The Lost Chord with Ross Amico

Sundays at 10 pm

Enjoy unusual and rarely heard repertoire.

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The Lost Chord: November 22 - Homebodies

Nov 19, 2020

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s hardly surprising our thoughts, memories, and desires would be full of home.   It’s a good time then to listen to John Fitz Rogers’ “Magna Mysteria,” a 2010 work that weaves together Latin biblical texts and poetic verse of the 6th century philosopher Boethius, elevating the idea of home – and the seeking of home – to a metaphorical or spiritual realm.  Also on the program will be Aaron Copland’s “Letter from Home,” of 1943-44.  In a year when reunions may be difficult, home is in our hearts, this Sunday at 10 pm.


The Lost Chord: November 15 - Novel Inspirations

Nov 12, 2020

In Hermann Hesse’s “Steppenwolf,” the loner Harry Haller stumbles across a secret door, inscribed “MAGIC THEATER – NOT FOR EVERYBODY – FOR MADMEN ONLY.”  In “The Glass Bead Game,” the game itself, in which scholars strive to achieve perfection through a synthesis of the arts and sciences, is also described as a magic theater.  Explore this common thread in Hesse’s novels, with a concerto for horn and orchestra, “The Glass Bead Game,” by James Beckel, and “Music for a Magic Theater,” by George Rochberg.  Go mad for Hesse, this Sunday at 10 pm.

The Lost Chord: November 8 - Fall of the Leif

Nov 5, 2020

It’s autumn in the North countries, as well as in the Nordic soul.  Test your limits. not only for lengthening shadows, but also on gratuitous vowels, with music by Danish composer Rued Langgaard – his Symphony No. 4, “Fall of the Leaf” – and Finnish master Einojuhani Rautavaara – “Autumn Gardens,” the composer’s meditation on beauty in nature and the transience of life.  The shadows lengthen and the days grow short, even as the names grow long, this Sunday at 10 pm.

The Lost Chord: November 1 - Liszt of Saints

Oct 29, 2020

A charismatic showman who became one of Europe’s most famous performers, Franz Liszt turned his back on the concert stage at the age of 35.  He devoted himself to composition, teaching, and championing others’ music.  He never accepted payment from his students, emerged from retirement only for charitable causes, and eventually took minor orders in the Catholic Church.  For All Saints’ Day, sample from two works inspired by Liszt’s fascination with saints – the oratorios “The Legend of St. Elisabeth” and “St. Stanislaus.”  Add them to your Liszt, this Sunday at 10 pm.

The Lost Chord: October 25 - Jacques o' Lanterns

Oct 22, 2020

Thrill to lurid selections by French composers, in advance of Halloween, including Maurice Ravel’s “Gaspard de la Nuit” (Gaspard of the Night), in a recording with Sir John Gielgud reciting weird and sinister poems by Aloysius Bertrand; fragments from Claude Debussy’s unfinished opera after Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher;” and Charles-Valentin Alkan’s “Scherzo Diaboloso” from his “Twelve Etudes in the Minor Keys,” Op. 39.  The bridge is out; you’ll have to spend the night, this Sunday at 10 pm.

Celebrate Edgar Allan Poe with an hour of music inspired by his mad and melancholy verse, including “Ulalume” by Joseph Holbrooke, “The Haunted Palace” by Florent Schmitt, selections from the song cycle “Lenoriana” by Benjamin C.S. Boyle, and “The Raven” by Arcady Dubensky.  Prepare to brood over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, this Sunday at 10 pm.

The Lost Chord: October 11 - Well-Seasoned

Oct 8, 2020

Lend a little color to your weekend with Henry Hadley’s Symphony No. 2, “The Four Seasons,” and Leo Sowerby’s work for solo organ, “Comes Autumn Time.”  Hadley was music director of the Seattle Symphony, the first conductor of the San Francisco Symphony, associate conductor of the New York Philharmonic, and instrumental in the establishment of the Berkshire Music Festival at Tanglewood.  Sowerby was a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1946 for his cantata “Canticle of the Sun.”  Enjoy seasonal evocations by American composers of experience, this Sunday at 10 pm.

Sure, it’s artistically satisfying to perform with the New York Philharmonic and to have one’s works choreographed by George Balanchine, but at the end of the day, there’s really nothing like a good popular hit to keep food on the table.  Tune in to enjoy concert music by artists more frequently associated with the musical theater, including Vladimir Dukelsky (a.k.a. Vernon Duke) and Meredith Willson (pictured, with his wife Rini).  Broadway composers hang on to their day jobs, this Sunday at 10 pm.

