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

Music of late 15th, early 16th century English composer Robert Fayrfax on Friday's (11/15) Distant Mirror.  Fayrfax was the most prominent musician in the employ of Kings Hnery VII and Henry VIII, and his music influenced many who  followed, such as Thomas Tallis and John Taverner.  He was closely associated with St. Albans Abbey and wrote a mass specifically for it, the Missa Albanus, which you can hear performed by the Cardinall's Musick under the direction of Andrew Carwood.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

Gautier de Coincy was a late 12th, early 13th century French cleric who translated into French many of the Latin poems praising the Virgin, and then set them to medieval popular songs in the courtly love tradition of the trouveres.  On Friday's (11/8) Distant Mirror you can hear three of these as Andrew Lawrence-King and the Harp Consort perform from their CD Miracles of Notre Dame.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

The Tallis Scholars visit Distant Mirror Friday (11/1) with the music of Josquin Des Prez, the central figure of the 15th century Franco-Flemish school and considered to be the first master of the Renaissance style of polyphonic vocal music. You'll hear a performance of one of his four voice masterpeices, the Missa Pange Lingua.  Peter Phillips directs.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

On Friday's (10/25) Distant Mirror hear fantasies, pavans and galliards by 16th century Spanish Renaissance composer Luis Milan from his compilation El Maestro, which serves as an example of the music current at a humanistic Renaissance court. Viola da gambist Jordi Savall and friends perform, featuring Andrew Lawrence-King on harp and psaltery.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

On Friday's (10/18) Distant Mirror hear Palestrina's Pope Marcellus Mass, the work which is credited with saving polyphonic church music.  The mass is considered by many to be the greatest mass ever composed. The Tallis Scholars perform directed by Peter Phillips. And there's also music by William Byrd, a fantasia and a pavan, both for six voices.  Capriccio Stravagante performs led by Skip Sempe, who is also featured on harpsichord.  Join Allan Kelly Friday night at 10.

It's the music of Guillaume Machaut Friday night (10/4) on Distant Mirror.  You'll hear several chansons performed by Fortune's Wheel as well as well as Matthew Brook from the Oxford Camerata performing Machaut's Le lay de bonne esperance from his Le Voir Dit.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

1580 to 1620 has been called the golden age of English lute music.  More than 2000 pieces survive and many are ballad settings and almsot all are anonymous.  On Friday's (9/27) Distant Mirror you can hear several of these performed by Paul O'Dette on lute, orpharion and cittern, from his cd Robin Hood: Elizabethan Ballad Settings.  Also on the program the Missa Brevis of Palestrina with  the Tallis Scholars directed by Peter Phillips. Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

The Trio Mediaeval visits Distant  Mirror this Friday (9/20) with the Missa Alma Redemptoris Mater of early 15th century English composer Lionel Power.  The mass, based on the Marian antiphon of the same name, is one of the earliest masses to feature the cantus firmus in each movement of the ordinary. Power, with the possible exception of John Dunstable, is considered the greatest Engliah composer of that century.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

In Elizabethan England popular music was performed by minstrels, dance bands and waits.  The lyrics or poems were collected along with appropriate tunes into little books, and one of the more famous was A Handful of Pleasant Delites, which consisted of sacred pieces, bawdy, amorous, something for every taste. You can hear several of these on Friday's (9/13) Distant Mirror as the ensemble Circa 1500 performs led by Nancy Hadden.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

It's the music of Orlando Gibbins and William Lawes on this Friday's (9/6) Distant Mirror as Fretwork performs consort music for viols  from the early Stuart period in England:  Fantasias, pavans, in nomines and almans. Fretwork is joined by lutenist Christopher Wilson and organist Paul Nicholson. Then hear more chansons inspired by the great medieval French masterpiece The Romance of the Rose.  Selections by Machaut, Binchois and Dufay.  Alla Francesca performs.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

The Romance of the Rose is a medieval French poem styled as an allegorical dream vision. It is one of the greatest masterpieces of French literature and influnced much of European culture including Dante and Chaucer.  Much of the text was set to music and you can hear several of the resulting chansons on Friday's (8/30)  Distant Mirror as the ensemble Alla Francesca performs. And we'll conclude the program with Elizabethan viol music performed by Fretwork.  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 and early 15th centuries, and on Friday's (8/23) Distant Mirror you can hear several motets from the manuscript featuring legendary conntertenor Russell Oberlin, along with Charles Bressler, tenor, baritone Gordon Myers, and organist Paul Wolfe.  Also on the program: Chansons by Claude le Jeune and several madrigals by Claudio Monteverdi from his second book of Madrigals.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

Johannes Ockeghem was the leading composer of the Franco-Flemish schol in the last half of the 15th century, and the most influential composer between Dufay and Josquin, and on Friday's (8/16) Distant Mirror you can hear one of his great cantus firmus masses, the Missa Caput, in a performance by the Clerks' Group under the direction of Edward Wickham.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

On Friday's (8/9) Distant Mirror it's music from the Carmina Burana, those 11th-13th century student songs that served as the model for Karl Orff's masterpiece centuries later.  Hear songs of love, morality, drinking and gaming, and spiritual needs.  A performance by the Boston Camerat under the direction of Joel Cohen. Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

Tomas Luis de Victoria, sometimes known as the Spanish Palestrina, was the greatest Spanish composer of the Counterreformation. On this Friday's (8/2) Distant Mrror you can hear his Missa Ave Maris Stella in a performance by the Choir of Westminster Cathedral under the direction of David Hill.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

