Playlist for Monday, March 31

This week's prize for Most Performances in Georgia goes to . . . the Czech Trio! This acclaimed piano-violin-cello threesome from the Czech Republic is touring the Southeast at the blistering pace of one town per day. ("If it's Tuesday, it must be Macon.") The ensemble is over 100 years old, formed in Hapsburg days, though of course there have been a couple of personnel changes along the way. On Midday Music we hear the piece the Czech Trio never leaves home without: the piano trio by Bedrich Smetana, great 19th century Czech composer.

(Sidebar: Our recording of that Smetana comes from another storied ensemble, the Beaux Arts Trio, which has also had personnel changes in its 50 years. Founding pianist Menahem Pressler - the constant - is getting ready to hang up his hat, so the trio is on its final tour. It plays the Savannah Music Festival Wednesday, April 2, Lucas Theatre, 6 p.m. As of Monday noon, seats were still available.)

11 AM

  • Bach: Violin Concerto in D minor, BWV 1052. Stefan Mai, Academy of Ancient Music Berlin. Harmonia Mundi 901876.
  • Smetana: Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 15. Beaux Arts Trio. Philips 432 125.
  • Scheidt: Ich bin die Auferstehung (I am the resurrection and the life). La Capella Ducale, Musica Fiata, Wilson. CPO 777 145.
12 N
  • Sullivan: The Mikado, Overture. Pro Arte Orch, Sargent. EMI 47773.
  • Cavalli: Canzon. Palladian Ensemble. Linn 015.
  • Mozart: "Jupiter" Symphony (No. 41 in C major, K. 551). Freiburg Baroque Orch, Jacobs. Harmonia Mundi 901958.
  • Rodrigo: Fantasia para un Gentilhombre: Danza de las Hachas. Telarc 80459.
1 PM
  • Rodrigo: Concierto para una Fiesta (may I translate that as "Party Concerto"?). David Russell, Naples Phil, Kunzel. Telarc 80459.
  • Vierdanck: Canzona in A minor. Parnassi Musici. CPO 777 205.
  • Moravec: B.A.S.S. Variations. Trio Solisti. Naxos 8.559323.

Playlist for Thursday, March 27

Concert info is here. Friday requests playlists are here. Today's playlist follows, including a double dose of Dvorak - and a double dose of double concertos.

11 AM

  • Vaughan Williams: Tuba Concerto in F minor. Patrick Harrild, London Sym, Thomson. Chandos 9262/3.
  • Chausson: Concert for Violin, Piano and String Quartet: Finale. Pasquier, Pennetier et al. Harmonia Mundi 3901135.
  • Dvorak: Serenade for Strings, Op. 22. Metamorphosen Chamber Orch, Yoo. Archetype 60105.
12 N
  • Mussorgsky: Dawn on the Moscow River (Prelude to Khovanshchina). Oslo Phil, Jansons. EMI 50824.
  • Bach: "Double" Violin Concerto in D minor, BWV 1043. Andrew Manze, Rachel Podger, Academy of Ancient Music. Harmonia Mundi 907155.
  • Milhaud: Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra. Piano Duo Genova and Dimitrov, SWR Radio Orch, Francis. CPO 999 992.
  • Schubert: Notturno (Adagio in E-flat), D. 897. Braley, Capucon, Capucon. Virgin 365476.
  • Kapsberger/Lislevand: Arpeggiata addio. Rolf Lislevand et al. ECM 1922/B5070.
1 PM
  • Dvorak: Violin Concerto in A minor: mvts 2-3. James Ehnes, BBC Phil, Noseda. Chandos 10309.
  • Debussy: La Mer (The Sea). Cleveland Orch, Boulez. DG 439 896.

The ASO on GPB - March 27 & 30

This week on GPB, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus perform A German Requiem by Johannes Brahms, with Robert Spano conducting.

The traditional Requiem is part of the old Catholic liturgy. But Johannes Brahms ditched both the old texts and the old language in his German Requiem. He picked out new excerpts from the Hebrew and Lutheran bibles to set, keeping the focus on the comforting and the universal (he said he could've just as well titled his work "A Human Requiem") and instead of Latin he used the vernacular, German.

This concert from last November features the Grammy-winning team of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and conductor Robert Spano, plus soprano Twyla Robinson and baritone Mariusz Kwiecien. (They all recorded Brahms' requiem for disc that weekend as well, forthcoming on Telarc.) We'll meet the two soloists before they perform.

The program opens with two shorter works that Robert Spano felt fit an evening honoring the dead: Mozart's Masonic Funeral Music and Jennifer Higdon's "river sings song to trees," the calmer middle section of CityScape, her piece about Atlanta.

Please join us, Thursday, March 27 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 30 at 10 p.m. on GPB.

Playlist for Wednesday, March 26

(Looking for this week's concert details? See the third post below, or if you just can't abide scrolling, click here.)

11 AM

  • Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin: Polonaise. Cleveland Orch, Dohnanyi. Telarc 80130.
  • Grieg: String Quartet No. 1 in G minor. Emerson String Quartet. DG 5340.
  • Poulenc: Concerto in D minor for Two Pianos and Orchestra. Piano Duo Genova and Dimitrov, SWR Radio Orch, Francis. CPO 999 992.
12 N
  • Avison: Concerto in D major, Op. 3/1. Avison Ensemble, Beznosiuk. Naxos 8.557905-6.
  • Brahms: Piano Quartet in C minor: Andante. Ames Piano Quartet. Dorian 90217.
  • Mendelssohn: Octet in E-flat, Op. 20. Daniel Hope, COE (Chamber Orch of Europe) Soloists. DG 477 6634.
  • Bellstedt: Caprice on Dixie for solo violin. Rachel Barton Pine. Cedille 097.
1 PM
  • Rossini: Scherzo "Fanfare for the Italian Crown." Univ of North Texas Wind Ensemble, Corporon. Klavier 11154.
  • Paganini: Ghiribizzi. Marco Tamayo. Naxos 8.557598.
  • Sierra, R.: Sinfonia No. 3, "La Salsa." Frost Sym, Sleeper. Albany 942.
  • Haydn: Piano Trio in A major, Hob. XV:18. Vienna Piano Trio. Nimbus 5535.

