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Program Highlight

It's a two-week Exploration of London with Bill McGlaughlin, Exploring Music, June 2021

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Host Bill McGlaughlin takes us on a two-week musical tour of London.  Come along with us weeknights at 7pm, June 14-25.

Week of May 31, 2021 - American Masters, Part VI: American Composers from the age of Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon - Our first episodes begin at the turn of the 20th century, and over the years we have worked our way to composers who were active in the time of Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and beyond. You’ll hear all the usual suspects (Copland, Gershwin, Stravinsky, and Schoenberg), but we’ll also weave in beautiful and intriguing music from Peter Menin, Augustus Hailstork, Charles Wuorinen, Joan Tower, Charlie Parker, and, yes, Fats Domino. We’ll end the week with an elegiac symphonic work from George Walker, the first African American composer to win the Pulitzer Prize.

Week of June 7, 2021 - Top Shelf, Part II  Bill returns to his collection of treasured albums from his library’s top shelf to create a whole week out of these beautiful, interesting CDs performed by artists that Bill has followed for years including French hornist William Purvis, The Cypress String Quartet, and Portuguese pianist Maria João Pires.

Week of June 14, 2021 - The Music of London, Part 1 Join Bill for a two-week musical history tour of London. We will listen to medieval chant, folksongs, and court composers. Bill will stroll the South Bank, now a rejuvenated part of London, and formerly home to brothels, bear fighting arenas, plus Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Artists of all times and disciplines wandered this district, with a bird’s-eye view of St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster. During the English Reformation, Anglican Chant developed with the decree that all chants were to be in English, adhering to the cadence of the spoken word. We will listen to Thomas Tallis, court composer to Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth, hear Purcell and Elgar carry his English sound into their compositions, and Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, based on a psalm that starts, “Why fumeth in fight.”

Week of June 21, 2021 - The Music of London, Part 2 Week two of the music of London continues with visits from continental composers. Haydn’s last 12 symphonies were inspired by London. Geminiani and Mendelssohn wrote music using material from their visits, and the German-born composer Handel spent most of his life in England. After the death of Handel, music of London went into a decline, until about one hundred years later, when the wandering minstrels Gilbert and Sullivan started engaging us with songs and snatches, and awakened London’s creative spirit. We will listen to Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Holst, Britten, and Thomas Ades. Three cheers for the music of London and NankiPoo too!

Week of June 28, 2021 - Schubert String Quartets Bill continues his in-depth look at the string quartet’s history with the music of Franz Schubert. His quartets are unique and remarkable. From his early teens, Schubert loved composing quartets with surprising key relationships and complicated rhythms. These “tone puzzles” can be heard within quartet movements and throughout the complete piece. On Friday’s program Bill adds an extra cello to feature Schubert’s final chamber work, the String Quintet in C Major. This “Cello Quintet” was composed just a few months before Schubert’s death.