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)

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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Vive la musique française!

We honor concert pianist Aldo Ciccolini who passed away on Sunday, February 1, 2015.

Aldo Ciccolini

Aldo Ciccolini (1925-2015) Photo by Bernard Martinez

We feature him playing the piano works of Erik Satie. Aldo Ciccolini was an enthusiastic supporter of French music, and so, in lieu of other recordings of him available to us, I fancied the notion of doing a whole program of French music.

No Stabat Mater this week, as I could not discover a French one in the station library. Poulenc’s Salve Regina took its place. We did hear from Franco-Flemish composer, Jacques Clément (Clemens non Papa), from the Stabat Mater collection we’ve been featuring. The parenthetical part of his name has survived the centuries, and appears to be a tongue-in-cheek distinction between him and Pope Clement VII (it translates (Not Clement the Pope)  That pope died when Jacques was a young boy, so  perhaps it was a running joke of older members of the family. Perhaps somebody reading this knows something about it.

While my comments are brief here, I did tweet a few things about the show that I deem to be, perhaps, too silly, for the blog. If you do drop by @puxxled, leave me a tweet as one might have left a visiting card 100 years ago, and it would be reasonable to expect a follow, as they say in the Twitterhood. Actually, nobody says any such thing, and as you see, this blog is not immune to silliness.

I had a lot of fun picking out French music for this show. I hope you enjoy the selections.

Playlist for February 5, 2015

Hosted by Nicholas Mitchell

Time

(approx)

Composer

Selection

Performers

Record
Title

Label

7:00

Erik Satie

Erik
Satie: Trois Gymnopédies:
I. Lent et douloureux; II. Lent et triste; III. Lent et grave

Aldo Ciccolini, piano

Erik
Satie: Œuvres pour piano

EMI

 

Francis Poulenc

Figure humaine

Groupe Vocal de France; John Alldis, conductor

Poulenc: Sacred & Secular
Choral Works

EMI

 

Erik Satie

Cinq Nocturnes: I. Doux et calme; II. Simplement;
III. Un peu mouvementé

Aldo Ciccolini, piano

Erik
Satie: Œuvres pour piano

EMI

7:30

Francis Poulenc

Un soir
de neige

Chœur de Chambre
Accentus; Laurence Equilbey,
conductor

Poulenc: Figure Humaine

Naïve

 

Jacques Clément
(Clemens non Papa)

O maria, vernans rosa

Monteverdi
Choir; English Baroque Soloists; John Eliot Gardiner, conductor

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

Warner Classics

 

Francis Poulenc

Salve Regina; Litanies a la Vierge
Noire; Exultate Deo; Ave
Maria

Groupe Vocal de France; John Alldis, conductor

Poulenc: Sacred & Secular
Choral Works

EMI

8:00

Maurice Ravel

Piano
Trio

Eroica
Trio: Adela Peña, violin; Sara Sant’Ambrogio,
cello; Erika Nickrenz, piano

Eroica
Trio

EMI

8:30

Georges Auric

Aria

Emily Beynon,
flute; Andrew West, piano

L’Album des Six: The complete works of
‘Les Six’ for flute and piano

Hyperion

 

Germaine Tailleferre

Pastorale

 

Georges Auric

Imaginées 1

 

Erik Satie

Embryons desséchés: I. d’Holothurie
(Allez un peu); II. d’Edriophthalma (Sonore); III.
de Podophthalma (Un peu vif)

Aldo Ciccolini, piano

Erik
Satie: Œuvres pour piano

EMI

9:00

Louis Durey

Hommage à Erik Satie; Louis Durey: Chansons basques, Op.
23: I. Prière; II. Polka; III. Attelage

François le Roux, baritone;
Graham Johnson, piano

The Songs of Louis Durey

Hyperion

 

Henri Dutilleux

Ainsi la nuit” for string
quartet (excerpted for time): I. Nocturne. Libre et souple; II. Parenthèse 1.Miroir d’espace; III. Parenthèse 2. Litanies; V. Parenthèse 4. Constellations; VII. Temps suspendu

Arcanto Quartett: Antje Weithaas,
violin; Daniel Sepec, violin; Tabea
Zimmermann, viola; Jean Guihen Queyras,
cello

Quatuors à cordes

Harmonia Mundi

 

 

Young Aldo Ciccolini

─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.

