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Westminster Choir College professor James Jordan is joined by music scholar, organist, choirmaster, conductor and composer Edward Higginbottom on Sounds Choral (9/30 at 2 pm) in a program devoted to the choral music of Francois Couperin. 

We lost Neil Simon on August 26th and we wanted to celebrate the life of this brillian playwright who brought joy to theatre audiences around the world for over five decades on this week’s Dress Circle (9/30  7:00).  Simon is probably best known for his plays and comedies like The Brighton Beach Trilogy and “The Odd Couple,” but he’s also a perfect subject for The Dress Circle since he penned several books for musicals.  

The Old Hall Manuscript is the largest, most  complete and most significant source of English sacred music of the late 14th, early 15th centuries.  On Friday's Distant Mirror you can hear selected motets from the manuscript: works by Lionel Power, Thomas Dammett, John Cooke and others, all performed by legendary countertenor Russell Oberlin.  Also on the program  are chansons by  Claude Le Jeune and madrigals from Monteverdi's second book.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

The game is afoot!  Tune in for an hour of music from movies inspired by the world’s greatest detective, including “Sherlock Holmes” (Hans Zimmer), “The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes” (Miklós Rózsa), “Young Sherlock Holmes” (Bruce Broughton), and “Without a Clue” (Henry Mancini).  Enjoyment is elementary, my dear Watson, this Friday at 6 pm.

Wednesday, 9-26 at noon on Curtis Calls we'll hear the String Quartet No. 3 by Bela Bartok, Sonata for Two Clarinets by Francis Poulenc, short piano pieces by Bach, Liszt & Rachmaninoff and the Sonata in g minor for Violin & Piano by Claude Debussy.  Performances from student recitals at the Curtis Institute, Wednesdays at noon and Monday evenings at 10. 

Between the Keys Sept. 25/New Releases

Sep 25, 2018

September is a big month for new CD releases and reissues flooding the market and vying for attention. No one knows that more than The Classical Network's Artist-in-Residence Jed Distler, whose activities as radio host and frequent CD reviewer have long put him on the receiving end of the classical CD industry. "It's both a blessing and a curse to find dozens of new releases and reissues in my mail nearly every day," says Jed. "A blessing, because I'm constantly learning about new artists and new repertoire.

COMF Welcomes Bard Conservatory! Bard Conservatory Orchestra peforms Suk: Symphony No. 2 'Asrael'

Sunday Night (9-23) at 11 on Half Past we'll hear the Concerto for Marimba & Orchestra by Tomas Svoboda, Homage for Frame Drum & Viola by Glen Velez and two short pieces by Beata Moon: Dinner is West and Wood, Water & Land.  Music from the past half-century on Half Past, Sundays at 11 PM. 

Celebrate the arrival of autumn with Henry Hadley’s Symphony No. 2, “The Four Seasons,” and Leo Sowerby’s work for solo organ, “Comes Autumn Time.”  Hadley was music director of the Seattle Symphony, the first conductor of the San Francisco Symphony, associate conductor of the New York Philharmonic, and instrumental in the establishment of the Berkshire Music Festival at Tanglewood.  Sowerby was a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1946 for his cantata “Canticle of the Sun.”  Enjoy seasonal evocations by American composers of experience, this Sunday at 10 pm.

This week on the Lyric Stage selections from Act 3 of Richard Wagner's Die Walkure from a 1988 studio recording with Hildegarde Berhrens as Brunnhilde, Jessye Norman as Sieglinde and James Morris as Wotan. James Levine conducts the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

Jessye Norman will also sing  "In the Still of the Night" by Cole Porter and "Spring is Here" by Rodgers and Hart. Her versions of these standards are idiosyncratic - she sings them much like she sang Wagner - but very enjoyable.

Sounds Choral welcomes Deborah Simpkin King to its rotating roster of hosts this Sunday (9/23 at 2 pm). In this episode, she explores the myth that holds that all choral music is religious music.

