Sunday, August 27, 2006

Program #26
Aug 28, 2006

Bartok: Two Portraits for Orchestra
SWR Symphony Orch.
Hans-Martin Schneidt

Jardin Ottoman
Burhan Ocal, tanbur & voice
Taksim, Pesrev & Song
(L'empreinte Digitale)

A good pairing, since Bartok surely encountered Turkish music like this in his musicological wanderings. This entry gave rise to some pointed questions from Bryant as to just what constitutes "classical" music, and whether Jazz or "World" music counts.

I've never had an answer to this conundrum & can only say I know it when I hear it, and Turkish classical passes the test easily: it's a complex, organised pattern of tones (or actually, modes)and rhythms , used in elite situations, and represents the apex of aesthetic sophistication. (Yes, I like it)
I'm looking for some Persian classical music to play in the future...

Cherubini: String Quartet # 3
Hausmusik, London
Mystery Piece:
Bach, Italian Concerto
Maggie Cole, Hpscd
Sarasa Emsemble

Top of the second hour regular opportunity to win a CD; no takers today. More cuts from this disc will be played in later shows featuring vocalist Emily Van Evera, who is in magnificant voice in music by Purcell & Handel.

J.A. Hiller: Overture "Der jagd"
Max Reger: Hiller Variations (op. 100)
Herbert Blomstedt/ Gewandhaus Orchestra, Leipzig.

A case where the derivative far outshines the source.
Played in a live recording by a legendary conductor & orchestra. This disc is from a celebratory box set dedicated to Blomstedt & the Gewandhaus on the Querstand label. A real rarity. I'll play the Nielson 5th sometime soon.

Alan Bush: 8 Preludes
Peter Jacobs, piano

Here's a name of ill-omen that Bryant brought in; new to me and interesting. I wasn't immediately grabbed, but on reflection there was some interesting piano writing and it was pretty well played. Bush was a tough old Communist who lived to 95.

Ernest Chausson
Philippe Graffin, violin, Vernon Handley/ Royal Liverpool Phil, Orch.

Brand new from Avie, and with such a fine recording of the Elgar Violin Concerto by this young French violinist.

Vaughan Williams: 5 Variants of Dives & Lazerus
Barry Wordsworth/ New Queen's Hall Orch.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Program # 25
Aug. 20, 2006

Dante: Lo mio servente core
Ensemble Lucidarium
L'empreinte digitale
cuts 1-4

Messe de Tournai
Rene Clemencic
Clemencic Consort
cuts 3 & 4

Janacek: Glagolitic Mass
Eliahu Inbal
Deutsches-Symphonie Orch. Berlin

Faure Pavane
Orch & Ch. Sym. de Monreal
Charles Dutoit

Debussy: Pelleas & Melisande
Act 4
Roger Desormiere, cond.

Debussy: Reverie
Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

Faure: Pelleas & Melisande
Michel Plasson, Orch de Toulouse
Frederica Von Stade, sop.

Schonberg: Pelleas & Melisande
Hungarian Nat. Phil. Orch.
Zoltan Kocsis, cond.
BMC (Budapest Music Center)


Sunday, August 13, 2006

AUG 13, 2006

Grieg: Adagio from Piano Concerto in A min./ Francois Rene Duchable, Orch Phil. de Strasbourg (Decca)

Prokofiev: Flute Sonata in D maj./ Marina Piccinini, flute, Andraes Haefliger, piano (Avie). First U.S. broadcast.

Schnittke: Sonata for Violincello & Piano (1978)/ Maria Kliegel vc, Raimun Havenith p. (Naxos)

Prokofiev: Ivan the Terrible (complete film music) / Riccardo Muti, Philharmonia Orch. (EMI)

William Boyce: Symphonies #8 & #5/ English String Orch. William Boughton (Nimbus)

Britten: Simple Symphony/ Britten, conductor (Decca)



Bryant began the show solo, as I ran three blocks for the CD I wanted -- in 6 minutes time. First piece was the Mystery Music for listeners to guess, which turned out to be the slow movement from Grieg's Piano Concerto. I had no idea...2 minutes and counting...

Breathless I ran in with the disc I had left in the car's CD player, the new disc by flutist Marina Piccinini. Nowhere in the USA except here on Radio Depaul. Bryant voiced his true feelings about the flute and its wimpy sound..I promised to play the flute sonata by Poulenc in the near future. He did like the Andante, however. Me too.

Schnittke: not wimpy, but with a delicate ending.

Prokofiev: Ivan the Terrible: not wimpy!This ran 74 minutes.

Boyce: Symphony #8 in Dmin & #5 in D; 2 contrasted styles, both Handelesque. Or Purcellian. Or just Boycean, since he really had his own way with the short-lived English style. Was he the last?

Britten: Simple Symphony/ Britten conducting (stylishly). (Decca)

After 74 minutes of Slavic intensity, Bryant's last two choices cleaned the palatte like lemon sorbet.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

August 6, 2006
6:00 - 9:00 PM

Bach,Keyboard Concerto #7 in Gmin BWV 1058/ Angela Hewitt, piano, Australian Chamber Orch., Tognetti, dir.

Turgenev: Fathers & Sons/ Extract read by Bryant Manning

Mozart: Fantasia for Pianoforte K 475

Muzio Clementi:Symphony #1 in Cmaj/Claudio Scimone, Philharmonia Orch. (Erato)

Gluck/Kreisler: Air from Orfeo/ Grumiaux, violin (UNI)

Kurt Atterberg: Symphony #7/ (CPO)

Delius: Walk Through the Paradise Garden/ A. Davis, BBC Sym. Orch. (Teldec)

Szymanowski: String Quartet # 1

Dvorak: Piano Quartet #2 in G/ Ax, Stern, Larado, Ma (Sony)


Rather sketchy information on the play list, but enough to identify most of them. A very substantial program, highlighted by the reading from Turgenev. Maybe Bryant will pass along the text.

