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Broadcasting as a Community Service
from The University of Hartford


  Falling into Winter on WWUH


We made it through the storms, hopefully this finds you warm and dry and thankful for power and good radio! Thanks go out to all our listeners for helping our Fall Fundraiser to be a great success. We well be getting any premiums requested out to you in the next few weeks.  As you can imagine, the recent storm and power problems have delayed many things, including our fall fundraiser T-shirts. So, hang in there and keep your radios tuned to 91.3.  You can also listen and follow us at our web site - wwuh.org. We are also available now as a Mp3 stream on many smart phones so we can follow you anywhere you go.  Thanks for all your support! 

WWUH Program GuideYour guide to our programming for
November and December 2011

Erica Beverly with Mary Silva, Alex Hall, Jenna Peterson & Diana Delva







Hawks and WWUH  

Prove Championship Pair


On the court and in the classroom, the University of Hartford Women's Basketball team has gained a national reputation for excellence.


The Schedule for the beginning of the 2010 Season follows:

WWUH will broadcast the games again this season, broadcasts start 15 minutes prior to the start of the games.  We hope you will enjoy hearing the Hawks live on WWUH again this year.


For a full schedule and more information about the games and team please click on the link below:





For ticket information contact theMalcolm & Brenda Berman Athletics Ticket Office at (860) 768-HAWK or thru the Hartford Hawks website.



What you can find in this issue of the WWUH Program Guide
:: Celtic Aires Update
:: Article Headline
:: Blue Monday
:: WWUH Scholarship Fund
:: Concert Listings
:: Composer Capsules for Thursday Evening Classics
:: Opera Listings
:: Station Information
:: WWUH Menu


We're now streaming in both WM and MP3 formats!

WWUH Windows Media Stream



You can find us on Facebook............where you can get up to date info on shows and other events on WWUH


Find us on Facebook

Dear WWUH Listener

We will continue to strive to bring you the best in alternative radio programming throughout the year.  We are thankful for all our listeners and look forward to many more years of great programming at WWUH.  We hope you continue to enjoy our varied and eclectic programming. Feedback is always welcome at

A few other links that you may want to bookmark are:
WWUH History Website and Our On Line Playlist.

John Doyle  
John Doyle





The Celtic Airs concert series is back in full swing in the newly renovated Wilde Auditorium at the University of Hartford. On Saturday November 12th, we'll give you a chance to see John Doyle as he introduces his new album "Shadow and Light". John will be accompanied by talented fiddler Duncan Wickel.

            John was born in 1971 in Dublin into a family of musicians and singers. He was surrounded by traditional music from his earliest years. His father Sean is a remarkable singer and song collector. Grandfather Tommy, from Co. Sligo, taught him his first tunes.

            A dare from a childhood friend and lack of formal training allowed John to develop his signature left handed finger picking style. By sixteen, he was playing professionally.

            In his early 20's, he moved to New York City where he began playing with Eileen Ivers, Winifred Horan and Seamus Egan. Ivers went on to record and perform with John Whelan. Egan, Horan and Doyle were joined by button accordion player John Williams and singer Karan Casey and formed the first Irish American super group, Solas. After four Solas albums, Doyle and Casey departed. (Williams had moved back to Chicago after the first album.)and began solo careers. Doyle was in great demand as and an accompanist and performed with Heidi Talbot, Tim O'Brien, Cathie Ryan, Brian Conway and others. For two year, 2009-2010, he was band leader for folk icon Joan Baez on her extended world tour.

            John is also a wonderful vocalist and talented interpreter of Irish traditional songs. With the passage of time, he's also revealed his genius as a singer -songwriter. His original songs prove difficult to pick out from the time tested traditional numbers with which they're interspersed on his solo albums. Finally, his ear for good music well performed, has put him in great demand as a producer for Irish and Irish-American musicians recording in America.

            John Doyle is a recognized pioneer of guitar accompaniment in Irish traditional music. His playing encompasses hard-driving strumming, inventive chord voices, precise single-note finger picking runs and powerful rhythmic effects that are reminiscent of classic Irish traditional instruments such as the bodhran and fiddle. The Irish Echo said "Whether playing in a band, as an accompanist or as a solo performer, John Doyle has a magical touch, always providing just what's needed at the moment; the right progression, a nimble melody or a delicate harmony line."

            In 2010, John recorded the album "Double Play" with renowned Irish-American fiddler Liz Carroll. The album was nominated for the "Best Traditional/World Music" Grammy. Later that year, he joined forces with former Solas band mate Karan Casey on the album "Exiles Return" which solidified his reputation as a world class interpreter of traditional songs.

            On his recently released solo album "Shadow and Light" he establishes himself as masterful composer as well! Eleven of the album's tracks are John Doyle originals, written in the folk idiom, a mesmerizing mixture of songs and tunes.

            I hope you'll make a point to come out to see John Doyle and Duncan Wickel in the Wilde Auditorium on Saturday November 12th at 7:30PM. You're sure to enjoy a generous introduction to John's new album as well as some older, classic material.

            You can only purchase tickets for the Celtic Airs/WWUH concerts from the University of Hartford box office, open Monday-Friday 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Call 1-800-274-8587 or 860-768-4228. On line purchases can be made at www.hartford.edu/hartt. Upcoming concerts include Goitse (Ireland) on 2/17/12, Cherish the Ladies 3/24/12 and Teada with Seamus Begley 5/4/12. Tickets for each show go on sale two months before the concert date.

            I look forward to my weekly opportunity to entertain and inform you on Tuesday mornings when Celtic Airs is broadcast 6:00- 9:00AM on WWUH, 91.3FM. Come enjoy a concert as well!









Steve Dieterich, Producer/Host of Celtic Airs and the Celtic Airs Concert Series

WWUH Classical Programming -

November and December 2011

Sunday Afternoon at the Opera... Sundays 1:00 - 4:30 pm

Evening Classics... Weekdays 4:00 to 7:00/ 8:00 pm

Drake's Village Brass Band... Mondays 7:00-8:00 pm







Host's choice



Tchaikovsky: Souvenir de Florence; Cipriano de Rore: Motets; Ludwig Thuille: Cello Sonata in D Minor; Stenhammer: Piano Concerto No.2 in D Minor



Scheidt: In Dulci Jubilo, Ludi Musici - Suite; Reutter: Overture a 6 in C; Browne: Songs; Ussachevsky: Two Sketches From a Computer Piece; Bellini: Opera Arias; Acker: Trio;

Classical Happy Hour Vivaldi: Concerto for 4 Violins and Cello in b Op 3 #10; M. Haydn: Symphony #6 in C P 4; Brentner: Concerti Op. 4 #4-6; Respighi: Pines of Rome



Happy Half-Century daron Aric Hagen



Verdi: Un Ballo in Maschera



Music for Alice (in Wonderland) ...by Fine; Elfman; Del Trecidi

and others

Drake's Village Brass Band - John Holt trumpet - Panapoly



Liszt: Festklänge; Eybler: String Quintet, Op. 6, #1;
Röntgen: Symphony #15; Bach, J.C.: Missa da Requiem



Joachim Raff: Symphony No. 1; Lotti: Credo; Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3; Clementi: Sonata in G Major



Couperin: Pièces de Clavecin (selections), Les Nations (selections); Beethoven: Triple Concerto in C Op. 56; Miaskovsky: Symphony #26 in C Op. 79; Collins: Piano Music; Schieferdecker: Concerts Musicaux - Premier Concert; Rabaud: Eclogue Op.7, Marouf Savatier du Caire: Danses; Morricone: Film Music



Music for the birds: A tribute to "Robert J."



