Beautiful Benefactors

Franghiz Ali-Zadeh

Franghiz Ali-Zadeh


7 p.m., Tuesday, June 30

Where would classical music be without the generous support of citizens who use their financial resources to create new art. The program contains works commissioned by artists for artists and works that came into being because somebody cared enough to ask a leading composer to write something for them.

We’ll hear the Kronos Quartet perform works by Terry Riley and Franghiz Ali-Zaden. We’ll hear Sergei Prokofiev’s Left Hand Piano Concerto (No.4) paid for by Paul Wittgenstein who later said it was unplayable. Ho hum.

Plus Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, a work paid for by Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge as was Bela Bartok’s String Quartet No.5.

Arthur Benjamin Jamaican Rumba 1936 Isaac Stern, Milton Katims, Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Bela Bartok String Quartet No.5 1934 Hungarian String Quartet
Jacques Ibert Louisville Concerto 1953 Louis Frémaux, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Serge Prokofiev Piano Concerto No.4 1931 Yefim Bronfman, Zubin Mehta, Israel Philharmonic
Igor Stravinsky Dumbarton Oaks 1937 Colin Davis, English Chamber Orchestra
Aaron Copland Appalachian Spring Suite 1944 Paul Gambill, Nashville Chamber Orchestra
Franghiz Ali-Zadeh Mugam Sayagi 1993 Kronos Quartet
Terry Riley Half-Wolf Dances Mad in Moonlight 1985 Kronos Quartet

Hail Summer, Hail Britannia

William Walton (1902-1983)

William Walton (1902-1983)


7 p.m., Tuesday, June 23

Celebrate summer with 20th century music written by British composers. The Endellion String Quartet performs Walton’s String Quartet in A minor. Sir Adrian Boult conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra in his classic recording of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Symphony No.9 composed in 1957 when he was 86 years old.

We’ll also hear Peter Maxwell Davies Strathclyde Concerto No.4 for Clarinet and Orchestra. The King’s Singers will perform Geoffry Poole’s Wymondham Chants and John Tavener’s The Lamb. Plus much more including James Judd leading the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in Frank Bridge’s Summer.


Arthur Benjamin Jamaican Rumba 1936 Isaac Stern, Milton Katims, Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Frank  Bridge Summer 1915 James Judd, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Edward Elgar Introduction and Allegro 1905 Nigel Kennedy, Vernon Handley, London Philharmonic
Ralph Vaughan Williams Symphony No.9 in E minor 1958 Adrian Boult, London Philharmonic Orchestra
William Walton String Quartet in A minor 1947 Endellion String Quartet
Peter Maxwell-Davies Strathclyde Concerto No.4 for Clarinet and orchestra 1990 Peter Maxwell-Davies, Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Geoffrey Poole Wymondham Chants 1970 King’s Singers
John Tavener The Lamb 1982 King’s Singers


Répons: a single voice alternates with many


7 p.m., Tuesday, June 16

Several weeks ago, composer/conductor Pierre Boulez identified what he thought were the 10 most important works of the 20th century. Over the coarse of the past ten weeks, 20♪21 has presented all of them. We conclude this series with a work by Boulez himself. It’s called “Répons” and refers to the medieval form of a single voice alternating with a chorus. “Répons” calls for a six soloists playing specific instruments, a small ensemble (strings, winds, brass), and an electro-acoustic system of a computer and loud speakers.

Also on the program are compositions which look back in time including Howard Hanson’s Rhythmic Variations on Two Ancient Hymns and Paul Creston’s Gregorian Chant for String Orchestra. We’ll also hear Janet Baker in Respighi’s La Sensitiva and Bohuslav Martinu’s delightful Piano Quartet No.1.

Arthur Benjamin Jamaican Rumba 1936 Isaac Stern, Milton Katims, Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Bohuslav Martinu Piano Quartet No.1 1942 Australian Chamber Music Festival
Paul Creston Gregorian Chant for Strings 1936 Arthur Lief, New York Chamber Orchestra
Ottorino Respighi La Sensitiva 1915 Janet Baker, Richard Hickox, City of London Sinfonia
Bedrich Wiedermann Impetuoso 1912 Nicolas Kynaston
Charles Wuorinen Arabia Felx 1973 Charles Wuorinen, Group for Contemporary Music
Pierre Boulez Repons 1981 Pierre Boulez, Ensemble InterConemporain
Howard Hanson Rhythmic Variations on Two Ancient Hymns 194? Kenneth Schermerhorn, Nashville Symphony Orchestra

Sinfonia italiana

Luciano Berio (1925-2003)

Luciano Berio (1925-2003)


7 p.m., Tuesday, June 9

In his “Sinfonia,” avant garde composer Luciano Berio called for a large orchestra and eight amplified voices is still his most widely known composition. It’s one of Pierre Boulez’ top ten from the 20th century and presented here with Ricardo Chailly conducting the Royal Concertgebouw Philharmonic with the voices of Electric Phoenix.

