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City mice go the country this week.  Displaced cops, dilapidated farmhouses, and cowboy fantasy camps form the bases for “Witness” (Maurice Jarre), “On Dangerous Ground” (Bernard Herrmann), “George Washington Slept Here” (Adolph Deutsch), and “City Slickers” (Marc Shaiman).  Whether you’re on the lam or on the lamb, the fresh air will do you good, this Saturday at 6 pm.

  

  

The winners of this year’s Pulitzer Prizes will be announced on June 11.  Tune in to sample music by past recipients, including William Schuman’s “A Free Song,” after Walt Whitman, the first piece to be recognized with a Pulitzer, in 1943; selections from William Bolcom’s “12 New Etudes for Piano,” honored in 1988; and Caroline Shaw’s extraordinary “Partita for 8 Voices,” celebrated in 2013.  Shaw, the youngest recipient of the prize for music, was 30 years-old and a doctoral candidate at Princeton University.  You might say it’s an hour of prized Pulitzer music, this Sunday at 10 pm.

Half Past: May 30

May 30, 2021

The choral music of Southeast Asia is in the spotlight this week on Sounds Choral, as host Ethan Sperry is joined by composer Saunder Choi, a former member of the Philippine Madrigal Singers. Listen Sunday (5/30) at 2 pm.

As it’s Memorial Day weekend, we turned to the musicals to see what they had to offer, and we found a variety of shows about American servicemen and women and their experiences for this week’s Dress Circle (5/30 7:00 p.m.).   The main show is Irving Berlin’s World War II fundraiser, “This Is the Army.”   Composed to raise funds for the war effort (just as Berlin’s WWI show “Yip Yip Yaphank”), the show began in New York, traveled across the country, and then to Europe and raised over $2 million ($30 million in today’s money) along the way.  A few of the songs from this show include “The Army’s Made a Man Out of Me,” “I’m Getting Tired, so I Can Sleep,” “This is the Army Mr. Jones,” and “Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning” performed by Berlin. 

May 29 marks the anniversary of the birth of Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957).  One of music’s great prodigies, Korngold composed operas, orchestral works, and chamber music of astonishing maturity from a very early age.  In the 1930s, he arrived in Hollywood, where he set about revolutionizing the art of film scoring.  Remember him on his birthday with selections from “The Sea Hawk” (1940), “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (1935), “Another Dawn” (1937), and “The Adventures of Robin Hood” (1938).  Lend some swagger to your weekend, this Saturday at 6 pm.

The Lost Chord: May 30 - Orchestrated Maneuvers

May 27, 2021

Get ready for Memorial Day with two symphonies composed for the armed forces.  Morton Gould wrote his Symphony No. 4 for the United States Military Academy at West Point – complete with part for “marching machine.”  Samuel Barber (pictured left) composed his Symphony No. 2 while serving in the U.S. Army Air Force.  The work’s second movement later became the basis for Barber’s “Night Flight.”  Listen in and remember, this Sunday at 10 pm.

Sounds Choral host Ryan Brandau this week explores songs without words - textless compositions that use the range and variety of the human voice - including works by Debussy, Ravel, Shaw, Vaughan Williams and more. The program airs Sunday (5/23) at 2 pm.

We’ve been hearing people complaining about being quarantined at home over the past fifteen months or so and that they want to travel, so that’s what we’re going to be doing on this week’s Dress Circle (5/23 7:00 p.m.), travelling. 

Due to the pandemic Rob Kapilow has not been able to stage What Makes It Great programs in front of live audiences, but in November 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 second of these specail programs  featuring the Violin Sonata No. 9 in A major, Op. 47. “Kreutzer” Rob's special guest artists were Duo Prism: Jesse Mills, violon and Rieko Aizawa, piano

Sometimes it takes a good dragon to lend perspective to one’s cicadaphobia.  Fire your imagination, with music from “Dragonheart” (Randy Edelman), “Dragonslayer” (Alex North), “How to Train Your Dragon” (John Powell), and “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” (Howard Shore).  Rekindle your affection for dragons, this Saturday at 6 pm.

Vicariously tread the boards of Norway, through incidental music by two of the country’s most prominent composers.  Tune in for selections from “Askeladden” (“The Ash Lad”), by Johan Halvorsen, and the complete “Sigurd Jorsalfar,” by Edvard Grieg (pictured, with the playwright Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson left).  Your ticket is reserved for Norway, incidentally, this Sunday at 10 pm.

Sounds Choral: May 16

May 16, 2021

Sounds Choral this week features Barber's Reincarnations and Poulenc's Gloria, as well as a work for Earth Day by host Steven Sametz in collaboration with the Indian composer, singer and tampura player Arati Shah-Yukich. Enjoy this program Sunday (5/16) at 2 pm.

It’s time for songs from four more musicals with which you might not be that familiar on this week’s Dress Circle (5/16 7:00 p.m.).   We’ll begin with once extremely popular operetta by Oscar Straus entitled “The Chocolate Soldier” which appeared on Broadway seven times but has been virtually unheard from since its last revival in 1947.   Irving Berlin’s “Miss Liberty” is up next.  This fantasy about a reporter in Paris trying to find the true model for the Statue of Liberty played for over 300 performances but has never been revived on Broadway.  

Round 2  of Karrin & Bill bringing us some great music-making 'within' family ties.

Prior to his death in 1950, George Bernard Shaw was granted complete creative control over a number of film adaptations of his stage works.  Of course, he was also an astute and entertaining music critic.  One wonders what he would have made of these selections from “Major Barbara” (William Walton), “Saint Joan” (Mischa Spolianksy), and “Caesar and Cleopatra” (Arthur Bliss & Georges Auric).  Shaw observed that most people go to their grave with their music inside them.  Hear some that made it to the big screen, this Saturday at 6 pm.

There is a Turkish proverb: “Coffee should be black as Hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.”  The music of Ahmed Adnan Saygun is very good coffee indeed.  Saygun (pictured, right) rode a wave of Turkish nationalism to become his country’s foremost composer in the Western classical tradition.  Perhaps best remembered abroad as an associate of Béla Bartók (pictured, left), Saygun was a prominent ethnomusicologist, but also an important educator and cultural administrator.  Savor an hour of his sometimes sweet, often astringent, always rewarding music, this Sunday at 10 pm.

Sounds Choral: May 9 - Music for Mothers' Day

May 9, 2021

Sounds Choral host Amanda Quist this Sunday (5/9) introduces choral music for mothers - music written about, for and by mothers. Listen at 2 pm.

Since it’s Mother's Day, we’re celebrating a variety of mothers on this week’s Dress Circle (5/9  7:00 p.m.) with songs from stage and screen.  From beloved mothers found in musicals like “I Remember Mama,” “The Spitfire Grill,” “Minnie’s Boys,” and “Once on This Island” to some that are a bit more problematic in shows such as “Irene,” “Bye Bye Birdie,” “Hairspray,” and “Tangled,” we’re sure to find a mother with whom everyone can relate.  

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