Handel: Alcina



Jane's FavsHerrmann: Ghost and Mrs. Muir; Bolcom: Three Ghost Rags; Respighi: Ancient Airs and Dances; Harrison: Three Pieces for Gamelan and Soloist

Drake's Village Brass Band - Holst: Suites #1 & 2; Hammersmith: Hazell: Four Brass Cats



Lefèvre: Clarinet Quartet #6; Sibelius: En Saga;
Shostakovich: Piano Trio #2; Haydn: Mass #12, Theresienmesse



Franz Xaver Schwarenka: Piano Sonata No. 1; Salomon Jadassohn: Piano Concerto No. 2; Cristobal Morales: Missa L'Homme Arme; Weber:    Piano Sonata No. 4



Sinding: Violin Concerto No. 3; Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras No. 1; R. Strauss: Burleske for Piano and Orchestra; Ginastera: Cello Concerto No. 2; Vaughan Williams: Symphony No. 1 (A Sea Symphony); Shostakovich: Excerpts from The Golden Age Ballet; Schumann: Piano Quintet



A JFK Memorial - Bernstein's Kaddish and more



Schumann: Das Paradis und die Peri



De Zee/La Mer/ The Sea - Gilson: De Zee; Debussy: La Mer; Macdowell: Sea Pieces; Gibbs: Songs for a Mad Sea Captain; Marshall: Fog Tropes 1 & 2; Glass: Einstein on the Beach

Drake's Village Brass Band - M. Wagner: Trombone Concerto; Golland: Euphonium Concerto



Simpson: Symphony #11; Boccherini: Guitar Quintet #6 (Program ends at 6:15 - UH Women's basketball game)



Dvorak: Symphony No. 9, "From the New World"; Haydn: Scottish Songs; Federigo Fiorilo: Sinfonia Concertante; Ignaz Moscheles: Piano Concerto No. 7; Jan Carlstadt: String Quartet No. 5



Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite; Glinka: Russlan and Ludmilla Overture; Stavenhagen: Piano Concerto #1 in b Op. 4; Joplin: Piano Rags; Achron: Improvisation; Bergman: Unter Zeiten; Diemer: All Things Bright and Beautiful; Schnittke: Fugue for Solo Violin, Musica Nostalgica, Concerto for Piano and Strings; Ung: Grand Spiral; Machover: Flora; Meyer: Second Time Around.



Classical Conversations - a quarterly feature



Mozart: Die Zauberflote



Celluloid Seas - Herrmann: Beneath the 12 Mile Reef; Goldsmith: Islands in the Stream; Friedhofer: Boy on a Dolphin; Williams: Jaws

Drake's Village Brass Band - Sound the Bells, The Bay Brass



Music by Nino Rota (born 12/3/1911)



Mozart: Symphony No. 33; Erkki Melartin: Sleeping Beauty Suite; Rubbra: String Quartet No. 2; Guillaume Lekeu: Trois Poemes; Jean-Joseph de Mondonville: Sonatas




Padilla: Missa Ego Flos Campi; Miaskovsky: Symphony #27 in c Op. 85; Castil-Blaze: Sextet for Winds #1; Grondahl: Valse Caprice; Lange-Muller: Piano Trio in f Op. 53



In memory of Aaron Copland






The Desert - Reich: Desert Music; Fanelli: Romance of the Mummy; Grofe: Death Valley Suite; Glass: Anhaketn Suite

Drake's Village Brass Band - Trumpet Sounds Volume 1 with Michael Chunn trumpet



Host's Choice



Juan de Arriaga; Symphony; Franz Schreker: Songs; Gunnar de Frumerie: Suite for Woodwind Quintet; Glinka: Trio Pathetique



Frantisek Dusek: Sinfonia in G; Gallay: Grand Quartet for 4 Horns Op. 26; Sibelius: Five Pieces "The Trees" Op. 75, The Oceanides Op 73 - Yale Version, Symphony #7 in C Op 105; Ladmirault: Clarinet Sonata; Ponce: Sonatina Méridional; Sojo: Venezuelan Pieces for Guitar; Martinu: Double Concerto for Two String Orchestras Piano & Timpani; Vainberg: Violin Concerto in g Op 67.



Richard Rodgers: Victory at Sea - It's been 70 years



Humperdinck: Dornroschen; Krasa: Brundibar: Volpe: Lazy Andy Ant



Egyptian Mummies - Herrmann/ Newman: The Egyptian; Goldsmith: The Mummy (1999); Silvestri: The Mummy Returns (2001); Reisensetin: The Mummy (1959)

Drake's Village Brass Band - Trumpet Sounds, Volume 2 with Ned Gardener trumpet



Dvořák: String Quartet #13; Liszt: Héroïde funèbre;
Ries: Sonata in D, Op. 9, #1; Schubert - Mass #2 in G



Hanson: Symphony No. 2; Vorisek: Mass in B Flat Major; Rheinberger: Piano Concerto in A Flat; Jeanne Demessieux: Poeme for Organ



New Releases. A sampling of recent acquisitions to the WWUH library



Camille Saint-Saens: Carnival of the Animals and more



Nielsen: Aladdin; Menotti: Amahl and the Night Visitors



Koechlin: Songs with Orchestra; Liszt: Prometheus; Mahler: Symphony #5

Drake's Village Brass Band - United States Air Force Band...Innovations



Nielsen: Symphony #4; Françaix: String Quartet;
White: Violin Concerto; Cherubini: Messe Solennelle



Scarlatti: Keyboard Sonatas; Heinrich Isaac: Motets for Emperor Maximilian; Schubert: Piano Sonata in G Major; Ferdinando Carulli: Trio Concertante 



Abel: Symphony in E Op. 10 #1; Bottesini: Double Bass Concerto #2 in b; Carreno: String Quartet in b; Puccini: Opera Arias; Franz Schmidt: Concertante Variations on a Theme of Beethoven; Varese: Density 21.5; Taylor: Through the Looking Glass - The White Knight; Bush: Three Concert Studies Op 31; Kurka: Music for Orchestra Op. 11; Edwards: Marimba Dances; Kapilow: What Makes It Great? - Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik; Leisner: Mirage



Music of the Season



Haydn: Die Schopfung



Shore: Lord of the Rings Symphony

Drake's Village Brass Band - Baroque Brass



Classical Music for the Holiday Season



Henryk Wieniawski: Violin Concerto No. 2; Thomas Crequillon: Missa Mort M'a Prive; Johann Schroeter: Concerto III, No. 6; Moniuszko: Overtures; Fuchs: Cello Concerto No. 2



Comedia dell'arte. Music by Lully, Matteis, Schmelzer, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Leoncavallo, Milhaud, Bantock, Stravinsky, Broughton, Reger, Schoenberg, Mozart, Beach, and Vallet



Tomorrow is New Year's Eve


Blue Monday

9 PM to midnight

hosted by Bart Bozzi


Tune in to Blue Monday during November and December for the following features:

Featured Artist




November 7                 David "Honeyboy" Edwards

November 14               Magic Slim

November 21               Sean Costello

November 28               Shemekia Copeland

December 5                 North Mississippi Allstars

December 12               Michael Bloomfield

December 19               Christmas Blues

December 26               Muddy Waters



Back to the Roots



November 7                 Rhythm & Blues

November 14               Boogie Woogie

November 21               Texas Blues

November 28               Jump Blues

December 5                 Delta Blues

December 12               Kansas City Blues

December 19               Christmas Blues

December 26               New Orleans Blues


Tune in as we also go back in my blues history, featuring a cut I aired 20 and 10 years ago on my weekly blues shows previously aired on Overnight Blues and Blue Monday.


