Musica della sera

Musica della sera is a classical music radio show
hosted alternate weeks by Meera Collier and Nicholas Mitchell
It airs Thursdays on KUSP Santa Cruz, 88.9 FM, 7:00-9:30pm (Pacific Time)

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Complete Playlist Index (2003-present)

Serendipity, Strings, and Suggestible Me

The two chamber works for strings featured on the show are pieces I just happened to hear a few enticing seconds of on two different television programs, the British detective series on ITV, Inspector Morse, and Pacifica Radio‘s Democracy Now!, which airs 9:00 AM weekday mornings here on KUSP. Neither composition was in my collection, so I went out and bought both.

Playlist for March 19, 2015

Hosted by Nicholas Mitchell

 Morse-Brahms Sextet 3_adj

A few measures of the 2nd movement, Andante, ma moderato (theme and variations), of String Sextet No. 1 in B-flat major, op. 18, by Johannes Brahms are heard on the episode of Inspector Morse called The Day of the Devil, featuring the late Richard Griffiths, best known for his portrayal of the unpleasant uncle of Harry Potter, Vernon Dursley. This was a particularly odd episode, I thought, about a serial murderer who worships the devil.  (The IMDB link for this episode allows you to stream the whole episode, if you like.)

Morse-Day of the Devil_adj

The other snippet that caught my attention was from the 4th movement, Adagio, Allegro, of Mozart’s String Quintet In G Minor, K 516, which was used as bumper music following a fascinating and informative segment on Democracy Now! last Thursday (3/12/2015) called Ex-U.S. Official: With Iran Letter, “Reckless” GOP Places Middle East Hegemony over Security.

 
Democracy Now Mozart_smDemocracy Now Mozart 2_smDemocracy Now Mozart 3_sm

 

I hope you enjoy hearing these wonderful compositions by Mozart and Brahms in their entirety. The chances of coming across pleasing classical music on Inspector Morse are immeasurably greater than hearing such on Democracy Now!, which only enhanced my delight of discovery by way of the latter.

─N.M.

 

Time
(approx)

Composer

Selection

Performers

Record Title

Label

7:00

Hugo Wolf

Philine (Goethe); Im Frühling (Mörike); Frühling übers Jahr (Goethe)

Elisabeth
Schwarzkopf, soprano; Gerald Moore, piano

Wolf: Lieder Recital

EMI

 

 

Maurice Ravel

Shéhérazade

i.          Asie

ii.         La
Flûechantée

iii.        L’Indifférent

Régine Crespin, mezzo-soprano; Suisse Romande Orchestra; Ernest Ansermet,
conductor

Berlioz: Les Nuits
D’Été; Ravel: Shéhérazade,
Etc.

Decca

7:40

Karol Szymanowski

Stabat Mater (sung in Polish, translated from Latin by Jozef Janowski)

 

i.    Stała Matka bolejąca (Stabat mater dolorosa, verses 1-4) for soprano, SA choir, and orchestra

ii.   I któż widział tak cierpiącą (Quis est homo qui non fleret, verses 5-8) for baritone, SATB choir, and orchestra

iii.   Matko Źródło Wszechmiłości (O, Eia, Mater, fons amoris, verses 9-12) for soprano, alto, SA choir, and orchestra

iv.  Spraw niech płaczę z Tobą razem (Fac
me tecum pie flere
,
verses 13-14) for soprano, alto, and SATB choir (a capella)

v.   Panno słodka racz mozołem (Virgo
virginum praeclara
, verses 15-18) for baritone, SATB choir, and orchestra

vi.  Chrystus niech mi będzie grodem (Christe, cum sit hinc exire, verses 19–20) for soprano, alto, baritone, SATB choir, and orchestra

City of Birmingham Symphony
Orchestra; CBSO Chorus; Elsbieta Symyta, soprano; Florence Quivar,
mezzo-soprano; John Connell, bass

Szymanowski: Stabat Mater; Litany; Symphony No.3

EMI

8:00

Johannes Brahms

String
Sextet No. 1 in B-flat major, op. 18

i.          Allegro
ma non troppo

ii.         Andante,
ma moderato

iii.        Scherzo:
Allegro molto

iv.        Rondo:
Poco Allegretto e grazioso

Yo-Yo Ma and Sharon Robinson, cellos;
Isaac Stern and Cho-Liang Lin, violins; Jaime Laredo and Michael Tree, violas

Brahms Sextets

Sony

 

W.A. Mozart

Horn Concerto in D Major, K. 412

i.          Allegro

ii.         Rondo
(Allegro)

Dennis Brain, French horn; Philharmonia Orchestra; Herbert von Karajan, conductor

Mozart: Horn Concertos

EMI

9:00

String Quintet In G Minor, K 516

i.          Allegro

ii.         Menuetto: Allegretto

iii.        Adagio
ma non troppo

iv.        Adagio
- Allegro

Salomon Quartet: (Simon Standage and Micaela Comberti, violins; Trevor Jones, viola; Jennifer Ward
Clarke, cello); Simon Whistler, viola

Mozart: String Quintets

Hyperion

Musica della sera is a classical music radio show broadcast Thursday nights, 7:00-9:30 pm (Pacific) on KUSP Santa Cruz, 88.9 FM. Listen Live or listen to the Most Recent Show.

