Compact Discoveries®
a series of one-hour radio programs produced, written, hosted, and edited
by Fred Flaxman

©2014 by Fred Flaxman


Program 240
"Discoveries Potpourri"
MUSIC: excerpt from Joseph Horovitz: Sonatina for clarinet: Third Movement: Con brio, performed by Andrew Simon, clarinetist, and Jon Klibonoff, pianist. [Musicians Showcase MS1002, Track 13]  [under the following]

Hello and welcome to Compact Discoveries. I’m your guide to good music, Fred Flaxman.

Each one-hour Compact Discoveries program is devoted to a different theme, such as “Best Music for Back Rubs” or “The Color of Music.” But every year I discover wonderful music that doesn’t fit a theme that I’m currently working on. The next hour will be devoted to this terrific music. These pieces will probably be compact discoveries for you as they were for me. I’m calling this program “Discoveries Potpourri.”

MUSIC: Fade out

We’ll start with a bandoneon concerto by the contemporary Italian composer, Roberto Di Marino, who was born in 1956. It’s full of wonderful tunes that are absolutely perfect for this instrument.

The bandoneon is a type of concertina. It has been an essential part of traditional tango ensembles for the past century. It is held with both hands, like an accordion, but has buttons for both hands to push rather than a piano-like  keyboard on one side. Unlike a piano accordion, bandoneon buttons produce different notes on the push and pull of the bellows. Di Marino explores the breathtakingly virtuoso and sensual qualities of this distinctive instrument, with its driving syncopated rhythms and melodies which tug at the heartstrings.

Cesare Chiacchiaretta is the bandoneon player in this 2014 Naxos release. The Croatian Philharmonic Orchestra is conducted by Miran Vaupotić.

MUSIC: Roberto Di Marino: Concerto for Bandoneon and String Orchestra performed by Cesare Chiacchiaretta, bandoneon, with the Croatian Philharmonic Orchestra under Miran Vaupotić [Naxos 8.573315, Tracks 1-3]  [22:12]

The world premiere recording of the Concerto for Bandoneon and String Orchestra by Roberto Di Marino. Cesare Chiacchiaretta was the bandoneon player. The Croatian Philharmonic Orchestra was conducted by Miran Vaupotić.

You are listening to a “Discoveries Potpourri” on this hour of Compact Discoveries. I’m your guide, Fred Flaxman.

[optional one-minute break not included in total timing of the program]

Next a short melody by the Ukranian composer, Myroslav Skoryk.  Skoryk, who was born in 1938, holds the title of People’s Artist of Ukraine and is one of his country’s outstanding composers. His pensive Melody for strings, written in 1981, propelled him to the forefront of Ukrainian music. It creates a mood very similar to the famous Adagio for Strings by the American composer, Samuel Barber. In this 2013 Naxos recording it is performed by the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra led by its American conductor, Hobart Earle.

MUSIC: Myroslav Skoryk: Melody, performed by Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Hobart Earle [Naxos 8.573333, Track 5]  [3:55]

Melody for strings by the Ukranian composer, Myroslav Skoryk. The Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra was conducted by Hobart Earle.

Carl Goldmark’s Suite for Violin and Piano in E Major, Op. 11, was one of the Hungarian Jewish composer’s personal favorites. He performed it more often than any other composition. Goldmark lived from 1830 until 1915. He is best known today for his Rustic Wedding Symphony, but he wrote many other beautiful works that I featured in two previous Compact Discoveries programs: “Goldmark Gold,” which is program number 163, and “Goldmark Silver,” program 164. You can stream these on demand through the Compact Discoveries website, CompactDiscoveries.com.

We’re going to hear the third movement, marked “allegro ma non troppo.” The violinist in this 2014 Solo Musica recording is Orsolya Korcsolan. Emese Mali is the pianist.

MUSIC: Carl Goldmark: Suite for Violin and Piano in E Major, Op. 11, Third Movement,  performed by violinist Orsolya Korcsolan and pianist Emese Mali [Solo Musica SM 202, Track 12]  [5:51]

Violinist Orsolya Korcsolan and pianist Emese Mali played the third movement from Carl Goldmark’s Suite for Violin and Piano in E Major, Op. 11.

You are listening to “Discoveries Potpourri” on this hour of Compact Discoveries. I’m your guide, Fred Flaxman.