Playlist for Tuesday, March 25

The Midday Music playlist is again closely tied to what's on tap in Georgia's concert halls and festivals, from the Cleveland Orchestra's performance in Columbus, to visiting artists at Spivey Hall and the University of Georgia, to our own symphonies of Rome and Augusta and Atlanta and Valdosta, to presentations in Tifton and Auburn and Macon, to the ongoing chamber series at the Savannah Music Festival. See this week's list here. It's a long one!

11 AM

  • Dvorak: String Quintet in G major, Op. 77 for string quartet and bass. Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Cneter. Delos 3152.
  • Berlioz: The Damnation of Faust: Excerpts. Cleveland Orch, Dohnanyi. MAA-01032.
12 N
  • Beethoven: Symphony No. 3,"Eroica." Helsingborg Sym, Manze. Harmonia Mundi 807470.
  • Sullivan: The Yeomen of the Guard, Overture. Welsh National Opera Orch, Mackerras. Telarc 80404.
1 PM
  • Schubert: Piano Sonata No. 20 in A major, D. 959: Scherzo. Wu Han. ArtistLed 10401.
  • Schubert: "Rosamunde" String Quartet (No. 13 in A minor, D. 804). Emerson String Quartet. DG 289 459 151.
  • Delius: Irmelin, Prelude. Cleveland Orch, Dohnanyi. MAA-01032.

Select Classical Concerts, March 25-April 1

A big, whopping highlight is the visit to Columbus, Georgia by the renowned, remarkable Cleveland Orchestra this Sunday, March 30 at 4 p.m., presented by RiverCenter and GPB. Leading the world-famous orchestra will be guest conductor Giancarlo Guerrero, music director of the Eugene Symphony and future music director of the Nashville Symphony. Guerrero conducts Roberto Sierra's Fandangos, Maurice Ravel's second Daphnis and Chloe suite and Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky (orchestrated by Ravel). The concert will be recorded for future broadcast on GPB Radio, and I'll be in the audience at the RiverCenter; hope to see you there!

The Savannah Music Festival continues through April 5, with a feast of performances of all stripes. Within the classical realm, the focus is on chamber music, as the list below shows. Violinist Daniel Hope heads that series.

And there are performances a-brewing in Augusta, Auburn, Atlanta, Morrow, Athens, Valdosta, Columbia County, Columbus, Macon, Rome and Tifton. List follows. Grab yourself a concert!

Tuesday, March 25

Wednesday, March 26Thursday, March 27
  • Auburn Chamber Music Society presents the Arron/Kawasaki/Park Trio in piano trios by Haydn, Schubert, Piazzolla and Dvorak. Goodwin Recital Hall, Auburn University, 7:30. Article here.
  • Emerson String Quartet, Daniel Hope and others. Mendelssohn Octet, Brahms Quartet in A minor, Saariaho Terra Memoria. Savannah Music Festival, 6 p.m., Telfair Academy.
  • Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Robert Spano and soloists Hila Plitman, Richard Clement and Nathan Gunn. Sibelius Tapiola, Theofanidis The Here and Now, Ravel Daphnis and Chloe (complete ballet score). Continues through Saturday. Atlanta's Symphony Hall, 8 p.m.
Friday, March 28
  • England's Andrew Manze and the Helsingborg Symphony from Sweden. Beethoven's Eroica Symphony and Brahms' First Symphony. University of Georgia Performing Arts Ceter, Athens. Andrew Manze himself gives the pre-concert talk at 7:15 p.m. - that should be worth checking out. The concert starts at 8:00.
  • Debut of "magnetic" British soprano Kate Royal at Spivey Hall, Morrow, 8:15 p.m.
  • Savannah Music Festival appearance of Juilliard-trained soprano and actress Audra McDonald. Lucas Theater, 6 p.m.
Saturday, March 29
  • Violinist Rachel Barton Pine and the Columbus Symphony, led by George Del Gobbo. Dvorak's Violin Concerto. Also Brahms' Haydn Variations and Brahms' Third Symphony. RiverCenter, Columbus, 7:30 p.m.
  • Valdosta Symphony, led by executive director James Shrader, teaming up with finalists from the 2007 Metropolitan Opera auditions in Rossini's opera The Barber of Seville (sung in Italian with English supertitles and narration). Saturday, 8 p.m.; repeated Sunday at 3 p.m. as a family concert. Whitehead Auditorium, Valdosta State University. Tickets from ArtSouth, 229-333-2150.
  • ARCO Chamber Orchestra (from Russia, now based in Georgia). Chausson Concerto for Violin, Piano and Orchestra (with UGA faculty members Levon Ambartsumian and Evgeny Rivkin as soloists); Dvorak String Serenade. Free admission (part of the Franklin College Chamber Music Series)! University of Georgia Performing Arts Center, Athens, 8 p.m.
  • The Augusta Symphony's Columbia County Music Series presents duo pianists Marina Lomazov and Joseph Rackers. 7:30 p.m. at Hardin Performing Arts Theatre.
  • Sensations V chamber music concert at the Savannah Music Festival. Pianist Wu Han and others in music for 5-7 players by Hummel, Strauss and Shostakovich. Telfair Academy, 6 p.m.
  • Guitarist Ana Vidovic (previously featured on Performance Today) in her Spivey Hall debut, Morrow, 8:15 p.m.
Sunday, March 30
  • Cleveland Orchestra with guest conductor Giancarlo Guerrero. Roberto Sierra's Fandangos, Ravel's Daphnis and Chloe Suite No. 2, Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. Presented by GPB and RiverCenter. 4 p.m., RiverCenter, Columbus. Article here.
  • Concord Chamber Players and Friends. Music for flute, harp, violins and classical banjo. 4 p.m. Vineville United Methodist Church, Macon.
  • Atlanta Baroque Orchestra led by John Hsu. An all-Bach program: two Brandenburg concertos, the double violin concerto and Cantata No. 83, "Ich habe genug," with baritone Richard Lali. Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, Atlanta, 3 p.m.
  • Atlanta Symphony and Garrick Ohlsson in Savannah. Conductor Robert Spano. Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto, Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony. Lucas Theatre.
  • Audra McDonald, classically trained Broadway star. 5 p.m., Atlanta's Ferst Center for the Arts.
  • "A young Roman's guide to the orchestra." Rome Symphony's first Family Concert. Berry College's John Davis conductsor. Rome City Auditorium, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, April 1
  • The Czech Trio, presented by the Macon Concert Association. Porter Building, Wesleyan College, Macon. (478) 743-6940.
  • South Georgia Arts presents "A Night of Solo Piano and Ensembles." Gina Lawhon, Sheri Wyles Grabowski and The Mannheim Musicians. ABAC Chapel, Tifton, 7 p.m. Free admission.

