29 June 2011

Apocalyptic works for choir.

Set #1 - 8:00am - 9:30am

1. Leoš Janáček: Glagolitic Mass (1926-27)
Evlyn Lear - soprano, Hilde Rössel-Majdan - alto/contralto, Ernst Haefliger - tenor, Franz Crass - bass, Bedřich Janáček - organ, Rafael Kubelik - conductor, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Chorus
Deutsche Grammophon, 459 360-2

2. Alfred Schnittke: Concerto for Choir (1984-85)
Text by Gregor Narekatsi from The Book of Mournful Songs (late 10th century)
Translated into Russian by N. Grebnev
Elena Dof-Donskaya - soprano, Valery Polyansky - conductor, USSR Ministry of Culture Chamber Choir

3. Alfred Schnittke: Two Small Pieces for Organ (1980)
Oleg Yanchenko - organ

Tracks 2-3
Melodiya, SUCD 10-00066

Set #2 - 9:30am - 11:00am

4. Steve Reich: The Desert Music (1983)
Text by William Carlos Williams (1954-62)
Steve Reich & Musicians, Michael Tilson Thomas - conductor, Chorus & Members of Brooklyn Philharmonic
Nonesuch, 7559-79101-2

5. Karel Husa: Apotheosis of This Earth (1973)
Karel Husa - conductor, Louisville Orchestra, University of Louisville Concert Choir
First Edition Recordings, LCD005

Where to buy CDs featured on today's show:
Janáček - CD Universe
Schnittke - CD Baby mp3
Reich - CD Universe
Husa - CD Universe (different recording)

22 June 2011

More chant, less cant. This week I attempt, in my halting way, to demonstrate the development of Oriental Christian chant from the 13th to the 19th century. (It gets more complex.)

"The sounds in these chants are majestic and prolonged... They express the groaning of the repentant soul which sighs in the land of its expulsion for the blessed, longed-for land of eternal joy, of pure divine pleasure...."

Set #1 - 8:00am - 9:30am

1. Disc One: The Founders of Grottaferrata
Ioannas Arvanitis - cantor & director, Alexander Lingas - artistic director, Cappella Romana
Byzantium in Rome: Medieval Byzantine Chant from Grottaferrata
Cappella Romana, CR403-2CD
(Greek hymns from 13th and 14th century manuscripts.)

2. "Liturgy of the Faithful" from The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom: Mediaeval Chant of the Russian Orthodox Church
Bishop Hilarion (Alfeyev) - celebrant, Choir of Danilov Monastery Moscow, Georgy Safonov - director
Christophorus, CHR 77287
(Chants from 16th century manuscripts.)

Set #2 - 9:30am - 11:00am

3. Matins of the Holy Easter
Archimandrite Matthew (Mormyl) - conductor, Choir of the Trinity-St. Sergius Laura & the Moscow Theological Academy
Melodiya: The Russian Label: Highlights
Melodiya, 74321 27247 2
(19th century homophonic settings. Ring dem bells!)

4. Gregorian Chants, Eternal Chants
Benedictine Monks of the Abbey at Ganagobie
Milan, 73138 35653-2
(A mixed bag. Purists beware! 18th and 20th century organ music interludes!)

Where to buy CDs featured on today's show:
Byzantium in Rome - CD Universe
Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom - CD Universe
Matins of Holy Easter - Amazon
Gregorian Chants, Eternal Chants - CD Universe mp3

15 June 2011

This week's episode intimates a similarity between Byzantine chant and the devotional ceremonies of the Sufi mystics.

Set #1 - 8:00am - 9:00am

1. Disc Two: The Feast of Pentecost (rec. 2006)
Ioannas Arvanitis - cantor & director, Alexander Lingas - artistic director, Cappella Romana
Byzantium in Rome: Medieval Byzantine Chant from Grottaferrata
Cappella Romana, CR403-2CD
("The Abbey of Grottaferrata in the suburban hills of Rome has used the Byzantine Rite for over a millennium since its founding in 1004.... antedating the upheavals of the Fourth Crusade's sack of Constantinople in 1204." Sorry about that.)

Set #2 - 9:00am - 10:00am

2. Celebrations: Turkish Classical Music: Tribute to Yunus Emre
Nevzad Atliğ - conductor, National Choir of Turkish Classical Music
Auvidis, D 8303
(Poet and mystic Yunus Emre lived from ca. 1240-1321. "His poems... mainly concern divine love as well as human destiny." This is the first CD I illegally copied onto my iBook back in '01.)

Set #3 - 10:00am - 11:00am

3. Ioannis Koukouzelis: Kratime (14th cent.)
Lycourgos Angelopoulos - director, Greek Byzantine Choir
Ioannis Koukouzelis: The Byzantine Maestro
Jade, 73138 35809-2
(Kratime are "free compositions set to diverse syllables that make no sense, such as Te-ri-rem and Ne-ne-na and others, in lieu of a text.... [T]he substitution of free syllables to a text produces a psalmody similar to the unending psalmody of the angels in Heaven (a psalmody without words). Moreover, according to symbolic theology, it is meant to signify the incomprehensibility of the godhead." The cardiovascular workout of these choristers is up there in the marathon range.)