Join us as we explore the diverse and interesting world of "the blues" every Monday night at 9 PM on WWUH's long running blues show, "Blue Monday."
WWUH Scholarship Fund
  In 2003 WWUH alums Steve Berian, Charles Horwitz and Clark Smidt helped create the WWUH Scholarship Fund to provide an annual grant to a UH student who is either on the station's volunteer Executive Committee or who is in a similar leadership position at the station. The grant amount each year will be one half of the revenue of the preceeding year.     
   To make a tax deductable donation either send a check to:
WWUH Scholarship Fund
c/o John Ramsey
Univ. of Hartford
200 Bloomfield Ave.
W. Hartford, CT 06117
Or call John at 860-768-4703 to arrange for a one-time or on-going donation via charge card.
  If you would like more information please contact us at wwuh@hartford.edu.

 Do you like live music?  

Well..we have live music!




A Listener Supported Community Service of the University of Hartford - Information call: 860-768-4703


DATE                   PERFORMER                        VENUE                    TIME                                                   




November 12            John Doyle w/ Duncan Wickel Wilde               7:30 pm

Feb 12, 2012             Goitse (from Ireland)           Wilde                  7:30 pm

March 24, 2012          Cherish the Ladies              Millard                 7:30 pm

May 4, 2012              Teada w/ Seamus Begley     Wilde                  7: 30 pm


  *Cosponsored with Music for a Change


Shows are added all the time, check wwuh.org for up to date information.

Doors open 30 minutes prior to show time.  UH student ticket price for most shows: $10.

All shows in Wilde are general admission; Millard & Lincoln seats are reserved. 

Automated campus direction line: 860-768-7878

Tickets, if available, are placed on sale at the venue one hour before show time the night of the show.

Tickets for all shows are available from the University Box Office:

860-768-4228 or 1-800-274-8587

Thursday Evening Classics

Composer Birthdays

November and December 2011 

Presented by Steve Petke


November 3

1587 Samuel Scheidt

1656 Georg Reutter I

1689 Johann Joseph Ignaz Brentner

1753 Friedrich Christoph Gestewitz

1780 Victor-Charles-Paul Dourlen

1781 Johann Ernst Friedrich Wollank

1801 Vincenzo Bellini

1815 Adrien Louis Victor Boieldieu

1867 Siegfried Garibaldi Kallenberg

1875 Emils Darzins

1880 Raffaele Casimiro Casimiri

1888 William Charles Denis Browne

1890 Octavio Pinto

1904 Gideon Fagan

1904 Janis Kalnins

1911 Vladimir Ussachevsky

1914 Hallgrimur Helgason

1918 Pandit Pran Nath

1933 John Barry

1940 Dieter Acker


Vincenzo Bellini

Birth: November 3, 1801 in Catania, Sicily

Death: September 23, 1835 in Puteaux, France

Bellini was one of the most important composers of Italian opera in the early 19th century. His father and grandfather were both musicians. Bellini entered the Royal College of Music of San Sebastiano, now the Naples Conservatory, in 1819. Although he began in elementary classes, he progressed rapidly and was granted free tuition by 1820. Bellini's first opera, Adelson e Salvini, was chosen to be performed by the conservatory's students. Shortly thereafter, Domenico Barbaja of the San Carlo Opera offered Bellini his first commission for an opera, which resulted in Bianca e Gernando. That was followed by a second commission, and led to a long-term collaboration between Bellini and librettist Felice Romani. The premiere of Il pirata, a romantic tragedy, at La Scala, Milan, established Bellini as an internationally acclaimed opera composer. Critics drew attention to the expressiveness of the melodies, the absence of conventional vocal pyrotechnics, and the importance given to the recitatives. As Bellini gained experience and recognition, he cultivated a practice that stressed quality instead of quantity. He composed fewer operas, for which he commanded higher prices. An exception was Zaira, written hurriedly with Romani for the inauguration of the Teatro Ducale at Parma. He recovered, though, with I Capuleti e i Montecchi (based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet) in 1830. The year 1831 proved most successful for Bellini as two of his most famous operas, La sonnambula and Norma, were produced. Both operas had the great Giuditta Pasta in the title role. After a dispute with Romani, Bellini spent the summer of 1833 in London directing performances of his operas. He then moved to Paris, where he composed and produced his last opera, I puritani. Unlike Bellini's previous two operas, I puritani was an immediate and lasting success. Future plans included more operas with Romani, with whom he was now reconciled. But, at the height of his career and only 33 years old, Bellini died of a chronic intestinal ailment, in a small town near Paris. Although he embodied much of the Italian operatic tradition, Bellini made a greater impact outside his country than any of his compatriots, with the possible exception of Rossini. Wagner, Schumann, Berlioz, and Tchaikovsky all paid him tribute and his influence on Chopin is evident. He was admired not so much for his operas in their entirety as for his melodies. His flowing, exquisitely sculpted vocal lines represent the epitome of the bel canto style and helped to give a new direction to the that tradition, towards greater naturalism of expression.



November 10

1483 Martin Luther

1636 Francesco Passarini

1668 Francois Couperin

1679 Johann Christian Schieferdecker

1694 Jean-Laurent Krafft

1704 Carlo Zuccari

1719 Georg Philipp Kress

1772 Jan Nepomuk Kanka

1786 Carl Eberwein

1811 Louis Kufferath

1833 Dobri Voynikov

1843 Gialdino Gialdini

1846 Paul Kuczynski

1864 Alexandre Levy

1873 Henri Benjamin Rabaud

1883 Bedrich Antonin Wiedermann

1889 Edward Joseph Collins

1902 Antonio Maria Valencia

1912 Salvador Contreras-Sánchez

1916 Guido Turchi

1928 Ennio Morricone

1931 Toma Prosev

1938 Jan Vriend

1956 Frederick Naftel


Francois Couperin

Birth: November 10, 1668 in Paris, France

Death: September 11, 1733 in Paris, France

François Couperin was the most distinguished member of the famous Couperin family and was one of the leading composers of the French Baroque era. He became known as 'Couperin le Grand' because of his proficiency as an organist. He is best known for his harpsichord works, all of which are found in the collection of some 230 pieces in four books entitled Pièces de clavecin. His music showed the influence of Lully and incorporated elements from the Italian school. Moreover, he successfully integrated the French and Italian styles in his Les goût réunis ou nouveaux concerts, a collection of chamber compositions for unspecified instruments. Many of his works were lost, as none of his original manuscripts has survived. His father, Charles, was an organist, and young François' early musical training came from him. Only child François and his mother were reasonably well cared for following Charles' premature death, in part because of the kindness of Jacques Thomelin, organist at Saint-Jacques de la Boucherie, who looked after the young boy and instructed him in music. Couperin became the organist at Saint-Gervais at age 17, holding that post until his death. In 1689, he married Marie-Anne Ansault, daughter of a wine merchant who had many relatives in other business endeavors. The following year, he published his so-called "organ masses," known as Pièces d'orgue, comprising two masses and several smaller pieces. It was around this time that the composer came under the influence of the Italian school, particularly Corelli. He introduced into France the Italian trio sonata form. In December 1693, Couperin was appointed organist at the Royal Chapel by King Louis XIV, sharing the post with Buterne, Nivers, and Lebègue, and performing his duties only in the first quarter of each year. On almost every Sunday, Couperin and colleagues gave chamber concerts for the king, for which he composed what he called 'Concerts'. He maintained his position at Saint-Gervais for the other three-quarters of the year. He also taught the Duke of Burgundy on harpsichord and six other princes and princesses. The composer would later write an important treatise on playing the harpsichord entitled, L'Art de toucher le clavecin, containing instructions for fingering, methods of touch, and execution of ornamentation in performing. This had strong influence on Bach. Beginning around 1697, he wrote a series of motets for the Royal Chapel, completed in 1702. In the early part of the 18th century, Couperin began composing a large number of works for the harpsichord, which would appear in the Premier Livre fromthe Pièces de clavecin in 1713. The Second Book was published in 1717, and the final two came in 1722 and 1730. There is evidence that Couperin also found time for concerts in the early part of the 18th century in Versailles and surrounding areas. Little is known about Couperin's life from about 1700 onward. There is record of his renting a country home in 1710 at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, confirming the view he was financially secure. In 1719, Couperin became harpsichordist to King Louis XV. By this time, he was recognized as the leading composer in France and the greatest exponent of organ and harpsichord teaching as well.