Playlist for Monday, March 24

11 AM

  • Biber: "The Resurrection," Sonata No. 11 from The Mystery (Rosary) Sonatas. Andrew Manze, Richard Egarr. Harmonia Mundi 907321.22.
  • Rimsky-Korsakov: The Snow Maiden, Suite. Scottish National Orch, Jarvi. Chandos 10369(2).
  • Prokofiev: Overture on Hebrew Themes. Evgeny Kissin, members of Moscow Virtuosi. Philips 456 871.
  • Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major. Swiss Baroque Soloists, Gabetta. Naxos 8.557755-56.
  • Rossini: La Danza. Joseph Alessi, Extension Ensemble Brass Quintet. Naxos 8.570232.
12 N
  • Rossini: The Barber of Seville, Overture, arr. trombone and piano. Joseph Alessi, Warren Jones. Naxos 8.570232.
  • Brahms: Six Pieces for Piano, Op. 118. Wu Han, piano. ArtistLed 10501.
  • Brahms: Variations on a Theme of Haydn. Cleveland Orch, Szell. CBS 37777.
  • Piazzolla: Four Seasons in Buenos Aires: Otono Porteno. Katona Twins. Channel 19804.
1 PM
  • Mozart: Concerto for Flute and Harp in C major, K. 299. Joshua Smith, Lisa Wellbaum, Cleveland Orch, Dohnanyi. London 443 175.
  • Beethoven: Twelve Contradances, WoO 14. Helsingborg Sym, Manze. Harmonia Mundi 807470. (One of these is the tune Beethoven also uses in the finale of his Third Symphony and in his ballet music to The Creatures of Prometheus.)
  • Coleridge-Taylor: Deep River. Rachel Barton Pine, Matthew Hagle. Cedille 097.

Playlist for Thursday, March 20

The Savannah Music Festival starts today. Weekend concerts there and elsewhere that I've mentioned on air are listed here. The fastidious will find connections between that concert info and the musicians on today's Midday Music (Jonathan Biss, Jennifer Larmore, Daniel Hope, Sebastian Knauer, Yundi Li, Nicholas Angelich) - and the rep too (Schumann, Barber, Rutter). For Maundy Thursday, we also hear sacred music by Rutter and Golijov, and the conclusion of Alexander Grechaninov's Passion Week, from a Grammy-bedecked recording. Friday from 11 to 2 on GPB it's Midday Music Requests with Alan Cooke. Happy Easter, everyone.

11 AM

  • Schumann, Robert: Adagio and Allegro, Op. 70. Pieter Wispelwey, Paolo Giacometti. Channel 18698.
  • Schumann, Clara: Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 17. Dartington Piano Trio. Helios 55078.
  • Schumann, Robert: Fantasy in C major, Op. 17: mvts 2-3. Jonathan Biss. EMI 65391.
12 N
  • Barber: School for Scandal, Overture. Saint Louis Sym, Slatkin. EMI 49463.
  • Grechaninov: Passion Week, Op. 58: conclusion. Phoenix Bach Choir, Kansas City Chorale, Bruffy. Chandos 5044.
  • Humperdinck: Hansel and Gretel: end of Act 2 (Sandman, Evening Prayer, Dream Pantomime). Larmore, Gretel, Montague, Philharmonia Orch, Mackerras. Chandos 3143.
  • Falla: Suite Populaire Espagnole. Daniel Hope, Sebastian Knauer. Warner 61329.
1 PM
  • Rutter: Requiem: Sanctus. Cambridge Singers, City of London Sinfonia, Rutter. Collegium 504.
  • Scarlatti, D.: Sonata in E major, K. 380. Yundi Li. DG 6090.
  • Golijov: La Pasion segun San Marcos: Lua descolorida (Colorless Moon, Aria of Peter's Tears). Samia Ibrahim, Orquesta La Pasion, Guinand. Hanssler 98.404.
  • Brahms: Viola Sonata No. 2 in E-flat, Op. 120/2. Laurent Verney, Nicholas Angelich. Harmonia Mundi 911565.

Playlist for Wednesday, March 19

In 1785 Mozart got a commission from the Viennese Society of Musicians (Wiener Tonkünstlersozietät, a charitable organization sometimes translated as the Viennese Society of Composers, or Artists). They asked him to write something for their benefit concert, which was during Lent. Mozart didn't have a lot of time, so he started by recycling music he'd already composed for his unfinished "Great" Mass in C minor. The new text was in Italian, based on penitential psalms of David. In the first hour of Midday Music we hear the resulting work, Davide Penitente, in a new Naxos recording. It begins: "I raised my weeping cries to the Lord..."

As for concerts around Georgia, instead of posting daily links, I'm experimenting with posting one single weekly list, usually on Tuesday. Efficient for me; hopefully handy for you. This week's roundup is here. And now, today's playlist.

11 AM

  • Mozart: Great Mass in C minor, opening minutes. Concentus Musicus Wien, Harnoncourt. Teldec 72479.
  • Mozart: Davide Penitente. Immortal Bach Ensemble (love that name), Leipzig Chamber Orchestra, Lund, Wahlin, Odinius, Schuldt-Yensen. Naxos 8.570231.
  • Bach: Keyboard Partita No. 4 in D major: Allemande. Cedric Tiberghien. Harmonia Mundi 901869.
12 N
  • Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor. Helene Grimaud, German Sym, Zinman. Erato 0630-11727.
  • Chaminade: Toccata, Op. 39. Louise Cheadle. AW Promotions 2204.
  • Monteverdi: Arianna's Lament (polyphonic transcription). Delitiae Musicae, Longhini. Naxos 8.555312-13.
1 PM
  • Dvorak: Piano Quartet in E-flat, Op. 87. Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (Wu Han, piano). CMS.
  • Purcell: Three Parts upon a Ground (fantazia). Taverner Players, Parrott. Virgin 391340.

