Recent Releases and More

Left Hand Concertos 001PROGRAM AIRS: 7 p.m., Tuesday, January 27

Joe Truskot airs new releases and a few classic performances. Among the newly released pieces is Erich Korngold’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand performed by Nicolas Stavy with the Orchestre national de Lille under the baton of Paul Polivnick. It was only the second concerto ever composed for left hand only and is among the most challenging concertos in the repertoire. It, like Ravel’s famous concerto in this genre, was commissioned by Paul Wittgenstein, a pianist and patron who had lost his right arm in World War I. Also asked for works were Benjamin Britten (contained on this cd), Sergei Prokofiev, Richard Strauss, Paul Hindemith, Franz Schmidt and several others. Korngold was the genius of the 1920s European music scene with phenomenal talent as a performer and composer.

Here’s what Paul Polivnick has to say about the Concerto. “That piece is VERY challenging. The key is extremely difficult for strings to play, a ton of accidentals on the notes for everyone (sharps, naturals and flats) making reading and fingering it very tricky. The orchestration is busy as hell and getting a good balance with a 1-handed pianist  with everyone having to whale away is quite a trick. But we did it. It’s a rich, expressive and virtuosic performance (in my humble opinion!).”

Also on the program are Naxos’ new release of JoAnn Falletta and the London Symphony Orchestra of Jack Gallagher’s Symphony No.2 ‘Ascendant’ and Louis Karchin’s “The Gods of Winter.”

State of the Union Address

Palisades Virtuosi 001

PROGRAM AIRS: 8 p.m., Tuesday, January 20

Because of the State of the Union Address carried live on all NPR stations, 20♪21 will begin one hour later. The program will be devoted to American music and American performers. Leonard Bernstein leads the New York Philharmonic in Charles Ives’ Symphony No.2. San Francisco-based pianist Garrick Ohlsson plays Samuel Barber’s Piano Sonata and the Palisades Virtuosi will perform Robert Manno’s Three Scenes from the Mountains.

The previously announced program featuring Korngold’s Left Hand Concerto will air on January 27.


Conrad Susa Shenandoah Charles Bruffy, Kansas City Chorale
Charles Ives Symphony No.2 1901 Leonard Bernstein, New York Philharmonic
Samuel Barber Piano Sonata, Op.26 1949 Garrick Ohlsson
Robert Manno Three Scenes from the Mountains 2004 Palisades Virtuosi

Second Viennese School

Composer Arnold Schoenberg

Arnold Schoenberg

PROGRAM AIRS: 7 p.m., Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Guest Host Robin Whitehouse presents an evening of masterpieces by three of the 20th century’s most innovative and distinctive composers. Their creations and their influence on one another gave voice to a turbulent era in European history and thinking.
Arnold     Schoenberg    Pierre Lunaire, Moonstruck & selections
Alban    Berg    Altenberg Lieder, Op.4
Anton    Webern    Symphony, Op.21
Arnold     Schoenberg    Five Pieces for Orchestra
Alban    Berg    Violin Concerto
Anton    Webern    Six Pieces for Orchestra, Op.6

Anton Webern

Anton Webern

Alban Berg

Alban Berg

Epiphany: defined and enjoyed

Einojuhani Rautavaara

Einojuhani Rautavaara

PROGRAM AIRS: 7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan.6

Join host Joe Truskot for the first program of 20♪21 in the new year. We’ll explore the Feast of the Epiphany and the larger concepts of enlightenment, revelation, and life’s journey. Whew, that’s quite a start for the year. Program includes the Symphony No.8 of Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaara, titled “The Journey.” We’ll also hear the finale of Carl Orff’s Nativity Story which focuses on the Adoration of the Magi celebrated on this, the 12th Day of Christmas. The program includes music by Louis Karchin, Bela Bartok, Albert Roussel, and John Tavener’s Ikon of Light. Tune in and find your Epiphany.

Orff Finale of The Christmas Story 1948 Gerhard Schmidt-Gaden, Tolzer Knabenchor, Collegium Pro Musica Innsbruck
Rautavaara Symphony No.8 “The Journey” 1999 Leif Segerstam, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
Wuorinen Lightenings viii 1994 Elizabeth Henrickson-Farnum, James Winn
Tavener Ikon of Light 1984 Tallis Scholars, Chilingrian Quartet
Bartok Three Studies for Piano 1918 Garrick Ohlsson
Karchin Songs of Distance & Light 1988 Andrea Cawelti, Washington Square Contemporary Music Society
Roussel Sinfonietta, Op.52 1934 I Musici
Ippolitov-Ivanov finale of Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, Op.37 1903 Boris Abalyan, Chamber Choir “Lege Artis”

Music Makers 7

George Tsontakis

George Tsontakis

PROGRAM AIRS: 7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec.30

We finish the year with our final Music Maker’s program featuring great works by great composers of the 20th century and today. Here’s the Violin Concerto No.2 by George Tsontakis. It won the Grawemeyer Award in 2005. The largest sum awarded to music composers. Also on the program are works by Gershwin, Respighi, Hanson, Hindemith and the late Stephen Paulus.

You’ll hear orchestras such as the Atlanta Symphony, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, and Seattle Symphony conducted by Leonard Slatikin, Yoel Sergiu Comissiona, Antal Dorati, and others.

