Archive for the ‘classical music radio’ Category

Classical New Releases @ KWUR, Feb. 2011 Edition

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

I mentioned in the last classical new release post for Dec. 2010-Jan. 2011 that the February list would be somewhat out of control, in a good way.  This is what I meant, with these new releases newly arrived for last month:

1. "John Adams: Portrait", with Angèle Dubeau (violin), La Pietà, and Louise Bessette (piano) (Analekta AN 2 8732)

2. Johann Ludwig Bach: Trauermusik, with Anna Prohaska, Ivonne Fuchs, Maximilian Schmitt, Andreas Wolf; RIAS Chamber Choir; Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin; Hans-Christoph Rademann, conductor (harmonia mundi HMC 902080) (BTW, J.L. Bach is from an offshoot branch of the J.S. Bach family line)

3. Brahms: Piano Sonatas Nos. 1 & 2; Scherzo, op. 4; with Alexander Melnikov (performing on a Bösendorfer from 1875) (harmonia mundi HMC 902086)

4. "The Romantic Violin Concerto – 10", concertante works by Frédéric d'Erlanger and Frederic Cliffe, with Philippe Graffin (violin) and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales; David Lloyd-Jones, conductor (Hyperion CDA 67838)

5. Ginastera: Estancia (extended suite), Suite de Danzas Criollas, Panambi (extended suite), Ollantay, Popol Vuh: The Mayan Creation; London Symphony Orchestra; Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra; BBC National Orchestra of Wales; Gisèle Ben-Dor, conductor (Naxos 8.570999)

6. "Sound the Bells! American Premières for Brass", with music by John Williams, Michael Tilson Thomas, Morten Lauridsen, Bruce Broughton, Kevin Puts, and Scott Hiltzik; The Bay Brass, various guest artists, and conductors Alasdair Neale, Michael Tilson Thomas, Robert Ward, Jeffrey Budin, Bruce Broughton, Paul Welcomer, and Charles Floyd (harmonia mundi HMU 807556)

7. "Ray Chen: Virtuoso", music by Tartini, J.S. Bach, Wienawski, and Franck, with Ray Chen (violin) and Noreen Polera (piano) (Sony Classical 88697829672)

8. "Matteo: 300 Years of an Italian Cello", music of Domenico Gabrielli, Luciano Berio, Luigi Dallapiccola, Brian Cherney, Salvatore Sciarrino, and Claudio Ambrosini; with Matt Haimovitz, cello (Oxingale OX2018)

9. "Meeting of the Spirits", arrangements of fusion jazz pieces by John McLaughlin, Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, John Lewis, Billy Strayhorn, David Sanford, George Gershwin, and Charles Mingus; with Uccello, Matt Haimovitz (cello), and guest artists John McLaughlin (electric guitar), Matt Wilson (drums) and Jan Jarczyk (keyboard) (Oxingale OX2017)

10. Gounod: Roméo et Juliette, with Jussi Björling, Bidú Sayão et al.; The Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra, Emil Cooper, conductor (live radio broadcast from February 1, 1947) (Sony Classical 88697 80465 2)

11. Puccini: La bohème, with Licia Albanese, Carlo Bergonzi, Mario Sereni, Laurel Hurley et al.; The Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra, Thomas Schippers, conductor (live radio broadcast from February 15, 1958) (Sony Classical 88697 80463 2)

12. Puccini: Tosca, with Leontyne Price, Franco Corelli, Cornell MacNeil et al.; The Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra, Kurt Adler, conductor (live radio broadcast from April 7, 1962) (Sony Classical 88697 80468 2)

13. Rossini: Il barbiere di Sivilgia, with Lily Pons, Giuseppe Di Stefano, Giuseppe Valdengo et al., The Metropolitan Opera Chorus and Orchestra, Kurt Adler, conductor (live radio broadcast from December 16, 1950) (Sony Classical 88697 80462 2)

I doubt that March will top this; we shall see.  Thanks for reading.