Follow us on Twitter: Meera and Nicholas and on Facebook: Meera, Nicholas,
and Musica della sera. Opinion expressed there and here is our own and doesn’t
reflect that of the station. A note about playlists and Listener Feedback.

Venture into Light: Solo Resurrection

 

Venture Into Light, by Lance Green

This show was somehow difficult for me to put together. It definitely had an arc, and dealt with the death and loss that must happen before a resurrection can occur.

Early spring always brings to me a sense of loss. I have never really understood why. Why, when the birds are returning and the trees are blossoming, do I grieve the loss of the winter?

But even letting go of something painful involves a certain amount of grief. There may be relief, but there is also letting go of the way things were. Maybe that’s why early spring is difficult.

 

The program began with an exploration of solo instruments, including Brahms’ transcription of J.S. Bach’s Chaconne for left-handed piano, and then gradually morphed into an expression of grief, through Schubert’s Stabat Mater. At that point, we listened to a number of choral works, specifically Eric Whitacre’s When David Heard, which to me, is the ultimate expression of the raw grief that one feels when facing the loss of a loved one. It was written upon the death of a friend’s son in a car accident.

The program finished with some pieces to heal, including Tomás Luis de Victoria’s O Sacrum Convivium and Patricia Van Ness’ Cor meum est templum sacrum.

 

The link to the playlist for the show is here.

 

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Cellists and Pianists

Oh, there was a sprinkling of trumpet, flute, and violin here and there, and a short but large choral piece by Schubert, but my hankering for cello and piano was much in evidence. There was also some duality and tension with the Baroque and the Romantic going on there. That’s my pop psychology summing up of the show.

The meat of the program was Jacqueline Du Pré and Daniel Barenboim’s rousing performance of Cesar Franck’s masterpiece (Sonata in A-Flat Major, originally composed for violin and piano, but often performed in arrangements for cello or flute and other instruments in place of the violin.)

As I listened, the arrival of the final movement, its theme presented in the form of a sweet canon, brought me palpable relief  following the dramatic intensity of what came before.

This comes from a 6-disc collection of Du Pré recordings on EMI is called Les Introuvables de Jacqueline Du Pré. For years I didn’t know what les introuvables meant. Apparently it means the ungetables? There must be a less ungainly English word for it, but to my brain ce mot is introuvable. What remains a mystery is how EMI actually did get them (the recordings comprising this anthology, that is).

Jacqueline Du Pré and Daniel Barenboim

Jacqueline Du Pré and Daniel Barenboim (photo via www.monofesto.org)

Playlist for March 5, 2015

Hosted by Nicholas Mitchell

Time

(approx)

Composer

Selection

Performers

Record
Title

Label

7:00

Antonio Vivaldi

Trumpet Concerto
in B-Flat Major, Op.7, No.1

Maurice
André, trumpet; Les Solistes de Liege; Géry Lemaire, conductor

Four
Trumpet Concertos

Musical
Heritage Society (LP)

 

Jean-Marie Leclair

Sonata in B Minor for Two Violins,
Op.12, No.1

Greg Ewer and Adam Lamotte, violins

Leclair: The Complete Sonatas for Two
Violins

Sono Luminus

7:30

Georg-Philipp Telemann

Fantasia
No.2 in A Minor for Recorder

Marion Verbruggen, recorder

Telemann:
Solo Works

Harmonia Mundi

 

Giuseppe Tartini

Sonata No. 12 in G Major for
Violin and Cello

Giovanni Guglielmo,
violin; Antonio Pocaterra, cello

Tartini: Twelve Sonatas for Violin and
Cello

Das Alte Werk (LP)

7:45

Cesar Franck

Sonata for
Cello and Piano in A Major

Jacqueline
Du Pré, cello; Daniel Barenboim, piano

Les Introuvables de Jacqueline Du Pré

EMI

8:20

Igor Stravinsky

Four Etudes, Op. 7

Jon Nakamatsu,
piano

Tenth Van Cliburn International
Piano Competition

Harmonia Mundi

8:30

Frederic Chopin

Prelude
Op. 28, No.13 in F# Major; Mazurka Op. 24, No.4 in B-Flat Major; Prelude
Op.28, No. 15 in D-Flat Major