Gershwin “I Got Rhytm” Variations 1934 Jeffrey Siegel, Leonard Slatkin, Saint Louis Symphony
Paulus Concertante 1989 Yoel Levi, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Kodaly Hary Janos Suite 1926 Sergiu Comissiona, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Tsontakis Violin Concerto No.2 2003 Steven Copes, Douglas Boyd, St. Paul Chamber
Respighi Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No.3 1932 Antal Dorati, Philharmonia Hungarica
Hanson Symphony No.1 Nordic 1922 Gerard Schwarz, Seattle Symphony Orchestra
Hindemith Symphonic Metamorphoses on Themes of Weber 1943 Claudio Abbado, London Symphony Orchestra
Honegger Pacific 231 1923 Michel Plasson, Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse

Music Makers 6

carminacoverPROGRAM AIRS: 7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 23

One of the most popular, large scale works of the 20th century in one of its finest recordings, Dietrich Fischer Dieskau performs Carl Orff’s Carmina burana. The program also offers several pastorals, the songs shepherds sang while watching their flocks. Performers include Joan Sutherland, Monserrat Caballe, William Boughton, Allen Feinberg, and Leonard Bernstein with the Orchestre Nacional de France. Joyous music fit for the season.

Milhaud Le Boeuf sur le toit 1919
Mompou Pastoral
Britten Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Purcell 1946
Wuorinen Bagatelle 1987
Orff Carmina burana 1936
Shawn Preludes 3, 4, 5 1994
Gretchaninov Lullaby
Penderecki Capriccio 1964
Desportes Pastorale joyeuse
Larsson Adagio for String orchestra, Op.48 1960
Tavener God is With Us: Christmas Proclamation 1987

Music Makers 5

Peter Sculthorpe

Peter Sculthorpe

PROGRAM AIRS: 7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 16

The celebration continues … one composer, one work to finish off 2014. Joe Truskot hosts music performed by Shostakovich, Copland, Ravel and Rachmaninoff — all great composers who made their mark on the 20th century. We’ll hear Leonard Bernstein conduct the New York Philharmonic, violinist James Ehnes perform Korngold’s enchanting Violin Concerto and pianist Gary Graffman perform the Paginini Rhapsody. Stuart Challender conducts the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in an early work by the late Peter Sculthorpe.

Benjamin Jamaican Rumba 1936
Shostakovich Festive Overture 1954
Copland Symphony No.3 1946
Korngold Violin Concerto 1947
Finzi Five Bagatelles, Op. 23a 1943
Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini 1934
Ravel Pavane for a Dead Princess 1910
Sculthorpe Irkanda IV 1961
Theofanidis The Prayer of Saint Francis 1996

Music Makers 4

English Composer Ralph Vaughan Williams

English Composer Ralph Vaughan Williams

PROGRAM AIRS: 7 p.m., Tuesday, December 9

Tonight we continue our end-of-the-year program featuring the greatest music makers of the 20th century and today. We hope to air a work by every major composer in this period. Tonight, we present one of the 20th century’s greatest symphonists: Ralph Vaughan Williams, whose works continue to be found on orchestra programs around the world. Here’s one of his most popular, the Symphony No.2 “London” — a tribute to the city he loved. Joaquin Rodrigo returned to an earlier style of composition creating one of the most frequently played concertos. Joan Tower has had a long career offering her own distinctive style. She had a long and productive relationship with the Saint Louis Symphony and its conductor Leonard Slatikin. Philip Glass is one of the most controversial innovators emerging in the 20th century presenting an entirely new sound which at first was booed by musicians and audiences but has now been embraced by the world. Gary Eshow is one of the newest voices around. His music is performed by a terrific ensemble dedicated to presenting new music by American composers — The Palisades Virtuosi.

Joaquin Rodrigo Concierto de Aranjuez 1939
Ralph Vaughan Williams Symphony No.2, London 1914
Joan Tower Silver Ladders 1986
Gary Eskow Not a Sonata 2005
Philip Glass Violin Concerto No.1 1987

Music Makers 3

Christopher Rouse

Christopher Rouse

7 p.m., Tuesday, December 2

As 2014 approaches its final days, 20♪21 will present one work created in the 20th  or 21st century by significant composers. One piece, one composer: this week Prokofiev, Nielsen, Sibelius join Torke, Adams, Rouse and others. The goal is to create music that satisfies and makes great radio.

Prokofiev Peter and the Wolf 1936
Sibelius Symphony No.3 1907
Farber She Walks Through the Fair 1993
Nielsen Quintet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon 1926
Adams China Gates 1977
Rouse Flute Concerto 1993
Torke Green 1986

Music Makers 2

Igor Stravinsky in the famous photograph by Richard Avedon
Igor Stravinsky in the famous photograph by Richard Avedon

PROGRAM AIRS: 7 p.m., Tuesday, November 25

Host Joe Truskot continues with his popular selections of 20th and 21st century music makers. Some famous. Others not so. All enjoyable.

Program begins with Igor Stravinsky’s delightful ballet score: Petroushka. Raphael Wallfisch performs Ernst von Dohnanyi’s Konzertstuck for Cello and Orchestra with the London Symphony conducted by Sir Charles Mackeras.

Igor Stravinsky Petroushka 1911
Gyorgy Ligeti Musica ricercata 1953
Erno Dohnanyi Konzertstuck for Cello & Orchestra, Op.12 1904
David Del Tredici S/M Ballade 2006
Richard Strauss Metamorphosen 1945
Gerald Barry Lisbon 2006