Howard's Day Off - January 7 2017

Jan 7, 2017


:01—John Adams (1947- ): “Tromba Iotana,” 1986, Edo de Waart, San Francisco Symphony [Elektra Nonesuch 79144]. The title means “Distant Trumpet” but actually there are two, in the far corners of the rear stage, playing their notes in stereo, as it were.

:06—Don Gillis (1912-1978): Symphony No. 1, “An American Symphony,” second move., Ian Hobson, Sinfonia Varsovia [Albany 888]. Gillis was Toscanini’s producer during the NBC Symphony years.

:16—John Adams (1947- ): “Scheherazade II,” second move., 2016, Lila Josefowicz, violin w/David Robertson, Saint Louis Symphony [Elektra/Nonesuch 79435]. Adams said he imagined a woman like the original Scheherazade in the Middle East of modern times. This movement is called “A Long Desire: Love Scene.”


:30—Amy Beach (1867-1944): “The Captive,” Op. 40, No. 1, 1916, Pamela Frame, cello; Robert Weirich, piano [Koch 7281]. Beach wrote her three Op. 40 pieces for violin and piano, but years later arranged them for cello and piano; this piece especially benefits.

:34—William Grant Still (1895-1978): “Autumn Night,” from “Wood Notes,” 1947, John Jeter, Fort Smith Symphony [Naxos 559676].

:37—Michael Daugherty (1954- ): “Nocturne,” from “Sunset Strip,” 1999, Marin Alsop, Bournemouth Symphony [Naxos 559613]. The middle of the piece. The outer movements are called “7 p.m.” and “7 a.m.” I don’t know if the composer stayed up all night.

:41—Adolphus Hailstork (1941- ): Symphony No. 3, scherzo, 1999, David Lockington, Grand Rapids Symphony [Naxos 559295].

:46—Mark O’Connor (1961- ): “Brass Fanfare” from “Americana Symphony,” first move., 2006, Marin Alsop, Baltimore Symphony [OMAC 00022]. The symphony is substitled, “Variations on Appalachia Waltz.” Connor was born in Seattle and fiddled on “Grand Ole Opry” at the age of 13. Imagine studying with both Chet Atkins and Stephane Grappelli.

:51—Harold Shapero (1920-2013): “Symphony for Classical Orchestra,” scherzo, Andre Previn, Los Angeles Philharmonic, recorded in 1988 [New World Records 373]. Shapero once wrote a nine-minute overture called “Nine Minute Overture.”


:01—Philip Glass (1937- ): Harpsichord Concerto, finale, 2002, Chris Lewis, harpsichord; Kevin Mallon, West Side Chamber Orchestra [Naxos 573146].

:06—Ellen Zwilich (1939- ): “Peppermint Patty and Marcie Lead the Parade,” from “Peanuts Gallery,” 1996, Jeffrey Biegel, piano w/Alexander Jimenez, Florida State Orchestra [Naxos 559656]. The piano part often alludes to Linus playing Beethoven.

:09—Kevin Puts (1972- ): Flute Concerto, finale, 2014, Adam Walker, flute w/Marin Alsop, Peabody Symphony [Naxos 559794]. Composer-in-residence with the Ft. Worth Symphony.

:17—Don Gillis (1912-1978): Symphony No. 1, “An American Symphony,” first move., 1941, Ian Hobson, Sinfonia Varsovia [Albany 888]. Frequent fanfares reflect Gillis’s training on trumpet. Gillis grew up in Ft. Worth, Texas.


:30—Roy Harris (1896-1979): “Bells,” from “Memories of a Child’s Sunday,” 1946, David Alan Miller, Albany Symphony [Albany 350].

:34—William Grant Still (1895-1978): “Singing River,” from “Wood Notes,” 1947, John Jeter, Fort Smith Symphony [Naxos 559676].


:41—Paul Moravec (1957- ): “Bells,” from “The Time Gallery,” 2000, Eighth Blackbird [Naxos 8.559267].

:42—Don Gillis (1912-1978): “Symphony No. 10, “Big D,” 1968, finale, “Cotton Bowl,” Ian Hobson, Sinfonia Varsovia ]Albany 933]. More chipper music from this Midwesterner.

:46--Don Gillis (1912-1978): “Chamber of Commerce,” from “portrait of a Frontier Town,” 1947, Ian Hobson, Sinfonia Varsovia [Albany 833].

:49—Robert Moran (1937- ): “Points of Departure,” 1993, David Zinman, Baltimore Symphony [Argo 444 454]. Moran co-composed the opera “The Juniper Tree” with Philip Glass and once composed a work for the entire city of Bethlehem, Pa., including church bells, factory whistles, a car horns coordinated by a radio station.