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August 2 — August 8, 2010

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Monday, August 2
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SYNOPSIS:
Gluck and Glass in the Underworld ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787):
Dance of the Blessed Spirits, fr Orphée
Academy of Ancient Music; Christopher Hogwood, cond.
L'oiseau Lyre 410 553

Philip Glass (b.1937):
Act 2 Interlude, fr Orphée
Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra; Dennis Russell Davies, cond.
Nonesuch 79496-2

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Gluck
On Glass

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1891 — English composer Sir Arthur Bliss, in London;
1905 — German composer Karl Amadeus Hartmann, in Munich;
1936 — British composer Anthony Payne, in London;

Deaths:
1827 — English-born early American composer James Hewitt, age 57, in Boston;
1945 — Italian opera composer Pietro Mascagni, age 81, in Rome;
1945 — Austrian composer Emil Nikolaus von Reznicek, age 85, in Berlin;
1978 — Mexican composer and conductor Carlos Chavez, age 79, in Mexico City;

Premieres:
1774 — Gluck: opera, "Orphee" (2nd version) in Paris at the Academie Royale; This is the French version of his Italian opera "Orfeo ed Euridice," which had premiered in Vienna in 1762;
1964 — Persichetti: Piano Concerto, at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire;
1990 — David Matthews: Romanza for cello and small orchestra (Mstislav Rostropovich, soloist); Patrick Gowers: Suite for solo violin and chamber orchestra (José-Luis Garcia soloist) and Patrick Doyle "The Thistle and the Rose" (soprano Maria McLaughlin soloist), at the ballroom of Buckingham Palace in London, by the English Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Raymond Leppard; All three works were specially written for a concert celebrating the 90th birthday of HM Queen Elisabeth (aka the Queen Mother);
1993 — John Harbison: "Three City Blocks" for symphonic band, in Fort Smith, Ark., by the U.S. Air Force Band, Lt. Col. Alan Bonner conducting;


Tuesday, August 3
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SYNOPSIS:
Rossini asks "Who was that masked man?" ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868):
William Tell Overture
Philharmonia Orchestra; Carlo Maria Giulini, cond.
EMI 69042

Dimitri Shostakovich (1906-1975):
Symphony No. 15 in A, Op. 141
London Philharmonic; Mariss Jansons, cond.
EMI 56591

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Rossini
On other famous radio themes

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1884 — Russian-born American composer Louis Gruenberg, near Brest-Litovsk (Julian date: July 22);
1896 — Russian inventor Lev Sergeivitch Termen (anglicized to Leon Theremin) in St. Petersburg (Gregorian date: August 15)

Deaths:
1784 — Italian composer and teacher Giovanni Battista Martini, age 78, in Bologna; His students included Gluck, Mozart, Grétry, and Jommelli;

Premieres:
1829 — Rossini: opera, "Guillaume Tell" (William Tell), at the Paris Opéra;
1941 — Robert Russell Bennett: Symphony in D ("For the Dodgers"), in New York;
1961 — John Cage: "Atlas Eclipticalis," at the "International Week of Today's Music," in Montréal;
1967 — Lalo Schifrin: cantata, "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" (adapted from the composer's filmscore) by the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, with Lawrence Foster conducting;


Wednesday, August 4
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SYNOPSIS:
William Schuman at 100 ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
William Schuman (1910 - 1992):
Symphony No. 3
New York Philharmonic; Leonard Bernstein, cond.
DG 419 780

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On William Schuman

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1875 — Italian opera composer Italo Montemezzi, in Vigasio (near Verona);
1901 — Jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong, in New Orleans; Uncertain of the exact day (or year), Armstrong and his manager came up with the idea of saying he was born on the 4th of July in the year 1900;
1910 — American composer William Schuman, in New York; He won the first Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1943 for his Walt Whitman cantata, "A Free Song";
1912 — American composer David Raksin, in Philadelphia, Pa.; He wrote more than 100 film scores, including the 1944 film noire classic "Laura";

Deaths:
1930 — German opera composer and conductor Siegfried Wagner, age 61, in Bayreuth; He was the son of the 19th century German composer Richard Wagner, and little Siegfried's birth was celebrated musically in the elder Wagner's "Siegfried Idyll";

Premieres:
1940 — Milhaud: "Le Cortège funèbre" (Funeral March), on a CBS Radio broadcast conducted by the composer;
1972 — Wuorinen: Violin Concerto, for amplified violin and orchestra, at the Tanglewood Festival in Mass., by violinist Paul Zukofsky and the Boston Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas conducting;
1976 — Menotti: Symphony No. 1 ("The Halcyon"), at Saratoga Springs, N.Y., by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy conducting;
1998 — Danielpour: Bassoon Quintet, by bassoonist Stephen Walt and the Muir String Quartet, in Williamstown, Mass.;
2001 — John Tavener: "Song of the Cosmos," at a Proms Concert in London, by soprano Patricia Rozario, baritone Father Meliton, The Bach Choir and the BBC Philharmonic, Hill conducting;


Thursday, August 5
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SYNOPSIS:
Of Mountains and Messiaen ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992):
Bryce Canyon and the Red-Orange Rocks, fr From the Canyons to the Stars
London Sinfonietta; Esa-Pekka Salonen, cond
CBS/Sony 44762

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Messiaen

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1623 — Italian opera composer Marc Antonio Cesti, in Arezzo;
1694 — Italian composer and organist Leonardo Leo, in San Vito degli Schiavi(near Brindisi); He was one of the founders of the Neapolitan School of composition;
1811 — French composer Ambroise Thomas, in Metz;
1926 — French composer of American parentage Betsy Jolas, in Paris;

