Upcoming and Noteworthy

The Martin Best Ensemble visits Distant Mirror this Fiday evening with several of the Cantigas of Santa Maria from the 13th century  court of  Alfonso X, the Wise, King of Castile, songs in honor of the Virgin Mary in the tradition of the Provencal troubadors.  Also on the program, the Mass for 4 Voices of William Byrd performed by the Tallis Scholars.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

Picture Perfect: April 5 - Mythological Mash-up

Apr 5, 2019

Release the Kraken!  The focus this week is on classical mythology.  Okay, so the Kraken is Scandinavian…  Tune in for selections from “Helen of Troy” (Max Steiner), “Clash of the Titans” (Laurence Rosenthal), “Hercules” (Pino Donaggio), and “Jason and the Argonauts” (Bernard Herrmann).  You won’t want to myth it, this Friday at 6 pm.

Photo by Matthew Murphy

On this Friday's (4-5) Noon Concert we'll hear pianist Zhenni Li in music by Claude Debussy, Beethoven, Mussorgsky and Samuel Szyman.  Violist Matthew Cohen joins her for York Bowen's Phantasy.

A Tempo this Saturday (4/6 at 7 pm) turns a spotlight on the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia's College of Physicians, which will feature a presentation by pianist, composer and music historian Robert Greenberg  on April 15 entitled "We Need No Longer Be Afraid," exploring the way the music of Stravinsky, Debussy and Schoenberg shook up to music world while reflecting the changes taking place in the world at the dawn of the 20th century.

We’ll be celebrating another forgotten opera on this week’s Sunday Opera (4/7 3:00 p.m.) as we look at the Hermann Goetz treatment of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” entitled “Widerspenstigen Zahmung.”  Goetz spent the early part of his short life as a pianist, conductor, and music critic, only concentrating on composing as the effects of the tuberculosis that would kill him at age 35 increased, so it’s doubly sad that this delightful opera has all but disappeared.  

Thursday's (4/4) Noontime Concert from the ensemble Mélomanie features chamber music by three living composers: Matthias Maute,  Liduino Pitombeira & Roberto Pace, and Schiefendecker (1679-1732), Delalande (1657-1726) and  Guillemante (fl. 1750s) from the Baroque era.

Wednesday, 4-3 at noon on Curtis Calls we'll hear Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson for soprano and piano by Aaron Copland and Beethoven's Sonata in D major, op. 102, no. 2 for cello & piano.  Performances by students at the Curtis Institute of Music, Wednesdays at noon and Monday evenings at 10.

Sunday evening, 3-31 at 11 on Half Past we'll hear: Fratres by Arvo Pärt, the Triple Concerto by John Biggs, The Eight Houses of I Ching by Udo Kasemets and Morten Lauridsen's O Magnum Mysterium.  Music from the past half-century on Half Past.

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.

Professional opera companies perform Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata more than any other opera. The title role is a touchstone role for a soprano, and the last one hundred years of recordings features almost all of the sopranos whose voice fit the role giving their version of it. 

A real musical menu is on offer for this week’s Dress Circle (3/31 7:00 p.m.).  No, there won’t be any singing produce, but there will be songs from “The Most Happy Fella,” “The Fantasticks,” “Kismet,” “Flower Drum Song,” “A Night in Venice,” and “She Loves Me.”  The menu includes spaghetti, pie, ice cream, Caesar salad, guacamole, wine, and a trip to the supermarket for more.  Tune in for a fun look at some incredible edibles. 

It's the music of 13th century French composer Adam de la Halle on Friday's Distant Mirror. Adam was a trouveres in the service of Robert of Anjou, brother of Louis IX.  He wrote chansons, motets and rondos, and you can hear several of these as the Dufay Collective perform from their cd On the Banks of the Seine. Also on the program two selections by John Dowland, as well as pieces by Robert Morton, Christopher Tye and Alfonso Ferrabosco the Younger. Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

All aboard!  From the beginning, trains have provided good escapist fun at the movies.  Tune in for transporting selections from “Murder on the Orient Express” (Richard Rodney Bennett), “The Train” (Maurice Jarre), “Strangers on a Train” (Dimitri Tiomkin), and “The Great Train Robbery” (Jerry Goldsmith).  Trains are the ticket, this Friday at 6 pm.

