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This week (04/25/21) we have a one act opera composed by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Le Divin de VillageThe Village Soothsayer. Rousseau was an eighteenth century man of many seasons, influential philosopher, novelist, autobiographer, and botanist, as well as a respected composer. He composed Le Divin de Village when he was forty years old. It is an intermezzo, a short comic work presented between acts of more serious operas. The form was a precursor of Opera Buffa. 

Host Gabriel Crouch presents "Choral Epitaphs," works written by composers to honor their mentors after their death. Enjoy this program this Sunday (4/18) at 2 pm.

It’s time for a little Pop-Kern on this week’s Dress Circle (4/18 7:00 p.m.).  While assembling a program for our jazz program Strike Up the Band, we found that we had a great deal of music by some of the great musical composers performed by some of the best pop vocalists of the early to middle 20th Century, and we’re beginning with songs from the stage and screen works of Jerome Kern, hence the “Pop-Kern.”  

Karrin Allyson & Bill McGlaughlin explore music made by siblings, parents & their offspring and family members in general across generations!

“Crom… I have never prayed to you before. I have no tongue for it.  No one, not even you, will remember if we were good men or bad.  Why we fought, or why we died.  Valor pleases you, Crom, so grant me one request:  grant me an hour of barbarian music!  Selections from ‘Red Sonja’ (Ennio Morricone), ‘Kull the Conqueror’ (Joel Goldsmith), and ‘Conan the Barbarian’ and ‘Conan the Destroyer’ (both Basil Poledouris).  And make it loud, Crom.  Drive my enemies before me and drown the lamentations of their women, this Saturday at 6 pm.”

With the exception, perhaps, of his own transcriptions of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, Leopold Stokowski recorded more Wagner with the Philadelphia Orchestra than any other composer.   On Stoky’s birthday, revisit some of his early recordings, originally issued on 78s, including the controversial “Liebesnacht” – the original version of his symphonic synthesis after “Tristan und Isolde” – and a superb performance of “Wotan’s Farewell and Magic Fire Music,” from “Die Walküre,” with baritone Lawrence Tibbett.  The enchantment begins, this Sunday at 10 pm.

Host James Jordan presents selections from a new CD from the Choir of King's College, Cambridge led by the late Sir Stephen Cleobury, featuring music by Anton Bruckner. Listen Sunday (4/11) at 2 pm.

We’ll have a visit from a “girl friend” and a few “boy friends” on this week’s Dress Circle (4/11 7:00 p.m.).  “The Girl Friend” is a relatively forgotten 1926 Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart musical about a young man who wants to be a professional bicycle racer.   Because there was no original cast recording, we’ll hear songs from several sources including the title song performed by a 1920’s dance band as well as an ersatz London cast recording. 

To commemorate the fact that 50 years ago this month one of the greatest composers of all time passed away- Igor Stravinsky, the usual cast of PostClassical author, historian and founder of PostClassical Ensemble Joe Horowitz, the Music Director of PostClassical Ensemble Maestro Angel Gil-Ordonez and the host of Exploring Music Bill McGlaugjlin will present a program titled The Russian Stravinsky and be joined by two great Georgian pianists Alexander Korsantia and George Vatchnadze.

Listening Guide

Picture Perfect Now on Saturday: The Restoration

Apr 8, 2021

Beauty patches are back!  It’s an hour of lace and licentiousness, with movies set during the reign of Charles II.  Powder your face and apply your rouge to selections from “Restoration” (James Newton Howard), “The King’s Thief” (Miklós Rózsa), “The Draughtsman’s Contract” (Michael Nyman), and “Forever Amber” (David Raksin).  Then giggle into your handkerchief and wear ribbons on your shoes, this Saturday at 6 pm.

Host Steven Sametz presents music for the Spring holidays of Easter and Passover, including works by Palestrina, Bach, Poulenc, Mahler, Beethoven and Sametz. Listen Sunday (4/4) at 2 pm.

April showers might bring May flowers, but we definitely know that the first Sunday in April will bring songs from some of the shows that opened this month on this week’s Dress Circle (4/4 7:00 p.m.).   We’re once again covering nearly 100 years of theatre history beginning with our earliest show, “Hit the Deck,” through to our latest opening, “Beetlejuice,” which closed last year just as the pandemic hit.   In between, we’ll obviously have songs from “Hair,” “Waitress,” "A Chorus Line," and “South Pacific,” but you’ll just have to tune in to see who else made the cut this year. 