Another featured work by Italian and Italian American composers is John Corigliano’s film score from the 1998 movie, The Red Violin. It features violinist Joshua Bell with Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra. “Scherzo,” David Del Tredici’s piano four hands work from 1960 is also on the program.

There’s also a Harp Concerto by Nino Rota, a cello sonata by Alfredo Casella and several Intermezzos from popular early 20th century operas.

Arthur Benjamin Jamaican Rumba 1936 Isaac Stern, Milton Katims, Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari Jewels of the Madonna, Intermezzo 1911 Neemi Jarvi, Gothenburg Symphony
Nino Rota Concerto for Harp and Orchestra 1947 Luisa Prandina, Marzio Conti, I Virtuosi Italiani
Franceso Cilea Adriana Lecourvreur, Intermezzo 1902 Neemi Jarvi, Gothenburg Symphony
Alfredo Casella Cello Sonata No.2 in C, Op.45 1926 Andrea Favalessa, Maria Semeraro
David Del Tredici Scherzo 1960 Robert Helps, David Del Tredici
Luciano Berio Sinfonia 1969 Electric Phoenix, Ricardo Chailly, Royal Concertgebouw
Giacomo Puccini Suor Angelica, Intermezzo 1918 Neemi Jarvi, Gothenburg Symphony
Giancarlo Menotti The Medium, Monica’s Waltz 1946 Renée Fleming, James Levine, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
John Corigliano The Red Violin 1998 Joshua Bell, Esa Pekka Salonen, Philharmonia Orchestra

Erwartung: An Evening of Mystery and Fantasy

Erwartung 001PROGRAM AIRS:

7 p.m., Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Is it a dream? Why is she out wandering in the forest? How did her lover get out there? Who killed him? Was it … ?

Arnold Schoenberg’s monodrama was composed in 1909 but it wasn’t given its premiere until 1924. The ambiguity of its content and its new musical language were largely a reason for Pierre Boulez to chose it as one of his ten important works of the 20th century. The astonishing vocal range and color of Jessye Norman’s voice with support from the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and its music director James Levine make it the definitive recording of this haunting work.

Also on the program are Rebecca Clarke’s Sonata for Viola and Piano, a work that tied for first place in arts patron Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge’s competition of 1919. The jury broke the tie by giving the prize to Ernest Bloch. It’s an astonishing work by an under-appreciated composer and performer. We’ll hear violist Hillary Herndon.

Arthur Benjamin Jamaican Rumba 1936 Isaac Stern, Milton Katims, Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Anatoli Liadov Kikimora, Op.63 1910 Evgeny Svetlanov, USSR Symphony Orchestra
Rebecca Clarke Sonata for Viola and Piano 1919 Hillary Herndon, Weichun Bernadette Lo
Arnold Schoenberg Erwartung 1909 Jessye Norman, James Levine, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
Sergei Prokofiev Piano Sonata No.8 in B-flat major, Op.84 1944 Andrei Gavrilov
Alfred Schnittke Cello Concerto No.2 1990 Mstislav Rostropovich, Seiji Ozawa, London Symphony Orchestra
Lei Liang Winged Creatures 2006 Takae Ohnishi, Kate Hatmaker, Jeff Zehngut, Chia Ling chien


Gruppen: Great Groups Together

Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007)

Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007)


7 p.m., Tuesday, May 26

Gruppen, composed in 1957, changed many things about concert performances. Composed by German Karlheinz Stockhausen, it calls for three orchestras set around the concert hall and through this placement expanded the concert experience as music came from all directions. Gruppen was one of Pierre Boulez’ 10 best pieces of the 20th century.

Also on the program a Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony, Benjamin Britten’s Diversions for Orchestra and Piano Left Hand, and Alfred Schnittke’s Second Cello Concerto with Mstislav Rostropovich, Seiji Ozawa and the London Symphony Orchestra.

