Howard's Day Off - February 25 2017

Feb 25, 2017

---FIRST HALF HOUR---

:01—Carson Cooman (1982- ): “Keep On Shining!” for violin and organ, Op. 573, 2004, Rachel Gough, violin; Rupert Gough, organ [Naxos 559329].

:06—David Byrne (1952- ): “High Life,” Balanescu Quartet [Argo 436 565]. Born in Scotland but raised in Baltimore from the third grade. Co-founded the band “Talking Heads” in 1975.

:11—LaMonte Young (1935- ): Sarabande, 1959, John Schneider, guitar; Amy Shulman, harp [Bridge 9041]. Born in a log cabin in Idaho but graduated from high school in Los Angeles and studied at UCLA and Berkeley. His “In C” kicked off what came to be called Minimalism.

:13—Jennifer Higdon (1962- ): “Sky Rising,” from “Sky Quartet,” 2000, Serafin String Quartet [Naxos 559752]. Born in Brooklyn but raised in Georgia and Tennessee, Higdon played flute in her high school band but didn’t really come to classical music before college.

:18—Jennifer Higdon (1962- ): “Concerto for Orchestra,” second move., 2002, Robert Spano, Atlanta Symphony [Telarc 80620].

:23--Michael Torke (1961- ): “Oracle,” 2013, Vasily Petrenko, Liverpool Philharmonic [Ecstatic 92261]. Born in Milwaukee, prolific composer of post-Minimalist works built from tiny tonal musical kernels.

---SECOND HALF HOUR---

:30—John Lurie (1952- ): “The Lamposts are Mine,” from “Stranger than Paradise,” 1984, Balanescu Quartet [Argo 436 565]. “Stranger than Paradise” is a weirdly cool film by Jim Jarmusch, starring John Lurie, who would later appear in Jarmusch’s better-known film, “Down by Law,” which also starred Tom Waits and Robert Begnini.

:33—Lowell Liebermann (1961- ): Flute Concerto, Op. 39, first move., 1992, Eugenia Zukerman, flute w/Andrew Litton, Dallas Symphony [Delos 3256].

:45—John Corigliano (1938- ): “The Red Violin,” movie score, 1998, excerpts, Joshua Bell, violin w/Esa-Pekka Salonen, Philarmonia Orchestra [Sony 63010]. Three stories wrapped in two other stories, tracing the life of a cursed violin from creation to auction. 

---THIRD HALF HOUR---

:01—Philip Glass (1937- ): Etude No. 1, 2003, Maki Namekawa, piano [OM 0098]. Born in Baltimore, where his dad had a record store, Glass retains a distinctive moody style even though he’s been composing symphonies and concertos in recent years. He started writing etudes in the 1990s, completing the first of two sets in 2003.

:06—Paul Moravec (1957- ): Chamber Symphony, 2003, first move., Ayano Kataoka, marimba; Jeewon Park, piano; Marya Martin, flute and four other musicians [Naxos 559393].

:11—John Adams (1947- ): “Harmonielehre,” Part III, 1985, Edo De Waart, San Francisco Symphony [Elektra Nonesuch 79115]. The original recording and by far the best.

:22—Steve Reich (1936- ): “2x5,” finale, 2008, Bang on a Can musicians Bryce Dessner and Mark Stewart, electric guitars; Robert Black, bass; Evan Ziporyn, piano; David Cossin, drums [Nonesuch 79786]. Reich uses a drum kit but relies on it for doubling, not for rhythm.

---FOURTH HALF HOUR---

:30—Jennifer Higdon (1962- ): “Concerto for Orchestra,” finale, 2002, Robert Spano, Atlanta Symphony [Telarc 80620].

:37—Michael Torke (1961- ): “Concerto for Orchestra,” finale, 2014, Vasily Petrenko, Liverpool Philharmonic [Ecstatic 92261]. Born in Milwaukee, studied under Christopher Rouse.

(TRICK QUESTION: IS THIS BY A LIVING COMPOSER?)

:42—John Harbison (1938- ): “Hallucination in Four Episodes,” third episode, “Schubert Recalls a Rondo Fragment from 1816,” The Atlanta Chamber Players [CM 20038].

:44—William Bolcom (1938- ): “Machine,” finale from Fifth Symphony, 1989, Dennis Russell Davies, American Composers Orchestra [Argo 433 077]. Seattle-born, studied with Darius Milhaud and Oliver Messiaen.

:48—Christopher Rouse (1949- ): “Bump,” 1986, David Zinman, Baltimore Symphony [New World 79230]. Born in Baltimore, related to the James Rouse who went to UH and then built the planned community of Columbia, Md. Rouse described this piece as a Boston Pops concert in hell.