We’re traveling far and enjoying the journey on Now is the Time, Sunday, April 21st at 10 pm. From his CD Stream of Stars, Dylan Mattingly’s Atlas of Somewhere on the Way to Howland Island imagines the last flight of Amelia Earhart, somewhere over the Pacific, finishing with the movement “Islanded in a Stream of Stars.”
James Aikman’s CD Tremors From a Far Shore yields his Violin Sonata No. 2, a large-breathed work opening with a piano-centered Habanera. It also includes a second-movement Homage to his grandmother. Miguel del Aguila’s softly delicious Pacific Serenade leaves us wanting to hear more from him, as we continue on our way.
Tune in on Sunday, April 21st at 5 pm on our HD-2 channel when the popular Brazilian vocal duo MINAS stops by the station. Orlando Haddad and Patricia King will fill you in about their current project to complete a fabulous CD that they started work on in 2004 when they had teamed up with arranger and orchestrator, Bill Zaccagni to present “Symphony in Bossa,” a music program enhanced by Bill’s arrangements written specifically for MINAS - featuring original compositions and traditional Brazilian repertoire. "Symphony in Bossa" was halted due to Bill's sudden, tragic passing.
WRTI is thrilled to partner, once again, with Longwood Gardens for this year's Wine and Jazz Festival. The date is Saturday, June 1st from 12 noon to 5:30 pm. The Branford Marsalis Quartet will headline this year's festival as part of a superb lineup that will make for a full afternoon of first-class music. Other performers include the Anat Cohen Quartet, the Alfredo Rodriguez Trio, and jazz vocalist Joanna Pascale.
"Fate" is the unifying thread as guest conductor Andrey Boreyko conducts The Philadelphians in an exciting program beginning with the Entry of the Gods Into Valhalla from Wagner's Das Reingold, and culminating in the brilliant and brassy apotheosis of the "fate" motif that Tchaikovsky used in all four movements of his Symphony No. 5.
In between, a spectacular display of drumming by soloist Colin Currie in Alberich Saved, a percussion concerto by the American composer Christopher Rouse.
Join us for the third installment of Wagner's "Der Ring des Nibelungen," on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the composer's birth. Jay Hunter Morris reprises his acclaimed portrayal of the title hero, Deborah Voigt sings Brünnhilde, Mark Delavan is the Wanderer, and Eric Owens sings Alberich. Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi is on the podium. Saturday, April 20, *11 am to 5 pm (*note early start time).
Kile's review including music from Francis Pott: In the Heart of Things
Whether communication is too easy, or articulation is too difficult, our time is not a time of counterpoint. Instead of corresponding, we post or tweet; instead of reasoning, we shout and repeat, louder and louder. Music is often an event or a stepping-up of rungs of events: hooks and ladders, clanging past, looking for a fire.
In the Heart of Things: Choral Music of Francis Pott Commotio. Matthew Berry, conductor Naxos 8.572739
The choral music of Francis Pott, however, flows by, refreshingly contrapuntal. That joy in the working of voices is particularly evident in his 2012 CD, In the Heart of Things. If counterpoint seems anti-modern, he admits it, and points to Thomas Tallis, William Byrd, and other past masters of the polyphonic Mass as models. That’s appropriate, because In the Heart of Things is a collection of his choral music revolving around the most substantial work on the recording, his Mass for Eight Parts.
From the Kyrie through the Agnus Dei, this Mass is a triumph of intricate beauty. Upper, middle, and lower streams of voices glide by and mingle, their complexity unnoticed because they shimmer. Sometimes they sneak in, as the “Hosanna” does at first in the Sanctus, or roll in waves, gathering strength as at the end of that movement.
Sometimes the power is overwhelming, as at the end of the Gloria, the final “Amen” surging, unexpected, rank upon rank. Pott composed the Agnus Dei in memory of someone he didn’t know, a past singer of the choir that commissioned this. His gentle, pointed lyricism melts the voices into a sea of comfort.
Francis Pott was raised in the English chorister tradition, and knows this repertoire from the inside. His setting of a familiar text, such as Balulalow (known by many from Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols), or the new Mary’s Carol (Pott wrote this in memory of his father-in-law), always balances freshness of expression with aptness to the language.
His Lament honors a soldier killed in Afghanistan. Using the poem of Wilfrid Wilson Gibson, “But we, how shall we turn to little things / And listen to the birds… nor feel the heart-break in the heart of things,” we know the composer feels deeply what we also feel. This fellow-feeling is at the heart of artistry.
Francis Pott weaves a living counterpoint of music and emotion because he himself has sung it. His music breathes the life of tradition, but it is ever fresh, ever modern.
In the early 1900s, royalties from sales of sheet music produced a steady source of income to composers and music publishers. But radio changed all that. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston sat down with a legal expert to learn how.
It was one thing to sit at a piano in a parlor and play a Stephan Foster tune from sheet music propped up on a music stand. But a broadcast of music over the airwaves was a different thing entirely! The advent of radio as a tool for entertainment set the music industry on its heels and brought about new interpretations of copyright law, just as the digital age has done.
MERIDEE DUDDLESTON: Collecting royalties from sales of sheet music could be controlled. But intellectual property lawyer Gary Rosen says making music available to everyone over the airwaves for free was as disruptive to the music industry as the Internet has been. Back in the early 1900s, composers saw radio broadcasts as a threat to their creativity and livelihoods - a threat, Rosen emphasizes, that copyright law was designed to prevent.
GARY ROSEN: Copyright is given, not as a gift to composers, but it’s meant to benefit the public by spurring creativity.
MUSIC: John Philip Sousa's The Washington Post
DUDDLESTON: The music industry and popular composers like John Philip Sousa concluded that a radio broadcast was a public performance of their copyrighted works. They demanded that the radio industry begin to pay royalties. And they banded together to enforce their rights in a way that avoided a logistical nightmare.
ROSEN: Their solution was to form this performing rights organization in which they pool their copyrights and then licensed them on what’s called a blanket basis.
DUDDLESTON: The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) was the first blanket licensing organization. Rosen says blanket copyright licenses for radio have worked the way they were intended.
ROSEN: And the fact that a mechanism was formed to actually enforce that performance right and create an income stream for composers has had a tremendous impact on the quality and variety of American music – popular, jazz, classical.
Gary A. Rosen is the author of Unfair to Genius: The Strange and Litigious Career of Ira B. Arnstein
A Philadelphia-area jazz singer, who interprets songs in many languages, is also drawing attention to environmental issues. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, Phyllis Chapell finds that music is a way to reach people on many levels.
Russian choral music developed over centuries - informed by tradition, the state, the church, and eventually other parts of the world. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, this month, The Philadelphia Singers contrasts the works of two Russian masters, who created their sacred choral music over a century apart.
The Philadelphia Singers performs selections from Tchaikovsky’s 1878 Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, together with Alfred Schnittke's Choir Concerto, written in 1984-85, at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Center City, Philadelphia on Sunday April 28th. Information here.