Name That Tune

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sometimes the mood of a composition is reflected in its title; other times title and music are completely distinct.

But it’s the moments when the title of the tune is implicit in the music that shapes this week’s episode. Consider William Bolcom's Graceful Ghost Rag, which opens the show. Bolcom, who helped revive American ragtime, employs a heavy oom-pah bass, bringing out the distinctly American dance rhythms. Later, we hear a suite of contrasting dances for cello and piano by Carter Pann (a former student of Bolcolm’s). Rather than calling his work a "Suite," Pann cleverly titles his work Differences for Cello and Piano.
Speaking of differences, we also feature two works identically titled Quiet Music. Nico Muhly's haunting Quiet Music for Solo Piano reflects the serene atmosphere during the night. Muhly's occasional bell-like interruptions bring to mind an impetuous disturbance during a time of tranquility. However, in Fred Lerdahl's Quiet Music for Orchestra, the composer takes a restless approach to the word "quiet." Despite the orchestra's soft volume, one hears the disturbing amount of intensity that's possible, even in a hushed voice.
Also on this weeks show, renditions of Faurè's Après un rêve (After a dream) by Renèe Fleming and Joshua Bell, and works by Colin Jacobsen, Steve Reich and much more.


Playlist (in alphabetical order by composer):

William Bolcom
Graceful Ghost: Concert Variation
Philip Ficsor, violin; Constantine Finehouse, piano

Fanny Crosby/Phoebe Knapp/Thelonious Monk
This Is My Story, This Is My Song
Thelonious Monk, piano; Charlie Rouse, tenor sax; Larry Gates, bass; Ben Riley, drums
Columbia Legacy Jazz

Mark Dancigers
NOW Ensemble
New Amsterdam

Gabriel Faure
Apres un reve
Joshua Bell, violin
Orchestra of St. Luke's
Michael Stern, conductor

Gabriel Faure
Apres un reve, Op. 7/1
Renee Fleming, soprano; Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano

Colin Jacobsen
Beloved, do not let me be discouraged
Kayhan Kalhor, kamancheh; Brooklyn Rider; Jeef Beecher, bass; Mark Suter, doira, djembe, pods, metals
World Village

Guy Klucevsek
Guy Klucevsek, accordion; Sara Parkins, violin; Margaret Parkins, cello; Achim Tang, bass

Fred Lerdahl
Quiet Music
Odense Symphony Orchestra
Paul Mann, conductor

Nico Muhly
Quiet Music
Nico Muhly, piano
Bedroom Community

Carter Pann
Differences (for cello and piano)
David Ying, cello; Elinor Freer, piano

Steve Reich
Variations for Vibes, Piano and Strings
London Sinfonietta
Alan Pierson, conductor

Tison Street
Adagio in E-flat for Oboe and String Quintet
Mark Hill, oboe; Violaine Melancon, violin; James Stern, violin; Katherine Murdock, viola; Evelyn Elsing, cello; Robert Nairn, contrabass

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