Select Classical Concerts, March 20-25

Georgia's main musical story this weekend, and for several to come, is the Savannah Music Festival, which gets underway Thursday.

  • Thursday Chinese pianist Yundi Li plays Chopin, Liszt, Rachmaninoff and Mussorgsky. Savannah's Lucas Theater for the Arts, 6 p.m.
  • Friday the festival's "Sensations" chamber music series, directed by and featuring violinist Daniel Hope, kicks off. (Read a recent profile of Daniel Hope. Interesting guy!) Sensations I features works by Mozart, Schumann, Bach, Debussy and Bruch, for variously combined clarinet, viola, piano and cello. 12:30 p.m. at Savannah's Temple Mickve Israel.
  • Also Friday, mezzo-soprano opera star and Georgia native Jennifer Larmore gives a recital. Savannah's Telfair Academy, 6 p.m.
  • Saturday violinist Daniel Hope joins pianist Sebastian Knauer for pieces by Falla, Mendelssohn and Greig, and Knauer plays Schubert on his own. Savannah's St. Paul's Greek Orthodox Church, 3 p.m.
  • Sunday: Sensations II. Daniel Hope and friends perform chamber music by Dvorak, Bartok and Brahms (his quintet for clarinet and strings).
  • Monday twenty-something pianist Jonathan Biss plays Beethoven, Schoenberg and Schubert. Telfair Academy, 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday: Sensations III. Chamber music by Brahms (C minor piano quartet), Prokofiev (Overture on Hebrew themes) and Dvorak (Quintet in G, with double bass), performed by Daniel Hope and friends. At the rate of one new concert per day, where has Mr. Hope found time to rehearse? 'Tis not for us mere mortals to ask.
Outside Savannah? Try Augusta or Atlanta.
  • On Friday, March 21 the Augusta Choral Society (chorus, soloists and orchestra) presents "Music for Good Friday" from across the centuries: Rutter, Lotti, Monteverdi and Bach. Sacred Heart Cultural Center, 7:30.
  • The Augusta Opera presents La Tragedie de Carmen, 1983 Broadway hit based on (condensing) Bizet's Carmen, about love among Spanish Gypsies, March 21-22 at Augusta's Imperial Theater, 8 p.m. both nights.
  • American pianist Nicholas Angelich and guest conductor Hugh Wolff join the Atlanta Symphony for Schumann's Piano Concerto and Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony, Thursday through Saturday at Symphony Hall at the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta (not touched by tornadoes!).
  • Czech Opera Prague brings Franz Lehar's comic opera The Merry Widow to the Fox Theatre in midtown Atlanta, Sunday (yep, Easter!) at 8 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 25, soloists from the Augusta Collegium Musicum present "An Evening of Gilbert and Sullivan" at the Augusta Museum of History.

Playlist for Tuesday, March 18

The main Georgia concert story from Thursday forward is in Savannah, with the Savannah Music Festival. It's a big deal, a huge, multi-genre festival. Of special interest to classical fans is the "Sensations" chamber music series, directed by and starring violinist Daniel Hope - whom we hear atop an octet in today's noon hour. I'll be featuring several artists and lots of rep from Savannah over the coming weeks.

Other tie-ins today playlist include pianist Nicholas Angelich (heard in the Mendelssohn trio here; soloist this weekend with the Atlanta Symphony), the Bach chorus (the Augusta Choral Society sings "Ruht Wohl" on Good Friday), Savannah-bound pianists Yundi Li (Thursday) and Jonathan Biss (Monday), and Lehar's Merry Widow Overture (the Czech Opera Prague offers the whole Merry Widow in Atlanta Sunday). See this week's concert list for details on all.

11 AM

  • Handel: Organ Concerto in G minor, Op. 4/1. Ton Koopman, Amsterdam Baroque Orch. Erato 88136.
  • Mendelssohn: Piano Trio No. 1 in C minor. Nicholas Angelich, Renaud Capucon, Gautier Capucon. EMI 58472.
  • Byrd: In nomine a 5; Have mercy upon us. Fretwork, Choir of Magdalen College Oxford. Harmonia Mundi 907440.
12 N
  • Salzedo: Whirlwind, from Five Preludes for Solo Harp. Elisabeth Remy. ACA Digital 20070.
  • Bach: St. John Passion: "Ruht Wohl." Collegium Vocale Gent, Herreweghe. Harmonia Mundi 901748.49.
  • Chopin: Scherzo No. 1 in B minor. Yundi Li. DG 3887.
  • Mendelssohn: Octet: first movement. Daniel Hope, soloists of Chamber Orch of Europe. DG 477 6634.
  • Scriabin: Preludes, Op. 22. Piers Lane. Hyperion 67057/8.
  • Allegri: Miserere. Tallis Scholars, Phillips. Gimell 339.
1 PM
  • Grechaninov: Passion Week: Nos. 5-6. Phoenix Bach Choir, Kansas City Chorale, Bruffy. Chandos 5044.
  • Honegger: Concerto da Camera. Netherland Radio Phil, Fournet. Denon 78831.
  • Schumann: Arabesque: Jonathan Biss. EMI 65391.
  • Lehar: Merry Widow, Overture. Berlin Radio Sym, Jurowski. CPO 999 891.

The ASO on GPB - March 20 & 23

Thursday, March 20 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 23 at 10 p.m. on GPB, please join us for an Atlanta Symphony concert recorded in late October 2007.

Music director Robert Spano conducts a program that weaves together themes of France and dance and jazz. Spano also chats with us about the art of picking music for the orchestra (the important part is choosing what to whittle away - just like Michelangelo, he says) and the thrilling risk of making an in-concert recording of La Boheme for CD release.

