Radio special: the Habsburg Sock Hop

To greet the new year, our fourth annual Habsburg Sock Hop, a more expansive take on the traditional Viennese New Year program: From folk roots to classical branches, dance music in Central Europe and the Balkans.

Dec. 31
5-8 p.m. EST
2200-0100 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM

Johann Strauss II: “On the Beautiful Blue Danube”
Anima Eterna Orchestra/Jos van Immerseel
(Zig Zag Territories)

Johann Joseph Fux: Overture in D minor
Freiburg Baroque Orchestra/Gottfried von der Goltz

Josef Lanner: “Dornbacher Ländler”
Die Eipeldauer

Haydn: Symphony No. 97 in C major – III: Menuet
Orchestra of the 18th Century/Frans Brüggen

Rossini: “William Tell” – Final du Divertissement
Giuseppe Verdi Symphony Orchestra, Milan/Riccardo Chailly

Schubert: “Five German Dances,” D. 89
Gidon Kremer, violin & director
Chamber Orchestra of Europe
(Deutsche Grammophon)

anon.: “Wallachian Lament”
Apollo Chamber Players

Dvořák: Slavonic dances –
in F major, Op. 46, No. 4
in G minor, Op. 46, No. 8
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra/Yoel Levi

anon.: gypsy dances from Collection Uhrovska (1730)
Ensemble Caprice/Matthias Maute

Bartók: “Contrasts”
Lucy Chapman Stoltzman, violin
Richard Stoltzman, clarinet
Richard Goode, piano
(RCA Red Seal)

Kodály: “Dances of Galanta”
Chicago Symphony Orchestra/Neeme Järvi

Michał Kleofas Ogiński: Polonaise in A minor (“Farewell to the Fatherland”)
Tobias Koch, piano
(Frédéric Chopin Institute)

Karol Józef Lipiński: “Rondo à la Polacca” in E major, Op. 13
(arrangement by Andrzej Wróbel)
Konstanty Andrzej Kulka, violin
string ensemble
(CD Accord)

Chopin: Polonaise-Fantasie in A flat major, Op. 61
Stephen Hough, piano

anon.: suite of Romanian dances
Jordi Savall, viol
Nedyalko Nedyalkov, kaval
Teha Limberger, violin
Peyo Peev, gadulka
Valeri Dimchev, tambura
Pedro Estevan, percussion
Xavier Puertas, double-bass

György Ligeti: “Concert romanesc”
Berlin Philharmonic/Jonathan Nott

Letter V Classical Radio Dec. 27

A special four-hour program to close out the year, sampling some of the best classical recordings released during 2017.

noon-4 p.m. EST
1500-1900 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM

Telemann: Concerto in D major, TWV 54:D2
Erwin Wieringa, Miroslav Rovenský & Gijs Laceulle, horns
Georg Kallweit, violin & director
Akademie für alte Musik Berlin
(Harmonia Mundi)

Tyondai Braxton: “AprRec 1”
Brooklyn Rider
(In a Circle)

Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor
(orchestration by Mikhail Pletnev)
Daniil Trifonov, piano
Mahler Chamber Orchestra/Mikhail Pletnev
(Deutsche Grammophon)

Philip Glass: Etude No. 6
Vikingur Ólafsson, piano
(Deutsche Grammophon)

Dvořák: Piano Quintet in A major, Op. 81
Boris Gitburg, piano
Pavel Haas Quartet

Beethoven: Sonata in C sharp minor, Op. 27, No. 2 (“Moonlight”)
Evgeny Kissin, piano
(Deutsche Grammophon)

Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4 in A major (“Italian”)
Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Yannick Nézet-Séguin
(Deutsche Grammophon)

Brahms: Piano Trio in C minor, Op. 101
Emanuel Ax, piano
Leonidas Kavakos, violin
Yo-Yo Ma, cello
(Sony Classical)

Schubert: Impromptu in F minor, D. 935, No. 4
Shai Wosner, piano

Arcangelo Corelli: Sinfonia in D minor (“To Santa Beatrice d’Este”)
La Serenissima/Adrian Chandler

Ives: Orchestral Set No. 1 (“Three Places in New England”) –
I: “The St. Gaudens in Boston Common (Col. Shaw & His Colored Regiment)”
Seattle Symphony/Ludovic Morlot
(Seattle Symphony Media)

Brahms: Symphony No. 3 in F major
Boston Symphony Orchestra/Andris Nelsons
(BSO Classics)

For Christmas

Give good gifts, one to another,
Peace joy and comfort gladly bestow.
Harbor no ill ’gainst sister or brother,
Smooth life’s journey as you onward go.