We’re happy to be celebrating the career of a very special performer on this week’s Dress Circle (9/23 7:00 p.m.) as we present a program in our “So Far” series dedicated to the work of Audra McDonald.  Join us for selections from some of her stage appearances in musicals like “Carousel,” “Ragtime,” “Marie Christine,” “110 in the Shade,” and “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill.”  Her work in television musicals includes “The Sound of Music” and “Annie,” and we’ll also look at some of the studio cast recordings and concert work in “Wonderful Town,” “Allegro,” and “Dreamgirls.”  

Johannes Ockeghem was the leading composer of the Franco-Flemish school in the late 15th century, and the most influential composer between Dufay and Josquin. On Friday's Distant Mirror you can hear one of his early cantus frimus masses, the Missa Caput, in a performance by the Clerks' Group directed by Edward Wickham.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm. 

Idyllic communities can cast some long shadows.  Explore the dark underbelly of small-town life and the consequences of bucking conformity with music from “Peyton Place” (Franz Waxman), “Far From Heaven” (Elmer Bernstein), “Edward Scissorhands” (Danny Elfman), and “Kings Row” (Erich Wolfgang Korngold).  Good fences make good neighbors, this Friday at 6 pm. 

Last year the Classical Network’s Artist-in-Residence Jed Distler learned about a CD debut from a pianist named Steven Spooner. What was unusual was that this release contained fifteen CDs and one DVD.

Oberlin Orchestra & Oberlin Sinfonietta perfrom new music by Jesse Jones, David Liptak & Elizabeth Ogonek

Northwestern University Bienen School of Music Contemporary Music Ensemble perform music of Ashley Fure & Derek Bermel for the 3rd Northwestern University New Music Conference presented by the Institute for New Music

Sunday evening (9-16) at 11 on Half Past we'll hear the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet in Leo Brouwer's Cuban Landscape with Rain.  Also on the program of music from the past half-century: Allen Shawn's Sextet for Piano & Winds and Alberto Ginastera's String Quartet No. 2.  

The Lost Chord: September 16 - Best at Verse

Sep 16, 2018

During his time with the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation (1937-1944), Lars-Erik Larsson provided music for everything from cantatas to radio plays to brief vignettes to accompany the recitation of poetry.  Material from these projects would frequently find its way into the composer’s concert works, including “Hours of the Day” (the source of his famous “Pastoral Suite”) and “God in Disguise.”  Enjoy these poetic suites with bucolic settings, this Sunday at 10 pm. 

You are in love with one who does not return your love, so to prove how much you love her, you serve her your beloved pet cat for dinner  because there is nothing else in the house. She is impressed by the gesture, and agrees to marry you. Basically that is the story of La Colombe, Charles Gounod's one act comic opera he wrote only a year after setting Faust to music with its triumph of God over Mephistopheles, and its cosmic backdrop. Horace does not serve Sylvie a cat, but he does have an adored dove he tells Sophie he has sacrificed for her dinner.

Sounds Choral this Sunday (9/16) presents Rossini's Petite messe solennelle. Join host Gabriel Crouch, Director of Choral Activities at Princeton University, at 2 pm.

There have been many musical dynasties over the years, and we’ll be looking at one of them on this week’s Dress Circle (9/16 7:00 p.m.) when we look at the dynasty that began with Richard Rodgers, continued with his daughter Mary Rodgers, and is currently represented by Mary’s son, Adam Guettel.  From Richard, we’ll hear a medley of many of his familiar songs arranged by Peter Nero.  To represent Mary’s work, we’ll look at her musicals “Once Upon a Mattress” and “The Mad Show” along with a song she contributed to “Working.”  

On this week's Distant Mirror hear music from the Carmina Burnana, those 11th-13th century student songs that became the model for Karl Orff's masterpiece centuries later:  Love songs, songs of morality, drinking and gaming songs, and songs of spiritual needs.  A performance by the Boston Camerata directed by Joel Cohen.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm. 

Nick sat down against the charred stump and smoked a cigarette.  He lit a match and watched it burn and as it burned he thought of boxers and marlins and the Spanish Civil War.  The stories were brave and strong and good.  He thought about selections from “For Whom the Bell Tolls” (Victor Young) and “Islands in the Stream” (Jerry Goldsmith) and “The Killers” (Miklós Rózsa) and “The Old Man and the Sea” (Dimitri Tiomkin).  He ordered a mojito and prepared to face the music, this Friday at 6 pm. 

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