Upcoming and Noteworthy

The Lyric Stage: Dec. 30 - The Merry Widow

Dec 30, 2018

This week on The Lyric Stage, a 1962 highlights version of Franz Lehar's The Merry Widow, featuring Lisa Della Casa as the Merry Widow and John Reardon as the Count Danillo, with Franz Allers conducting the American Opera Society Orchestra and Chorus in  a 1962 recording. One of the most performed stage pieces ever written, The Merry Widow premiered in Vienna in 1905, and has held stage continiously throughout the world since.

Entering the New Year is a daunting thought for many, but on this week’s Dress Circle (12/30 7:00 p.m.) we’re going to try to help with some words of encouragement from the musicals.  With that in mind, “Don’t Be Anything Less Than Everything You Can Be” because “You Never Know What You Can Do Until You Try.”  “Keep a Stiff Upper Lip” as you “Take the Moment” because “Every Day Comes Something Beautiful.”  “You’ve Got to Look Out for Yourself” and “Keep a Stiff Upper Lip” so that you can “Make Someone Happy.”  Oh, just “Come Out of the Dumpster” and “Get Happy”!

Music of late 15th, early 16th century English composer Robert Fayrfax on this week's Distant Mirror.  Fayrfax was the most prominent musician in the employ of Kings Henry VII and Henry VIII, and his music influenced many who followed, such as John Taverner and Thomas Tallis.  He was closely associated with St. Alban's Abbey and wrote a mass specifically for it, the Missa Albanus, which you can hear performed by the Cardinall's Musick directed by Andrew Carwood.  Join Allan Kelly Friday night at 10.

Picture Perfect: December 28 - Toys Everywhere

Dec 28, 2018

With the grand cacophony of Christmas still fresh in everyone’s ears, we’ll hear music from movies in which toys play a pivotal role, including “Citizen Kane” (Bernard Herrmann), “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure” (Danny Elfman), “Toccata for Toy Trains” (Elmer Bernstein), and “Toy Story” (Randy Newman).  Keep popping those aspirin.  It’s an hour of noise for toys, this Friday at 6 pm.

Joan Marcus


A Tempo this week features an interview with neurologist and flutist Carl Ellenberger, whose new book Theme and Variations: Musical Notes by a Neurologist, explores the relationship between music and the mind, including some of the more recent findings about how music is linked to brain development and its healing qualities. Listen Saturday (12/29) at 7 pm.

  

Sounds Choral the next two weeks features Julian Wachner as co-host with David Osenberg for a presentation of a concert by Trinity-Wall Street choir in a program Wachner calls "Anglican Church Chestnuts." Enjoy the first part Sunday (12/30) at 2 pm. 

For many, New Year's celebrations include partying and good music.  Well, on this week’s Sunday Opera (12/30 3:00 p.m.), we’ll be supplying a musical soiree with Johann Strauss’ “Die Fledermaus” from a recording made in 1960 featuring Waldemar Kmentt as Eisenstein, Hilde Gueden as his wife Rosalinde, Erika Koth as the flighty Adele.  

Wednesday 12-26 at noon on Curtis Calls we'll hear Domenico Scarlatti's Sonata in b minor, K. 87, Images, Book 1 by Debussy and Felix Mendelssohn's String Quartet in a minor, op. 13.  Performances from student recitals at the Curtis Institute of Music, Wednesdays at noon and Monday evenings at 10.

Sunday night, 12-23 at 11 we'll hear Leo Brouwer's Guitar Concerto No. 5, Panta Rhei by Ursula Mamlok and Libretto on a Dreamy Vision by Takayoshi Yanagida.  Music from the past half-century on Half Past.

Enjoy this year's Christmas Eve with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem at 8 pm, under the direction of artistic director and conductor Greg Funfgeld. The program includes Bach’s Cantata No. 36, Schwingt freudig euch empor; Respighi’s Laud to the Nativity and Bach’s Cantata No. 63, Christen, ätzet diesen Tag. The program will conclude with an audience sing-a-long of three favorite carols, including Silent Night.

Join us Christmas Day morning at 8 am for a broadcast of A Festival Service of Christmas Lessons & Carols by the Clergy and Choirs of Trinity Church Princeton, led by Rector Paul Jeannes and Music Director Thomas Whittemore.

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.

Christmas music this week on The Lyric Stage

Dec 23, 2018

Singers of all styles love to sing Chrismas Music of all kinds, and opera singers are no exception. This Sunday (12/23 at 8 pm), a special Lyric Stage of uninterrupted Christmas music sung by Jessye Norman, Luciano Pavarotti, Joan Sutherland, Mario Lanza and Kiri te Kanawa. The music ranges from the sacred and the classical to the popular, so sit back and enjoy. 

