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May 14 — May 20, 2012

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Monday, May 14
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SYNOPSIS:
Rautavaara's Fifth ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Einojuhani Rautavaara (b. 1928):
Symphony No. 5
Leipzig Radio Symphony; Max Pommer, cond.
BMG 62671

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Rautavaara
More Rautavaara

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1885 — German conductor and composer, Otto Klemperer, in Breslau;
1917 — American composer Lou Harrison, in Portland, Ore.;

Deaths:
1847 — German composer Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, age 41, in Berlin; She was the sister of Felix Mendelssohn;

Premieres:
1723 — Handel: opera "Flavio, re de' Langobardi" (Flavio, King of the Langobards), in London at the King's Theater in the Haymarket (Gregorian date: May 25);
1832 — Mendelssohn: "Hebrides" Overture ("Fingal's Cave"), in London, conducted by the composer;
1914 — R. Strauss: ballet "Josephslegende," in Paris;
1919 — Debussy: Saxophone Rhapsody (orchestral version by Roger-Ducasse), at a Société Nationale de Musique concert conducted by André Caplet at the Salle Gaveau in Paris;
1923 — Holst: "The Perfect Fool," in London at Covent Garden Opera House;
1941 — Cage: "Third Construction" for four percussionists, in San Francisco;
1942 — Copland: "Lincoln Portrait," by the Cincinnati Symphony conducted by André Kostelanetz, with William Adams the narrator;
1953 — American premiere of Stravinsky's opera, "The Rake's Progress," at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, with the composer conducting; The world premiere performance occurred on September 11, 1951, in Venice, again with the composer conducting;
1966 — Ginastera: "Concerto per Corde," by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy conducting;
1986 — Rautavaara: Symphony No. 5, in Helsinki, by Finnish Radio Symphony, Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting;
1987 — Alvin Singleton: "Shadows" for orchestra. By the Atlanta Symphony, Robert Shaw conducting;
1992 — James MacMillan: "Sinfonietta" at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, by the London Sinfonietta, Martyn Brabbins conducting;
1993 — Philip Glass: opera "Orphée" (based on the Jean Cocteau film), by the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass.;


Tuesday, May 15
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SYNOPSIS:
Thompson's Third ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Randall Thompson (1899 – 1984):
Symphony No. 3
New Zealand Symphony; Andrew Schenck, cond.
Koch 7074

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Thompson
On Thompson's choral and vocal music

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1567 — Baptismal date of Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi, in Cremona;
1808 — Irish composer Michael William Balfe, in Dublin;
1908 — Swedish composer Lars-Erik Larsson, in Akarp (near Lund);
1941 — American composer and pianist Richard Wilson, in Cleveland;

Premieres:
1913 — Debussy: ballet "Jeux" (Games), at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées by the Ballet Russe, Pierre Monteux conducting;
1920 — Stravinsky: ballet "Pulcinella," by Ballet Russe; at the Paris Opéra, with Ernest Ansermet conducting;
1939 — Douglas Moore: opera "The Devil and Daniel Webster," in New York City;
1949 — Hindemith: Concerto for Winds, Harp and Orchestra, in New York;
1949 — Randall Thompson: Symphony No. 3, Columbia University, in New York, Thor Johnson conducting;
1958 — Cage: Piano Concerto, in New York City;
1960 — Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 7, in Leningrad, by the Beethoven Quartet;
1972 — Rochberg: String Quartet No. 3, at Tully Hall in New York City, by the Concord Quartet;
1992 — Stephen Paulus: "Air on Seurat (The Grand Canal)", for cello and piano, at the National Cello Competition at Arizona State University in Phoenix, Ariz.;
1993 — Steve Reich: opera "The Cave," in Vienna at the Wiener Festspielhaus;


Wednesday, May 16
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SYNOPSIS:
Tower's "Concerto for Orchestra" ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Joan Tower (b. 1938):
Concerto for Orchestra
Colorado Symphony; Marin Alsop, cond.
Koch 7469

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Joan Tower
A 1987 interview with Tower

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1931 — American composer Donald James Martino, in Plainfield, N.J.;

Deaths:
1910 — Russian composer Mily Balakirev (Gregorian date: May 29);

