Letter V
Clarke Bustard
The Virginia Classical Music Blog
910 Entries
March 20
1-3 p.m. EDT
1700-1900 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM
www.wdce.org

Hamish MacCunn: “The Land of the Mountain and the Flood”
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic/Grant Llewellyn (Argo)

Past Masters:
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 in A minor (“Scottish”)
London Symphony Orchestra/Peter Maag (Decca)
(recorded 1960)

traditional: “Oh, the broom”
(original ballad and versions by John Playford and Gay & Pepusch [from “The Beggar’s Opera”])
Patrizia Kwella, soprano; Paul Elliott, tenor
The Broadside Band/Jeremy Barlow (Harmonia Mundi France)

Alexander Reinagle: “Occasional Overture” in D major (1794)
(reconstructed by Bertil van Boer)
Sinfonia Finlandia, Jyväskylä/Patrick Gallois (Naxos)

traditional: “A Scots Rant,” “A Trip to Killburn”
Baltimore Consort (Dorian)

Songs by Robert Burns:
“Auld Rob Morris” (arranged by Haydn)
“Robert Bruce’s March to Bannockburn” (arranged by Haydn)
“The bonny wee thing” (arranged by Haydn & Beethoven)
“Duncan Gray” (arranged by Beethoven)
“The lovely Lass o’Inverness” (arranged by Beethoven)
Lorna Anderson, soprano; Christine Cairns, mezzo-soprano; Harry Nicoll, tenor; Alan Watt, baritone
Scottish Early Music Consort/Warwick Edwards (Chandos Chaconne)

Beethoven: “Air and Variations on ‘O Kenmure’s on and awa, Willie’ ”
Utako Ikeda, flute; John Kitchen, fortepiano (Chandos Chaconne)

Malcolm Arnold: “Four Scottish Dances,” Op. 59
London Philharmonic/Malcolm Arnold (Phoenix)

Robert Burns: “Auld Lang Syne”(arranged by Leopold Anton Kozeluch)
Lorna Anderson, soprano; Christine Cairns, mezzo-soprano; Harry Nicoll, tenor; Alan Watt, baritone
Scottish Early Music Consort/Warwick Edwards (Chandos Chaconne)

Stephen Foster: “Hard Times Come Again No More”
Thomas Hampson, baritone
Molly Mason, Mark Rust & Garrison Keillor, vocal harmonies
Jay Ungar, violin; Molly Mason, guitar; Tony Trishka, banjo; David Alpher, piano (Angel)
4 months ago | |
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The WDCE highbrows go Celtic: Tuesday Classics with Mark Lederway presents music from and about Ireland. On Thursday, Letter V Classical Radio evokes Scotland . . .

Tuesday Classics
March 18
noon-4 p.m. EDT
1600-2000 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM
www.wdce.org

Hamilton Harty: “Variations on a Dublin Air”
Ralph Holmes, violin
Ulster Orchestra/Bryden Thomson (Chandos)

Harty: “The Fair Day” from “An Irish Symphony”
National Orchestra of Ireland/Proinnsias O’Duinn (Naxos)

Harty: “In Ireland”
National Orchestra of Ireland/Proinnsias O’Duinn (Naxos)

Walter Beckett: String Quartet No. 1 (1980)
Vanbrugh Quartet (Chandos)

John Kinsella: Symphony No. 7
RTE National Symphony Orchestra/Gavin Maloney (RTE Lyric)

Gerard Victory: “Three Irish Pictures”
RTE Sinfonietta/Proinnsias O’Duinn (Marco Polo)

A.F. Potter: “Rhapsody under a High Sky” (1951)
RTE Sinfonietta/Proinnsias O’Duinn (Marco Polo)

Victor Herbert: “Irish Rhapsody”
Slovak Radio Symphony, Bratislava/Keith Brion (Naxos)

Arthur Sullivan: Symphony in E major (“Irish”)
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic/Charles Groves (EMI Classics)

John Field: “Irish Dance (‘Go to the Devil’),” “Nouvelle Fantasie” in G major, “Fantasy on a Russian Air (‘In the Garden’)”
Miceál O’Rourke, piano (Chandos)

Charles Villiers Stanford: “Song of the Sou’wester” from “Songs of the Fleet”
Gerald Finley, baritone
BBC National Chorus and Orchestra of Wales/Richard Hickox (Chandos)