We also meet ASO prinicpal harpist Elisabeth Remy Johnson, who explains what everyone wants to know about harps, and solos in music of Debussy. (More on her below.)

Here's what's on the program:

  • A Frenchman in New York beats Gershwin to the punch when it comes to injecting classical music with jazz. We hear The Creation of the World, by Darius Milhaud.
  • The harp's not just for angels. Debussy gives it both Sacred AND Profane Dances to play.
  • Ravel looks back to the nineteenth century with two waltzy works, La Valse and Noble and Sentimental Waltzes.
  • And to close the ASO's month-long French festival, the fruits of Gershwin's 1928 trip to Europe: An American in Paris, complete with the homesick blues in the middle.
The broadcast concludes with rhythmic selections from the Atlanta Symphony's new CD The Garden of Cosmic Speculation - music by Michael Gandolfi, in a world premiere recording - and Jean-Michel Damase's Sicilienne Variee, from Elisabeth Remy Johnson's CD Whirlwind.

By the way, Elisabeth Remy Johnson's harp activities extend well beyond Symphony Hall. She has also been making a mark in the community as co-founder and artistic director of the Urban Youth Harp Ensemble (, which serves harp students from the Atlanta public school system. That work has won her Atlanta's Channel 11 Community Service Award and the TBS Pathfinder's Award. She explains what inspired her to launch the group:

After I moved to Atlanta to be the principal harpist with the ASO, I went to a national harp convention and saw a performance given by the Richmond Public School Harp Ensemble, and thought it would be great if we started something similar in Atlanta. Another really strong motivating factor was acknowledging the fact that I kind of 'fell across' the harp. My mom just happened to take me to a harp concert when I was 6, and it was literally a life-changing experience. I wanted students to have access to harps and to instruction, so they could have the exposure to the instrument that might be life-changing for them, too. . . . One of our first students kept with his harp studies throughout high school, and was offered a full scholarship to the University of Michigan to continue his harp studies! Through music, the students can develop skills and achievements throughout high school that will open the door to many post-secondary experiences.

Playlist for Monday, March 17

Mozart alert! A new likeness of Mozart has been discovered and authenticated! Check out the story and Wolfgang's portrait here or here. And neither article mentions this but I've heard through the grapevine that the American collector who bought the portrait picked it up on vacation in northern a yard sale, essentially. Descendants of Mozart's friends the Hagenauers were just cleaning out their attic.

OK, so back to today's Midday Music. St. Patrick's Day. Christian Holy Week. Women's History Month. Concerts apace. What's a music programmer to do? Mix and match to cover all those bases.

Note that the harpist we hear in the first hour, Elisabeth Remy Johnson, is principal harp of the Atlanta Symphony. She will be featured in Debussy's Sacred and Profane Dances in this week's broadcast of the ASO on GPB. Please join me on air or online for that concert, Thursday at 8 p.m., repeating Sunday night at 10.

The run-up to Easter isn't the busiest concert time, but it's not all quiet outside the churches. Concerts mentioned on air include:

  • "Music, She Wrote" in Macon (tomorrow, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m., Wesleyan College's Candler Alumnae Building, free);
  • pianist Nicholas Angelich and conductor Hugh Wolff with the Atlanta Symphony (Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m., Atlanta's Symphony Hall);
  • La Tragedie de Carmen, a sort of condensation of Bizet's Carmen presented by the Augusta Opera (Friday-Saturday, Augusta's Imperial Theater);
  • and last but not remotely least, the Savannah Music Festival, kicking off on Thursday. A more formal concert list with links will follow tomorrow.
Happy St. Patrick's Day! Here's the Midday Music playlist.

11 AM
  • Grechaninov: Passion Week: Nos. 1-3. Phoenix Bach Choir, Kansas City Chorale, soloists, Bruffy. Chandos 5044.
  • Chaminade: Arabesque, Op. 61. Louise Cheadle. AW Promotions.
  • Telemann: "The Nations," Suite in B-flat. Berlin Academy of Ancient Music. Harmonia Mundi 901744.
  • Damase: Sicilienne Variee for harp. Elisabeth Remy. ACA Digital 20070.
  • Various/Traditional Irish: The Wagtail Set. Tannahill Weavers. Green Linnet 1210.
12 N
  • Traditional Irish: St. Patrick's Day (arr. Morley for the 1952 film The Quiet Man). Itzhak Perlman, Boston Pops, Williams. Sony 60773.
  • Debussy: Danse (orch. Ravel). Saint Paul Chamber Orch, Wolff. Teldec 74006.
  • Brahms: Klavierstucke, Op. 119. Nicholas Angelich. Virgin 379302.
  • Mozart: Horn Concerto No. 2 in E-flat, K. 417. Eric Ruske, Scottish Chamber Orch, Mackerras. Telarc 80367.
  • Bizet: Carmen Suite (arr. Fernie). Black Dyke Band, Childs. Naxos 8.570726.
  • Traditional Irish: The Irish Washerwoman. Cincinnati Pops, Kunzel. Telarc 80571.
1 PM
  • Traditional Irish: the Green Groves of Erin/The Flowers of Red Hill (arr. Meyer). Mark O'Connor, Yo-Yo Ma. Sony 68460.
  • Poulenc: Stabat Mater. French National Orch, Choruses of Radio France, Hendricks, Pretre. EMI 55689.
  • Ravel: Tzigane, for violin and lutheal. Daniel Hope, Sebastian Knauer. Warner 61329.
  • Traditional Irish: A Piper Celebration. Kieran O'Hare, Cincinnati Pops, Kunzel. Telarc 80571.

Playlist for Friday, March 14

Unfortunately, Friday requests host Alan Cooke is under the weather. Fortunately, WSVH's Eric Nauert comes to the rescue. Today's Midday Music comes to you from GPB's station in Savannah, where everyone's gearing up for St. Patrick's Day and the Savannah Music Festival. In general, you can WSVH listings here. Eric's playlist for today is below.

