The Kitten, Venti Dita and the Music!

It is  hard to imagine that there will be no more occasional sitting in front of the TV or enjoying the sounds of the garden in the evening with Beata and a glass of wine. Yes, I am going back to teaching this Monday.  I am sad about the passing of summer but am also exited about the new school year, especially that this year I will be teaching four classes of my favorite subject – music history. I am also looking forward to my upcoming recital and new CD of piano duos.

I did not do much of what I planned at all. I had no time for blogs, catching up with Facebook friends or extra trips to New York and the Amish County. My summer was devoted though to plenty of piano music and cats, two of my favorite subjects.

The Kitten!

On my last day of school we become  parents to a little, scroungy looking black kitten with white spots, who if would not be found by students in a Princeton University dumpster, would be crushed to death.

Pix day one

Now, after 3 months and dozens of sleepless nights, many broken flowerpots, chewed up hibiscus, 2 planters that became kitty litter boxes and dozens more emergency cleanups, our little kitten Pix, is taller and heavier than our biggest cat, Puszek. He provides us with joy and constant entertainment as well as a means for exercise for our other three other kitties that were sleeping over 20 hours a day.

Venti Dita!

Finally, after working for almost two years together with Jennifer, we came up with the name for our piano duo: Venti Dita. I think that this is a really cool, simple musical name – 20 fingers in Italian.

The biggest achievement and time-consuming activity this summer was the recording of our first duo CD devoted to contemporary music for piano 4 hands, at Purchase College, Purchase, NY.

When my wife commuted to work in Willow Grove in Pa. I always teased her that she picked the very early starting time of 5:30am to get good parking and to avoid traffic on the PA turnpike. The karma caught with me this summer when after my first trip to Purchase, I was almost late to our first recording session, despite the fact I left more than enough time.

Now it was her time for her to get back at me and remind me of the old times. After that first week I would leave home at 5am to pass the George Washington Bridge before it turned into a parking lot. My extra time would spent in a Diner having a hearty breakfast with Jennifer and yes, sipping good tea, especially since we would take only a short break for lunch that Beata packed for us in a small cooler so we would not waste time driving to another diner. Coming back home was also tied up to traffic patterns. Having dinner before leaving Westchester solved this problem and most times I had a smooth trip home.

I feel sorry for drivers that must put up with this kind of aggravation on the road every day. For last 15 years I take a train instead of drive to New York.

I am very lucky to live very close to my school as well as to WPRB, since the traffic around Princeton is not much better, especially now when NJDOT closed a few local roads, creating havoc for local drivers.

We had 3 recording sessions plus 3 sessions with our wonderful engineer, Andy Cardenas.  One recording session was extremely exhausting since we could  not use the air conditioner and the temperature outside soared to  98 degrees.

Yea!!!! We have a gold master and it sounds really great, but we still have many steps to take care before the CD can be released. Hopefully the recording will be out before the end of the year.  Cannot wait!!!

The Music!

Each year I devote much time in the summer to listen to music, but this summer I spent more time at the piano.

Besides hosting my both radio programs at WPRB, and yes, celebrating at the end of May the beginning of my 16th year on the air, I spent my summer preparing for the recording sessions as well as my upcoming piano recital devoted to contemporary music.

On the radio I presented a few special Early Music Editions, hosted a jazz program with music by classical composers inspired by jazz, and had a few guests such as the young Serbian composer-violinist Ana Milosavljević, Australian composer and conductor Sean O’Boye, Elliott Carter expert Joe Barron, and pianist Rosanne Vita Nahass who recently released a CD featuring the Concord, Piano Sonata No. 2, Concord, Mass.  by Charles Ives. Finally, I celebrated John Cage’s 100th Birthday with an unexpected 6-hour edition of “Classical Discoveries Goes Avant-Garde”.

My piano recital titled “Contemporary Piano Miniatures”, will be Sunday afternoon, September 23 at 3:00pm in Bristol Chapel at Westminster Choir College of Rider University and will include music from many countries. I will be joined in several works by my piano duo partner Jennifer Castellano, and will perform selections included on our upcoming CD.

And yes, this concert is FREE!!!!  So if you are around, please join me and if you are afraid of new music, here is your opportunity to try without risk. Princeton is a charming town in  early autumn.

If you listen to “Classical Discoveries” you will recognize the names of many composers. In addition, you will hear a complete performance of the work by my duo partner Jennifer I use as my opening theme.

I feel very lucky that I am in position as an educator, performer and radio host to expose new and unknown music to many.

