Exploring Music

Archive for May, 2011

Playlists for May 30-June 3: Music in Time of War

This week’s program will focus on composers’ reactions to armed conflict, including the great War Requiem by Benjamin Britten. We’ll also feature music by Beethoven, Haydn and Shostakovich.

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Monday

Haydn: Paukenmesse (Mass in Time of War)
Monteverdi Choir & English Baroque Soloists/Gardiner
Phil B0000032
Purchase

Beethoven: Wellington’s Victory, I
LSO/Dorati
Merc 434360
8:16
Purchase

Kodály: The Battle and Defeat of Napoleon fr. Hary Janos
Philharmonia Orchestra/Leinsdorf
EMI 65923
3:42
Purchase Similar

Tuesday

Tchaikovsky: Ouverture solennelle “1812”, Op. 49
New York Phil/Bernstein
Sony 47634
15:29
Purchase

Prokofiev: Battle on the Ice fr. Alexander Nevsky
London Symphony Orchestra/Abbado
DG 447419
12:00
Purchase

Shostkovich: Symphony No. 13, Babi Yar, I
CSO/Solti; Anthony Hopkins, nar.
Lon 444791
19:41
Purchase

Wednesday

Billings: Chester
Gregg Smith Singers & Ensemble
MMG 10052
1:57
Purchase Similar

Schuman: Chester fr. New England Triptych
St. Louis Symphony Orchestra/Slatkin
RCA 61282
2:57
Purchase

Ives: Three Places in New England, I
San Francisco Symphony/Thomas
RCA 63703
8:50
Purchase

Gould: An American Salute
Boston Pops/Fiedler
RCA 6806
4:09
Purchase

Vaughan Williams: Dona Nobis Pacem (excerpts)
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus/Shaw
Tel 80479
10:57
Purchase

Traditional: 26th Regiment Quickstep
American Brass Quintet
New World 80608
1:39
Purchase

Barber: Commando March
Cleveland Symphonic Winds/Fennell
Tel 80099
3:16
Purchase

Rodgers: Victory at Sea, I
Cincinnati Pops/Kunzel
Tel 80175
5:07
Purchase

Kernis: Symphony No. 2, I
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Wolff
Argo 448900
6:13
Purchase

Thursday

Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 3, Pastoral, II & III
LSO/Previn
RCA 89827
15:45
Purchase

Britten: War Requiem (excerpts)
LSO/Britten
Lon 414383
35:15
Purchase

Friday

Butterworth: “Loveliest of Trees” & “The Lads in Their Hundreds” fr. Shropshire Lad
Terfel, bs bar.; Martineau, p.
DG 445946
2:36, 2:19
Purchase

Britten: War Requiem (excerpts)
LSO/Britten
Lon 414383
25:57, 22:42
Purchase

Harris: When Johnny Comes Marching Home
Zimdars, p.
Albany 105
1:46
Purchase

Playlists for May 23-27: Homage

How would you like to be the subject of a composition by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky or Mozart? In many cases, the fame of the music has outlasted that of its honoree, but we’ll explore some of these heartfelt gestures and the composers who made them. Works include Handel’s Water Music and Pictures at an Exhibition.

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Monday

Beethoven: Sonata Op. 27, No. 2, Moonlight
G. Ohlsson, p
Arab 6677
16:30
Purchase

Beethoven: Trio in B-Flat Major, Op. 97, Archduke (excerpt)
KLR Trio
Arab 6758
7:10
Purchase

Beethoven: Symphony No. 3, Eroica, I + II (excerpt)
Berlin Phil/Karajan
DG 429036
13:27
Purchase

Mozart: The Magic Flute (excerpt)
Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Chorus/Mackerras; Jerry Hadley, ten.
Telarc 80302
:11
Purchase

Beethoven: Egmont Overture
CSO/Solti
Decca 430087
8:11
Purchase

Lennon/McCartney: “Because”
The Beatles
Capitol 46446
1:00
Purchase

Tuesday

Mozart: Quartet for Strings No. 19 in C major, Dissonance
Julliard String Quartet
Testament 1372
10:51
Purchase

Reger: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Mozart (excerpts)
New York Phil/Masur
Teldec 74007
10:42
Purchase

Tchaikovsky: Suite for Orchestra, Mozartiana
Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra/Marriner
Cap 51012
9:07
Purchase