4. Bestenigar Pesrev (rec. 1974)

5. Mevlevi Whirling Dance (rec. 1974)

Tracks 4-5
Mevlevi Dervishes
Ecstatic Dances of the Whirling & Howling Dervishes of Turkey & Syria
ARC Music, EUCD 1580
(Aldous Huxley reminds us about the effect of extreme cantillation on the amount of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream. He posits that the increased level of CO2 lowers the efficiency of what he calls the "cerebral reducing valve", opening the door to visionary experience.... Only he's WRONG. Tune in to get the lowdown on hyperventilation.)

Where to buy CDs featured on today's show:
Cappella Romana - CD Universe
Tribute to Yunus Emre - out of print
Ioannis Koukouzelis: The Byzantine Maestro - CD Universe
Ecstatic Dances of the Whirling & Howling Dervishes - CD Universe

08 June 2011

Did they laugh at you in Prague? Did they belittle you in Budapest? Did they ridicule you in Rome? Did your ideas go over the heads of the Academy in Aarhus?

Well, you're invited to discuss your theories on the air during the Komodo Dragon Show this Wednesday, June 8th, in celebration of UMFM Open House Week.

Listeners are invited to drop by the station on the 3rd floor of University Centre or to call the broadcast studio at 204-269-8636 between 8-11am Central Time on Wednesday, June 8th. Your input will preempt three hours of traditional Laplandish moss-gathering chants.

The only pre-requisite is to have something interesting to say. I am a fair man, but I am also the final, pitiless arbiter of what gets aired on my show. Here's the bed for my interview with you:

Set #1 - 8:00am - 9:00am

Dan Gibson's Solitudes Vol.10
Solitudes, CCDG 10

Played simultaneously with:

Dan Gibson's Solitudes
Solitudes, CCDG013

Set #2 - 9:00am - 10:00am

2A. Brian Eno: Music for Airports (1978)
Ambient 1
Virgin, EEGCD 17

Played simultaneously with:

2B. Brian Eno: Music for Airports (rec. 1998)
Bang on a Can All-Stars
Point Music, 314 536 847-2

Set #3 - 10:00am - 11:00am

3A. The Bagpipe of Turkey (rec. 2002)
Bülent Bekar - bagpipe
Earthcds, nn

Played simultaneously with:

Murat Avhan - bagpipe, Yaşar Çorbacioğlu - bagpipe
Earthcds, nn

01 June 2011

As one reviewer said: "I need to get out more." Well... do just that, this Wednesday, June 1st, from 8-11am CT, on http://www.umfm.com/ The musical inflection continues being Eastern.

Set #1 - 8:00am - 9:00am

1. Raga Malya Maruttam

2. Pahadi Dhun

Tracks 1-2 (rec. 2007)
Ronu Majumdar - bansuri flute, Durga Prasad Majumdar - pakhavaj [double-sided drum], Vilas D. Pednekar & Kalpesh Sachla - tanpuras
Ronu Majumdar: Master of the Indian Bansuri
ARC Music, EUCD 2056

3. Ned Rorem: Flute Concerto (2002)
José Serebrier - conductor, Jeffrey Khaner - flute, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Naxos, 8.559278

Set #2 - 9:00am - 10:00am

4. Viktor Suslin: Lamento (1989)
Friedemann Herz - organ
White Music
Olympia, OCD 679

5. Mikhail Nosyrev: Concerto for Violin & Orchestra (1971)
Andrei Anikhanov - conductor, Mikhail Gantvarg - violin, Mussorgsky Opera & Ballet Theatre Orchestra, St. Petersburg
Olympia, OCD 691

6. Ahmed Adnan Saygun: Third movement: Largo from Sonata for Violin & Piano (1941)
Selim Giray - violin, June Chun-Young - piano
Turkish Music for Violin & Piano
ERM Media, ERM7107

Set #3 - 10:00am - 11:00am

7. Ahmed Adnan Saygun: Concerto for Cello & Orchestra (1987)
Howard Griffiths - conductor, Tim Hugh - cello, Bilkent Symphony Orchestra
CPO, 777 290-2

8. Rodion Shchedrin: Concerto for Orchestra No.4 "Korovody" (Roundelays) (1989)
Kirill Karabits - conductor, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Naxos, 8.572405

Where to buy CDs featured on today's show:
Majumdar - CD Universe
Rorem - CD Universe
Herz - Amazon
Nosyrev - out of print
Saygun Sonata - CD Universe
Saygun Concerto - CD Universe
Shchedrin - CD Universe