Two Shows in One!

Two Shows in One

 

I really enjoyed last week’s show — it consisted of two different parts, both loves of mine. The first was baroque music, specifically Corelli, Vivaldi, and Haydn. (The Haydn, his Stabat Mater, continues with our series of Stabat Maters by different composers.)

The second part of the show was an exploration of early American choral music and its influences, with a focus on Shaker music. I could talk about this stuff ’till the cows come home.

–Meera

The playlist for the show is here:

Playlist for Thursday, January 29, 2015

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Stabat Mater Dolorosa: Gregorian, Palestrina, Vivaldi

Continuing our series of Stabat Mater settings.

Titian-Mater_Dolorosa_with_open_hands

Mater Dolorosa with Open Hands by Titian (Tiziano Vecelli)

 Playlist for Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hosted by Nicholas Mitchell

Time

(approx)

Composer

Selection

Performers

Record Title

Label

7:00

P.I. Tchaikovsky

Otche nash (The Lord’s Prayer); Blazhenni yazshe isbral (Blessed are they whom you have chosen)

Corydon
Singers; Matthew Best, conductor

Tchaikovsky:
Liturgy of St. John
Chrysostom

Helios

 

G.P. da Palestrina

Stabat Mater

The Cambridge Singers; John
Rutter, conductor

Ave Gracia
Plena: Music in honour of
the Virgin Mary

Collegium

 

Gregorian

Stabat Mater

The
Choir of Benedictine Nuns at the Abbey of Regina Laudis

Women
in Chant

Sounds True

 

Antonio Vivaldi

Stabat Mater, RV. 621

Naoko Ihara, contralto; The Gulbenkian Orchestra; Michel Corboz,
conductor

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

Warner Classics

7:40

Concerto
for two cellos, strings and basso continuo, RV 531

Jan Freiheit and Werner Matzke,
cellos; Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin

Vivaldi
Doubles Concertos

Harmonia Mundi

8:00

G.F. Händel

Sonata for Flute, Violin and
Basso Continuo, HWV 386b

The English Consort; Trevor Pinnock, conductor

Händel: Trio Sonatas

Archiv

 

François Couperin

Les
Barricades Mystérieuses

Benjamin
Verdery, guitar

Reverie:
French Music for Flute and Guitar

Newport Classics

 

Johannes Brahms

Intermezzo in E Minor, Op. 119,
No.2

Andrew Rangell,
piano

A Recital of Intimate Works,
Volume II

Dorian

 

Jean-Phillippe
Rameau

Rigadons
Premier, Deuxieme, Double

The
Schmidt/Verdery Duo: Rie
Schmidt, flute; Benjamin Verdery, guitar

Reverie:
French Music for Flute and Guitar

Newport Classics

8:30

Claude Debussy

Reverie

 

Francis Poulenc

Sarabande for solo guitar

The
Nash Ensemble (Craig Ogden, solo guitar)

Poulenc:
The Complete Chamber Music

Hyperion

 

Ėlégie for horn and piano (in memory
of Dennis Brain)

The Nash Ensemble

 

Frederic Chopin

Nocturne
in B Major, Op.62, No.1

Andrew Rangell, piano

A
Recital of Intimate Works, Volume II

Dorian

 

Francis Poulenc

Sarabande for solo guitar; Villanelle
for piccolo (pipe) and piano: Modéré

The Nash Ensemble (Craig Ogden,
solo guitar; Philippa Davies, piccolo; Ian Brown,
piano)

Poulenc: The Complete Chamber
Music

Hyperion

 

Domenico Scarlatti

Keyboard
Sonata in B minor, K. 87 (L. 33)

Andrew Rangell, piano

A
Recital of Intimate Works, Volume II

Dorian

9:00

Ludwig van Beethoven

Eleven Bagatelles, Op.119

 

Frederic Chopin

Nocturne
in C-Sharp Minor, Op.Posth: Lento; Etude in E Minor
Op.25, No.7: Lento a placere

Pieter Wispelwey, cello; Dejan Lazic, piano

Chopin:
Cello Waltzes, Vol. 1

Channel Classics

─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.

Bach, Pergolesi, and Vivaldi

A fun show of early music, Baroque, and early Classical era.

Playlist for Thursday, January 15, 2015

As Rome Falls, Flowers Grow, by Jake Wood-Evans

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