November 17

1787 Michele Carafa

1837 Willem Coenen

1891 Guido Pannain

1892 Max Deutsch

1898 Maurice Journeau

1901 Raymond Chevreuille

1903 Joseph Kaminski

1919 Hershy Kay

1930 David Amram

1938 Alvaro Leon Cassuto

1948 David Frederick Golightly

1952 Gerhard Fischer-Münster


November 24

1862 Bernhard Stavenhagen

1868 Scott Joplin

1892 Isidor Achron

1900 Cor Kee

1911 Erik Bergman

1927 Emma Lou Diemer

1934 Alfred Schnittke

1940 Wendell Logan

1942 Chinary Ung

1953 Tod Machover

1958 Luigi Verdi

1960 Edgar Meyer

1971 Seth Boustead


Alfred Schnittke

Birth: November 24, 1934 in Engels, Russia

Death: August 3, 1998 in Hamburg, Germany

Schnittke was the son of German-Jewish parents. From 1946 - 1948 his family lived in Vienna, where he took his first music lessons, an introduction to the great Austro-German musical tradition. He returned to Moscow to attend the Conservatory from 1953- 1958. During his student days, Shostakovich and Mahler were his chief influences. During the 1960s, however, the scores of Schoenberg and Stravinsky became available, and Schnittke made a careful study of serial technique. He returned to the Moscow Conservatory to teach instrumentation from 1962 - 1972. Thereafter he split his time between Moscow and Hamburg and supported himself as a film composer. Schnittke could have decided to become an officially sanctioned Soviet composer, but his pivotal meeting with Luigi Nono in 1963 and his ensuing study of the Western avant-garde led him to turn his back on any prospects of a secure career. Because of the fluency in many styles required for film scores, he changed his approach to concert works, as he explained in his essay Polystylistic Tendencies in Modern Music. This 'polystylism' was soon demonstrated in a major work, his First Symphony, which includes pastiches of Bach and of Soviet march music and quotations from Beethoven, Chopin, and Grieg, and also calls for jazz improvisation in one section and collective free improvisation in another. Despite the criticism of Soviet authorities, Schnittke's fame gradually spread, and from the early 1980s his name became established in the West. In 1985 Schnittke suffered a stroke, but his productivity continued. He completed several important stage works, among them the ballet Peer Gynt and the operas Life with an Idiot, Gesualdo, and Historia von D. Johann Fausten, all of which were first performed outside Russia. From 1990 until his death in 1998, he lived exclusively in Hamburg. His second stroke, in 1998, was fatal. Schnittke composed 9 symphonies, 6 concerti grossi, 4 violin concertos, 2 cello concertos, concertos for piano and a triple concerto for violin, viola and cello, 4 string quartets, ballet scores, choral and vocal works. A Christian mystic, Schnittke had philosophical theories that permeated his music. According to his biographer Alexander Ivashkin, he believed a composer "should be a medium or a sensor remembering what he hears from somewhere else and whose mind acts as a translator only. Music comes from some sort of divine rather than human area."



