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October 28 — November 3, 2013

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Monday, October 28
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SYNOPSIS:
Strauss goes mountain-climbing ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Richard Strauss (1864-1949):
An Alpine Symphony
Vienna Philharmonic; André Previn, cond
Telarc 80211

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Richard Strauss

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1896 — American conductor, composer and Eastman School of Music director, Howard Hanson, in Wahoo, Nebraska;

Deaths:
1755 — French composer Joseph Bodin de Boismortier, age 65, in Roissy-en-Brie;

Premieres:
1893 — Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 ("Pathétique"), at the Hall of Nobles in St. Petersburg, with Tchaikovsky conducting (Julian date: Oct. 16);
1915 — R. Strauss: "An Alpine Symphony," in Berlin, with the composer conducting;
1925 — Loeffler: "The Canticle of the Sun," for voice and chamber orchestra, at the Library of Congress Festival of Chamber Music in Washington, D.C.;
1931 — William Grant Still: Symphony No. 1 ("Afro-American"), by the Rochester (N.Y.) Philharmonic, Howard Hanson conducting;
1932 — Stravinsky: "Duo Concertante" for Violin and Piano, in Berlin at the Funkhaus, with violinist Samuel Dushkin and the composer at the piano;
1935 — Miaskovsky: Symphony No. 15, in Moscow;
1942 — R. Strauss: opera "Capriccio," in Munich at the Bavarian State Opera, conducted by Clemens Krauss, with vocal soloists Viorica Ursuleac (The Countess), Horst Taubmann (Flamand), Hans Hotter (Olivier), and Georg Hann (La Roche);
1943 — Martinu: "Memorial to Lidice," in New York City;
1952 — Elliott Carter: Eight Etudes and a Fantasy for flute,oboe, clarinet, and bassoon, in New York, by members of the New York Woodwind Quintet;
1955 — Bernstein: incidental music for "The Lark" (play by Jean Anoilh adapted by Lillian Hellman) at trial run in Boston at the Plymouth Theater; The show opened in New York City at the Longacre Theater on November 17, 1955;
1965 — Ned Rorem: "Lions" for orchestra and jazz combo, by the Detroit Symphony, Sixten Ehrling conducting;
1972 — Morton Feldman: "Pianos and Voices," in Buffalo, N.Y.;
2001 — Kamran Ince: "Flight Box," at the Milwaukee Art Museum, by the ensemble Present Music.


Tuesday, October 29
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SYNOPSIS:
Don Giovanni in Prague (and Vienna) ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Wolfgang Mozart (1756-1791):
Don Giovanni
Michele Pertusi (as Leporello); London Philharmonic; Sir Georg Solti, cond.
London 455 500

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Wolfgang Mozart

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Premieres:
1787 — Mozart: opera, "Don Giovanni'," in Prague at the Nationaltheater;
1837 — Donizetti: opera, "Roberto Devereux," at the.Teatro San Carlos, in Naples;
1920 — Edward Burlingame Hill: symphonic poem “The Fall of the House of Usher” (after Poe), by the Boston Symphony with Pierre Monteux conducting;
1950 — Copland: Quartet for Piano and Strings, by the New York Quartet at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. at a Coolidge Festival concert; This work was commissioned by Mrs. Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Coolidge Foundation;
1955 — Shostakovich: Violin Concerto No. 1, by the Leningrad Philharmonic, Yevgeny Svetlanov conducting, with David Oistrakh as the soloist;
1956 — Bernstein: musical "Candide" (original version) in Boston as a trial run at the Colonial Theater, directed by Tyrone Guthrie and conducted by Samuel Krachmalnick; The show opened officially on New York at the Martin Beck Theater on December 1, 1956; According to Opera America magazine, this is one of the most frequently-produced American operas during the past decade;
1966 — Milhaud: "Music for Indiana," by the Indianapolis Symphony;
1967 — Persichetti: Symphony No. 8, in Berea, Ohio, by the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory Orchestra, George Poinar conducting;
1980 — Off Broadway premiere of Sondheim: revue "Marry Me a Little"(compiled from various Sondheim musicals);