In this season of Biblical epics, enjoy a bit of counterprogramming in the form of music from films about faith, conscience, and grappling with self-abnegation, including selections from “Black Robe” (Georges Delerue), “Black Narcissus” (Brian Easdale), “The Nun’s Story” (Franz Waxman), and “The Mission” (Ennio Morricone).  Seek grace in an imperfect world, this Saturday at 6 pm.

Feeling he’d already said everything he had to say as a composer,  Howard Ferguson shifted his focus to musicology at midlife.  Thankfully, he lived long enough to experience a modest revival of interest in his own works.  “The Dream of the Rood” (1958), for chorus and orchestra, is a setting of an 8th century Anglo-Saxon poem that melds the Passion story with characteristics of the secular heroic tradition.  Portions of the poem were engraved on the Ruthwell Cross (pictured).  Hear it, alongside Ferguson’s Octet, Op. 4 (1933), this Easter Sunday at 10 pm. 

Mozart enjoyed great popularity in Prague beginning with performances of The Abduction from the Seraglio in 1783 at the National Theater, the opera house now known as the Estates Theater. His The Marriage of Figaro was a success there in late 1786, and in early 1787 Mozart made his first visit to Prague to much acclaim. The Italian opera company commissioned a new opera from him, Don Giovanni, and he returned to Prague to help supervise the first production at the Estates in October of 1787.

For Women’s History Month, we celebrated women composers, and on this week’s Dress Circle (3/28 7:00 p.m.) we’re celebrating one in particular as we remember Mary Rodgers.  Daughter of Richard Rodgers and mother of Adam Guettel, Rodgers composed some delightful songs, but stopped, never even to play the piano again, when she felt that her talent was a “small” one that didn’t merit pursuing.   We, however, love her work and will be showcasing her talents through her book musicals “The Mad Show” and “Once Upon a Mattress” as well as her Golden Book musical story “Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves 40” starring Bing Crosby.

Just in time for Passover, enjoy selections from a 6-CD set, on the Intrada label, of music from Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments.  This exhaustive collection includes the complete score as heard in the film, alternate takes, trailer music, three commercial soundtrack releases, and rare demos prepared for DeMille by the composer, Elmer Bernstein, who plays some of his themes on the piano.  We’ll arrive at Mount Nebo before sunset, this Saturday at 6 pm.

For Early Music Month, enjoy three works by 20th and 21st century composers who found inspiration in music of the Renaissance.  Tune in William Kraft’s “Vintage Renaissance,” written for the Boston Pops, George Frederick McKay’s “Suite on Sixteenth Century Hymn Tunes,” after works of Louis Bourgeois, and Lukas Foss’ “Renaissance Concerto” for flute and orchestra.  American composers cast an affectionate look back, this Sunday at 10 pm.

Half Past: March 21

Mar 21, 2021

Sounds Choral: March 21

Mar 21, 2021

Celebrate the birthday of J.S. Bach with music written by this great composer - for birthdays! Join Sounds Choral host Ryan Brandau Sunday (3/21) at 2 pm.

March is Women’s History Month, and we’ll be celebrating it on this week’s Dress Circle (3/21 7:00 p.m.) by looking at musicals that were written by women composers and many with women lyricists.   The earliest we’ll feature is Kay Swift (pictured) who not only composed several musicals of her own, but was also a friend to the Gershwins who helped Ira with several projects after the untimely death of George.   Some of the other spectacular ladies we’ll be featuring include Cyndi Lauper, Lucy Simon, Janine Tesori, Barbara Anselmi, Carol Hall, Mary Murfitt, Gretchen Cryer, Lisa Lambert, and Helen Miller. 

Due to the pandemic Rob Kapilow has not been able to stage What Makes It Great programs in front of live audiences, but in September of last year he went onto the stage of the home of What Makes It Great Merkin Hall at the Kaufman Music Center in midtown Manhattan and recorded- sans audience- three programs focusing on the music of Beethoven. This is the first featuring the Piano Sonata No. 23 'Appassionata'. Rob's special guest artist was pianist Orli Shaham.