December 1

1605 Juan de Padilla

1709 Franz Xaver Richter

1712 Bernhard Christian Weber

1724 Dismas Hatas

1729 Giuseppe Sarti

1779 Pyotr Ivanovich Turchaninov

1781 Charles Philippe Lafont

1784 Francois Henri Joseph Castil-Blaze

1810 Joseph Gungl

1814 August Rockel

1823 Ernest Reyer

1844 Alfred Cellier

1847 Agathe Backer Grondahl

1850 Peter Erasmus Lange-Muller

1874 Dominicus Johner (Franz-Xaver Karl)

1885 Guy de Lioncourt

1896 Petko Staynov

1901 Dorothy James

1908 Georgios Kasassoglou

1925 Jaime Mendoza-Nava

1927 Grant Beglarian

1929 Leon Biriotti

1937 Gordon Crosse


December 8

1731 Frantisek Xaver Dusek

1737 Robert Kimmerling

1789 John Fawcett

1795 Jacques Francois Gallay

1811 Louis Alexander Balthasar Schindelmeisser

1865 Jean Sibelius

1877 Paul Emile Ladmirault

1882 Manuel Maria Ponce

1887 Vicente Emilio Sojo

1890 Bohuslav Martinu

1897 Leslie Heward

1905 Charles Cushing

1905 Ernst Hermann Meyer

1907 Tony Aubin

1919 Moisei Vainberg

1931 Rudolf Komorous

1946 John Rubinstein


Jean Sibelius

Birth: December 8, 1865 in Hämeenlinna, Finland

Death: September 20, 1957 in Järvenpää, Finland

Sibelius was the second of three children. His physician father left the family bankrupt, owing to his reckless spending, a trait that, along with heavy drinking, he would pass on to Jean. Jean showed talent on the violin and at age 9 composed his first work for it. Although he would come to exemplify Finnish nationalism, Sibelius spoke no Finnish until he was about 8 years old. When he was 11 his mother enrolled him in the first grammar school in the country to adopt Finnish as the teaching language instead of Swedish and Latin. Contact with Finnish opened up to him the whole universe of national mythology embodied in the Kalevala. His imagination was stirred by this, as it was by the great Swedish lyric poets J. L. Runeberg and Viktor Rydberg and, above all, by the Finnish landscape with its forests and lakes. In 1885 Sibelius entered the University of Helsinki to study law, but after only a year found himself drawn back to music. He took up composition and violin and became a close friend of Busoni. Though Sibelius auditioned for the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, he was not suited to a career as a violinist. In 1889 Sibelius traveled to Berlin to study counterpoint, where he also was exposed to new music, particularly that of Richard Strauss. In Vienna he studied with Karl Goldmark and then Robert Fuchs, the latter said to be his most effective teacher. It was during this time that Sibelius began contemplating the creation of the Kullervo Symphony, based on the Kalevala legends. Sibelius returned to Finland, taught music, and in June 1892, married Aino Järnefelt, daughter of General Alexander Järnefelt, head of one of the most influential families in Finland. The premiere of Kullervo in April 1893 created an absolute sensation and made Sibelius the foremost Finnish composer. The music that followed was also strongly national in feeling, the Karelia Suite, written for a pageant in Viipuri in 1893. So, too, was Finlandia, written six years later for another pageant portraying the history of Finland, which became a rallying-point for national sentiment at a time when Russia was tightening its grip on the country. The Lemminkäinen suite, begun in 1895 and premiered in 1896, has come to be regarded as the most important music by Sibelius up to that time. In 1897 the Finnish Senate voted to pay Sibelius a short-term pension, which some years later became a lifetime grant. The honor was in lieu of his loss of an important professorship in composition at the music school, the position going to Robert Kajanus. Sibelius' First Symphony premiered in 1899 as a tremendous success, but not quite of the magnitude of that of Finlandia. In the next decade Sibelius would become an international figure in the concert world. Kajanus introduced several of the composer's works abroad and Sibelius himself was invited to Heidelberg and Berlin to conduct his music. In March 1901, the Second Symphony was received as a statement of independence for Finland, although Sibelius always discouraged attaching programmatic ideas to his music. His only concerto, for violin, came in 1903. The next year Sibelius built a villa outside of Helsinki, named "Ainola" after his wife, where he would live for his remaining 53 years. Sibelius' early compositions show the influence of the Viennese Classics, Grieg, and Tchaikovsky. The Third Symphony, however, brought a change. While others pursued more lavish orchestral means and more vivid colorings, his style became more classical, more disciplined and economical. As he himself put it, 'while others mix cocktails of various hues, I offer pure spring water'. In 1909 he underwent specialist treatment in Helsinki and Berlin for suspected throat cancer. The specter of illness seemed to contribute to the austerity, depth, and focus of such works as the Fourth Symphony and The Bard. For tautness and concentration the Fourth Symphony surpassed all that had gone before. It baffled its first audiences and was declared ultra-modern. In Sweden it was actually hissed. Elsewhere, Sibelius's reputation continued to grow. Sibelius made frequent trips to England, and in 1914 he traveled to Norfolk, CT, where he conducted his newest work The Oceanides. Sibelius spent the war years in Finland working on his Fifth Symphony. Sibelius traveled to England for the last time in 1921. For more than 30 years after the completion of his four last great works-the Sixth and Seventh Symphonies, music for The Tempest, and Tapiola-Sibelius lived in retirement at Järvenpää, maintaining virtual silence until his death in 1957. Sibelius was unquestionably the greatest composer Finland has ever produced and the most significant symphonist to have emerged from Scandinavia. Sibelius' achievement in Finland is all the more remarkable in the absence of any essential indigenous musical tradition. Each of his symphonies is entirely fresh in its approach to structure, and it is impossible to foresee from the vantage point of any one the character of the next. He is able to establish within a few seconds a sound world that is entirely his own.



Bohuslav Martinu

Birth: December 8, 1890 in Policka, Czechoslovakia

Death: August 28, 1959 in Liestal, Switzerland

Martinu began violin lessons at age 7 and he gave his first recital when he was 15. By age 10 he had written his first compositions, including songs, piano music, symphonic poems, string quartets, and ballets. In 1906, he entered Prague Conservatory, but reading and the theater diverted Martinu from his studies, and he was finally expelled for "incorrigible negligence" in 1910. However, he continued composing. Exempted, as a teacher, from military service, Martinu produced many works during World War I. He earned his living by giving lessons and by playing in the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Although his Czech Rhapsody and two ballets, Istar and Who is the Most Powerful in the World?, garnered attention, Martinu felt the need for additional training. Returning to the Conservatory, he studied composition with Josef Suk, and later in Paris with Albert Roussel, whose muscular, rhythmically vigorous music eventually influenced Martinu's own. Martinu's music was well received in postwar Paris. Like many of his contemporaries, Martinu absorbed the influence of jazz, as evidenced in such works as the ballet La revue de cuisine, and the one-act opera Les larmes du couteau (The Tears of the Knife). In 1930, Martinu's continual desire to learn more led him to the music of Corelli, Vivaldi, and Bach, signaling a new regard for rhythmic continuity and contrapuntal technique. Following the resounding success of his opera Juliette in Prague in 1938, World War II forced Martinu to flee his adopted home of Paris. After spending 9 miserable months in the south of France, the composer and his wife made their way to Spain, and then to America, in the early months of 1941. For the duration of the war, Martinu lived in various cities in the Eastern U.S., surviving on commissions and producing five symphonies by 1946. Though Martinu had planned to return to Czechoslovakia after the war, injuries and health issues prevented him from traveling. After Czechoslovakia fell to the communists in 1949, it gradually became clear to Martinu that he was no longer welcome in his native land, a source of great distress to him. He eventually regained his health, however, producing such works as the Sixth Symphony, two operas for television, and many chamber compositions. Martinu became an American citizen, but spent much time in Europe. In 1953 - 1955 he was based in Nice and in 1955 - 1956 he was teaching at the American Academy in Rome. After a final New York sojourn he took up residence as the guest of Paul Sacher in Liestal, Switzerland, where he died in 1959. Martinu wrote in virtually every genre. Harry Halbreich's catalog of Martinu's music, to which the composer did not assign opus numbers, lists nearly 400 compositions. While he admired Dvorak and Janacek, the major influences on his music were English madrigals, Debussy, Stravinsky, jazz, and composers of the Baroque era.



December 15

1534 Lucas Osiander

1567 Christoph Demantius

1657 Michel-Richard Delalande

1667 Ernst Ludwig, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt

1803 August Freyer

1812 Isidor Dannstrom

1821 Auguste Emmanuel Vaucorbeil

1822 Edward Stephen Jones

1823 Friedrich Gottlieb Schwencke

1830 Francesco D'arcais

1842 Henry Robert Gadsby

1857 Eugeniusz Pankiewicz

1873 Pongrac Kacsoh

1892 David Guion

1892 Jose Maria Castro

1898 Fernando Remacha

1905 Ferenc Farkas

1932 Elaine Barkin

1932 Igor Stuhec

1939 Nicolaus A Huber

1961 Matthew H. Fields


December 22

1723 Carl Friedrich Abel

1819 Franz Abt

1821 Giovanni Bottesini

1846 Andreas Hallén

1853 Maria Teresa Carreno

1858 Giacomo Puccini

1874 Franz Schmidt

1883 Edgard Varese

1885 Deems Taylor

1900 Alan Dudley Bush

1921 Dimitri Fampas

1921 Robert Kurka

1943 Ross Edwards

1952 Robert Kapilow

1953 David Leisner

1960 Nathan Currier


Giacomo Puccini

Birth: December 22, 1858 in Lucca, Italy

Death: November 29, 1924 in Brussels, Belgium

Apart from Verdi, Puccini was the most important composer of Italian opera. He wrote in the verismo style, a trend that featured subjects and characters from everyday life for opera. Around these often mundane settings Puccini wrapped unforgettable melodies and lush orchestration.