Arensky: Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky
St. Petersburg Camerata/Saulius Sondeckis
Sony 58976
14:19
Purchase

Ravel: Minuet on the name ‘Haydn’
Margaret Fingerhut, p.
Chan 8578
2:01
Purchase

Wednesday

Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition (excerpts)
Ivo Pogorelich, p.
DG 437667
14:45
Purchase

Rimsky-Korsakov: Russian Easter Overture
LSO/Dorati
Merc 339136
15:09
Purchase

Stravinsky: Fireworks
St. Petersburg Phil/Ashkenazy
Decca 448812
3:37
Purchase

Stravinsky: Fairy’s Kiss (excerpts)
La Scala Phil/Muti
Sony 58949
8:58, 3:36
Purchase

Thursday

Handel: Water Music (excerpt)
Concentus Musicus Wien/Harnoncourt
Teldec 93668
9:45
Purchase

Hindemith: Trauermusik
San Francisco/Blomstedt
Decca 000201102
8:39
Purchase

Hindemith: Symphonic Metamorphosis (excerpt)
Philadelphia Orchestra/Ormandy
EMI 86095
12:35
Purchase

Walton: Variations on a Theme by Hindemith (excerpt)
Cleveland Orchestra/Szell
Sony 62753
8:14
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Walton: Crown Imperial
RPO/Previn
Telarc 80125
6:22
Purchase

Friday

Bruckner: Symphony No. 7, I
Berlin/Karajan
DG 439037
23:10
Purchase

Berio: Duets for two violins (excerpts)
Various Artists
1:13
Purchase

Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor, II
CSO/Reiner; A. Rubenstein, p.
RCA 63064
13:15
Purchase

J. Strauss II: Emperor Waltzes
Johann Strauss Orch. of Vienna/Boskovsky
EMI 75239
10:11
Purchase

Extras for Unfinished Symphonies (Exploring Music)

As producers of Exploring Music, we’re perpetually running into the unfortunate situation of having to cut material to make it fit in the time allotted for the program (58 minutes and 30 seconds, to be exact). There’s just no way to fit it all in, as much as we’d like to. Here are a few of the bits that ended up on the cutting room floor, along with some supplemental material for this week.

Schubert

We mentioned clarinetist Robert Stallman, who has a label named after Schubert’s favorite Viennese watering hole, Bogner’s Café. It has some very nice releases, and not just of Schubert’s music.

Brian Newbould’s book Schubert and the Symphony: A New Perspective was invaluable in the research leading up to this week. Here Bill reads a few excerpts:

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Newbould’s realizations of Schubert’s music, as performed by Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, were central to the first two programs.


Mr. Lucas Amory

We were only able to feature about 5 minutes of Bill’s interview with the nine-year-old Lucas Amory on Tuesday, but here’s the full interview:

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The whole shebang started off with a NY Times article by music critic Anthony Tommasini, presenting a personal list of his ten favorite composers.

That inspired young Mr. Amory to send in his list of favorite composers via handwritten letter, which Mr. Tommasini reprinted in the Times.

Bruckner

Any discussion of Bruckner symphonies can quickly be derailed by attempts to make sense of the composer’s many revisions (and subsequent alternate versions put out by well-intentioned publishers). Luckily for us, the two movements of Bruckner’s 9th that we programmed took up almost the whole show, so we were able to just revel in the music and sidestep the discussion. For a glimpse into the rabbit hole, check out this run-down by Bruckner fan José Oscar Marques of all the various iterations and discography by David Griegel.

We used Kurt Eichhorn’s marvelous recording with the Bruckner Orchester Linz, recommended by John Proffitt at KUHA (formerly KUHF) in Houston.

Mahler

Quite often in the pages of his 10th symphony, a dying Gustav Mahler wrote very personal notes to his wife and muse, Alma. Reading them, one can understand why she was so reticent to share it with the world. Here, at the end of the Scherzo, for example, he inscribed:

Du allein weisst was es bedeutet, Ach! Ach! Got! Leb’wohl mein Saitenspiel! Leb’wohl. Leb’wohl. Leb’wohl.

You alone know what it means. Ah! Ah! God! Farewell my lyre. Farewell. Farewell. Farewell.