Before I conclude, I would just like to remind you all that we must support our living composers today as they were supported by their contemporaries in earlier centuries.

If you want directions or more information please email me at Marvinarosen@gmail.com

If you are on Facebook and attend please sign the guest list at: https://www.facebook.com/events/438945242823380/

Classical Discoveries – First 15 years on the air

When I nervously walked for the first time to the WPRB studio at about fifteen minutes to six on Thursday morning, May 29, 1997 I had no idea that I would be celebrating 15 years on the air.

It was only days after a trip to Poland and finding out that I would be losing my position as Classical CD Buyer at the Princeton University Store. The new management did not see any value in promoting classical music and got better returns in selling t-shirts.

After all, who needed culture in a University town? A few “3 Tenors” CD’s strategically placed between trashy books was enough to make a better profits with the average tourists visiting town. It did not count that my small, eclectic department attracted buyers (attending workshops and University conferences) from all over the world and that these buyers roamed around the store spending money on other stuff.

When I walked into the WPRB studio I did not know that this would be the only good thing keeping me going for the next 2 years.

I am very proud of Princetonians. The news of the closing CD department caused a public outcry that caused the temporary reversal of the initial decision, but I paid dearly for it. I resigned from my position after 2 years, when I could not endure any more harassment (privately and in front of all other management staff) and psychological bullying, something I will never forget. I should have walked out when the original decision was made because after that whatever I would do was insufficient or wrong for management.

This is when in the mist of all things Classical Discoveries, an idea of the advertising guru for Princeton University Store, was born. Since WPRB’s advertising rates were (and still are) the best around and they were looking for summer Classical DJ’s, my position in both places could help. Unfortunately again, management was not interested in promoting CD sales while helping a local station at the same time.

I remember like yesterday my first day when after 15 minutes of training (yes, 15 minutes before WPRB went on the air) by a DJ named Tyler, I had been left on my own and remember that my voice was shaking.  Boy, was I nervous! I even forgot to stop the CD player and announced the next work while the first CD was still playing.

New t-shirt with Classical Discoveries logo

It took several months for my program to become what it is now and you can read about that in one of my first blogs ”More about me”

Like everything in life, I have had good times and bad times, but I will never regret the moment when I realized that during my first trying months on the air, I could make a difference for music and composers that are not household names. Over the years many of them, as well as some listeners have become my friends.

To this day,  planning my radio show is one of the most fun things I do every week, and it is still amazing to think that this all started during one of the most difficult times of my life.  It has never been a chore to get up at 4:00am, or to stay awake for 24 hours during one of my marathons.

During the last 15 years I have had many mishaps and disasters. Some of these were funny and some were embarrassing. These keep live radio exciting since you never know what may happen next. I was turned into an icicle when locked out at 5:15am outside of Bloomberg Hall for 50 minutes with a wind-chill factor of 0 during a Christmas break. I was also locked out,  outside of the studio for 45 minutes during a Fund Drive. Luckily the music kept playing and the phones kept ringing during this time!  I barely made it to the hospital for hernia surgery, being saved by Jon Solomon, after the next DJ following me could not make to the station, with a FCC agent breathing down my neck.

I lived through the station moving from the dungeons of Holder Hall to the new place in Bloomberg Hall in 2004. I was delighted when we moved because I stopped getting parking tickets!  I also lived through the time when we became member supported several years ago.  During my 15 years, there have been at least 12 classical directors and 14 station managers as well as countless numbers of student and community DJ’s, some of whom I remember and some I do not.

At ASCAP Award Ceremony with Paul Moravec and Beata

I remember December 15, 2005, when after 2 hours waiting for my turn, I lost my voice during my acceptance speech at the ASCAP Award ceremony in NY. Imagine, getting a radio award and losing my voice in front of an auditorium full of people. Thinking about this now, really makes me laugh!

In 2001 with help of a friend, I created my website, with the picture of my first piano CD as a logo. The  website and logo went through a face-lift in 2009. In 2007, following the example of the Christmas Marathon Giant Jon Solomon, I presented my 1st 21st Century Music Marathon.  In the summer of 2008, the new program “Classical Discoveries Goes Avant-Garde” was born (program designed to accommodate works that very often fall between the cracks and are difficult to classify as well as many electronic selections and more avant-garde works ignored by most radio stations).

Thanks to the help of friend and composer, Steve Layton and my wife, you can listen to archived programs for over 2 weeks after their first broadcast just by going to special page on my website, or if you prefer you can record and download the programs through Dar.fm – Digital Recorder.  These new features began just a few months ago.

