Upcoming and Noteworthy

What's ahead on The Classical Network? Catch some of these great programs coming your way. Information on evening concert broadcasts of the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and other nationally broadcast performances can be found on our home page.

Mark Garvin

When the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania opened in 1971, its goal was to serve the diverse and changing audiences of Philadelphia and the region. Executive and Artistic Director Christopher Gruits, who took the helm in September 2016, has kept that mission front and center in planning the center's programming.

“La Juive,” a tragic tale of religious intolerance by Fromental Halevy will air on this week’s Sunday Opera (4/15 3:00 p.m.).  Eugene Scribe wrote the libretto for this opera which became one of the most popular operas of the 19th century after its premier in Paris on 23 February 1835.  It deals with the plight of Jews in Switzerland in the 15th century, particularly Rachel and her adoptive father Eleazar who are persecuted by the Catholic Church and are arrested after it is found that Racheal’s love Samuel is actually Prince Leopold.  

In 1938, Leonard Warren, then in his late twenties, went to his boss, the chorus master of the Radio City Music Hall where Warren had sung for three years. Warren wanted time off to prepare for the Metropolitan Opera Auditions of the Air. The boss agreed, and added that Warren didn't need to come back. (This may or may not be true.) Thus encouraged, Warren selected one of the five opera arias he knew and did the audition. The Met was stunned. The judges had never heard such a magnificent voice at the Auditions of the Air, or anywhere else for that matter.

This Wednesday, 4-11, at noon on Curtis Calls we'll hear pianist Ying Li with the Fantasy Pieces op, 12 by robert Schumann and pianist Bolai Cao in Haydn's 58th Sonata.  Abigail Kent plays harp in Andrew Hsu's dahlianum and Evan LeRoy Johnson sings 3 lieder by Schubert.  Performances from student recitals at the Curtis Institute, Wednesdays at noon, repeated Monday evenings at 10.

This Sunday evening (4-8) on Half Past we'll hear Shostakovich's symphonic poem "October," the Magnificat by Arvo Part, selections from "Canciones del Lorca" by William Bolcom and "String Poetic" by Jennifer Higdon.  Music from the past century or so on Half Past. 

The Lost Chord: April 8 - Roses of Persia

Apr 8, 2018

The mythical bird Seemorgh, from the Persian epic, the “Shanameh,” raises the abandoned newborn Zaal as her own. When Zaal goes out into the world, he is given one of her feathers, with which he is able to summon her in times of crisis.  Hear Behzad Ranjbaran’s symphonic poem, “Seemorgh,” from his “Persian Trilogy.”  Also featured will be Ranjbaran’s “Seven Passages” and Reza Vali’s “Folk Songs (Set No. 9).”  It’s a bouquet of Persian polyphonic music, this Sunday at 10 pm. 

If you’re a fan of musicals written expressly for television, we’ll have four more for you on this week’s Dress Circle (4/8 7:00 p.m.).  Our first seems be on its way to a Broadway production, but it had its start on the cult-favorite television series “Smash.”  The musical is titled “Bombshell” by Marc Shaiman and Scott M. Riesett.  

Norwegian soprano saxophonist Jan Garbarek joins the Hilliard Ensemble on Friday's Distant Mirror with selections from that award winning 1994 CD  Officium, including two 14th century Czech pieces and a selection by Cristobal de Morales.  Then we pay tribute to the ground breaking early music ensemble Musica Reservata with selections from medieval France and Italy. And there are two pieces by  Saint Colombe for two bass viols performed by Les Voix Humaines.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm. 

Picture Perfect: April 6 - The English Abroad

Apr 6, 2018

The weekend’s coming, so pack your valise for music from “Enchanted April” (Richard Rodney Bennett), “A Passage to India” (Maurice Jarre), “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” (Thomas Newman) and “Around the World in 80 Days” (Victor Young).  All aboard, this Friday at 6 pm. 

The two-play powerhouse Angels in America has opened on Broadway with Nathan Lane, Andrew Garfield and others. Join theater critic Howard Shapiro this week on In a Broadway Minute for his review of Tony Kushner’s masterwork Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 10 am. 

Friday's (4-6) Noontime Concert from Melomaie features music by Maggio, Wilder, Caliendo, Guillemain, Bach, Abel, Boismortier, Blavet & Couperin.

Concordia Chamber Players return to The Classical Network Friday at 4 pm in a concert program of works by Michael Haydn, Franz Hasenhörl and Ludwig van Beethoven. We'll hear Haydn's Divertimento in E-Flat for Viola, Cello and Contrabass, Hasenhörl’s Till Eulenspiegel - Einmal Anders, after Richard Strauss' famous symphonic poem, and Beethoven's Septet in E-Flat Op. 20.

Thursday's (4-5) Noontime Concert from the Network for New Music features Paul Schuette's "The Navigator" and the String Trio by Mario Davidovsky.

Penn Libraries

The voice of Marian Anderson resonates not just with beauty, but also with a proud and historic legacy. She made history as the first African American woman to sing a leading role at the Metropolitan Opera in 1955, and about 16 years earlier, a refusal by the Daughters of the American Revolution to allow her to perform before an integrated audience at Constitution Hall in Washington DC led to an outdoor concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, supported by then First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. 

The Sunday Opera (4/8 3:00 p.m.) will, in its small way, be celebrating the centennial year of Leonard Bernstein’s birth with an afternoon of his two major operas: “Trouble in Tahiti,” and its sequel “A Quiet Place.”  “Trouble in Tahiti” had its world premiere at Brandeis University as part of their Festival of Creative Arts.  The barely finished opera which had a problematic physical production, was not particularly well received, but it was reworked and performed at Tanglewood before appearing on television, all in 1952.  