Puccini came from a long line of musicians who had lived in Lucca since the early 18th century. His father, Michele, was organist and choirmaster of the Cathedral of San Martino, director of the city's music school, and a prolific if unremarkable composer. Although he died in 1864, his widow, Albina, made sure that Giacomo continued the family's musical tradition. He took organ lessons from an uncle. At 10, he sang in local church choirs and by age 14 was freelancing as an organist at religious services. His first compositions were for organ, often incorporating operatic and folk elements. By age 18, under the spell of Verdi's Aida, he decided he would study composition with a goal of writing opera. At around this time, he composed his first large-scale work, Preludio Sinfonico, for an 1877 competition. He was enrolled in the Istituto Pacini, where his graduation piece was his Messa di Gloria. A grant from Queen Margherita combined with a generous subsidy from a wealthy cousin enabled him to continue training at the Milan Conservatory, where he studied for three years under Ponchielli and Bazzini. By the time he left he had written his first opera, Le villi, which he once more entered in a competition. Though he did not win, Arrigo Boito and, more importantly, the publisher Giulio Ricordi helped arrange a premiere in Milan. The work was enthusiastically received. Around this time the composer met Elvira Gemignani, wife of a merchant in Lucca. They carried on an illicit affair, and she gave birth to his son in 1886. When her husband died in 1904, the two were married. Puccini's next opera, Edgar, was poorly received at its 1889 premiere. His next work, however, Manon Lescaut, was a sensational success at its 1893 Turin premiere. Subsequent performances in Italy and abroad bolstered the composer's growing reputation. Financially secure, he settled at Torre del Lago, where he built his own villa (now the Villa Puccini), where he could work undisturbed. Puccini's next three operas confirmed his supremacy in Italian opera. La Bohème, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly were not as immediately successful as Manon Lescaut, but in time achieved even greater acclaim. From the middle of the 20th century until today they became his most often performed and recorded works. It was not until the next decade, however, that he created his next opera, the modestly successful La fanciulla del West, which premiered in New York with Toscanini conducting and Caruso singing the role of Johnson. His procrastination owed much to charges by his wife that he was having an affair with a servant girl, charges that drove the hapless and innocent young girl to suicide in 1909. In 1913, Puccini accepted a lucrative commission from a Viennese group, which resulted in La rondine. Received warmly at its 1917 Monte Carlo premiere, it faded under the opinion it was the least of his operatic efforts. Puccini followed this setback with his trilogy of one-act operas, Il trittico - comprised of Il tabarro, Suor Angelica, and Gianni Schicchi - all premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1918. While Puccini was working on his last opera, Turandot, he was diagnosed with throat cancer. During radiation treatment in Brussels, he suffered a heart attack and died.



Edgard Varese

Birth: December 22, 1883 in Paris, France

Death: November 6, 1965 in New York, NY

Varese spent his early childhood in Paris and Burgundy. His father wanted him to study math and engineering in preparation for a career in business. However, Varèse pursued music, studying at the Schola Cantorum with Albert Roussel and Vincent d'Indy and at the Paris Conservatoire with Charles Marie Widor. Between 1908 - 1915, he divided his time between Paris - where he got to know Debussy, Satie, Guillaume Apollinaire, and Jean Cocteau - and Berlin, where he became acquainted with Busoni, Strauss, and the music of Schoenberg. Unable to find regular work, Varèse moved to the United States in 1915, becoming a U.S. citizen in 1926. With the exception of a single song, Un grand sommeil noir, all the music Varèse wrote before his emigration has been lost. His output effectively begins with Amériques, scored for an enormous orchestra and celebrating not only a new homeland but also new worlds of the imagination. Though influenced by Debussy, Stravinsky, and Schoenberg, the work is original in its perpetually evolving form, its rhythmic complexity, and its massive eruptions of sound. It is also marked by Varèse's love for the speed and sounds of modern city life. In all these respects Amériques contained the seeds for the more polished works that followed: Hyperprism and Intégrales both for a small orchestra of wind and percussion, Octandre for seven wind and double bass, Arcana for orchestra, and Ionisation for 13 percussionists. His feeling for the primitive and magical is uppermost in Ecuatorial, setting a Mayan curse for bass voice and small orchestra. In addition to composing, Varèse promoted new music through the establishment of his New Symphony Orchestra in 1919, the International Composers' Guild in 1921, and the Pan American Society in 1926. He continued to have difficulty making money, though, and spent some time as a piano salesman. He also made a brief appearance in a 1918 John Barrymore film. Varèse maintained his connection with Europe, and had an extended stay in Paris between 1928 - 1933 during which he continued his sonic explorations and heard many of his works performed. Back in New York, Varèse advocated for new electronic means as necessary to the music of the future. The anonymous gift of an Ampex tape recorder in 1953 was the motivation Varese needed and the result was heard in Déserts and Poème électronique. Varèse and his music received much attention in the 1960s. His works were widely performed, recorded and published, and he received honors from the National Institute of Arts and Letters and the Royal Swedish Academy. He also won the first Koussevitzky International Recording Award in 1963. Despite his output of only slightly more than a dozen compositions, Varèse is regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. His concept of "organized sound" led to many experiments in form and texture. He was constantly searching for new sound sources - working throughout his life with engineers, scientists and instrument builders - and was one of the first to extensively explore percussion, electronics, and taped sounds.



December 29

1850 Tomas Breton

1865 Eleodoro Ortiz de Zarate

1876 Pablo Casals

1898 Jules Bledsoe

1912 Peggy Glanville Hicks

1938 Bart Berman


Sunday Afternoon at the Opera

Your Lyric Theater Program

With Keith Brown

Programming Selections for

November and December 2011 









SUNDAY November 6th: Verdi, Un Ballo in Maschera. It was only a year ago that I broadcast one of four old LP sets of this opera that had been gathering dust in our station's record library. The one I chose for broadcast then was the most recent of them, from 1975, an EMI/Angel stereo recording with Riccardo Muti conducting and superstar tenor Placido Domingo cast in the leading rôle of Riccardo. (I previously broadcast these same Angel LP's back in 1989.) Now along comes another vintage recording of "A Masked Ball" in Sony Classical's new series of CD releases from the audio archives of the Metropolitan Opera. This one is in passable monaural sound and preserves a live performance at the Met on December 10, 1955. Dimitri Mitropoulos conducts the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus. The Met's resident American tenor Jan Peerce was Ricciardo. The rest of the cast consists of historic names in the mid-twentieth century opera scene: bass Giorgio Tozzi as Samuel, mezzo Roberta Peters in the breeches rôle of Oscar, tenor Roberdt Merrill as Renato, soprano Zinka Milanov as Amelia and Marian Anderson as Ulrica. Un Ballo in Maschera (1859), although it came along at a time when the composer was at the height of his powers, can't be counted among his best operas. Not that the musical content isn't up to Verdi's high standards. The opera suffers from a mutilated libretto. It would otherwise have been suitable if the censors in Naples hadn't forced some ridiculous changes on it. "A Masked Ball" should have been set in Europe, in Sweden actually, in the year 1791 when the Swedish monarch Gustavus III was assassinated at a costume ball. To please the censors the scene was shifted to New England - to Boston, to be exact. Curiously, there's an element of humor in this opera that's absent in so many other of Verdi's works.


Sunday November 13th: Handel, Alcina. Over the past couple of decades all of Handel's Italian opera serie have been recorded musically complete and in historically informed interpretations. Only last month I aired Ariodante (1735) on Virgin Classics CDs, with Alan Curtis leading the period instrument ensemble Il Complesso Barocco. Curtis leads the same group of players in Alcina (1735), another in a series of operas Handel wrote for John Rich's new theater at Covent Garden. Ariodante was new to this radio program, but Alcina I have broadcast once before, on Sunday, February 5, 1989 on London LPs. It had been revived on the Covent Garden stage in 1962 with the late great diva Joan Sutherland in the title rôle.In Ariosto's epic poem Orlando Furioso Alcina is a sorceress and queen of an enchanted island. Like Circe in Greek myth she beguiled men with her amorous charms, only to turn them into beasts. Alcina confronts the noble knight Ruggiero, who is shipwrecked on her shores. Ruggiero manages to overcome his infatuation with Alcina. He smashes the great urn wherein in her magical powers reside. As in his recording of Ario dante, Curtis's star singer is mezzo Joyce Didonato. All of Curtis' recordings of Handel operas have been much praised. Writing in Fanfare magazine (Jan/Feb, 2010 issue) Ron Salemi says "... Curtis has assembled an outstanding group of singers. There is no weak element in his cast, and all make a strong and positive impression, equal or superior to others who have recorded this opera... Joyce Didonato sings Alcina's music with sensitivity to the rôle and great technique, along with the beauty of voice." Alcina was issued in 2009 on three Deutsche Grammophon/Archiv compact discs.


