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Published by scoghill, 2017-03-01 13:35:59

KUSC17_MAR.indd

march 2017

memBers gUide

STOP AND HEAR THE ROSES

AS KUSC GETS READY FOR GREAT OUTDOORS WEEK, MEET
SOME OF OUR FAVORITE COMPOSERS INSPIRED BY NATURE

PAGE 

MARCH BIRTHDAYS Modest Mussorgsky FROM THE PRESIDENT | PAGE 2
Maurice Ravel Genealogy Leads to a Musical Connection
Thomas Adès Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Johann Sebastian Bach Mstislav Rostropovich ON THE AIR | PAGE 4
Samuel Barber Bedřich Smetana Specials & Weekend Programming Highlights
Bela Bartók Arturo Toscanini
Pierre Boulez Antonio Vivaldi
Frédéric Chopin Sir William Walton
James Conlon Kurt Weill
Franz Joseph Haydn
Lorin Maazel


from the president cover storY

Why Music Really is a NOTES ON NATURE
Universal Language
How the Great Composers Transcribed the
A couple of members of my Beauty Around Them Into Timeless Works of
family have become interested Musical Splendor
in genealogy, and they
managed to get me hooked, by Brian Lauritzen
too. I spend relatively little
time on it but have been able to Technically, the 2017 Spring Equinox arrives at 3:29AM PDT on March 20. A few hours later,
trace some ancestors back to Classical KUSC will kick off a special week of programming in the spirit of springtime called
Ireland, England, and Germany in the 1600s Great Outdoors Week. For pretty obvious reasons, nature is a subject that composers
with help from family members working throughout history have found particularly ripe with musical inspiration. When you listen
more intently. to KUSC the week of March 20-24, you’ll hear a piece of music in some way inspired by
nature, at the top of every hour from 8:00AM through 6:00PM.
It is fascinating to see the names of the
people who left their homeland to come Many of the great composers would take walks in nature as
to America for a new life free of religious a source for musical inspiration. Beethoven, for example,
persecution. I try to imagine who they were would go for a walk every day after he ate lunch. He would
and what their lives were like, but I find that always carry a pencil and a couple of sheets of paper with
what helps me connect to them—more than him, in case he should have any musical thoughts along the
dates and names and facts—is music. way that he needed to write down. Beethoven spoke often
about feeling the press of the city (Vienna) around him and
My English ancestor who came to needing to escape to nature. His most famous “walk” is the
America in the mid-1600s was born the year Symphony No. 6, “Pastoral,” which begins with a movement
William Byrd died. My German ancestor who he described as “Awakening of cheerful feelings on arrival
immigrated to America was born four years in the countryside.” There follows a scene by a brook (accompanied by the songs of
after Bach, Handel and Scarlatti (and like nightingales, quail, cuckoos, and other birds). We even get caught in a thunderstorm along
Bach, he was Lutheran). I think of the music the way, which turns out to be only a momentary terror with lightning flashes in the violins
written during the lifetimes of my ancestors and woodwinds and thunderclaps from the timpani and lower strings.
and feel more connected to them.
Richard Strauss uses timpani to depict rolling
Two years ago this month, I had the thunder in his epic tone poem An Alpine
opportunity to visit Almaty, Kazakhstan and Symphony, which depicts a dawn-to-dusk hike
work with Radio Classic, the only classical in the Alps. But Strauss was a “go big or go
radio station in Central Asia. I was working home” kind of composer, so just timpani wasn’t
with people from the other side of the world enough for his musical tempest. He actually
with different experiences and a different deploys a wind machine, a thunder machine,
culture from my own, and yet our mutual two sets of timpani, 20 French horns, a hugely
love of classical music bound us together beefed-up brass and woodwind section, and as many string players as a conductor can
and provided a common language that we get his or her hands on. (Usually, the orchestra for An Alpine Symphony contains 130 or
used to get to know one another and begin so musicians.) It’s one of the most visceral musical experiences you’ll ever have. But it’s
our work. The relationships established not just about being loud. Strauss’s An Alpine Symphony is also about intricate musical
during that trip have continued and led to a tone painting. For example, when we hike past the waterfall, we hear the splash of the
series of features that aired on Arts Alive in water on the rocks in the harps, bells, cymbals, triangle, and glockenspiel. At sunset,
January (and are available as podcasts on we hear descending musical motifs from the pipe organ, solo French horn and trumpet
our website). as the sun slips below the horizon and rays of light from the woodwinds pierce the
impending darkness.
Music has a miraculous ability to span
distance, culture, time, and experience and
bring us together. Thank you so much for
your support which gives us the opportunity
to connect people through music on a
daily basis.