This Wednesday, 4-4 at noon  on Curtis Calls from the graduation recital of Slavko Popovic we air music by Messager, Poulenc, Schubert & Weber.  Performances from student recitals at the Curtis Institute, Wednesdays at noon and Monday evenings at 10. 

On Sunday evening (4-1) at 11 we'll hear music by Augusta Read Thomas, Kenji Bunch, Ned Rorem & Leo Brouwer on Half Past, music from the past half-century. 

For Easter Sunday, it’s an hour of music inspired or influenced by cathedrals, including Jennifer Higdon’s “blue cathedral,” Agustin Barrios’ “La Catedral,” Joby Talbot’s “León” from “Path of Miracles,” and Adolphus Hailstork’s “Sonata da Chiesa.”  Reach for the heavens with these architects of cathedrals in sound, this Sunday at 10 pm. 

  This Sunday Night at eight o'clock (04-01-18), three singers from the early and middle parts of the twentieth century take center stage. Gino Bechi (1913-1993) was not well known outside of Italy, but his interpretation of Verdi was on a par with Robert Merrill, Leonard Warren and Ettore Bastianini. Claudia Muzio (1889-1936) easily was one of the finest sopranos of the first half century, and Richard Tauber (1891-1948) is still the touchstone for how to sing operetta, although he had an extensive career in opera as well.

There will be no fooling on this week’s Dress Circle (4/1 7:00 p.m.) when we once again take a look at some of the shows that opened this month.  A few of those “shows of April” are “Beauty and the Beast,” the current smash “Anastasia,” “Carousel,” “Hallelujah, Baby!”, “The Secret Garden,” and “She Loves Me” along with several more.  Join us for another diverse evening of great music from Broadway.  As always, thank you for being a part of our musical family.  

Soprano Emma  Kirkby  joins Gothic Voices on Friday night's Distant Mirror with three selections of 12th century abbess and mystic Hildegard of Bingen from the cd A Feather on the Breath of God. Then Ms. Kirkby is  joined by lutenist Anthony Rooley for selections of John Dowland from  his last sone cycle A Pilgrim's Solace.  Join Allan Kelly at 10.

Picture Perfect: March 30 - Biblical Epics

Mar 30, 2018

Religion takes a back seat to spectacle, with an hour of music from mid-century Hollywood epics, including “Samson and Delilah” (Victor Young), “Solomon and Sheba” (Mario Nascimbene), “Sodom and Gomorrah” (Miklós Rózsa), and “The Ten Commandments” (Elmer Bernstein).  Get ready to Bible-up, this Friday at 6 pm. 

Glenda Jackson, Laurie Metcalf and Alison Pill play the title roles in Edward Albee's "Three Tall Women," now on Broadway. Join Theater Critic Howard Shapiro for his review of the production this week on In a Broadway Minute Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 10 am. 

This week on Thursday, 3-29 & Friday, 3-30 we present noontime concerts from the Lenape Chamber Ensemble.  On Thursday we'll hear Beethoven's String Quartet, op. 18, no. 5, Grieg's 2nd Violin Sonata & Brahms Piano Trio in C.  On Friday in a Baroque program it's music by J.S. Bach, Telemann, Forqueray, Couperin & Vivaldi.

It’s a perfect April Fool’s on this week’s Sunday Opera (4/1 3:00 p.m.) when we turn to Franz Josef Haydn and his farce “Il Mondo Della Luna.”  Based on a play by Carlo Goldoni, the clever Ecclitico wins both money and a bride from the foolish Buonafede with a tale that he will take him to the moon and introduce him to the society there.  We’ll turn to a 1993 recording featuring Luigi Alva, Domenico Trimarchi, Edith Mathis, Arlene Auger, Frederica von Stade, and Anthony Rolfe Johnson for this charming bit of tomfoolery.   

This week (03-25-18), we have samples from two contrasting Verdi operas, his very first work, Oberto, with its influences of Bellini, Rossini and other composers of his day, and then from his next to last work 48 years later, Otello, a work of unquestioned original genius. Giuseppe Verdi was 26 when La Scala premiered Oberto in 1839. He had worked on it for 4 years, and the reception was mixed, but promising enough for La Scala to commission two more operas from the composer. Performances in other Italian cities followed, and in Barcelona as well.

For most of the 14th century the papacy was situated in Avignon in the south of France. The Avignonese  popes were great patrons of the arts, especially music, where the liturgy for the mass and divine offices were influenced to a great extent by the practices of the ars nova.  On Friday's Distant Mirror the Ensemble Venance Fortunat and La Schola of the university of Tours perform music from the popes' palace at Avignonese from the CD Altera Roma.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.  

Picture Perfect: March 23 - Medieval Times

Mar 23, 2018

For Early Music month, it’s a tapestry of music from movies set in the Middle Ages, including “Becket” (Laurence Rosenthal), “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (Alfred Newman), “The Warlord” (Jerome Moross), and “The Lion in Winter” (John Barry).  Barry’s score, an intriguing blend of old and new, won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 1968.  There’s nothing middling about this music.  Join Ross Amico for an hour of intrigue and funny haircuts, this Friday at 6 pm. 

Disney's latest movie-turned-Broadway show is Frozen, and this week, theater critic Howard Shapiro reviews the musical. Tune in Friday at 8 am and Saturday at 10 am. 

Opera Philadelphia

With the successful launch of its new Fall festival format under with its belt, Opera Philadelphia this week announced its plans for its O18 Festival. The festival will run September 20-30, 2018, bringing two world premieres, two new productions and some other treats to opera audiences at a variety of venues.

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