Thursday, January 31

Today I speak with Douglas Hooker. Born in Moultrie and a long-time resident of Atlanta, Doug has an impressive career as engineer and leader. So why is he on Midday Music? Well, he has taken up composing on the side. The DeKalb Symphony premiered his first composition a couple of years ago, and on Tuesday, February 5 the LaGrange Symphony will give it its second performance (after voting in Georgia's Super Tuesday primary, presumably). Tune in to GPB Radio or around 1:20 today to hear Douglas Hooker talk about the origin of his Sinai Symphony - it all begain with a starlit, camel-aided climb up Mount Sinai in 1990 - and about how a grandfather with no formal musical training since high school accidentally ended up a performed composer.

For this weekend's Georgia concert lists, please see the post a couple of entries below. For Friday playlists, see Alan Cooke's blog.

11 AM

  • Schmitt: "Hurdy Gurdy" Symphony in E-flat minor. New Dutch Academy Chamber Orch, Murphy. PentaTone 5186 039.
  • Schubert: "Trout" Quintet. Leopold String Trio, Paul Lewis, Graham Mitchell. Hyperion 67527.
12 N
  • Handel: Concerto Grosso in A major, Op. 6/11. Boston Baroque, Pearlman. Telarc 80688.
  • Urcullu: Theme and Variations, Op. 10. Eugenio Tobalina. Naos 8.570715.
  • Melcer: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor. Jonathan Plowright, BBC Scottish Sym, Konig.
1 PM
  • Hovhaness: "Mysterious Mountain" Symphony, Op. 132. Cincinati Sym, Lopez-Cobos. Telarc 80462.
  • Khatchaturian: Spartacus, Ballet Suite No. 3. Scottish National Orch, Jarvi. Chandos 8927.

Wednesday, January 30

In addition to hearing the recommended daily allowance of good music, we hear about three imminent events in classical Georgia. GPB's Devin Dwyer and Atlanta Opera general manager Dennis Hanthorn introduce us to Cold Sassy Tree, an opera set in a town modeled after what is now Commerce, Georgia. Donald Portnoy talks about conducting Beethoven's Ninth with the Augusta Symphony and a whole lotta singers. And Patricio Cobos, music director of the LaGrange Symphony, goes all-American with an upcoming program featuring native daughter Emily Landa, mezzo-soprano, and music by Atlanta composer and Moultrie native Douglas Hooker. Tomorrow I'll speak with Doug himself. Check out his bio and you'll be amazed he has found any time for music at all.

Details about these performances and many others are below, in this post.

11 AM

  • Elgar: Violin Concerto. James Ehnes, Philharmonia Orch, Davis. Onyx 4025.
  • Dvorak: Waldesruhe. Timothy Walden, Royal Liverpool Orch, Libor Pesek.
12 N
  • Gould: American Salute, arr. Lang. Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music Wind Sym, Corporon. Klavier 11060.
  • Wagner: Ride of the Valkyries, ed. Stokowski. Bournemouth Sym, Serebrier. Naxos 8.570293.
  • Beethoven: Piano Trio in C minor, Op. 1/3. Andreas Staier, Daniel Sepec, Jean-Guihen Queyras. Harmonia Mundi 901955.
  • Sierra: "La Salsa" (Sinfonia No. 3): Joglorio. Frost Sym, Sleeper. Albany 942.
1 PM
  • Mussorgsky: Khovanshchina, Prelude. New Jersey Sym, Macal. Delos 3217.
  • Purcell: Sonatas of Three Parts: Sonata No. 5. Beznosiuk, Podger, Coin, Hogwood. L'Oiseau-Lyre 444 449.
  • Schumann: Carnaval, Op. 9. Yundi Li. DG 6090.

Tuesday, January 29

On Midday Music, today's selections almost all come to you from new (*NEW!*) recordings. Among the more picante novelties are a taste of Roberto Sierra's 2003 sinfonia "La Salsa," evoking dance music of the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, and a couple of Brazil-flavored, multi-guitar offerings from the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and the Assad Brothers. For details on concerts I mentioned on air, and others I haven't yet, please see the list posted below.