The Bach concerto, a staple of the piano for a century, gets a good run-thru;from Angela Hewitt. It was intended to clear the air for the switch into prose.

The reading was a worldly passage depicting a lifestyle long past, and the Mozart Fantasy was somehow just the right music for it. The period instrument sounded as though it could have been in the family for 50 years or more.

Clementi is interesting as much for his faded reputation as for his music. Such a giant in his day, and now so forgotten. His obsession for perfection, which prevented the symphonies from being printed, reminds me of Dukas, another obsessive, and also of Debussy, and Sibelius. They all created masterpieces, but at much personal cost, and with long stretches of non-productivity and downright self-destructive behavior.

Atterberg, on the other hand was fertile in musical thoughts for decades, and produced a body of work that is always alive and changing. The symphony Bryant picked is from a box set of his complete symphonies on the CPO label: a nice overview of a fluent musician.

Stay tuned...I go to Pittsburgh, but return in time for Cyber Classical Radio.



Long planned, a 75-min piece featuring (Russian) words and Music from the film score to Ivan the Terrible by Prokofiev. Muti conducts magnificently.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Program #22
July 30, 2006
Gerry Fisher & Bryant Manning

Over an hour late due to unavoidable circumstances, so we lost any listeners who tuned in at our regular start time of 6PM. Turned out that we were playing music for 2 people and ourselves...

Avison/Scarlatti: Concerto #5/ Cafe Zimmermann (Alpha)

Beethoven: Symphony #7/ Janos Ferencsic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Live 1979) CSO CD

Du Min Xin: "Great Wall Symphony" (Marco Polo)

Darius Milhaud: Symphony #4 ("1848")/ Milhaud, conductor (Erato)

Handel: Arias from Theodora and La Lucrezia./Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Avie)

Chopin: Rondo a la Krakoviak, Op.14/ (DG)-----------------------------------------------------------------------

The Beethoven was an unexpected discovery; a great night at the CSO in the glory years. Janos Ferenscic was a fine conductor unknown on this side of the iron curtain.

Bryant only played one movement of the "Great Wall Symphony" , which was plenty...

In the Nationalist vein as well was Milhaud's "occasional" Symphony ("Composed for the centenary of the 1848 Revolution"). Militarism subverted with a Gallic wink.

Bryant suggested we should play something by Lorraine Hunt Lieberson who had just died. I listened to the Handel aria disc she did for the French label Avie, and picked two sublime moments to celebrate her achievement. In the aria from La Lucretia, we get a viola da Gamba solo which is Handel at his creative best. (Margriet Tindemans has been in Chicago on occasion; a wonderful gambist).

The last piece in our truncated show was Chopin's early Rondo a la Krakoviak, rounding out the Nationalist theme this week.
July 23, 2006

Radio DePaul WDRP

Schubert: Symphony 9/ James Levine, Chicago Symphony (DG)

Claude Debussy: String Quartet in gmin/ Quartetto Italiano/Recorded 1954. (EMI)

Anton Webern: 6 Pieces for Orchestra/ Hans Rosbaud, Concertgebouw Orch/ Recorded 1959. (Teldec)

Sandor Veress: Concerto for Piano, Strings & Percussion/Andras Schiff, piano; Heinz Holliger, Budapest Festival Orchestra (Teldec)

Ligeti: Lontano/ Jonothan Nott, Berlin Philharmonic (Teldec)

Milton Babbitt: Homily for snare drum; Beaten Paths for marimba/ Group for Contemporary Music (Naxos)

J.S. Bach: French Suite #1/ Glenn Gould, piano (Sony)

J. M. Kraus: Symphony in C#/ Peter Sundkvist, Swedish Chamber Orchestra (Nazos)

Antonio Rosetti: Symphony in Efl major. Concerto Koln (Teldec)


An appropriate start for a Chicago-based show with the CSO conducted in expansive style by James Levine. Bryant and I heard Brahms... The Debussy provoked Bryant to say he would never have guessed the composer, and I saw his point: no foggy impressionism here -- nothing but clear rationality in crystalline lines of sound. France seen through Italian spectacles.

The "First Hearing" piece Bryant played for me to guess was early Webern which starts out very big, like the post-Romantic Schonberg, not at all like the later gnomic miniaturist Webern became. Tricky. Not to mention that it was an old recording by the Concertgebouw Orchestra!

The Sandor Veress Concerto is an unknown treasure of a piece, with lots of color and ample substance; glorious playing from Schiff...a favorite artist for both of us, it turns out.

Some short excercises by New Music Master Milton Babbitt made us laugh. First hearing for both of us...and probably the last...

The last hour was devoted to 18th Century music, with Bryant throwing a softball "First Hearing" question, asking the listener to identify the composer, not the piece...and someone called! Unfortunately, that meant Bryant had to give up his Glenn Gould Bach CD to the winner, so it was joy mixed with sadness...

The last two pieces were serindipitous choices that featured music by unknown composers of great merit who lived amost exactly contemporaneously: J.M. Kraus (1756-92) and Antonio Rosetti (c. 1750 - 92). I was quite taken by Rosetti, a transplanted Czech, but was trumped by Bryant's choice selection by Kraus, who is a much more interesting composer...

July 30, 2006

(To come)