Oddly enough, it’s Christmas on The Dress Circle this week as well (12/23  7:00 p.m.).  Join Ted Otten and Michael Kownacky for an hour of nostalgic Christmas favorites including a 1953 radio broadcast of “A Christmas Carol” featuring Laurence Olivier as the narrator and Scrooge with an excellent, if unnamed, supporting cast.  Charles Laughton is back by popular demand with his delightful reading of a selection from another Dickens work, “The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club” and the section titled “Mr. Pickwick’s Christmas” recounting a joyous evening of a long-gone era.  

Enjoy a Medieval-Renaissance Christmas on this week's Distant Mirror.  Performances by New York Polyphony,  a Celtic Christmas with La Nef and the Apollo Singers, the Martin Best Ensemble and, of course, it wouldn't be Christmas without Anonymous 4.  Join Allan Kelly Friday night at 10.

Think inside the box, with music from “The Snowman” (Howard Blake), “The Homecoming” (Jerry Goldsmith), “A Christmas Carol” (Bernard Herrmann), and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (Vince Guaraldi).  For once, the snow on your television screen is wholly intentional, this Friday at 6 pm.

Photo by Deen van Meer


Kevin Leighton

For many across the world, it wouldn't be Christmas Eve without the annual broadcast of A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols from the chapel at King's College Cambridge. First held in 1918, the festival of readings and seasonal music has evolved over the years, commissioning new carols that have expanded the choral repetoire and broadening its reach, first through radio and more recently via online streaming.

Christmas comes to the Sunday Opera this week (12/23 3:00 p.m.) when Michael Kownacky is presenting two contemporary works based on beloved Christmas stories.  First, we’ll visit George Bailey in Bedford Falls for Jake Heggie’s “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  With a libretto by Gene Sheer, we’ll follow Clara (Talise Trevigne) as she tries to finally earn her wings by helping Geoge (William Burden) see is true worth.  This tale of redemption also features Andrea Carroll as Mary, Rod Gilfrey as Mr. Gower and Mr. Potter, Joshua Hopkins as Harry, and Anthony Dean Griffey as Uncle Billy.  Patrick Summers leads the Houston Grand Opera Chorus and Orchestra in this recording made in 2017.  

Wednesday, 12-19 at noon we'll hear students from the Curtis Institute of Music in Sonata No. 3 by Chopin, Tomaso Vitali's Chaconne in g and pieces for guitar by Albeniz and Paul Lansky.  Curtis Calls, Wednesdays at noon and Monday evening at 10.

Sunday (12-16) at 11 PM join Carl Hemmingsen for music from the half past century.  We'll hear the NY Chamber Symphony in Aaron Jay Kernis's Symphony in Waves and the 6 pianos of Piano Circus in Loud by Grahman Fitkin.

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.

In the 1950's and the 1960's the many recordings Renata Tebaldi and Mario Delmonaco made together were some of classical music's best sellers. They made eleven of them, and in 1954 Manon Lescaut was the first of this long collaboration, and both of these beloved singers were at the top of their form on this studio recording.

Host James Jordan welcomes conductor Gary Graden back on Sunday (12/16), as they discuss Graden's new release of a recording of Handel's Messiah with the St. Jacob Chamber Choir and ensemble REBaroque. Hear this new episode Sunday at 2 pm.

The work of Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson will be showcased on this week’s Dress Circle (12/16 7:00 p.m.) as we look at their musical written with lyricist Tim Rice that mixes personal relationships and political intrigue played against the background of the international chess tournament.  “Chess” began as a concept album in 1984 and made it to the London stage two years later where it stayed until 1989.  It crossed the Atlantic to Broadway in 1987 but had a much shorter stay of only 68 performances.  

Gautier de Coincy was a late 12th, early 13th century French cleric who translated into French many of the Latin  miracle poems praising the Virgin, and then set them to medieval popular songs in the courtly love tradition of the trouveres.   Hear several of these on Friday's Distant Mirror as Andrew Lawrence-King and the Harp Consort perform from their cd Miracles of NotreDame.  Join Allan Kelly at 11 pm (airing an hour later due to the expanded edition of PostClassical).

Photo by Joan Marcus


To mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Louisa May Alcott’s magnum opus, we’ll enjoy music from film adaptations of girls’ literary classics, including “The Secret Garden” (Zbigniew Preisner), “A Little Princess” (Patrick Doyle), “Heidi” (John Williams), and, naturally, “Little Women” (Thomas Newman).  Steal away to a secret garden of musical delights, this Friday at 6 pm.

We’ll be celebrating two works of Edward German (German Edward Jones) on this week’s Sunday Opera (12/16 3:00 p.m.) with his operas “Merrie England” and “Tom Jones.”  Basil Hood wrote the libretto for the patriotic romance “Merrie England” featuring a romantic rivalry centering around Elizabeth I and Sir Walter Raleigh who was in love with Bessie Throckmorton, one of the queen’s ladies in waiting.  The cast features William McAlpine, June Bronhill, Monica Sinclair, and Peter Glossop.  

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