The Lost Chord with Ross Amico

Sundays at 10 pm

Enjoy unusual and rarely heard repertoire.

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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.

Over the course of his career as a conductor, Felix Weingartner (1863-1942) held official posts with the Vienna Hofoper (succeeding Gustav Mahler), the Vienna Philharmonic, and the Vienna Volksoper.  He was particularly renowned for his Beethoven interpretations.  However, for all his success on the  podium, he considered himself equally, if not more so, a composer.  Hear Weingartner’s Symphony No. 2, from 1901, and his 1935 recording, with the Vienna Philharmonic, of the scherzo from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.  It’s Weingartner decanted, this Sunday at 10 pm.

The Lost Chord: September 30 - Romania Mania

Sep 30, 2018

Travel to Southeast Europe for neglected music from Romania, including George Stephanescu’s “National Overture” and Paul Constantinescu’s Piano Concerto.  György Ligeti emerged from Transylvania to become one of the great composers of the second half of the 20th century, yet his wholly accessible and delightful “Concert Romanesc” remains little known.  There’s more to Romanian music than George Enescu, this Sunday at 10 pm.

Celebrate the arrival of autumn 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.

The Lost Chord: September 16 - Best at Verse

Sep 16, 2018

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: September 9 - Have a Blast

Sep 9, 2018

Shana tova!  Get ready for the Jewish High Holidays with three works highlighting the shofar, a ram’s horn blown as a symbolic call to worship during the holiday season.  Enjoy “Call of the Shofar” for trombone quartet, by Matthew H. Fields; “Shofar Service” for baritone, trumpets, shofar, and chorus, by Herman Berlinski; and “Tekeeyah” (“A Call”) for shofar, trombone, and orchestra, by Meira Warshauer.  Horn in on the High Holidays, this Sunday at 10 pm. 

George Walker, the first African-American recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, died on August 23 at the age of 96.  Walker graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Rudolf Serkin and Rosario Scalero.  He also studied at Oberlin (from the age of 14), the Eastman School, and in Paris with Nadia Boulanger.  We’ll remember this trailblazing artist through four of his compositions, including the popular “Lyric for Strings,” in its original 1946 version, and the Pulitzer Prize winner “Lilacs,” after Walt Whitman, this Sunday at 10 pm. 

Ralph Vaughan Williams’ ashes are interred in Westminster Abbey, an honor reserved for England’s greatest luminaries; yet the composer is still sorely underestimated, especially by those outside the British Isles.  We’ll celebrate his legacy, on the 60th anniversary of his death, by way of three rare recordings of RVW conducting his own works – the overture to “The Wasps” (recorded in 1925), the Symphony No. 4 (1937), and the “Serenade to Music” (1951).  Connect with Vaughan Williams on the podium, this Sunday at 10 pm.

The Lost Chord: August 19 - Ida Danced All Night

Aug 19, 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. 

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