Allan Kelly

Program Host

Allan Kelly is host of Distant Mirror which airs Fridays at 10 pm.

Allan has been hosting Distant Mirror since 1992. His interest in classical music goes back to the early seventies when he worked an overnight shift at KWAV in Monterey, California while attending UC Santa Cruz by day studying medieval and Renaissance history.  During his air shift he would play much early music which seemed to provide a perfect ambience for study. His program director, who was also a cellist in the local orchestra, became a good friend and mentor.

In 1976 he received his Masters in Medieval/Renaissance studies from Rutgers University and went on to teach Western civ courses for a short time at Spartanburg College in South Carolina. He has worked nearly every musical format over the years, including a ten-year gig at WSSH in Boston. But classical music has always been his format of choice and in the nineties when he began here at WWFM he was at long last able to combine his love of medieval/Renaissance history with the music from both those periods. Distant Mirror has also afforded him the opportunity to meet local early music musicians, and every fall he emcees a yearly Early Music festival. 

He is fortunate that his companion Judy (whom he calls Lady J)  is also a classical music enthusiast, and they spend much of our time attending local and regional concerts.  Having played guitar in his youth - although not very well - his goal is to someday have a go on the lute.

Ways to Connect

It's the music of Orlando Gibbons and William Lawes on Friday's Distant Mirror as Fretwork performs consort music for viols from the early Stuart period in England.  Fretwork is joined by lutenist Christopher Wilson and organist Paul Nicholson.  Also on the program, more chansons from the French medieval masterpiece The Romance of the Rose.  Selections by Machaut, Binchois and Dufay.  Alla Francesca performs.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

On Friday's Distant Miror selections from The Romance of the Rose, one of the masterpieces of French literature that influenced much of medieval culture including Dante and Chaucer.  Much of the text was set to music and you can hear several selections, including pieces by Adam de la Halle and Guillaume Machaut.  The Ensemble Alla Francesca perofrms.  The program concludes with viol music from Elizabethan England: Works by Dowland, Byrd an Holborne.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

The Old Hall Manuscript is the largest, most  complete and most significant source of English sacred music of the late 14th, early 15th centuries.  On Friday's Distant Mirror you can hear selected motets from the manuscript: works by Lionel Power, Thomas Dammett, John Cooke and others, all performed by legendary countertenor Russell Oberlin.  Also on the program  are chansons by  Claude Le Jeune and madrigals from Monteverdi's second book.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

Johannes Ockeghem was the leading composer of the Franco-Flemish school in the late 15th century, and the most influential composer between Dufay and Josquin. On Friday's Distant Mirror you can hear one of his early cantus frimus masses, the Missa Caput, in a performance by the Clerks' Group directed by Edward Wickham.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm. 

On this week's Distant Mirror hear music from the Carmina Burnana, those 11th-13th century student songs that became the model for Karl Orff's masterpiece centuries later:  Love songs, songs of morality, drinking and gaming songs, and songs of spiritual needs.  A performance by the Boston Camerata directed by Joel Cohen.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm. 

Tomas Luis de Victoria, sometimes called "the Spanish Palestrina", was the greatest Spanish composer of the Counter Reformation, and on Friday night's Distant Mirror you can hear his Missa Ave Maris Stella in a performance by the Choir of Westminster Cathedral under the direction of David Hill.  Also on the program: A lively chaconne from 16th century Spain with La Capella Real de Catalunya and Hesperion XXI both under the direction of Jordi Savall.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm. 

It's entertainment music from Elizabethan England when the Baltimore Consort visits Distant Mirror this Friday evening.  Some of the greatest  music for mixed or broken consort will be heard inclduing  selections by John Johnson, Thomas Ravenscroft and Richard Allison.  The ensemble performs from their cd The Ladye's Delight.  Join Allan Kelly at 10 pm.

Guillaume Dufay was the greatest composer of the 15th century, the leading figure of the Burgundian school, and stood at the watershed of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.  On Friday's Distant Mirror hear his most famous mass, the Missa Se la face ay pale, in a performance  by the Early Music Consort of London directed by David Munrow.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

Roland de Lassus, perhaps more popularly known as Orlando di Lasso, was the chief representative of the mature polyphonic sound of the Franco-Flemish school.  He wrote over 150 chansons and on Friday's Distant Mirror you can hear several of these performed by the Ensemble Clement Jannequin.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm. 

All the horrors of the 14th century are captured by the greatest poet/composer of the time, Guillaume de Machaut, in his compilation The Judgment of the King of Navarre Friday night on Distant Mirror.  Hear several ballades from this major work as the Ensemble Gilles Binchois performs led by Dominque Vellard.  Also on the program, hear soprano Emily van Evera sing William Byrd's setting of a text by Sir Phillip Sidney, "O Lord, how vain are all our frail delights".  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

It's the music of 15th century Flemish composer Alexander Agricola on Friday's Distant Mirror.  Agricola's music is rarely performed today because of its difficulty and eccentricity but Paul van Nevel  has arranged several of his mass movements into a musical quilt that he calls the Missa Guazzabuglio.  Van Nevel directs the Huelgas Ensemble.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

On Friday's Distant Mirror it's music from the Hundred Years War, that on again, off again struggle between England and France in the 14th and 15th centuries set  against a backdrop of plague, peasant revolts and papal politics.  Gothic Voices performs muisc from both sides, both sacred and secular.  Hear pieces by Philippe de Vitry, Pierre des Molins, John Dunstable and others.  Christopher Page directs.  And we'll conclude the program with lute music from late 15th--early 16th century Italian composer Marco Dall'Aquila.  Paul O'Dette performs.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm. 

It's an all English Distant Mirror this Friday night, highlighted by countertenor Russell Oberlin's performance of the 12th century St. Godric songs, the earliest English music that we know of.  Then 14th Century English music, both sacred and secular, is performed by the Hilliard Ensemble.  The Tallis Scholars are next with Thomas Tallis' Spem in Alium.  The program concludes with William Byrd's 9th Pavan and Galliard Passing Measures  with Davitt Moroney on the harpsichaord.  Join Allan Kelly at 10. 

Jordi Savall visits Distant Mirror Friday night with the music of French baroque composer Marin Marais. Hear his Suite in E Minor, which he wrote as an homage to his musical inspiration Saint-Colombe.  Jordi Savall plays bass viol, ( as did both Marais and Saint-Colombe). Rolf Lilevand and Xavier Diaz-Latorre are featured on guitars,  Philippe Pierlot on  viol and Pierre Hatai on harpsichord.  Also on the program, chansons by Johannes Ockeghem with the Orlando Consort.  Join Allan Kelly at 10. 

The Westminster Cathedral Choir visits Distant Mirror this Fridy night with the music of Tomas Luis de Victoria, the greatest composer of the Spanish Renaissance and called by many the Spanish Palestrina.  Hear his Missa O Quam Gloriosum, one his more famous parody masses and based on the motet of the same name from 1572.  David Hill Directs.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm. 

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