Alfred Schnittke Cello Concerto No.2 1990 Mstislav Rostropovich, Seiji Ozawa, London Symphony Orchestra
Benjamin Britten Diversions for Piano Left Hand 1942 Nocola Stavy, Paul Polivnick, Orchestre national de Lille
Karlheinz Stockhausen Gruppen 1957 Claudio Abbado, Berlin Philharmonic
Carlo Domeniconi Koynbaba 1985 John Williams
Hans Werner Henze Being Beauteous 1963 Edda Moser, Hans Werner Henze, RIAS Chamber orchestra
Sergei Prokofiev Symphony No.1 in D, Op.25 Classical 1917 Neville Marriner, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Charles Ives Songs Vocal Arts Quartet

Music with Muscle


7 p.m., Tuesday, May 19

We’ve packed our two and half hours of music with exceptionally meaty works. We’ll hear one of Edward Elgar’s last compositions his now famous Cello Concerto Op. 85 in a historic recording with John Barbirolli conducting the Hallé Symphony Orchestra with André Navarro cellist. We continue our broadcast of Pierre Boulez’ ten most important works of the 20th century with the shortest and most compact offering on the list Anton Webern’s Six Pieces for Orchestra performed by Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic.

Eric Moe’s recent release — Meanwhile Back at the Ranch — the title piece on the album is performed by the Firebird Ensemble. Penderecki’s Symphony No.3 gets a fine rendering by Antoni Wit and the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra. We’ll also listen to the Clarinet Rhapsody of Claude Debussy performed by clarinetist James Campbell and pianist Glenn Gould. And much more

Jerome Kern Mark Twain — Portrait for Orchestra 1942 Keith Lockhart, Boston Pops Orchestra
Filippo Santoro Duplum 2012 Clocks in Motion
Edward Elgar Cello Concerto 1919 André Navarra, John Barbirolli, Hallé Symphny Orchestra
Eric Moe Meanwhile at the Ranch 2011 Jeffrey Means, Ensemble
Krzysztof Penderecki Symphony No.3 1995 Antoni Wit, National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra
Anton Webern Six Pieces for Orchestra 1928 Herbert von Karajan, Berlin Philharmonic
Claude Debussy Rhapsody No.1 1910 James Campbell, Glenn Gould

A Mania for Music

Paul Moravec (b.1957)

Paul Moravec (b.1957)


7 p.m., Tuesday, May 12

What exactly is a mania? An obsession sounds clinical. An infatuation too heart-poundingly juvenile. A crush … even worse. Yet, music is our mania. And we are happy with it in most forms … some perhaps, a little more warming than others. Not all music needs to be intellectual, nor does it need to be bland. So here’s a program that explores much and makes for an evening of radio listening.

The Lark Quartet is joined by pianist Jeremy Denk for Paul Moravec’s Piano Quintet.  Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts the London Sinfonietta in Mania for Cello and Ensemble with cellist  Anssi Karttunen.

Violinist Konstanty Kulka performs Szymanowski’s Second Violin Concerto with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra with Jerzy Maksymiuk conducting. An historic performance by Kathleen Ferrier brings to life Lennox Berkeley’s Four Poems of St. Teresa of Avila.

There’s also music by Eduardo Angulo, Aaron Copland, Claude Debussy, and one more from Pierre Boulez’ list of the 10 great works of the 20th century — Alban Berg’s Three Pieces for Orchestra performed by Clauddio Abbado and the Vienna Philharmonic.

Arthur Benjamin Jamaican Rumba 1936 Isaac Stern, Milton Katims, Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Aaron Copland Danzon cubano 1942 Leonard Slatkin, BBC Symphony Orchestra
Eduardo Angulo The Birds, Guitar Quintet 1993 Michael Troester, Koln Radio Orchestra
Alban Berg Three Pieces for Orchestra 1915 Claudio Abbado, Vienna Philharmonic
Claude Debussy Clarinet Rhapsody 1910 George Pieterson, Bernard Haitink, Royal Concertgebouw
Lennox Berkeley Four Poems of St. Teresa of Avila 1947 Kathleen Ferrier, Arnold Goldsbrough, String Orchestra
Karol Szymanowski Violin Concerto No.2 1933 Konstanty Kulka, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Polish Radio National Symphony
Paul Moravec Piano Quintet 2008 The Lark Quartet, Jeremy Denk pinao
Esa-Pekka Salonen Mania 2001 Anssi Karttunen, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Los Angeles Philharmonic

Cinco de Mayo Celebration

Cathedral Basilica of Puebla, Mexico, consecrated in 1649

Cathedral Basilica of Puebla, Mexico, consecrated in 1649


7 p.m., Tuesday, May 5

Join host Joe Truskot and special guest Valentin Mendoza (Editor, El Sol, Monterey Bay’s Spanish language newspaper and a native of Puebla Mexico) for a program devoted to the classical music of Mexico. Mr. Mendoza will talk about Cinco de Mayo and explain what it is and what it is not.

