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September 16 — September 22, 2013

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Monday, September 16
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SYNOPSIS:
Duke Ellington plays Grace Cathedral ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Edward "Duke" Ellington (1899-1974):
Come Sunday
Duke Ellington and his orchestra
RCA/Bluebird 6641

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Duke Ellington
More on Ellington

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1887 — French composition teacher Nadia Boulanger, in Paris; Her pupils included a number of famous American composers from Aaron Copland to Philip Glass;
1844 — French flutist and composer Paul Taffanel, in Bordeaux;

Premieres:
1925 — Broadway premiere of Vincent Youmans' musical, "No, No Nanette," which had opened in Detroit on April 21, 1924, and had successful productions in Chicago and London before reaching New York City;
1965 — Duke Ellington: First Sacred Concert, at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco;
1966 — Barber: opera, "Anthony and Cleopatra" at the opening of the new Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center;
1995 — Harrison Birtwistle: "Panic" for alto sax, drummer, and orchestra, at the "Last Night" of the Centenary Proms at Royal Albert Hall in London, with the BBC Symphony conducted by Andrew Davis, with John Harle (sax) and Oauk Clarvis (dummer);
1999 — Libby Larsen: "Solo Symphony," by the Colorado Symphony, Marin Alsop conducting;


Tuesday, September 17
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SYNOPSIS:
Cowell in Teheran ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Henry Cowell (1897-1965):
Persian Set
Manhattan Chamber Orchestra; Richard Auldon Clark, cond.
Koch International 7220

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Henry Cowell
An essay on Cowell's legacy

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1795 — Baptismal date of Italian opera composer Saverio Mercadante, in Altamura, near Bari;
1884 — American composer Charles Tomlinson Griffes, in Elmira, New York;
1917 — Korean-born German composer Isang Yun, in Tong Young (now Chung Mu);

Deaths:
1179 — German mystic, writer and composer Hildegard von Bingen, age c. 81, in Rupertsburg (near Bingen);
1762 — Italian violinist and composer Francesco Geminiani, age 74, in Dublin;
1803 — Austrian composer Franz Xaver Sussmayr, who studied with Salieri and Mozart; Sussmayr completed Mozart's unfinished "Requiem";

Premieres:
1872 — American premiere of Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" at a Central Park concert given by the Theodore Thomas orchestra;
1931 — Delius: "A Song of Summer," in London;
1957 — Cowell: "Persian Set," at the Gulestan Palace in Tehran, Iran, by the Minneapolis Symphony, Antal Dorati conducting;
1982 — Steve Reich: "Tehillim" (orchestral version), by New York Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta;


Wednesday, September 18
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SYNOPSIS:
Prokofiev and Leifs agree: "There's no place like home!" ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953):
Piano Concerto No. 3 in C, Op. 26
Martha Argerich, piano; Montréal Symphony; Charles Dutoit, cond.
EMI Classics 56654

Jón Leifs (1899-1968):
Saga Symphony
Iceland Symphony; Osmo Vänskä, cond.
BIS 730

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Prokofiev
On Jón Leifs

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1893 — Australian composer Arthur Benjamin, in Sydney;
1910 — Polish-born Israeli composer Josef Tal, in Pinne (near Posen);

Deaths:
1970 — Rock guitar virtuoso Jimi Hendrix, age 27, from asphyxiation due to an overdose of barbiturates

Premieres:
1954 — Virgil Thomson: Concerto for flute, strings and percussion, in Venice;
1960 — Penderecki: "Dimensions of Time and Silence," during "Warsaw Autumn" International Festival of Contemporary Music;
1978 — Shostakovich: unfinished opera "The Gamblers" (after Nikolai Gogol), in Leningrad at the Large Hall of the Leningrad Philharmonic;
1986 — Corigliano: "Fantasia on an Ostinato" by the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Zubin Mehta;
1998 — Bright Sheng: "Spring Dreams," by cellist Yo-Yo Ma with the Seattle Symphony, Gerard Schwartz conducting.
1998 — Michael Torke: "Lucent Variations," in St. Paul, Minn., by the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Hugh Wolff conducting.


