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The devout Belgian composer Joseph Ryelandt composed his Symphony No. 4 on the very eve of World War I.  This inspirational work concludes with a triumphant statement of the Credo from the Catholic Mass.  Also featured will be a Credo setting by the Franco-Flemish composer, of some four centuries earlier, Josquin des Prez.  Enjoy two spiritual discoveries rooted in the Mass, Easter Sunday at 10 pm.

This week we have Moussorgsky's masterpiece, Boris Godounov, based on the play by Pushkin. Boris Godunov served the court of Ivan IV (menacingly referred to by history as "The Terrible"), and in 1584 Ivan named Boris to be one of the guardians for the heir who shortly afterward ascended the throne. Godounov then became de facto ruler of Russia. After Ivan's heir dies, Godounov was elected to the throne. Prior to all of this, Dmitri, the rightful heir to Ivan, died mysteriously. The plot assumes Dmitri was murdered by Boris, leading to Boris eventually becoming Tsar.

Steven Sametz, artistic director of The Princeton Singers, hosts this Sunday's Sounds Choral (4/21 at 2 pm), featuring music for the Easter season. The program will also include a preview of an upcoming concert by the Princeton Singers with special guest ensemble The Princeton Girlchoir called "Hear Me Roar!" highlighting music by women composers

Spring is the time for all things new, and we’re going to be sampling some recent acquisitions on this week’s Dress Circle (4/21 7:00 p.m.).  These “new to us” recordings include studio cast recordings of two George and Ira Gershwin musicals from 1925 “Tip-Toes” and “Tell Me More.”  We’ll also be sampling songs from two television musicals, “Ruggles of Red Gap” by Jule Styne and Leo Robin and “Feathertop” by Mary Rodgers and Martin Charnin featuring performances by Michael Redgrave, Peter Lawford, and Jane Powell.  

On Fridays's Distant Mirror we'll complete the mass cycle of William Byrd as  the Tallis Scholars under Peter Phillips perform his Mass for 5 Voices, the last of his Latin masses from the early 1590's. Then, some great dance music from the 16th century with tunes from the collections of Tielman Susato, Pierre Phalese, Claude Gervase and Pierre Attaignant, all performed by the Clemencic Consort. Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

It’s another hour of Biblical epics, but with an interesting twist.  Rather than go directly to the Gospels, these are all films inspired by bestselling historical novels.  Tune in for music from film adaptations of Lloyd C. Douglas’ “The Robe” (Alfred Newman), Thomas B. Costain’s “The Silver Chalice” (Franz Waxman), Pär Lagerkvist’s “Barrabas” (Mario Nascimbene), and General Lew Wallace’s “Ben-Hur” (Miklós Rózsa).  It’s the New Testament made new, this Friday at 6 pm.

Wednesday, 4-17 at noon on Curtis Calls we'll hear Mozart's Rondo, K 511, Six Piano Pieces by Johannes Brahms and two pieces by Henryk Wieniawski: Fantaisie Brillante on Themes from Gounod's Faust, op, 20 and Etude-caprice in D, op. 18, no. 3. Performances from student recitals at the Curtis Institute of Music, Wednesdays at noon and Monday evenings at 10.

Between the Keys Goes Dancing on April 16th

Apr 16, 2019

Shall we dance?

That’s the musical question this week on the ASCAP Deems Taylor Virgil Thomson Award winning program Between the Keys, hosted by The Classical Network’s Artist-in-Residence Jed Distler.

Composers include Satie, Halffter, Dvorak, Grieg, Mozart, Bach, Schoenberg, Schubert, William Davis, Franco Casavola and Robert Helps.

Tune in this Tuesday April 16th at 10 PM for Between the Keys, proudly sponsored by Jacobs Music Company. This program  is an exclusive production of The Classical  Network and WWFM.Org.

Two recitals given by the Curtis 20/21 Ensemble led by Artistic Director composer David Ludwig from opposite ends of 2018, February and November and the main works performed were two songs cycles from opposite ends of the 2oth century both heard when premiered as the far reaches of the then musical avant-garde…we’ll hear performances of Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire with soloist mezzo soprano Kendra Broom and then baritone Johnathan Beyer is soloist in Sir Peter Maxwell Davies still stunning ‘Eight Songs for a Mad King’.

Sunday evening (4-14) at 11 we'll hear the Clarinet Concerto by Einojuhani Rautavaara and the Sinfonietta by his student, Kimmo Hakola.  Also on the program is Fisher Tull's Symphonic Treatise. Music from the past half-century on Half Past.

At a time when most people’s knowledge of Handel’s large-scale vocal works began and ended with “Messiah,” Sir Thomas Beecham was dipping into the operas and polishing up the oratorios for the delectation of a new age.  He defended these curations and modifications, stating that “without some effort along these lines, the greater portion of [Handel’s] magnificent output will remain unplayed, possibly to the satisfaction of drowsy armchair purists....”  Experience the vitality of Beecham’s beautiful Handel realizations, this Sunday at 10 pm.

Schubert wanted success with opera. But the success eluded him, and often the operas did not make it on stage until far past his lifetime. This week's one act "The Four Year Post", waited until 1896, 68 years after his death, for its first staging.

