Tuesday, July 31

Among the choicest morsels in today's smorgasbord: Mozart's final quartet, Vaughan Williams' poetic lark in flight, Holst's jolly "Jupiter," a Schumannesque quintet by Louise Farrenc,

Mozart: String Quartets, Vol. 4 Elgar: Violin Concerto / Lark Ascending The Planets Louise Farrenc: The Two Piano Quintets

fresh-squeezed Vivaldi, elegaic Rachmaninoff and orchestral Grieg.

Vivaldi: Musica per mandolino e liuto Eugene Levinson, Principal Double Bass of the New York Philharmonic Grieg Symphony in C Minor (Three Pieces from Sigurd Jorsalfar)

11 AM

  • Mendelssohn: Overture for Winds. United States Marine Band, Colburn (USMB 22)
  • Mozart: String Quartet in F major, K. 590. American String Quartet (MusicMasters)
  • Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending. Hilary Hahn, London Sym, Davis (DG 3026)
  • Bach: Lute Sonata in G minor: Siciliana. Paul O'Dette (Harmonia Mundi 907438)
12 N
  • Holst: The Planets: Jupiter. Berlin Phil, Rattle (EMI 69690)
  • Handel: Saul: Act I Sinfonia. Concerto Koln, Jacobs (Harmonia Mundi 901877.78)
  • Farrenc: Piano Quintet No. 1 for piano, violin, viola, cello and bass. Schubert Ensemble of London (ASV 1122)
  • Vivaldi: Trio Sonata in G minor. Rolf Lislevand and friends (Naive 30429)
1 PM
  • Rachmaninoff: Trio Elegaique No. 1 for piano, violin and bass. Gina, Gary and Eugene Levinson (Cala 0507)
  • Britten: Simple Symphony. Norwegian Chamber Orch, Brown (Virgin 45121)
  • Grieg: Sigurd Jorsalfar: Orchestral Pieces. Malmo Sym, Engeset (Naxos 8.557991)
  • Chopin: "Minute Waltz" in D-flat, Op. 64/1. David Northington (Centaur 2791)

Monday, July 30

Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman died early today. He was 89. Music figures prominently in at least two of his films: Mozart's Magic Flute and Sondheim's A Little Night Music. In tribute, we hear selections from both works. A Little Night Music is a fine musical, by the end of which one actually understands the lyrics of "Send in the Clowns." I haven't seen Bergman's version of that, but I can strongly recommend his adaptation of The Magic Flute. After a display of audience faces from around the world during the overture, he whisks us seamlessly between opera house stage and life-sized scenes beyond. During intermission we glimpse cast members playing chess backstage. It's sung in Swedish, and well. Hakan Hagegard is adorable as Papageno. You can rent the DVD from Netflix:

The Magic Flute

Here are three of today's CDs: a Mozart piano concerto, a Palestrina mass, and Chopin's Third Piano Sonata (and see Elgar below).

Mozart: Piano Concertos Nos. 21 & 24 Palestrina: Missa Viri Galilaei; Magnificat primi toni a 8 /La Chapelle Royale * Ensemble Organum * Herreweghe Chopin: Sonata No. 3, Etudes, op. 25
11 AM

  • Mozart: The Magic Flute: "O Isis und Osiris." RIAS Chamber Chorus, Berlin Phil, Bohm (DG 457 196)
  • Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 21. Stefan Vladar, Camerata Salzburg (Harmonia Mundi 901942)
  • Gottschalk: Souvenirs of Andalusia. Ceclie Licad (Naxos 8.559145)
  • Palestrina: Missa Viri Galilaei. European Vocal Ensemble of La Chapelle Royals, Ensemble Organum, Herreweghe (Harmonia Mundi 901388)
12 N
  • Lully: Chaconne in G for oboe, strings and organ. Musica Antiqua Koln, Goebel (Archiv 453 418)
  • Chopin: Piano Sonata No. 3. Nelson Freire (Decca 289 470 288)
  • Jarnefeldt: Korsholm Castle. Finnish Radio Sym, Soderblom (YLE 9701)
  • Sondheim: music from A Little Night Music. Boston Pops, Williams (Philips 2606)
1 PM
  • Elgar: Symphony No. 1. Baltimore Sym Orch, Zinman (Telarc 80310)

