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

For most of the 14th century the papacy was situated in Avignon in the south of France.  The Avignonese popes were great patrons of the arts, especially music. On Friday's (2/15) Distant Mirror  the Ensemble Venace Fortunat and La Schola Choir of the University of Tours  perform music from the popes' palace at Avignon from the cd Altera Roma.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

Nearly all Early Music enthusiasts are familiar with the Cantigas of Santa Maria from the 13th century court of Alfonso the Wise of Castile but did you know that a collection of secular music may also have existed at Alfonso's court? The Dufay Collective has done exhaustive research on the instruments of the day as well as on the secular styles then in vogue , and has put together music that very well may have been performed at Alfonso's court, and you can hear several of these pieces on Friday's Distant Mirror.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

Medieval pilgrimages were undertaken for many reasons: As penance to fulfill a promise made during illness, to escape prison, or, as Geoffrey Chaucer suggests, simply as a cure for Spring fever.  Pilgrimage sites were often places where miracles had occured or sacred relics were discovered.  On Friday's Distant Mirror hear the Toronto Consort perform from their cd The Way of the Pilgrim many of the songs that might have been sung en route to the holy places.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

13th Century French composer Antoine Busnois was the leading figure of the Burgundian school after the death of Dufay.  He served at the court of Charles the Bold and followed the Duke on all his military campaigns.  Busnois was most noted for his secular music, especially his rondos, but some of his sacred pieces were very notable, especially his Missa O Crux Lignum which you can hear performed by the Orlando Consort on this Friday's Distant Mirror.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm. 

It's music from Elizabethan England on Friday night's Distant Mirror as Alfred Deller and the Deller Consort perform selections from their CD The English Madrigal School.  Hear music from Thomas Morley, Thomas Weelkes, Robert Johnson, John Wilbye and others.  Then in the second part of the program lutenist Hopkinson Smith is featured with preludes, chansons and dances collected by 16th century French music publisher Pierre Attaignant.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

The Tallis Scholars visit Distant Mirror this Friday with the music of Josquin Des Prez, the central figure of the 15th century Franco Flemmish school and considered to be the first master of the Renaissance style of polyphonic vocal music.  Hear a performance of one of his four voice msterpieces, the Missa Pangue Lingua.  Peter Phillips directs.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

Celebrate the New Year on this week's Distant Mirror with a Medieval--Renaissance Pops Concert.  Hear all those early music chestnuts that you love and can't hear enough of.  Selections by Anthony Holborne, Thomas Morley, Tielman Susato,  Adam de la Halle and others.  Performances by the King's Noyse, The Musicians of the Glove, the Dufay Collective, Gothic Voices and Musica Reservata.  Join Allan Kelly Friday night at 10.

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

Enjoy a Medieval-Renaissance Christmas on this week's Distant Mirror.  Performances by New York Polyphony,  a Celtic Christmas with La Nef and the Apollo Singers, the Martin Best Ensemble and, of course, it wouldn't be Christmas without Anonymous 4.  Join Allan Kelly Friday night at 10.

Gautier de Coincy was a late 12th, early 13th century French cleric who translated into French many of the Latin  miracle poems praising the Virgin, and then set them to medieval popular songs in the courtly love tradition of the trouveres.   Hear several of these on Friday's Distant Mirror as Andrew Lawrence-King and the Harp Consort perform from their cd Miracles of NotreDame.  Join Allan Kelly at 11 pm (airing an hour later due to the expanded edition of PostClassical).

On this week's Distant Mirror hear fantasies, pavans and galliards by 16th century Spanish Renaissance composer Luis Milan from his collection El Maestro, which serves as an example of the music current at a   humanist Renaissance court. Viola da gambist  Jordi Savll performs along with harpist Andrew Lawrence-King.  Join Allan Kelly at 10 pm. 

Listen to the Pope Marcellus Mass on Friday's Distant Mirror, the work which is credited with saving polyphonic church music.  The story goes that in order to more easily combat the reformation the church had to present a music that was less elaborate and therefore more audible to the ordinary layman.  At the Council of Trent in 1555 the cardinals were about to agree to return to plainchant when Pope Marcellus comissioned Palestrina to compose a mass that would show the world that part-music could be both concise and musically valuable.  The Pope Marcellus Mass is consider

The Folger Consort visits Distant Mirror Friday night with a program of Renaissance instrumental music from their CD Playing with Fire: Fiery Improvisations of the popular Tunes and Dance Music of the 16th century.  While most are anonymous pieces there are selections here by Jacques Moderne, Francesco de la Torre and the collector Pierre Phalese.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm. 

The mass Se la face ay pale of Guillaume Dufay is a mix of medieval strictness and Renaissance freedom, which is to be expected written as it was by the man who bridged both periods.  Hear a performance of this great mass on this week's Distant Mirror  as David Munrow directs the Early Music Consort of London. Later in the program music from the Chantilly Codex as the Ensemble P.A.N. performs selections by Baude Cordier, Jean Vaillant and Franciscus Andrieu.  Join Allan Kelly Friday night at 10.

Mostly Machaut on Friday's Distant Mirror

Nov 9, 2018

It's the music of Guillaume Machaut on Friday's Distant Mirror.  You'll hear a rondeaux, ballade and virelai performed by Fortune's Wheel.  Then Matthew Brooke from the Oxford Camerata performs 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. Many are ballad settings and almost all are anonymous.  On Friday's Distant Mirror you can hear several of these performed on lute, orpharion, annd ciittern  by Paul O'Dette.  Also on the program: th Missa Brevis of Palestrina, one of his more substantial and sonorous mass settings to be written in 4 parts.   Peter Phillips directs the Tallis Scholars.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

Distant Mirror: Oct. 26 - Trio Mediaeval

Oct 26, 2018

The Trio Mediaeval visits Distant Mirror this Friday night with the Missa Alma Redemptoris Mater of 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 all the movements of the ordinary.  Power, with the possible exception of John Dunstable, is considered the greatest English composer of the 15th 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 popular 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 Friday night on Distant Mirror as the group Circa 1500 performs.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

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. 

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