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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Our ears are moved by music, just as our eyes adjust to varying degrees of light and dark. Music's ability to set or altar our mood instantly creates within ourselves curiosity about the world. There's always a chance for adaptation and inspiration.


This week we hear Alan Hovaness's Prayer featuring Chris Gekker on trumpet with Richard Audolon Clark leading the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra. An orchestra of voices in WQXR's Greene Space spins out of nothingness from Yunchen Lhamo. She improvises with her own audience, raising the pitch of the piece almost a whole step. The point of that exercise was adaptation -- a type of communal elevation through group participation. 

Also on the program is pianist John Salmon's version of Dave Brubeck's Strange Meadowlark, alongside Ravel's Sonata for Violin and Cello played by violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann and cellist Heinrich Schiff. Nino Rota's Variations and Fugue on the name Bach showcases mood alterations. 

And, we hear Artur Rubenstein playing Albeniz's Navarra. Rubenstein was a pianist who adapted nightly practice and performing habits only after he was married, adapting his music making to night and day.

In what music do you hear yourself, and how do you appreciate its mood altering effects?



Yungchen Lhamo: Improvisation No. 2

Yungchen Lhamo, Vocals


Alan Hovhaness: Prayer of Saint Gregory

Manhattan Chamber Orchestra; Richard Auldon Clark , Conductor; Chris Gekker, trumpet

Koch International

Prayer of St Gregory


Dave Brubeck: Strange Meadowlark

John Salmon, piano


Strange Meadowlark


Maurice Ravel: Sonata for Violin and Cello

Frank Peter Zimmermann, piano; Hank Schiff, cello


Sonata for Violin and Cello


Isaac Albeniz: Navarra

Arthur Rubenstein, piano




Heitor Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 : Aria

Manuel Barrueco, guitar; Barbara Hendricks, piano


No. 5 Aria


Nino Rota: Variations and Fugue on the name of Bach

Danielle Laval, piano



Scott Johnson: How It Happens: Soliloquy

Kronos Quartet, I.F. Stone, speaker


How it Happens: Soliloquy


Johann Sebastian Bach: Cantata, “Ich Habe Genug” BWV 82

Members of the RIAS Chamber Choir Rainer Kussmaul, violin and director; Thomas Quasthoff, bass-baritone; Albrecht Mayer, oboe; Berlin Baroque Soloists

Deutsche Grammophon

Ich Habe Genug; BWV 82


Steve Reich: Different Trains: America- Before the War

Kronos Quartet


Different Trains


Astor Piazzolla: Five Tango Sensations:Loving

Kronos Quartet; Astor Piazzolla, bandoneon


Five Tango Sensations: Loving


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