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February 25 — March 3, 2013

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Monday, February 25
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Zwilich's Third ...

Ellen Taafe Zwilich (b. 1939):
Symphony No. 3
Louisville Orchestra; James Sedares, cond.
Koch 7278

On Zwilich

1727 — French composer and organist Armand-Louis Couperin, in Paris;
1943 — George Harrison (of the Beatles), in Liverpool, England;

1643 — Italian composer Marco da Gagliano, age 60, in Florence;
1682 — Italian composer Alessandro Stradella, age 37, is murdered in Genoa, apparently in retaliation for running off with a Venetian nobleman's mistress;
1906 — Russian composer Anton Arensky, age 44, in a tuberculosis sanatorium in Terijoki, Finland (Julian date: Feb. 12);

1705 — Handel: opera "Nero," in Hamburg; This was Handel's second opera;
1850 — R. Schumann: "Concertstück (Concert Piece)" for Four Horns and Orchestra, by the horn quartet of Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Julius Rietz conducting that orchestra;
1877 — Tchaikovsky: symphonic-fantasy “Fancesca da Rimini,” in Moscow (Gregorian date: Mar. 9);
1881 — Tchaikovsky: opera “The Maid or Orleans,” at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg (Julian date: Feb. 13);
1888 — Benjamin Godard: opera "Jocelyn," in Brussels;
1905 — Koussevitzky: Double-Bass Concerto, in Moscow, with the composer as soloist (Julian date: Feb. 12);
1911 — Victor Herbert: opera "Natoma.", in Philadelphia;
1932 — Carl Ruggles: "Sun-Treader" for orchestra, by the Paris Symphony, Nicholas Slonimsky conducting;
1973 — Broadway premiere of Sondheim: musical "A Little Night Music"
1993 — Ellen Taaffe Zwilich: Symphony No. 3, by the New York Philharmonic, Jahja Ling conducting;
2001 — Robert Capanna: String Quartet No. 2, in Philadelphia, by the Mendelssohn String Quartet.

Tuesday, February 26
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Strauss, De Lancie and the Oboe Concerto ...

Richard Strauss (1864 — 1949):
Oboe Concerto
John de Lancie, oboe; Chamber Orchestra; Max Wilcox, cond.
RCA/BMG 7989

On Oboist John De Lancie

1770 — Bohemian-French composer Anton (Antoine) Reicha, in Prague;
1879 — English composer Frank Bridge, in Brighton;

1770 — Italian composer and violinist Giuseppe Tartini, age 77, in Padua;
1981 — American conductor, composer and Eastman School of Music director, Howard Hanson, age 84, in Rochester, N.Y.;

1752 — Handel: oratorio “Jephtha,” in London at the Covent Garden Theatre (Gregorian date: Mar. 8);
1877 — Borodin: Symphony No. 2, in St. Petersburg (Gregorian date: March 10);
1899 — Bruckner: Symphony No. 6 (heavily cut), by Vienna Philharmonic, with Gustav Mahler conducting; On February 11, 1883, Wilhlem Jahn had conducted the Vienna Philharmonic in premiere public performance of this symphony's 2nd and 3rd movements only;
1922 — Saint-Saëns: "Carnival of the Animals," in Paris;
1927 — Respighi: “Vetrate di Chiesa” (Church Windows), by the Boston Symphony with Serge Koussevitzky conducting;
1935 — Bizet: Symphony No. 1, posthumously, in Basel, Switzerland, with Felix Weingartner conducting; This symphony was composed by the 17-year old Bizet in 1855;
1939 — Copland: Sextet (arranged from "Short Symphony"), at Town Hall in New York City, by a Juilliard graduate ensemble;
1943 — Roy Harris: Symphony No. 5, by the Boston Symphony, Serge Koussevitzsky conducting;
1946 — R. Strauss: Oboe Concerto, by the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra conducted by Volkmar Andreae, with Marcel Saillet as soloist; This composition of this work had been prompted by a chance comment made by the American oboist (and then U.S. soldier) John de Lancie during a post-war visit with the elderly composer in Bavaria that Strauss should consider writing an oboe concerto (Strauss offered de Lancie the American premiere, but the work was given its first U.S. performance in 1948 by oboist Mitchell "Mitch" Miller and the Columbia Concert Orchestra under Daniel Saidenberg; Many years later, De Lancie made a stereo recording of the piece for RCA Victor, which has been re-released on compact disc) ;
1953 — Bernstein: musical "Wonderful Town," at the Winter Garden in New York City; A trial run of the show had opened in New Haven at the Schubert Theater on January 19, 1953;
1953 — Elliott Carter: String Quartet No. 1 at Columbia University in New York City, by the Walden Quartet;
1959 — Rochberg: Symphony No. 2, in Cleveland;
1981 — Peter Maxwell Davies: Symphony No. 2, at Boston's Symphony Hall, by the Boston Symphony, Seiji Ozawa conducting;
2001 — Klass De Vries: "…sub nocte per umbras" (through the real of spirits), at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, by the San Francisco Contemporary Players;

