Monday, August 27, 2018
Monday, August 20, 2018
90.9 WGUC looks forward to presenting the next broadcast in its Music Cincinnati series, this month spotlighting the Music in the Museum Organ Concert Series, which is held inside the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal. You can tune into 90.9 on August 26 at 8pm for this special, listen online at wguc.org, via the WGUC app, or your smart speaker.
Union Terminal opened in 1933 and is considered an icon in the transportation industry, being one of the last great train stations ever built. It is designed in the beautiful art deco style and decorated with mosaics that depict various aspects of the industrial age. Union Terminal currently houses the Cincinnati Museum Center and was home to the famous 1929 E.M. Skinner Concert Organ prior to an extensive renovation, which began in 2016. This magnificent instrument contains nearly 5,000 pipes and draws many of the world’s leading organists. The organ series will return to the museum’s rotunda in 2019 after the completion of extensive renovations and repairs.
WGUC’s next Music Cincinnati program features highlights from this organ series’ 2014 and 2015 seasons, including performances by Isabelle Demers, Thomas Murray, Benjamin Sheen, and Jean-Baptiste Robin. They perform works ranging from J.S. Bach’s Passacaglia in C minor, all the way to the music from John Williams’ famous Harry Potter score. If you are an organist, enjoy the sounds of this king of all instruments, or are simply interested in learning more about this powerful instrument, be sure to tune to 90.9 on August 26 at 8pm. If you aren’t available then, you can also access WGUC’s Music Cincinnati series archived at http://www.wguc.org/schedule/musiccincinnati.html
Monday, August 13, 2018
August 26, 2018 marks the 60th anniversary of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ death. To celebrate his life and work, let’s take a look at some of his lesser-known compositions including his Serenade to Music, Flos Campi, and Five Tudor Portraits. This post was written by WGUC intern, Connor Annable.
Did you know that Vaughan Williams wrote his Serenade to Music for sixteen of the most well-known British singers of his era? He wrote is as a tribute to English conductor Henry Wood, who at the time was celebrating the 50th anniversary of his conducting debut. Serenade to Music uses text from Act V of William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, which evokes the power of music and the music of the spheres.
Flos Campi was composed a little over 15 years before Serenade to Music. It is a work that is sometimes described as a celebration of love (Flos Campi is translated most often in the context of the Hebrew Bible as “Flower of the Field,” evoking the Rose of Sharon as described in the Song of Solomon). Premiered on October 10, 1925, it is cast in six interconnected sections, each using a Latin quote from the Song of Solomon. It is dedicated to the eminent English violist Lionel Tertis. This dedication seems fitting, since the viola has a prominent solo part against a backdrop of wordless chorus and small orchestra. As a result, it could be considered a choral-orchestral work, but the chorus and orchestra are not necessarily on equal footing.
A work that marks a complete contrast from pure Romanticism for Vaughan Williams is the ‘choral suite’ Five Tudor Portraits, composed in 1935 and premiered at the Norwich Festival on September 25, 1936. Scored for solo alto (or mezzo-soprano), baritone, chorus and orchestra, it sets five poems by the 15th-16th century poet John Skelton, who served as tutor to the young Henry VIII and poet laureate for Oxford and Cambridge Universities.
It is interesting to examine lesser-known music by Ralph Vaughan Williams in order to more fully appreciate him as a composer. He seems to maintain a feeling of immense pride for his home country by incorporating musical and textual sources which are unmistakably English. Because of this and other factors, Ralph Vaughan Williams may be regarded as an undisputed master of English choral-orchestral writing, writing which demands as much attention now as it did when these works premiered over 80-90 years ago.
Serenade to Music:
Toronto Symphony Orchestra/Peter Oundjian, conductor; Elmer Iseler Singers
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Adrian Boult, conductor; vocal soloists
EMI Classics 007777640253
Toronto Symphony Orchestra/Peter Oundjian, conductor; Teng Li, solo viola; Elmer Iseler Singers
Bournemouth Sinfonietta & Choir/Norman Del Mar, conductor; Frederick Rittle, viola
Five Tudor Portraits:
London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus/Richard Hickox, conductor; Jean Rigby, alto; John Shirley-Quirk, baritone
Friday, August 3, 2018
It’s finally here – Leonard Bernstein’s birthday month! August 25th marks this legendary musician’s centennial and WGUC has been counting down since May with a daily spotlight on a performance he either composed, conducted, or performed. We have some special things in store this month and I don’t want you to miss a thing so below, there’s a listing of what’s to come in the next few weeks. Also, check out this Spotify playlist whenever you want a little extra Bernstein in your day.
August 5, 8pm
CSO in Concert Encore (Concert Date: February 23–24)
Juraj Valčuha, conductor; Simone Lamsma, violin
R. STRAUSS: Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks
BERNSTEIN: Serenade, after Plato’s Symposium
KORNGOLD: Suite from Much Ado About Nothing
STRAUSS: Suite from Der Rosenkavalier
August 12, 8pm
CSO in Concert Encore (Concert Date: April 20–21)
Cristian Măcelaru, conductor; Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano
BERNSTEIN: Three Dance Episodes from On the Town
GERSHWIN: Piano Concerto
IVES: Three Places in New England
August 19, 8pm
Leonard Bernstein: A Legacy
90.9 WGUC presents a special broadcast celebrating the centennial of one of America’s greatest musicians. Interviews with musicians who knew Bernstein including Dick Waller, Mark Gibson, and Carmon DeLeone, along with commentary from historians such as Dr. bruce mcclung, Mark Horowitz, and Rick Pender – plus a variety of music including works Bernstein composed, conducted, and performed at the piano. Hosted by Brian O’Donnell.
August 24, 7pm
Leonard Bernstein: America’s Music Teacher: Celebrate Leonard Bernstein's centennial with an exploration of his teaching style. Hosted by Andrea Blain, this new, music-filled two-hour special celebrates Bernstein's devotion to music education, through his Young Person's Concerts with the New York Philharmonic, his Harvard lectures, his CBS Omnibus Television specials, and his many writings about music.