11:00 am

O'CAROLAN: Planxty Connor; Carolan's Devotion. Harp Consort, Lawrence-King. Harmonia Mundi 68859
FIELD: Nocturne No. 17 in E, . 54a. O'Conor. Telarc 80290
BACH: St Matthew Passion: Part 5. Ghent Collegium Vocale, Herreweghe, Bostridge, Selig. Harmonia Mundi 951 676.

12:00 noon

BRUCH: Adagio on Celtic Themes, Op. 56. London Phil, Mackerras, Harnoy. RCA 60757.
ANONYMOUS: If I Were a Blackbird. Robertson. Gourd 137.
BANTOCK: Pagan Symphony. BBC Phil, Downes. BBC 91592.

1:00 pm

ANONYMOUS: Dúlamán. Anúna. Koch 9555.
TRIMBLE: Suite for Strings. Irish Chamber Orch, Hunt. Black Box 1003.
ANDERSON: Irish Suite. Boston Pops, Fiedler. RCA 7892.
ANONYMOUS: Danny Boy. McDermott. EMI 33460.

Playlist for Thursday, March 13

11 AM

  • Rachmaninoff: Symphony No. 2 in E minor. St. Petersburg Phil, Jansons. EMI 55140.
12 N
  • Liszt: La Campanella (Grandes Etudes de Paganini, No. 3). Marc-Andre Hamelin. Hyperion 67370.
  • Beethoven: Creatures of Prometheus: Finale. Helsingborg Sym, Manze. Harmonia Mundi 807470.
  • Nielsen: Wind Quintet, Op. 43. Pahud, Meyer, Schweigert, Kelly, Baborak. EMI 94421.
  • Vivaldi: Concerto in A major for violin and second (echoing) violin, "Per eco in lontano." Fabio Biondi, Enrico Casazza, Europa Galante. Virgin 45424.
1 PM
  • Hahn: The Ball of Beatrice D'Este for winds, harps and piano. Orch of Paris, Jacquillat. EMI 47647.
  • Vanhal: Symphony in C major. Toronto Chamber Orch, Mallon. Naxos 8.570280.
  • Arensky: Raphael: Introduction to Musical Scenes from the Renaissance. USSR Sym, Svetlanov. Melodiya 10-0064.

The ASO on GPB, March 13 & 16

The French festival continues this week on GPB's Atlanta Symphony broadcasts, with a concert recorded in October 2007 at the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta.

The orchestra performs a symphony Haydn wrote for Paris (No. 83, "The Hen), Chausson's Poem for violin and orchestra, Saint-Saens' Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, and Saint-Saens' "Organ" Symphony. Pinchas Zukerman guest conducts, and the soloist is his former student - 30-year-old German violinist Viviane Hagner.

We'll also hear an excerpt from the eerie story by Ivan Turgenyev, "The Song of Triumphant Love," that inspired Chausson's musical poem. We'll meet ASO principal keyboard player Peter Marshall, who gets to pull out all the stops in the "Organ" Symphony. And we'll hear how Saint-Saens' great finale tune sounds as it shows up in the 1995 farmyard flick Babe - as the song "If I had words" - with a beat, and sung by mice.

(Note: Those crazy mice didn't get there first. For even more of a trip, check out the 1977 version of "If I had words" with British one-hit wonders Scott Fitzgerald and Yvonne Keeley. And, oh yeah, the song was also covered by Hawaiian singer Keali'i Reichel.)

The ASO is on GPB Thursday at 8 p.m. with a rebroadcast Sunday night at 10. Join us!

Playlist for Wednesday, March 12

For live classical music, please see this week's list of select concerts around Georgia.

11 AM

  • Schubert: Octet for strings and winds, D. 803. Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble. Philips 416 497.
12 N
  • Joplin: Eugenia. Benjamin Loeb. Naxos 8.559277.
  • Bach: Sonata in C for trumpets, organ and timpani from Cantata "Der Himmel lacht." Laubins, Preston, Schmitt. DG 419 245.
  • Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 1 in C major, BWV 1066. Academy of Ancient Music, Hogwood. L'Oiseau-Lyre 417 834.
  • Monteverdi: Vespers of the Blessed Virgin: Psalm 112; Laudate pueri. Boston Baroque, Pearlman. Telarc 80453
  • Chopin: Scherzo No. 2; Impromptu No. 1. Yundi Li. DG 3887.
1 PM
  • Glazunov: Fortune-Telling and Dance, Op. 81; Finnish Sketch No. 2. USSR Sym, Svetlanov. Melodiya 163.
  • Sibelius: Symphony No. 3. Iceland Sym, Sakari. Naxos 8.505179.

Select Classical Concerts, March 11-18

Here's some of what's going on in Georgia this week. We aim for accuracy, but please always confirm details with the groups or venues in question. If we don't know about your professional classical music organization, please send press releases to Happy concertgoing!

