Something Strange About Sharon Rockefeller's Classical WETA-FM, In Nation's Capital
I rushed home by taxi from the airport last night (one-tenth of the way after taking the public bus to Rosslyn) in order to listen to the Dina Koston memorial concert, from last August, broadcast on Classical WETA. Dina's Theater Chamber Players (aka Kennedy Center Theater Chamber Players) came into existence at about the same time as Elizabeth Campbell's visionary WETA, so I was pleased that the radio station devoted an hour to remembering Dina.
The memorial concert included two works by Debussy, three works by Dina Koston (including her very wonderful last work, Distant Intervals ), and the Webern Piano Variations Opus 27, insightfully performed by Dina.
A half hour after the tribute, the station broadcast the Adagio from Mahler's Symphony #10 -- the second time I have heard the work on Classical WETA-FM, this month.
I remember lending Dina my copy of Udo Zimmerman's two-person chamber ensemble anti-fascist opera Die Weisse Rose (The White Rose) (in the work's revised Munich version of 1986). She really wanted to stage this work with her ensemble, but was pessimistic that she would ever be able to find the resources in the Nation's Capital to hire the extra musicians required. I remember encouraging her to try.
I doubt that this work has ever been done in the Nation's Capital, either by the Washington National Opera or another opera company. I also wonder whether the larger chamber ensemble, the Argento Ensemble in New York City which is visiting the Nation's Capital now more frequently, has ever performed it. I have their repertoire list somewhere in my studio, from their concert at the Austrian Embassy last spring. I will need to double-check.
Alas, no Paul Hindemith yesterday -- the composer's birthday -- on Classical WETA. (No Paul Hindemith at all in the Classical WETA data-base; whereas I heard Sarah Cahill program Hindemith's Viola Chamber Concerto of 1930 on KPFA on Sunday night. Frederick the Great of Prussia has at least ten hits on the WETA radio search feature, and was featured after the Mahler Symphony #10 Adagio last night.)
Two questions: Which opera by Paul Hindemith would you like to see staged by the Washington National Opera? Also, do you know how Udo Zimmerman changed The White Rose between the 1967 and 1986 versions?
Photo credit: Students of the White Rose anti-fascist group in Munich, Germany, 1942-43.