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.

The poetry of Walt Whitman lends itself well to musical settings, and as the Bicentennial of the great American poet on May 31 approaches, the list of tributes and celebrations includes a number of musical programs and concerts. Among those is a May 31 performance in New York by The Dessoff Choirs, which will feature premieres of settings of his works by Matthew Aucoin, Eve Beglarian and Ian Sturges Milliken. This Saturday on A Tempo (5/25 at 7 pm), host Rachel Katz will speak with The Dessoff Choirs Music Director Malcolm J. Merriweather about this tribute.

The Princeton Festival returns to The Classical Network this Sunday (5/26 at 3 pm) with a production of Puccini's romantic masterpiece Madama Butterfly. Soprano Yulio Lysenko will sing Cio-Cio San and Lt. B.F. Pinkerton will be sung by tenor Matthew White. Other cast members including mezzo-soprano Janara Kellerman as Suzuki, tenor anthony Webb as Goro the marriage broker, baritone Paul La Rose as Consul Sharpless and bass Wei Wu will be the Bonze.

June 1st will be the 96th anniversary of the birth of Marilyn Monroe, and we’ll be remembering her on this week’s Dress Circle (5/26 7:00 p.m.).  Although she only appeared in 33 films over the course of 15 years until her untimely death 57 years ago, she is arguably still one of the most recognizable people around the world.  Much has been made of her problems and failings, but we just want to remember her performances that were uniquely “Marilyn.”  

On Thursday, 5-23 the Noontime Concert is a Baroque Fest from Lenape Chamber Ensemble.  We'll hear music by JJ Fax, Jean-Marie Leclair, F Couperin, Telemann and Vivaldi.

At noon on Wednesday, 5-22 we'll hear Henri Vieuxtemps' Viola Sonata, Loop by Gyorgy Ligeti and the Viola Sonata by Rebecca Clarke.  Performances from student recitals at the Curtis Institute of Music, Wednesdays at noon and Monday evenings at 10.

On Sunday evening (5-19) at 11 we'll hear Changes (sextet for winds & piano) by Marcelo Zarvos, Winter Music by Alexina Louie, the Second Hungarian Gyspy Romance by Edmond Agopian and William Bolcom's Violin Sonata No. 4.  Music composed in the past half-century on Half Past. 

Birgit Nilsson, Franco Corelli and Renata Scotto head the cast in highlights from Puccini's Turandot this Sunday night at 8PM on the Lyric Stage. This raises the burning isssue of whether to pronounce Puccini's final opera with the t at the end or not. Such is the nature of opera lovers, who are among the most opinionated people on earth. Final opinions on the subject favor both pronunciations. Most scholars and the original Turandot, Rosa Raisa, agree that Puccini pronounced it without the t sound. So what? says the opposite camp.

Distant Mirror: May 17 - All-Machaut

May 17, 2019

It's an all Machaut program on Friday's Distant Mirror. We'll begin with his Notre Dame Mass, the first complete ordinary of the mass written by a single composer. Jeremy Summerly conducts the Oxford Camerata in a performance considered definitive since it was recorded at Rheims cathedral where the mass was first performed in 1362 conducted by Machaut himself. Then in the second hour of the program you'll hear some of Machaut's secular music as Gothic Voices under Christopher Page performs from the cd The Mirror of Narcissus. Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

Friday, 5-17  on the Noontime Concert Tempesta di Mare performs incidental music from Congreve's The Double Dealer by Henry Purcell, La Musette by Telemann, Pascal Collasse's Ballet des Quatre Saisons and the Suite from Pygmalion by Jean-Philippe Rameau.

Picture Perfect: May 17 - Everything's Super

May 16, 2019

More powerful than a locomotive!  Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!  It’s music from “Batman” (Danny Elfman)!  “The Incredibles” (Michael Giacchino)!  “The Avengers” (Alan Silvestri)!  And “Superman: The Movie” (John Williams)!  Punctuation receives a cold blow to the jaw, as supervillains are consigned to the Phantom Zone, this Friday at 6 pm!

Photo by David Allee

Classical music ensembles and promoters are increasingly scouting out creative venues and themes to attract new audiences to performances, and producer/publicist Andrew Ousley has turned to crypts and catacombs for new concert series in New York. This Saturday (5/18 at 7 pm), A Tempo host Rachel Katz will speak with Ousley about these initiatives, and the way these efforts are drawing in people who might not otherwise attend a classical music performance.

We love reminding everyone about some of the great performers who we feel are being forgotten, and on this week’s Dress Circle (5/19 7:00 p.m.), we’ll be doing just that as we shine a spotlight on leading man Howard Keel.  Many people only remember him as Clayton Farlow on “Dallas,” but for those of us who love musicals have loved him in films like “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” “Kismet,” “Calamity Jane,” “Kiss Me Kate,” and “Annie Get Your Gun” as well as his stage appearances in shows like “Saratoga” and the London cast of “Oklahoma!”   

The Lost Chord: May 19 - Lilacs Last

May 16, 2019

May 31st marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Walt Whitman.  We celebrate this most influential of American poets all month long with music inspired by his verse, from an array of international composers.  Tune in this week for two works indebted to “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d” – the Symphony No. 1, “Versuch eines Requiems,” by Karl Amadeus Hartmann and “Dooryard Bloom,” for baritone and orchestra, by Jennifer Higdon.  Whitman chants his song of “sane and sacred death,” this Sunday at 10 pm.