2 Brenda Barnes


From the heights of the Alps to the depths of the prospect that once again we may quite literally become ocean.” It is
the sea. The Frenchman Claude Debussy is one music that begins and ends almost inaudibly, that rises and falls with the
of many composers inspired by the ocean. His tides, that undulates and burbles and crests and showcases, in a unique
most famous sea-faring work is titled simply La way, the awesome power of the ocean.
Mer, or The Sea, which curiously, he completed
on the British side of the English Channel in And we’ve really only just scratched the
the seaside resort town of Eastbourne in East surface. I didn’t mention Gustav Mahler,
Sussex. Each of the three movements has an who, when he was at his lake house on
evocative title: the Wörthersee in Austria, would go for a
long swim every morning around 5:00 or
1. From Dawn to Noon on the Sea 6:00. Or Brahms, who decades earlier, had
a composing retreat on the same lake as
2. The Play of the Waves Mahler, writing his Symphony No. 2 and Violin
Concerto there. Or nearly every single work
3. Dialogue of the Wind and the Sea by Frederick Delius, who spent some time
growing oranges in Florida and said it was
Throughout the work, Debussy uses a kind of musical onomatopoeia there that, “through sitting and gazing at nature I gradually learnt the way
as he evokes the swaying back-and-forth of the sea; gusts of wind; the in which I should eventually find myself.” Or Mozart, who wrote music
splash of the waves; and salt spray in the air. You can taste it. everywhere but most preferred to compose in the open air of a garden. Or
Ferde Grofé, who not only famously wrote a piece of music depicting the
The sea is also the subject of the Grand Canyon, but also wrote works about the Mississippi River, Niagara
2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning work Falls, Death Valley, Yellowstone, the Hudson River, and Hawaii. Thank
by composer and environmental goodness we have an entire week’s worth of programming to dive into this
activist John Luther Adams, music of great natural beauty! I hope you’ll enjoy KUSC’s Great Outdoors
Become Ocean. The title comes Week starting March 20.
from words that John Cage wrote
in tribute to fellow composer Lou Brian Lauritzen is heard on KUSC Monday through Thursday from 3PM
Harrison, “Listening to it we become to 7PM. He’s the host of Arts Alive (Saturdays, 8AM) and Soul Music
ocean.” John Luther Adams frames the title in a more ominous way, which (Sundays 6-9AM). He’s also the voice of the Los Angeles Philharmonic
refers to climate change: “Life on this earth first emerged from the sea. As broadcasts for KUSC.
the polar ice melts and sea level rises, we humans find ourselves facing

Surprises From A Founder of Modern Spanish Music record shelf
by jim svejda
This final installment of the Naxos series devoted to little-known—and in the case of two of the three items here,
completely unknown—orchestral music of Enrique Granados may be the most surprising and rewarding of all.
That a pair of works written in the last years of the life of one of the founding giants of modern Spanish music had
to wait more than a century for their first commercial recordings is frankly amazing, given both their quality, and
what they tell us about this undeniably major composer.

Strangely, the most “Spanish-sounding” of the three pieces is also the earliest: the Suite oriental from 1889,
finished a full decade before the composer premiered his magnum opus, the piano suite Goyescas. This souvenir
of a trip to North Africa draws on some of the same Moorish harmonies and melodic twists that inform Iberian folk
music, and while most of it rarely rises above the picture-postcard level, the orchestration is incredibly seductive
for a composer still in his early 20s. If much of the music feels made-to-order exotic—the Marcha oriental
especially so—then it’s still pleasantly effective and amply rewards repeated hearings.

Liliana (1911) and Elisenda (1912) were both inspired by poems of Apel-les Mestres, the Catalan writer, artist, GRANADOS, E.: Orchestral
cartoonist, and musician whose texts were set to music by several Spanish composers in the early decades of the Works, Vol. 3 – Liliana / Suite
20th century. The one-act “lyric poem” Liliana concerns a water nymph who falls in love with a sylph named Flor Oriental / Elisenda; Pablo González,
de Lis—at least he’s not a human being, or worse yet, a prince—this in an enchanted forest also populated by cond; Barcelona Symphony; Dani
gnomes, witches, and other mythical creatures. Apart from the use of castanets and tambourines, there’s nothing Espasa (pn); NAXOS 8.573265
remotely Spanish about the music, except perhaps for a languorous sensuality that recalls the best moments of
Manuel de Falla’s El amor brujo. If not quite the “Modernist masterpiece” that the program annotator claims—its jim svejda hosts the evening
musical language remains firmly rooted in the 19th century—then Liliana is a colorful, absorbing, and eventful program on weeknights
work and an important addition to the Granados canon. from 7 pm to midnight
Originally scored for soprano and orchestra, Elisenda was based on another Mestres poem and was described and the record shelf
by Fernando Periquet—librettist of Goyescas, the opera Granados adapted from melodies heard in the piano sundays at 10 pm.
suite—as “a wonderful bucolic poem that evokes the charms of nature, blossoming flowers on sunlit mornings,
and the perfumes of the forest.” Here, as elsewhere, Pablo Gonzáles and the Barcelona Symphony respond with 3
an effortlessly idiomatic grace to the composer’s evocative and ethereal writing, while pianist Dani Espasa seems
as perfectly attuned to the idiom as his late, great countrywoman Alicia de Larrocha always was.
Everything about the album—including its price tag—is so attractive; why not pick up a few extra copies
for friends?


