Passion Players

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

For Valentine's Day, The Choral Mix is offering some tantalizing treats to indulge in: passion-filled works by Brahms and Monteverdi.

While Monteverdi conjures up austere images of sacred music and spaces, he did have his steamy side, which we get to glean from his amorous -- some might even say erotic -- love madrigals. The text of Montiverdi's madrigals range from the joys and love of springtime in "Io mi son giovinetta", to a more somber take on love, and the pain it invariably causes, as in "Piagn'e Sospira."

If you were listening to The Choral Mix in the past couple of weeks, you may recall that Kent explored the differences between American and English choirs, so keeping the sporting spirit going, we will explore male and female choirs. Are women more passionate than men? Can you detect the power of testosterone in the male choirs? And what happens when you combine the two?

Among the ensembles featured this week include Delitiae Musicae, Musica Sacra, and the Robert Shaw Festival Singers.


1. Brahms/Musica Sacra, Richard Westenburg/NYC/tracks 1-4 4 Songs, Op.17

2. Monteverdi/Delitiae Musicae, Marco Longhini/Italy (Brescia?)/Monteverdi Madrigals Book 4

3. Brahms/Robert Shaw Festival Singers, Robert Shaw/American, recorded in France/Liebeslieder Waltzes, Evening Songs/tracks 1-18, Liebeslieder-Waltzer, Op.52

Weigh in: Are female choirs or male choirs any more passionate? Can you detect the power of testosterone in the male choirs? Leave a comment below:

Comments [10]

Giselle Vagnini from Stamford, CT

I third Mary Jenkins comments and request. I love this show and love that it is available in a stream since I am not necessarily awake at 7am on a Sunday.

Feb. 23 2011 09:00 PM
Richard from Roosevelt Island

Great show (again). Love those Monteverdi madrigals.

Feb. 19 2011 04:18 PM
Michael Meltzer

Patience, Mr. Maurici. To Kent's three or four thousand friends who are listening, "delivery" is not really an issue, but it's getting there, anyway.
Unfortunately, there is no Borscht Belt for choral announcing.

Feb. 18 2011 05:38 PM
Paul J. Maurici from Queens, New York

Upon reading the glowing comments posted here I'm a bit hesitant to add a bit of negativity but... I just don't feel Kent Tritle is the right choice to be an announcer on WQXR. He is a superb conductor, organist and educator but his rather lackluster delivery is just not convincing. Great music but please, someone else to announce.

Feb. 18 2011 11:56 AM
Robert Russell from New York City

I second Mary Jenkins comments and request. We're already looking to next year's Valentine program. Maybe something from the sensuous French or mroe from the hot blooded Italians?

Feb. 13 2011 09:47 PM
Mary Jenkins from NYC

I love choral music and wish that WQXR played more of it. I'm so glad for Kent's program, but wish that I didn't have to wait for 7AM Sunday to hear it. Can't we have more vocal and choral music throughout the week, instead of hearing the same pieces over and over?

Feb. 13 2011 10:48 AM
Michael Meltzer

Splendid program, Kent!
When I was a piano student, I bought all the Eulenberg scores of the Monteverdi masses to put up on the piano and read because his music was candy to my ears. Keep it coming!

Feb. 13 2011 08:21 AM
sandy doyle from naples florida

your program is just perfect. please tell me how i can get some of these wonderful scores and a list of your program and even CD's.
God Bless You Kent!!!!

Feb. 13 2011 07:52 AM
Gev Sweeney from Ocean Grove, New Jersey

Oh, that Monteverdi! *Sigh* Gotta watch those euphemisms for, um, you know ... *blush*

Feb. 13 2011 07:20 AM
Michael Meltzer

The answers to who is the more passionate and what happens when you combine the two are to be found in a good performance of the Faure: Pavane.

Feb. 11 2011 12:22 AM

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