Upcoming and Noteworthy

On Wednesday, 11/7 at noon we'll hear bass Kodi Meyer in Johannes Brahms' Vier ernste Gesaenge.  Also on the program are Domenico Scarlatti's Sonata in B minor, K 87 and Mozart's String Quartet in C, "Dissonance."  Performances from student recitals at the Curtis Institute of Music, Wednesdays at noon and Monday evenings at 10.

Friday evening, November 9 at 8 we will present a concert by The Orchestra Now (TON) with Gerard Schwarz conducting.  The program includes Anton Bruckner's Symphony No. 4 and Eugene Goossens Jubilee Variations.  Ten American composers each wrote a variation for Goossens!

Sunday (11-4) evening at 11 on Half Past we present William Bergsma's Quintet for Flute & Strings along with Banana/Dump Truck by Steven Mackey.  Music from the past half-century on Half Past.

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 Lyric Stage: Nov. 4 - Russian Opera

Nov 4, 2018

Prince Igor is best known for the Polovtsian Dances. In fact perhaps Russian opera itself is best known for the Polovtsian Dances, and this week we have those dances for you in an idiomatic, spectacular version conducted by Valery Gergiev with the Kirov Opera orchestra and chorus. But Russian opera is much more than the Polovtsian Dances, as the other excerpts we have this week show. Valery Gergiev leads the coronation scene and Boris' death scene from Boris Godiunov, and Sir George Solti and Renee Fleming perform the letter scene from Eugene Onegin.

… And suddenly, it’s November!  As usual, this week’s Dress Circle (11/4 7:00 p.m.) will celebrate the new month by looking at some of the shows that opened on Broadway in November, and we have quite a hefty list from which to choose.  Some of the shows we’ve chosen, which span over 114 years, include the forgotten Rodgers and Hammerstein musical based on a novella by John Steinbeck entitled “Pipe Dream,” the big Tony Award winner from last year by David Yazbeck, “The Band’s Visit,” and the Elton John / Tim Rice massive stage hit, “The Lion King.”  

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.

With a time change imminent (tomorrow night, we “fall back”), shun the darkness with music from movies inspired by Jules Verne’s novels of science, progress, and adventure.  Enjoy selections from “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” (Paul J. Smith), “In Search of the Castaways” (William Alwyn), “Journey to the Center of the Earth” (Bernard Herrmann), and “Around the World in 80 Days” (Victor Young).  Verne takes us to some very strange places, yet manages to overcome all obstacles.  Still, it’s always a good idea to bring a harpoon, just in case, this Friday at 6 pm.

Friday's (11-2) Noontime Concert from the viol consort Parthenia presents music by a dozen or so composers from the 16th and 17th centuries whose works preceded those of Henry Purcell (1659-1695).  The program ends with music by Purcell himself.

Thursday, 11/1 at noon we'll hear violinist Itamar Zorman and pianist Kwan Yi in: Mozart's Adagio, K 287, the Rhapsody No. 2 by Bartok, Kreisler's Viennese Rhapsodic Fantasietta, the Sonata No. 1 by Johannes Brahms and Homage to Charlie Chaplin by  Chaplin and Zorman.

Brigitte Lacombe

The New Jersey State Council on the Arts last month unveiled its most recent Strategic Plan, and also announced the appointment of Allison Tratner as its new Executive Director. A Tempo host Rachel Katz will interview Tratner this Saturday (11/3 at 7 pm) about the goals of this new five-year plan, and about her expectations as she takes on the leadership of the Council, which distributes about $16 million annually to more than 700 New Jersey arts organizations.

Beaumarchais’ trickster Figaro is the central figure on this week’s Sunday Opera (11/4 3:00 p.m.) in the San Francisco Opera production of Giaochino Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville.”  Luca Meacham is the wily Figaro, Daniela Mack the lovelorn Rosina, and Rene Barbera the fickle Count Almaviva.  Joining them are Alessandro Corbelli as the greedy Doctor Bartolo, Andrea Silvestrelli as Don Basilio, and Catherine Cook, Edward Nelson, and Efrain Solis as Berta, Fiorello, and Ambrogio.  Giuseppe Finzi conducts.  

Wednesday (10-31) at noon on Curtis Calls we'll hear the Sonata for Viola & Piano by George Rochberg and the Piano Trio No. 1 in d minor by Anton Arensky.  Performances from student recitals at the Curtis Institute, Wednesdays at noon and Monday evenings at 10.

Sunday evening, 10-28  at 11 we'll hear Mediteranean Dances by Charles Camileri, Joaquin Rodrigo's Sonata Pimpante and the Piano Concerto No. 2 by Turkish composer Ahmed Saygun.  Music from the past half-century on Half Past.