Some weeks ago, I finally located a box of memorabilia that contained 3 notebooks of old playlists from 1997 till March 2001. I forgot so many things and going through each page brought back many memories.

Classical Discoveries two first playlists

The most important thing is that without a station like WPRB – a station that supports individuality, my program could not exist.  I know, that no classical manager on a regular commercial or NPR station would allow me to program 100% the music of my choice. Thank you WPRB for my last 15 years on the air.

When you read this blog, please remember that thou all DJ’s at WPRB are volunteers, the station needs your support to survive and pay its expenses.

I  would like to thank to all listeners that supported me through all those years. Your phones and letters were and are very important to me.

I cannot end this memory trip without giving a credit to my wonderful wife, Beata. Without her endless support and hours of hard work on my website this program would never be what it is. I also want to thank her for her endless patience with me in learning correct Polish and other Slavic language pronunciation. I am always asked if I speak fluent Polish. No, I don’t speak Polish at all.  The only thing I can say in Polish is not very suitable to write, a sentence I used to say while walking our dog.

Yes, It has been an exciting 15 years and all I can say is that I hope that in 15 years from now I will be celebrating 30 years on the air.

I hope, that you will be able to join me and celebrate my 15th anniversary this Wednesday, May 29 at 5:30am till 1:00pm. The combined Classical Discoveries and the Avant-Garde Edition will include listener requests and many works, which were officially presented as première broadcasts during the last 15 years.

As always, you can find more find more at: http://www.classicaldiscoveries.org  – home page for the program where new music lives for 15 years and where many discoveries begin.

More piano and me

I finally updated the Event Page on my website with my current affairs and both of the upcoming piano workshops are there.

Just a reminder, the first workshop will be presented on Monday, February 6, 2012 at 10:30am till 12:30pm in Princeton.

Also here is some exciting news about Tuesday’s workshop. Montgomery Media publisher of many papers in South Eastern Pennsylvania presented a story about our upcoming workshop in Willow Grove.  The story is by Joe Barron.

I hope that this story might entice some of you in the area to come and hear how new music sounds. You can go and read the story by following this link:  Montgomery News, or you can just read Joe’s story below.

Piano recital at Jacobs Music hopes to bring avant-garde to the fore

By Joe Barron
jbarron@montgomerynews.com

Marvin Rosen remembers the day he first heard the music of the composer Jennifer Castellano. It was April 18, 2010, at a piano recital given in New York City by Max Lifschitz, the contemporary music specialist.

“Basically, I was very impressed with her music without knowing much about her,” Rosen recalled Sunday, speaking by telephone from his home in Princeton, N.J.

An email correspondence ensued. Castellano sent Rosen CDs of her music, which he played on his radio program, “Classical Discoveries,” broadcast Wednesday mornings on WPRB Princeton, 103.3 FM. Eventually, Rosen asked to speak with Castellano on the phone.

“She called me the first time, I was floored,” Rosen said. “I mean, if you told me she was hearing-impaired, you could have knocked me over with a feather.”

Castellano, 30, is not only hearing-impaired, she is also legally blind; yet she and Rosen perform regularly as a piano duo. Together, they will conduct a music workshop and recital at Jacobs Music, Willow Grove, Feb. 7.

“The audience is mostly going to be teaching professionals,” Castellano said in a phone interview Sunday. “My mission is to show people that, you know, music can be taught to everybody, and there’s no limits to who can participate in music and who can study it.”

Disabilities are nothing in new in the arts, of course. The greatest composer in history was deaf, and Beethoven did not have access to the gadgetry that allows Castellano to talk on the phone or pick up cues from her conductor when she plays in the bell choir at her church in Hawthorne, N.Y.

Nevertheless, she remembers a distinct, uneasy vibe in the room when she auditioned for the music department at Manhattanville College in the 1990s. In addition to proving she could play the piano, she had to reassure the faculty that she would not need too much special accommodation. The final bit of resistance broke down when, one day in class, a professor asked who among the students had perfect pitch, and Castellano raised her hand.

“I don’t think they saw that coming,” she said. “You don’t have to have good hearing to have perfect pitch. You just have to have a good memory. I think it can be taught.”

Castellano’s greatest handicap, however, is one she shares with every composer alive today: The classical music world prefers composers who are safely dead. It’s usually after the composer dies that people start taking an interest,” she said. “It takes awhile. I don’t know how exactly that works.”

Rosen has tried to correct the imbalance in his weekly radio broadcast, which he has dedicated to unfamiliar repertoire, particularly that of living composers. He once devoted a morning to Castellano’s work, interviewing her on the air. For a young composer, it was like dying and going to heaven — or maybe, in classical terms, to just dying.

