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Legendary countertenor Russell Oberlin performs the 12th century St. Godric Songs, the earliest  English sacred music  that we  know of.  He is accompanied on viol by Seymour Barab.  And there are 14th century English sacred and secular pieces performed by the Hilliard Ensemble. That's followed by what may be the most famous choral work of the 16th century, Spem in Alium of Thomas Tallis performed, of course, by the Tallis Scholars.  Join   Allan Kelly Friday Night at 10.

Listening Guide

Picture Perfect: September 1 - Film Scores of Aaron Copland

Sep 1, 2017

Get your Labor Day weekend off to a good start with an hour of film scores by the Dean of American Composers.  Join Ross Amico for Aaron Copland’s classic music for “The Heiress,” “The North Star,” “The City,” and “Something Wild,” this Friday at 6 pm.


Join us this Friday evening (9/1) for our next episode in our bi-monthly series featuring PostClassical Ensemble based in Washington DC, tracing the American odyssey of composer Aaron Copland.

Wednesday (8-30) at noon we'll hear the Chopin Sonata and Beethoven's 3rd Sonata for piano and cello from the graduation recital of cellist Will Chow.  Curtis Calls, Wednesdays at noon, repeated Monday evening at 10.

Between the Keys: August 29 - After Schubert

Aug 29, 2017

Music inspired by Schubert is this week's topic on Between the Keys featuring works by Elena Kats-Chernin, Leopold Godowsky, David Del Tredici, Schubert/Liszt and Jed Distler himself. The performers include Lisa Moore, Marc-André Hamelin, Beth Levin and Vladimir Horowitz.

This Sunday (8/27) evening at 11 we'll hear Daron Hagen's "Songbook" for violin & orchestra, Don Freund's chamber piece, "Louder than Words," and Miguel del Aguila's "Charango Capriccioso" for piano.

Rachmaninov's Francesca da Rimini is one of at least a dozen plays and as many operas  based on Dante's brief episode about Francesca da Rimini and the subsequent enhancements to the story, though only Ricardo Zandonai's version from 1914 has held stage to any extent. While Rachmaninov's music is superb, his version has been called a symphonic tone poem with voices, better heard than seen, because the libretto by Modest Tchaikovsky is not very good. The opera premiered in 1906, two years before the composer's Second Symphony. Gianandrea Noseda conducts an all Russian cast.

This week Dr. Lewis Baratz concludes his discussion of the early Baroque madrigal with an works of Giaches de Wert, Sigismondo d'India, and a close look at the 8 books of madrigal of Claudio Monteverdi.

The Westminster  Cathedral Choir directed by David Hill performs music of the greatest composer of the Spanish Renaissance , Tomas Luis de Victoria, who many call the Spanish Palestrina.  Hear his Missa O Quam Gloriosum, one of his most famous parody masses and based on the joyful motet of the same name from 1572.  The program concludes with more love songs of Italian Trecento composer Francesco Landini performed by Anonymous 4.  Join Allan Kelly for Distant Mirror Friday night at 10.

Expand your palette with music from movies about the great painters.  Ross Amico will be your host for selections from “The Agony and the Ecstasy” (Alex North), “Moulin Rouge” (Georges Auric), “The Picasso Summer” (Michel Legrand), and “Lust for Life” (Miklos Rozsa), this Friday at 6 pm.


This week on Curtis Calls we'll hear the Octet for Winds by Stravinsky along with music from the graduation recital of bassoonist Pearson Altizer by Marcel Bitsch, John Steinmetz and Richard Lavenda.

Join Jed Distler for another Between the Keys episode featuring music that's new, old and unexpected, with works by Joan Trimble, J.S. Bach, Bill Evans, Matthias Weckmann, Franz Liszt, Edward Elgar, Mieczyslaw Weinberg, Joseph Haydn, Carl Ruggles, Ken Thomson and Leonard Bernstein.

Performers include Bruce Poser, Donald Garvelmann, Andrew Violette, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Gustav Leonhardt, Jerome Rose, David Golub, Allison Brewster Franzetti, Raymond Trouard, Michael Boriskin, Karl Lawson, and the Alexander Wu/Sasha Papernik duo

This Sunday evening (8/20) at 11 we'll hear Tina Davidson's "Delight of Angels" for string quartet, John Duffy's "Heritage Suite" for orchestra and Daniel McCarthy's "All the West was Moving" for string quartet and bassoon.  Half Past: music from the past half century.

The Lost Chord: August 20 - Creating Space

Aug 20, 2017

In anticipation of Monday’s solar eclipse, Ross Amico looks to the heavens, with three works inspired by the cosmos:  Joaquin Rodrigo’s “In Search of the Beyond” (dedicated to NASA), Enrique Granados’ “Song of the Stars,” and Kaija Saariaho’s “Orion.”  Keep watching the skies, this Sunday at 10 pm.

In 2014, Opera Lafayette in Washington,  D. C. used Francois Philidor's Les Femmes Vengees as the third act to a shortened French version of Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutte. Using the same cast and set as Cosi on the same night, Opera Lafayette placed Philidor's piece ten years later. The stories are very similar. They share interwoven themes of love and infidelity, temptation and flirtation, the one (“Così fan Tutte”) during courtship, and the other (“Les Femmes Vengées”) after the first bloom of marriage has faded.

Anonymous 4 refers to 14th century Florentine composer Francesco Landini as the "Italian master of subtle refinement" and on Friday's Distant Mirror you can hear them perform several of his love songs from their cd The Second Circle.  Landini was also a singer, poet, organist and maker of instruments. His secular music was loved all over Europe and influenced many later composers.  Also on the program: Julian Bream performs several Elizabethan and Jacobean lute pieces.

The unprecedented success of “Star Wars” propelled the western to outer space.  What is little known is that “Star Wars” composer John Williams, like many of his contemporaries, scored a number of actual, old school westerns.  Join Ross Amico for a Williams’ western round-up, including music from “The Cowboys,” “The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing,” “The Missouri Breaks,” and “The Rare Breed,” this Friday at 6 pm.

Well-Tempered Baroque 8-18-2017: The Madrigal

Aug 17, 2017

This week on Well-Tempered Baroque Dr. Lewis Baratz explores the madrigal in Italy and England during the transition period of the late Renaissance to the early Baroque.  Music of Thomas Morley, John Mundy, Girolamo Dalla Casa, Benedetto Pallavinco, Carl Gesauldo, and Michelangelo Rossi.

This week on Curtis Calls we'll hear music for viola & piano by Rebecca Clarke & Vieuxtemps along with a solo viola piece by Ligeti.  Music from student recitals at the Curtis Institute.

Between the Keys: August 15 - Three Women

Aug 15, 2017

Join Jed Distler for Between the Keys featuring three important women who represent the Russian Piano School: Maria Yudina, Maria Grinberg and Rosa Tamarkina. Works by Stravinsky, Beethoven, Liszt, Brahms and Chopin.

This Sunday (8/13) we'll  hear John Corigliano's Piano Concerto and "The Book of Hours" by Ned Rorem on Half Past.  Music from the past half century Sundays at 11 PM.