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Wednesday, 8-22 at noon we'll hear Curtis student Kodi Meyer in Mussorgsky's Songs and Dances of Death.  Also on the program is Mozart's String Quartet in E-flat, K. 428.  Performances from student recitals at the Curtis Institute of Music, Wednesdays at noon and Monday evenings at 10.

Two years ago The Classical Network's Artist-in-Residence Jed Distler devoted an episode of his ASCAP Deems Taylor Virgil Thomson Award winning program Between the Keys to Leonard Bernstein's piano artistry. Originally aired on May 2016, Episode 60 "Lenny at the Keyboard" will rerun on Tuesday August 21st, to celebrate what would have been the legendary musician's 100th birthday.

Sunday evening (8-19) at 11 we'll hear the Violin Concerto No. 1 by Spanish born composer Leonardo Balada, Triptico for guitar by Venezuelan Antonio Lauro and the Cello Concerto No. 2 by Spanish composer Jesus Villa-Rojo.  Music from the past half-century on Half Past. 

The Lost Chord: August 19 - Ida Danced All Night

Aug 19, 2018

Ida Rubinstein gained notoriety for her racy sensuality.  She performed the Dance of the Seven Veils in a production of Oscar Wilde’s “Salome.”  Subsequently, she was welcomed into the Ballets Russes, where she assumed the roles of Cleopatra and Scheherazade.  Later, she introduced Ravel’s “Bolero” and Stravinsky’s “The Fairy’s Kiss.”  Hear music for two of her lesser-known characterizations:  “Istar,” the Assyrian goddess of love and war, a work of Vincent d’Indy; and “Semiramis,” the queen with seemingly unquenchable desire, by Arthur Honegger.  Everyone loves Ida, this Sunday at 10 pm.

This week we have selections from Giordano's Madame Sans-Gens, with Mirella Freni in a live performance of  Giordano's version of Victorien Sardou's comedy drama.

In 1792, the very lovable Caterina, Madame Sans-Gens - Madame Carefree - is a Parisian laundress who is happy, carefree, engaged to be married, completely at ease.  One of her customers is a young officer named Napoleon Bonaparte.

The first part of our centennial celebration of the life and career of Leonard Bernstein is this week’s Dress Circle (8/19 7:00 p.m.).  Although he is probably best known for his work in the classical music realm, we’ll be focusing on his works for the stage, and this first program will look at a variety of his musicals and will feature performances from “On the Town” (1944), “Peter Pan" (1950), “Wonderful Town” (1953), “Candide” (1956), and “West Side Story” (1957).  For this program, we’ll be featuring original cast, revival cast, and studio cast recordings.  

Roland de Lassus, perhaps more popularly known as Orlando di Lasso, was the chief representative of the mature polyphonic sound of the Franco-Flemish school.  He wrote over 150 chansons and on Friday's Distant Mirror you can hear several of these performed by the Ensemble Clement Jannequin.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm. 

The Arabian Nights, traditional folk stories from the Orient, have come to us filtered through the sensibilities of Western translators.  Further translation was required to get the stories from page to screen, so it’s hardly surprising to find Sinbad, for instance, fighting a giant walrus.  Tune in for an hour of movie enchantments, with music from “The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad” (Bernard Herrmann), “Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger” (Roy Budd), “Aladdin” (Alan Menken), and “The Thief of Bagdad” (Miklós Rózsa).  Discover an Aladdin’s Cave of cinematic delights, this Friday at 6 pm.

Wednesday, 8-15 on Curtis Calls we'll hear Curtis students in the String Quartet No. 6 by Bela Bartok, NoaNoa for flute by Kaija Saariaho & selections from Richard Danielpour's brass quintet, Urban Dances.  Performances from student recitals at the Curtis Institute of Music, Wednesdays at noon and Monday evening at 10. 

Summer Languor on Between the Keys, August 14th

Aug 14, 2018

In the midst of an unusually hot summer accompanied by intense rain and humidity, even a more-or-less level headed host like The Classical Network's Artist-in-Residence Jed Distler feels challenged to keep cool. 

This Sunday evening (8-12) at 11 we'll hear the romantic Symphony No. 12 by George Lloyd with the composer conducting the Albany Symphony Orchestra.  Also on Half Past this week: William Bolcom's Inventing Flight for orchestra. Music from the past half-century on Half Past.