Thursday, September 19
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SYNOPSIS:
On the Transmigration of Souls ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
John Adams (b. 1947):
On the Transmigration of Souls
New York Philharmonic; Lorin Maazel, cond.
Nonesuch CD 79816

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On John Adams (official website)
More on John Adams

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1829 — Music publisher Gustav Schirmer, in Königsee, Thuringia; He came to America in 1840 with his parents, and in 1861 founded in New York City the music publishing house that bears his name, G. Schirmer, Inc.;
1911 — Swedish composer Allan Pettersson, in Västra Ryd;

Deaths:
1949 — Greek composer Nikos Skalkottas, age 45, in Athens;
1972 — French composer and pianist Robert Casadesus, age 73, in Paris;

Premieres:
1894 — Brahms: two Clarinet Sonatas, Op. 120, at a private performance in the home of the sister of the Duke of Meiningen at Berchtesgaden, by clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld (of the Grand Ducal Orchestra of Meiningen) with the composer at the piano; Brahms and Mühlfeld also gave private performances of both sonatas on November 10-13, 1894, in Frankfurt (for Clara Schumann and others); on November 14, 1894, at Castle Altenstein (for the Duke of Meiningen); and on Jan. 7, 1895, in Vienna (for members of the Tonkünstler Society); The first public performances of the two sonatas took place in Vienna on January 8 (Sonata No. 2) and 11 (Sonata No. 2), 1895, with the same performers, as part of the Rosé Quartet's chamber music series;
1908 — Mahler: Symphony No. 7 ("Song of the Night"), in Prague, with the composer conducting;
1927 — Schoenberg: String Quartet No. 3, in Vienna, by the Kolisch Quartet;
1937 — Hanson: Symphony No. 3 (partial performance), on a CBS Radio Symphony concert conducted by the composer; The first complete performance occurred with the rival network's NBC Symphony, again with the composer conducting, on March 26, 1938;
1970 — Morton Feldman: "The Viola in My Life" No. 1 for viola and orchestra, in London;
1998 — André Previn: opera "A Streetcar Named Desire," with cast including Rene Fleming, by the San Francisco Opera, the composer conducting;
1998 — Michael Torke: "Jasper" for orchestra, by the Madison (Wisc.) Symphony, John DeMain conducting;
1999 — Elmer Bernstein: Guitar Concerto, with Honolulu Symphony conducted by Samuel Wong and soloist Christopher Parkening;
2002 — John Adams: "On the Transmigration of Souls" for vocal soloists, chorus and orchestra, by the New York Philharmonic, Lorin Maazel conducting;
2002 — John Adams: “On the Transmigration of Souls” for vocal soloists, chorus and orchestra, by the New York Philharmonic, Lorin Maazel conducting;


Friday, September 20
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SYNOPSIS:
Sibelius passes ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Jean Sibelius (1865-1957):
Alla Marcia, from Karelia Suite
Finnish Radio Symphony; Jukka-Pekka Saraste, cond.
RCA 7765

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
Finnish Jan Sibelius Web site
More on Sibelius

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1880 — Italian composer Ildebrando Pizetti, in Parma;
1885 — Frequently cited birth date of American composer and jazz pianist Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton, in New Orleans; This date has been proven incorrect (See October 20, 1890);
1900 — Finnish composer Unno Klami, in Virolahti;

Deaths:
1908 — Spanish violin virtuoso and composer Pablo de Sarasate, age 63, in Biarritz;
1957 — Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, age 91, in Järvenpää;

Premieres:
1878 — Tchaikovsky: "Valse-scherzo" for violin and orchestra, in Paris, with Nicolai Rubinstein conducting and Stanislaw Barcewicz the soloist;
1930 — first public performance of Elgar: "Pomp and Circumstance" March No. 5, at Queen's Hall in London, Sir Henry Wood conducting; The first performance ever of this music occurred two days earlier, when Elgar himself recorded his new march at HMV's London studios;
1954 — Stravinsky: "In Memoriam Dylan Thomas," in Los Angeles, conducted by Robert Craft; Stravinsky had met the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas the previous year, and they had discussed collaborating on an opera project, but Thomas died on November 9, 1953;
1975 — Jack Beeson: opera "Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines" in Kansas City, Mo.