For our next selection, I should really play a game with you called “Name That Composer.” Unless you are very familiar with the early works of Richard Strauss, you would never guess that he wrote this violin concerto, because it doesn’t sound like him at all.

Could this really be by the same man who wrote Ein Heldenleben? Strauss was only 17  in 1881-1882 when he wrote his Opus 8. In fact he was in his final year of high school, and the finale, which we’ll hear now, wasn’t completed until after the summer holiday following his graduation.

In this 2014 Hyperion compact disc,, the German violinist, Tanja Becker-Bender is the soloist with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra led by the Scottish conductor, Garry Walker.

MUSIC: Richard Strauss: Violin Concerto in D Minor, Op. 8, Third Movement, with violinist  Tanja Becker-Bender and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Garry Walker. [Hyperion CDA68044, Track 7]  [9:11]

The final movement of Richard Strauss’ Violin Concerto in D Minor, Opus 8. Tanja Becker-Bender was the soloist with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Garry Walker.

Another final movement now, this time by Joseph Horovitz. Horovitz was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1926. His Jewish family emigrated to England in 1938 to escape the Nazis, and he studied music and modern languages at Oxford, later attending the Royal College of Music in London, where he studied composition. He then undertook a year of further study with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. His musical career began in 1950, when he became music director at the Bristol Old Vic. Then he became active as a conductor of ballet and opera, touring Europe and the United States. He has also been a professor of composition at the Royal College of Music since 1961.

Here is the final movement of his Sonatina for clarinet and piano as performed by  clarinetist Andrew Simon and pianist Jon Klibonoff from a Musicians Showcase recording.

MUSIC: Joseph Horovitz: Sonatina, third movement,  performed by clarinetist Andrew Simon and pianist Jon Klibonoff. [Musicians Showcase MS 1002, Track 3] [3:43]

The final movement from Joseph Horovitz’s Sonatina, performed by clarinetist Andrew Simon and pianist Jon Klibonoff.

And now the final movement for this Compact Discoveries program devoted to “Discoveries Potpourri.” It is the opening movement from José Elizondo’s Danzas Latinoamericanas, and it’s called "Otoño en Buenos Aires / Autumn in Buenos Aires."

Elizondo has an interesting background. He was born in Mexico in 1972 and moved to the United States to study electrical engineering and music at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. After a brief tenure as a professor of mathematics in Guadalajara, he returned to Boston to pursue his engineering interests, creating multilingual speech technology systems.

But music has been his passion since he was five years old. That’s when he began performing in concerts and competitions. He describes his compositions as “straight-forward” and “unapologetically tonal.” He says he appreciates the more cerebral avant-garde works of other contemporary composers, but says that what he enjoys writing is “lyrical, accessible, and fun to perform.” He says that he likes to share folk elements of his Latin American roots with his audience.

I sure like to hear what Elizondo writes, and I hope you do, too.

MUSIC: José Elizondo: “Otoño en Buenos Aires” from Danzas Latinamericanas performed by the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vit Micka. [Navona Records NV5887, Track 8]  [4:07]

José Elizondo’s “Otoño en Buenos Aires” from Danzas Latinamericanas, performed by the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vit Micka. That was from a Navona Records release called “Of Birds and Lemons,” which contains the rest of Danzas Latinamericanas and Estampas Mexicanas by the same composer.

And that concludes this hour devoted to “Discoveries Potpourri.” I hope you enjoyed the music. If you missed part of the program or would like to hear it again, you can stream it on demand at compactdiscoveries.com. This is program number 240. And this is your guide to Compact Discoveries, Fred Flaxman, thanking you for listening.

MUSIC: excerpt from Joseph Horovitz: Sonatina for Clarinet: Third Movement: Con brio performed by Andrew Simon, clarinetist, and Jon Klibonoff, pianist. [Musicians Showcase MS1002, Track 13]

ANNOUNCER (Tana Flaxman): Compact Discoveries is made possible in part by an anonymous donor from Palm Beach, Florida. And by the financial support of Isabel and Marvin Leibowitz, Art and Eva Stevens, and ArkivMusic dot com, the online store for classical music CDs, DVDs, downloads, and over 10,000 on-demand reissued titles. That’s A-r-k-i-v Music dot com.

Program Ends at 58:00