Deaths:
1891 — English-born French composer, pianist and music publisher Charles Henry Litolff, age 73, in Bois-Colombes (near Paris);
1916 — English composer George Butterworth, age 31, in France, as a British soldier during the battle of Pozières;

Premieres:
1956 — Ned Rorem: Symphony No. 2, at La Jolla, Calif.;
1972 — David Del Tredici: "Vintage Alice" for soprano and chamber ensemble (to a text by Lewis Carroll), in Saratoga, California;
2000 — Richard Danielpour: Violin Concerto ("A Fool's Paradise"), at the Saratoga Center for the Performing Arts, in Saratoga, N.Y., by the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Charles Dutoit, with soloist Chantal Juillet;


Friday, August 6
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SYNOPSIS:
An opera debut for Britten and Bernstein ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Benjamin Britten (1913-1976):
Sunday Morning and Storm, fr Peter Grimes
New York Philharmonic; Leonard Bernstein, cond
Sony Classical 47541

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Britten
On Bernstein

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Deaths:
1904 — Austrian music critic and university professor Eduard Hanslick, champion of Brahms and enemy of Wagner, dies in Vienna, aged 78
1970 — German-born American composer Ingolf Dahl, age 68, in Frutigen, Switzerland;

Premieres:
1946 — American premiere of Britten: opera "Peter Grimes," at Berkshire Music Center (Tangelwood), with Leonard Bernstein conducting;
1947 — Villa-Lobos: "Bachianas Brasileiras" No. 8, in Rome, conducted by the composer;
1947 — Von Einem: opera "Dantons Tod" (The Death of Danton) at the Salzburg, Festival in Austria,with Ferenc Fricsay conducting;
1966 — Henze: "Die Bassariden" (after Euripides' play "The Bacchae") at the Salzburg Festival in Austria;
1967 — Piston: Clarinet Concerto, during the Fifth Congregation of the Arts at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire;
1988 — Ned Rorem: “Bright Music” for flute, two violins, cello and piano, at Presbyterian Church, Bridgehampton (New York), by the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Associates;
2000 — Joan Tower: "Big Sky" for piano trio, in LaJolla, Calif., at a SummerFest concert featuring Chee-Yun (violin), David Finckel (cello) and Wu Han (piano);


Saturday, August 7
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SYNOPSIS:
Mendelssohn gets wet and wild ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Felix Mendelssohn (1809 - 1847):
The Hebrides (Fingal's Cave) Overture
BBC Symphony; Sir Colin Davis, cond
Philips 426 978

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Mendelssohn

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1818 — English-born French composer, pianist and music publisher Charles Henry Litolff, in London;
1868 — British composer Sir Granville Bantock, in London;
1896 — Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona, in Havana; He composed a number of popular Latin pop melodies, including his famous "Malagueña";
1921 — Czech-born, American composer and conductor Karel Husa, in Prague; He became an American citizen in 1959; In 1969 he won the Pulitzer Prize for Music for his String Quartet No. 3;
1925 — Spanish-born American composer Julián Orbón, in Aviles;

Deaths:
1893 — Italian opera composer Alfred Caatalani, age 39, in Milan;
1913 — Czech composer and cellist David Popper, age 69, in Baden (near Vienna);
1970 — German-born American composer Ingolf Dahl, age 58, in Bernem Switzerland;

Premieres:
1912 — Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 1, in Moscow, with the composer (age 21) as soloist (Julian date: July 26);
1977 — Hanson: Symphony No. 7 ("A Sea Symphony") at the National Music Camp in Interlochen, Michigan;
1981 — Cerha: opera "Baal," at the Salzburg Festival in Austria;
1981 — John Harbison: Piano Quintet, at the Sante Fe Chamber Music Festival in New Mexico, with Edward Auer (piano), Ani Kavafian (violin), Walter Trampler (viola), Timothy Eddy (cello);
1991 — David Del Tredici: "An Alice Symphony" (first complete performance), during the Tanglewood Music Festival in Lenox, Mass.;
2001 — Augusta Read Thomas: "Murmurs in the Mist of Memory," at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, by the International Sejong Soloists;


Sunday, August 8
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SYNOPSIS:
Chaminade in America ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Cecile Chaminade (1857-1944):
L'Ondine, Op. 101 and Scherzo in C, fr Op. 35
Peter Jacobs, p
Hyperion 66584

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Chaminade

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1857 — French composer Cécile Chaminade, in Paris;
1905 — French composer André Jolivet, in Paris;
1938 — Canadian composer Jacques Hétu, in Trois Rivières, Quebec;

Deaths:
1950 — Russian composer Nikolai Miaskovsky, age 69, in Moscow;
1967 — Czech-born composer Jaromir Weinberger, age 71, commits suicide at his home in St. Peterburg, Florida (where he settled in 1939); Weinberger had composed one very popular work, his 1927 opera "Schwanda, the Bagpiper," but was reportedly despondent that he was unable to produce any other equally successful works;

Premieres:
1882 — Tchaikovsky: "1812 Overture," in Moscow (Gregorian date: Aug. 20);
1942 — Poulenc: ballet "Les Animaux modèles" (The Model Animals), at the Paris Opéra;
1943 — Piston: “Prelude and Allegro” for organ and strings, on a CBS radio broadcast by organist E. Power Biggs with Arthur Fiedler conducting;
1976 — David Del Tredici: first version of “An Alice Symphony” (after Lewis Carroll) in San Francisco; See also Aug. 7, 1991;
1984 — Berio: opera "Un re in ascolto" (A King Listens), at the Salzburg Festival in Austria;