The Lost Chord with Ross Amico

Sundays at 10 pm

Enjoy unusual and rarely heard repertoire.

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The Lost Chord: August 19 - Ida Danced All Night

Aug 16, 2018

Ida Rubinstein gained notoriety for her racy sensuality.  She performed the Dance of the Seven Veils in a production of Oscar Wilde’s “Salome.”  Subsequently, she was welcomed into the Ballets Russes, where she assumed the roles of Cleopatra and Scheherazade.  Later, she introduced Ravel’s “Bolero” and Stravinsky’s “The Fairy’s Kiss.”  Hear music for two of her lesser-known characterizations:  “Istar,” the Assyrian goddess of love and war, a work of Vincent d’Indy; and “Semiramis,” the queen with seemingly unquenchable desire, by Arthur Honegger.  Everyone loves Ida, this Sunday at 10 pm.

“Children of the night – what beautiful music they make!”  So says Hungarian superstar Bela Lugosi in his signature role of Dracula.  Tune in for an hour of nocturnal meditations by some of Lugosi’s musical compatriots, including the “Hungarian Nocturne” by Miklós Rózsa, “Night Music” by Antal Doráti, and “Summer Evening” by Zoltán Kodály.  Hungarian composers take wing, this Sunday at 10 pm.

Even by composer standards, Rued Langgaard was a little bit of a strange bird.  Despite a promising start – including a symphony performed by the Berlin Philharmonic – his personal and creative eccentricities worked against him.  He would die in Ribe, the oldest town in Denmark, very far from the musical capital of Copenhagen, in 1952.  His reputation would not begin to gain traction for another 16 years. In all, Langgaard composed over 400 works.  Hear two of them, including the ambitious “Music of the Spheres,” this Sunday at 10 pm. 

According to a certain school of thought, folk music – music of the land – embodies the spirit of a nation.  And no nation’s composers milked that cow quite as soulfully as the English.  Tune in for an hour of bucolic reflections on a time lost to technology and industrialization, this Sunday at 10 pm. 

The Lost Chord: July 22 - A-fjordable Theater

Jul 22, 2018

Vicariously tread the boards of Norway, through incidental music by two of the country’s most prominent composers.  Tune in for selections from “Askeladden” (“The Ash Lad”), by Johan Halvorsen, and the complete “Sigurd Jorsalfar,” by Edvard Grieg.  It’s Norway, incidentally, this Sunday at 10 pm. 

The Lost Chord: July 15 - Kipling Coupling

Jul 15, 2018

It’s a Kipling double-bill!  Tune in for the symphonic poem “The Law of the Jungle,” by Charles Koechlin, inspired by “The Jungle Book,” and the ballet “The Butterfly that Stamped,” by Bohuslav Martinu, after one of the “Just So Stories.”  Get ready to go wild, this Sunday at 10 pm. 

With a rise in anti-Semitism in Europe, the Swiss-born composer Ernest Bloch decided to make the United States his permanent home.  He came to love and revere his adopted country as only an outsider could.  The epic rhapsody, “America,” was written, according to the composer, “in love for this country, in reverence to its past, in faith in its future.”  He dedicated the work to Abraham Lincoln and Walt Whitman.  Hear Bloch himself, full of patriotic fervor, introduce this homage to his adopted land.  Leopold Stokowski conducts the Symphony of the Air, this Sunday at 10 pm. 

Celebrate Midsummer with music for St. John’s Eve.  The Feast Day of St. John the Baptist (June 24) is like Christmas, in that it coincides with solstice time.  But St. John’s Eve is more like Halloween.  It’s a time for the lighting of bonfires against evil spirits – when witches are believed to rendezvous with powerful forces, such as the demon Chernobog, who emerges from the Bald Mountain – as the sun again pursues a southerly course.  Indulge in some Midsummer madness, with music by Modest Mussorgsky, Alfred Schnittke, and Gunnar de Frumerie, this Sunday at 10 pm.

As related in the Gospel of Luke, a young wastrel burns through his family fortune, then returns home to the arms of his forgiving father.  It’s an off-center Father’s Day tribute, as we listen to ballet music inspired by the Parable of the Prodigal Son, including works by Hugo Alfvén and Sergei Prokofiev.  Father knows best, this Sunday at 10 pm.

The Lost Chord: June 10 - Franckly Belgian

Jun 10, 2018

As a teacher at the Paris Conservatory, Belgian born organist and composer César Franck became highly influential among a generation of French and Belgian musicians.  We’ll examine the reasons why, and hear music by Armand Marsick (his symphonic poem “La Source”) and Guillaume Lekeu (his Violin Sonata), this Sunday at 10 pm. 

Mily Balakirev, the founder of “The Mighty Handful” – that group of Russian nationalist composers in which he was joined by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Modest Mussorgsky, Alexander Borodin, and Cesar Cui – had very strong ideas about what Russian music should be.  He was not at all bashful about telling other composers what to do.  However, his late disciple, Sergei Lyapunov, was as much influenced by the keyboard prowess of Franz Liszt as he was the patriotic zeal of his mentor.  Develop a liking for Lyapunov, this Sunday at 10 pm. 

The Lost Chord: May 27 - Magma Come Loudly

May 27, 2018

With so much Hawaiian volcanic activity in the news of late, now is a good time to revisit music by Alan Hovhaness and Jon Leifs.  Hovhaness was inspired to write his Symphony No. 50, “Mount St. Helens,” in the wake of Helens' cataclysmic 1980 eruption, the deadliest in U.S. history.  Leifs' “Hekla,” requiring 19 percussionists and a panoply of unconventional instruments, has been called the loudest piece of classical music ever written.  Prepare to be blown away, this Sunday at 10 pm. 

With the exception, perhaps, of his own transcriptions of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, Leopold Stokowski recorded more Wagner with the Philadelphia Orchestra than any other single composer.   Revisit some of Stoky’s early recordings, originally issued on 78s, including the controversial “Liebesnacht,” the original version of his symphonic synthesis after “Tristan und Isolde,” and a superb recording of “Wotan’s Farewell and Magic Fire Music” from “Die Walküre.”  The magic begins Sunday at 10 pm. 

A performance of his Symphony No. 3 sold over a million copies, making it one of the best-selling classical records of all time.  Henryk Górecki’s Symphony No. 4, completed in short score 30 years later, was to be the composer’s last major work.  Subtitled “Tansman Episodes,” the piece was written in tribute to his compatriot, Alexandre Tansman.  Tansman’s “Partita for Cello and Piano,” dedicated to the famed Spanish cellist Gaspar Cassadó, will also be featured.  Górecki does not repeat, this Sunday at 10 pm. 

Sergei Bortkiewicz, born in Ukraine, lived through two world wars and the Russian Revolution, enduring both poverty and personal tragedy.  Through it all, he managed to create music of lasting beauty.  Learn more about his turbulent life and transporting music, including the Quatre morceaux, Op. 65, the Symphony No. 2 in E flat major, and the Elegie, Op. 46, this Sunday at 10 pm. 

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