Wednesday, October 30
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SYNOPSIS:
"What's in a name?" asks Aaron Copland ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Aaron Copland (1900-1990):
Appalachian Spring
Saint Louis Symphony;Leonard Slatkin, cond.
EMI 73653

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Copland's ballet

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1894 — English composer Peter Warlock (real name, Philip Heseltine), in London;

Deaths:
1953 — Hungarian operetta composer Emmerich Kálmán, age 71, in Paris;

Premieres:
1733 — Handel: opera "Semiramide" in London at the King's Theater in the Haymarket (Gregorian date: Nov. 10);
1876 — Brahms: String Quartet No. 3 in Bb (first public performance), in Berlin, by the Joachim Quartet; This work had been privately premiered at the home of Clara Schumann by the Joachim Quartet on May 23, 1876, and subsequently performed for a small circle of friends at the Joachim home on June 4 that year;
1881 — Serenade for Strings, in St. Petersburg (Julian date: Oct. 18);
1882 — Tchaikovsky: Trio, Op. 50 (dedicated to the memory of Nicolas Rubinstein), in Moscow at a Russian Musical Society concert by Ivan Hřimaly (violin), Wilhelm Fitzenhagen (cello) and Sergei Taneyev (piano) (Julian date: Oct. 18); This was the public premiere of the Tchaikovsky Trio, but a private performance featuring the same artists had occurred on Feb. 18 (Gregorian date: Mar. 2) that same year;
1896 — Amy Beach: "Gaelic" Symphony, at the Music Hall in Boston by the Boston Symphony, Emil Paur conducting; This was an afternoon "open rehearsal" performance - the "official" premiere took place the following evening;
1929 — Wallingford Rieger: "Study in Sonority," by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Leopold Stokowski conducting;
1944 — Copland: ballet "Appalachian Spring," by a 13-piece chamber orchestra, at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., by the Martha Graham Ballet;
1947 — Elie Siegemeister: Symphony No. 1, by the New York Philharmonic, Leopold Stokowski conducting;
1947 — Kurt Weill: musical, "Lost in the Stars," in New York City;
1957 — Shostakovich: Symphony No. 11 ("The Year 1905"), in Moscow, by the USSR State Symphony, Natan Rakhlin;
1979 — Ned Rorem: "Nantucket Songs" (to texts by Roethke, Wm. Carlos Williams, Edmund Waller and others) at Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress, with soprano Phylllis Bryn-Julson and the composer at the piano;
1998 — Anthony Davis: "Tales (Tails) of a Signifying Monkey," by the Pittsburgh Symphony, David Zinman conducting;


Thursday, October 31
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SYNOPSIS:
Larsen and Waxman do "The Monster Mash" ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Libby Larsen (b.1950):
What the Monster Saw
Cleveland Chamber Symphony; Edwin London, cond.
GM Recordings 2039

Franz Waxman (1906-1967):
The Bride of Frankenstein
National Philharmonic; Charles Gerhardt, cond.
RCA 0708

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Libby Larsen
On Franz Waxman

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1833 — Russian composer Alexander Borodin, in St. Petersburg (Gregorian date: Nov. 12);
1806 — American composer Louise Talma, in Arcachon, France;
1949 — Cuban-American composer and conductor Odaline de la Martinez, in Matanzas, Cuba;

Deaths:
1870 — Hungarian composer Mihály Mosonyi (Michael Brand), age 55, in Pest;