Broad as the sunshine, free as the showers,
So shed an influence, blessing to prove.
Give for the noblest of efforts your pow’rs,
Blest and be blest, is the law of love.

– Shaker hymn (Mount Lebanon Hymnal, 1893)

You can hear it, sung by the Rose Ensemble, here:

Dutoit accused of sexual misconduct

Four women, among them the prominent soprano Sylvia McNair, accuse the veteran conductor Charles Dutoit of making unwanted advances, groping and other sexual misconduct, at times ranging from the early 1980s to 2010. Jocelyn Gecker of The Associated Press reports (via the Richmond Times-Dispatch):

No response yet from Dutoit, who has held such prominent posts as music director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and chief conductor and artistic adviser of the Philadelphia Orchestra. The 81-year-old, Swiss-born Dutoit currently is artistic director and chief conductor of the Royal Philharmonic in London.

UPDATE: Arthur Kaptainis, the veteran music critic who covered Dutoit during his 25-year-tenure as music director of the Montreal Symphony, owns up to not pressing sources on persistent “everyone knows” rumors of the conductor’s offstage behavior, and recalls a 1995 episode involving the Canadian journalist Natasha Gauthier, which she wrote about at the time, to no effect.

“[T]acit tolerance of the situation by people who were in the know” led to “the shock of a revelation that to many will be no shock at all,” Kaptainis writes for the Montreal Gazette:

Analysis: Music world chose to ignore allegations of Charles Dutoit's misconduct

To date, the Royal Philharmonic has “released” Dutoit from concert dates “for the immediate future.” The Boston Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra have canceled scheduled guest-conducting dates.

UPDATE 2: Dutoit denies the allegations: “I do not recognize the man or the actions being described in the media.”

Letter V Classical Radio Dec. 20

A baroque Christmas: A complete performance of Handel’s “Messiah,” led by the eminent countertenor-turned-conductor René Jacobs, and Bach’s Christmas cantata “Gloria in excelsis Deo,” led by the Dutch Bach specialist Ton Koopman, framed by Christmas concertos of Vivaldi and Corelli.

noon-3 p.m. EST
1500-1800 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM

Vivaldi: Violin Concerto in E minor, RV 270 (“Il Riposo per il Santo Natale”)
Giuliano Carmignola, violin
I Sonatori de la Gioisa Marca/Giorgio Fava

Handel: “Messiah”
Kerstein Avimo, soprano
Patricia Bardon, alto
Lawrence Zazzo, countertenor
Kobie van Rensburg, tenor
Neal Davies, bass
Choir of Claire College
Freiburg Baroque Orchestra/René Jacobs
(Harmonia Mundi)

J.S. Bach: Cantata, “Gloria in excelsis Deo,” BWV 191
Caroline Stam, soprano
Paul Agnew, tenor
Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir/Ton Koopman
(Challenge Classics)

Corelli: Concerto grosso in G minor, Op. 6, No. 8 (“Christmas Concerto”)
Il Giardano Armonico/Giovanni Antonini

Christmas magpie

The New York Times’ Michael White profiles Britain’s John Rutter, whose seasonal choral pieces, such as “The Shepherd’s Pipe Carol” and “What Sweeter Music,” have made him “the composer who owns Christmas.” Of his melodic style, tailored to the amateur singers who populate most choirs, Rutter says, “[C]omposers tend to be either explorers or magpies, and I’m the latter. I’m not out to break new ground. My gift, if I have one, is to take what’s in the air and use it.”

Raymond F. Glover (1928-2017)

Raymond F. Glover, the former organist-choirmaster of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Richmond and chairman of the national commission that produced the 1982 Episcopal hymnal, has died at 89.

Glover served at St. Paul’s from 1969 until 1981, after which he became chairman of the Hymnal Commission of the Episcopal Church USA. He was the author of “The Hymnal 1982 Companion,” a four-volume collection of essays on the hymnal’s contents and its relationship to church liturgy, as well as a history of Christian hymnody in Great Britain and the United States.

A native of Buffalo, NY, Glover was a graduate of the University of Toronto and Union Theological Seminary in New York. Before moving to Richmond, he served as organist-choirmaster of St. Paul’s Cathedral in Buffalo and Christ Church Cathedral in Hartford, CT.