Florent Schmitt was one of the most successful French composers of the early 20th century.  However, as fashions changed, his characteristically opulent music became marginalized, only to experience something of a revival, in recent years, mostly on recordings.  We’ll mark the sesquicentenary of Schmitt’s birth (on September 28, 1870) with selections from his incidental music for a production of Shakespeare’s “Antony and Cleopatra” and his grandiose setting of “Psalm XLVII.”  Bring your appetite for overegged Florentine.  Schmitt happens, this Sunday at 10 pm.

Shana tova!  Welcome the year 5781 with music for the Jewish High Holy Days, including Herman Berlinski’s “Shofar Service,” David Stock’s “Yizkor,” and John McCabe’s “The Chagall Windows” – luminous, strange, and beautiful impressions of stained glass tableaux from the synagogue of Hadassah Medical Center.  It’s a fresh start, from toot to atonement, this Sunday at 10 pm.

The Lost Chord: September 13 - Home Sweet Homer

Sep 10, 2020

Homesick for Homer?  Trace Odysseus’s return to Ithaca, in two works inspired by “The Odyssey”:  Ernst Boehe’s symphonic poem “Departure and Shipwreck,” from the cycle “From Odysseus’ Voyages,” and Benjamin Britten’s radio play “The Rescue of Penelope,” narrated by Dame Janet Baker.  There’s no place like Homer, this Sunday at 10 pm.

Cabinets of curiosities, also sometimes referred to as “wonder rooms,” were small collections of extraordinary objects, strange and often fanciful precursors of today’s museums, which attempted to categorize and explain oddities of the natural world.  We’ll hear three examples of musical equivalents: Dmitri Tymoczko's “Typecase Treasury,” Michael Colina’s Violin Concerto “Three Cabinets of Wonder,” and a selection from Robert Moran’s “Cabinet of Curiosities.”  Satisfy your curiosity, this Sunday at 10 pm. 

The Lost Chord: August 30 - Idyll Thoughts

Aug 27, 2020

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. 

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. 

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. 

The Lost Chord: August 9 - Children of the Night

Aug 6, 2020

“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.

The Lost Chord: August 2 - Staying Power

Jul 30, 2020

Is it really “emigration” when you don’t go anywhere?  We’ll hear music by flagrantly anti-fascist composers who remained in Germany during the Nazi regime.  This type of opposition was described by Thomas Mann as “inner emigration.”  The composers in question did not join the Nazi Party.  On the contrary, they were condemned, their music labeled degenerate and banned from performance.  Tune in to learn more about Reinhard Schwarz-Schilling and Karl Amadeus Hartmann, this Sunday at 10 pm. 

The Lost Chord: July 26 - Best at Verse

Jul 23, 2020

During his time with the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation (1937-1944), Lars-Erik Larsson provided music for everything from cantatas to radio plays to brief vignettes to accompany the recitation of poetry.  Material from these projects would frequently find its way into the composer’s concert works, including “Hours of the Day” (the source of his famous “Pastoral Suite”) and “God in Disguise.”  Enjoy these poetic suites with bucolic settings, this Sunday at 10 pm. 

The Lost Chord: July 19 - One Past Five

Jul 16, 2020

Mily Balakirev, the founder of “The Mighty Handful” – a group of Russian nationalist composers that also included 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 – one hour later than usual, due to the length of today's opera – this Sunday at 11 pm.

The Lost Chord: July 12 - Hochschule Musical

Jul 9, 2020

The loose collective known as “The Frankfurt Gang” came together in 1890s, as students at the Hoch Conservatory in Frankfurt-am-Main. Its members included Balfour Gardiner, Roger Quilter, Norman O’Neill, Cyril Scott, and the youngest of the bunch, the piano prodigy Percy Grainger.  This brilliant array of talent bonded in a foreign land, united by a shared language and culture, but also a determination to break away from Teutonic dominance in music, with the goal of creating a fresh “English” art.  Frankfurt alumni aim for the high notes, this Sunday at 10 pm.

The Lost Chord: July 5 - Balanced Czechs

Jul 2, 2020

Neoclassicism in music was a reaction against the garish and gooey excesses of late Romanticism. Contemporary composers, in search of a new lucidity, turned their attention to the 18th century, filtering its lessons through a distinctly 20th century prism.  Stravinsky was the master, but neoclassicism swept the musical world.  Tune in for three cheery examples from Czechoslovakia, by Ilja Hurnik, Iša Krejči, and Bohuslav Martinu.  Czech it out, this Sunday at 10 pm.