Premieres:
1724 — Handel: opera "Tamerlano" in London at the King's Theater in the Haymarket (Gregorian date: Nov. 11); This was the London debut of the Italian tenor Francesco Borosini in a work by Handel;
1865 — Brahms: "Theme and Variations" in d (after slow movement of Brahms' String Sextet No. 1), in Frankfurt am Main;
1866 — Offenbach: operetta, "La Vie Parisienne," in Paris, at the Palais-Royal;
1875 — Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 4 in c, Op. 44, in Paris at a concert conducted by Edouard Colonne, with the composer as soloist;
1891 — Mascagni: opera "L'amico Fritz," at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome;
1924 — Hindemith: "Kammermusik" No. 2, Op. 36, no. 1, in Frankfurt, with Clemens Kraus conducting and Emma Lübbecke-Job the piano soloist;
1932 — Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 5, by the Berlin Philharmonic, Wilhelm Furtwängler conducting, with the composer as soloist;
1947 — Chávez: "Toccata" for percussion, in Mexico City;
1949 — Mark Blitzstein: opera "Regina," in New York City;
1955 — Hovhaness: Symphony No. 2 ("Mysterious Mountain"), by the Houston Symphony, Leopold Stokowski conducting;
1966 — Stravinsky: "The Owl and the Pussycat" (dedicated to Vera Stravinsky), in Los Angeles; This was Stravinsky's last composition;
1970 — Crumb: "Ancient Voices of Children," in Washington, D.C.;
1985 — Rorem: "String Symphony," by the Atlanta Symphony, Robert Shaw conducting.


Friday, November 1
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SYNOPSIS:
Copland breaks in a new pony ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Aaron Copland (1900-1990):
The Red Pony Suite
Dallas Symphony; Andrew Litton, cond.
Delos 3221

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
Copland's career as viewed by contemporary New York Times reviews and features
Minnesota Public Radio's "Top Ten" lists of Aaron Copland's life and music

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1877 — English composer Roger Quilter, in Brighton;
1934 — Welsh composer William Mathias, in Whitland, Dyfed.

Deaths:
1942 — German composer Hugo Distler, age 34, commits suicide in Berlin;

Premieres:
1892 — Rimsky-Korsakov: opera “ Mlada,” at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, with Eduard Nápravník conducting and basso Fyodor Stravinsky (Igor’s father) singing the role of Mstivoy (Julian date: Oct. 20);
1948 — Copland: "The Red Pony" Suite (from the film of the same name), by the Houston Symphony, Efrem Kurtz conducting;
1964 — Virgil Thomson: "The Feast of Love," for baritone and chamber ensemble, at the 13th Coolidge Festival in Washington, D.C.;


Saturday, November 2
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SYNOPSIS:
First -- and last? -- orchestral pieces by Brahms and Harrison ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897):
Variations on a theme by Haydn, Op. 56a
Cleveland Orchestra; Christoph von Dohnanyi, cond.
Teldec 8.44005

Lou Harrison (1917-2003):
Symphony No. 4 (Last Symphony)
California Symphony; Barry Jekowsky, cond.
Argo 455 590

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Brahms
On Harrison
A June 2002 interview with Lou Harrison (audio version also available)

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1739 — Austrian composer and violinist Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf, in Vienna;
1752 — Russian diplomat, violinist and music lover Count (later Prince) Andrei Razumovsky, in St. Petersburg (Julian date: Oct. 22) Razumovsky was the Russian ambassador to Vienna from 1783 to 1809; Beethoven dedicated his three String Quartets, Op. 59, to him, and (with Prince Lokowitz) his Fifth and Sixth Symphonies;
1880 — English composer and conductor John Foulds, in Manchester;
1915 — New Zealand composer Douglas Lilburn, in Wanganui;
1929 — American composer and conductor Harold Farberman, in New York;
1946 — Italian conductor and composer Giuseppe Sinopoli, in Venice; Sinopoli died of a heart attack on April 20th, 2001, while conducting Verdi’s “Aida” at the German Opera in Berlin;

Deaths:
1960 — Greek conductor and composer Dimitri Mitropoulos, age 64, of a heart attack, while rehearsing Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with the La Scala Orchestra in Milan;