Sunday November 20th: Schumann, Das Paradis und die Peri. A reading of an oriental tale in German language translation, derived from Thomas Moore's "Lalla Rookh," inspired Robert Schumann to write his oratorio Das Paradis und die Peri (1843). The Parisian Angel Peri is exiled from heaven and is refused readmittance to the celestial realm until she offers up the repentant tears of a mortal woman. The composer's debut as a conductor came at the premiere of Peri at Leipzig. The composition of this work was progressive for its time in that it was breaking away from the tradition of numbers (ie. separate arias and choruses) and moving in the direction of a continuous stream of music for voices and orchestra. Schumann and Wagner were both struggling towards this new kind of construction. Schumann was already a prolific composer of lieder. He incorporated the style of the German art song into his oratorio. Das Paradis und die Peri was recorded in 1994 with Giuseppe Sinopoli conducting the orchestra of the Staatwsapelle Dresden and the chorus of the Staatsoper Dresden, with seven vocal soloists. The recording was originally released in 1995 through Deutsche Grammophon. The Dutch label Brilliant Classics has reissued it on two compact discs.

At any other time of year I would've followed broadcast of a Schumann oratorio with Schumann liederor other vocal music of the German Romantic. This Sunday's programming turns now towards the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday with a brand-new Hyperion CD Beyond All Mortal Dreams, a compilation of American religious choral music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, all of it in a cappella form, some of it sung in Latin verse as well as English language texts. The singers here are British, not American: The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, directed by Stephen Layton. This is an assemblage of mixed men's and women's voices, not an Anglican boy choir with lower male voices supporting them. All of the music they sing comes from composers associated with the American Episcopal/Anglican tradition.

Then we turn to a brand new Harmonia Mundi CD release Rose of Sharon: 100 years of American music from the Revolutionary war to the Civil War (1770 - 1870). This time a group of eight singers and instrumentalists, the Ensemble Phoenix Munich pay tribute to a variety of homegrown American musical styles: foremost, works by William Billings, the father of American choral music, also shape note chorales, Shaker spiritual and assorted revival meeting tunes, interspersed with instrumental dance tunes and marches. Bass Joel Fredrickson sings and also directs his colleagues.

Sunday November 27th: Mozart, Die Zauberflöte. Early music specialist Rene Jacobs has come out with historically informed interpretations of Mozart's operas which have opened our ears anew to the beauty of this immortal music. I have broadcast Jacobs' much lauded interpretations as released for the Harmonia Mundi label. First came Le Nozze di Figaro in 2004, followed by La Clemenza di Tito in 2007 and Don Giovanni in 2009. Mozart's singspiel Die Zauberflöte ("The Magic Flute," 1791) came out on three HM CDs in 2010. Jacobs directs the period instrumentalists of the Akademie für Aite Musik Berlin and the RIAS Chamber Chorus. Jacobs himself wrote a lengthy essay about his interpretation for the CD booklet. Contrary to what musicologists may have told you previously, Mozart the composer and Schikaneder the librettist, Jacobs insists, knew exactly what they were doing in all details of their allegorical Masonic music drama. Jacobs conceived the opera in the recording studio as a Hörspiel or radio play, or maybe a movie soundtrack. Almost all of Schikaneder's original stageplay dialogue is retained. Jacob asserts from a fortepiano accompanied much of the spoken word passages, often improvising upon the tunes of the sung aria numbers. This is the way audiences would have experienced "The Magic Flute" at Vienna's Theater auf der Wieden in 1791. Writing for Fanfare magazine (Jan/Feb, '11) reviewer Paul Orgel praised Jacobs' work. "I find some of Jacobs' more audacious additions to be very enjoyable and true to the spirit of Mozart and Schikaneder... The greatest pleasure of this sonically vivid recording is the splendid orchestral playing... I believe Harmonia Mundi's important series of Mozart operas will endure..."


Sunday December 4th: PREEMPTED


Sunday December 11th: Humperdinck, Dornröschen, Krasa, Brundibar, Volpe Lazy Andy Ant.People say that the Christmas season is meant for children: it's their own special joyous time. Fairy tales are said to be stories meant for children, so on this pre-Christmas Sunday in Advent I presented operatic fairytale by Engelbert Humperdinck (1854 - 1921). No, not the famous one Hänsel und Gretel (1890 - 93). I have broadcast that one twice before in December of 1997 and 2007. There's another one Königskinder ("The King's Children") that premiered in New York in 1910. That one I featured way back on Sunday, December 21, 1986 on German EMI Odeon LPs. There's a brand-new release through the German cpo label of Humperdinck's Dornröschen ("Sleeping Beauty," 1902): a world premiere recording on two compact discs. The same musical resources drawn upon for the Königskinderrecording in 1977 are employed in "Sleeping Beauty": the Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus of Bavarian Radio. Back in '77 they were directed by Heinz Wallberg. Ulf Schirmer wields the baton in a live performance of Dornröschen that went over the air on Bavarian Radio on December 14, 2008. The distinguished mezzo Brigitte Fassbaender gets top billing in the cast, even though she doesn't sing. She speaks the rôle of Daemonia, the Wicked Fairy, and puts in a very effective portrayal.

Humperdinck's opera runs for only 90 minutes, giving the opportunity to air two other small-scale children's operas. One of them is Brundibar (1939), the children's opera from the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Czech composer Hans Krasa (1899 - 1944) wrote it for a competition and he won the prize. Brundibar was performed first in an orphanage in Prague, but after orphans and composers were shipped off to Theresienstadt the Nazis permitted a grand performance of Brundibarto show off to Red Cross inspectors. Long after the Holocaust a survivor, Sister Maria Veronica Grüters rediscovered Krasa's score. In 1985 she directed the student chorus and instrumental ensemble of the St. Ursula Gymnasium in Freiburg, Germany and a new production of the little opera. The German label Christophorus has made the 1985 recording of Brundibar available again on a single CD.

Krasa and most of the cast of Brundibar were deported and died in Auschwitz. Another Jewish composer from Berlin, Stefan Wolpe (1902 - 72) succeeded in escaping from Nazi Germany. He fled first to Palestine, but came to the United States in 1938. Wolpe wrote the music for Lazy Andy Ant (1947), a puppet play with song lyrics and dialogue by esteemed American children's author Helen Jill Fletcher. Wople scored it for two pianos, a narrator, and a singer, or three vocalists for three dramatic roles. Lazy Andy Ant comes to us courtesy of Bridge Records, included in volume 5 of its "Music of Stefan Wolpe" series. This single silver disc was released in 2009.


Sunday December 18th: Nielson, Aladdin/Menotti, Amahl and the Night Visitors. Fantasy and fairytale hold the stage at Christmas time in the theatrical pageants we remember from childhood. Carl Nielsen wrote extensive incidental music for Aladdin, a Danish fairy tale drama in five acts that was splendidly produced at the Royal Danish Theatre Copenhagen in 1919. If you like Grieg's incidental music for Peer Gynt you'll most likely enjoy Nielsen's Aladdin, since it has the same components: dances, orchestral interludes and mood pieces, vocal soloists and choruses, and spoken word melodrama. Those voiceovers with orchestral accompaniment were treated as purely instrumental numbers when Aladdin was recorded for the British Chandos label in 1992 in the Danish Radio Concert Hall, Copenhagen, in coproduction with Radio Denmark. Gennady Rozhdestvensky conducts the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and the Danish National Chamber Choir.

