: "Patrie" Overture, in Paris, by the Concerts Pasedeoup;
1884 — Tchaikovsky: opera "Mazeppa" in Moscow at the Bolshoi Theater (Julian date: Feb. 3);
1919 — Loeffler: "Music for Four Stringed Instruments" at New York's Aeolina Hall by the Flonzaley Quartet;
1939 — Miakovsky: Symphony No. 19 for wind band, in Moscow;
1945 — Paul Creston: Symphony No. 2, by the New York Philharmonic, with Arthur Rodzinski conducting;
1947 — Korngold: Violin Concerto, by the St. Louis Symphony, with Jascha Heifetz as soloist;
1958 — Diamond: orchestral suite "The World of Paul Klee," in Portland, Ore.;
1965 — B.A. Zimmermann: opera "Die Soldaten" (The Soldiers), in Cologne at the Städtische Oper;

1940—American Music Center, a library and information center for American composers, is founded in New York City.

Sunday, February 16
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American composer Charles Ives as a young man
So Charles Ives walks into a bar ... ...

Charles Ives:
Theater Set

More on Charles Ives

1709—English composer and writer on music Charles Avison, in Newcastle upon Tyne;
1878—Finnish composer Selim Palmgren, in Björneborg (now Pori);
1907—American composer Alec Wilder (Alexander Lafayette Chew), in Rochester, N.Y.;
1938—American composer John Corigliano, in New York;

1829—Belgian-born French composer François Joseph Gossec, age 95, in Paris;
1868—Canadian composer Healey Willian, age 87, in Toronto;
1963—Hungarian composer Laszlo Lajtha, age 70, in Budapest;
1987—Soviet composer Dimtri Kabalevsky, age 82, in Moscow;

1737 — Handel: opera “Giustino,” in London at the Covent Garden Theater (Gregorian date: Feb. 27);
1884 — Tchaikovsky: Orchestral Suite No. 2, in Moscow (Julian date: Feb. 4);
1892 — Massenet: opera, "Werther," in Vienna at the Court Opera;
1893 — Sibelius: tone-poem "En Saga," in Helsinki;
1929 — Copland: "Vitebsky" Trio for Piano, Violin and Cello, at New York's Town Hall at a League of Composers concert featuring two members of the Pro Arte Quartet (violinist Alphonse Onnou and cellist Robert Mass) and the German pianist Walter Gieseking;
1936 — Varèse: "Density 21.5" for solo flute, in New York, by flutist Georges Barrère;
1956 — Leon Kirchner: "Toccata" for strings, winds and percussion, in San Francisco.