11 AM . . . . .

  • Wagner: Flying Dutchman Overture. London Classical Players, Norrington. EMI 49889.
  • Mozart: "Hunt" Quartet (in B-flat, K. 458). Prazak Quartet. Praga 250 242.
  • Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet. Budapest Festival Orch, Fsicher. Channel 21704.
12 N . . . Sinfonias . . . Brazil
  • Sierra, R.: "La Salsa" (Sinfonia No. 3): Tumbao. Frost Sym, Sleeper. Albany 942.
  • Shostakovich: Three Violin Duets with Piano Accompaniment. Angela and Jennifer Chun, Nelson Padgett. Harmonia Mundi 907444.
  • Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances. St. Petersburg Phil, Temirkanov. Warner 62050.
  • Bellinati: Carlo's Dance. Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, Katisse Buckingham. Telarc 80686.
1 PM . . . . .
  • Milhaud: Scaramouche: Brazileira and Vif. Sergio and Odair Assad. Nonesuch 278140.
  • Brahms: Clarinet Sonata in F minor, Op. 120/1. Jon Manasse, Jon Nakamatsu. Harmonia Mundi 907430.
  • Handel: Concerto Grosso in B-flat, Op. 6/7. Boston Baroque, Martin Pearlman. Telarc 80688.
  • Debussy: Suite Bergamasque: Passepied. Sergio and Odair Assad. Nonesuch 278140.

Select Classical Concerts, January 31-February 5

The next few days bring events of interest in Tifton, Augusta and LaGrange, in addition to plenty of activity in the Atlanta area.

Monday, January 28

11 AM
Back by popular demand, for the day after Mozart's birth anniversary we offer a repeat broadcast of K is for Koechel: The Story Behind Those Mozart Numbers. Join me and my father, Mozart expert Neal Zaslaw (left), for a colorful look at Mozart's music and how Mozart buffs through time have attempted to put it all in order - whether or not that's possible! Hear about the man who first tried to make a list, or catalog, of everything Mozart ever wrote, Ludwig von Koechel (right); the Romantic image of Mozart vs. how he really composed; pros and cons of attempting tidy chronologies; the secret formula relating Mozart's age to Koechel (K.) numbers; sleuthwork into Mozart's handwriting and watermarks, and more. And there's music throughout. This hour-long special first aired on GPB on Mozart's 200th birthday, two years ago, and was picked up by stations in Iowa, Indiana, Utah and North Carolina. Please join Dad and me, Monday at 11 on GPB Radio or

12 N . . . . .

  • Salzedo: Seguidilla; La Desirade. Yolanda Kondonassis. Telarc 80691.
  • Gliere: Symphony No. 2 in C minor. New Jersey Sym, Macal. Delos 3178.
  • Joplin: The Entertainer. Italian Mando-Rag Club. Naxos 8.557999.
1 PM . . . .
  • Schumann: String Quartet No. 3 in A, Op. 31/3. Cherubini Quartet. EMI 50819.
  • Berlin: Puttin' on the Ritz; There's No Business Like Show Business. Chestnut Brass Company. Naxos 8.559123.
  • Gliere: Red Poppy: Chinese Dance; Russian Sailors' Dance. New Jersey Sym, Macal. Delos 3178.

Thursday, January 24

For a hefty list of weekend concerts and links to details please see Wednesday's posting below. With classical music events in Columbus, Ocilla, Roswell, Augusta, Morrow, Duluth, Atlanta, Macon and Athens, there's plenty on tap.

Friday Alan Cooke hosts Midday Music Requests. Monday, January 28, the day after Mozart's birth anniversay, tune in for K is for Koechel: The Story Behind Those Mozart Numbers.

11 AM

  • MacDowell: To a Wild Rose; Scriabin: Nocturne in D-flat for the Left Hand Alone. John O'Conor. Telarc 80313. (John O'Conor steps in at the last minute to solo with the Atlanta Symphony this weekend in a Mozart concerto.)
  • Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3. Evgeny Kissin, Berlin Phil, Abbado. Philips 456 871. (Katherin Chi and the Georgia Philharmonic perform this piece Saturday in Roswell.)
  • Bach: Cantata No. 202, "Weichet nur, betrubte Schatten": outer movements. Heidi Grant Murphy, St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble. (Heidi Grant Murphy performs with the Atlanta Symphony this weekend - Barber and Mahler.)
  • Raff: The Spinner; Debussy: Arabesque No. 1. John O'Conor. Telarc 80313.
12 N
  • Puccini: Tosca, highlights for orchestra. Cincinnati Pops Orch, Kunzel. Telarc 80260. (Puccini's complete opera is on stage tonight with Teatro Lirico d'Europa at Columbus's RiverCenter.)
  • Mancini: Pink Panther Theme. Cincinnati Pops Orch, Kunzel, Telarc 80401.
  • Finzi: Eclogue. William Boughton, English String Orch. Nimbus 7037. (The Dutch vocal quintet Quink sings Finzi and much more Saturday at Spivey Hall. Say that five times fast: "Quintet Quink sings Finzi"!)
  • Hoffmann, J.: Sonata in G major for mandolin and archlute. Ahlert, Schwab. Naxos 8.557716
1 PM
  • Haydn: Symphony No. 99. English Chamber Orch, Tate. EMI 88666.
  • Chavez: Sinfonia India (Symphony No. 2). New York Phil, Bernstein. Sony 60571.
  • Galindo: Sones de Mariachi. Festival Orch of Mexico, Batiz. Naxos 8.550838. (Conductor Enrique Batiz leads the State Symphony of Orchestra in concert in Athens this Sunday, January 27, in concertos by Rodrigo and Rachmaninoff and the Sinfonia India of Mexican composer Carlos Chavez heard this hour.)