I was thrilled to find this newly released album of Mahler’s music on Testment Records, which features Deryck Cooke’s original BBC lectures on the 10th and recordings of the symphony’s two premiere performances. Gramophone posted a summary here that gives an overview of the set.

Elgar

This page from the Elgar Society contains a wealth of information on the composer’s Symphony No. 3, including Anthony Payne’s own account of working on the symphony, links to buy the CD and the score, and much more.

It’s interesting to note that Elgar himself wanted the unfinished score of the 3rd destroyed, creating a conundrum for the musicologists and Elgarphiles that followed. Should they honor the wishes of the composer and deprive the world of his fantastic music? Or reconstruct the music to the best of their ability, knowing that it inherently wouldn’t be the same as if Elgar had finished it himself?

Colin Matthews posts a response here.

Playlists for May 16-20: Unfinished Symphonies

Schubert wasn’t the only composer who passed from this earth with an incomplete symphony on his shelf. Elgar, Mahler, Bruckner and other symphonists left fantastic but tantalizingly unfinished music that we’ll explore this week.

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Monday

Franz Schubert/Brian Newbould: Symphony In D, D. 615, I
Academy Of St. Martin In The Fields/Neville Marriner
Phil 412176
4:15
Purchase

Schubert/Newbould: Symphonic Fragments, D. 708A, I & III
Academy Of St. Martin In The Fields/Marriner
Phil 412176
2:55, 8:13
Purchase

Schubert/Newbould: Symphony #7 In E, D. 729
Academy Of St. Martin In The Fields/Marriner
Phil 412176
19:33, 14:48
Purchase

Tuesday

Franz Schubert: Symphony #8 In B Minor, D. 759, Unfinished, I (excerpt) & II (excerpt)
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra/Carlos Kleiber
DG 449745
10:42, 1:18
Purchase

Schubert/Newbould: Symphony #8 In B Minor, D. 759, Unfinished, III & IV
Academy Of St. Martin In The Fields/Neville Marriner
Phil 412590
13:35
Purchase

Schubert/Newbould: Symphony #10 In D, D. 936A, I-III
Academy Of St. Martin In The Fields/Neville Marriner
Phil 412591
27:28
Purchase

Wednesday

Anton Bruckner: Symphony #9 In D Minor, WAB 109, III
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Bernard Haitink
Phil 410039
24:43
Purchase

Bruckner: Symphony #9 In D Minor, WAB 109, IV
Bruckner Orchester Linz/Kurt Eichhorn
Camerata 15002
30:11
Purchase

Thursday

Gustav Mahler/Deryck Cooke: Excerpts from Cooke’s 1960 BBC lecture on Mahler’s 10th Symphony
Testament 1457
3:23
Purchase

Mahler: Symphony No. 10, I (excerpt)
Philadelphia Orchestra/Ormandy
Sony 67874
9:43
Purchase

Gustav Mahler/Deryck Cooke: Excerpts from Cooke’s 1960 BBC lecture on Mahler’s 10th Symphony
Testament 1457
2:30
Purchase

Mahler/Cooke: Symphony No. 10, IV & V
Philadelphia Orchestra/Ormandy
Sony 67874
33:03
Purchase

Friday

Elgar/Payne: Symphony No. 3, I (excerpt), II, III, IV
BBC Symphony Orchestra/Andrew Davis; Payne, nar.
NMC D052/053
4:47, 9:39, 15:16, 14:37
Purchase

Elgar/Payne: Sketches from Symphony No. 3
Robert Gibbs, v.; David Owen Norris, p.
NMC D052/053
:55, :14
Purchase

P.D.Q. Bach/Peter Schickele: Unbegun Symphony (excerpt)
Royal P.D.Q. Bach Festival Orchestra/Jorge Mester
Van 79223
7:38
Purchase

Playlists for May 9-13: An Invitation to the Dance, Part II

This week, we’ll focus on ballet music by Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky and Schubert – even Beethoven!

