Now is the Time en Jazz Dance Suite <p>We arrive at the corner of Jazz and Classical on <strong>Now Is the Time, Saturday, April 12th at 9 pm</strong> at and WRTI-HD2. Chicago a cappella scats with <em>Pleasure</em> the music of Malcolm Dalglish, and solo piano tries out David Baker's <em>Jazz Dance Suite</em> as well as <em>The Blue Hula</em> by Tobias Picker.<br /><br />John Musto's <em>Divertimento</em> for chamber ensemble has jazz and popular music overtones, but there's no mistaking the straight-ahead jazz worldview in three works by Philadelphia's Adam Berenson&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">(even if he turns a corner here and there)</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, from his brand-new 2-CD release </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">Lumen</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. He's the pianist, along with bass and drums, in his <em>L</em></span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">ate 20th Century Stomp</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">Emotional Idiot</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, and </span><em style="line-height: 1.5;">Respectable People</em><span style="line-height: 1.5;">.</span></p><p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 19:45:04 +0000 Kile Smith 7201 at Jazz Dance Suite Preludes <p>So done with March and feeling like a new start, we've got all preludes on <strong>Now Is the Time, Saturday, April 5th at 9 pm</strong> at and WRTI-HD2. Stephen Paulus writes comfortably in every genre; we start the program with a short, sassy work played by pianist Lara Downes, his <em>Prelude No. 3: Sprightly</em>. Guitarist David Starobin and composer William Bland go way back to their school days. Starobin loves playing Bland's music, and we'll hear six of a projected cycle of 48 <em>Preludes</em>.<br /><br />Then we return to the piano for the 12 <em>Preludes</em> of Bernard Rands, covering a wide landscape of emotional and tonal range. Included are two movements in memoriam of composer colleagues of Rands, Luciano Berio and Donald Martino.<br /> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 15:25:45 +0000 Kile Smith 7171 at Preludes Composer Aaron Jay Kernis Honored In Delaware <p></p><p>Philadelphia-area native Aaron Jay Kernis is among the most successful and prolific living American composers. The 54-year-old Pulitzer Prize winner has written music in almost every form except opera and ballet. WRTI’s Jim Cotter reports on a master of melody who this week receives a prestigious local award.</p><p></p><p></p><p></p> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 16:02:24 +0000 Jim Cotter 7152 at Composer Aaron Jay Kernis Honored In Delaware An Exaltation of Larks <p>Let the larks play! They sing us into spring on <strong>Now Is the Time, Saturday, March 29th at 9 pm</strong> at and WRTI-HD2. Jennifer Higdon considered "exaltation" not only to be a wonderful collective noun but also a pretty good title, so she wrote the romantic and soaring <em>An Exaltation of Larks</em> for string quartet. We get to hear, appropriately, the Lark Quartet in this recording.<br /><br />Daniel Goode loves birds, too, and weaves examples of different thrushes into one mega-birdsong for an unusual orchestra in <em>Tuba Thrush</em>. Benjamin Beirs describes circles, whorls, and storms in <em>Fluidity</em>. It's for his instrument, the guitar, and is inspired by the paintings of Sunny Gibbons, who is his sister. Book-ending the program are two works—one for marimba, one for vibraphone—by Alvin Singleton. He titles them <em>Argoru</em>, which is the Ghanaian word meaning "to play."<br /> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 14:23:11 +0000 Kile Smith 7147 at An Exaltation of Larks First Leaves of Spring <p>It is spring, finally, we hope, we really do, on <strong>Now Is the Time, Saturday, March 22nd at 9 pm</strong> at and WRTI-HD2. It engenders all sorts of good thoughts as we consider <em>Circling Permutations</em>, a flute and double bass improvisation by Robert Ackerman, and a concert rag for piano, <em>Spring Beauties</em>, by Brian Dykstra. Always elegant, the music of Paul Chihara seems appropriate for our turn to the warmth; we’ll hear his <em>String Trio</em>.<br /><br />Avner Dorman brings along his <em>Azerbaijani Dance</em> for piano, and if you feel like a play on words, David Gunn’s always good for that, so a <em>Missing Inn March</em> could fit the bill this month. New music for old instruments symbolize a change of seasons; Will Ayton’s <em>Songs of the British Isles</em> is for the consort of viols, Parthenia. And in a similar vein, Dick Hensold breaks out his Northumbrian pipes for <em>First Leaves of Spring</em>.