Sound Spectrum

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This weekend, we explore the sound spectrum of New York City. We look through compositions as we do prisms, and hear colorful experiences on display.

Dawn Upshaw is featured twice on the show. Her lilting voice appears in Osvaldo Golijov's Three Songs, and then again with the Kronos Quartet singing a composition called Lacrymosa, by Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky, an Uzbek member of the Silk Road Ensemble.

Although much of the music on this episode is not American per se, many of these composers and artists have performed here in the city. And many of these cultures exist right here. Another composer featured on the program is Henry Cowell who is very comfortable weaving into his compositions the sounds that he experienced here in New York. We listen to his Persian Set with Richard Auldon conducting the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra. 

Other selections include Marc Mellits's Lefty’s Elegy, Philip Glass’ Safe Journey and John Dowland's Lachrimae coactae Pavan, played by Fretwork. We end the program with Quartet San Francisco performing Irving Mills and Duke Ellington's The Mooche



Kifu Mitsuhashi: Yamato-Joshi

Kifu Mitsuhashi, shakuhachi

Celestial Harmonies

Shakuhachi Purchase


Philip Glass: Safe Journey

English Chamber Orchestra, Michael Riesman; Conductor

Orange Mountain Music

Safe Journey; Single


Marc Mellits: Lefty’s Elegy

Mellits Consort; Cristina Buciu, violin; Elizabeth Simkin, cello; Danny Tunnik, marimba; Dominic Frasca, guitar; Marc Mellits, keyboard.

Black Box

Lefty's Elegy


Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky: Lacrymosa

Kronos Quartet; Dawn Upshaw, Soprano


Lacrymosa (Album)


Heitor Villa-Lobos: Guitar Concierto

New York Philarmonic; John Serebrier, conductor; Sharon Isbin, conductor

Warner Classics

Guitar Concerto


Duke Ellington/Irving Mills/ Bubber Miley: Mood Indigo

Marcus Roberts, Piano


Mood Indigo


John Adams: Tromba Lontana

City of Birmingham Orchestra; Sir Simon Rattle, conductor


Tromba Lontana


Gavin Bryars: “The Green Ray”

Bournemouth Sinfonietta; Ivor Bolton, Conductor; John Harle, Saxophone


The Green Ray


John Dowland: Lachrimae Coactae Pavan



Lachrimae Coactae Pavan


Osvaldo Golijov: Three Songs

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; Robert Spano, Conductor; Dawn Upshaw, Soprano

Deutshce Grammophon

Three Songs


Henry Cowell: Persian Set

Manhattan Chamber Orchestra; Richard Auldon Clark, Conductor


Persian Set


Irving Mills; Duke Ellington: The Mooche

Quartet San Francisco

ViolinJazz Recordings

The Mooche