Now is the Time

Saturday, 9 to 10 pm on HD-2 and the Classical Stream

Contemporary American music is being recorded all the time, and Now is the Time to take a listen and explore the music of American composers today. All types...all styles...listen to contemporary American music every Sunday night with host and composer Kile Smith.

Composer ID: 
51802771e1c8619119d8253b|51802729e1c8619119d82533

Playlist

October 14, 2012

10:01 PM
Ludus No. 1
Artist : Emilano Pardo-Tristan
Album : Contemporary Chamber Music from Panama
Composer : Emilano Pardo-Tristan
Label : CDBY
10:06 PM
Six Movements for Clarinet and Orchestra
Artist : Richard Stoltzman
Album : New American Works for Clarinet & Orchestra
Composer : William Thomas McKinley
Label : MMC
10:24 PM
Tru’a
Artist : Richard Stoltzman
Album :
Composer : Amos Elkana
Label : MMC
10:35 PM
Meditation for Clarinet and Orchestra
Artist : Richard Stoltzman
Album : New American Works for Clarinet
Composer : Roger Davidson
Label :

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Now Is the Time
9:19 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

Requiem for a Requiem on Now Is the Time

from Philip Blackburn: Requiem for a Requiem

It's surprising remembrance on Now Is the Time, Sunday, June 16th at 10 pm. In her Cantata da Requiem, World War II Poems of Peace, Gloria Coates gathers unlikely texts—including a BBC 1942 weather report—into a haunting cry.

Philip Blackburn remixes Robert Moran's 9/11 memorial Trinity Requiem, combining the shards of that beautiful piece into something new and lovely, Requiem for a Requiem.

David Chesky's Psalm III for string orchestra hints at resurrection, and the Quartet No. 3 of Philip Glass, a memorial to the Japanese author Yukio Mishima and originally for string quartet, is made new in the liquid playing of the Oasis Saxophone Quartet.

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Now Is the Time
7:20 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

Thrum on Now Is the Time

from Steve Bowman: Odd Angle of the Isle

It's all movement and angles on Now Is the Time, Sunday, June 9th at 10 pm. Sergio Cervetti's two harpsichord pieces Candombe and Alberada spin and dance, while Elizabeth Brown's chamber work Liguria bends deliciously (she's also the flutist).

Another composer/performer is the Philadelphia area's Steve Bowman, whose electronic Odd Angle of the Isle is mixed down from live club dates (no sequencers! no multi-tracking!). Steven Winteregg imagines an orchestral bullet train speeding through France with a brisk TGV, but David Evan Thomas's Thrum nudges the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet through layers and soft waves to close the program.

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Now Is the Time
12:19 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Different Trains on Now Is the Time

Grand Central Terminal, New York City, at its founding, 1913.

from Steve Reich: Different Trains

It’s two large works—one for piano, one for string quartet—on Now Is the Time, Sunday, June 2nd at 10 pm. The Sonata for Piano Solo by Judith Lang Zaimont shows its depth through color and a confident use of materials: not afraid to echo Beethoven’s “Pathéthique” Sonata in the second movement, she carries it off beautifully. The Van Cliburn Competition used the third movement of this sonata in 2001.

As a child growing up in New York City during World War II, Steve Reich traveled East Coast to West Coast and back by train. He later learned that there were other people on other trains at the same time in Poland, in Hungary, who were being taken to their deaths. Different Trains places the Kronos string quartet against its recorded self, along with the voices of some who survived the Holocaust.

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Now is the Time
12:48 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Mythology on Now Is the Time

Detail from Tantalus's Torment, by Bernard Picart (1673-1733)

from Robert Lombardo: Orpheus and the Maenads

It's three views of mythology on Now Is the Time, Sunday, May 26th at 10 pm. Robert Lombardo brings the sound of the mandolin to the string orchestra with a fascinating result in Orpheus and the Maenads, and Richard Stoltzman brings his clarinet to the music of Jonathan Sacks, whose Portals re-imagines Bacchus and ancient rituals.

Maurice Wright's Mythology is a cycle of songs considering the myths of Orpheus, Lethe, Tantalus, and Medusa, the music swimming in poignant lyricism.

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Now is the Time
9:41 pm
Sun May 19, 2013

Warmth on Now Is the Time

The Baroque and new-music group Mélomanie

from Derek Bermel: Thracian Sketches

The cold snap is behind us and we’re feeling the warmth of spring on Now Is the Time, Sunday, May 19th at 10 pm. Ingrid Arauco’s Florescence buzzes and hums for the flute and harpsichord of Mélomanie, and Derek Bermel brings Thracian Sketches in all its Bulgarian-inspired rhythms to viola and percussion.

George Tsontakis takes us to the Mediterranean with orchestral Gymnopedies that are more Greek than French, but France infuses the sound of Avner Dorman’s Moments Musicaux for piano.

Things heat up with the computerized kicks of Thrum by John Gibson, and finally, with the two electric guitars that rock David Lang’s Warmth.

