Monday, May 13, 2013

Contemporary classical music on your radio all day today at WFMT

Posted By on 05.13.13 at 10:02 AM

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Chicago is lucky to still have a full-time classical-music radio station in WFMT, but for fans of composed music that's less than a hundred years old, there aren't so many opportunities to hear it outside of the concert hall or by purchasing recordings. There are occasions where something less musty gets on WFMT's airwaves, as on host Seth Bousted's weekly Relevant Tones program, but by and large the station doesn't offer much proof that "classical" music is a living tradition. Today, however, the station is offering a refreshing antidote to convention with ten impressive hours of programming of truly contemporary music.

Lasting Impressions began this morning at 9 AM and runs through 7 PM. The station enlisted a handful of prominent composers, conductors, and critics to choose works written in the last 25 years that they think "will still be heard a century from now." Among the participants are chief New York Times classical critic Anthony Tommasini, Trib critic John von Rhein and Sun-Times critic Andrew Patner, Chicago-based composers Bousted, Augusta Read Thomas, Hans Thomalla, and conductor Cliff Colnot, among others. Pieces by John Adams, Ralph Shapey, Helmut Lachenmann, Thomas Adès, and Oliver Knussen are part of the 13-work lineup, with each work preceded by taped introductions by the various selectors.

Below you can check out the entire program:

1. Anthony Tommasini
Chief classical-music critic of The New York Times:

Auld Swaara, Stephen Hartke's 1992 concerto for violin and orchestra; violinist Michelle Makarski with the Riverside Symphony, George Rothman conducting.

2. Cliff Colnot
Composer, arranger, principal conductor of the Civic Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra MusicNOW series and faculty at DePaul University and the University of Chicago:

Mirage, by Israeli composer Shulamit Ran, 1990. Cliff Colnot conducts an ensemble featuring Mary Stolper on amplified alto flute, flute, and piccolo; John Bruce Yeh, B-flat clarinet; Liba Shacht-Sharp, violin; and Christopher Oldfather, piano.

3. Hans Thomalla
German composer and composition professor at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University:

. . . zwei Gefühle . . . (Two Feelings), Musik mit Leonardo, for two speakers and ensemble by the German composer Helmut Lachenmann. Hans Zender conducts the Klangforum Wein.

4. Seth Boustead
Young Chicago composer and host and producer of WFMT's weekly Relevant Tones:

Momentum for Orchestra, 1998, by Chinese composer Chen Yi. Lan Shui conducts the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.

5. John von Rhein
Classical music critic, Chicago Tribune:

John Adams's Harmonielehre, 1985. City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Simon Rattle.

6. Anne Midgette
Classical music critic at the Washington Post:

Meredith Monk's 2008 Songs of Ascension, Meredith Monk with the Todd Reynolds Quartet, the M6, and the Montclair State University Singers.

7. Andrew Patner
Critic at large, WFMT, and classical music and opera critic for the Chicago Sun-Times:

Millennium Designs for violin and piano, music composed by Ralph Shapey in 2000, performance by Miranda Cuckson, violin, and Blair McMillen, piano.

8. Augusta Read Thomas
Composer and University of Chicago professor of composition and humanities:

David Rakowski's 2005 Piano Concerto, pianist Marilyn Nonken with the Boston Modern Orchestra under the direction of Gil Rose.

9. Patricia Morehead
Composer, oboist, educator, and new-music advocate:

Marc-Anthony Turnage's Anna Nicole, 2011.

10. Tim Page
Pulitzer Prize-winning music critic, author, and professor of music and journalism at the University of Southern California:

Tim got a waiver to go back a few more years!

Steve Reich's 1973 composition Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ, original Deutsche Grammophon LP recording with Steve Reich and an ensemble of a dozen musicians.

11. Marc Neikrug
Composer, pianist, and music director of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival:

Requiem: Songs for Sue for soprano and chamber ensemble, Oliver Knussen's 2005 musical tribute to his late wife. Knussen conducts soprano Claire Booth and the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.

12. Elbio Barilari
Uruguayan composer, educator, and host and producer of WFMT's weekly program ¡Fiesta!:

Cuban composer Leo Brouwer's 1987 Guitar Concerto No. 4, Concerto de Toronto. Guitarist John Williams and the London Sinfonietta, Steven Mercurio conducting.

13. David Robertson
American conductor and music director of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra:

Concentric Paths, violin concerto by British composer Thomas Adès, 2005. Chamber Orchestra of Europe with Anthony Marwood, soloist.

Today's playlist:

Best Coast, The Only Place (Mexican Summer)
Jamie Saft Trio, Trouble (Tzadik)
Barn Owl, Lost in the Glare (Thrill Jockey)
Mjelva/Tamnes, Gi Mi Pols (Talik)
Marco von Orelli 6, Close Ties on Hidden Lanes (Hatology)

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