Photo by Joan Marcus

On Friday, 3-29 the Noontime Concert includes The Starry Night by Taiwanese born Yi Yiing Chen, Fred Lerdahl's Fantasy Etudes, Oil & Sugar by Marti Epstein, A Sibyl by James Primosch (text by Susan Stewart) and Steven Hartke's Wulfstan at the Millenium for mezzo-soprano and chamber orchestra.

This Saturday (3/30 at 7 pm), A Tempo looks at one of the latest online learning resources available for those interested in exploring opera in more depth. The Metropolitan Opera Guild has just launched an online learning program, and host Rachel Katz will speak with Stuart Holt, director of school programs and community engagement, about the series and some of the Guild's other education initiatives and activities.

Somehow, Jules Verne’s Captain Nemo had a son, and he’s the central figure in this week’s Sunday Opera (3/31 3:00 p.m.) in Nancy Van De Vate’s “Nemo Beyond Vulcania.”  With a libretto by Van De Vate and Alan Cortes, the story uses Verne’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” as a starting point where Nemo’s grown son is torn between his loyalty to his father’s ideals of living in a world of men to do good works or to share his life with a woman.  The cast includes Zoltan Korda, Marek Oldbrzmek, Adriana Hlavsova, Andrea Kotulanova, Jiri Klecker, and Tomas Badura.  Toshiuki Shimada conducts the Ars Brunensis Chorus and the Moravian Philharmonic.  

Photo by Fred Stucker

The Classical Network this Friday (3/29 at 8 pm) features the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra with pianist Daniil Trifonov. Music Director Xian Zhang conducts the orchestra in Richard Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra, Robert Schumann's Piano Concerto in A Minor, and Scriabin's Poem of Ecstasy.

Glenn Smith will be your host for this concert broadcast.

Frederick Delius wrote Margot La Rouge in 1902 to enter into the same one acgt opera competition that had honored Cavallaria Rusitcana 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.

Thursday, 3-28 on the Noontime Concert we'll hear Mark Hyczko lead the NBCO in music by Beethoven, Antheil, Libby Larsen, Stacy Garrup and Dmitri Shostakovich in a program called Bad Attitude.

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. 

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.

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.  

The Ensemble Clement Jannequin visits Distant Mirror Friday night with the top tunes of the 1550's in Paris from their collection Fricasee Parisienne: Popular chansons from the French Renaissance. Hear selections by Sandrin, Sermisy, Crequillon and others. Then the Early Music Consort of London performs the Terpsichore Dances of Michael Praetorius.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

Prophecies must be fulfilled, order restored, and the land made whole!  Join the quest for music from fantasy films, with selections from “The Dark Crystal” (Trevor Jones), “Willow” (James Horner), “The Lord of the Rings” (Leonard Rosenman), and “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” (Howard Shore).  It’s a hero’s journey from Jim Henson to Mount Doom, this Friday at 6 pm.

A Tempo this Saturday (3/23 at 7 pm) wraps up its two-week feature on the New World Symphony and its 31 years of training musicians for musical careers. This week host Rachel Katz focuses on the symphony's mission to provide career development, including expanded explorations of community outreach, alternative programming and entrepreneurial initiatives.

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.  

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.

Friday evening at 8 we present the Princeton Symphony Orchestra with soloist Rachel Barton Pine in Paganini's Violin Concerto No. 1.  Music Director Rossen Milanov also leads the orchestra in Janacek's Sinfonietta and the Divertimento from the Fairy's Kiss by Igor Stravinsky.  The Friday Evening Concert from the PSO at 8 on March 22nd on the Classical Network.