Stanford: “Irish Rhapsody” No. 3, Op. 137
Rafael Wallfisch, cello
Ulster Orchestra/Vernon Handley (Chandos)

* * *

Letter V Classical Radio
March 20
1-3 p.m. EDT
1700-1900 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM
www.wdce.org

Hamish MacCunn: “The Land of the Mountain and the Flood”
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic/Grant Llewellyn (Argo)

Past Masters:
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 in A minor (“Scottish”)
London Symphony Orchestra/Peter Maag (Decca)
(recorded 1960)

traditional: “Oh, the broom”
(original ballad and versions by John Playford and Gay & Pepusch [from “The Beggar’s Opera”])
Patrizia Kwella, soprano; Paul Elliott, tenor
The Broadside Band/Jeremy Barlow (Harmonia Mundi France)

Alexander Reinagle: “Occasional Overture” in D major (1794)
(reconstructed by Bertil van Boer)
Sinfonia Finlandia, Jyväskylä/Patrick Gallois (Naxos)

traditional: “A Scots Rant,” “A Trip to Killburn”
Baltimore Consort (Dorian)

Songs by Robert Burns:
“Auld Rob Morris” (arranged by Haydn)
“Robert Bruce’s March to Bannockburn” (arranged by Haydn)
“The bonny wee thing” (arranged by Haydn & Beethoven)
“Duncan Gray” (arranged by Beethoven)
“The lovely Lass o’Inverness” (arranged by Beethoven)
Lorna Anderson, soprano; Christine Cairns, mezzo-soprano; Harry Nicoll, tenor; Alan Watt, baritone
Scottish Early Music Consort/Warwick Edwards (Chandos Chaconne)

Beethoven: “Air and Variations on ‘O Kenmure’s on and awa, Willie’ ”
Utako Ikeda, flute; John Kitchen, fortepiano (Chandos Chaconne)

Malcolm Arnold: “Four Scottish Dances,” Op. 59
London Philharmonic/Malcolm Arnold (Phoenix)

Robert Burns: “Auld Lang Syne”(arranged by Leopold Anton Kozeluch)
Lorna Anderson, soprano; Christine Cairns, mezzo-soprano; Harry Nicoll, tenor; Alan Watt, baritone
Scottish Early Music Consort/Warwick Edwards (Chandos Chaconne)

Stephen Foster: “Hard Times Come Again No More”
Thomas Hampson, baritone
Molly Mason, Mark Rust & Garrison Keillor, vocal harmonies
Jay Ungar, violin; Molly Mason, guitar; Tony Trishka, banjo; David Alpher, piano (Angel)
4 months ago | |
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Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, the veteran Spanish conductor, nearly collapses toward the end of a concert with the National Symphony Orchestra, but hangs on to complete Respighi’s “Pines of Rome.”

No word yet on what exactly happened, but the NSO says the 80-year-old Frühbeck intends to lead tonight’s concert as scheduled, Philip Kennicott reports in The Washington Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/conductor-rafael-fruhbeck-de-burgos-finishes-concert-despite-apparent-health-issue/2014/03/14/a14670d4-abec-11e3-98f6-8e3c562f9996_story.html?hpid=z4

UPDATE (March 18): Norman Lebrecht reports that NSO Assistant Conductor Ankush Kumar Bahl stepped in on March 15 for Frühbeck, who showed symptoms of pneumonia:

http://www.artsjournal.com/slippeddisc/2014/03/sticken-spanish-conductor-may-have-pneumonia.html

4 months ago | |
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University of Richmond students are on spring break, so I get to do a long show . . .

March 13
noon-4 p.m. EDT
1600-2000 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM
www.wdce.org

Kodály: “Dances of Galánta”
Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Neeme Järvi (Chandos)

Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 12 in A major, K. 414
Fazil Say, piano
Zürich Chamber Orchestra/Howard Griffiths (Naïve)

Jan Dismas Zelenka: Trio Sonata No. 4 in G minor
Maurice Bourgue & Heinz Holliger, oboes; Klaus Thunemann, bassoon; Klaus Stoll, double-bass; Jonathan Rubin, lute; Christiane Jacottet, harpsichord (ECM)

Past Masters:
Beethoven: “Coriolan” Overture
English Chamber Orchestra/Benjamin Britten (BBC Music)
(recorded 1966)