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Now is the Time
12:44 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Even Odd Pieces on Now Is the Time

from Janika Vandervelde: Genesis V

We’re having fun with numbers on Now Is the Time, Sunday, May 12th at 10 pm. Four dances for piano is what Keith Carpenter calls An even number of odd pieces, and Sketches Set Seven, also for piano, is Ed Bland’s contribution to what he calleds “urban classical funk.”

Mr. Bland passed away after this show was produced, so we honor his memory with this look into his wide-ranging career.

Charles Wuorinen’s Dodecadactyl is a fun two-guitar romp through the twelve pitches, and from her set of life-rhythm-inspired Genesis works is Janika Vandervelde’s Genesis V, for four guitars. For two sopranos is the riveting Madrigal III by Sergio Cervetti, setting a text from pre-Columbian Mexico.

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Now is the Time
11:34 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

Concerto da Camera on Now Is the Time

from John Williams: Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra

Concertos for low instruments bookend a concerto for orchestra on Now Is the Time, Sunday, May 5th at 10 pm. Gunther Schuller conducts Orchestra 2001 in his Concerto da Camera, a classical-sized work with twists. Carter Brey’s singing tone dives deep into Steven Gerber’s Cello Concerto, bringing up a work of warmth and beauty.

The program opens with a perky yet challenging Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra by John Williams. Although he’s known worldwide for his decades of award-winning film scores, he’s written many concert pieces—including concertos. This one has become a repertoire piece for tubists since he composed it in 1985.

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Now is the Time
12:25 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Night Cadenza on Now Is the Time

from Terry Riley: Cadenza on the Night Plain

It’s different ways to say good night on Now is the Time, Sunday, April 28th at 10 pm. Alex Freeman’s solo piano Night on the Prairies leads to a sextet in Jeremy Beck’s In Flight until Mysterious Night (and do we hear Steely Dan in there?). Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble then runs with the Night of the Flying Horses of Osvaldo Golijov.

Then, two quartets. Night Blossoms of Mary Jane Leach is a haiku for four singers, and the four string instruments of Kronos play Terry Riley’s long-breathed Cadenza on the Night Plain, out into that good night.

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Now is the Time
12:12 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Somewhere on the Way, on Now Is the Time

from Miguel del Aguila: Pacific Serenade

We’re traveling far and enjoying the journey on Now is the Time, Sunday, April 21st at 10 pm. From his CD Stream of Stars, Dylan Mattingly’s Atlas of Somewhere on the Way to Howland Island imagines the last flight of Amelia Earhart, somewhere over the Pacific, finishing with the movement “Islanded in a Stream of Stars.”

James Aikman’s CD Tremors From a Far Shore yields his Violin Sonata No. 2, a large-breathed work opening with a piano-centered Habanera. It also includes a second-movement Homage to his grandmother. Miguel del Aguila’s softly delicious Pacific Serenade leaves us wanting to hear more from him, as we continue on our way.

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CD Selections
6:34 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Kile Smith Recommends: Francis Pott, In the Heart of Things

Composer Francis Pott

Kile's review including music from Francis Pott: In the Heart of Things

Whether communication is too easy, or articulation is too difficult, our time is not a time of counterpoint. Instead of corresponding, we post or tweet; instead of reasoning, we shout and repeat, louder and louder. Music is often an event or a stepping-up of rungs of events: hooks and ladders, clanging past, looking for a fire.

In the Heart of Things: Choral Music of Francis Pott
Commotio. Matthew Berry, conductor
Naxos 8.572739

The choral music of Francis Pott, however, flows by, refreshingly contrapuntal. That joy in the working of voices is particularly evident in his 2012 CD, In the Heart of Things. If counterpoint seems anti-modern, he admits it, and points to Thomas Tallis, William Byrd, and other past masters of the polyphonic Mass as models. That’s appropriate, because In the Heart of Things is a collection of his choral music revolving around the most substantial work on the recording, his Mass for Eight Parts.

From the Kyrie through the Agnus Dei, this Mass is a triumph of intricate beauty. Upper, middle, and lower streams of voices glide by and mingle, their complexity unnoticed because they shimmer. Sometimes they sneak in, as the “Hosanna” does at first in the Sanctus, or roll in waves, gathering strength as at the end of that movement.

Sometimes the power is overwhelming, as at the end of the Gloria, the final “Amen” surging, unexpected, rank upon rank. Pott composed the Agnus Dei in memory of someone he didn’t know, a past singer of the choir that commissioned this. His gentle, pointed lyricism melts the voices into a sea of comfort.

Francis Pott was raised in the English chorister tradition, and knows this repertoire from the inside. His setting of a familiar text, such as Balulalow (known by many from Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols), or the new Mary’s Carol (Pott wrote this in memory of his father-in-law), always balances freshness of expression with aptness to the language.

His Lament honors a soldier killed in Afghanistan. Using the poem of Wilfrid Wilson Gibson, “But we, how shall we turn to little things / And listen to the birds… nor feel the heart-break in the heart of things,” we know the composer feels deeply what we also feel. This fellow-feeling is at the heart of artistry.

Francis Pott weaves a living counterpoint of music and emotion because he himself has sung it. His music breathes the life of tradition, but it is ever fresh, ever modern.

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