Premieres:
1726 — Handel: opera "Alessandro" (Julian date: May 5);
1889 — Massenet: opera "Esclarmonde" at the Paris Opéra;
1948 — Quincy Porter: Viola Concerto, in New York City;
1948 — Wallingford Rieger: Symphony No. 3, in New York City;
1966 — Ralph Shapey: "Rituals," in Chicago;
1966 — Villa-Lobos: Sinfonia No. 9, by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy conducting;
1969 — Cage: "HPSCHD," for amplified harpsichord and 51 tapes, in Urbana, Ill.;
1971 — Britten: opera "Owen Wingrave," as a telecast on BBC-TV in England and NET (National Educational Television) in the United States;
1972 — Jaocb Druckman: "Windows" for orchestra, by the Chicago Symphony; This work was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1972;
1974 — Bernstein: ballet "Dybbuk," by the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center, with choreography by Jerome Robbins and the composer conducting;
1991 — Joan Tower: "Concerto for Orchestra," by the St. Louis Symphony, Leonard Slatkin conducting;


Thursday, May 17
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SYNOPSIS:
Bernstein's Philharmonic "stats" ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Leonard Bernstein (1918 – 1990):
Symphony No. 2 (The Age of Anxiety)
Marc-Andre Hamelin, piano; Ulster Orchestra; Dmitry Sitkovetsky, cond.
Hyperion 67170

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Bernstein

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1866 — French composer Erik Alfred-Leslie Satie, in Honfleur;
1901 — German composer Werner Egk, in Auchsesheim, near Donauswörth; His original last name was Mayer, and it is said (although denied by the composer) that the he chose the acronym E-G-K because it stood for "ein grosser Komponist" ("a great composer");
1923 — American composer Peter Mennin, in Erie, Pa.;

Deaths:
1935 — French composer Paul Dukas, age 69, in Paris;

Premieres:
1779 — Gluck: opera "Iphigénie en Tauride" (Iphigenia in Taurus), at the Paris Opéra;
1890 — Mascagni: "Cavalleria Rusticana," in Rome at the Teatro Costanzi;
1904 — Ravel: "Schéhérazade," in Paris, with vocalist Jane Hatto and Alfred Cortot, conducting;
1919 — Ravel: "Alborado del gracioso" (orchestral version), in Paris at Pasdeloup Concert;
1929 — Prokofiev: Symphony No. 3, in Paris, by the Orchestre Symphonique de Paris, with Pierre Monteux conducting;
1933 — Cowell: "Reel," for small orchestra, in New York;
1939 — Prokofiev: cantata "Alexander Nevsky," in Moscow;
1946 — Martin: "Petite Symphonie Concertante," in Zurich, Paul Sacher conducting;
1960 — Ned Rorem: "11 Studies for 11 Players," for chamber ensemble, at the State University of Buffalo (N.Y.), conducted by the composers;
1990 — Rautavaara: "Vincent," in Helsinki at the Finnish National Opera;
2000 — Michael Torke: "Corner in Manhattan," by the Minnesota Orchestra, Eiji Oue conducting;
2001 — Christopher Rouse: Clarinet Concerto, by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Christoph Eschenbach, with Larry Combs the soloist;


Friday, May 18
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SYNOPSIS:
"Big bang" symphony by Hovhaness? ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Alan Hovhaness (1911 – 2000):
Symphony No. 50 (Mount St. Helens)
Seattle Symphony; Gerard Schwarz, cond.
Delos 3137

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Alan Hovhaness

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1830 — Austro-Hungarian composer Karl Goldmark, in Keszthely, Hungary;
1901 — French composer Henri Sauguet, in Bordeaux;

Deaths:
1733 — German composer and organist Georg Böhm, age 71, in Lüneburg;
1909 — Spanish composer Isaac Albéniz, age 48, in Cambo-les-Bains;
1910 — French composer and opera singer Pauline Viardot-Garcia, age 88, in Paris;
1911 — Austrian composer Gustav Mahler, age 50, in Vienna;
1975 — American composer Leroy Anderson, age 66, in Woodburg, Conn.;