Mieczyslaw Horszowski, piano

J.S.
Bach: French Suite─Schumann: Papillons─Chopin: 2 Preludes & a Mazurka

Elektra Nonesuch

 

Andante Spianato
and Grande Polonaise in E-Flat Major, Op. 22

Jon Nakamatsu,
piano

Tenth Van Cliburn International
Piano Competition

Harmonia Mundi

9:00

Franz Liszt

Ave
Maria (Die Glocken von Rom/The Bells of Rome)

Stephen
Hough, piano

Liszt

Virgin Classics

 

Franz Schubert

Offertorium, D.963

Ensemble Vocal de Lausanne; Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne; Michel Corboz, conductor; Sheila Armstrong, soprano; Hanna Schaer, contralto; Alejandro Ramírez,
tenor; Philippe Huttenlocher, bass

Stabat mater: Pergolesi, Vivaldi,
Scarlatti, Haydn, Schubert

Warner Classics

 

George Gershwin

The Man
I Love (arr. for Left Hand by Earl Wild as Etude No.3

Leon
Fleisher, piano

All the
Things You Are

Bridge

 

─N.M.

 

Musica della sera is a classical music radio show broadcast Thursday nights, 7:00-9:30 pm (Pacific) on KUSP Santa Cruz, 88.9 FM. Listen Live or listen to the Most Recent Show.

Follow us on Twitter: Meera and Nicholas and on Facebook: Meera, Nicholas,
and Musica della sera. Opinion expressed there and here is our own and doesn’t
reflect that of the station. A note about playlists and Listener Feedback.

Baroque Piano

piano-baroque-ha-imako

Playlist for February 26, 2015

Hosted by Nicholas Mitchell

Time

(approx)

Composer

Selection

Performers

Record
Title

Label

7:00

Georg Frideric
Händel

Suite
in E Minor, HWV 438

Danny
Driver, piano

Händel: The Eight Great Suites

Hyperion

 

J.S. Bach

Pièces pour la luth
à Monsieur Schouster (Suite in A Minor), BWV 995

Paul O’Dette,
baroque lute

Bach Lute Works, Volume 1

Harmonia Mundi

7:30

François Couperin

Dix-Huitième Ordre

Angela
Hewitt, piano

François Couperin: Keyboard Music 1

Hyperion

8:00

Josquin Des Prés

Missa Ad fugam

The Tallis
Scholars; Peter Phillips, conductor

Josquin: Missa Sine nomine Missa Ad fugam

Gimell

 

Gregorian Chant

Séquence; Stabat Mater

The Deller Consort; Alfred Deller,
counter tenor and conductor

Chant Gregorien

Harmonia Mundi

 

Emanuele d’Astorga

Stabat Mater

Balthasar-Neumann-Chor;
Freiburger Barockorchester;
Ann Monoyios, soprano; Thomas Hengelbrock,
conductor

Astorga
Durante
Pergolesi

Deutsche Harmonia Mundi

8:45

Edward Elgar

In Smyrna

Stephen
Hough, piano

Stephen Hough’s English Piano
Album

Hyperion

 

Stephen Hough

Valse Enigmatique
No.1 and No.2

9:00

Frederico Mompou

Canción y Danza 7; Prélude
1; 6 Charmes; Canción y Danza 1

Piano Music by Frederico Mompou

Hyperion

 

Enrique Granados

Coloquio
en la reja”, from Goyescas

Alicia de Larrocha,
piano

Granados: Goyescas
Allegro
de Concerto
Danza Lenta

RCA

 

 

Musica della sera is a classical music radio show broadcast Thursday nights, 7:00-9:30 pm (Pacific) on KUSP Santa Cruz, 88.9 FM. Listen Live or listen to the Most Recent Show.

Follow us on Twitter: Meera and Nicholas and on Facebook: Meera, Nicholas,
and Musica della sera. Opinion expressed there and here is our own and doesn’t
reflect that of the station. A note about playlists and Listener Feedback.

Grief

If ever I were to pick the music for illustrating the loss of a child — perhaps an anti-war program or memorial service? — these two pieces would be on the program.

 

More information and text here, on Eric Whitacre’s website. This piece was written in response to Eric Whitacre’s friend’s son, who died, tragically, in a car accident.

 

The text for Prayer is here, on Dana Gioia’s website, and Dana Gioia’s interpretation and breakdown of the poem is here, but in it he doesn’t talk about the true inspiration of the poem. It was written about his infant son, who died of SIDS.

 

I am so grateful that I haven’t personally had to experience that level of grief. I wonder if this music even comes close to that raw pain.

–Meera

Morten Lauridsen Interview

Play

This interview is broken into three parts.

 

I. The first was about his composition O Magnum Mysterium, and his composition process, as well as the most important note in the entire piece, the g# on the word “Virgo”, symbolizing the pain that Mary would eventually suffer in witnessing her son’s murder. This note is the only one “out of the key of the music”, offering the only dissonance. The text for the O Magnum is here, and his preferred performance of the piece is by the Dale Warland Singers.

