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October 18 — October 24, 2010

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Monday, October 18
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Symphonic Mahler and Moross ...

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911):
Symphony No. 5
Chicago Symphony; Claudio Abbado, cond.
DG 427 254

Jerome Moross (1913-1983):
Symphony No. 1
London Symphony; JoAnn Falletta, cond.
Koch 7188

On Mahler
On Moross

1706 — Italian composer Baldassare Galuppi, in Burano, near Venice;
1924 — Norwegian composer Egil Hovland, in Mysen, near Oslo;
1961 — Jazz trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis in New Orleans;

1545 — English composer and organist John Taverner, age 55, in Boston, England;
1817 — French composer Etienne Méhul, age 54, in Paris;
1893 — French composer Charles Gounod, age 75, in St. Cloud;

1873 — Brahms: String Quartet in a, Op. 51, no. 2, in Berlin by the Joachim Quartet;
1887 — Brahms: Double Concerto in a, Op. 102, in Cologne, by the Gürzenich Orchestra, with Joseph Joachim (violin), Robert Hausemann (cello), and the composer conducting;
1881 — Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings (Gregorian date: Oct. 30);
1882 — Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio, Op. 50 (Gregorian date: Oct. 30);
1904 — Mahler: Symphony No. 5, in Cologne, by the Gürzenich Orchestra, with the composer conducting;
1923 — Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 1, in Paris, at a concert conducted by Serge Koussevitsky, with Marcel Darrieux, the concertmaster of Koussevitzky's orchestra, as the soloist; At this same concert, Igor Stravinsky leads members of the orchestra in the premiere of his Octet for Winds;
1943 — Jerome Moross: Symphony No. 1, by the Seattle Symphony, Sir Thomas Beecham conducting;
1946 — Copland: Symphony No. 3 (in memory of Mme. Natalie Koussevitzky), by the Boston Symphony conducted by Serge Koussevitzky;
1953 — Stravinsky: "Preludium" for Jazz Ensemble, at an "Evenings on the Roof" concert in Los Angeles, with Robert Craft conducting;
1957 — Creston: "Toccata" for orchestra, by the Cleveland Orchestra;
1958 — Harald Saeverud: "Minnesota Symphony," by the Minneapolis Symphony. Antal Dorati conducting;
1981 — Pierre Boulez: "Répons" for 30 instruments and electronics, at the Donaueschingen Festival of Contemporary Music in West Germany;
1984 — Harrison Birtwistle: "Secret Theatre" for chamber ensemble, in London at Queen Elisabeth Hall, by the London Sinfonietta, David Atherton conducting;
1990 — Elisabetta Brusa: “Nittemero Symphony,” by the London Chamber Orchestra, Odaline de la Martinez conducting;
2000 — Lukas Foss: "Solo Transformed" for piano and orchestra, in Minneapolis by Peter Serkin with the Minnesota Orchestra, Eiji Oue conducting;

Tuesday, October 19
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Koussevitzky invests in Mussorgsky ...

Modest Mussorgsky (arr. Ravel):
Pictures at an Exhibition
London Philharmonic; Valery Gergiev, cond.
Philips 426 437

On Koussevitzky
On Mussorgsky's "Pictures"

1903 — American composer Vittorio Giannini, in Philadelphia;
1916 — Swedish composer Karl-Birgir Blomdahl, in Växjö;
1943 — British composer Robin Holloway, in Leamington Spa;

1845 — Wagner: opera "Tannhäuser" (Dresden version), in Dresden at the Hoftheater;
1894 — Chadwick: Symphony No. 3, by the Boston Symphony, Emil Paur conducting;
1901 — Elgar: "Pomp and Circumstance" March No. 1 in D, in Liverpool, by the Liverpool Orchestral Society;
1905 — Sibelius: Violin Concerto (revised version), in Berlin, conducted by Richard Strauss and with Karl Halir the soloist; The first version of this concerto premiered under the composer's director in Helsinki, with Victor Novácek as soloist, on February 8, 1904, but the composer withdrew this version and revised the concerto;
1922 — Mussorgsky: "Pictures at an Exhibition" in the orchestration by Maurice Ravel, in Paris, Serge Koussevitzky conducting;
1928 — Honegger: symphonic movement, "Rugby," in Paris;
1953 — Morton Gould: "Inventions for Four Pianos and Orchestra" by the New York Philharmonic conducted by Mitropoulos;
1964 — Virgil Thomson: "Autumn" (Concertino for harp, strings, and percussion), at the American-Spanish Festival of Music in Madrid, with Nicanor Zabeleta the harp soloist and Enrique Jordá conducting
1967 — Gershwin: public premiere of "Lullaby" for string quartet (composed c. 1919-20), at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., by the Juilliard String Quartet; During his lifetime, Gershwin would occasionally arrange impromptu performances of this piece at parties if sufficient string players were in attendance;
1990 — Shulamit Ran: "Symphony," by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Gary Bertini conducting; This work won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1991;
1996 — John Adams's Clarinet Concerto "Gnarly Buttons" with soloist Michael Collins and the London Sinfonietta conducted by the composer;