Premieres:
1885 — Bruckner: String Quintet in F (final version), in Vienna, by the Hellmesberger Quartet with guest violist; 24 years earlier, Joseph Hellmesberger had asked Bruckner to write a quartet for his ensemble; A partial performance of this work (minus the Finale, and with its original Scherzo replaced by an Intermezzo movement) was arranged in Vienna on November 27, 1881, by Bruckner's pupil Franz Schalk;
1887 — Chabrier: "Le Roi malgre lui" (The King in Spite of Himself), in Paris at the Opera Comique;
1897 — Dukas: tone-poem "The Sorcerer's Apprentice," in Paris, with the composer conducting;
1917 — Satie: ballet "Parade," in Paris by the Ballet Russe;
1922 — Stravinsky: opera, "Renard," at the Paris Opéra, with Ernest Anseremet conducting;
1939 — Douglas Moore: opera "The Devil and Daniel Webster," in New York City;
1940 — Luigi Dallapiccola: opera "Volo di Notte" (Night Flight), after the novel by Antoine Saint-Exupéry), in Florence;
1949 — Milhaud: "Sabbath Morning Service" at Temple Emanu-El, in San Francisco, composer conducting;
1950 — Lukas Foss: opera "The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" (after the short story by Mark Twain) in Bloomington, Ind.;
1978 — Cowell: "Quartet Romantic" for 2 flutes, violin and viola, at Alice Tully Hall in New York City, by Paul Dunkel and Susan Palma (flutes), Ralph Schulte (violin) and John Graham (viola); This music was composed in 1917;
1981 — Joan Tower: "Sequoia" in New York, with the American Composers Orchestra conducted by Dennis Russell Davies;
1988 — Philip Glass: opera "The Fall of the House of Usher" (after Poe) in Cambridge, Mass., at the American Repertory Theater;
1990 — John Harbison: Viola Concerto, in Bridgewater, N.J., with soloist Jaime Laredo and the New Jersey Symphony, Hugh Wolff conducting;
1996 — Philip Glass: opera "Les Enfants Terrible" (Children of the Game based on the novel by Jean Cocteau), by the Philip Glass Ensemble at the Theatre Casino in Zug (Switzerland), Karen Kamensek conducting.


Saturday, May 19
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SYNOPSIS:
Saint-Saens and "Babe" at the organ ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 – 1921):
Symphony No. 3 (Organ)
Matthias Eisenberg, organ; Toulouse Capitole Orchestra; Michel Plasson, cond.
EMI 56362

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Saint-Saëns

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1616 — Baptismal date of German composer and organist Johann Jacob Froberger, in Stuttgart;

Deaths:
1935 — American composer Charles Martin Loeffler, age 74, in Medfield, Mass.;
1954 — American composer and insurance executive Charles Ives, age 79, in New York;
2009 — British composer Nicholas Maw, age 73, in Washington, D.C.;

Premieres:
1842 — Donizetti: opera "Linda di Chamounix," in Vienna;
1886 — Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3 ("Organ"), in London;
1911 — Ravel: "L'Heure espagnole" (Spanish Hour), in Paris at the Opèra Comique;
1915 — Stravinsky: Three Pieces for string quartet, in Paris;
1932 — Shostakovich: incidental music for Shakespeare's "Hamlet," in Moscow at the Vakhtangov Theater;
1939 — Cowell: "Return" for 3 percussionists and wailer, at the Cornish School in Seattle, by John Cage and his Percussion Group;
1942 — Cage: music for the radio play "The City Wears a Slouch Hat" (text by poet Kenneth Patchen), broadcast in Chicago;
2000 — Robert X. Rodriguez: "The Last Night of Don Juan" for chorus and orchestra, by the San Antonio Symphony and chorus, Wilkins conducting;
2002 — William Bolcom: "Seventh Symphony (A Symphonic Concerto)," at Carnegie Hall in New York, by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, James Levine conducting.


Sunday, May 20
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SYNOPSIS:
Beethoven in New York ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827):
Symphony No. 9 (Choral)
Berlin Philharmonic; Claudio Abbado, cond.
DG 471 491

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On George Templeton Strong, Sr.

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1804 — Russian composer Mikail Glinka ((Gregorian date: June 1);
1943 — American composer Tison Street, in Boston;

Deaths:
1896 — German pianist and composer, Clara Wieck Schumann, age 76, in Frankfurt;
1995 — American composer Ulysses Kay, in Englewood, N.J.;

Premieres:
1914 — Miaskovsky: Symphony No. 1, in Pavlovsk (Julian date: June 2);
1937 — John J. Becker: Symphony No. 3 ("Symphonia Brevis"), at the Saint Paul Auditorium by the Twin Cities Civic (Federal Music Project, Minnesota) Orchestra, with the composer conducting;
1948 — Milhaud: Symphony No.4, in Paris, composer conducting;
1950 — Dallapiccola: opera "Il prigionero" (The Prisoner)(first staged production), in Florence at the Teatro Comunale; The opera has been premiered in a concert performance in Turin on December 1, 1949;
1973 — Menotti: Suite for Two Cellos and Piano, in New York, with cellists Gregor Piatigorsky and Leslie Parnas, and pianist Charles Wadsworth;
1974 — Panufnik: "Sinfonia Concertante," in London;
1974 — Sondheim: incidental music for "The Frogs" (after Aristophanes), at the Yale swimming pool;
1977 — Hovhaness: "Rubaiyat" for narrator, accordion, and orchestra, in New York City;
1979 — Tobias Picker: "Romance" for violin and piano, at York College, by Linda Quan (violin) and Aleck Karis (piano);
1989 — Katherine Hoover: "Quintet Da Pacem," for piano quintet, at Alice Tully Hall in New York, by members of the New Jersey Chamber Music Society;