Giveaway: The Metropolitan Opera Live in HD – Macbeth

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Dolores Claiborne as an Opera

This Saturday we’ll broadcast Tobias Picker and J.D. McClatchy’s opera adaptation of Stephen King’s Dolores Claiborne from San Francisco Opera’s premiere production (get a preview below).

But first, watch Opera America’s “Creators in Concert,” with guest Tobias Picker, this evening at 7pm through their website.

The English Violin

(c) Royal College of Music; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Photo: A portrait of English violinist Albert Sammons.

Edward Elgar’s Violin Sonata was one of three chamber works Elgar composed more or less concurrently towards the end of the First World War at Brinkwells, the country cottage the Elgars had rented near Fittleworth in Sussex. Although he had begun work on the String Quartet before the sonata, he completed the sonata first. Elgar was himself a competent player of both the violin and the piano and the work proceeded quickly to completion in little over a month.

Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Violin Sonata (1952) is his last major chamber work and his most neglected one. In three movements, it lasts nearly half an hour. The opening Fantasia is full of nervous energy and virtuosic violin writing. Calm alternates with passages of faster, more dissonant music. There is something ironic about the scherzo, like the clown with a grim secret, and it is this which makes it so powerful. The theme of the final movement is taken from the piano quintet of fifty years earlier. It a gentle, memorable tune on which VW composes variations. This is a fine work and should be much better known.

Frederick Delius’ health was recovering in 1924 when he began his 3rd sonata for violin and piano. But his illnesses returned and he had to lay the work aside, presumably forever. However he was able to return to his composition after the young Yorkshireman Eric Fenby arrived as his assistant. The sonata was finished in 1930.

We’ll hear these compositions on the next An English Pastorale, Sunday at 9 am.

Spreading The Word About African-American Music

Alexander T. Simpson is a professor of music at Bellarmine University, and also the head of Black Classical Artists of Louisville (BCAL) and the Kentuckiana Branch of the National Association of Negro Musicians (KANM), two organizations that work to promote and perform music and musicians in the negro spiritual and classical music tradition. What has become a yearly tradition, both organizations, with the support of Bellarmine University, will present “What Just in February?” on Sunday, October 5th, 6pm, at Highland Baptist Church.

The concert will feature “Traditional Negro Spirituals,” performed by local musicians, including singers Phillip Morgan, Claire DiVizio and Keith Dean, organist Owen Sammons and dancer Theresa Bautista; with arrangements by Roland Hayes, Harry T. Burleigh, Moses Hogan, Roland Carter, Margaret Bonds and Louisville native, Patsy Turner.

Ryan Gardner and Louisa Woodson Play Debussy

Recorded live at Lunchtime Classics on September 17, 2014. Ryan Gardner and Louisa Woodson gave a concert that included this set of Debussy songs.