It's entertainment music from Elizabethan England on Friday's (7/26) Distant Mirror when the Baltimore Consort visit. Some of the greatest music for mixed or broken consort will be heard including selections by John Johnson, Thomas Ravenscroft and Richard Allison.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

Guillaume Dufay was the greatest composer of the 15th century, the leading figure of the Burgundian school, and stands as the watershed between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. On Friday's(7/19)  Distant Mirror hear a performance of his greatest mass, the Missa se la face ay pal performed 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 polyphonic sound of the sixteenth century Franco-Flemish school. He wrote over 150 chansons that were enormously popular throughout Europe, and on Friday's (7/12) Distant Mirror you can hear several of these performed by the Ensemble Clement Jannequin. There's also music by Torelli, Morley and Couperin. Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

It's the music of  14th century Flemish composer Alexander Agricola on this Friday's (6/28) Distant Mirror. Agricola's music is rarely performed today bcause of its difficulty and eccentricity, but Paul van Nevel has long ben a champion of the lost cause and has arranged several of Agricola's mass movements into a musical quilt that he calls the Missa Guazzabuglio, which trnslates freely a "mishmash".  Van Nevelk directs the Huelgas Ensemble. Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

It's music from the Hundred Years' War on Friday night's Distant Mirror, 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 music from both sides, both sacred and secular. Selections by Philippe de Vitry, Pierre des Molins, John Dunstable and others. Christopher Page directs. Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

It's an all-English program on Friday's (6/14) Distant Mirror, highlighted by legendary countertenor Russell Oberlin performing the 12th century St. Godric Songs, the earliest English music that we know of. He's accompanied on viol by Seymour Barab. There's also 14th century anonymous pieces with the Hiliard Ensemble, Thomas Tallis' Spem in Alium and some harpsichord pieces by William Byrd. Join Allan Kelly Friday night at 10.

Jordi Savall and fiends visit Distant Mirror Friday night on the Classical Network with the music of 17th century French composer Marin Marais. You'll hear his Viol Suite in E Minor, which was written in homage to his greatest musical inspiration, Saint-Colombe. Jordi Savall plays bass viol; Rolf Lislevand and Xavier Diaz-Latorre are featured on theorbos and guitars, Phillipe Pierlot is also on bass viol and Pierre Hantai on harpsichord. Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

The Westminster Cathedral Choir visits Distant Mirror Friday night with the music  of the greatest composer of the Spanish Renaissance, Tomas Luis de Victoria, whom many have called 'the Spanish Palestrina'.  You'll hear his Missa O Quam Gloriosum, one of his more famous parody masses.  David Hill directs. Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

Anonymous 4 refers to 14th century Florentine composer Francesco Landini as the "Italin master of subtle refinement", and on Friday's Distant Mirror you can hear them perform several of Landini's love songs from their cd The Second Circle. Also on the program, Julian Bream plays some Elizabethan and Jacobean lute music, and we'll conclude with 16th century French dances with the King's Noyse, featuring soprano Ellen Hargis. Join Allan Kelly at 10pm. 

Distant Mirror: May 17 - All-Machaut

May 17, 2019

It's an all Machaut program on Friday's Distant Mirror. We'll begin with his Notre Dame Mass, the first complete ordinary of the mass written by a single composer. Jeremy Summerly conducts the Oxford Camerata in a performance considered definitive since it was recorded at Rheims cathedral where the mass was first performed in 1362 conducted by Machaut himself. Then in the second hour of the program you'll hear some of Machaut's secular music as Gothic Voices under Christopher Page performs from the cd The Mirror of Narcissus. Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

Distant Mirror: May 10 - Tournai Mass

May 10, 2019

On Friday's Distant Mirror hear the late 13th, early 14th century Tournai Mass, the very first complete mass, that is, the first mass that we know of in which the ordinary of the mass remained fixed,  although the mass movements were composed by by several anonymous scribes. The Trio Mediaeval performs. Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

On Fridy's Distant Mirror hear dance music for Queen Elizabeth I's Violin Band, anonymous 16th century music performed by the Parley of Instruments directed by Petr Holman from the cd Music of Violenze. Then rare 15th century  English church music, featuring pieces by John Dunstable and Walter Lamb performed by the Orlando Consort. And we conclude, still in England, with more of theose pavans, galliards and almans of Anthony Holborne with Hesperion XXI directed by Jordi Savall. Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

Jordi Savall and Hesperion XXI visit Distant Mirror Friday night with Elizabethan consort music from their CD The Teares of the Muses, pavans, galliards and almans of Anthony Holborne from his collection of 1599, which was the first printed collection of dance music to appear in England.  Join Allan Kelly t 10pm.

On Fridays's Distant Mirror we'll complete the mass cycle of William Byrd as  the Tallis Scholars under Peter Phillips perform his Mass for 5 Voices, the last of his Latin masses from the early 1590's. Then, some great dance music from the 16th century with tunes from the collections of Tielman Susato, Pierre Phalese, Claude Gervase and Pierre Attaignant, all performed by the Clemencic Consort. Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

Hear both sacred and secular music by William Byrd on Friday's Distant Mirror. The Choir of Winchester Catheral under David Hill perform Byrd's Mass for 3 Voices. Then two consorts: The Leaves Be Gren, a praeludium and ground with Capriccio Stravagante directed by Skip Sempe. Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.