The plot concerns Duval, who has deserted the army to remain with his wife Käthchen; when troops arrive to arrest him, he persuades the General – with the help of the villagers – that he has spent four years at his sentry post waiting for relief that never came, and he is released.

The Dress Circle this week (4/14 7:00 p.m.) will be heading off to Carnegie Hall for some concert performances, and there won’t be a single note of classical music.  In 1938, Benny Goodman took a chance and presented the first jazz concert at the hall, and it was successful.  The hall was filled, people danced and enjoyed the concert, and they didn’t tear the seats apart as was feared.  Since that time, there have been a variety of concerts, and we’ll be looking at a few of them.  

Hear both sacred and secular music by William Byrd on Friday's Distant Mirror. The Choir of Winchester Catheral under David Hill perform Byrd's Mass for 3 Voices. Then two consorts: The Leaves Be Gren, a praeludium and ground with Capriccio Stravagante directed by Skip Sempe. Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

IRIS Wired, The Classical Network's bi-monthly series of concerts by the IRIS Orchestra, this Friday (4/12 at 8 pm) features a program based on the theme of Springtime and Beauty. Founder, conductor and Artistic Director Michael Stern conducts the Hebrides Overture of Mendelssohn, Korngold's Violin Concerto with soloist Elena Urioste, Schubert's Unfinished Symphony and Schumann's Symphony No. 1 ("Spring").

Based in Germantown, Tenn., the IRIS Orchestra is made up of preeminent musicians from around the country and led by Maestro Stern, son of the legendary violinist.

With Passover and Easter right around the corner, we’re entering the peak season for Bible movies.  This week on “Picture Perfect,” it’s an hour of music from epics inspired by the Old Testament – including “Samson and Delilah” (Victor Young), “Solomon and Sheba” (Mario Nascimbene), “Sodom and Gomorrah” (Miklós Rózsa), and “The Ten Commandments” (Elmer Bernstein).  Chariots!  Tunics!  Histrionic acting!  It’s going to be epic, this Friday at 6 pm.

James Jordan, professor and senior conductor at Westminster Choir College, hosts Sounds Choral this Sunday (4/14 at 2 pm), presenting Howard Goodall's Invictus: A Passion.

Mazurka Madness on Between the Keys April 9th

Apr 9, 2019

This week’s episode of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Virgil Thomson Award winning program Between the Keys features The Classical Network’s Artist-in-Residence Jed Distler and special guest co-host Nadia Shpachenko, exploring Chopin’s Mazurkas in comparative performances.

“More than any of Chopin’s works, the Mazurkas seem to lend themselves to a wide variety of valid interpretive styles and options,” says Distler. “As a consequence, hearing two pianists playing the same Mazurka is like experiencing night and day in the same city.”

The Princeton University Glee Club and Chamber Choir under the direction of Gabriel Crouch perform a concert as presented last December called ‘Out of the Deep: Russian Choral Music and the Basso Profundo and the guest artists were the three leading oktavists in the world: the British singer Adrian Peacock, Glenn Miller from the US and the Russian Vladimir Miller.

Sunday evening, 4-7 at 11 on Half Past we present An Elizabethan Songbook by Eric Ewazen, the Viola Quintet (Unquiet Parables) by Carson Cooman and György Ligeti's Violin Concerto.  Music composed in the past half-century on Half Past.

The Lost Chord: April 7 - Myth Conceptions

Apr 7, 2019

Medusa.  The Sirens.  The Fates.  Pandora.  Female characters from classical mythology provide the inspiration for Stacy Garrop’s “Mythology Symphony.”  Likewise, archetypes from Homer inform Sarah Kirkland Snider’s post-genre song cycle “Penelope.”  Enduring myths of the ancient world are viewed from fresh perspectives, this Sunday at 10 pm.

This week we have selctions from Arabella, by Richard Strauss, with the libretto by Hugo von Hofmannsthal.

Arabella premiered in 1933, and the story has been something of a problem as the two collaborators had not yet completely worked out the the final two thirds of the opera when Hofmannsthal suddenly died. That has led to one of those situations in which unfinished plot elements means parts and pieces are sometimes shifted around, and is perhaps the reason why it is not performed as much as other Strauss operas.

Gabriel Crouch, director of choral activities at Princeton University, hosts this second part of his series on JS Bach's St. John Passion this Sunday (4/7 at 2 pm).

What do “Matilda,” “Hair,” “A Chorus Line,” “Big River,” “Waitress,” and “Rent” have in common?  They’re all on this week’s Dress Circle (4/7 7:00 p.m.) because they all opened this month.  Join Ted Otten and Michael Kownacky as they survey some of the shows of April that also include “The Producers,” “Miss Saigon,” “Jekyll & Hyde,” and “Annie” as well.   Don’t forget to visit our Webcasts for any past shows you might have missed and visit our highly suspect website at www.DCSRO.com.

Kids on Keys: Saturday April 6th at 1 PM

Apr 6, 2019

On Saturday April 6th at 1:00 PM, The Classical Network’s Artist-in-Residence Jed Distler hosts Kids on Keys, the monthly program showcasing young keyboard talents who are based in the station’s principal south and central New Jersey broadcasting areas.

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.