The musical program is entirely made up of  works created in the 20th century and today by Mexico’s greatest composers.

You’ll hear pieces by Silvestre Revueltas including Sensamayá, the Suite from the film “Redes,” and his orchestra jewel “Toccata (sin fuga).” Arturo Marquez’ popular “Danzon No.2″ joins Carlos Chavez’ Second Symphony “Sinfonia india.” Plus enchanting music by Eduardo Angula performed by the Trio Coghlan “Para los kioscos, fuentes, globos, y arboledas” — a work dedicated to the parks of Mexico City.

Pianist Jorge Federico Osorio performs piano works by Manual Ponce.


Merle M. Isaac Obertura Mexicana 1950? José Areán, Orquesta sinfonica de Mineria
Eduardo Angulo Para los kioscos, fuentes, globos, y arboledas 199? Trio Coghlan
Arturo Marquez Danzon No.2 1993 Keri-Lynn Wilson, Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra
Eduardo Gamboa Oleaje 2001 Tadeu Coelho, Karen Thielen
Eduardo Gamboa Azules 1996 Tadeu Coelho, Karen Thielen
Carlos Chavez Symphony No.2  “Sinfonia india” 1935 Eduardo Mata, London Symphony Orchestra
Manuel  Ponce Estrellita 1912 Jorge Federico Osorio
Manuel  Ponce La barca el marion 1911 Jorge Federico Osorio
Manuel  Ponce Cuiden su vida 1911 Jorge Federico Osorio
Sivestre Revueltas Redes Suite 1936 Eduardo Mata, Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra
Carlos Chavez Sonatina for Cello  y Piano 1924 Carlos Prieto, Edison Quintana
Silvestre Revueltas Toccata (sin fuga) 1933 José Luis Castillo, Orchesta Sinfonia de la Univ. de Guanajuato
Manuel Ponce Prelude 193? Christopher Parkening, David Brandon
Miguel Bernal Jimenez Curateto Virreinal 1933 Enrigque Barrios, Orquesta de Camara de Bella Artes
Federico Ibarra Cinco miniaturas 2001 Trio Coghlan
Silvestre Revueltas Sensamayá 1938 Eduardo Mata, Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra
Jose Sabere Marroquin Nostalgia 194? Elean Durá, Jozef Olechowski

Bella Bela: Bartok Night for No Reason other than Beauty

Bela Bartok (1881-1945)

Bela Bartok (1881-1945)


7 p.m., Tuesday, April 28

A clear voice for the 20th century, Bela Bartok was respected by the romantics and the serialists and the academics — certainly a testament to the universal message of his music rooted in the folk idioms of Central Europe and the Balkans. But these were starting places for a creative mind that looked forward.

So, 20♪21 dedicates an evening to him and his music — not for any anniversary or thematic reason — just to celebrate music of substance.

Pierre Boulez, whose list of great 20th century works inspired us to present them all on 20♪21, had a particular devotion to the great composer. We’ll hear Herbert von Karajan conduct a Boulez choice: the Music for Celeste, Strings, and Percussion. We’ll also hear fellow Hungarian, Antal Dorati, conduct the Concerto for Orchestra and other works. Pierre Boulez himself works with Violinist Gil Shaham in the Violin Concerto No.2 — a work Bartok composed in 1939.

Arthur Benjamin Jamaican Rumba 1936 Isaac Stern, Milton Katims, Columbia Symphony Orchestra
Bela Bartok Music for Strings, Percussion and Celeste 1936 Herbert von Karajan, Berline Philharmonic
Bela Bartok Concerto for Orchestra 1945 Antal Dorati, London Symphony Orchestra
Bela Bartok Mikrokosmos, Bourree 1939 Antal Dorati, Philharmonia Hungarica
Bela Bartok Mikrokosmos, From the Diary of a Fly 1939
Bela Bartok Mikrokosmos, From the Diary of a Fly 1939 Nishry
Bela Bartok Romanian Folk Dance No.1, 2, 3 1915 Spivakov, Bezrodny
Bela Bartok Violin Concerto No.2 1938 Shaham, Boulez, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Bela Bartok Three Studies for piano, Op.18 1918 Garrick Ohlsson
Bela Bartok Three Village Scenes 1926 Camerata Singers