The Lost Chord: June 28 - The Lost Sword

Jun 25, 2020

He is best remembered as the author of “The Three Musketeers” and “The Count of Monte Cristo.” However, Alexandre Dumas churned out prose on historical subjects of all kinds, and he did so by the yard.  Tune in for incidental music written for his play “Caligula” by Gabriel Fauré, ballet music from an opera, “Ascanio,” after a novel featuring Benvenuto Cellini, by Camille Saint-Saëns, a poetic monologue, “Joan of Arc at the Stake,” by Franz Liszt, and a suite for symphonic brass, “The Three Musketeers,” by George William Hespe.  It’s one for all, and all for one, this Sunday at 10 pm. 

Happy Father’s Day!  We’ll honor Dad with an hour of music about sports, including “Rugby” by Arthur Honegger, “Half-Time” by Bohuslav Martinu, “The Yale-Princeton Football Game” by Charles Ives, and highlights from the baseball opera “The Mighty Casey” by William Schuman.  Combine with a La-Z-Boy and a cold beer, and it’s a recipe for dad contentment, this Sunday at 10 pm.

The Lost Chord: June 14 - Tcherepnin Troika

Jun 11, 2020

The classical music world has certainly had its share of dynasties. There are the Bachs. There are the Bendas. There are the Strausses.  The Tcherepnin line, which began in the 1870s, continues to the present day.  Sample wares from the family business, with works by three generations of Tcherepnins – Nikolai, Alexander, and Ivan.  Talent runs in the family, this Sunday at 10 pm.

The Lost Chord: June 7 - Roses of Persia

Jun 4, 2020

The mythical bird Seemorgh, from the Persian epic, the “Shanameh,” raises the abandoned newborn Zaal as her own. When Zaal goes out into the world, he is given one of her feathers, with which he is able to summon her in times of crisis.  Hear Behzad Ranjbaran’s symphonic poem, “Seemorgh,” from his “Persian Trilogy.”  Also featured will be Ranjbaran’s “Seven Passages” and Reza Vali’s “Folk Songs (Set No. 9).”  It’s a bouquet of Persian polyphonic music, 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


The Lost Chord: May 24 - Lincoln Logger

May 21, 2020

Carl Sandburg was the recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes – two for his poetry, and a third for his landmark biography of Abraham Lincoln.  His musical influence was also considerable.  Enjoy three works inspired by Sandburg’s writings:  Leo Sowerby’s “The Prairie,” a piece evocative of the American heartland, and two appropriate for Memorial Day, Romeo Cascarino’s “Blades of Grass” and Roy Harris’ Symphony No. 6, “Gettysburg.”   There will be plenty to remember, with Carl Sandburg, this Sunday at 10 pm.

The Lost Chord: May 17 - England à la Russe

May 14, 2020

Serge Diaghilev, impresario of the Ballets Russes, commissioned some of the most enduring ballet music of the 20th century, from such composers as Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Manuel de Falla, and Igor Stravinsky.  Less well known is the fact that two Englishmen were also approached.  Tune in for “Romeo and Juliet,” a kind of backstage comedy, by a 20 year-old Constant Lambert, and ‘The Triumph of Neptune,” a whimsical fairy tale, by the self-styled eccentric Lord Berners.  That’s a heady mix of hornpipes and pas de deux.  Britannia rules the (air)waves, this Sunday at 10 pm.

The Lost Chord: May 10 - The Virgin Spring

May 7, 2020

No, not the Bergman film, in which Max von Sydow exacts terrible vengeance on those who… well, nevermind.  Suffice it to say, the show’s not about that.  Rather, it’s a program of vernal expressions from Sweden, including Gunnar de Frumerie’s “Pastoral Suite” and two works by Wilhelm Peterson-Berger:  Book III from “Flowers of Frösö” and the “Earina Suite.”  According to the composer, “Earina” conjures a world of “cult deeds and magic rites… belonging to some undefined natural religion.”  Nobody does spring quite like the Swedes.  Enjoy an hour of well-seasoned music, this Sunday at 10 pm.

The Lost Chord: May 3 - Nippon Notes from Naxos

Apr 30, 2020

How much Western-style classical music composed in the East ever makes it to the West?  Not much, unfortunately.  Happily, some record companies venture where concert programmers won’t.  Tune in to hear selections from Naxos’ “Japanese Classics Series,” including Kiyoshige Koyama’s variations on a woodcutter’s song, “Kobiki-Uta” (1957), Qunihico Hashimoto’s symphonic suite “Heavenly Maiden and Fisherman” (1933), and Komei Abe’s neoclassical Symphony No. 1 (1957).  Armchair travelers, your passage is paid.  Music brings us all closer.  Expand your horizons, this Sunday at 10 pm.