Upcoming and Noteworthy

What's ahead on The Classical Network? Catch some of these great programs coming your way.

Happy Anniversary to Between the Keys, March 26th

4 hours ago

March 26th 2019 marks the ASCAP Deems Taylor Virgil Thomson Award winning program Between the Keys’ fourth anniversary.

“I can’t believe how much time has gone by,” says The Classical Network’s Artist-in-Residence Jed Distler, who has produced, written and hosted Between the Keys since it launched back in March 2015. “And when I look at the range of programming and the variety of special guests we’ve had, I’m all the more amazed.”

We’re going to the United Kingdom for this week’s Sunday Opera (3/24 3:00 p.m.) with two operas about plucky young ladies.  First will be Ireland’s Michael William Balfe’s charming “Bohemian Girl” which deals with a stolen child raised by gypsies who falls in love with an exiled Polish nobleman, and it all comes out right in the third act.   The cast includes Nora Thomas, Patrick Power, Jonathan Summers, Bernadette Cullen, and John del Carlo with Richard Bonynge leading the Irish Radio and Television Philharmonic Choir and the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland.  

We’ll be enjoying more fruits from the age of the CD on this week’s Dress Circle (3/24 7:00 p.m.) as we sample recordings made by composers and lyricists of their own works.  Many of these recordings were demos or examples of works in progress that they wanted to share with absent partners; some are from public performances, and the results are wonderfully variable.  Some of those professionals include Stephen Sondheim, Cy Coleman, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Johnny Mercer, Harold Rome, Frank Loesser, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, and Hoagy Carmichael just to name a few.  

Frederick Delius wrote Margot La Rouge in 1902 to enter into the same one act opera competition won by Cavallaria Rusticana in 1890. The rules said the libretto must be of "the French and Italian type", and even though Delius is said to have hated  verismo, he gave it a try, choosing what his friend and champion Eric Fenby disdained as a "sordid affair" to set to music.

The Lost Chord: March 24 - Griegarious

Mar 21, 2019

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.

On Sunday evening, 3/24 at 11 we'll hear the Symphony No. 5 by Rumanian composer Anatol Vieru and Richard Wilson's Gnomics for wind trio.  Music from the past half-century on Half Past.

Wednesday at noon (3-20) on Curtis Calls we'll hear Mozart's Quintet for Piano & Strings, K. 452, two arrangements for cello and guitar of JS Bach's music & Brahms' Trio in A minor for clarinet, cello & piano.  Performances from student recitals at the Curtis Institute of Music, Wednesdays at noon and Monday evenings at 10.

We’ll turn to a classic recording of a much loved opera on this week’s Sunday Opera (3/17 3:00 p.m.) and a 1958 recording of Giacomo Puccini’s “La Fanciulla del West” featuring a stellar cast that truly doesn’t get enough air play today.  Minnie, the “girl” of the title, is Renata Tebaldi, Mario Del Monaco is the bandit-in-disguise Dick Johnson (a.k.a. Ramerez) with whom she falls in love much to the consternation of Sherriff Jack Rance sung by Cornell MacNeil, and she saves Ramerez’s life by cheating at poker to “win” him. 

Candide on the Lyric Stage Sunday at 8

Mar 14, 2019

This week on the LS we  feature the original 1956 production of Leonard Bernstein's Candide based on Voltaire's 18th century novella which attacks the 18th c. philosophy of optimism. Many versions of Candide exist, but this is music from the first version, with a cast that features Barbara Cook as Cuneghonde and Robert Rounseville as Candide. 

Half Past this Sunday at 11 PM is entirely dedicated to Music by Toru Takemitsu: Towards the Sea II, "Vers, l'arc-en ciel,Palma,"  Air, To the Edge of Dream and I Hear the Water Dreaming.  Music of the past half-century on Half Past.

On Wednesday 3-13 at noon we'll hear Lachrymae by Benjamin Britten, Per questa bella mano by Mozart, Ferruccio Busoni's transcription of Bach's Chaconne and Rachmaninoff's Sonata No. 2.  Performances from student recitals at the Curtis Institute, Wednesdays at noon and Monday evenings at 10.

We’re journeying to Paris for two vastly different works on this week’s Sunday Opera (3/10 3:00 p.m.).  First, we’ll go back to the tenth century as portrayed in an often overlooked opera by Gaetano Donizetti, “Ugo Conte di Parigi.”  Based loosely on the life of Hugo the Great, the opera is yet another story of misplace love, vengeance gone wrong, guilt, and repentance, all the things that make for a good opera libretto!  

At noon on March 6th we'll hear students from the Curtis Institute of Music in Mozart's Sonata in B-flat major, K. 333, Chopin's Scherzo No. 2, the Sonata for Cello & Guitar by Radames Gnattali and Abyss Lustre for flute & harp.  Performances from student recitals at the Curtis Institute of Music, Wednesdays at noon and Monday evening at 10.

