Thursday, January 22, 2009

Afternoon Classics - Thursday, 22 Jan 2009

Today's program can best be seen as a mosaic created over several hundred years. Each piece having its own identity and yet fitting together into a singular overall picture.
To begin let there be Boccherini, here one of his oboe quintets from his Op. 45 - the Oboe Quintet No. 4 in D major, Sarah Francis - oboe, the Allegri String Quartet assisting.
David Diamond follows with his Symphony No. 4, Diamond is one of my favorite American composers: Symphy No. 4, Gerard Schwarz, Seattle Symphony Orchestra.
Staying on the North American continent we next drift south to visit the Mexican Composer Carlos Chavez. Chavez has a fairly large body of work, most of it not hear this far north. Here is his Symphony No. Sinfonia India which features a number of exotic percussion instruments all performed here by the Orquesta Filarmonica de la Ciudad de Mexico.
Brahms did not write a symphony for many years living under the dark shadow of Beethoven, however even if he did not feel up to the task he nevertheless wrote a very symphonic piano concert. In a classic recording Emil Gillels on the piano and Eugen Jochum conducting the Berlin Philharmonic - the Concerto for Piano & Orchestra, No. 1 in D minor by Johannes Brahms.
A little bon-bon to fill time: Three Melodies for Violin and Piano, Op. 35 bis, by Serge Prokofiev, Gidon Kremer - violin and Martha Argerich - piano.
Alexander Glazunov was quite proflic keeping up with his contemporary Rimsky-Korsakov. He did turn out some 7 symphonies, a form which R-K did not really care for. Here is his Symphony No. 4 in E flat minor, Valery Polyansky conducting the Russian State Symphony Orchestra.
The coattails of Russian had to be the steppes of Central Asia. Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov travel to Azerbiajan as a low-level bureaucrat where he plugged away at a job of tedium and wrote wonderful music celebrating the people. Here; his Caucasian Sketches, Suite 2, Op. 48, Loris Tjeknavorian conducting the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra.
In the world of non-sense art (if you will) the poetry of Lewis Carrol in Alice in Wonderland comes to mind first. However there is also this wonderfully musical piece put together by William Walton and Dame Edith Sitwell: Facade, Dame Peggy Ashcroft and Jeremy Irons provide the vocal and Riccardo Chailly conducts the London Sinfonietta.
To wrap up the program once again here is David Diamond and his "Concert Piece for Orchestra", Gerard Schwarz and the Seattle Symphony.

Thank you for listening. I will be back with you next week.
Mike Price - your host

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