“It’s not easy to get any opportunities like that,” Castellano said. “There are not many radio shows that play current stuff, and if they do, it’s very hard to be included. … You can’t put a price on that. It’s a great thing if you’re a living composer.”

As a thank-you for the attention and encouragement, Castellano composed the “theme” for the avant-garde edition of Rosen’s radio show, taking his spoken introduction — “Welcome to another edition of ‘Classical Discoveries Goes Avant-Garde’” — and subjecting it to a series of electronic mutations.

“It’s all based on my radio voice,” Rosen said. “She took samples, and then she started dissecting them. … I’ll probably share that at the workshop.”

It will be an appropriate choice, because, like “Classical Discoveries,” the workshop is of a piece with Rosen’s mission to promote the work of living composers. The program will include music from around the world, all of it written in the 21st century. His hope, he said, is that teachers who attend will take some of the music back to their students.

“Any style goes this day and age. There is something for everybody,” he said. “Students have a very exciting time when they say, ‘Oh, gosh, this thing was written when I was 5.’”

If you go:
Pianists Marvin Rosen & Jennifer Castellano will conduct a music recital & workshop at Jacobs Music, 1135 N. Easton Road, Willow Grove, PA 19090,
Tuesday, Feb. 7, 10 a.m. – noon. The program is being presented for the Bucks County Association of Piano Teachers. General public is invited.
Admission: $10; free to members of Music Teachers National Association chapters in the Philadelphia area.

Info: marvinarosen@gmail.com.

Contemporary music, piano and me

Since my sophomore year at Trenton State College (now College of New Jersey) I have had a fatal attraction to contemporary music against my parents’ wishes.  I often wonder if that was my way to escape to a place, where I could be myself without their interference, since they totally disapproved contemporary music.

During that year I heard for the first time a live performance of Olivier Messiaen’s La Nativité du Seigneur with organist Albert Ludecke, who had a profound influence on developing my musical taste during college days.

No, I never played the organ, but thanks to him I became very interested in 20th Century French organ repertoire and composers such as Marcel Dupré, Charles Tournemire, Jehan Alain, Maurice Duruflé and many others.  That led to my research into the repertoire by those composers and into the discovery of a variety of their piano works.

I will never forget my excitement when I found and purchased a copy of the Préludes” of Olivier Messiaen, four of which I included on my college senior recital. As I recall, these pieces received the biggest applause at my recital.

Olivier Messiaen is almost a regular fixture on many recitals now, but years ago his music was not.

This led later to more discoveries of piano repertoire like the wonderful set of 12 “Préludespoèmes” by Charles Tournemire – something between the music of Debussy and Messiaen.  The interesting thing about this music was that some of it was written on 4 or more staves!

Through the years, I performed a number of these as well as the original piano version of Marcel Dupré popular organ workCortège and Litanie, Op. 19, No. 2” and of course, much Messiaen.

My master’s thesis at the Manhattan School of Music was of course, devoted to the music of one of the 20th century French organists and titled “A Seventy-Fifth Birthday Tribute to Maurice Durufle.” I still have 2 letters I treasure, written to me by the composer.

My fascination with obscure contemporary music continued when I discovered the music of Alan Hovhaness. This eventually led to the meeting and my friendship with the composer as well as to doctoral dissertation on a number of piano sonatas, and later 2 recordings of his piano music. I am planning in the near future to go more deeply into the subject of Hovhaness and my feeling about the very disappointing centennial year tributes.

From the time I turned my world upside down by researching piano music by French composers, I have that strange feeling, similar to hunger, that forces me to look for obscure music, almost to the point of obsession (at least my wife thinks so). When I see an exciting première recording coming out I almost get the shakes from all the excitement.

I do not know if I would be who I am without good music education and inspiring teachers. My interest in music has expanded in many different directions, and I do know that some of my interests have changed over the years. I might not care much now about music I loved before and vice versa.  Sometimes I must listen to a new work a few times before I like it, and I almost never reject anything permanently.  I am also evolving and a few years later I might change my opinion.

We should always try to remember that some of the musical warhorses of today were given poor reviews when they were first presented.

Regardless of what I am teaching, I always remember my teachers, what they did for me, and what I liked about them.  I might be the first to open the door of knowledge and encourage young students to discover the world of new music, the world I am so passionate about.

My students must learn repertoire from all periods, but I rarely see excitement when I hand them a new piece of Mozart or Schubert.  I know that eventually they may possibility learn to love this music, but for now I let them love the music of today such as that by Jennifer Castellano, René Eespere, Ludovico Einaudi, Philip Glass, Jaan Rääts, Yoichi Togawa, and the works of other living composers.