“Children of the night – what beautiful music they make!”  So says Hungarian superstar Bela Lugosi in his signature role of Dracula.  Tune in for an hour of nocturnal meditations by some of Lugosi’s musical compatriots, including the “Hungarian Nocturne” by Miklós Rózsa, “Night Music” by Antal Doráti, and “Summer Evening” by Zoltán Kodály.  Hungarian composers take wing, this Sunday at 10 pm.

The Swiss soprano Lisa della Casa was a major presence on the international opera scene from the late 1940's to the mid 1970's, particularly at the Vienna State Opera, Covent Garden in London and for 15 seasons at the Metropolitan in New York.  Mozart and Strauss dominated her repertoire, but not always by choice. She asked Rudolf Bing, the General Manager at the Met, for the opportunity to sing more Italian and French roles, but he insisted that he had a surplus of sopranos for those roles, and that she was indispensible for Mozart and Strauss.

Put on your dancing shoes!  No, Julian Marsh is not doing a show; they’re doin’ choreography on this week’s Dress Circle (8/12 7:00 p.m.)  There was a time when just about every show included a ballet or extended dance scenes, and we’ll be sampling some of them this week.  Some of those dances include the “Sadie Hawkins’ Day Ballet” from “Li’l Abner,” the “Halloween Interlude” Dance from “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” the “Twins Ballet” from “The Boys from Syracuse,” and from “Make a Wish,” “The Sale Ballet.”  

All the horrors of the 14th century are captured by the greatest poet/composer of the time, Guillaume de Machaut, in his compilation The Judgment of the King of Navarre Friday night on Distant Mirror.  Hear several ballades from this major work as the Ensemble Gilles Binchois performs led by Dominque Vellard.  Also on the program, hear soprano Emily van Evera sing William Byrd's setting of a text by Sir Phillip Sidney, "O Lord, how vain are all our frail delights".  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, it’s music from “Beneath the 12-Mile Reef” (Bernard Herrmann), “Creature from the Black Lagoon” (Henry Mancini), “Jaws” (John Williams), and “The Swimmer” (Marvin Hamlisch).  Expectations of aquatic refreshment are all wet, this Friday at 6 pm.

Wednesday, 8-8 at noon we'll hear students from the Curtis Institute of Music in wind quintets by Lee Hoiby, Samuel Barber and Curtis student Chelsea Komschlies along with a trio by Heinrich Molbe and a quartet by Saint-Saens.  Curtis Calls, Wednesdays at noon and Monday evenings at 10.

The year 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of Claude Debussy’s death in 1918, and The Classical Network’s Artist-in-Residence Jed Distler has been marking this milestone on his ASCAP Deems Taylor Virgil Thomson Award winning program Between the Keys.

“A few months back we played all twelve Debussy Preludes Book I, allotting each Prelude to a different pianist. For this week’s show, however, I thought it would be interesting to compare and contrast  how two pianists approach the same work.

This Sunday (8-5) evening at 11 we'll hear the Houston Symphony in the 2nd Symphony by Christopher Rouse.  Also on the program: Sonata for Trumpet by James Stephenson & Renascence (Flute Concertino) by Lita Grier.  Music from the past half-century on Half Past, Sundays at 11 PM. 

Even by composer standards, Rued Langgaard was a little bit of a strange bird.  Despite a promising start – including a symphony performed by the Berlin Philharmonic – his personal and creative eccentricities worked against him.  He would die in Ribe, the oldest town in Denmark, very far from the musical capital of Copenhagen, in 1952.  His reputation would not begin to gain traction for another 16 years. In all, Langgaard composed over 400 works.  Hear two of them, including the ambitious “Music of the Spheres,” this Sunday at 10 pm. 

You may not know the composer’s name on this week’s Dress Circle (8/5 7:00 p.m.), but you’re sure to know many of the songs penned by the wonderful James “Jimmy” McHugh.  With lyricists like Dorothy Fields, Harold Adamson, and Ted Koehler, McHugh’s prolific career spanned three decades with songs for the stage and screen.  Join us as we celebrate the career of this wonderful composer with songs that appeared in the films “Higher and Higher” and “Bring on the Girls” as well as the revue of his music entitled “Lucky in the Rain.”  

It's the music of 15th century Flemish composer Alexander Agricola on Friday's Distant Mirror.  Agricola's music is rarely performed today because of its difficulty and eccentricity but Paul van Nevel  has arranged several of his mass movements into a musical quilt that he calls the Missa Guazzabuglio.  Van Nevel directs the Huelgas Ensemble.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.