The Lost Chord with Ross Amico

Sundays at 10 pm

Enjoy unusual and rarely heard repertoire.

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The Lost Chord: May 19 - Lilacs Last

May 16, 2019

May 31st marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Walt Whitman.  We celebrate this most influential of American poets all month long with music inspired by his verse, from an array of international composers.  Tune in this week for two works indebted to “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d” – the Symphony No. 1, “Versuch eines Requiems,” by Karl Amadeus Hartmann and “Dooryard Bloom,” for baritone and orchestra, by Jennifer Higdon.  Whitman chants his song of “sane and sacred death,” this Sunday at 10 pm.

May 31st marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Walt Whitman.  We honor this most influential of American poets all month long with music inspired by his verse, including choral works, orchestral pieces, and songs.  Whitman attained a venerable status here in the United States.  More surprising, perhaps, was his impact on composers of the United Kingdom.  Tune in to this, the second of four programs, for music by Gustav Holst, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Frederick Delius.  Walk out… toward the unknown region, this Sunday at 10 pm.

The Lost Chord: May 5 - Songs of Democracy

May 5, 2019

May 31st marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Walt Whitman.  We’ll celebrate this most influential of American poets all month long with music inspired by his verse, including choral works, orchestral pieces, and songs, from an array of international composers.  Tune in this week for an all-American program, featuring selections by Roy Harris, Frederick Converse, and Pulitzer Prize-winner George Walker.  Sing the body electric, this Sunday at 10 pm.

With the First of May right around the corner, prepare to caper about the Maypole to “May Day in Queen Elizabeth’s Time” from Sir Arthur Sullivan’s “Victoria and Merrie England.”  Then celebrate the “gentle season” with a riot of forest lovers, satyrs, and maenads in Arnold Bax’s “Spring Fire.”  Music is in bloom.  Sate yourself with satyrs, this Sunday at 10 pm.

The devout Belgian composer Joseph Ryelandt composed his Symphony No. 4 on the very eve of World War I.  This inspirational work concludes with a triumphant statement of the Credo from the Catholic Mass.  Also featured will be a Credo setting by the Franco-Flemish composer, of some four centuries earlier, Josquin des Prez.  Enjoy two spiritual discoveries rooted in the Mass, Easter Sunday at 10 pm.

At a time when most people’s knowledge of Handel’s large-scale vocal works began and ended with “Messiah,” Sir Thomas Beecham was dipping into the operas and polishing up the oratorios for the delectation of a new age.  He defended these curations and modifications, stating that “without some effort along these lines, the greater portion of [Handel’s] magnificent output will remain unplayed, possibly to the satisfaction of drowsy armchair purists....”  Experience the vitality of Beecham’s beautiful Handel realizations, this Sunday at 10 pm.

The Lost Chord: April 7 - Myth Conceptions

Apr 7, 2019

Medusa.  The Sirens.  The Fates.  Pandora.  Female characters from classical mythology provide the inspiration for Stacy Garrop’s “Mythology Symphony.”  Likewise, archetypes from Homer inform Sarah Kirkland Snider’s post-genre song cycle “Penelope.”  Enduring myths of the ancient world are viewed from fresh perspectives, this Sunday at 10 pm.

For some people, being a master in one field, it seems, just isn’t enough.  We’ll hear works by three successful composer-painters, including the cantankerous American modernist Carl Ruggles, the Lithuanian romantic Mikalojus Čiurlionis, and the German-American expressionist Lyonel Feininger.  Prepare to see double, with an hour of music by ambidextrous artists, this Sunday at 10 pm.

Edvard Grieg was a gentle, generous soul.  As Norway’s most important composer, he provided inspiration not only to Scandinavians, but also to artists all over Europe and the United States, who sought alternatives to Austro-German musical methodology.  Grieg’s personality and achievements engendered much affection and loyalty.  Tune in for an hour of music dedicated to Grieg by his friends and admirers, including Edward MacDowell, Julius Röntgen, and Percy Grainger.  Everybody loves Grieg, this Sunday at 10 pm.

Edward Joseph Collins (1886-1951) was born to Irish-American parents in Joliet, Illinois.  Though he studied abroad with Max Bruch and Engelbert Humperdinck, it was in Chicago that he made his career.  Nearly a generation older than Copland and Gershwin, he too found inspiration in African-American spirituals, cowboy songs, and jazz.  Collins’ relationship to the Irish was a complex one.  Nonetheless, he couldn’t escape the pull of his heritage and its music.  Tune in to hear three of his Irish meditations, this Sunday at 10 pm.