Classical KUSC Members Guide P.O. Box 7913 -
is published monthly by the Los Angeles, CA ..
University of Southern California 90007-0913
University Communications PAID
3434 S. Grand Ave., CAL 140 Address Service Requested
Los Angeles, CA 90089-2818 ,
4849
President Brenda Barnes
VP|Program Director Bill Lueth classical kusc hosts
Director of Corp Affairs
dennis Bartel Brian laUritZen roBin pressman
and Underwriting Abe Shefa 6 am–9 am weekdays 3 pm–7 pm weekdays midnight–6 am wed.–fri.
7 am–8 am saturdays 6 am–9 am sundays 5 pm–8 pm saturdays
CLASSICAL KUSC MEMBERS GUIDE
Executive Editor Gail Eichenthal rich capparela BlaKe laWrence Jim sveJda
Managing Editor Kelsey McConnell 3 pm–7 pm fridays midnight–6 am 7 pm–midnight weekdays
Features Editor Sheila Tepper 12am–7 am saturdays sunday–tuesday 10 pm–11 pm sundays
Staff Photographer Diane Alancraig 11am–4 pm sundays dUff mUrphY
Graphic Designer Tamara Gould alan chapman 9 am–noon saturdays on the air
9 am–1 pm weekdays
Telephone 213-225-7400 10 pm–midnight saturdays KUSC-FM 91.5
E-mail kusc@kusc.org 9 am–11 am sundays KDSC-FM 91.1
Web www.kusc.org gail eichenthal KPSC-FM 88.5
Music Inquiries|Comment 213-225-7412 4 pm–6 pm sundays KDB-FM 93.7
Membership Inquiries 213-225-7404
memberservices@kusc.org KESC-FM 99.7
Volunteer Inquiries 213-225-7411
Major Gifts 213-225-7534

WeeKend highlights marCh 2017 on the air

KUSC SOCAL SUNDAY NIGHT: KUSC SOCAL SUNDAY NIGHT: Sunday, March 26 | 10 pm
PACIFIC SYMPHONY LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC The Record Shelf Record Reviews. Jim
HOST: RICH CAPPARELA HOST: BRIAN LAURITZEN Svjeda presents critical reactions to the latest
Sunday, March 5 | 7 pm Sunday, March 26 | 7 pm compact discs.
Carl St.Clair, conductor Gustavo Dudamel, conductor METROPOLITAN OPERA BROADCASTS
Haochen Zhang, piano Yefim Bronfman, piano Saturday, March 4 | 10 AM
TCHAIKOVSKY: Piano Concerto No. 1 St. Lawrence String Quartet Massenet: Werther
PROKOFIEV: Symphony No. 5 BEETHOVEN: Coriolan Overture Gardner, conductor; Christy, Leonard, Grigolo,
JOHN ADAMS: Absolute Jest Bižić, Muraro
Sunday, March 12 | 7 pm BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 4 Saturday, March 11 | 10 AM
David Danzmayr, conductor Verdi: La Traviata
Ning Feng, violin THE RECORD SHELF WITH JIM SVEJDA Luisotti, conductor; Yoncheva, Fabiano,
MACCUNN: Land of the Mountains and the Flood Sunday, March 5 | 10 pm Hampson
BRUCH: Scottish Fantasy The Young Celi, Part 1. A rebroadcast of Saturday, March 18 | 10 AM
MENDELSSOHN: Symphony No. 3, “Scottish” the first part of a two-part look at the early Rossini: Guillaume Tell
recordings of the controversial Romanian Luisi, conductor; Rebeka, Brugger, Zifchak,
Sunday, March 19 | 7 pm conductor Sergiu Celibidache. Hymel, Finley, Spotti, Youn, Relyea
Carl St.Clair, conductor Saturday, March 25 | 10 AM
Pacific Chorale – John Alexander, artistic Sunday, March 12 | 10 pm Mozart: Idomeneo
director The Young Celi, Part 2. In the second of two Levine, conductor; van den Heever, Sierra,
Aida: Kelebogile Besong programs, little-known live performances Coote, Polenzani, Opie
Radames: Arnold Rawls featuring the young Sergiu Celibidache.
Amneris: Milena Kitic
VERDI: Aida Sunday, March 19 | 10 pm
A conversation with the Gramophone
Magazine’s reigning Artist of the Year, pianist
Daniil Trifonov.


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