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Monday

Lully: Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, LWV 43 (excerpts)
Le Concert des Nations/Savall
Alia Vox 9807
1:47, 17:17
Purchase

Rameau: Castor et Pollux (excerpts)
Orchestra of the 18th Century/Brüggen
Phil 426714
12:55
Purchase

Mozart: Idomeneo (excerpts)
Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra/Gonnenwein
Disc 920275
16:34
Purchase Similar

Beethoven: Symphony No. 3, finale (excerpt)
CSO/Solti
Decca 000971902
4:43
Purchase

Tuesday

Beethoven: The Creatures of Prometheus (excerpts)
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
DG 419608
15:59
Purchase

Schubert: Rosamunde (excerpts)
Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Abbado
DG 431655
15:29
Purchase

Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier Waltzes
Scottish National Orchestra/Järvi
Chandos 8758
20:24
Purchase

Wednesday

Bartók: The Wooden Prince (excerpts)
LSO/Dorati
Merc 434357
16:43
Purchase

Falla: Three Dances from The Three-Cornered Hat
LSO/Frühbeck de Burgos
Imp Classics 924
12:18
Purchase

Bartók: The Miraculous Mandarin Suite
CSO/Solti
London 430352-2
18:13
Purchase

Tchaikovsky: Sleeping Beauty (excerpt)
Vienna Phil/Karajan
Decca 289466379
3:50
Purchase

Thursday

Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake (excerpts)
Philadelphia Orchestra/Ormandy
CBS 42252
15:12, 8:26
Purchase

Stravinsky: Divertimento fr. Le Baiser de la Fée
London Sinfonietta/Chailly
Lon 417114
23:36
Purchase

Friday

Stravinsky: Jeu de Cartes (excerpt)
CSO/Solti
Lon 443775
5:30
Purchase

Hindemith: Theme and Variations for Piano & Strings: The Four Temperaments (excerpts)
BBC Phil/Tortelier; Shelley, p.
Chan 9124
17:21
Purchase

Barber: Medea’s Meditation and Dance of Vengeance
St. Louis Symphony/Slatkin
EMI 49463
13:01
Purchase

Copland: Rodeo (excerpts)
New York Phil/Bernstein
CBS 36727
14:13
Purchase

Menotti: Sebastian (excerpt)
1:15

Playlists for May 2-6: Beethoven and the Piano

200 years after the composition of Beethoven’s five piano concertos, they’re still the giants in the repertoire.  Join us for a concerto a day, plus some of his more intimate works for the instrument.

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Monday

Beethoven: Piano Sonata Op. 2 No. 1, I & II
Perahia, p.
Sony 64397
3:55, 4:40
Purchase

Beethoven: Concerto for Piano No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 19
Cleveland Orchestra/Szell; Fleisher, p.
CBS 42445
27:28, 1:14
Purchase

Beethoven: Sonata for Piano No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13, Pathétique, I
Ashkenazy, p.
Lon 410260
8:25
Purchase

Beethoven: Sonata for Piano No. 9 in E major, Op. 14 No. 1, I
Gould, p.
Sony 51638
3:13
Purchase

Tuesday

Beethoven: Sonata No. 11 in B-flat, Op. 22, III
Ohlsson, p.
Arab 6773
3:29, :56
Purchase

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15
Concertgebouw/Wallberg; Argerich, p.
EMI 56974
:30, :25, 34:08
Purchase

Beethoven: Sonata for Piano No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 27 No 2, Moonlight, I & III
Goode, p.
None 79328
12:28
Purchase

Wednesday

Beethoven: Concerto for Piano No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37
Royal Concertgebouw/ Haitink; Perahia, p.
CBS 39814
35:25, :44
Purchase

Beethoven: Sonata for Piano No. 21 in C major, Op. 53, Waldstein, I & III (excerpt)
Brendel, p.
Phil 412575
11:13, 4:07
Purchase

Thursday

Beethoven: Sonata for Piano No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57, Appassionata, I
Ashkenazy, p.
Lon 425838
9:30
Purchase

Beethoven: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58
CSO/Levine; Bredel, p.
Phil 456045
32:13
Purchase

Beethoven: Sonata for Piano No. 24 in F-sharp major, Op. 78, I
Pommier, p.
Apex 48994
7:40
Purchase

Friday

Beethoven: Concerto for Piano No. 6 in D major, Op. 61, III
Sinfonia Varsovia/Menuhin; Duchable, p.
EMI 56875
10:26
Purchase

Beethoven: Concerto for Piano No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73, Emperor
Berlin Phil/Leitner; Kempff, p.
DG 447402
38:20
Purchase

Beethoven: Sonata for Piano No. 21 in C major, Op. 53, Waldstein, II
Brendel, p.
Phil 412575
3:48
Purchase

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