The Lost Chord: March 10 - André the Pliant

Mar 10, 2019

Clearly André Previn was a lot of things.  And he made them all sound so easy.  As a composer, Previn frequently wrote at the request of friends, or for friends, performers with whom he had developed lasting relationships.  His fluency was such that his music could sometimes come across as almost off-the-cuff.  Tune in to enjoy a loosey-goosey cello sonata, written for Yo-Yo Ma, and “Diversions,” a concerto (of sorts) for orchestra, composed for the Vienna Philharmonic.  Previn goes with the flow, this Sunday at 10 pm.

The Twin Cities’ Dominick Argento died on February 20 at the age of 91.  Acclaimed especially for his vocal music, he left behind a substantial body of operas, song cycles, and choral works, including “From the Diary of Virginia Woolf,” which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1975.  Celebrate his legacy with “Six Elizabethan Songs” for soprano and Baroque ensemble, “A Ring of Time,” composed for the 70th anniversary of the Minnesota Orchestra, and the “Valentino Dances” from his opera “The Dream of Valentino.”   It’s a musical monument to a Midwestern master, this Sunday at 10 pm.

CBS Records’ landmark Black Composers Series has finally come to compact disc.  Made under the direction of conductor Paul Freeman and employing world class orchestras and soloists, these recordings originally appeared on vinyl between 1974 and 1978.  Sony Classical has reissued these invaluable documents as a boxed set.  To coincide with Black History Month, we’re listening to highlights from the 10-CD collection, Sundays in February at 10 pm.  This week, we conclude our survey with music by William Grant Still (pictured), Ulysses Kay, and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.

Over 40 years after its original appearance, CBS Records’ landmark Black Composers Series has finally come to compact disc.  Made under the direction of conductor Paul Freeman (pictured) and employing world class orchestras and soloists, these recordings originally appeared on vinyl between 1974 and 1978.  Sony Classical has reissued these invaluable documents as a boxed set.  To coincide with Black History Month, we’re listening to highlights from the 10-CD collection, Sundays in February at 10 pm.  This week, tune in for music by Joseph White, David Baker, and Roque Cordero.

The Lost Chord: Black to the Future, Part II

Feb 10, 2019

Over 40 years after its original appearance, CBS Records’ landmark Black Composers Series has finally come to compact disc.  Made under the direction of conductor Paul Freeman and employing world class orchestras and soloists, these recordings originally appeared on vinyl between 1974 and 1978.  Sony Classical has reissued these invaluable documents as a boxed set.  To coincide with Black History Month, we’ll listen to highlights from the 10-CD collection, Sundays in February at 10 pm.  This week, tune in for music by George Walker (pictured) and José Maurício Nunes Garcia.

The Lost Chord: February 3 - Black to the Future

Jan 31, 2019

Over 40 years after its original appearance, CBS Records’ landmark Black Composers Series has finally come to compact disc.  Made under the direction of conductor Paul Freeman and employing world class orchestras and soloists, these recordings originally appeared on vinyl between 1974 and 1978, providing rare exposure to 200 years worth of neglected music.  Sony Classical has reissued these invaluable documents as a boxed set.  To coincide with Black History Month, we’ll hear highlights from the 10-CD collection over four Sundays in February at 10 pm.

Marcel Tyberg was a casualty of the Holocaust.  Targeted because of his Jewish ancestry (a mere 1/16th of his make-up), Tyberg was deported to Auschwitz, where his death was recorded on New Year's Eve, 1944.  His music alone should not have attracted unfavorable attention from the authorities.  His symphonies are very much in the Austro-German tradition.  Nevertheless, it was only in the last decade or so that his output was revived, thanks in large part to JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic.  Tyberg lives again, through his Symphony No. 3, this Sunday at 10 pm.

The Lost Chord: January 13 - Byronic Beecham

Jan 13, 2019

Manfred is the quintessential Byronic hero, a romantic superman who endures unimaginable suffering and mysterious guilt in connection with the death of his beloved.  He wanders the Alps, longing for extinction, and meets his fate defiantly, rejecting all authority, whether corporeal or supernatural.  When conductor Sir Thomas Beecham resurrected Schumann’s incidental music for Byron’s dramatic poem, it was an act of total reimagination.  Hear selections from this seldom-heard 1954 recording, Sunday at 10 pm. 

The Lost Chord: January 6 - Epic Finnish

Jan 3, 2019

The “Kalevala,” a disparate collection of long narrative poems culled from oral tradition, is frequently referred to as the Finnish national epic.  Its fantastic and heroic tales informed the work of Finland’s greatest artists at a time when the country began to surge toward independence after 700 years of Swedish rule and another century as a duchy of the Russian Empire.  Jean Sibelius turned to it repeatedly for inspiration.  Less well known, perhaps, are Robert Kajanus’ “Aino” and Uuno Klami’s “Kalevala Suite.”  Acquire some additional Finnish, this Sunday at 10 pm.