Thursday, July 26

Three "warhorses" or "chestnuts" (classical music's most famous works) are bunched in a row today. In this triple feature, Vladimir Ashkenazy plays Schubert's Wanderer Fantasy, Arthur Grumiaux solos in Bruch's First Violin Concerto and John Eliot Gardiner conducts Mozart's Symphony No. 36. Here are the latter two recordings:

Beethoven, Bruch Violin Concertos (Hybr) Symphonies 32, 35 & ,36

Each time I program a Mozart symphony I think, "We've aired Gardiner so many times; is it time for someone else today?" I duly compare a few CDs from GPB's library. But I often end up coming right back to Gardiner and his period-style English Baroque Soloists, for their exciting precision and energy. The way they punch the high note in the climax of the last phrase of the "Linz" Symphony thrills me every time. As the work runs 42 minutes before that moment, I very much hope you agree about the performers' merits.

11 AM

  • Bliss: Ceremonial Prelude. Denver Brass, Graham (Klavier 11165)
  • Vierdanck: Canzona in G. Parnassi Musici (CPO 777 205)
  • Schubert: Wanderer Fantasy. Vladimir Ashkenazy (London 417 327)
  • Bruch: Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor. Arthur Grumiaux, Philharmonia Orch, Wallberg (PentaTone 5186 120)
12 N
  • Mozart: "Linz" Symphony (No. 36 in C). English Baroque Soloists, Gardiner (Philips 422 419)
  • Fasch: Trio in G minor. Epoca Barocca (CPO 777 204)
1 PM
  • Shostakovich: Ballet Suite No. 4. U.S. Air Force Band, Graham (Klavier 11167)
  • Bach: Viola da Gamba Sonata No. 3. Walhout, Schenkman (Centaur 2715)
  • Szymanowski: Dryads and Pan. Kramer, Durcan (Naxos 8.557748)
  • Alnaes: Piano Concerto in D: Finale. Piers Lane, Bergen Phil, Litton (Hyperion 67555)

Wednesday, July 25

On today's international menu, the Midday Music Cafe offers such freshly prepared artists as Paul Lewis, Tianwa Yang, Yuli Turovsky and Stefan Vladar,
Beethoven: Piano Sonatas , vol. 2 Sarasate: Spanish Dances; Serenata Andaluza; Balade Violonchelo Español Schumann: Papillons; Carnaval; Faschingsschwank aus Wien
as well as New Zealanders, Germans and a Turk - pianist Fazil Say - all in season.
Carl Stamitz: Orchestral Quartets, Op. 14 Samuel Scheidt: The Great Sacred Concertos Haydn: Sonatas

11 AM

  • Beethoven: Coriolan Overture. Atlanta Sym Orch, Levi (Telarc 80358)
  • Beethoven: "Hammerklavier" Sonata (No. 29 in B-flat, Op. 106). Paul Lewis (Harmonia Mundi 901903.05)
12 N
  • Sarasate: Habanera, Op. 21/2. Tianwa Yang, Markus Hadulla (Naxos 8.557767)
  • DiLorenzo: La Lamina de Espana. Burning River Brass (Dorian 90316)
  • Albeniz: Malaguena, Op. 71/6. Yuli Turovsky, I Musici de Montreal (Analekta 9897)
  • Schumann: Papillons, Op. 2. Stefan Vladar (Harmonia Mundi 901890)
  • Stamitz: Orchestral Quartet in G major, Op. 14/2. NZSO Chamber Orch, Armstrong (Naxos 8.557671)
  • Cassuto: Requiebros. Yuli Turovsky, I Musici de Montreal (Analekta 9897)
1 PM
  • Scheidt: Warum betrubst du dich, mein Herz? La Capella Ducale, Musica Fiata, Wilson (CPO 777 145)
  • Haydn: Piano Sonata No. 31 in E major. Fazil Say (Naive 5070)
  • Strauss: Metamorphosen. Les Dissonances (Ambroisie 110)