Wednesday, October 20
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Lou Harrison's Piano Concerto ...

Lou Harrison (1917-2003):
Piano Concerto
Keith Jarrett, piano; New Japan Philharmonic; Naoto Otomo, cond.
New World 366

On Lou Harrison
A June 2002 interview with Lou Harrison (audio version also available)

1874 — American composer and insurance executive Charles Ives, in Danbury, Connecticut;
1890 — American composer and jazz pianist Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton, in New Orleans (In older biographies, his birth date is incorrectly given as September 20, 1885);
1944 — American composer William Albright, in Gary, Indiana;

1842 — Wagner: opera, "Rienzi," in Dresden at the Hoftheater;
1847 — Lortzing: opera "Undine" (2nd version), in Vienna at the Theater an der Wien;
1860 — Brahms: String Sextet No. 1 in Bb, Op. 18, in Hanover, by violinist Joseph Joachim and his ensemble;
1892 — Rimsky-Korsakov: opera " Mlada," at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Eduard Napravnik conducting (Gregorian date: Nov. 1);
1923 — Delius: "A Dance Rhapsody," in London, conducted by Sir Henry Wood;
1949 — Hartmann: opera "Simplicius Simplicissimus" (first staged performance) in Cologne at the Theater der Stadt (Kammerspiele); The premiere concert performance of this opera by the Bavarian Radio occurred in Munich on April 2, 1948;
1950 — Hanson: "Pastorale" for Solo Oboe, Strings and Harp, with oboist Marcel Tabuteau, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy conducting;
1952 — Peter Mennin: "Concertanto (Moby Dick)" for orchestra, in Erie, Pa.;
1958 — Hovhaness: "Meditation on Orpheus," by the Houston Symphony, Leopold Stokowski conducting;
1960 — Lukas Foss: "Time Cycle for Soprano and Orchestra" at New York Philharmonic concert conducted by Bernstein, with soprano Adele Addison the vocal soloist;
1974 — Elliott Carter: Brass Quintet, on a BBC broadcast from London, with the American Brass Quintet; The American premiere occurred at the Library of Congress on November 15 that year with the same performers;
1974 — Henze: "Tristan" for piano, orchestra, and tape, by the London Symphony, Colin Davis conducting;
1977 — Michael Colgrass: "Déjà vu" at New York Philharmonic concert conducted by Leinsdorf;
1983 — Menotti: Double-bass Concerto, by the New York Philharmonic, Zubin Mehta conducting, with James VanDemark as soloist;
1985 — Lou Harrison: Piano Concerto, in New York, with Keith Jarrett the soloist.
2004 — Peter Maxwell Davies: "Naxos Quartet" No. 5 ("Lighthouses of Orkney and Shetland"), at Wigmore Hall, London, by the Maggini Quartet;

Thursday, October 21
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Offenbach puts a critic to work ...

Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880):
Orpheus in the Underworld
English National Opera Orchestra and Chorus; Mark Elder, cond.
MCA 6325

On Offenbach

1879 — French composer, pianist, and writer Joseph Canteloube, in Annonay (near Tournon);
1885 — Austrian composer and musicologist Egon Wellesz, in Vienna;
1921 — English composer (Sir) Malcolm Arnold, in Northampton;
1926 — American composer Marga Richter, in Reedsburg, Wisconsin;
1949 — Israeli composer Shulamit Ran, in Tel Aviv;

1662 — English composer Henry Lawes, age 66, in London;

