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Music inspired by Eisenhower's quote to Bernstein on Exploring Music in July (week of July 4)

A chance remark by President Eisenhower inspired Bernstein to write the song cycle which will be performed by the S.F. Symphony
Courtesy of the Leonard Bernstein Archives
A chance remark by President Eisenhower inspired Bernstein to write the song cycle which will be performed by the S.F. Symphony

Week of July 4, 2022 - Arias and Barcarolles  Taking a cue from President Eisenhower’s famous remark to Leonard Bernstein, “… I like music with a theme, not all them arias and barcarolles.” This week is a sampling of arias, overtures, barcarolles, and other melodic delights that deserve more time on the airwaves. Bill will spin tunes like Lawrence Welk’s “Bubbles in the Wine” and Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians performing Jerome Kern’s “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.” This is a week to just sit back and enjoy.

Week of July 11, 2022 - I Lost It at the Movies Music for (silent) film started in France when Saint-Saëns composed an original score for The Assassination of the Duke of Guise (L’Assassinat du duc de Guise, 1908) and Hollywood took it from there. Bill recalls some of his favorite original and arranged scores for many great films: Bernard Herrmann’s work for Citizen Kane and several Hitchcock films; Elmer Bernstein for To Kill a Mockingbird; Henri Mancini’s work on The Pink Panther; Ennio Morricone for various Westerns; and even some singing from Charlie Chaplin. Grab the popcorn and listen!

Week of July 18, 2022 - Respighi, Ottorino There’s much more to Ottorino Respighi than The Pines of Rome and The Fountains of Rome. This week we’ll hear his connections with the music of Brazil, touch on his experiences in war-torn Europe, and see how this violinist, musicologist, and composer artfully moved Italian music into the 20th century. We will hear The Birds (Gli Uccelli) where several birds are characterized by Respighi. Bill samples the “cuckoo” sound heard within this suite. In Friday’s episode, we meet an American woman, Elizabeth Coolidge, who in 1927 lands Respighi a commission to write Botticelli Triptych (Trittico Botticelliano).

Week of July 25, 2022 - Symphony, Part IV We start this week featuring the symphonic form at its Romantic apex, with Austrian composers Anton Bruckner and Gustav Mahler, then we cross the English Channel to Britain to listen to the music of Edward Elgar. 22 symphonies among the three of them, and more remarkable since Bruckner was in his 40s before he composed his first, and Elgar had just turned fifty! Wonderful vivid, colorful orchestral symphonies from the height of the Romantic period.