Wednesday, January 23

Georgia Classical Concerts, January 24-28

  • South Georgia Arts presents Montana Skies (cello, guitar and drums, with influences ranging from American folk to flamenco to pop) Thursday, January 24, 7:00, at Ocilla United Methodist Church.
  • Thursday the touring Teatro Lirico d'Europa presents Puccini's Tosca, sung in Italian with English supertitles, at Columbus's RiverCenter.
  • The Atlanta Symphony with soprano Heidi Grant Murphy and conductor Roberto Abbado perform Barber, Mozart and Mahler, Thursday and Saturday at 8:00 and Sunday at 3:00.
  • Noted countertenor David Daniels gives a recital in Spivey Hall, Morrow, Friday the 25th at 8:15, accompanied by Martin Katz. At last check, it was almost sold out.
  • The Amelia Piano Trio offers Grieg, Bernstein and Rachmaninoff as part of the free Franklin College Chamber Music Series at UGA's Performing Arts Center in Athens, Friday 8:00.
  • Saturday, January 26 at 8:00 the Georgia Philharmonic, with conductor Philip Rice and pianist Katherin Chi, perform Ravel, Copland and Prokofiev at Roswell's Cultural Arts Center.
  • Saturday at 1:00, the Gwinnett Philharmonic presents a family concert in Duluth featuring Peter and the Wolf, plus a pre-concert instrument "petting zoo."
  • The Macon Symphony's pops concert Saturday 7:30 at Macon's Grand Opera House is a tribute to Barbra Streisand with vocalist Sharon Owens.
  • The Dutch a cappella fivesome Quink sings rep from across the centuries Saturday 8:15 at Spivey Hall, Morrow.
  • Josef Patchen performs piano works on his program "I Hear a Rhapsody," Sunday at the Augusta's Morris Museum. Free.
  • Heard of Lemony Snicket? Maybe you've seen his books A Series of Unfortunate Events? Well, the Columbus Symphony offers a musical whodunnit of his at its family concert Sunday: Lemony Snicket's The Composer Is Dead. Pre-concert familiy fun in the RiverCenter lobby at 2:00; performance at 3:15.
  • The State Symphony Orchestra of Mexico and conductor Enrique Batiz are on tour in Athens this Sunday, with Rodrigo, Chavez and more.
  • It's the American Idol of the opera world: the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. And its Southeastern Regional Finals Auditions begins Sunday, January 27 at 2:00 at Spivey Hall, Clayton State campus, Morrow.
  • The Augusta Symphony Woodwind Trio (the orchestra's principal oboe, clarinet and bassoon players) and Augusta State pianist Clara Park team up Sunday in music of Brahms, Poulenc and Schickele at Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church. Free.
  • Nine Atlanta composers contribute new electronic music to the concert "Unseen Forces," Monday the 28th at Eyedrum in Atlanta. Free admission, plus audience members can pick up free CDs of music by the featured Atlanta Composer Group.

Whew! And on to today's Midday Music playlist.

11 AM
  • Schubert: Piano Trio in E-flat, D. 897, "Nocturne." Andreas Haefliger, members of Takacs Quartet. London 452 854.
  • Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 15 in B-flat, K. 450. Andras Schiff, Camerata Academica of the Salzburg Mozarteum, Vegh. London 433 374.
  • Ravel: Menuet Antique. Orchestra of Paris, Martinon. EMI 68610.
  • Agricola: Vostre hault bruit, and four short instrumental pieces. Michael Chance, Fretwork. Harmonia Mundi 907421.
12 N
  • Piazzolla: Fuga y Misterio. Camerata Bariloche of Argentina. Dorian 90249.
  • Prokofiev: Sneaky Pete and the Wolf (Peter and the Wolf). Peter Schickele, Atlanta Sym, Levi. Telarc 80350.
1 PM
  • Rachmaninoff: Piano Trio No. 2 in D minor. Borodin Trio. Brilliant box 93423.

Tuesday, January 22

Russell Wells of Savannah station WSVH hosts. See WSVH's January playlists here.  

Monday, January 21

For the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday it's artful arrangements of spirituals in the first hour, with chorus, then piano, then strings. After the noon news, two recent pieces about getting along. From Daniel Bernard Roumain's "Rosa Parks" Quartet we hear "Klap Ur Handz" (a title "suggesting a joyful coming together") and "I made up my mind not to move," and that's followed by Michael Abels' Global Warming, depicting a "noisy yet harmonious world village." The show concludes with a full performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, with its culminating choral ode to joy and brotherhood.