Tuesday, July 24

After the supernaturally difficult Piano Sonata by Paul Dukas - which Marc-Andre Hamelin apparently dispatches without benefit of charms, spells or wand - Midday Music turns magical. Listen for Dukas's better-known work The Sorcerer's Apprentice, selections from the Harry Potter films and assorted other musical enchantments. Wizards are just in the air this week. (At least, they are in my household, where three people have been delicately sharing a single copy of the final Harry Potter book.)

11 AM

  • Dukas: Piano Sonata in E-flat minor. Hamelin (Hyperion 67513)
  • Dukas: The Sorcerer's Apprentice. New York Phil, Bernstein (Sony 60695)
12 N
  • Williams: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: Hedwig's Theme. Cincinnati Pops, Kunzel (Telarc 80600)
  • Alfven: Mountain King, Suite (including Sorceress's Dance). Royal Stockholm Phil, Jarvi (BIS 585)
  • Falla: Love, the Magician: Ritual Fire Dance. Asturias Sym, Valdes (Naxos 8.557800)
  • Mozart: The Magic Flute, Overture. Orch of St. Johns, Lubbock (Resonance 3072)
  • Elgar: The Wand of Youth, Suite No. 1. New Zealand Sym, Judd (Naxos 8.557166)
1 PM
  • Williams: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: Harry's Wondrous World. Cincinnati Pops, Kunzel (Telarc 80664)
  • Morton: Fantasy for WIZARDS! Double reed consort WIZARDS! (Crystal 872)
  • Liadov: The Enchanted Lake. Cincinnati Pops, Kunzel (Telarc 60657)
  • Couperin: Pleasures of the Enchanted Island. Capriccio Stravagante, Sempe (Naive 8820)
  • Tchaikovsky: The Enchantress (or Sorceress): Prelude. State Sym Orch, Svetlanov (Melodiya 411-412)
  • Balada: Concierto Magico for guitar: finale, "Duende." Eliot Fisk, Barcelona Sym, Serebrier (Naxos 8.555039)

Monday, July 23

Wizards may rule the bookstores this week, but beyond literature, how is the magical arts scene? Here's what's on for those of us content to stick with Muggle-made music. ("Muggle" is Potter-speak for benighted unmagical mortals like ourselves. Though come to think of it, perhaps Mozart and co. fall into some intermediate category. Ha, just imagine it: the match of the millennium, between the two boy wizards...)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7)vs. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: A Biography

11 AM

  • Handel: Flute Sonata in D, HWV 378. Gurtner, Mate, Haselbock (Novalis 150 120)
  • Massenet: Cendrillon, Suite. Hong Kong Phil, Jean (Naxos 8.555986)
  • Lalo: Symphonie Espagnole. Isaac Stern, Philadelphia Orch, Ormandy (CBS 37811)
  • Liadov: Bagatelle, Op. 30. Julia Zilberquit (Naxos 8.570237)
12 N
  • Mozart: "Kegelstatt" Trio in E-flat for piano, clarinet and viola, K. 498. Palmer, Phleps, Han (BBC Music Mag 202)
  • Saint-Saens: "Organ" Symphony (No. 3 in C minor). Rotterdam Phil, Chorzempa, de Waart (Philips 420 899)
1 PM
  • Walton: Orb and Sceptre. Boston Pops, Williams (Philips 420 946)
  • Geminiani: Concerto Grosso in D minor, Op. 5/12, "La Folia." Academy of Ancient Music, Manze (Harmonia Mundi 907273)
  • Beethoven: "Ghost" Trio (D major, Op. 70/1). Storioni Trio (PentaTone 5186 071)

Thursday, July 19

If the taste of William Bolcom's music in the first hour whets your appetite, consider the recital at Spivey Hall Saturday in Morrow by pianist Christopher Taylor. He's performing Bolcom as well as Liszt and Bermel. In addition to a successful concert career, the thirty-year-old Taylor also has a degree in mathematics from Harvard University, summa cum laude, and contributes to the fields of philosophy and computer science. Slacker.