One of my young students confessed to me that after learning a piano work by Einaudi, he downloaded 20 different tracks of his music to his IPod. Not Lady Gaga but Einaudi? I was very excited to see this.

I enjoy seeing young faces when they shake the hand of a young composer (someone they can relate to) who wrote a work they just played.  I do remember how my student reacted after finding out the year a composer wrote a work she was playing. “Wow, I was 8 years old when this work was written.”

This is why new repertoire must be introduced to young students if we want them to step into 21st Century.

Whether I present, my Classical Discoveries program, a lecture or a piano recital, people are always asking me why we do not hear more music of our time. I know that only through exposure  you can change a person’s general opinion, but I also know that this is a rather complicated issue. Sometimes I do not know what to say to people without hurting their feelings.

The hardest thing for me is to understand why some people are so inflexible and closed-minded and are not willing to open their mind and ears, and accept the fact that there is much more to music than Mozart and Schubert. The answer may simply be is that people are comfortable only with the familiar.

These are typical comments I hear when strangers find out what I am doing:

  •      A.   I hate new music!
  •      Q.    When was the last time you heard music you hated?
  •      AO! In the seventies or eighties and now I never go to any new music concerts.
  •      Q.  That was many years ago. If you never heard any recently how do you know if you will still hate it?
  •      A.   No one can be better than Beethoven, Mozart or Tchaikovsky.
  •      Q.   Do you ever listen to recordings of new music?
  •      A.   No, I would not give this crap a chance, and all new music is crap!!!
  •      Q.    If you try just a little, you may change your opinion and like it.
  •      A .  No way.

It sounds like talking to the wall, but what is interesting, is that some of those non-believers have actually changed their mind. There was a commercial many years ago which included the phrase “Try it, you’ll like it.”  Maybe this should be the phrase to try to encourage listeners to give new music a chance?

A few weeks ago I presented a workshop “21st Century Piano Literature’ for the “Piano Teachers Forum” in Central New Jersey.  I performed and discussed new works from all over the world for all levels of piano students.

This is briefly what I wrote in my introduction to the list of recommended works for piano students:

I have been disturbed by the general lack of interest in the music of our time, for not only the piano, but for other instruments and ensembles as well.  Over the years, after speaking to some of my colleagues, I realized that it was not a lack of interest, but rather a lack of exposure. I have acquired many interesting recordings from all over the world for my radio program and have also received from composers some of their piano works for my personal use, due to my interest in contemporary piano literature. I am very happy to share some of that music with you.  In earlier centuries new music was greatly supported and I hope that this trend will eventually return.  I know that my students are very excited about playing music composed during their lifetime.

Based on the reaction during and after the presentation, as well as e-mails I received, the participating teachers were very excited about this workshop. Hopefully, some of the attending teachers will share this excitement about new music with their students. It is important for musicians and teachers to support the music of living composers.

I will be presenting 2 more workshops featuring 21st Century Piano Repertoire in the beginning of February. This time they will be with this year’s commissioned composer for “New Jersey Music Teachers Association (NJMTA), Jennifer Castellano. Jennifer will perform her own compositions and discuss her challenges as a visually and hearing-impaired musician. Jennifer (the second half of the Rosen – Castellano Duo) and I will be recording a CD of contemporary works for piano four-hands during the summer and will be presenting a few of these works during the upcoming workshops. The workshops will also include my performances of new piano repertoire as well, that I also intend to record soon.

If you are in the neighborhood of Princeton or Willow Grove and wish to attend as a guest either of those workshops please contact me at: marvinarosen@gmail.com

Music and copyright by Jennifer Castellano

Music and copyright by Jennifer Castellano

René Eespere:

Ludus Tactus (2008)

Yuko Yoshioka, Piano

Music: Yoichi Togawa
“Kaze no ha”for Piano
Piano: Yoshiko Takase

Viva 21st Century Music

In late November of 2003, when I piled up CD’s for my WPRB winter break specials, the idea of a new program with music from the 21st century started to take shape. I did not have many new music recordings for my first program, but managed to mix the ones I had with some of my favorite earlier selections.

Flute - Courtesy: Azerbaijani Artist Namig Mammadov at: AZgallery.org

The end of the 20th century was very disappointing to me for various reasons. At that time I stopped listening to classical radio and going to live concerts with a few exceptions. Heavily advertised musical tributes to 20th century music presented mainly 80-90 year old warhorses. There is so much more to music of that period.

