One expects concert artists to have their temperamental oddities, but some performers become notorious for their quirks. The famous Italian pianist Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli was perhaps more famous for his cancellations than for his concerts. And Ivo Pogorelich has given concerts that have become the stuff of legends. We'll sample some of their recordings.
Classics of the Phonograph with John Frayne
Walter Legge founded the Philharmonia Orchestra of London in 1945. It quickly became one of the world's premier recording orchestras. In 1964, Legge wanted to disband this orchestra, but the members, with the help of conductor Otto Klemperer reformed it as the New Philharmonia Orchestra. We'll play recordings from this exciting period.
The Walden Quartet was for decades the String Quartet of the University of Illinois. The four members, Homer Schmitt, Bernard Goodman, John Garvey and Robert Swenson were all professors at the U of I. This ensemble was famous for playing contemporary music, and many of their readings were issued on recordings. We'll play portions of those recordings.
We'll begin one hour early at 10 am. The Hungarian musician Ferenc Fricsay was one of the rising conducting stars of the post WW II era. His performances with the Radio in the American Sector Orchestra in Berlin were featured on Deutsche Grammophon records. We'll hear some of these performances.
Jean Sibelius finished his violin concerto in 1904, but extensively revised it after its premiere. Not many years ago the original version was recorded, and this original version is fascinating. To hear another version of music you know well is like hearing it again for the first time. We will hear some of Sibelius' first thoughts on his famous concerto.
By the year of his death in 1965, Albert Schweitzer was one of the most famous men in the world. His general fame has dimmed, but among his many accomplishments was his fame as a scholar on the organ music of J.S. Bach, and his performances of Bach’s organ music. Schweitzer left many recordings of Bach’s music and we will sample some of those records.
Georg Philipp Telemann was on one of the most prolific composers in history. Among his accomplishments was inventing the music magazine. In 1728-29, Telemann put out "The Constant Music Master," a periodical in which he printed many genres of music, most of it by himself. We'll sample some of these pieces.
Musical talent is famously hereditary. The family of Johann Sebastian Bach was one of the famous examples. Among recording artists of past decades we have violinists David and Igor Oistrakh, pianists Rudolf and Peter Serkin, and conductors Eric and Carlos Kleiber. We’ll play some samples of parent-child music making.
At the Paris Opera in the 19th Century, there was one rule: every grand opera had to have a ballet in the Third Act. No matter what the plot line, a reason must be found for someome in the story to do some dancing. If this rule caused problems for the likes of Wagner and Verdi, it resulted in some first rate ballet music. We’ll play some of this music, and you can dance, if you like.
Special time: 10 am Saturday
One of the more striking LP labels of the early 1950s was Remington, the creation of Don Gabor, whose name graced every record cover. Designed to be sold at much lower prices than major labels, Remington Records had in its catalog such major artists as Georges Enesco, Albert Spalding, and Simon Barere. You can hear their music during Saturday's show!