(To hear "A King Celebration 2008" - the concert recorded Thursday in Atlanta and broadcast on this morning's Performance Today over GPB - visit within the next two weeks.)

11 AM . . . . .

  • Traditional spirituals, arr. Jennings: Soon One Mornin' Medley. Chanticleer, Jennings. Warner 60309.
  • Coleridge-Taylor: Spirituals. Virginia Eskin. Koch 7056.
  • Gould: Spirituals for Strings. London Phil, Klein. Albany 202.
  • Brewster: Surely God Is Able. Flunder, Chanticleer, Jennings. Warner 60309.
12 N . . . .
  • Roumain, D.B.: "Rosa Parks" (Quartet No. 5): Klap Ur Handz. Lark Quartet. Endeavour 1018.
  • Abels: Global Warming. Chicago Sinfonietta, Freeman. Cedille 066.
  • Roumain, D.B.: "Rosa Parks" (Quartet No. 5): "I made up my mind not to move." Lark Quartet. Endeavour 1018.
  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 9, "Choral": first half. Atlanta Sym Orch, Runnicles. Telarc 80603. (Continues next hour.)
1 PM . . . .
  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 9, "Choral": conclusion. Atlanta Sym Orch and Chorus, Dunleavy, Bishop, Gould, Miles, Runnicles. Telarc 80603.
  • Bonds: Troubled Water. Maria Corley. Albany 857.

Friday, January 18

Alan Cooke's requests edition of Midday Music returns January 25. Meanwhile, as you plan your weekend activities, please check out the concert links in posts below. Especially see Wednesday's list. (A Bach Festival in Rome! The Brazilian Guitar Quartet in Augusta! The Jose White String Quartet in Hawkinsville! Moscow Nights in Albany! Soprano Deborah Voigt in Atlanta! And more!)

On the show, there's Bach and Brazil in the first hour, glass and Mozart and Smetana in the second hour, and two jazz concertos in the third, with a loose theme of Prague tying together offferings from three centuries.

11 AM

  • Villa-Lobos: Aria from Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5. Barbara Hendricks, Manuel Barrueco. EMI 56578.
  • Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 1, arr. guitars. Brazilian Guitar Quartet. The BGQ plays tonight at 8 in Augusta State's Maxwell Theatre.
  • Bach: Concerto in C minor for Oboe, Violin and Orchestra. John Abberger, Adrian Butterfield and friends. Analekta 9910. This piece is on one of this weekend's Bach Festival concerts in Rome.
  • Tchaikovsky: The Snow Maiden: Prelude, Melodram and Dance of the Tumblers. BBC Phil, Sinaisky. BBC Music Mag Vol. 13/4.
12 N
  • Mozart: Adagio for glass armonica, K. 356 (617a). Thomas Bloch. Naxos 8.555295.
  • Mozart: "Prague" Symphony (No. 38 in D). Freiburg Baroque Orch, Jacobs. Harmonia Mundi 901958.
  • Smetana: Prague Carnival. BBC Phil, Noseda. Chandos 10413.
  • Smetana: The Moldau (Vltava) from My Homeland.
1 PM
  • Brubeck, C.: Convergence; Prague Concerto for Bass Trombone and Orchestra, mvt 1. Chris Brubeck, Czech National Sym, Freeman. Koch 7653.
  • Suesse, D.: Jazz Concerto in D major for Combo and Orchestra. Cy Coleman, Richard Davis, Robert Thomas, American Sym Orch, Fennell. Premier 1055.

Thursday, January 17

Alas, today is Terrance McKnight's last day at Georgia Public Broadcasting. Terrance has hosted and produced the network's evening show, Studio GPB, and our Atlanta Symphony broadcasts, The ASO on GPB. Now he's moving to the new world of New York. He'll still be in public radio, still hosting an evening show, just playing in a bigger sandbox. In the first hour of Midday Music we hear two of his favorite pieces, and Terrance himself tells us about the offer he couldn't refuse.

We'll end the show with 24 minutes of full-out Wagner opera, with tenor Placido Domingo as Tristan and soprano Deborah Voigt as Isolde. Deborah Voigt will be stepping off the world's great opera stages this Saturday to give a recital at Emory University in Atlanta. Accompanied only by piano, she'll sing songs by Beach, Verdi, Strauss, Respighi, Moore and Bernstein. At last check, tickets were almost but not quite sold out.