1784 — Gretry: opera, "Richard Coeur de Lion" (Richard the Lionhearted), in Paris;
1858 — Offenbach: comic opera, "Orphée aux enfers" (Orpheus in the Underworld), in Paris;
1900 — Rimsky-Korsakov: opera "The Tale of Tsar Saltan," at the Solodovnikov Theatre in Moscow, with Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov conducting (Gregorian date: Nov. 3);
1921 — Third (and final) version of Sibelius: Symphony No. 5, in Helsinki under the composer's direction; Sibelius conducted the first performances of two earlier versions of this symphony in Helsinki on Dec. 8, 1915 and Dec. 14, 1916;
1926 — Nielsen: Flute Concerto (first version), in Paris, conducted by Emil Telmányi (the composer's son-in-law), with Holger Gilbert-Jespersen the soloist; Nielsen revised this score and premiered the final version in Oslo on November 9, 1926, again with Gilbert-Jespersen as the soloist;
1933 — Gershwin: musical "Let 'Em Eat Cake," at the Imperial Theater in New York City;
1941 — Copland: Piano Sonata, in Buenos Aires, by the composer;
1956 — Menotti: madrigal-fable "The Unicorn, the Gordon and the Manticore," at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.;
1984 — Ellen Taaffe Zwilich: Double Quartet for strings, at a concert of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, by the Emerson Quartet and friends.
2004 — Danielpour: "Songs of Solitude" (to texts of W.B. Yeats), at the Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall in Philadelphia, by baritone Thomas Hampson and the Philadelphia Orchestra, with Daniel Robertson conducting;

Friday, October 22
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Musical Carpentry? ...

John Alden Carpenter (1876-1951):
Symphony No. 2
National Symphony of Ukraine; John McLaughlin Williams, cond.
Naxos 8.559065

On Carpenter

1811 — Hungarian composer and piano virtuoso Franz Liszt, in Raiding (near Oedenburg);

1725 — Italian opera composer Alessandro Scarlatti, age 65, in Naples; He was the father of composer Domenico Scarlatti;
1764 — French composer and violinist Jean Marie LeClair, age 67, in Paris, stabbed in his own home;
1859 — German composer, violinist and conductor Ludwig Spohr, age 75, in Kassel;
1973 — Spanish cellist (and occasional composer) Pablo (Pau) Casals, age 96, in San Juan, Puerto Rico;
1979 — French composition teacher Nadia Boulanger, age 92, in Paris; She taught several generations of American composers, ranging from Aaron Copland to Philip Glass;

1727 — Handel: "Coronation Anthems," in London at Westminster Abbey during the coronation of King George II and Queen Caroline (see Julian date: Oct. 11);
1888 — Rimsky-Korsakov: "Scheherazade," in St. Petersburg by the Russian Symphony, with the composer conducting (Gregorian date: Nov. 3);
1899 — Rimsky-Korsakov: opera "The Tsar's Bride," at the Solodovnikov Theatre in Moscow, Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov conducting (Gregorian date: Nov. 3);
1920 — American premiere of Ravel: “Le Tombeau de Couperin,” by the Boston Symphony, Pierre Monteux conducting;
1942 — John Alden Carpenter: Symphony No. 2 (original version), by New York Philharmonic, Bruno Walter conducting;
1962 — Otto Luening: Trio for piano, cello and flute, at the inaugural concert of the Group for Contemporary Music at the McMillin (now Miller) Theater of Columbia University in New York City;
1967 — Penderecki: "Capriccio" for violin and orchestra, at the Donaueschingen Festival in West Germany, with Wanda Wilkomriska as soloist;
1987 — John Adams: opera "Nixon in China" at Houston Grand Opera;
1990 — Michael Colgrass: "Snow Walker" for organ and orchestra, on a CBC radio broadcast during the Calgary Organ Festival Competition, with the competition winner, Jonathan Biggers, as soloist.
1993 — John Harbison: "The Most Often Used Chords (Gli Accordi Piu Usati), in Los Angeles, by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Christopf Perick conducting;

Saturday, October 23
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Night music by Delius and Danielpour ...