Visually as well as aurally oriented? Here's how the CDs of Monteverdi, Beethoven, Bernstein, Nielsen and Verdi listed below look:
Claudio Monteverdi: Madrigals Book 6 Beethoven: Die 5 Klavierkonzerte One Hand, One Heart - Bernstein's Greatest Love Songs / Carreras, et al Carl Nielsen: Symphony No. 4, Op. 29 "The Inextinguishable" / Symphony No. 5, Op. 50 - Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra / Michael Schonwandt Verdi: Requiem & Operatic Choruses

For more on the late Jerry Hadley, whose pure tenor voice highlights performances of Bernstein and Verdi on Midday Music, listen to hour 2 of today's Performance Today or read an obituary here or here.

11 AM

  • Bernstein: Candide Overture. New York Phil, Bernstein (Sony 47154)
  • Bolcom: Graceful Ghost Rag. O-zone Percussion Group, Olmstead (Klavier 11115)
  • Monteverdi: Lamento d'Arianna. Paolo Costa, Delitiae Musicae, Longhini (Naxos 8.555312-13)
  • Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4. Maurizio Pollini, Berlin Phil, Abbado (DG 439 770)
12 N
  • Bernstein: Candide: "Oh happy we" and "You were dead, you know." Jerry Hadley, June Anderson, London Sym, Bernstein (DG 289 463 598)
  • Rota: Sonata for Flute and Harp. Laurel Zucker, Susan Jolles (Cantilena 66034)
  • Nielsen: Symphony No. 4, "Inextinguishable." Danish National Radio Sym, Schonwandt (DaCapo 8.224156 in box 8.203103)
1 PM
  • Verdi: Requiem: selections. Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, soloists including Jerry Hadley, Shaw (Telarc
  • Mozart: String Quartet in D major, K. 575. Alban Berg Quartet (EMI 49583)

Wednesday, July 18

Breaking news in the classical music world! The New York Philharmonic has named its next music director. Taking over the podium that has been home to the likes of Leonard Bernstein, Kurt Masur and Lorin Maazel will be forty-year-old American conductor Alan Gilbert. Gilbert is not only a native New Yorker but a New York Phil brat - his parents were both violinists in the orchestra when he was growing up. Now he'll be his mother's boss. Here's today's New York Times article on his appointment to this highly visible post.

I knew Alan Gilbert a bit in college, through the orchestra in which we both played violin (he at a loftier level than I). One year he also acted as our assistant conductor - his very first foray into conducting, so I guess we were the guinea pigs. When Alan was in Georgia recently for a conducting stint with the Atlanta Symphony, we caught up in interview form. Hear our conversation by clicking on the fourth item here.

The Midday Music playlist is mostly unrelated to all this, but here it is. (These thumbnails take you to further details on the Handel, Clara Schumann, Debussy and Mendelssohn selections.)

Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks / Water Music Clara Schumann: The Complete Works for Piano Solo Debussy: Nocturnes; La Mer; Prélude a l'apres-midi d'un faune Helen Huang