11 AM

  • Bolcom: Graceful Ghost Rag. Richard Dowling, piano. Klavier 77035.
  • Dvorak: Symphony No. 9, "From the New World." Cincinnati Sym, Jarvi. Telarc 80616.
12 N
  • Spanish Renaissance music by Valente, Ortiz and Falconiero. Hesperion XXI, Savall. Alia Vox 9820 ("Ostinato").
  • Glazunov: The Seasons, complete ballet. Royal Scottish National Orch, Serebrier. Warner 61434.
  • Wen-chung: Leggeriezza. Ying Quartet. Telarc 80690.
1 PM
  • Mozart: Piano Sonata in F major, K. 332. Mikhail Pletnev. DG 5832.
  • Wagner: Tristan and Isolde: Act 2, Scene 2. Deborah Voigt, Placido Domingo, Orch of Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Pappano. EMI 57004.

Wednesday, January 16

Fred Child, host of Performance Today, is at GPB today. He's in town for the annual King Celebration concert and joins me a bit into the noon hour for an impromptu chat about...well, I don't know yet! Perhaps about the King Celebration; perhaps about PT's move from NPR to American Public Media. (P.S. Yes, we ended up talking about both of those things. This picture was taken right after our converation.)

Here's a list of classical concerts in Georgia this week.

  • A King Celebration, with the Atlanta Symphony, Ambassador Andrew Young and others in a musical commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Thursday at Morehouse College in Atlanta. To be broadcast on Performance Today on Monday, the King holiday.
  • Brazilian Guitar Quartet, Friday at Augusta State, presented by the Harry Jacobs Chamber Music Society.
  • Moscow Nights brings classically trained Russian folkish flair to Albany.
  • Bach Festival 2008, presented by the Rome Symphony. Steven Byess conducts Bach and Handel Saturday 7:30 at Berry College's Ford Auditorium, and Bach and Telemann Sunday 3:30 at the Berry College Chapel, Rome.
  • Augusta Symphony's Saturday concert, Columbia County Music Series, Hardin Performing Arts Theatre, with jazz trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, who is in residency this weekend.
  • Cobb Symphony's family concert including Benjamin Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra and pre-concert activities. Saturday afternoon, twice.
  • Star soprano Deborah Voigt in recital at Emory University, Atlanta. Saturday.
  • Chix with Stix, percussion group, Sunday 3:00 at Falany Performing Arts Center, Reinhardt College, Waleska.
  • Emily and Don Saliers: "Saturday Night Meets Sunday Morning Music." One of the Indigo Girls and her minister father make connections between the sacred and secular through music. Augusta's St. John United Methodist Church, Sunday at 3:00.
  • From Mexico, with mostly Cuban-born musicians, the Jose White String Quartet performs Ravel, Shostakovich and Piazzolla at the Opera House in Hawkinsville, Tuesday the 22nd, presented by the Ocmulgee Symphony.
11 AM
  • Magnard: Symphony No. 3: Finale. Malmo Sym, Sanderling. BIS 927.
  • Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 28 in A major, Op. 101. Paul Lewis. Harmonia Mundi 901903.05.
  • Telemann: Recorder Concerto in C. Maurice Steger, Academy of Ancient Music Berlin, Mai. Harmonia Mundi 901917.
  • Bach: Gavottes from Orchestral Suite No. 3, arr. guitars. Brazilian Guitar Quartet. Delos 3254.
12 N
  • Vivaldi: Winter, from The Four Seasons. Sarah Chang, Orpheus Chamber Orch. EMI 94431.
  • Schumann: Arabesque in C major, Op. 18. Jonathan Biss. EMI 65391.
  • Ravel: String Quartet in F major. Casals Quartet. Harmonia Mundi 987072.
1 PM
  • Saint-Saens: Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso. Kyung Wha Chung, Royal Phil, Dutoit. London 417 118.
  • Magnard: Symphony No. 1 in C minor. Malmo Sym, Sanderling. BIS 927.

Tuesday, January 15

Mentioned on air: The LaGrange Symphony presents Brass 5 and the Lafayette Youth Orchestra in a concert Thursday, January 17 at LaGrange College billed as "The Art of Fun: Something for Everyone!"

Friday in Albany, Moscow Nights performs Russian folk fare, while the Brazilian Guitar Quartet (who conclude Midday Music) is on stage Friday in Augusta. The Savannah Sinfonietta offers Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 (heard in hour 3 of this show) Saturday and Sunday on the coast. For details on those events, please see yesterday's post below, and I'll have a fresh batch of Georgia weekend goings-on for you tomorrow.