A staple of the Christmas operatic repertoire is Gian Carlo Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors (1951). You'll hear the 2008 Naxos recordings of Menotti's beloved work with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and members of the Nashville Symphony Chorus, George Mabry conducting. Appendixed to the opera on a single Naxos CD is a brief choral work My Christmas (1987) to Menotti's own text, his personal reminiscence of the holiday. Again Mabry leads the male voices of the Nashville Symphony Chorus and members of the Nashville Symphony.


Sunday December 25th:

Haydn, Die Schöpfung. It was only a short time ago back in April during Lent that I last broadcast Haydn's "The Creation" (1798), ranked as one of the single greatest of all oratorios. It stands alongside Handel's Messiah as a classic of the genre. The creation story that's told through music is certainly Biblical, derived ultimately from the Old Testament Genesis narrative, by way of Milton's English language epic poem Paradise Lost, translated into German and subsequently reworked into a libretto by Austria's cultural mentor of the age, Baron Von Swieten. In the spring I presented conductor Rene Jacobs' historically informed interpretation of Die Schöpfung on Harmonia Mundi silver discs. The HM two CD set was released in 2009, the year of the bicentenary of Haydn's death. Also released in that bicentennial year through the Dutch label Brilliant Classics was The Haydn Edition, a 100 CD compilation of Haydn's recorded oeuvre. Taken up into this broad sampling of previously released audio material is Die Schöpfung with Wolfgang Gönnenwein conducting the South German Madrigal Choir and the Orchestra of the Ludwigsburg Festival. Among the three vocal soloists is soprano Helen Donath is the Archangel Gabriel. Larry Bilanski

will be presenting "The Creation" in my absence on this Christmas Sunday.

With the sole exception of the DGG recording of Handel's Alcina, which comes from my own collection, all the featured recordings in this final two month round of programming for the year 2011 are to be found in our stations ever-growing library of classical music on disc. Thanks to my WWUH colleagues Larry Bilanski, David Buddington, and Walter Mayo for substituting for me on certain Sundays through the years. Thanks also to Vickie Hadge of Virtually Done by Vickie for the preparation of these opera notes for cyber publication in our WWUH Program Guide.



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WWUH is a non-commercial radio station operated as a community service of the University of Hartford since 1968.  WWUH broadcasts on 91.3 MHz FM with an effective radiated power of 1.000 watts.  Transmitting facilities are located high atop Avon Mountain with studios and offices located in the Harry Jack Gray Center on the University of Hartford campus in West Hartford.  All donations are tax deductible.

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The WWUH Alphabetical Menu of Programs

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All Night Show - Alternative, progressive music.  Stay up late and FIND OUT!  Every night 3:00-6:00am.


Alternative Radio - Interviews and speeches from alternative sources and alternative information, produced by David Barsamian. Monday 12 noon-1:00pm.


Ambience - Music that blends electronic and acoustic styles, borrowing from many cultures, from dream rock, to deep space, quiet contemplation and ambient dance. Sunday 9:00am-1:00pm.


Blue Monday - The world of blues from country to R&B.  Monday 9:00pm-midnight.


Carosello Musicale Italiano - Italian music and news.  Saturday 5:00pm-7:00pm.


Counterspin - Learn how to talk back to your radio and TV! Critical views of mainstream media, produced by Fairness and Accuracy in Media (F.A.I.R.). Tuesday 12:30pm-1:00pm.


Cultura E Vida - Portuguese programming. Saturday 7:00pm-9:00pm.


Culture Dogs - A look at contemporary media, movies, videos, etc. Sunday 8:00pm - 9:00pm


Evening Classics - Classical music by composers from Albinoini to Zelenka, styles ranging from Gregorian Chant to the modern twentieth century.  Weekdays 4:00pm-7:30/8:00pm.


Explorations - Every week Dr. Michio Kaku gives us new insight into the world of science.  Sunday 4:30pm-5:00pm.


FM on Toast - A wide variety of acoustic music ranging from folk to bluegrass. Sunday and weekdays 6:00am-9:00am.


Free Speech Radio: A daily (Mon - Fri) news program with alternative sources from around the world.Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 8:00-8:30pm, Thursday at 7:30pm and Friday at 7:00pm.


Gay Spirit - Greater Hartford's only gay news program featuring contemporary issues, music, and special guests.  Thursday 8:30pm-9:00pm.


Geetanjali -. Geetanjali plays a variety of music from the subcontinent -classical, contemporary, devotional and Bollywood music. The show'shosts provide narrative both in English and Hindi. Friday from 7:30pm - 9:00pm


Gothic Blimp Works - Alternative rock music including pop, progressive, experimental, reggae, punk, urban, blues...and more.  Every night midnight-3:00am.


Greatest Show From Earth - Esoteric space rock from psychedelic to progressive, with a side of electronics.  Need we

say more?  Broadcast via the T.E.L./T.A.N. V27X Transfleet Repeater Probe, the last analog frontier. Sunday 9:00pm-midnight.


Making Contact - A program about activists and social change.  Tuesday 8:30pm


Morning Jazz - Music from diverse aspects of the jazz tradition from the big bands to fusion to avant-garde. Weekdays 9:00am-Noon.


New Focus - Alternative news and views presented by Mike DeRosa.  Friday 12N-12:30pm. And Wednesday at 8:30pm.


New World Notes - New perspectives on American Government, foreigh policy, media and culture in a variety of genres, produced by Ken Dowst.  Tuesday 12noon.


911 Wake Up Call - Exploring the issues surrounding the 911 attacks.  Thursday 12:30pm


Rock 'N Roll Memory Machine - The Hartford Courant calls it the best oldies show in the area.  Memories, music and trivia from the golden days of rock 'n roll.  Sunday 6:00pm-8:00pm.


Saturday Morning Polka Madness - Polkas! Saturday 6:00am-9:00am, requests welcome


Soapbox - Interviews with progressive authors and activists, host Rob Tyrka. Thursday 12:00noon-12:30pm.


Street Corner Serenade - Music from the '50's "do-wop" era, and more. Saturday 1:00pm-3:00pm.


Sunday Afternoon at the Opera - Selections from the Operatic repertory ranging from Baroque to twentieth century. Sunday 1:00pm-4:30pm.


Super Sabado -Salsa - from '70's classics to current faves - and greetings, in Spanish. Saturday 3:00-5:00pm.


Synthesis - Alternative rock from all genres featuring new releases, rarities, imports, and international artists.  Including electronic, dance, fusion, funk, pop, reggae, experimental...... Weekdays 1:00pm-4:00pm.


Tevynes Garsai - Lithuanian programming. Sunday 5:00pm-6:00pm.


This Way Out - The international gay and lesbian news magazine.  Thursday 8:00pm-8:30pm.


TUC Radio - From San Francisco: a show about the global village and the global pillage.  Friday at 12:30pm.


UH Radio Bluegrass - The best of bluegrass, with occasional live performances by area bluegrass musicians.  Saturday 9:00am-1:00pm.


Voices of our World - Views from the 2nd and 3rd world on life in the real world.  Monday at 8:30pm.


West Indian Rhythms - Reggae, soca and more from Jamaica, T & T and beyond. Saturday 9:00pm-12midnight.

Thanks for reading our on-line WWUH Program Guide, we look forward to sending you updates and information to make your listening more enjoyable and interesting.



Susan Mullis
Director of Developement, WWUH