Premieres:
1723 — Bach: Sacred Cantata No. 194 ("Höchsterwünschtes Freudenfest") for the dedication of the Störmthal church and organ; Bach was in Störmthal to inspect the new organ;
1739 — Handel completes in London his Concerto Grosso in d, Op. 6, no. 10 (see Julian date: Oct. 22);
1873 — Brahms: "Variations on a Theme by Haydn," Felix Otto Dessoff conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra;
1877 — Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 4 in C minor, in Paris, composer at piano;
1882 — Dvorák: String Quartet No. 11, in Berlin;
1928 — American premiere of Shostakovich: Symphony No. 1, by Philadelphia Orchestra, Leopold Stokowski conducting;
1945 — Menotti: Piano Concerto, by the Boston Symphony with Richard Burgin conducting with Rudolf Firkusny the soloist;
1959 — Henry Cowell: "Variations for Orchestra," by the Houston Symphony, Leopold Stokowski conducting;
1978 — Druckman: Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, soloist Sol Greiyzer, with James Levine conducting;
1990 — Lou Harrison: Symphony No. 4, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, by the Brooklyn Philharmonic (with tenor Damon Evan), Dennis Russell Davies conducting;


Sunday, November 3
Play today's program

SYNOPSIS:
Middle-Eastern sounds from Rimsky-Korsakov and Reza Vali ...

MUSIC PLAYED ON TODAY'S PROGRAM:
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908):
Scheherazade, Op. 35
Atlanta Symphony; Robert Spano, cond.
Telarc 80568

Reza Vali (b. 1952):
Folk Songs Set No. 9
Alberto Almarza, flute; Alvaro Bitran, cello
New Albion 077

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
On Rimsky-Korsakov
On Reza Vali

ALSO ON THIS DATE:
Births:
1587 — Baptism of German composer and organist Samuel Scheidt, in Halle-on-Saale;
1801 — Italian composer Vincenzo Bellini, in Catania, Sicily;
1911 — Russian-American composer Vladimir Ussachevsky, in Hailar, Manchuria;

Deaths:
1939 — French composer and organist Charles Tournemire, age 69, in Arcachon, France;
1993 — Russian inventor Lev Sergeivitch Termen (anglicized to Leon Theremin), age 97, in Moscow; He invented the "theremin," an electronic instrument whose sound was either used or imitated (by specially constructed and easier to play electronic instruments) in any number of film scores ("Spellbound," "The Day the Earth Stood Still", etc.) and even in the Beach Boys' song "Good Vibrations";

Premieres:
1726 — Bach: Sacred Cantata No. 49 ("Ich gehe und suche mit Verlangen")performed on the 20th Sunday after Trinity as part of Bach's third annual Sacred Cantata cycle in Leipzig (1725/27);
1844 — Verdi: opera "I due Foscari" (The Two Foscari), in Rome at the Teatro Argentina;
1888 — Rimsky-Korsakov: “Scheherazade,” in St. Petersburg (see Julian date: Oct. 22);
1898 — Rimsky-Korsakov: opera “The Tsar’s Bride,” at the Solodovnikov Theatre in Moscow, with Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov conducting (see Julian date: Oct. 22);
1900 — Rimsky-Korsakov: opera “The Tale of Tsar Saltan,” at the Solodovnikov Theatre in Moscow, with Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov conducting (see Julian date: Oct. 21);
1927 — Hindemith: "Kammermusik" No. 5, Op. 46, no. 2, in Berlin at the Kroll Opera, with Otto Klemperer conducting and the composer the viola soloist;
1943 — Shostakovich: Symphony No. 8, at the Moscow Conservatory by the USSR State Symphony conducted by Yevgeny Mravinsky, for an invited audience of musicians, artists, critics, and journalists; The first public performance took place the following evening;
1945 — Shostakovich: Symphony No. 9, by the Leningrad Philharmonic, Yevgeny ravinsky conducting;
1946 — Prokofiev: opera "Betrothal in a Monastery" (or "The Duenna") in Leningrad;
1950 — David Diamond: Symphony No. 3, by the Boston Symphony, Charles Munch conducting;
1958 — Per Norgaard: "Constellations" for 12 solo strings, in Copenhagen;
2002 — Milton Babbitt: “From the Psalter,” David Lang: “how to pray,” and Shulamit Ran: “Supplications,” at Carnegie Hall in New York by soloists, the New York Virtuoso Singers and the American Composers Orchestra, Steven Sloane conducting;