How I dreamed to hear  performances of symphonies by Henry Cowell, Harrison, Hovhaness and other American composers, live in the Academy of Music with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Not even one of them was represented in those tributes, nor as I recall any woman composer. It was like the clock stopped  after the 1st half of the 20th century.

My second program was 100 percent devoted to new music, but I had never imagined that 9 years later I would be able to present a continuous 24-hour program of 21st century music. I actually could do at least 4-5 more marathons, judging from the piles I am looking at right now.  I will take a rain check on those however!

Marathons?  It is all Jon’s fault. I am referring to Jon Solomon – WPRB legend, and veteran of the Christmas Marathons, of which this year will be his 24th.

When in 2007 I realized that my 5 plus hours would not let me present all of what I wanted, I looked  to Jon for inspiration and decided to give it a try. Here I am 4 years later getting ready for my 5th Winter Marathon joining the ranks of radio broadcaster junkies.

I must admit, that all suggestions on how to survive 24 hours on the air I received from Jon.  One more thing I do is that I treat myself to acupuncture a few hours before the Marathon. The hardest thing for me is to keep off bread for 24 hours!!  I love a good loaf of sour dough!!!

If you are curious, I never nap during the time I am on the air so, if anyone wants to call me when the music is playing please do so at 609-258-1033. I will need the support of my audience and friends, especially during late at night and the early morning hours when I will be totally alone. Also, if you are in the neighborhood, please visit me. The more action in the studio I have, the easier it will be for me to survive the 24 hours of madness.

This 9th Annual program is the 5th, 24-Hour Marathon totally devoted to new music composed in the 21st century. It will start on:

Monday, December 26, 2011 at 1:00pm and will end: Tuesday, December 27, 2011 at 1:00pm

 

In a few days you will find some featured composers listed on the home page of the Classical Discoveries website at: http://www.classicaldiscoveries.org/  and on the Facebook Event Page at: https://www.facebook.com/events/124098904372882/

VIVA 21ST CENTURY – INTERNATIONAL EDITION  – 24-HOUR LIVE WPRB RADIO BROADCAST

The program will air on WPRB 103.3 FM Princeton and on the Internet around the world at:
http://www.wprb.com/listen.php
http://listen.wprb.com/pls
http://listen.wprb.com/ram
http://listen.wprb.com/asx

For Internet listeners link to excellent Time Zone Converter: http://www.timezoneconverter.com/cgi-bin/tzc.tzc

Other 24-hour new music Marathons

12-27/28-2009 – 24-hour Marathon – WOMEN COMPOSERS EDITION
09-08/09-2009 – 24-hour Marathon – AMERICAN EDITION
12-26/27-2008 – 24-hour Marathon – INTERNATIONAL EDITION
12-27/28-2007 – 24-hour Marathon – INTERNATIONAL EDITION

I hope that you can catch at least part of the WPRB Marathon madness.

Viva 21st Century, Viva New Music, and Viva Living Composers!!!

 

 

Christmas Trylogy and other jingles

I promised my friends last year that any time I have special events on Classical Discoveries I would post them in my blog. So far, I have generally not kept my promise. Maybe this would be a good New Year’s resolution?

I am a nice Jewish boy who gets excited about all my Christmas specials. Yes, I do!!

Well, not only Christmas specials.  After all, I present Jewish inspired music for Hanukkah, black composers for Kwanzaa and one of my favorites, Shall We Dance – a really fun show just before the New Year. If there were any Muslim holidays, at this time, I would have a special for that occasion also. For me there are no religious, cultural or social barriers. I just love all kinds of music.

I am not mentioning now my VIVA 21ST Century marathon since I am hoping to write a separate blog about it.

So this is how it goes.

I added some links from earlier specials. If you never heard any of these, you will get a good idea and to what I do and figure out why I am so excited about these programs. Also, please check my website before each show for more details at: http://www.classicaldiscoveries.org

Wednesday, December 14, 2011 – from 5:30 till 11:00am and from 11:00am till 1:00pm – the 15th Annual program: 

CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD

http://www.classicaldiscoveries.org/playlist20101215c_s.html

Tuesday, December 20, 2011  from 5:30 till 8:30am – the 7th Annual program

CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA

Devoted to music for the holiday season by American composers

http://www.classicaldiscoveries.org/playlist20101220s.html

Tuesday, December 20, 2011 – from 8:30 till 11:00am –

DURME, DURME

Title of this program inspired by the beautiful Sephardic lullaby. Music of Jewish inspiration to celebrate Hanukkah

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 – from 5:30 till 1:00pm – the 15th Annual program 

A MEDIEVAL, RENAISSANCE AND BAROQUE CHRISTMAS – part 1

Lesser-known works of early music works celebrating the holiday, as well as some of my favorites.

http://www.classicaldiscoveries.org/playlist20101222s.html

I hope that listeners of my avant-garde show will forgive me for skipping this week’s show.  However, who can resist beautiful early music at the time when the world is lit with millions of Christmas lights.