Tuesday, March 11

  • "Classical Now." Mezzo-soprano Maya Hoover, pianist Lisa Leong, violinist Justin Bruns, cellist Brad Ritchie and guitarist John Huston perform music of Atlanta-area composers, including two world premieres. 7:30, at Clayton State's Spivey Hall, Morrow. Free.
Friday March 14
  • Yundi Li, 25-year-old Chinese superstar pianist, makes his Atlanta debut at Georgia Tech's Ferst Center with Mozart, Chopin, Liszt and Mussorgsky. (Yundi Li appears again March 20 at Savannah's Lucas Theater, as part of the Savannah Music Festival.)
Saturday, March 15
  • "Celebrating America." Adrian Gnam leads the Macon Symphony in Joan Tower's Made in America, composer-in-residence Catherine McMichael's Joyful Noise, and favorites by Gershwin. 7:30, Grand Opera House, Macon.
  • "Imaginary Homeland." The Cobb Symphony plays a children's concert in Kennesaw, with music from many traditions with a St. Patrick's Day twist. 10 a.m.
  • The Georgia Philharmonic and violinist Madalyn Parnas perform Saint-Saens' Third Violin Concerto, plus Weber and Sibelius. Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 8 p.m.
Sunday, March 16
  • A German Requiem by Brahms. Guest conductor Joseph Flummerfelt leads the Augusta Symphony, soloists Tonya Currier and Jack Brown and Augusta-area college and church choirs. "Concerts with a Cause." 4 p.m., First Baptist of Augusta, free admission but contributions welcome.
  • Winners of the LaGrange Symphony's 12th annual Young Artists Competition in recital. This year's Young Artists in Recital are string players: 16-year-old cellist Matthew Allen from Tallahassee, 20-year-old violinist Elizabeth McCorquodale from Canada and Columbus State's Schwob School of Music, and 19-year-old violinist Yaniv Gutman from Israel and Columbus's Schwob School of Music. Here's their program. Callaway Auditorium, LaGrange College, 3 p.m..
  • The Hawkinsville-Pulaski County Arts Council presents singer-guitarist Elisabeth von Trapp (Vermont native and granddaughter of Maria and Baron Von Trapp of Sound of Music fame), plus guest cellist Erich Kory, in "Bach to Broadway, Schubert to String: A Celebration of Classical Music." 3 p.m., Old Opera House, Hawkinsville.
Tuesday, March 18
  • Little Carnegie Hall Showcase Concert. Showcasing nine of northeast Georgia's most accomplished student musicians in performance, including interviews during the concert. (Sounds like a Georgia "From the Top"!) 9 p.m., Pearce Auditorium, Brenau University, Gainesville, 9 p.m., presented by Gainesville Pro Musica.
  • "Music, She Wrote." Music celebrating Women's History Month at Wesleyan College, Macon. Guest artists Jennifer Flory, Tina Stallard and Jennifer McGuire. Free and open to all.
Also coming up: the Savannah Music Festival, starting March 20.

Playlist for Tuesday, March 11

11 AM

  • Bernstein: On the Town: Pas de Deux. Orch of St. Luke's, Stern. Nonesuch 79400.
  • Tchaikovsky: String Quartet No. 2 in F major. Ying Quartet. Telarc 80685.
  • Beethoven: "Moonlight" Sonata (Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor). Garrick Ohlsson. Arabesque 6677.
12 N
  • de la Barre: Suite No. 9, "Sonata l'inconnue." Amarillis. Naive/Ambroisie 9904.
  • Saint-Saens: Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor. Maxim Vengerov, Philharmonia, Pappano. EMI 57593.
  • Cohen, F.: Woodwind Trio: 3rd mvt. Currents. Centaur 2248.
  • Holst: First Suite in E-flat for military band. Cleveland Sym Winds, Fennell. Telarc 80606.
1 PM
  • Pachelbel: Canon in D major. English String Orch, Boughton. Nimbus 5032.
  • Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Piano Quintet No. 1, Op. 69. Arman Ensemble.
  • Handel: Concerto Grosso in C minor, Op. 6/8. Boston Baroque, Pearlman. Telarc 80688.

Playlist for Monday, March 10

11 AM . . . .

  • Dvorak: Sextet in A major, Op. 48. Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble. Chandos 8771.
  • Arban: Fantaisie. New Mexico Brass Quintet. Crystal 560.
  • Mozart: Piano Sonata in C major, K. 330. Yundi Li. DG 6090.
12 N
  • Barrios: Leyenda de Espana. Jeffrey McFadden. Naxos 8.557807.
  • Brahms: Ein Deutches Requiem: IV, Wie lieblich sind deine Wohnungen. Berlin Phil, Berlin Radio Chorus, Rattle. EMI 65393.
  • Gandolfi: The Garden of Cosmic Speculation, Part 2. Atlanta Sym Orch, Spano. Telarc 80696.
  • Gershwin/Bennett: Porgy and Bess, Symphonic Picture. New Zealand Sym, Judd. Naxos 8.559107.
1 PM . . .
  • Weber: Euryanthe, Overture. Vienna Phil, Thielemann. DG 289 474 5022.
  • Schumann: Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 63. Nicholas Angelich, Renaud Capucon, Gautier Capucon. EMI 89241.

Playlists for March 3, 6 and 7

Today Alan Cooke hosts Midday Music requests from Augusta's WACG (call 1-866-RADIO-GA with your classical or classical-ish requests).

And many thanks to Eric Nauert of Savannah station WSVH for hosting Midday Music this Monday and Thursday. Here's what he played, as programmed by Beth Ford:

Monday, March 3

11 AM
SCARLATTI: Sonata in D minor, K. 11. Golan. Hilton Head Piano Competition 2008.
MOZART: Mass No. 16 in C, K. 317 (Coronation). Concentus Musicus Wien, Harnoncourt. Teldec 72479.
BACH: Brandenburg Concerto No. 3. Amsterdam Guitar Trio. RCA 6546.
CLERAMBAULT: Suite de deuxième ton. Dahl. PLU 01.

12 N
KELLY: O'Carolan Suite in Baroque Style. Irish Chamber Orch, Hunt. Black Box 1003.
REINECKE: Flute Sonata, Op. 167 (Undine). Zucker, Shapiro. Cantilena 66029.
ROSSINI: String Sonata No. 2 in A. Ensemble Explorations, Dieltiens. Harmonia Mundi 901776.

1 PM
BERTOUCH: Trio Sonata No 15 in F minor. Bergen Barokk. Toccata 0006.
BIZET: Symphony in C. Orpheus Chamber Orch. DG 423 624.

Thursday, March 6

11 AM
POULENC: Flute Sonata. Herrick Ensemble. Fort Lee Chamber Music Series 10027.
KELLY: Pieces for Strings. Irish Chamber Orch, Hunt. Black Box 1003.
CHAMINADE: Concert Etudes. Katahn. Gasparo 247.

12 N
STRAUSS: Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks. Stockholm Phil, Berglund. RCA 60173.
DEBUSSY: Etude No. 8-For Ornaments. Brown. Hilton Head Piano Competition 2008.
SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 3 in C. Gothenburg Sym, Järvi. BIS 228.

1 PM
ELGAR: String Quartet in E minor, Op. 83. Maggini String Quartet. Naxos 8.553737.
MENDELSSOHN: Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 14: Andante. Jones, Valentine. Leonarda 333.
: Beckus the Dandipratt. London Phil, Arnold. Reference 48.