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.

The Lyric Stage: Oct. 28 - A Comic One Act by Haydn

Oct 28, 2018

Joseph Haydn composed the comic opera L'infedelta delusa or Deceit Outwitted in 1773 early in his long tenure in service to the Esterhazy family. It's light fare, a burletta per musica, literally a musical joke, with a silly libretto by Mario Coltelina but one that serves the music well in a genre that is about absurd fun and good music. Sandrina wants to marry the peasant Nanni who's sister Vespina wants to marry the rich Nuncio but can't because Nuncio is going to marry Sandrina because her father says so, etc.

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. 

October 30th marks the 80th anniversary of the notorious “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast that brought the Martians to Grover’s Mill, outside Princeton, NJ, and set off a national panic.  2018 also happens to be the 120th anniversary of the publication of H.G. Wells’ novel.  We’ll wrap up our “Hear the Difference” fundraiser with a special live double-celebration, featuring music from films inspired by Wells’ classic and other cinematic Mars-Earth exchanges.  Watch out for that heat ray, this Friday at 6 pm!

(Note: This program aired live and was not recorded as webcast.)

On Friday (10-26) evening at 8 Rossen Milanov leads the Princeton Symphony Orchestra in A Bernstein Celebration.  The program includes 'Three Dance Episodes from On the Town", the "Overture to Candide" and the "Candide Suite".  Daniel Rowland joins the PSO for the "West Side Story Suite for Violin and Orchestra".

Host Ryan Brandau, Artistic Director of Princeton Pro Musica and Amor Artis, presents some rarely heard choral works by Johannes Brahms this Sunday (10/28) on Sounds Choral at 2 pm. The musical selections will include Brahms' Alto Rhapsody, Nanie and Schicksalslied.

We begin a series from the San Francisco Opera on this week’s Sunday Opera (10/28 3:00 p.m.) with Umberto Giordano’s love story set during the French Revolution based loosely on the life of its title character, the poet Andrea Chenier.  The production features Yonghoon Lee as Chenier and Anna Pirozzi as his love, Maddalena.  The remainder of the cast includes George Gagnidze, Joel Sorenson, Robert Pomakov, Catherine Cook, Jill Grove, and David Pershall with Nicola Luisotti conducting.  

Audra McDonald will be featured again on this week’s Dress Circle (10/28 7:00 p.m.) as we take a second look at her career “So Far.”  This time, we’ll be including selections from her performance as Bess in the 2012 revival of “Porgy and Bess.”  We’ll also be sampling songs from several of her solo CDs by the likes of Rodgers and Hart, McHugh and Fields, Kern and Wodehouse, Arlen and Gershwin, and Bernstein and Sondheim to name a few.  It’s a celebration of one of Broadway’s most delightful leading ladies, so join us for a happy hour in the Dress Circle.

Sunday evening at 11 (10-21) we'll hear Boris Tishchenko's String Quartet No. 4 and Phaeton by Christopher Rouse.  Music from the past half-century on Half Past.

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.

Two One-Act Chamber Operas on The Lyric Stage 10/21

Oct 21, 2018

Two chamber opera one acts this week on The Lyric Stage. In 1829 Hector Berlioz finally won the Prix de Rome on his fourth try, with the submission of his one act opera (officially a cantata) La Mort de Cleopatre, The Death of Cleopatra. Augustas Caesar has defeated Cleopatra and Mark Anthony at the battle of Actium, Anthony has died in her arms, and there is no way out of her predicament in the face of the implacable Augustus Caesar who will otherwise parade her in disgrace through Rome before executing her.

The Dress Circle didn’t make it back to school this year, but we’re going remedy that in a way on this week’s program (10/21 7:00 p.m.) as we do what most students do the first few weeks of school, “Let’s Revue.”  We’ve never done a show in our 35 plus years that looks solely at revues, and we thought it was about time.  We’ll begin with one of the granddaddies of all revues, the “Ziegfeld Follies of 1919” with John Steele singing Irving Berlin’s “A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody,” a song that became synonymous with the “Follies.”  

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.

Long week?  Feel like you’re coming apart at the seams?  Kick off your elevator shoes and relax with an hour of music from Frankenstein films!  To mark the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s novel, enjoy selections from “The Bride of Frankenstein” (Franz Waxman), “Frankenstein Created Woman” (James Bernard), “House of Frankenstein” (Hans J. Salter & Paul Dessau), “Young Frankenstein” (John Morris), and “Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’” (Patrick Doyle).  Jump-start your weekend with revivifying music straight to the neck-bolts, this Friday at 6 pm.