Thursday, June 04, 2009

Back From The Seashore And A Year Older, Pan Cogito Contemplates A New Post-Blogging, Composing Life

"A vast richness of expression is found in American music for the concert and recital halls, and Classical WETA 90.9 FM invites listeners to explore it with us from June through the Independence Day holiday, including Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 9 p.m. when we’ll air works not usually heard on Classical WETA [sic] — and on our weekly Sunday night 9 p.m. broadcast Choral Showcase.

When Antonin Dvorák was in the United States for a few years late in the 19th century (to head up the National Conservatory of Music in New York), he said that what American classical music needed was its own voice — that we shouldn’t simply imitate European music of the time. Did we ever settle on a distinctly American voice for the concert hall? Classical WETA explores the question in American Music Month, and we hope you’ll join us on the journey.

American composers such as Scott Joplin and Thomas Wiggins helped stretch our musical vocabulary during Dvorák’s time — Joplin, for example, with ragtime including his masterpiece, the opera Treemonisha, and Wiggins, with descriptive piano pieces about slavery and the Civil War. They and others blazed the trail for many more to come, including Gershwin, who would integrate jazz into the symphony orchestra, Aaron Copland and Charles Ives who included many American sounds in their music, and Leonard Bernstein, who combined absolutely everything American and made it fit together perfectly [sic].

From June through July 4, we’ve scheduled works by John Corigliano, John Adams and Michael Abels, plus Joplin and Wiggins and Ives and Copland, Alan Hovhaness, David Diamond, and Roy Harris symphonies, and works for singers (on Classical WETA’s Choral Showcase) by Bernstein, Randall Thompson and William Schuman.

Today's Theme Month Selections

6:20 am: George Chadwick: Symphony #2 in B-flat Major, Op. 21: II. Allegretto scherzando

8:27 am: Edward MacDowell: Twelve Virtuoso Studies, Op. 46: #8. Bluette

10:55 am: John Knowles Paine: Romance, Op. 12

1:56 pm: John Alden Carpenter: Polonaise Américaine

4:25 pm: Horatio Parker: Valse Gracile, Op. 49 #3

6:24 pm: Adolph Martin Foerster: On the Sea

9:00 pm: André Previn: Double Concerto for Violin, Contrabass and Orchestra

10:03 pm: Harold Shapero: Nine-Minute Overture"


Header photo credits:

Deutsch: Friedrich II. (der Große), König von Preußen, im Alter von 68 Jahren
English: Friedrich II. (the Great), King of Prussia, aged 68

American: William Grant Still. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Van Vechten Collection. Via Wikipedia Commons.

English: Nicholas Maw, late British composer long resident in the Washington, D.C. area, shown rehearsing his opera Sophie's Choice in London in 2002. The opera was Mr Maw's penultimate classical work. The Washington National Opera production of the work will be rebroadcast this Saturday at 1 PM on Classical WETA Opera House.

Nicholas Maw photo (c) Jonathan Player/Rex Features 2002. Copyright controlled. Via the Guardian Newspaper.


Classical WETA June 1, 2009 [Arthur Foote, Bernstein, Copland]

Classical WETA June 2, 2009 [All Samuel Barber]

Classical WETA June 3, 2009 [All William Grant Still]


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