Bruch: Serenade, Op. 75
Salvatore Accardo, violin
Gewandhaus Orchestra, Leipzig/Kurt Masur (Philips)

Glinka: Spanish Overture No. 1 (“Jota aragonesa”)
BBC Philharmonic/Vasily Sinaisky (Chandos)

Ravel: “Shéhérazade”
Sylvia McNair, soprano
Boston Symphony Orchestra/Seiji Ozawa (Philips)

Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3
Terence Judd, piano
Moscow Philharmonic/Alexander Lazarev (Chandos)

Vaughan Williams: “Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis”
New Queen’s Hall Orchestra/Barry Wordsworth (Argo)

Debussy: “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun”
Cleveland Orchestra/Pierre Boulez (Deutsche Grammophon)

Benjamin Broening: “like dreams, statistics are a form of wish fulfillment”
eighth blackbird (Bridge)

Gottschalk: “A Night in the Tropics”
Hot Springs Festival Symphony Orchestra/Richard Rosenberg(Naxos)

Brahms: Viola Sonata in F minor, Op. 120, No. 1
Roberto Díaz, viola; Jeremy Denk, piano (Naxos)
4 months ago | |
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Neil Atkinson, a journalist whose beat is soccer (football, he would say), gets blown away by Vasily Petrenko, the Liverpool Philharmonic and Edward Elgar:

http://www.theanfieldwrap.com/2014/03/petrenkos-elgar-5314-review/

Parker Perry, an Ohio college student, is not blown away by a Cleveland Orchestra concert:

http://www.twinsburgbulletin.com/entertainment/2014/03/07/orchestra-may-face-uphill-battle-attracting-youth

(via ArtsJournal, www.artsjournal.com)
4 months ago | |
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Alisa Weilerstein, the acclaimed American cellist, headlines Cellopaloosa VI, Virginia Commonwealth University’s annual instructional event for cellists, March 29 at VCU’s Singleton Arts Center, Park Avenue at Harrison Street in Richmond’s Fan District.

The event, beginning with registration at 1 p.m., will culminate in an 8 p.m. performance by Weilerstein and pianist Inon Barnatan, part of VCU’s Rennolds Chamber Concerts series.

In addition to Weilerstein, instructors for Cellopalooza VI include VCU’s Dana and Jason McComb and guest artists Jorge and Erin Espinosa.

The fee for regular participants is $85, or $45 for observers. The deadline for participant registration is March 14.

For more information, call the VCU Music Department office at (804) 828-1166 or visit http://arts.vcu.edu/music/areas-of-study/strings/special-programs/cellopaloosa/
4 months ago | |
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Gerard Mortier, the Belgian opera impresario best known in this country for his brief, troubled tenure as director of the now-defunct New York City Opera, has died at 70 of pancreatic cancer.

At the time of his death, he was artistic advisor to the Teatro Real in Madrid. A leading proponent of Regieoper (director’s opera), known for staging controversial and avant-garde productions, often of non-standard repertory, Mortier also had been director of the Paris Opera and Salzburg Festival.

An obituary by Zachary Woolfe for The New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/10/arts/music/gerard-mortier-opera-visionary-dies-at-70.html?hp&_r=0
4 months ago | |
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The Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet with the American pianist Jon Nakamatsu will open the
2014-15 season of Charlottesville’s Tuesday Evening Concerts chamber-music series.

The season also will feature performances by pianist Marc-André Hamelin with the Canadian string orchestra Les Violons du Roy, the English Concert Baroque Orchestra, the Prazak and Jerusalem string quartets, violinist Augustin Hadelich with pianist Joyce Yang and pianist Nikolai Demidenko.

All concerts will begin at 7:30 p.m. (a new time) in Old Cabell Hall at the University of Virginia.

Season subscriptions, $65-$195, are now on sale. For more information, call (434) 244-9505 or visit www.tecs.org

Dates, artists and programs for the coming season:

Oct. 14 – Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet with Jon Nakamatsu, piano. Mozart-Hasel: Fantasy, K. 608, for mechanical organ; Mozart: Quintet in E flat major, K. 452; Hindemith: “Kleine Kammermusik,” Op. 24, No. 2; Thuille: Sextet in B flat major, Op. 6.