11 AM

  • Brahms: Academic Festival Overture, arr. brass band. Black Dyke Band, Childs. Naxos 8.570726.
  • Brahms: Variations on a Hungarian Song, Op. 21/2. Constantin Lifschitz. Denon 78773.
  • Brahms: Symphony No. 3 in F major. London Phil, Alsop. Naxos 8.557430.
12 N
  • Myslivecek: Il Demetrio, Overture. L'Orfeo Baroque Orch, Gaigg. CPO 777 050.
  • Chabrier: Souvenirs of Munich. Georges Rabol, Sylvie Dugas. Naxos 8.553080.
  • Buchner: Sonata No. 5 from Plectrum Musicum. Parnassi Musici. CPO 777 132.
  • Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D major. Arthur Grumiaux, New Philharmonia Orch, Krenz. PentaTone 117.
1 PM
  • Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major. Malcolm Bilson, English Baroque Soloists, Gardiner. Archiv 423 595.
  • Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras No. 1, arr. guitars. Brazilian Guitar Quartet. Delos 3245.

Monday, January 14

Concert announcements are woven into the noon hour playlist. Read on for links to tickets for a multi-guitar event in Augusta, symphonic action in Savannah and folksy Russians in Albany.

11 AM

  • Fung, V.: Pizzicato for String Quartet. Ying Quartet. Telarc 80690. The Ying Quartet's latest CD, Dim Sum, is a sampler of short pieces by Chinese-American composers, to be released tomorrow.
  • Mozart: Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra in E-flat, K. 365. Alexandre Rabinovitch, Martha Argerich, Padua and Veneto Orch. Teldec 98407.
  • Debussy: Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp. Ransom Wilson, Paul Neubauer, Nancy Allen. Delos 3167.
  • Fasch: Concerto in C minor. La Stravaganza Koln. CPO 777 015.
12 N
  • Guarnieri: Four Pieces. Brazilian Guitar Quartet. Delos 3245. The Brazilian Guitar Quartet performs Friday evening at Augusta State University, presented by the Harry Jacobs Chamber Music Society (
  • Copland: Three Latin American Sketches. Orpheus Chamber Orch. DG 427 335. The Savannah Sinfonietta performs this Copland on their January 19 and 20 concerts; details here.
  • Stravinsky: Firebird Suite. Israel Phil, Bernstein. DG.
  • Zigankov: Tchastushka. Trio Voronezh. Angel 56892. Russophiles in south Georgia can attend Moscow Nights (billed as a lively program of balalaikas, bayan accordion, percussion, vocals and dances with a classically trained folk ensemble) Friday at Albany's Municipal Auditorium, presented by the Albany Concert Association.
1 PM
  • Bernstein: West Side Story, Symphonic Dances. Florida Phil, Judd. Naxos 559099.
  • Zelenka: Trio Sonata No. 1 in F major. Holliger, Bourgue, Thunemann, Buccarella, Jaccottet. Archiv 423 937.

Thursday, January 10

At noon catch a sneak preview of GPB's State of the Arts profile of rising opera star Leah Partridge. The full profile complete with visuals premieres on GPB Television January 30 at 9 p.m. and repeats over days that follow (see the State of the Arts schedule here). A native of Lincolnton, Georgia and a graduate of Mercer College in Macon, Leah Partridge makes her Metropolitan Opera debut at the end of February. First, though, she performs in Augusta this Saturday with the Augusta Symphony.

For links to other featured concerts this weekend (the Columbus Symphony, pianist Di Wu, harpist Emmanuel Ceysson and the Atlanta Symphony) please see yesterday's entry below.

11 AM

  • Handel: Oboe Sonata in F major, HWV 363. (Note: The third movement is the "Handel Bouree" familiar to Suzuki string students.) Amarillis. Naive 9910.
  • Dvorak: Cello Concerto in B minor. Pieter Wispelwey, Budapest Festival Orch, Fischer. Channel 25807.
  • Massenet: Meditation from Thais. Nicola Benedetti, London Sym, Harding. DG 987 057.
12 N
  • Leah Partridge profile from GPB Television's "State of the Arts"
  • Thalberg: Grand Caprice on Themes from Bellini's La Sonnambula. Francesco Nicolosi. Naxos 8.555498.
  • Strauss, R.: Horn Concerto No. 1 in E-flat. Myron Bloom, Cleveland Orch, Szell. Sony 63123.
  • Hindemith: Harp Sonata. Rita Costanzi. CBC 1119.
1 PM
  • Mozart: Symphony No. 27. Amsterdam Baroque Orch, Koopman. Erato 45544.
  • Bax: Romance for clarinet and piano. Robert Plane, Benjamin Frith. Naxos 8.557698.
  • Copland: Billy the Kid, Suite. Cincinnati Pops Orch, Kunzel. Telarc 80339.

Wednesday, January 9

Behold, Georgia concerts with ties to today's Midday Music playlist!