‘Every Good Boy Deserves Favour’ – this Sat. AM on KWUR

Friday, March 4th, 2011

It may seem odd, if not unseemly, to put in a promo KWUR blog post for one particular selection that will open my classical show this Saturday at 11 AM, since I like to air offbeat works much of the time anyway.  However, there are a few special reasons here to promote this selection, the 1977 musico-dramatic collaboration between playwright Tom Stoppard and conductor/composer Andre Previn, "Every Good Boy Deserves Favour".  First performed in 1977, this work is set in a USSR-era political prison, where one prisoner is a political dissident, and the other is genuinely mentally ill and imagines that he can conduct an orchestra on command.  Hence the presence of an orchestra in this work.  You can read more about the work from articles such as these:

(a) December 2008 Times of London interview with Stoppard and Previn

(b) January 2009 primer from Mark Espiner, The Guardian, on the play

(c) The National Theatre's page on their 2010 revival of the play

The other main reason for promoting this work is the source of the recording.  To my knowledge, there is only one recording of this work, on RCA, made right after the premiere, with a distinguished cast of actors and Previn himself conducting the London Symphony Orchestra.  In addition, it's not available on CD, AFAICT.  The recording to be broadcast from KWUR this Saturday morning, ~ 11 AM, is from the private collection of Dr. Alfred Holtzer, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at Washington University.  Dr. Holtzer and I occasionally meet at concerts, and knowing about my KWUR show, he was kind enough to offer this recording for airplay at KWUR, for what may be its 1st-ever broadcast in St. Louis.  (So I have to take really good care of the LP, needless to say.)  The cast includes:

i. Ian Richardson (Ivanov, the mental patient who imagines the orchestra in his head)

ii. Ian McKellen (Alexander Ivanov, the imprisoned dissident)

iii. Patrick Stewart (the Doctor)

Dr. Holtzer also has a past connection to KWUR, as he was the faculty advisor to a group of students back in the 1970's who had the idea of setting up a campus radio station.  With funds allocated to him to serve as a faculty advisor to any Wash. U. student group, he directed the funds to this group of students.  The result is the station that is still going 30+ years later.  I sincerely thank Dr. Holtzer for the opportunity to present this recording from KWUR this Saturday.

In addition, in keeping with KWUR's mission of airing out-of-the-mainstream selections, if I were a betting man, I'd be willing to wager that neither KWMU, 90.7 FM nor the late and much-missed KFUO, 99.1 FM have aired this work.  Hence my claim that this will be the St. Louis broadcast premiere.  This, after all, is why alternative radio stations exist, to air selections that wouldn't be heard otherwise.  So if you're in your car near campus or are at your computer this Saturday around 11 AM, please feel free to listen in.

Recent classical new releases at KWUR

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

With the pending (and thoroughly unwarranted and corrupt) demise of KFUO, 99.1 FM next month, that will leave one station left in St. Louis that will have any locally hosted classical music radio programming (both terrestial radio and internet[#]), namely this one. Classical music radio from KWUR has been a somewhat under-the-radar situation for quite a while, but with this turn of events, it is perhaps time to emerge a little bit more from under the radar. If anyone wishes to listen in, the classical show is normally on Saturdays from 11 AM to 2 PM, hosted by myself, barring pre-emption by sports or other circumstances. This is no substitute for 99.1 FM, of course, and I certainly can never fully fill the shoes of 99.1 FM. But I would like people to know that one local low-power student station is keeping the flame of locally based classical radio alive in St. Louis.

Some of the recent releases that KWUR has received include these recordings:

* Beethoven: Piano Trios, with the Gryphon Trio (Analekta AN 2 9858)
* Beethoven: Piano Concertos Nos. 4 & 5, with Till Fellner, Kent Nagano and the Montreal Symphony (ECM New Series 2114)
* Marco Dall’Aquila: “Pieces for Lute” (harmonia mundi HMU 907548)
* Ernst Krenek: “Six Motets After Texts of Franz Kafka” and other choral works (harmonia mundi HMC 902049)
* André Mathieu, Felix Mendelssoh, Dmitri Shostakovich: Concertos and Concertino, with pianist Alain Lefèvre (Analekta AN 2 9283)
* Frank Martin: Golgotha (harmonia mundi HMC 902056)
* Astor Piazzola & Luis Bacalov: “The Soul of Tango” (Delos DE 3345)
* “Telemann and the Baroque Gypsies”, with the Ensemble Caprice (Analekta AN 2 9919)
* Matthias Weckmann: “Sacred Motets” (harmonia mundi HMC 902034)
* Oswald von Wolkenstein: “Songs of Myself” (harmonia mundi HMC 902051)

I’ll continue to post lists of new classical recordings at KWUR as often as warranted. Feel free to comment or drop a line to classical@kwur.com. Thanks for reading.

[#] Edit on 7/12/10: there is still internet classical music radio broadcasting from www.classic99.com, as of this date.