The Suites were milestones.
Click on the link here for Audio Player – Duke Ellington in concert at the Ravinia Festival – July 1, 1957 – CBS Radio Network – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
The legendary Duke Ellington this weekend. The Radio premier of his Such Sweet Thunder, Suite on characters from Shakespeare as performed during the Ravinia Festival on July 1, 1957.
The Suites of Duke Ellington were milestones – they took Jazz to a whole new level, further expanding on the idiom, taking it to that place where Jazz and Classical rubbed elbows and became best friends. Considering how revolutionary Jazz had become during this period, it was the next logical step and it took someone with the imagination and foresight to bring all those elements together. Duke Ellington was the one.
Unfortunately, this premier isn’t complete. Most likely, a complete recording of this was made at the time, but this was network radio. CBS Radio had time constraints, and there was only 30 minutes available to make the case. So the frustration, knowing there was a ways more to go, and the CBS announcer breaking in and closing the broadcast, is palpable.
But this is history. And as I always say – sometimes history isn’t available under the best possible conditions. But this is a historic performance, and if you haven’t heard it before, or are only now becoming aware of Duke Ellington, here is good place to check it out.
And the weekend rolls on.
Howard Hanson – a lifelong dedication to the cause of Contemporary American music, including his own.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: [audio https://pastdaily.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/eastman-school-hanson-1953.mp3]
Some Americana tonight, by way of the Eastman School of Music Symphony, with the venerable Dr. Howard Hanson at the podium.
Part of the series America‘s Composers, this segment features Hanson conducting one of his own, lesser-known works. Fantasy Variations On A Theme Of Youth for pIano and orchestra featuring the Eastman School Symphony along with Alfred Mouledous, piano.
The series America’s Composers was a fascinating look at what was a rather busy and productive outpouring of what at the time was considered Contemporary American Classical music. Sadly, very few of the names mentioned in this series are remembered today; some barely, and only by way of one or two pieces.
Dr. Howard Hanson was a vigorous supporter of Contemporary Music, and his tenure at the Eastman School of Music is legendary. As a composer himself, Hanson achieved a modicum of success, but even his work has falled into obscurity in recent decades.
So maybe a reminder now and then about the vast untapped libraries of undiscovered and long-forgotten works might be a good thing.
For now, here is that performance of Hanson’s Fantasy Variations On A Theme Of Youth, as broadcast on February 9, 1953.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: [audio https://pastdaily.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/l-a-phil-rodzinski-rubenstein-1950.mp3]
Getting ready for the onslaught of Festivals this year. Rock and Jazz aren’t the exclusive property of the Festival atmosphere. Festivals throughout Europe featuring Classical music probably outnumber the others by a sizable number.
But we have our fair share too. Certainly, The Hollywood Bowl season (which should be kicking off in June sometime) ranks as one of the all-time favorites. I’ve been running the odd Hollywood Bowl concert here and there, and this weekend I thought I would run another concert from the 1950 season. The Hollywood Bowl in 1950 was considerably different than the Hollywood Bowl of 2013 on a lot of levels, not the least being the almost exclusive programming of Classical pieces with world-class performers.
This one features the Los Angeles Philharmonic (or The Hollywood Bowl Symphony depending on who you ask) conducted by former music-director Artur Rodzinski and featuring the legendary Artur Rubenstein at the piano.
This particular broadcast, recorded by NBC Radio during the 1950 season, is a 1 hour cut-down version of the entire concert which happened on August 8th.
It features two works – Rossini’s William Tell Overture and Brahms’ Piano Concerto Number 2.
This one is most likely a rarity for Rubenstein or Rodzinski collectors as it’s never been reissued either officially or unofficially and doesn’t sound bad, considering its age.
We’ll get back to the obscure and neglected next week, and I swear at some point I’ll start playing 78s again. But this week it’s meat and potatoes served by two icons and a top-notch orchestra.