  • Chinese-born Juilliard pianist Di Wu gives a recital at Warner Robins' First United Methodist Church Sunday at 3:00, presented by the Warner Robins Community Concert Association.
  • Twenty-year-old harpist Emmanuel Ceysson from France performs in Athens. His Friday program includes the Tournier Sonatine we hear at 1:00.
  • Augusta Symphony and "diva on the rise" Leah Partridge team up Saturday. Music director Donald Portnoy describes the program in our noon hour.
  • The Columbus Symphony consorts with Symphonic Scoundrels Saturday. Among the rogues in their gallery: the Sorcerer's Apprentice.
  • The Atlanta Symphony and Donald Runnicles do Berlioz's trippy Symphonie Fantastique Thursday through Saturday in Atlanta and Sunday in Athens. That piece occupies the first hour of Midday Music, in the fantastique recording pictured below.

11 AM
  • Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique. San Francisco Sym, Tilson Thomas. RCA 60859.
12 N
  • Gounod: Romeo et Juliette: Je veux vivre. Joan Sutherland. London box 414 450.
  • Bellini: Norma: Casta Diva. Zuckerman, Vogel, Helmrich. Delos 3209.
  • Gounod: Symphony No. 1 in D. Sinfonia Finlandi Jyvaskyla, Gallois. Naxos 8.557463.
  • Gounod: Funeral March for a Marionette. Israel Flute Ensemble. Centaur 2748.
  • Bax: Burlesque; Nereid; In a Vodka Shop. Ashley Wass. Naxos 8.557439.
1 PM
  • Tournier: Sonatine for harp, mvt 1. Erica Goodman, harp. BIS 319.
  • Dukas: Sorcerer's Apprentice. St. Petersburg Phil, Temirkanov. EMI 11282.
  • Mendelssohn: Cello Sonata No. 2 in D major. Gautier Capucon, Gabriela Montero. EMI 89241

Tuesday, January 8

The noon hour kicks off with the good-humored company of George Del Gobbo, music director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. (That's our Georgia CSO, not to be confused with the CSO in Ohio.) He describes the "Symphonic Scoundrels" on Saturday's concert in Columbus, and we meet in music one such flawed character: Don Juan.

The Atlanta Symphony and up-and-coming young pianist Adam Golka are set to perform the five-fingered concerto we hear in the final hour: Ravel's Piano Concerto in D for left hand only. Concerts take place Thursday through Saturday in Atlanta, then Sunday in Athens.

Wrapping up Midday Music is Mozart in the hands of the Atlanta Chamber Players. They appear tonight, together with the Atlanta Symphony Brass Quintet, at a "supersized, two-for-one" concert at Brenau University in Gainesville. More concert links tomorrow!

11 AM

  • Bach: Goldberg Variations: through Var. 7; Var. 26 to end. Simone Dinnerstein. Telarc 80692.
  • Faure: Berceuse, Op. 16. James Galway, London Mozart Players. RCA 63725.
  • Herold: Zampa, Overture. New York Phil, Bernstein. CBS 37240.
  • Sarasate: Mosaic from Zampa. Tianwa Yang, Markus Hadulla. Naxos 8.570192.
12 N
  • Strauss: Don Juan. Cleveland Orch, Szell. Sony 63123.
  • Sibelius: Musette. Rachel Barton Pine, Matthew Hagle. Cedille 097.
  • Tchaikovsky: "Little Russian" Symphony (Symphony No. 2). Bournemouth Sym, Litton. Virgin 91119.
1 PM
  • Ravel: Piano Concerto in D for the left hand. Krystian Zimerman, London Sym, Boulez. DG 289 449 213.
  • Gilbert: Marionettes (Scherzo). Rachel Barton Pine, Matthew Hagle. Cedille 097.
  • Mozart: "Kegelstatt" Trio in E-flat for piano, clarinet and viola. Atlanta Chamber Players. MSR 1190.

Monday, January 7

GPB is pleased to roll out a new feature, Cover to Cover Footnote, with St. John Flynn, host of GPB's on-air book club, Cover to Cover. St. John describes the newcomer as "a literary daybook with segments focusing on a wide range of topics all concerned with Georgia writing and writers" that is "designed to increase our cultural coverage and promote each weekly show." (Yes, Cover to Cover itself is now going from monthly to weekly as well. Read all about that at Cover to Cover Footnote airs weekdays at 1:49, just before the Writer's Almanac. Together they nestle in there between the end of Midday Music and the start of Talk of the Nation. The 1:49-1:59 segment of our day forms a new . . . Writer's Block!