His wife, the late Joyce Glover, was longtime curator of Virginia House, a 16th-century English Tudor manor house that was dismantled and reconstructed in Richmond in 1925.

Review: Chamber Music Society

Dec. 12, Holy Comforter Episcopal Church

Concert audiences in Richmond, and many other American cities, might go years without being reminded that George Frideric Handel wrote music other than “Messiah.”

The most satisfying local reminder so far this century was an all-Handel program by a period-instruments troupe performing under the auspices of the Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia’s. No “Messiah,” and only a bit of another of Handel’s greatest hits, the “Water Music.”

Most of the program was given over to the composer’s concerti grossi, two of them from the Op. 6 set, arguably Handel’s most inspired and sophisticated orchestral music.

The Concerto grosso in A major, Op. 6, No. 11, would be the highlight of most any baroque program in which it figured, and certainly was on this occasion. Its exchanges between two lead violins and among larger string ensembles, often at high speed or with pronounced accenting, are challenging for performers and exhilarating for listeners. The Chamber Music Society group, led by violinist Martin Davids, delivered a brisk and highly expressive reading that earned an extended ovation.

The musicians were somewhat shakier in intonation and balance in the shorter, more darkly hued Concerto grosso in B minor, Op. 6, No. 12.

Flutist Mary Boodell, who serves as the society’s president as well as one of its regular performers, took the lead in the Concerto grosso in G major, Op. 3, No. 3, negotiating the speedy, heavily ornamented lead voice securely and more merrily than might be expected in such a test of technique.

The ensemble rounded of rounded out the program with movements from two other concerti grossi and with the the least blowsy, most “watery” of the three “Water Music” suites, the G major, played here by strings, oboes, bassoon, archlute and harpsichord, all attuned to its generally swaying, tidal rhythms and rather genteel treatment of popular baroque dances.

Letter V Classical Radio Dec. 13

In the final hour, a salute to Finland on its 100th birthday, with two of most evocative works by Jean Sibelius, the “Lemminkäinen” Suite and “Finlandia” with the vocal setting of its noble hymn tune.

noon-3 p.m. EST
1500-1800 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM

Rossini: “The Siege of Corinth” Overture
Filarmonica della Scala, Milan/Riccardo Chailly

Mozart: Sonata in D major, K. 576 (“Hunt”)
Kristian Bezuidenhout, fortepiano
(Harmonia Mundi)

Mendelssohn: Quartet in A minor, Op. 13
Artemis Quartet
(Warner Classics)

Niels W. Gade: Violin Concerto in D minor
Christina Åstrand, violin
Tempere Philharmonic/John Storgårds

Smetana: “Wallenstein’s Camp”
BBC Philharmonic/Gianadrea Noseda

Past Masters:
Bernhard Molique: Concertino in G minor
Heinz Holliger, oboe
Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra/Eliahu Inbal
(Brilliant Classics)
(recorded 1975)

Sibelius: “Lemminkäinen” Suite
Lahti Symphony Orchestra/Neeme Järvi

Sibelius: “Finlandia”
Polytech Male Choir
Helsinki Philharmonic/Leif Segerstam

Letter V Classical Radio Dec. 6

noon-3 p.m. EST
1500-1800 UTC/GMT
WDCE, University of Richmond
90.1 FM

J.S. Bach: “Brandenburg” Concerto No. 4 in G major, BWV 1049
Café Zimmermann/Pablo Valetti

Bloch: Concerto grosso No. 2
Amadeus Chamber Orchestra/Agnieszka Ducmal

Martinů: Divertimento (Serenade No. 4)
Oldřich Vlček, violin & director
Zdenék Zindel, viola
Prague Chamber Orchestra

Clemens Thieme: Suite à 5 in B flat major
L’Arpa Festante/Christoph Hesse
(Deutsche Harmonia Mundi)

Chausson: Concerto in D major, Op. 21
Isabelle Faust, violin
Alexander Melnikov, piano
Salagon Quartet
(Harmonia Mundi)

Wagner: “Siegfried Idyll”
Budapest Festival Orchestra/Iván Fischer
(Channel Classics)

Ravel: Introduction and Allegro
James Galway, flute
Richard Stoltzman, clarinet
Heidi Lehwalder, harp
Tokyo String Quartet
(RCA Red Seal)

Copland: Clarinet Concerto
Teddy Abrams, clarinet
Louisville Orchestra/Jason Seber
(Decca Gold)

Stravinsky: Symphony in C major
L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande/Charles Dutoit