Saturday, December 24, 2011 – from 5:30 till 9:00am

A MEDIEVAL, RENAISSANCE AND BAROQUE CHRISTMAS – part 2

Monday, December 26, 2011 – 1:00pm till Tuesday, December 27, 2011 – 1:00pm

VIVA 21ST CENTURY – 24 HOUR LIVE RADIO MARATHON

More about this in my next blog

Al Compas de un Tango (To the beat of a tango)- Courtesy: Artist Lesley Mitchell

Al Compas de un Tango (To the beat of a tango)- Courtesy: Artist Lesley Mitchell

Wednesday, December 28, 2011 – from 5:30 till 11:00am and from 11:00am till 1:00pm – the 15th Annual program –

SHALL WE DANCE   and SHALL WE DANCE – AVANT-GARDE EDITION

Please put on your dancing shoes and costumes, because this show will be fun.

http://www.classicaldiscoveries.org/playlist20101229c_s.html

Saturday, December 31, 2010 – from 5:30 till 9:00am – the 8th Annual –

MUSIC FOR KWANZAA

 Kwanzaa Celebration with music by black composers.

http://www.classicaldiscoveries.org/playlist20101219s.html

That is all for now. I hope that you will be able to tune at least to some of those specials and please remember that WPRB 103.3FM is heard all over the world at http://www.wprb.com/listen.php

I wish you all a Healthy and Happy Holiday Season and New Year.

 

WE REMEMBER SEPTEMBER 11

NY Firemen

It is incredible how certain events in life can put an imprint on the brain so that you can remember them for years to come.

I do remember the moment in WPRB at 10 am, September 11, 2001 when I received a phone call  from my wife telling me what was happening.

Since no emergency broadcast system was working and no phone calls went through until her phone call, I had been totally unaware what was happening.

I faced the most difficult moment in my life trying to finish the last hour of my show. It was so ironical that my program was that day titled East Meets West, and intended to promote peace and the mutual understanding of music from different cultures.

It was even more difficult for me since my cousin’s husband worked for Cantor Fitzgerald. Later that day, to my relief, I found out that he was away on a business trip and was not in New York.

Back at home I was not able to do anything. Glued to the the television with tears in my eyes and chills going through my bones, I was overwhelmed with grief and hoping to hear about survivors.

Two days later, during my 5-hour musical tribute to the fallen, I shut the music off in the studio when it was playing because I would have cried on the air.

I selected the saddest and most tragic music I could find to match my feelings, like Giya Kancheli’s “Mourned By the Wind”, Jón Leifs  Requiem, Wojciech Kilar’s  Requiem Father Kolbe, which I coincidently presented 4 years earlier on my first Classical Discoveries program.  I received many phone calls at that time asking about that incredible work.

After that, four special tributes followed with a special 5th anniversary program, totally devoted to works written from 2001 till 2006 in memory of the victims of 9/11.

Kilar - September Symphony

Since the fifth anniversary of 9/11, I have aired many new works written in memory of the victims.

Robert Moran’s Trinity Requiem received its world première broadcast just a couple of weeks ago and written for the famous Trinity Church which survived despite all the collapsed buildings around it.

The idea of a 24-hour 9/11 Marathon came to my head when I started a series of New Music marathons of 21st century music a few years ago.

Elodie Lauten - S.O.S.W.T.C

Originally I intended to invite different people for talk between the music. I later decided that the best way to speak is through the musical language of composers, since each has a personal story behind their music.

This tragedy inspired more composers than any other historical event in our history. Most people on Earth could see the events of that day unfolding in front of their eyes, making it more difficult to forget.

Joseph Schwantner

During the 24 hours of the Marathon you will hear many works submitted by composers specifically for this event.  I want to thank Sequenza 21 and International Alliance for Women Composers as well as other websites who supported this call for recordings.

During the marathon there will be some works being broadcast for the first time as well many works presented on my program before such as the September Symphony by Wojciech Kilar that I presented for the first time in June, 2004, Elodie Lauten’s complete electronic work S.O.S.W.T.C., and Stephen Hartke’s Symphony No. 3 just to mention a few as well as an encore presentation of Robert Moran’s Trinity Requiem.

