Letter V Classical Radio Nov. 1

For what promises to be a perfect fall afternoon, a program of music for strings from the late-19th and early 20th centuries, when even the modernists sounded pretty romantic.

noon-3 p.m. EDT
1600-1900 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM

Wolf: “Italian Serenade”
Ana Bela Chaves, violin
Orchestre de Paris/Daniel Barenboim

Past Masters:
Britten: “Simple Symphony,” Op. 4
English Chamber Orchestra/Benjamin Britten
(recorded 1968)

Berg: “Lyric Suite – Three Pieces for String Orchestra”
Vienna Philharmonic/Claudio Abbado
(Deutsche Grammophon)

Richard Strauss: “Capriccio” – Sextet
Berlin Soloists

Enescu: Octet in C major, Op. 7
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble

Vaughan Williams: Partita for double string orchestra
London Symphony Orchestra/Bryden Thomson

Janáček: Idyll for strings, JW VI:3
Norwegian Chamber Orchestra/Iona Brown

Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Symphonic Serenade in B flat major, Op. 39
Northwest German Philharmonic/Werner Andreas Albert


Grooving, again

Yet another essay on the resurgent popularity of vinyl records, this one from Max Ufberg for The Pacific Standard.

For all its sonic and physical imperfections and lack of portability, “[v]inyl offers a sense of sentimentality – of mortality, even – that only imperfection allows,” Ufberg concludes:


(via http://www.artsjournal.com)

Reprised postscript from yours truly: Grooved records can be played even if they are damaged. In other playback media – cassette or 8-track tape, compact disc, mp3, soundstream – a flaw equivalent to a scratched surface or slightly warped disc would make the recording unplayable.

Don’t get me started on the price of new vinyl, or the difficulties consumers face in acquiring decent turntables, cartridges and tuners/amplifiers with preamps that accommodate turntables.

Letter V Classical Radio Oct. 18

A program of chamber music, from the 18th century to our time. In the second hour, Beethoven’s “Archduke” Trio and music by the archduke to whom it was dedicated, Rudolph of Austria.

noon-3 p.m. EDT
1600-1900 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM

Haydn: Octet in B flat major, Hob. II:46
Consortium Classicum

Past Masters:
Tchaikovsky: Quartet No. 1 in D major, Op. 11
Smetana Quartet
(recorded 1969)

Bright Sheng: Quartet No. 4 (“Silent Temple”)
Shanghai Quartet

Past Masters:
Beethoven: Piano Trio in B flat major, Op. 97 (“Archduke”)
Arthur Rubinstein, piano
Jascha Heifetz, violin
Emanuel Feuermann, cello
(RCA Red Seal)
(recorded 1941)

Rudolph, Archduke of Austria: Clarinet Trio in E flat major
Olaf Dressler, piano
Dieter Klöcker, clarinet
Guido Schiefen, cello

Debussy: Sonata for flute, viola and harp
Philippe Bernold, flute
Gérard Caussé, viola
Germaine Lorenzini, harp
(Harmonia Mundi)

Jennifer Higdon: “String Poetic”
Jennifer Koh, violin
Reiko Uchida, piano

Vaughan Williams: “Phantasy” Quintet
Maggini Quartet
Garfield Jackson, viola

Bates extends Kennedy Center residence

Mason Bates, the Richmond-bred composer best-known for his works mixing traditional acoustic instruments with electronic sounds, will extend his engagement as the Kennedy Center’s composer-in-residence through the 2019-20 season, The Washington Post’s Anne Midgette reports:


Bates’ Washington gig includes serving as maestro of “Mason Bates’ KC Jukebox,” a series of nightclub-style programs of contemporary music. His works also are performed regularly by the National Symphony Orchestra.

Following the premiere over the summer of his first opera, “The (Re)volution of Steve Jobs,” at the Santa Fe Opera, Bates is at work on an orchestral-choral work to be premiered in May 2018 by the Richmond Symphony and Symphony Chorus.