Thursday, 5-16 on the Noontime Concert from Freehold's Downtown Concert Series we'll hear pianist Jenny Q Chai in music by Schumann, Ravel, Messiaen and Kapuscinski.

Wednesday (5/15) at noon on Curtis Calls we present Beethoven's "Spring" Sonata, Grieg's Sonata No. 3 in C minor and Navarra by Pablo de Sarasate.  Performances from student recitals at the Curtis Institute of Music, Wednesdays at noon and Monday evenings at 10.

Friday's Evening Concert (5-17 at 8PM) from the Princeton Symphony Orchestra includes Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 and the Piano Concerto No. 1 by Johannes Brahms with soloist Dominic Cheli.  Music Director Rossen Milanov conducts.

Tune in for a live broadcast of Boheme Opera NJ's 30th Anniversary Reunion Concert this Sunday (5/19) at 3 pm on WWFM's Sunday Opera, live from the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ.

Sunday evening, 5-12 at 11 on Half Past we'll hear Symphony No. 10 by Edmund Rubbra, Michael Torke's Charcoal and the Cello Concerto by Philip Glass.  Music composed in the past half-century on Half Past.

May 31st marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Walt Whitman.  We honor this most influential of American poets all month long with music inspired by his verse, including choral works, orchestral pieces, and songs.  Whitman attained a venerable status here in the United States.  More surprising, perhaps, was his impact on composers of the United Kingdom.  Tune in to this, the second of four programs, for music by Gustav Holst, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Frederick Delius.  Walk out… toward the unknown region, this Sunday at 10 pm.

Mozart enjoyed great popularity in Prague beginning with performances of The Abduction from the Seraglio in 1783 at the National Theater, the opera house now known as the Estates Theater. His The Marriage of Figaro was a success there in late 1786, and in early 1787 Mozart made his first visit to Prague to much acclaim. The Italian opera company commissioned a new opera from him, Don Giovanni, and he returned to Prague to help supervise the first production at the Estates in October of 1787.

Distant Mirror: May 10 - Tournai Mass

May 10, 2019

On Friday's Distant Mirror hear the late 13th, early 14th century Tournai Mass, the very first complete mass, that is, the first mass that we know of in which the ordinary of the mass remained fixed,  although the mass movements were composed by by several anonymous scribes. The Trio Mediaeval performs. Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

Before American composers like Jerome Moross and Elmer Bernstein made the western distinctly their own, the task of scoring the genre fell largely to European émigrés.  Hear different perspectives on how the West was won, with music from “They Died with Their Boots On” (Max Steiner), “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral” (Dimitri Tiomkin), “The Furies” (Franz Waxman), “Tribute to a Bad Man” (Miklós Rózsa), and “Once Upon a Time in the West” (Ennio Morricone).  Set your pocket watches.  The next coach leaves this Friday at 6 pm.

Photo by Matthew Murphy

Carnegie Hall has been exploring the impact of immigration and migration on the development of American music this Spring, including concerts highlighting the influence of the Scots Irish, Jewish immigrants, and the migration of African Americans from the South to Northern cities after the Civil War. The series culminates May 19 with a concert performance, "Soul Mechanism," comprised of works written by participants in its Weill Music Institute's songwriting programs, and A Tempo this Saturday (5/11 at 7 pm) features conversations with some of the participants about their music.

We’ll be enjoying another forgotten opera on this week’s Sunday Opera (5/12 3:00 p.m.) as we look at one of twenty pieces by Austrian composer Wilhelm Kienzl, “Der Evangelimann.”  Premiering in March of 1892, it has become his most famous opera although it never reached the financial success of his “Don Quixote.”  The story, which was adapted into a silent film in 1924, is by Kienzl and looks at the life of a school teacher named Johannes who is falsely accused of setting a fire in the local monastery by his jealous brother, who has fallen in love with and has been rebuked by Johannes’ love, Martha.  

Nothing really changes, and to prove that on this week’s Dress Circle (5/12 7:00 p.m.) we’re presenting a program we’ve titled, “Me!  Me!  Me! Ego Songs from the Musicals.”  

Friday's (5-10) Evening Concert from The Orchestra Now includes performances of Decoration Day from A Symphony: New England Holidays by Charles Ives, William Grant Still's Symphony No. 1. Afro-American, Lincoln Portrait by Aaron Copland and the Double Concerto for Violin & Cello by Krzysztof Penderecki.  Joann Falletta and Leon Botstein are the conductors in this program airing at 8:00 Friday evening.

Friday's Noontime Concert from the Bach Choir of Bethlehem presents Bach's Cantata 140, Wachet Auf! (Sleepers Wake) and the Concerto for Oboe & Violin BWV 1060.  Artistic Director Greg Funfgeld directs.

Wednesday, 5-8 at noon on Curtis Calls we'll present students from the Curtis Institute of Music in Five Bagatelles by Gerald Finzi, the song cycle Mädchenblumen by R. Strauss and music for violin and piano by Mozart and Wieniawski.  Performances from student recitals at the Curtis Institute, Wednesdays at noon and Monday evenings at 10.

Sunday (5-5) evening at 11 on Half Past we'll hear the Viola Concerto No. 3 by William Thomas McKinley, Ian Krouse's Labyrinth for guitar quartet and the Orchestra Hall Suite by James Lentini.  Music from the past half-century on Half Past.