Wednesday, February 27
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Carter's Cello Sonata ...

Elliot Carter (1908 - 2012):
Cello Sonata
Anthony Ross, cello; Evelyne Brancart, piano
Boston Records 1006

On Elliott Carter
More on Carter
"American Mavericks" interview with Carter (audio available)

1848 — English composer (Sir) Hubert Parry, in Bournemouth;

1887 — Russian composer Alexander Borodin, age 53, at a fancy dress ball in St. Petersburg (Julian date: Feb. 15);

1729 — Bach: Sacred Cantata No. 159 ("Sehet, wie gehn hinauf gen Jerusalem") probably performed in Leipzig on Estomihi Sunday as part of Bach's fourth annual Sacred Cantata cycle (to texts by Christian Friedrich Henrici, a.k.a. "Picander") during 1728/29;
1737 — Handel: opera “Giustino,” in London (Julian date: Feb. 16);
1740 — Handel: oratorio “L’Allegro, il Penseroso, ed il Moderato,” in London at Lincoln’s Inn Field, with the premiere of Handel’s Organ Concerto in Bb, Op. 7, no. 1 (Gregorian date: Mar. 9);
1814 — Beethoven: Symphony No. 8, in Vienna, with composer conducting;
1908 — Amy Beach: Piano Quintet, at Boston's Potter Hall, with the Hoffmann Quartet and the composer at the piano;
1913 — Walter Damrosch: opera, "Cyrano de Bergerac," at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City;
1915 — Miaskovsky: Symphony No. 3, in Moscow (Julian date: Feb. 14);
1940 — William Schuman: String Quartet No. 3, at Town Hall in New York City, by the Coolidge Quartet;
1945 — Amy Beach: opera "Cabildo," by the Opera Workshop at the University of Georgia in Athens, directed by Hugh Hodgson; The first professional production occurred on May 13, 1995, at Alice Tully Hall in New York City as a "Great Performances" telecast conducted by Ransom Wilson;
1947 — Hindemith: Piano Concerto, by the Cleveland Orchestra, George Szell conducting, with Jesús Maria Sanromá the soloist;
1947 — Peter Mennin: Symphony No. 3, by the New York Philharmonic, Walter Hendel conducting;
1949 — Elliott Carter: Woodwind Quintet, at Times Hall in New York City, at a new music concert of the National Association for American Composers and Conductors, sharing a program with Henry Cowell's Suite for Wind Quintet, Vincent Perischetti's "Pastorale," Richard Franko Goldman's Duo for Tubas, Ingolf Dahl's "Music for Five Brass Instruments," and a revised version of Carl Ruggles; "Angles" for seven brass instruments;
1949 — Wm. Schuman: Symphony No. 6, by the Dallas Symphony, Antal Dorati conducting;
1950 — Elliott Carter: Cello Sonata, at Town Hall in New York, by cellist Bernard Greenhouse and pianist Anthony Markas;
1958 — Peter Mennin: Piano Concerto, by the Cleveland Orchesttra conducted by George Szell, with Eunice Podis the soloist;
1984 — Libby Larsen: "Parachute Dancing" for orchestra, by the American Composers Orchestra, Tom Nee conducting;
1986 — U. Zimmermann: opera "Weisse Rose" (White Rose), in Hamburg by the Opera stabile;
1999 — Peter Lieberson: Horn Concerto, at Carnegie Hall, with soloist William Purvis and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.

Thursday, February 28
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Les Tombeaux de Ravel (and Daugherty) ...

