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Artists in Exile, Part II

On this edition of Exploring Music, the theme is "Artists in Exile", which refers to "how refugees from 20th Century war and revolution transformed the American arts." On this and the previous program, you will hear stories of the appreciation of new places but also the terrible lonliness that comes from being in exile, forced from one's home by internal strife and placed thousands of miles away in a new world.

 
Program 1

The first segment features Hindemith, who got his start writing music in Germany until Nazi Germany created problems for him. He worked his way to Turkey, then to London, where he composed Trauermusik after King George V died. On the recording we hear, he is playing viola. Next is Hinemith's Symphony in B-flat Major for Concert Band, first movement, which was written in 1951 for the US military band at West Point. Next is the second movement of the famous Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes of Carl Maria von Weber, which sounds perhaps the least German of the four movements. A couple of years after writing Symphonic Metamorphosis, Hindemith became an American citizen, and he wrote a powerful piece of music set to a Walt Whitman poem, "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd". We jump around to a few places with this piece, as Bill reads off the words of the poem before corresponding bits in the music. The segment then closes out with the last movement of Symphonic Metamorphosis: the march.

Hindemith: Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes of Carl Maria von Weber, I
Cleveland Orchestra/Szell
CBS 7166 (LP)
:40
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Hindemith: Mathis der Maler (excerpt)
Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra/Kubelik
EMI 55237
:34
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Hindemith: Trauermusik
Orch/Reibold; Hindemith, vla.
Biddulph LAB 087
7:20
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Hindemith: Symphony in B-flat Major for Concert Band, I
Philharmonia Orchestra Winds/Hindemith
MER 75057
6:38
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Hindemith: Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes of Carl Maria von Weber, II
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra/Levi
Telarc 80195
8:09
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Hindemith: When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d (excerpts)
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra/Shaw; Stone, bar.; DeGaetani,ms.
Telarc 80132
4:01, 6:54, 3:55, 8:23
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Hindemith: Symphonic Metamorphoses on Themes By Carl Maria von Weber, IV
Berliner Philh/Hindemith
Telarc 80195
4:36
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Program 2

This segment features a wide range of composers, all of whom arrived in America between 1938 and 1939. We start with Castelnuovo-Tedesco, who became one of the most famous teachers of film composers. He wrote Concerto No. 2 for Violin & Orchestra, I Profeti during this time. We hear the slow movement, which sounds very much like the kind of music that would be set to film. Next is Wolpe, a Berlin-born composer who escaped from Germany in 1938, citing his Jewish heritage and Communist politics. He set a speech by Albert Einstein to music for baritone and piano: Excerpts from Dr. Einstein's Address About Peace in the Atomic Era. Next is Busch, who made a name for himself as a string player, but also happened to be a good composer. We hear his Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in A Major. Then we come to Britten, a famous British composer who followed a friend to America and all across the country. We hear two pieces by him: "Antique", from Les Illuminations, and Sinfonia Da Requiem, parts II and III. Next is Weill, who was so fed up with the Germans he requested his name to be pronounced in an English-speaking way. We hear "Stay Well" from Lost in the Stars. Finally, we hear O Vos Omnes by Casals, a Spanish composer who fled to America from Francoist Spain.

Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Concerto No. 2 for Violin & Orchestra, I Profeti, II
Los Angeles Phil/Wallenstein; Heifetz, v.
RCA 7872
9:27
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Wolpe: Dr. Einstein’s Address About Peace In The Atomic Era (excerpts)
Mason, bar.; Shannon, p.
Bridge 9209
6:23
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Busch: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in A Major, Op. 54
Friedli, cl.; Koello, p.
Ex Libris 6108
14:56
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Britten: Les Illuminations Op. 18, IIIb. “Antique”
Berliner Phil./Rattle; Bostridge, ten.
EMI 58049
2:06
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Britten: Sinfonia Da Requiem, II & III
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra/Runnicles
Telarc 60677
11:16
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Weill: Lost In The Stars – “Stay Well” from Lost in the Stars
Orch/Levine; Lenya, voc.
Sony 60647
3:08
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Casals: O Vos Omnes
Summit Brass
Summit 218
3:09
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Program 3

We start with a blind tasting...only to find out that this program starts with Schoenberg's Suite for String Orchestra in G Major, movements IV and II. It's an extremely tonal piece that stands in complete and utter contrast to the rest of his work. By sharp contrast, Edgard Varèse--Frank Zappa's favorite composer--did not lose his edge; we hear why when we hear a jaunty piece called Octandre. Next we hear from Czech composer Martinu, who spent the war years in New England. The Boston Symphony commissioned this piece we hear from him: Symphony No. 1. We then hear his Sinfonietta for Piano and Orchestra, "La Jolla", second movement. Next we move to a very well-known Russian composer: Stravinsky, best known for his primal, pounding Rite of Spring. In this segment, we hear the third movement of Symphony in Three Movements and the first movement of the Ebony Concerto. Stravinsky and Schoenberg, despite knowing each other in Europe, were not personable with one another in America. We finish the segment up with some movie music: the main title from Gone With the Wind, written by Steiner, who scored a number of great movie soundtracks.