Sightings on the Georgia concert radar trigger three bits of today's Midday Music:

  • The Atlanta Chamber Players, airing in the first hour, perform with the Atlanta Symphony Brass Quintet tomorrow, 8:00 at Brenau University's Pearce Auditorium, Gainesville. Beethoven, Brahms and more. Read more about it here or here.
  • The Columbus Symphony displays its villainous side at their Saturday program at Columbus's RiverCenter. "Symphonic Scoundrels" lets loose the likes of Billy the Kid, the Sorcerer's Apprentice, Don Juan - and bad guys from the world of Superman. Midday Music dances that Red Cape Tango from the Metropolis Symphony by Michael Daugherty.
  • And the Augusta Symphony welcomes soprano and Georgia-girl-made-good Leah Partridge back for a concert Saturday at First Baptist of Augusta. In addition to Mahler and some arias, the orchestra offers the little non-vocal Puccini piece from our one o'clock hour.
11 AM . . . . .
  • Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 1. St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble. St. Luke's 0302.
  • Harbison: Songs America Loves to Sing. Atlanta Chamber Players. MSR 1190.
  • Grechaninov: Passion Week: No. 12. Phoenix Bach Choir, Kansas City Chorale, Bruffy. Chandos 5044.
  • Chadwick: Symphonic Sketches: Jubilee. Czech State Phil, Serebrier. Reference 2104.
12 N . . .
  • Daugherty: Metropolis Symphony: Red Cape Tango. Baltimore Sym, Zinman. Argo 452 103.
  • Saint-Saens: Clarinet Sonata, Op. 167. Ensemble Villa Musica. DMG 0395.
  • Maslanka: Concerto for Marimba and Band. Drew Lang, Univ of Arizona Wind Ens, Hanson. Albany 424.
  • Obrecht: Stat in meskin. Convivium Musicum, Berger. Naxos 8.553352.
1 PM . . .
  • Puccini: Preludio Sinfonico. Scala Phil, Muti. Sony 63025.
  • Schumann: Humoreske, Op. 20. Angela Hewitt. Hyperion 67618.
  • Wagner: Prelude to Act 3 of Lohengrin. Seattle Sym, Schwarz. Delos 3174.

Wednesday, January 2

Two Georgia musical entities highlight today's show. First: Donald Runnicles performs in both his main musical guises - as conductor, leading the Atlanta Symphony, and then as pianist, playing more intimate fare. (In concert news, Runnicles leads the Atlanta Symphony in a Ravel concerto and Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, January 10-12 in Atlanta and January 13 in Athens.)

Second up: the Georgian Chamber Players. (They and guests perform Barber and Brahms Sunday at 3 at Spivey Hall, Morrow.) We hear them in all three hours of Midday Music, in concert performances off their album Our Sunday Best. Atlanta-based ACA Digital (The Orchard) put out that two-CD set last year. The album is available for track-by-track download at emusic too, but be prepared for some odd typos in the composers' names. "Ernst von DohnFranz Joseph Haydnanyi," anyone?

11 AM

  • Elgar: Pomp and Circumstance March No. 4 (not the more famous No. 1). Atlanta Symphony, Runnicles. Telarc 80677.
  • Schubert: Piano Trio No. 1 in B-flat, Op. 99. Donald Runnicles and members of the Georgian Chamber Players (Beth Newdome, Christopher Rex). ACA Digital 20102 or on
  • Klami: Suomenlina Festival Overture. Finnish Radio Sym, Saraste. Yleis 9503.
  • Handel: Solomon: Entrance of the Queen of Sheba. Taverner Players, Parrott. Virgin 391340.
12 N
  • Marschner: Hans Heiling, Overture. Vienna Phil, Thielemann. DG 289 474 5022.
  • Schubert/Liszt: Die Taubenpost. Georgian Chamber Players' Valentina Lisitsa. ACA Digital 20102 or on
  • Weill: Threepenny Opera, Suite. Chicago Pro Musica. Reference 2104.
  • Golijov: Ainadamar: Desde mi ventana (From my window). Livia Sohn, Benjamin Loeb. Naxos 8.570202.
  • Rossini: William Tell Overture. Montreal Sym, Dutoit. London 433 074.
1 PM
  • Khatchaturian: Circus, Ballet Suite. St. Petersburg State Sym, Anichanov. Naxos 8.550802.
  • Dohnanyi: Piano Quintet No. 1 in C minor. Georgian Chamber Players and guests. ACA Digital 20102 or on
  • Mozart: Cosi Fan Tutte, Overture. Orchestra of St. John's, Lubbock. Resonance 3072.

Tuesday, January 1

Happy New Year! May your 2008 be full of all things musical. Please note that Alan Cooke hosts this Monday and Thursday's shows, as well as his popular Friday requests program. Find Alan's playlists at companion blog

11 AM

  • NPR and WGBH present New Year's Day from Vienna, the Vienna Philharmonic in a festive, two-hour concert. Georges Pretre conducts waltzes and more.
1 PM
  • Beethoven: "Pastorale" Symphony (Symphony No. 6 in F major). Zurich Tonhalle Orch, Zinman (Arte Nova 74321 49695)
  • Lyadov: Mazurka "Village Scene by the Inn." BBC Phil, Sinaisky (Chandos 9911)