Playlist for Wednesday, March 5

Three composers make their Midday Music debuts today, in new recordings. First, from Russia, please meet Nikolay Borisovich Gorlov (b. 1926). We'll open the show with his Suite for oboe and piano. After that, kindly make the acquaintance of Portugal's Luis de Freitas Branco (1890-1955), whose second symphony was inspired in part by his sister's entrance into a Carmelite convent. In the final hour, join me in meandering through a quirky concept garden in Scotland, as captured in a quirky set of pieces by the same name, The Garden of Cosmic Speculation. We'll hear the first part of Michael Gandolfi's (b. 1956) hourlong work in its world premiere recording with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony. Photos of the garden itself are sprinkled throughout Gandolfi's website.

11 AM

  • Gorlov: Suite for oboe and piano. Ivan Paisov, Natalia Shcherbakova. Naxos 8.570596.
  • Branco: Symphony No. 2 (1926). Extremadura Sym Orch, Amigo. Atma 2578.
12 N
  • Gluck: Dance of the Blessed Spirits. Orpheus Chamber Orch. DG 437 782
  • Schubert: Piano Sonata No. 20 in A, D. 959. Andras Schiff. London 440 309.
  • Three short pieces from Renaissance Italy. Piffaro. Archiv 445 883.
1 PM
  • Vivaldi: Mandolin Concerto in C, RV 425. Rolf Lislevand et al. Naive 30429.
  • Gandolfi: The Garden of Cosmic Speculation: Part 1. Atlanta Sym Orch, Spano. Telarc 80696.
  • Bernstein: Divertimento: Waltz, Turkey Trot, Blues, March. Vienna Phil, Bernstein. DG 457 691.

Select Classical Concerts, March 6-9

A few performances coming up around Georgia and thereabouts this weekend. Please note that the inclusion of Auburn, Ala. on this list merely acknowledges that radio transcends state boundaries. It in no way indicates the intention to annex parts of any neighboring states.

  • Thursday-Saturday, March 6-8 in Atlanta: The Atlanta Symphony, principal cellist Christopher Rex and conductor Robert Spano in Samuel Barber's Cello Concerto, Tchaikovsky's Fourth Symphony and the world premiere of a commission by Gonzalo Grau, Preguntas y Respuestas (Q&A).
  • Friday, March 7 in Augusta: From Russia, Chamber Orchestra Kremlin and director Mischa Rachlevsky, presented at Augusta State's Maxwell Theatre by the Harry Jacobs Chamber Music Society, 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 8: In Auburn, Ala., Alexander Russakovsky, cellist, with the Auburn Community/University Orchestra in Schumann's Cello Concerto, plus music of Barber and Glazunov, at Auburn University's Telfair Peet Theatre, 7:30 p.m. In Douglasville, DuoATL (flute-guitar duo) at the Cultural Arts Center, 7 p.m. At Spivey Hall in Morrow, the Brentano Quartet with Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Gabriela Frank.
  • Sunday, March 9 in Albany: The Albany Chorale in Mendelssohn's Hymn of Praise and more at Albany's Lutheran Church of Our Saviour, 3 p.m. In Morrow, English pianist Imogen Cooper in her Spivey Hall debut, with Bach and Schubert.
  • Through March 15 in Columbus: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel at the Springer Opera House.

The ASO on GPB, March 6 & 9

Hear ye, hear ye! GPB launches its fourth season of Atlanta Symphony broadcasts, now produced and hosted by Sarah Zaslaw. (GPB's former Atlanta Symphony host, Terrance McKnight, is now ensconced as evening music host at WNYC New York.)

Join us for the first of 24 weekly concerts this Thursday evening at 8 (ET). Conductor Robert Spano, pianist Garrick Ohlsson and the Atlanta Symphony perform music by Cesar Franck (The Accursed Huntsman), Frederic Chopin (Second Piano Concerto) and Hector Berlioz (from Romeo and Juliet).

Garrick Ohlsson talks about Chopin's lovability, and I'll also speak with ASO president Allison Vulgamore about what goes into planning a concert season of the Atlanta Symphony.

Please tune in Thursday at 8 (with a rebroadcast Sunday night at 10) over GPB Radio or via

Playlist for Tuesday, March 4

Thanks to Eric Nauert of WSVH for hosting Monday's show when I had to stay home on short notice. A water main burst at my son's preschool. Plumbing is now restored and kid stashed.

Here's today's Midday Music playlist. Three cello concertos. Two are concert tie-ins. (Alexander Russakovsky soloes in the Schumann cello concerto Saturday at Auburn University, and Atlanta Symphony principal cellist Christopher Rex performs the Barber concerto this weekend in Atlanta.) The Haydn's just there because once there were two, I compulsively wanted a third.

11 AM

  • Rossini: String Sonata No. 1 in G major. Kremlin Chamber Orch, Rachlevsky. Claves 50-9222.
  • Schubert: Impromptu in B-flat major, Op. 142/3, D. 935. Nikolai Demidenko. Hyperion 67091/2.
  • Schumann: Cello Concerto, Op. 129. Yo-Yo Ma, Bavarian Radio Sym, Davis. CBS 44562.
  • Byrd: Second Service (Magnificat). Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford; Fretwork. Harmonia Mundi 907440.

12 N
  • Liszt: Transcendental Etude No. 12, "Chasse-neige." Claudio Arau. PentaTone 171.
  • Haydn: Cello Concerto No. 2 in D major. Jean-Guihen Queyras, Freiburg Baroque Orch, Mullejans. Harmonia Mundi 901816.
  • Granados: Four songs arranged for viola and piano. Kim Kashkashian, Robert Levin. ECM 1975.
  • Taneyev: Symphony No. 1 in E minor: Finale. Novosibirsk Academic Sym, Sanderling. Naxos 8.570336.

1 PM
  • Hotteterre: Deuxieme Livre: Suite No. 2 in E minor. Amarillis. Ambroisie 9904.
  • Barber: Cello Concerto, Op. 22. Anne Gastinel, City of Birmingham Sym, Brown. Naive 4961.
  • Falla: Jota. Kim Kashkashian, Robert Levin. ECM 1975.