Many operas have been based on popular plays, and the comedy on this week’s Sunday Opera (3/3 3:00 p.m.) is an excellent example of when this works to perfection.  The opera is “La Vedova Scaltra” or “The Cunning Widow” by Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari with a libretto by Mario Ghisalberti which is based on a play of the same name by Carlo Goldoni.  The fourth of five operas based on Goldoni plays by Wolf-Ferrari, the story centers on a wealthy widow who is wooed by suitors from four different countries (Great Britain, France, Spain, and Italy) and the complications that ensue.  

You think that you have relationship issues?  Well, we’re going to be looking at some complicated connections on this week’s Sunday opera (2/24 3:00 p.m.), and then, we’ll have a bit of careless abandon!  We’ll begin with Laurent Petitgirard’s operatic version of “Joseph Merrick the Elephant Man.”  With a book based loosely on the play by Bernard Pomerance by Eric Nonn, the story centers on the life of an extremely deformed man who craves kind human interaction and to live like a “normal man.”  The cast includes Nathalie Stutzmann, Nicolas Rivenq, Robert Breault, and Marie Devellereau with the French Opera Chorus and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo with the composer conducting.  

On Thursday, 2-21 the Noontime Concert from Astral Artists includes:

Schumann’s Arabeske for piano, Carl Maria von Weber’s Clarinet Quintet in B-Flat Major and Dvorak’s Piano Quintet No. 2 in A Major, Op. 81. The performers are

Violinists Nikki Chooi & Soovin Kim, violist Sam Quintal, cellist Timotheos Petrin, clarinetist Igor Begelman and pianist Sejoon Park.

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.

“Hamlet” with a happy ending?  Well, sort of… and we’ll hear it on this week’s Sunday Opera (2/17 3:00 p.m.) with Ambroise Thomas’ 1868 operatic version of Shakespeare’s play.  The libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carre, authors of numerous adaptations and opera texts, had the arduous task of shaving down the massive play to mixed reviews – where some critics believe their final product is a concise representation of Shakespeare, others feel that the lack of secondary characters like the gravediggers and the “smoothing” of Shakespeare’s coarse language lessens its impact.

Sunday evening, 2-17 at 11 on Half Past we'll hear A Grecian Festival by James Cohn, Nights in Timisoara and The Morning Trumpet by Barbara Harbach, Laura Karpman's Rounds for viola & piano & the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet in Genesis V by Janika Vandervelde. Music from the past half-century on Half Past.

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.

We’re heading to the Cornish coast of England for this week’s Sunday Opera (2/10 3:00 p.m.) and Dame Ethel Smyth’s “The Wreckers.”  Set in an unnamed village in the mid-18th century where the people make their living not through fishing but by scavenging from the ships that are wrecked on their treacherous coastline, the story deals with two moral dilemmas: stopping the carnage of ships and sailors enabled by the village and acting on a forbidden love for another man’s wife.  

Sunday evening at 11 on Half Past we'll hear Alan Hovhaness's Symphony No. 60, 3 Bagatelles by Nikolai Kapustin and Jazz Dances for Violin & Piano by Howard Blake.  Music from the past half-century on Half Past.

Wednesday, 2-6 at noon on Curtis Calls we'll hear Mozart's Sonata in F major, K 533/494 and the Sonata No. 2 by Dmitri Shostakovich.  Performances from student recitals at the Curtis Institute, Wednesdays at noon and Monday evenings at 10. 

We’ll be traveling into the world of fantasy for this week’s Sunday opera (2/3 3:00 p.m.) with delightful works from Sweden and Germany by two self-taught composers.  We’ll begin with “Duke Magnus and the Mermaid,” an 1867 opera by Ivar Hallstrom whose composing credits are relatively few but important because of his use of Swedish folk music.  

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.

At 11  on Sunday evening, 2-3 we'll hear Richard Danielpour's Concerto for Orchestra, String Quartet No. 2 by Daniel Kessner and Raptures of Undream for percussion by Bruce Hamilton. Music from the past half-century on Half Past.

Wednesday at noon( 1-30) on Curtis Calls we'll hear pianist Chelsea Wang in Mendelssohn's Fantasy in F-sharp minor, En-Chi Cheng and Elena Jivaeva in the Viola Sonata by George Rochberg, Youjin Lee in Ysaye's Violin Sonata, op. 27, no. 6, harpist Abigail Kent in Hindemith's Sonata and percussionist Neil Rao in Humunculus by Nich DiBerardino. Performances from student recitals at the Curtis Institute of Music Wednesdays at noon and Monday evenings at 10.

You're invited to a birthday party on this week's Sunday Opera (1/27 3:00 p.m.) as we celebrate number 263 for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  As part of the celebrations that began on Friday, we'll be presenting four hours of his music with the centerpiece being an excellent live 1962 performance of "Le nozzi di Figaro" from Glyndebourne.  Heinze Blankenburg is our cunning Figaro and his charming Susanna, Mirella Freni.  

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.

Siegfried Wagner’s opera, “Die Heilige Linde,” a 1927 rarity, is the featured work on this week’s Sunday Opera (1/20 3:00 p.m.).  His fourteenth of seventeen operas (if you don’t count “Das Liebesoper” for which there is only a libretto), the work seems to follow in the footsteps of the two men who had the most influence in his life, his teacher, Engelbert Humperdinck and his father, and even though it was completed in 1927, there’s no record of it being performed until 2001.  

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