Howard's Day Off - November 19 2016

Nov 19, 2016

---FIRST HALF HOUR---

:04—Erich Korngold (1897-1957): String Quartet No. 2 in E flat major, Op. 26, 1933, first move., Doric String Quartet [Chandos 10611]. Written before he did any film scores. The finest chamber movement by any Hollywood composer. This is the guy who did the score for “The Adventures of Robin Hood.”

:10—John Knowles Paine (1839-1906): Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 23, 1875, scherzo,  JoAnn Falletta, Ulster Orchestra [Naxos 559747]. The father of the American symphonic tradition, yet no one plays his stuff any more.

:19—Alan Hovhaness (1911-2000): Symphony No. 60, “To the Appalachian Mountains,” Op. 396, 1985, finale, Gerard Schwarz, Berlin Radio Symphony [Naxos 559294]. Hovhaness was so prolific that he tends to be represented by a few good early pieces while all the late stuff is set aside for study by some hypothetical future generation.

--SECOND HALF HOUR—

:30—Claude Debussy (1862-1918): Symphony No. 1 in B minor, middle move., 1880, Jun Marki, French National Orchestra of Lyon [Naxos 572583]. Debussy was 18 when he wrote his only symphony, in three voices that he never bothered to orchestrate. This orchestration was done only recently by Tony Finno.

:33—Ernest Bloch (1880-1959): Concerto Grosso No. 1, first move., 1925, Dalia Atlas, Atlas Camerata [ASV 1055]. Swiss composer known mainly for “Schelomo: A Hebrew Rhapsody.”

:37—Roy Harris (1898-1979): Symphony No. 11, 1968, Ian Hobson, Sinfonia Varsovia [Albany 1042]. While Harris’s Third Symphony is hugely popular, he was seen as passé by the time he conducted the premiere of this work, four days before his 70th birthday.

--THIRD HALF HOUR—

:04—Wilhelm Furtwangler (1886-1954): Symphony No. 1 in B minor, first move., excerpt, Alfred Walter, Czech State Philharmonic [Marco Polo 223295]. Furtwangler was one of the great conductors of his time but always thought of himself as a composer.

:09—Erno Dohnanyi (1877-1960): Symphony No. 2 in E major, Op. 22, 1912, scherzo, Alexander Jimenez, Florida State University Symphony [Naxos 573008]. Known mainly for his clever variations on “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

:14—Leroy Anderson (1908-1975): Piano Concerto in C major (1953), first move., Jeffrey Biegel w/Leonard Slatkin, BBC Symphony [Naxos 559313]. A Harvard linguistics grad who found his way by accident to writing light pieces for the Boston Pops.

:23—Vernon Duke (1903-1969): Cello Concerto, 1945, finale, Sam Magill w/Dmitry Yablonsky, Russian Philharmonic [Naxos 559286]. The composer of “April in Paris” and “Autumn in New York” and “I Can’t Get Started” was born Vladimir Dukelsky and went to Kiev Conservatory at the same time as his friend Serge Prokofiev.

--FOURTH HALF HOUR—

:30—Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908): “Street Scene,” from the opera “The Maid of Pskov,” also known as “Ivan the Terrible,” Igor Golovchin, Moscow Symphony [Naxos 553513]. First version, 1973; final version, 1901.

:32—Constant Lambert (1905-1951): Sonata for Piano, first move., 1924, Ian Brown, piano [Hyperion 66754]. Lambert’s father was born in Russia and grew up in Australia, while Lambert himself came of age in England. Yet this could almost be Gershwin.

(TRICK QUESTION: IS THIS SHOSTAKOVICH?)

:39—George Antheil (1900-1959): Symphony No. 4, “1942,” scherzo, Theodore Kuchar, Ukraine National Symphony [Naxos 559033]. Antheil gained fame in Paris with noisy, jazzy works using sirens and propellers. This is later stuff.

:43—Robert Schumann (1810-1856): Organ Piece No. 1, in C minor, 1845, Thierry Mechler, organ [Motette 11041].

:45—Zdenek Fibich (1850-1900): Symphony No. 1 in F major, Op. 17, finale, Marek Stilec, Czech National Symphony [Naxos 572985]. Nine years younger than Dvorak.

:55—Paul Hindemith (1895-1963): Concert Music for Strings & Brass, finale, 1931, Jiri Belohlavek, Czech Philharmonic [Chandos 9457].