Schoenberg: Suite for String Orchestra in G Major, IV & II
Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra/Mauceri
London 448619
5:45, 4:28
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Varèse: Octandre
Asko Ensemble/Chailly
London 460208
6:41
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Martinů: Symphony No. 1, I
Czech Philharmonic/Belohlávec
Chandos 8950
9:49
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Martinů: Sinfonietta for Piano and Orchestra, La Jolla, II
Bournemouth Sinfonietta/Vasary
Chandos 8950
7:56
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Stravinsky: Symphony in Three Movements, III
London Symphony Orchestra/Thomas
Sony 89910
6:15
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Stravinsky: Ebony Concerto, I
Woody Herman Band/Stravinsky
Sony 64136
3:29
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Steiner: Main Title fr. Gone With The Wind
Hollywood Bowl Orchestra/Mauceri
Philips 432 109
7:56
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Program 4

In this segment, we've got many, many artists to go through, and such little time to go through them. Koussevitsky is brought up first; usually thought of as a great conductor, he was also a somewhat prolific double bass player, and he composed a few pieces for it. We hear his Humoresque. Next are a few Eisler pieces from Hollywood Elegies, a song book for baritone with piano accompaniment. Next is Weigl, and we hear two pieces from him: String Quartet No. 5 in G (fourth and first movements), and a piece of Symphony No. 5, "Apocalyptic". Foss is up next, a fellow who studied at Curtis with Leonard Bernstein under Fritz Reiner. We hear his "Early Song" from Three American Pieces and an "Elegy for Anne Frank", where the composer plays piano. Next are a few short pieces from Milhaud, who spent a lot of time in Brazil and London. We hear La Création du Monde, parts I and II, La Carnaval à la Nouvelle-Orléans, second movement, and Suite Francaise, third movement, in a manner that seems to capture both classical and jazz music in a wonderful harmony. Last is a piece by Waxman: the A Place in the Sun Suite.

Koussevitsky: Humoresque, Op. 4
Karr, db.; Lewis, p.
VQR 2031
2:50
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Eisler: From Hollywood Elegies:
  “Unter Den Grünen Pfefferbäumen”
  “In Den Hügeln Wird Gold Gefunden”
  “Automne Californien”
  “Hollywood-Elegie #7”

Goerne, bar.; Schneider, p.
Decca 460582
5:36
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Weigl: String Quartet #5 In G, Op. 31, IV (excerpt), I
Artis Quartett Wien
Nimbus 5646
:54, 6:47
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Weigl: Symphony No. 5, Apocalyptic, I (excerpt)
Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra/Sanderling
BIS 1077
2:02
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Foss: Early Song fr. Three American Pieces
BSO/Ozawa; Perlman, v.
EMI 55360
4:57
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Foss: Elegy for Anne Frank
Pacific Symphony/St. Clair; Foss, p.
Harmonia Mundi 907243
6:04
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Milhaud: La Création du Monde, Pts. I & II
Lyon Opera Orchestra/Nagano
Erato 45820
5:24
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Milhaud: La Carnaval à la Nouvelle-Orléans, Op. 275, II
Yarborugh & Cowan, pfs.
Orion 78297
2:46
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Milhaud: Suite Française, III
President’s Own US Marine Band
Altissimo 75442270512
1:53
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Waxman: A Place in the Sun Suite
Hollywood Bowl Orchestra/Waxman
Sony Classical NPR Milestones 60991
8:11
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Program 5

We begin this segment with a new focus: composers from the Far East, specifically China. Bright Sheng was exiled from Shanghai during the Cultural Revolution in Mao Zedong's last years. We hear three of his Seven Tunes Heard in China: I, V, and VII. Next is a more recent composer, Chen Yi, a woman from Guangzhou that moved to the States and has been very successful here. We hear a piece called "Shuo" from her. Next is Tan Dun, who composed the main theme from the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which we hear. We then hear one of his pieces written for pipa, an instrument indigenous to China and Korea. This is the Concerto for Pipa, third movement. We then move away from China to Latin America, examining the youngest composer we have examined on this edition of Exploring Music: Frank. We hear the first of her Cuatro Canciones Andinas for Soprano and Piano, four songs of the Andes, and then Sueños De Chambi: Snapshots For An Andean Album For Violin And Piano, parts I, II, III, and VII. Next are some excerpts from D'Rivera's Aires Tropicales, and then we close out the segment with Astor Piazzolla's Otoño Porteño fr. Las estaciones porteñas.

Bright Sheng: Seven Tunes Heard in China: I, V, VII
Ma, vc.
Sony 64114
7:07
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Chen Yi: Shuo
Ying Quartet
Telarc 80690
8:52
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Tan Dun: Main Title fr. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Shanghai National Orchestra/Chan Xie Yang; Ma. vc.
Sony 89347
3:24
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Tan Dun: Concerto for Pipa: III
Moscow Soloists/Bashmet; Wu Man, pipa
Onyx 4027
4:45
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Frank: Cuatro Canciones Andinas For Soprano And Piano, I
Eyton-Jones, sop.; Ketter, p.
MSR 1344
3:06
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Frank: Sueños De Chambi: Snapshots For An Andean Album For Violin And Piano, I, II, III, VII
Guibbory, p.; Rubinsky, p.
MSR 1344
14:23
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D’Rivera: Aires Tropicales (excerpts)
Imani Winds
Koch 7599
5:00
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Astor Piazzolla: Otoño Porteño fr. Las estaciones porteñas
Barenboim, p.; Mederos, band.; Console, db.
Teldec 13474
4:53
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The Exploring Music streaming website is made possible by Mr. & Mrs. William Gardner Brown and Susan & Richard Kiphart.
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