Maurice Ravel (1875 — 1937):
Le Tombeau de Couperin
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
DG 449 186

Michael Daugherty (b. 1954):
Le Tombeau de Liberace
Paul Crossley, piano; London Sinfonietta; Markus Stenz, cond.
Argo 458 145

On Maurice Ravel
On Michael Daugherty

1876 — American composer John Alden Carpenter, in Park Ridge, Illinois;

1688 — M.-A. Charpentier: opera "David et Jonathas," in Paris;
1728 — Handel: opera “Siroe, re di Persia” (Julian date: Feb. 17);
1862 — Gounod: opera "La Reine de Saba" (The Queen of Sheba), in Paris;
1888 — Tchaikovsky: “Pezzo capriccioso” for cello and orchestra, in Paris;
1898 — Kalinnikov: Symphony No. 2 (Gregorian date: Mar. 12);
1904 — d'Indy: Symphony No. 2 in Paris;
1912 — Nielsen: Symphony No. 3 ("Sinfonia espansiva" & Violin Concerto (with soloist Emil Telmányi), in Copenhagen, with the composer conducting;
1920 — Ravel: orchestral suite "Le Tombeau de Couperin," at a Pasdeloup Concert in Paris;
1929 — Pizzetti: "Concerto dell'estate" (Summer Concerto) by the New York Philharmonic, Arturo Toscanini conducting;
1936 — Roy Harris: Symphony No. 2, by the Boston Symphony & "Prelude and Fugue" for strings by the Philadelphia Orchestra;
1940 — Cowell: "Old American Country Set," by the Indianapolis Symphony, Fabien Sevitzky conducting;
1976 — Ralph Shapey: oratorio "Praise" in Chicago;
1991 — John Harbison: Symphony No. 3, by the Baltimore Symphony, David Zinman conducting;
1994 — George Tsontakis: "Winter Lightning" (No. 4 of "Four Symphonic Quartets" after poems by T.S. Eliot), by the Seattle Symphony, Gerard Schwarz conducting;

Friday, March 1
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Debussy in Boston ...

Claude Debussy (1862–1918):
La Mer
Chicago Symphony; Daniel Barenboim, cond.
Teldec 81702

On Debussy

1810 — Polish composer and pianist Frederic Chopin, in Zelazowa Wola (This is the date Chopin and his friends observed, although the composer's baptismal certificate says he was born on February 22);
1896 — Greek conductor and composer Dimitri Mitropoulos, in Athens;

1643 — Italian composer Girolamo Frescobaldi, age 59, in Rome;
1777 — Austrian composer Georg Christoph Wagenseil, age 62, in Vienna;
1976 — French conductor and composer Jean Martinon, age 66, in Paris;
1980 — American folksinger and folksong collector John Jacob Niles, age 88, near Lexington, Ky.;

1736 — Handel: cantata "Alexander's Feast," Concerto grosso in C (HWV. 318), Harp Concerto, Op. 4, no. 6, and Organ Concerto, Op. 4, no. 1, in London (Julian date: Feb. 19);
1743 — Handel: oratorio "Samson" and possibly the Organ Concerto Op. 7, no. 2, in London (Julian date: Feb. 18);
1950 — Menotti: opera "The Consul," in Philadelphia at the Shubert Theatre; The opera opened in New York City on March 15, 1950, and won that year's Pulitzer Prize for Music;
1950 — Prokofiev: Cello Sonata, Op. 119 (first public performance), at the Moscow Conservatory, by cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and pianist Sviatoslav Richter; The same artists had given a private performance of the work in Moscow, at the House of the Union of Composers on December 6, 1949;
1958 — Pizzetti: opera "Assassinio della cattedrale" (based on T.S. Eliot's play "Murder in the Cathedral"), at the Teatro della Scala in Milan;
1968 — Andrew Lloyd-Webber: musical "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" (first version) at Colet Court Prep School in London;
1979 — Broadway premiere of Sondheim: musical "Sweeny Todd";
2003 — Beethoven: "Largo" movement from a lost Oboe Concerto written in 1792, reconstructed by Dutch musicologists Jos van der Zanden and Cees Nieuwenhuizen, by the Rotterdam Chamber Orchestra conducted by Conrad van Alphen, with Alexei Ogrintchouk the oboe soloist;

Saturday, March 2
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Goffredo Petrassi ...

