« previous episode | next episode »

Saturday, April 07, 2012

The Rain on Pane (spaterson/flickr)

In his epic 1922 poem, The Waste Land, T.S. Elliot describes April as "the cruelest month." In many ways he was right. With cold spring rain dampening the earth and sky, our moods shift and flutter during this period of weather fluctuation.

On this edition of All Ears, we explore musical evocations of rain. However your mood is right now, we are going to shift it.

We hear Robert Kyr's Unseen Rain, a work that gracefully sets short poems into a celebratory musical drama. P.A.N. Ensemble and vocalists give us the illusion of hearing and seeing a storm. The piece closes with soft chimes and light piano hammering evoking droplets hitting the ground. 

As usual with moderate to heavy showers come longer bouts of rain lingering into the evening. Two compositions which epitomize rainy spells in the city are by pianist James P. Johnson. We hear his New York City rag, Blue Moods, and his symphony, April in Harlem. Both give way to images of pitter-patter on the glass panes of a city building.

More in the forecast include an All Ears favorite, Mahalia Jackson singing the traditional Didn't it Rain, and Frederic Chopin's "Raindrop" Prelude

Now is the time to duck inside or suit up with your hat and trenchcoat, 'cause It's Gonna Rain!


Ron Nelson: Sarabande: For Katherine in April

Eastman-Rochester Orchestra

Howard Hanson, conductor



Jennifer Higdon: String Poetic: Nocturne

Jennifer Koh, violin

Reiko Uchida, piano



Robert Kyr: Unseen Rain

Ensemble P.A.N.

New Albion


James P. Johnson: Blue Moods

Smithsonian Folkways


James P. Johnson: Harlem Symphony: April in Harlem

Music Masters


Traditional: Didn't It Rain (arr. R. Martin)

Mahalia Jackson, voice



Frederic Chopin: Prelude No. 15 in D-falt, Op. 28, "Raindrop"

Dmitri Alexeev, piano



Joacb Ter Veldhuis (Jacob TV): Rainbow Concerto



Joshua Uzoigwe: Talking Drums



Steve Reich: It's Gonna Rain


Comments [5]

beth from Manhattan

what incredibly rude comments!
Please read the rules--(civil, brief) and I might add-if you have nothing nice to say--well, change the channel. There are plenty of fans out there who LOVE this programming, value it deeply, and don't need your negativity.

Apr. 11 2012 01:28 PM


The playlist is posted following the show, usually on Monday.

Apr. 09 2012 11:16 AM
beth from UWS

wow--classic Reich...excellent way to end the show--
just wonderful, as ever!
Thanks, Terrance.

Apr. 07 2012 11:57 PM
Zigler from NYC

All Ears?

All garbage!

This guy needs to go work for WBAI.

WQXR has become a degraded waste of time.

Your lossing a great many listeners at this time.

Apr. 07 2012 11:57 PM
winnifred lamptey from New York City

This website is the worst radio station website I have ever come across. Why is there no playlist for Terrance(?) McNight's programme? Even the e-mail link does not work. I get enormously frustrated whenever I must visit this website for some reason or the other - and I leave in a terrible state of mind. You get a lot of your ideas from BBC (especially Radio 3) programming so why don't you take a cue or two from their website and how it functions? It's miserable - it's really atrocious over here. How people put up with this is a mystery - or they don't know any better.

Apr. 07 2012 11:32 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.