WFIT Features

Louis Moreau Gottschalk
thompsonian.info

Springtime and the great outdoors.  Beethoven captured one view of this; Aaron Copland another.  Or did he?

The strange tale of an iconic piece of American music this week, and we'll follow that with an hour of short pieces by other American composers. Gottschalk, Ives, Randall Thompson and more: it all begins at ten.

George Clinton
Rex Features via AP Images

The legendary George Clinton along with Parliament Funkadelic will headline MRC LagoonFest Saturday May 21st.  On Friday George talked with Sound Waves host Todd Kennedy about his amazing career and music and his show this weekend at LagoonFest.

Felix Mendelssohn
PBS

We begin this Thursday with a historic performance of Mendelssohn's "Italian" Symphony No. 4 recorded by Sir Hamilton Harty and the Halle Orchestra in 1931.

As director of the orchestra in Leipzig, Mendelssohn had both an appreciation for and access to the much-forgotten and ignored music of Bach, and as a friend of Robert Schumann, he became something of a champion of Franz Schubert as well.

After their 1920s Berlin hit, the Threepenny Opera, Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill collaborated one last time with another entertainment, The Rise and Fall of the State of Mahagonny. We'll begin this week with the incidental music to Mahagonny as recorded by Lotte Lenya and friends in the 1930s.

From there we'll look at some short French pieces by Satie, Poulenc, Debussy, Alain, and Saint-Saens;  hop the channel to hear some Elgar and Gilbert & Sullivan;  and finish with Schubert's Trout Quintet.

This week we look at music of two composers -- Handel and Mozart -- and some of the differences in the way they sound depending on the viewpoints and ideas of the performers, as well as the various musical forces available then and today.

When Mozart's music is played on a modern grand piano accompanied by an orchestra of likewise modern instruments, the balances shift and there is a subtle, but quite noticeable change in the character of the music.

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