Leo Kottle – one of the great virtuoso guitarists.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: [audio https://pastdaily.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/leo-kottke-in-session-1977.mp3]
(Still haven’t gotten the player situation resolved – waiting for “the team” to assess what’s going on – bear with us – UPDATE: It’s been fixed)
A dose of Americana tonight by way of the legendary Leo Kottke and a session he did at The BBC in 1977.
Kottke has always been one of the great virtuoso guitarists, whose blend of blues, folk, Jazz and a touch of Classical has made him one of the unique and truly innovative artists performing today.
With an astonishing recorded output, it’s hard not to run across something you may not have heard.This live session is a snapshot portrait of what has made him one of the great musicians of the last 40+ years.
And if you aren’t familiar with him – no excuses; hit the “play” button and get ready for the weekend.
Van Cliburn in Moscow – 1958 – Did more to improve East-West relations than all the Politicos combined.
Click on the link here for Audio Player – Part 1: Brahms- Piano Con. Nr 1 – Leinsdorf-Van Cliburn – July 1964
Click on the link here for Audio Player – Part 2: BSO – Van Cliburn – Liszt PC 2 and 1 – 1964
Only two months into 2013 and there have been way too many tributes to the passings of legendary and influential musicians. And as of today, there is another one. The sad news of the passing of Van Cliburn, the pianist who put the Cold War of the 1950s into a state of suspended animation and made us forget East-West tensions as he took the music world by storm, winning the 1958 Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow.
His charm and mastery of the instrument made him the instant idol of millions of piano students, and his name became a household symbol of what you could do if you practiced hard enough. Every student of Classical music wanted to be Van Cliburn, it seemed.
So as tribute to the passing of this giant in the world of the Performing Arts and a reminder of his magic and deft command of the instrument, here are two concerts, both featuring the Boston Symphony conducted by Erich Leinsdorf and both recorded in 1964. The first one (the top player) features Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 and the second (the bottom player) features Liszt’s Piano Concerto’s Number 2 and 1 (in that order as they were performed).
The Brahms was given at the Tanglewood Festival in July of 1964 and the Liszt was given at a regular concert given in November of 1964.
A unique and influential voice – sadly stilled and much missed.
Guy Ropartz – sadly neglected, but slowly being rediscovered.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: Roparts – Quartet No. 6 – Pascal String Quartet – 1950
Another overlooked composer who has been getting some attention in recent years. Guy Ropartz was all but unheard of since shortly after his death in 1955. He has lately (over the past twenty years) gotten a revival of sorts, with some of his orchestral works being performed and recorded by various ensembles around the world.
Tonight it’s his chamber music – his String Quartet Number 6, as performed in this Radio studio broadcast from around 1951 by The Pascal String Quartet, featuring Leon Pascal, Mauric Crut, Jacques Dumont and Robert Salles.
Click on the link here for Audio Player: Los conciertos de Radio 3 – Niños mutantes -15_05_12
Anyone who has done any radio surfing on the Internet will find there are literally hundreds of stations all over the world who devote a goodly chunk of their daily programming to live music. The Classical stations are legendary. But in equal number are all the Pop and Rock outlets who are also doing their fair share in getting the live music message across on a daily basis.
One of those Radio networks is Radio Nacional Espana in Madrid who run, among a wide range of other things, a daily program devoted to live local (and some international) bands and solo artists. Los Conciertos de Radio 3 is a treasure trove of new music and gives a good idea of what’s going on in the rest of the world, that we hear very little about.
Tonight it’s one of the more popular Indie/Alternative bands to come out of Spain. Niños Mutantes have been around since 1994 and have eight albums and a dozen ep’s to their credit, and this session, recorded on May 15th of this year coincided with the release of their latest album, Nàufragos.
Okay – they don’t sing in English. That should not scare you off. Music is the universal language and the notes are what’s important. If you’re fluent in Spanish, great – if not, listen to the music.
It’s worth it.