11 AM

  • Handel: Music for the Royal Fireworks. Boston Baroque, Pearlman (Telarc 80594)
  • Inghelbrecht: Sonatine for flute and harp: Andantino. Laurel Zucker, Susan Jolles (Cantilena 66034)
  • Fibich: Symphony No. 2 in E-flat. Detroit Sym, Jarvi (Chandos 9328)
12 N
  • Schumann, C.: Scherzo No. 2, Op. 14. Susanne Grutzmann (Profil 07065)
  • Schumann, C.: Concert Variations on the Cavatina from Bellini's Il Pirata. Susanne Grutzmann (Profil 07065)
  • Bellini: Il Pirata: Act 2 scene and aria. Renee Fleming, Orch of St. Luke's, Summers (Decca 289 467 101)
  • Carulli: Fantasy in G major for flute and guitar on themes from Bellini's Il Pirata. Jean-Pierre Rampal, Alenxadre Lagoya (CBS 42130)
1 PM
  • Debussy: La Mer. Chicago Sym, Solti (London 436 468)
  • Fernandez: Reisado do Pastorelo: Batuque. New York Phil, Bernstein (Sony 60571)
  • Mendelssohn: Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor. Helen Huang, New York Phil, Masur (Teldec 0630-14569)

Tuesday, July 17

Some of today's pieces point you to further listening. If you like the opening overture by the "Spanish Mozart," Juan Crisostomo Arriaga, catch Saint Paul Sunday this Sunday at noon. If "Nessun dorma" on trombone leaves you yearning for an actual tenor, join us for Puccini's entire Turandot Saturday at 1:30. Multifaceted musician Mark O'Connor shares his violinistic and fiddlistic talents with teens on From the Top Sunday at 1:00. All shows air over GPB's 16 stations and stream online.

Let me point out a fewer other highlights too. My favorite discovery of the day is the Clarinet Sonata by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, with its bluesy opening, propulsive finale and good writing all in between. Love it. Gil Shaham playing Dvorak's Romance for violin and orchestra always sets the heart aflutter. (Well, mine anyway.) Also wonderful, and new: pianist Angela Hewitt playing Beethoven sonatas and Rolf Lislevand plucking Vivaldi concertos. And a perennial crowd-pleaser is Zoltan Kodaly's Dances of Galanta.

Italian Vintages Violin Romances Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Op. 2/3, Op. 13 & Op. 28 Vivaldi: Musica per mandolino e liuto Zoltán Kodály: Háry János Suite / Dances of Galánta & Marosszék / Children's Choruses - Iván Fischer / Budapest Festival Orchestra

And now, the complete playlist.

11 AM

  • Arriaga: Los Esclavos Felices, Overture. Algarve Orch, Cassuto (Naxos 8.557207)
  • Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Clarinet Sonata. Nicolas del Grazia, Chris Lysack (Centaur 2843)
  • Schubert: "Unfinished" Symphony (No. 8). San Francisco Sym, Blomstedt (London 433 072)
12 N
  • Puccini: Turandot: Nessun dorma. Joseph Alessi, Warren Jones (Naxos 8.570232)
  • Tchaikovsky: Marche Slave. Minneapolis Sym, Dorati (Mercury 434 305)
  • Beethoven: "Pastorale" Piano Sonata (No. 15 in D, Op. 28). Angela Hewitt (Hyperion 67605)
  • Dvorak: Romance in F minor, Op. 11. Gil Shaham, Orpheus Chamber Orch (DG 449 923)
  • O'Connor: Emily's Reel. Mark O'Connor, Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer (Sony 66782)
1 PM
  • Vivaldi: Mandolin Concerto in C major, RV 425. Rolf Lislevand and friends (Naive 30429)
  • Kodaly: Dances of Galanta. Budapest Festival Orch, Fischer (Philips 289 462 824)
  • Waxman: Tristan and Isolde Fantasia. Chloe Hanslip, Charles Owen, Royal Phil, Slatkin (Naxos 8.559302)
  • Bach, P.D.Q.: Last Tango in Bayreuth. Tennessee Bassoon Quartet (Telarc 80307)
  • Schickele: String Quartet No. 2 "In Memoriam": Scherzo. Lark Quartet (Endeavour 1018)

Monday, July 16

Many thanks to Alan Cooke for hosting all last week. His playlists are found here. I'm glad to be back in the studio with you after accompanying my daughter to Suzuki violin camp - an experience that left me more in awe than ever of those who master instruments to the level we enjoy hearing on GPB. It's quite a journey, from beginner to pro.