Saturday, September 21
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SYNOPSIS:
Of froth and Friml ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Rudolf Friml (1879-1972):
Song of the Vagabonds, from The Vagabond King
Eastman-Dryden Orchestra: Donald Hunsberger, cond.
Arabesque 6562

Rudolf Friml (1879-1972):
Chanson "In Love"
New London Orchestra; Ronald Corp, cond.
Hyperion 67067

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Friml

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1698 — French violinist and composer François Francoeur, in Paris; He was one of the "24 violins du roi" and collaborated with François Rebel in the production of several works for the Paris Opéra;
1737 — American statesman and composer Francis Hopkinson, in Philadelphia; He was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and also composed some songs;
1874 — English composer Gustav Holst, in Cheltenham; He was born Gustavus Theodore von Holst, and his early works were published under the name "Gustav von Holst," but removed the Germanic "von" after World War I broke out in 1914;

Deaths:
1953 — English composer Roger Quilter, age 75, in London;

Premieres:
1795 — revised version of Haydn: Symphony No. 103 ("The Drumroll"), conducted by the composer, in Vienna (Haydn had conducted the first version of this symphony at the King's Theater in London, on March 2, 1795;
1925 — Rudolph Friml's operetta, "The Vagabond King," in New York City;
1966 — Havergal Brian: Symphony No. 6 ("Sinfonia Tragica") in London; This work was composed in 1948;
1966 — Maliperio: Symphony No. 9 ("Hélas") at the "Warsaw Autumn" Festival of Contemporary Music in Poland;
1972 — Piston: Flute Concerto, with Dorothy Anthony Dwyer the soloist and the Boston Symphony conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas;
1988 — Peter Maxwell Davies: Trumpet Concerto, in Hiroshima (Japan), by the Philharmonia Orchestra, Giuseppe Sinopoli conducting, with soloist John Wallace;
1994 — James MacMillan: "Britannia" for orchestra, at the Barbican in London by the London Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas conducting;


Sunday, September 22
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SYNOPSIS:
Higdon welcomes Autumn ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Jennifer Higdon (b. 1962):
Autumn Music
Moran Woodwind Quintet
Crystal 754

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Jennifer Higdon

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1875 — Lithuanian composer Mikolajus Ciurlionis, in Varena (then the Kaunas province of the Russian Empire; Julian date: Sept. 10);
1933 — Spanish composer Leonardo Balada, in Barcelona;
1961 — American composer Michael Torke, in Milwaukee, Wisc.;

Deaths:
1989 — American song composer Irving Berlin, age 101, in New York City;

Premieres:
1869 — Wagner: opera, "Das Rheingold," in Munich at the Hoftheater, Franz Wüllner conducting; The opera was performed at the Bavarian emperor Ludwig II's request, but against the composer's wishes;
1938 — Webern: String Quartet, Op. 28, at South Mountain, Pittsfield, Mass., during the Berkshire Chamber Music Festival; This work was commissioned for $750 by the American music patron, Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge;
1964 — Jerry Bock: musical "Fiddler On the Roof" opens on Broadway: It would run for 3,242 performances before closing;
1971 — Barber: "The Lovers" for solo voice and chorus (after a poem by Pablo Neruda), in Philadelphia;
1989 — Bernstein: "Arias and Barcarolles" (orchestrated version prepared by Bright Sheng), at the Tilles Center of Long Island University with the New York Chamber Symphony conducted by Gerard Schwarz and featuring vocalists Susan Graham and Kurt Ollmann; The first version of this work, for soloists and piano four-hands, premiered on May 9, 1988, at Equitable Center Auditorium in New York City;
1990 — James MacMillan: "The Beserking" (Piano Concerto), at Henry Wood Hall in Glasgow by pianist Peter Donohoue and the Royal Scottish Orchestra, Matthias Bamert conducting;
1990 — Christopher Rouse: "Jagannath" for orchestra, by the Houston Symphony Orchestra, Christoph Eschenbach conducting;
2000 — Philip Glass: “Tirol Concerto” for piano and orchestra, by Dennis Russell Davies (piano and conductor) with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, at the 7th annual Klangspuren Festival in Schwaz, Tirol (Austria);
2000 — Zwilich: "Millennium Fantasy" for piano and orchestra, by the Cincinnati Symphony, Jesús Lopez-Cobos conducting with soloist Jeffrey Biegel;