The painting that Dr. Lauridsen refers to is this one, and is linked to the article he wrote for the Wall Street Journal.

Still Life With Lemons, Oranges and a Rose by Francisco de Zurbarán

Still Life With Lemons, Oranges and a Rose by Francisco de Zurbarán

II. The next segment was about ML’s song cycle, Les Chansons des Roses, in particular, the Dirait-On, which is the final movement of the cycle. ML talks about the circumstances around the composition, as well as how he is moved by poetry to write his music. The texts are by Ranier Maria Rilke, and begin on page two of this collection of translations. The entire cycle is performed by the Aros vokalensemble.

 

III. In the final segment of the interview we talk about the spiritual component of music, including the need for profound silence, stillness and contemplation. This was in the context of his Ave Dulcissima Maria, performed by the Choir of New College, Oxford. The text and translation is here, along with the performance by Polyphony, featured on Musica della sera.

The Door to the Infinite

Play
Door to Infinity, by Simone Held

Door to Infinity, by Simone Held

I have been thinking intensely about my wonderful hour spent with Morten Lauridsen last week. Such a wonderful, thoughtful man!

Why do so many people talk about death when they are talking about being moved by ML’s music? What is it about his music that does this?

I can’t tell you the number of times I have been stopped by a listener or colleague who has a story about ML’s music, and how the music allowed that person to be closer to one who was lost. (I include myself in this list! See Our Arms Are Not Tired: A Vigil for Ron.) We are most likely to be so moved when looking through the hole that is left in our world when someone is gone forever.

And we, in this world, in this society, only tend to look through the door to the infinite when faced with mortality. We deny ourselves the sanctity of joy, of peace, of enlightenment, while being distracted by the barrage of blinking and wondrous triviality, and only have the time to see that the infinite is around the corner only when hit face-on by it. We seem, as a society, to only plumb the depths of the profound when losing a loved one to eternity, or when welcoming a child into this world from the eternity from which he came.

ML himself says that he is not only moved to compose by masterful and profound texts, but also from a deep and contemplative place where he goes when at his own retreat at Waldern Island. There, he can be moved by a deep stillness, the place I called “There” when discussing it with him. But it is not always those issues of death and loss that move him. There is grief, but there is also love, longing, intimacy, gratitude, and profound joy in his music. The texts range from sacred Latin texts to ancient Italian poetry to Ranier Maria Rilke to James Agee to his own words, encompassing the entirety of the human experience. And all of those pieces open that door.

After having spent some time with Dr. Lauridsen, I have resolved to open that door more often. I don’t know when or how, but I have resolved to be still. Infinity will come.

–Meera

Still Life with Morten Lauridsen

Still Life With Lemons, Oranges and a Rose by Francisco de Zurbarán

The inspiration for O Magnum Mysterium, Francisco de Zurbarán’s Still Life With Lemons, Oranges and a Rose

I’m not sure where to start with this blog post; I have been thinking about it all day, and in the interest of posting the playlist and the painting that Dr. Lauridsen referenced in last night’s interview, I’ll post this now.

But stay tuned for more thoughts!

The playlist for last night’s show is posted here.

Thank you for listening!

–Meera

 

 

 

 

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Dr. Morten Lauridsen is in the HOUSE!

Morten LauridsenMeera is beside herself with looking forward to talking to Dr. Morten Lauridsen on Musica della sera this week. To be honest, it’s a dream come true!

To prepare yourself, listen to last week’s show. In it, Meera spoke with Cheryl Anderson, Director of Choral Activities at Cabrillo College in Aptos, and singer Eileen Demers. They all talked about their experiences with the music of Morten Lauridsen, and what Dr. Lauridsen will be doing during his time in Santa Cruz, including a performance on February 21st at Peace United Church on High Street in Santa Cruz.

If you have any questions that you would like Meera to work into the interview with Dr. Lauridsen, email or comment here.

Hope you enjoy the interview!

–Meera

Oh My Goodness, Morten Lauridsen will be coming next week!

Lauridsen-photo CherylAnderson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week, Meera invited Cheryl Anderson, Director of Choral Activities at Cabrillo College in Aptos, to discuss the upcoming visit of Dr. Morten Lauridsen as artist-in-residence at Cabrillo next week. Cheryl and singer Eileen Demers talked about their experiences with the music of Morten Lauridsen, and what to expect during his stint in Santa Cruz county.

The music featured on the show was entirely contemporary choral music, including influences on Morten Lauridsen’s work, as well as those composers influenced by him.

The playlist for the show is located here. Enjoy, and tune in next week for a live discussion with Dr. Lauridsen, Cheryl Anderson, and myself!

–Meera

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