Posts Tagged ‘contemporary classical music’

KWUR Saturday Opera Broadcasts, August 2012 Encore

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

One last gasp for this summer of broadcasts of opera recordings from KWUR, for the next 4 weeks, as follows:

a) Sat. Aug. 11: Verdi: Rigoletto. Robert Merrill (Rigoletto), Roberta Peters (Gilda), Richard Tucker (The Duke of Mantua), Mignon Dunn (Maddalena), Bonaldo Giaiotti (Sparafucile).  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra & Chorus; Fausto Cleva, conductor (Sony 8697-91005-2).

b) Sat. Aug. 18: Handel: Il pastor fido. Lucy Crowe (Amarilli), Anna Dennis (Mirtillo), Katherine Manley (Eurilla), Madeleine Shaw (Dorinda), Clint van der Linde (Silvio), Lisandro Abadie (Tirenio).  La Nuova Musica; David Bates, direction (harmonia mundi 907585.86).

c) Sat. Aug. 25: Michael Berkeley: Baa Baa Black Sheep (libretto by David Malouf).  Malcolm Lorimer (Punch / Mowgli as a child), William Dazeley (Mowgli as a young man), Ann Taylor-Morley (Judy / Grey Wolf), George Mosley (Father / Father Wolf / Messua's husband), Eileen Hulse (Mother / Mother Wolf / Messua), Henry Newman (The Captain / Akela), Fiona Kimm (Auntirosa / Baldeo), Philip Sheffield (Harry / Sheer Khan), Mark Holland (Bhini-in-the-garden / Baloo), Clive Bayley (Meeta / Bagheera), Paul McCann (Captain Sahib snake-man / Ka), Brian Cookson (Priest).  English Northern Philharmonia; Chorus of Opera North; Paul Daniel, conductor (Collins Classics 70362).

d) Sat. Sept. 1: Hugo Weisgall: Six Characters in Search of an Author (libretto by Denis Johnston, after Pirandello). Elizabeth Futral, Nancy Maultsby, Gary Lehman, singers from the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists.  Members of the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra; Lee Schaenen, conductor (New World Records 80454-2.

Hope you can listen in.  Feel free to drop a line here, and thanks for reading.

 

Classical New Releases @ KWUR, March 2011 Edition

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

Short & sweet for new classical CDs at KWUR last month, because all of them are from one label, ECM New Series:

(1) Trio Mediaeval: "A Worcester Ladymass" (ECM New Series 2166)

(2) Robert Schumann: Kreisleriana (first edition, 1838) / Heinz Holliger: Partita (1999), with pianist Alexander Lonquich (ECM New Series 2104)

(3) Giya Kancheli: "Themes from the Songbook", with Dino Saluzzi (bandoneon), Gidon Kremer (violin) and Andrei Pushkarev (vibraphone) (ECM New Series 2188)

(4) Erkki-Sven Tüür: "Strata" – Symphony No. 6 ("Strata", 2007), No?sis (Concerto for clarinet, violin and orchestra; 2005), with Jörg Widmann (clarinet), Carolin Widmann (violin), and the Nordic Symphony Orchestra; Anu Tali, conductor (ECM New Series 2040)

As always, 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.