Lots of new recordings to share today, including Dvorak, Jongen, Vivaldi, a couple of clarinet pieces,
Dvorak: Symphony No.8; The Wild Dove Medieval Dances for Flute and Harp-Laurel Zucker and Susan Jolles Vivaldi: Concerti per violoncello 1 Italian Vintages
Gottschalk, Monteverdi and Reger.
Gottschalk: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2; Escenas Campestres Cubanas; Célèbre Tarantelle Claudio Monteverdi: Madrigals Book 6 Anthology of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Vol. 4: Live, The Radio Recordings, 1970-1980

11 AM

  • Dvorak: The Noon Witch. Netherlands Phil Orch, Kreizberg (PentaTone 5186 065)
  • Dvorak: Symphony No. 8 in G major. Netherlands Phil Orch, Kreizberg (PentaTone 5186 065)
  • Grazia: Tarantella. Nicolas del Grazia, Chris Lysack (Centaur 2843)
12 N
  • Jongen: Danse Lente for flute and harp. Laurel Zucker, Susan Jolles (Cantilena 66034)
  • Vivaldi: Cello Concerto in C major, RV 398. Christophe Coin, Il Giardino Armonico, Antonini (Naive 30426)
  • Setaccioli: Clarinet Sonata in E-flat. Nicolas del Grazia, Chris Lysack (Centaur 2843)
  • Gottschalk: Ave Maria. Melissa Barick, Hot Springs Chamber Orch, Rosenberg (Naxos 8.559320)
  • Gottschalk: A Night in the Tropics. Hot Springs Chamber Orch, Rosenberg (Naxos 8.559320)
1 PM
  • Monteverdi: Zefiro torna e 'l bel tempo. Delitiae Musicae, Longhini (Naxos 8.555312-13)
  • Reger: Serenade in G major. Royal Concertgebouw Orch, Jochum (RCO 06004)

Thursday, July 5

Alan Cooke not only hosts Midday Music Requests tomorrow as usual, he will also be with you all next week while I'm away in Ithaca, New York. Ithaca is home to Ithaca College and Cornell University and such beautiful gorges as this, this and this.

Meanwhile, back in the here and now . . . it's recordings of Brahms, Villa-Lobos, Saint-Saens, Bunch, Bach, Beethoven - and others not represented in these thumbnails but duly listed below.

Brahms: Violin Concerto and Double Concerto [SA-CD - CD compatible] David Russell: Art of the Guitar Saint-Saëns: Trios avec piano No. 1 & 2 Ahn-Plugged Bach: Brandenburg Concertos Beethoven: Piano Sonatas , vol. 2

11 AM

  • Grieg: Norwegian Dances. Royal Scottish National Orch, Engeset (Naxos 8.557854)
  • Mozart: Fantasy in D minor, K. 397. Stefan Vladar (Harmonia Mundi 901942)
  • Brahms: "Double Concerto" in A minor for violin, cello and orchestra. Julia Fischer, Daniel Muller-Schott, Netherlands Phil, Kreizberg (PentaTone 5186 066)
12 N
  • Villa-Lobos: Prelude No. 1 in E minor. David Russell (Telarc 80672)
  • Saint-Saens: Piano Trio No. 1 in F major, Op. 18. Trio Wanderer (Harmonia Mundi 901862)
  • Pichl: Sinfonia in D major, "Diana." Toronto Chamber Orch, Mallon (Naxos 8.557761)
1 PM
  • Dvorak/Waxman: Humoresque. Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Leslie Stifelman (Nonesuch 79464)
  • Bunch: Concerto for Piano Trio and Percussion. Ahn Trio (EMI 57022)
  • Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 6. Concerto Italiano, Alessandrini (Naive 30412)
  • Beethoven: "Pathetique" Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13. Paul Lewis (Harmonia Mundi 901903.05)