<br /> Fri, 21 Mar 2014 14:08:12 +0000 Kile Smith 7120 at First Leaves of Spring The Ides of March <p>Julius Caesar had better watch his back on <strong>Now Is the Time, Saturday, March 15th at 9 pm at and WRTI-HD2</strong>. Brutus doesn't show up, but look out for the <em>Silver Dagger</em> of Stacy Garrop, an Appalachian somebody-done-somebody-wrong song. Eric Moe channels comic-book philosophy of "they said it couldn't be done" in <em>Dead Elf Tugboat</em>, and Andy Teirstein throws a bright light on fate with the narrated drama <em>The Shooting of Dan McGrew</em>.<br /><br />Michael Daugherty's <em>Dead Elvis</em> romps through one corner of pop culture, and Dan Visconti's <em>Lawless Airs</em> through another, with a violin accompanied by a harp sounding like a broken guitar played by a cowboy. The percussion quartet ensemble, et al. cautions with <em>No Matter How Fast You Run Today, you will Never Catch up to Tomorrow</em>, Joshua Rosenblum offers a tonic to the Ides with <em>Forward March</em>, and Mark Zuckerman clears the air of fate with the canon, <em>Grant Us Peace</em>.<br /> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 04:17:13 +0000 Kile Smith 7094 at The Ides of March A Suite of Etudes <p>We study etudes, "studies," on <strong>Now Is the Time, Saturday, March 8th at 9 pm</strong> at and WRTI-HD2. No idea what <em>Defensive Chili</em> means, but this second etude for piano by Marc Mellits really sets the table. John McDonald comes in with two pieces for violin and piano, the poetic studies he calls&nbsp;<em>Lily Events</em>, and <em>Lyrical Study</em>.<br /><br />Tomas Svoboda plays his own powerful music for piano, the <em>Nine Etudes in Fugue Style, Vol. 2</em>, and then we include an etude for an instrument not nearly as ubiquitous, the bassoon. John Steinmetz's <em>Etude No. 5</em> is a lovely fantasy on the cowboy lament "Streets of Laredo," how about that?<br /> Fri, 07 Mar 2014 16:27:26 +0000 Kile Smith 7073 at A Suite of Etudes String Circle <p>All kinds of strings are circling on <strong>Now Is the Time, Saturday, March 1st at 9 pm</strong> Eastern on the all-classical stream at and WRTI-HD2. The Minneapolis Guitar Quartet starts off with Daniel Bernard Roumain's homage to places he's lived and loved. <em>Ghetto Strings</em> visits Harlem, Liberty City in South Florida, the Motor City, and the land of his parents, Haiti. Ethel is the string quartet playing <em>String Circle 1</em> by Kenji Bunch, who, since he's also an accomplished violist, knows his way around strings.<br /><br />But we go to Phillip Rhodes for a solo viola dance suite, and inspired by Bach. It's the <em>Partita</em>, from 1977. Full circle is how we'll finish the show, with guitars, but this time two of them, the wonderful Anderson-Fader Duo. From their CD <em>Le Cirque</em> is <em>Fantasy on 12 Strings</em> by Martin Rokeach.<br /> Fri, 28 Feb 2014 18:24:24 +0000 Kile Smith 7047 at String Circle Valentines <p>We hope it's not too late for Valentines on <strong>Now Is the Time, Saturday, February 15th at 9 pm</strong> Eastern on the all-classical stream at and WRTI-HD2. We start with soprano and guitar, and with an orphan's dream of an angel in <em>Romance</em> by William Ortiz. Irving Berlin's "They Say It's Wonderful" is the inspiration behind <em>Love Twitters</em> by Augusta Read Thomas, for piano, but Morten Lauridsen asks, "Against whom have you formed these thorns?" in <em>Contre qui, rose</em>. A lover asks for a handkerchief (she'll return it when no one's looking), in a four-hand piano setting of the Italian folk song <em>Amor dammi quel fazzolettino</em> by Andrew Violette.<br /><br />David Bennett Thomas works with some of the greatest love poetry in his <em>Juliet: Five Songs from Shakespeare</em>, and we hear Eric Whitacre's first published choral work, <em>Go, lovely Rose</em>. Finally, Allen Shawn sends us into the evening with a last-minute Valentine's Day present for his wife, titled simply, <em>Valentine</em>.<br /> Fri, 14 Feb 2014 20:43:52 +0000 Kile Smith 7009 at Valentines Old Love Story, Old Computer <p>It's a story as old as love, and a computer before there were computers, on <strong>Now Is the Time, Saturday, February 8th at 9 pm </strong>Eastern on the all-classical stream at and WRTI-HD2. Philip Lasser's <em>Nicolette et Aucassin</em> are in love, and like Romeo and Juliet, their families disapprove. Unlike R&amp;J, however, this ends happily. Two sopranos sing the 13th-century–inspired musical lines of the boy and girl, and actor Michael York's narration fills in the story.<br /><br />A triple concerto for violin, cello, piano, and strings is the construction behind <em>The Difference Engine</em> by Graham Reynolds. The title is the name of a machine by the 19th-century inventor Charles Babbage, who was trying to build what we now call a computer. With movements such as "The Cogwheel Brain" and "Cam Stack and Crank Handle," Reynolds invents a propulsive concerto that imagines what goes with what. Like love, we suppose.<br /> Fri, 07 Feb 2014 15:30:52 +0000 Kile Smith 6980 at Old Love Story, Old Computer