Goffredo Petrassi (1904 - 2003):
Sestina d'autunno
Compania; Andrea Molino, cond.
Stradivarius 33347

On Petrassi
Petrassi obit from 2003

1824 — Bohemian composer Bedrich Smetana, in Leitomischl;
1900 — German-born American composer Kurt Weill, in Dessau;
1905 — American composer Marc Blitzstein, in Philadelphia;
1917 — British composer John Gardner, in Manchester;
1921 — British composer Robert Simpson, in Leamington;

1959 — Finnish composer Yrjö (Henrik) Kilpinen, age 97, in Helsinki; He was the most famous Finnish composer of art songs (lieder);
2003 — Italian composer Goffredo Petrassi, age 98, in Rome;
2003 — Australian composer Malcolm Williamson, age 71, in Cambridge, England; In 1975 he became the first non-British born composer to serve as the Queen's Master of Music;

1724 — Handel: opera "Giulio Cesare" in London (Julian date: Feb. 20);
1744 — Handel: oratorio "Joseph and his Brethren" in London at the Covent Garden Theater (Gregorian date: March 13);
1792 — Haydn: Symphony No. 98, conducted by the composer, at the Hanover-Square Concert Rooms in London;
1795 — Haydn: Symphony No. 103 ("The Drumroll"), conducted by the composer, at the King's Theater in London;
1874 — Rimsky-Korsakov: Symphony No. 3, in St. Petersburg, with the composer conducting; This was a benefit concert for the victims of the Volga famine, and marked Rimsky-Korsakov's debut as a conductor (Julian date: Feb. 18);
1887 — R. Strauss: "Aus Italien" (From Italy), in Munich;
1911 — Scriabin: Symphony No. 5 ("Prometheus: Poem of Fire"), in Moscow (Gregorian date: Mar. 15);
1961 — Copland: Nonet for Strings, at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C., by members of the National Symphony conducted by the composer;
1977 — Benjamin Lees: "Dialogue" for cello and piano, in New York City.

Sunday, March 3
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"Parsifal" in New York ...

Richard Wagner (1813–1883):
Parsifal (excerpt)
SW German Radio Symphony; Erich Leinsdorf, cond.
Hannsler 93.040

On Wagner's "Parsifal"
On Walter Damrosch

1891 — Spanish composer Federico Moreno Torroba, in Madrid;

1768 — Italian composer Nicola Porpora, age 81, in Naples;
1824 — Italian composer and violin virtuoso Giovanni Battista Viotti, age 68, in London;
1932 — British-born German composer and pianist Eugène d'Albert, age 67, in Riga;

1793 — Haydn: Symphony No. 101 ("The Clock"), conducted by the composer, at the Hanover-Square Concert Rooms in London;
1842 — Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 ("Scotch"), by the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, with the composer conducting;
1853 — revised version of R. Schumann: Symphony No. 4, with the Düsseldorf Municipal Orchestra, conducted by the composer; An earlier version of this symphony premiered in Leipzig in 1841 as Schumann's Symphony "No. 2," but the composer withdrew the score and composed and premiered a new Symphony No. 2 and Symphony No. 3 before revising and reintroducing this symphony as "No. 4";
1870 — Brahms: "Alto Rhapsody," by the singer Pauline Viardot-Garcia, in Jena, Germany;
1875 — Bizet: opera "Carmen," in Paris at the Opéra-Comique;
1893 — George Templeton Strong, Jr.: Symphony No. 2 ("Sintram"), at a public afternoon rehearsal by the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall, with Anton Seidl conducting; The "official" premiere concert took place the following evening;
1899 — R. Strauss: tone-poem "Ein Heldenleben" (A Hero's Life), in Frankfurt, with Strauss conducting;
1918 — Bartók: String Quartet No. 2, Op. 17, in Budapest, by the Waldbauer Quartet;
1944 — Barber: Symphony No, 2, by the Boston Symphony, Serge Koussevitzky conducting;
1951 — Otto Luening: "Kentucky Concerto" by the Louisville Orchestra, with the composer conducting;
1959 — Cowell: Symphony No. 13 ("Madras") in Madras, India;
1963 — Menotti: television opera "Labyrinth," broadcast over the NBC network;