Frederick Delius (1862-1934):
Summer Night on the River
BBC Symphony; Andrew Davis, cond.
Teldec 90845

Richard Danielpour (b. 1956):
Celestial Night
Philharmonia Orchestra; Zdenek Macal, cond.
Sony 60779

On Delius
On Danielpour

1801 — German composer Albert Lortzing, in Berlin;
1906 — American composer Miriam Gideon, in Greeley, Colorado;
1923 — American composer Ned Rorem, in Richmond, Indiana;

1754 — Rameau: opera-ballet "Anacréon," at Fortainebleau;
1890 — Borodin: opera "Prince Igor" (completed posthumously by Rimsky-Korsakov and Glazunov) at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, with K.A. Kuchera conducting (Gregorian date: Nov. 4);
1897 — Scriabin: Piano Concerto, in Odessa, with the composer as soloist (Gregorian date: Nov. 4);
1903 — MacDowell: symphonic poem “Lamia” (after Keats), by the Boston Symphony, Max Fiedler conducting;
1913 — Delius: "On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring" and "Summer Night on the River," by the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,Artur Nikisch conducting;
1931 — Stravinsky: Violin Concerto, in Berlin, by the Berlin Radio Orchestra conducted by the composer, with Samuel Dushkin as soloist;
1941 — William Grant Still's "Plain Chant for America," by the New York Philharmonic, John Barbirolli conducting;
1959 — Piston: "Three New England Sketches" for orchestra, in Worcester, Mass., by the Detroit Symphony, Paul Paray conducting;
1959 — Rorem: "Eagles," by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy conducting;
1963 — Hovhaness: Symphony No. 17 ("Symphony for Metal Orchestra"), in Cleveland;
1970 — Crumb: "Black Angels (13 Images from the Dark Lord)" for string quartet,in Ann Arbor, Mich.;
1981 — Sessions: "Concerto for Orchestra," by the Boston Symphony; This work won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1982;
1997 — Danielpour: "Celestial Night," by the New Jersey Symphony, Zdenek Macal conducting;
2002 — Peter Maxwell Davies: "Naxos Quartet" No. 1, at Wigmore Hall, London, by the Maggini Quartet;

Sunday, October 24
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Of Crumb and the Crash ...

George Crumb (b. 1929):
Musica Apocalyptica, fr Star-Child
Warsaw Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra; Thomas Conlin, cond.
Bridge 9095

On George Crumb
On the 1929 Stockmarket Crash

1811 — German composer, conductor and pianist Ferdinand Hiller, in Frankfurt am Main;
1882 — Hungarian operetta composer Imre [Emmerich] Kálman, in Siófok;
1925 — Italian composer Luciano Berio, in Oneglia, Imperia;
1929 — American composer George Crumb, in Charleston, West Virginia;
1931 — Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina, in Chistopol, Tatar (USSR);

1799 — Austrian violinist and composer Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf, age 59, at Castle Rothlottia, near Neuhaus (Bohemia);
1948 — Austrian composer Franz Lehár, age 78, in Bad Ischl;
1949 — Cuban composer and violinist Joaquin Nin y Castellanos, age 70, in Havana;
1971 — American composer Carl Ruggles, age 95, in Bennington, Vermont;

1737 — Rameau: opera "Castor et Pollux," in Paris at the Palais Royal Opéra;
1885 — Jhn. Strauss Jr.: operetta, "The Gypsy Baron," in Vienna;
1910 — Victor Herbert: operetta, "Naught Marietta," in Syracuse, N.Y.;
1930 — Roussel: Symphony No. 3, by the Boston Symphony, Serge Koussevitzky conducting;
1931 — Robert Russell Bennett: "Abraham Lincoln" Symphony, by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Leopold Stokowski conducting;
1936 — Miaskovsky: Symphony No. 16, in Moscow;
1940 — John Alden Carpenter: Symphony No. 1 (revised version), by Chicago Symphony, Frederick Stock conducting;
1946 — Bernstein: ballet "Facsimile," at the Broadway Theater in New York City by the Ballet Theater, choreographed by Jerome Robbins, with composer conducting;
1946 — Cowell: Symphony No. 4 ("Short Symphony"), by the Boston Symphony, Richard Burgin conducting;
1970 — Penderecki: "Kosmogonia," at the United Nations in New York City;
1992 — Libby Larsen: Marimba Concerto ("After Hampton"), by the Long Beach Symphony, with soloist William Moersch and JoAnn Falleta conducting;
1994 — Harrison Birtwistle: opera "The Second Mrs. Kong," at Glyndeborune;
1997 — Geoffrey Burgon: Piano Concerto, in Singapore, with soloist Joanna MacGregor and the Singapore Symphony;
1997 — Corigliano: "DC Fanfare," in Washington, D.C., by the National Symphony, Leonard Slatkin conducting;
2001 — Steve Reich: orchestral version of "Different Trains," by the Philadelphia Orchestra, David Robertson, conducting;