Oct. 28 – English Concert Baroque Orchestra, Harry Bicket directing. J.S. Bach: Sinfonia, BWV 42 (“Am Abend aber desselbigen Sabbats”); Telemann: Suite in F major for two horns and strings; Graun: Concerto for horn and oboe d’amore; J.S. Bach: Suite in C major.

Nov. 11 – Prazak Quartet. Jakub Jan Ryba: String Quartet No. 2 in D minor; Janacek: Quartet No. 2 (“Intimate Letters”); Smetana: Quartet No. 1 in E minor (“From My Life”).

Feb. 17 – Jerusalem Quartet. Haydn: Quartet in G minor (“Rider”); Erwin Schulhoff: “Five Pieces;” Schubert: Quartet in D minor (“Death and the Maiden”).

March 17 – Les Violons du Roy with Marc-André Hamelin, piano. Mozart: Rondo in A major, K. 386; Haydn: Piano Concerto in D major; Haydn: Symphony No. 45 in F sharp minor (“Farewell”).

March 31 – Augustin Hadelich, violin, and Joyce Yang, piano. Stravinsky: “Suite Italianne;” Kurtág: “Tre Pezzi;” Schumann: Sonata No. 1 in A minor, Op. 105; Franck: Sonata in A Major; Sarasate: “Carmen Fantasy.”

April 21 – Nikolai Demidenko, piano. Schubert: Sonata in A Major, D. 664; Schubert: Sonata in A minor, D. 784; Chopin: “Polonaise-Fantasy;” Chopin: Barcarolle; Chopin: Sonata No. 3 in B minor.
4 months ago | |
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March 5, University of Richmond

Emanuel Ax playing Brahms: For any classical concertgoer, that’s a no-brainer – witness the full house that greeted the eminent pianist.

Ax delivered, although not quite as expected.

The first surprise was the bright, at times almost glaring, tone he produced on the University of Richmond’s Steinway in the early (Op. 2) Sonata No. 2 in F sharp minor, vs. the more burnished sound heard in the later Op. 119 piano pieces and “Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel,” Op. 24.

The difference was not inappropriate. In its first movement and sections of subsequent ones, Op. 2 is far from “autumnal” Brahms, and not much like the music of his mentors, Robert and Clara Schumann. In a blindfold test, even some knowledgeable listeners might mistake these sections for music by some piano virtuoso of the mid-19th century. A more recognizeable Brahms emerges in time, especially in the scherzo’s central section and the sonata’s finale. Ax traced this evolution brilliantly.

The second surprise was the mixture of the three intermezzos and concluding Rhapsody in E flat major of the Op. 119 set with three short pieces forming “Hommage à Brahms” by the Australian violist-composer Brett Dean. Dean’s harmonic language is not too far removed from that of Brahms in Op. 119, his last solo-piano works; and Ax’s phrasing and dynamic treatment of the contemporary pieces linked them even more audibly to the old master. The one really jarring transition was between the last of Dean’s pieces, sounding like an otherworldly nocturne, and the Brahms Rhapsody, which tonally and rhetorically is an echo of the high-romantic composer.

Another contemporary nod to Brahms, Missy Mazzoli’s “Bolts of Loving Thunder” (great title!), which Ax described as being inspired by Mazzoli’s practicing Brahms on the piano, could be called “Brahms through the looking (or listening) glass” – Brahmsian in structure, gesture and expressive arc, much less so in tone and harmonic language.

The “Handel Variations,” concluding the program, was the Brahms the audience came to hear, a canny balance of warm lyricism, grand rhetoric and understated playfulness, played by a musician whose mastery was such that it sounded almost like improvisation.

That would have sent everyone home happy. A bit of Schumann as an encore gave extra pleasure.
4 months ago | |
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Violinist Leila Josefowicz will perform in the April 12 Rennolds Chamber Concerts program at Virginia Commonwealth University, replacing the trio of violinist Pamela Frank, violist Nobuko Imai and cellist Clemens Hagen. Hagen cannot tour because of a medical condition.

Josefowicz, accompanied by pianist John Novacek, will play works by Schubert, Stravinsky and György Kurtág.

Tickets already issued for the Frank-Imai-Hagen trio will be honored at the Josefowicz concert, 8 p.m. April 12 in VCU's Singleton Arts Center, Park Avenue at Harrison Street in Richmond’s Fan District.

For more information, call the VCU Music Department box office at (804) 828-1166 or visit http://arts.vcu.edu/music/
4 months ago | |
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