Moran - Trinity Requiem

I know that this event will be a very difficult for me and every one else, but I do not know any other way I could commemorate this tragic happening, but with music.

If you are on Facebook, you can sign on the special Marathon Event Page – WE REMEMBER SEPTEMBER 11

Closer to the Marathon you will find more information on the home page of the Classical Discoveries website.

CLASSICAL DISCOVERIES 24 – HOUR  MARATHON

WE REMEMBER SEPTEMBER 11

starts: 
SATURDAY, September 10, 2011 – 7:00 PM

ends: 
 SUNDAY, September 11, 2011 – 7:00 PM

on WPRB 103.3FM Princeton and on Internet at:

http://listen.wprb.com/pls

http://listen.wprb.com/ram

http://listen.wprb.com/asx

http://www.wprb.com/listen.php

For those who are curious what I did before here is a playlist from the 5th Anniversary broadcast

  • ”IN MEMORIUM OF THE VICTIMS OF 9/11”

Margaret Brouwer (USA) –  – Lament
Craig Armstrong (USA) – World Trade Center Cello Theme from the Oliver Stone Film “World Trade Center
Robert Sirota (USA) – Triptych
Alla Pavlova (Russia/USA) – “Lullaby for the Twins” from “Old New York Nostalgia”
Charles Camilleri (Malta) – Dirge 11.09.01
Lee McQuillan (USA) – Romanza for Violin and Orchestra, “Into Troubled Times” (A 9/11 Reflection)
Robert Allworth (Australia) – “Saint John Fisher” from “Organ Preludes for Saints and Martyrs”
Stefania De Kenessey (USA) Autumn Elegy
Joseph Schwantner (USA) – September Canticle
Eric Ewazen (USA) – A Hymn for the Lost and the Living
Carl Schroeder (USA) – Christine’s Lullaby
Nancy Bloomer Deussen (USA) – “Et in Terra Pax”
Craig Armstrong – “Elegy” from the Oliver Stone Film, “World Trade Center”
Stephen Chatman (Canada) – Over Thorns to Stars
Carson P. Cooman (USA) – Canticle: Mosaic in Remembrance and Hope
Tyler Goodrich White (USA) – Elegy for the Orphans of Terror
Adolphus Hailstork (USA) – As Falling Leaves
Piotr Grella-Mozejko (Poland/Canada) – Lachrymae (In Memory of September 11, 2001)

Robert Ian Winstin (USA) – September 11, 2001 – 9:05 am
Wojciech Kilar (Poland) – September Symphony

Elodie Lauten (France/USA) – Selections from S.O.S.W.T.C.
Lera Auerbach (Russia) – Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano (Sept. 11)
Stephen Hartke (USA) – Symphony No. 3
Craig Armstrong – “Ethereal” from the Oliver Stone Film, “World Trade Center”

  • Playlist from the first memorial on 09/13/2001 –  “MUSIC OF MOURNING”

J.S. Bach – “Preludium” from Cello suite in D minor
Heinrich Ignaz Franz Von Biber – Requiem
Charles Camilleri – Requiem
Arnold Rosner – Five Meditations
John Dowland – Flow My Tears
Alan Hovhaness – Psalm and Fugue
Arvo Part – De Profundis
Wojciech Kilar – “Dona nobis pacem” from “Missa pro pace”
A. Scarlatti – Concerto #2 in C minor

D. Scarlatti – Sonata in B minor, L. 33.
Serge Kaufmann – Yiddish Suite
Peteris Vasks – Cantabile
Anon. 15th Century – Prayer
Maurice Durufle – Requiem
Wojciech Kilar – Requiem Father Kolbe
Claudio Monteverdi – Lamento D’Arianna
Vangelis Petsalis – Adagio for Strings
Zbigniew Preisner – “Lacrimosa” from “Requiem for my Friend”
Frantisek Tuma – Stabat Mater
Robert Starer – Elegy for a Woman Who Died Too Young
Giya Kancheli – “Mourned By the Wind”, Liturgy for viola and orchestra
Jon  Leifs – Requiem

  • Links to other tributes on “Classical Discoveries”

IN MEMORIUM OF THE VICTIMS OF 9/11 – 09-06-2006

WE REMEMBER – 09/11 MEMORIAL – 09-10-2004

MADE IN THE USA – 09/11 MEMORIAL – 09-10-2003

REMEMBERING THE VICTIMS OF TERRORISM AND WAR – 09-11-2002

MUSIC OF MOURNING – 09-13-2001

 

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