The Lost Chord: December 30 - Emil with Dancing

Dec 30, 2018

Everyone dances on New Year’s Eve, right?  Emil Nikolaus von Reznicek’s “Dance Symphony” serves up in its four movements a polonaise, a csardas, a ländler, and a tarantella.  However, if something starts to seem slightly askew, it’s because Reznicek conceived the piece as a “dance of death.” Happy New Year!  Make your reservation for a meal with dancing, this Sunday at 10 pm.

It’s Christmas in the British Isles, with selections from The Chieftains’ “The Bells of Dublin,” William Mathias’ “Bell Carol,” and “Rose & Thistle:  English and Scottish Music from the Christmas Revels.”  Also, Dylan Thomas will read his holiday classic, “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.”  Travel across the pond for an Old Country Christmas, this Sunday at 10 pm.

It’s a Christmas bouquet, of sorts, with Hugo Distler’s “Die Weihnachtsgeschichte” (“The Christmas Story”), an otherworldly, a cappella masterpiece punctuated by seven variations on the carol “Es ist ein Ros entsprungen” (“Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming”), and Emil Waldteufel’s waltz, “Roses de Noël.”  The holidays are in bloom, this Sunday at 10 pm.

Celebrate Hanukkah, the eight-day Festival of Lights, with music on Jewish themes and by Jewish composers, including “Aspects of a Great Miracle” by Michael Isaacson, “Three Hassidic Dances” by Leon Stein,” and “The Klezmer Concerto” by Ofer Ben-Amots.  Enjoy your fill of light and latkes, this Sunday at 10 pm.

Inspired by Brueghel’s painting “The Land of Cockaigne,” Knudage Rissager’s ballet, “Slaraffenland,” imagines a Promised Land “where roasted pigeons fly around in the air with knives and forks in their backs, and the streets are paved with marzipan and chocolate.”  A silly boy wanders into the country of King Sauce and becomes ill from overindulgence.  Along the way, he encounters Robin Hood, the Three Musketeers, Captain Fear, Fountains of Liqueur, Cigarettes, and the Candy Princess.  Conclude the long, gluttonous holiday weekend with a dose of musical tryptophan, this Sunday at 10 pm.

For the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that formally ended World War I, it’s the second of a special two-part program showcasing “A World Requiem” by John Foulds.  Foulds’ work was given its premiere on Armistice Day, 1923, played four more times, then lay dormant for some 80 years until revived on Armistice Day, 2007, for this recording.  Also featured will be music by Cecil Coles, who died near the Somme in a heroic attempt to rescue his comrades.  War’s the pity, this Sunday at 10 pm.

To mark the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that formally ended World War I, it’s the first of a special two-part program showcasing “A World Requiem” by John Foulds.  Foulds’ work was given its premiere on Armistice Day, 1923, played four more times, then lay dormant for some 80 years until revived on Armistice Day, 2007, for this recording.  Also featured will be a contemporaneous tone poem by Lilian Elkington, literally rescued from a trash heap following the composer’s death.  War’s the pity, this Sunday at 10 pm.

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.

With Halloween looming, wander the creepy cornfields to music by George Crumb (“A Haunted Landscape), Morton Gould (“Jekyll and Hyde Variations”), and Dominick Argento (“Le Tombeau d’Edgar Poe”).  Walk softly around these spine-tingling exercises in American Gothic, this Sunday at 10 pm.

Sometimes even Romantic geniuses can use a little help.  On the eve of the anniversary of the birth of Franz Liszt (born October 22, 1811), enjoy the rarely-heard “Concerto in the Hungarian Style” (orchestrated by Tchaikovsky), “The Black Gondola” (orchestrated by John Adams), and “Hexameron,” a titanic set of piano variations – with introduction, interludes and finale by Liszt – featuring contributions from five other virtuoso superstars of the 1830s, including Carl Czerny, Sigismond Thalberg, and Frederic Chopin.  Liszt gets by with a little help from his friends, this Sunday at 10 pm.

Viva VERDI – viva Vittorio Emanuele Re D’Italia (long live Victor Emanuel King of Italy) – a patriotic slogan used to promote national unification, at a time when the Italian peninsula was divided into separate states.  This program’s focus will be on musical unification, collaborative efforts featuring prominent Italian composers – including Antonio Vivaldi (in the serenata “Andromeda Liberata”) and Verdi himself (one of 13 composers to participate in the “Messa per Rossini”).  Give your undivided attention.  It’s Italian unification in music, this Sunday at 10 pm.

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