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Morning Concert:
The Music of Lou Harrison: A Celebration

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 131 min
Event Type: Interview and Music Program Origin: KPFA

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From a program originally broadcast in December 1980, Charles Amirkhanian talks with composer Lou Harrison. Harrison, one of the preeminent American composers of the 20th century, is perhaps best known for is incorporation of non-Western instruments and styles into his compositions, and particularly his work with gamelan instruments and percussion ensembles. This program includes a selection of such works, most featuring gamelan instruments built by Harrison life partner William Colvig, who is also in the studio for this interview. Harrison describes the pieces played as well as providing some information about the various tuning systems employed and their relationship to earlier forms of Western classical music. Despite Harrison’s departure from traditional instruments and equal temperament, the music he has written remains consonant and quite beautiful to the ear, matching his delightfully warm and playful personality, all of which is on full display in this informative and intriguing program.

Part 1 of 2:  
Musical Selections:  Suite, for violin, piano, and small orchestra [second gamelan movement] (1951) (2:00) / Lou Harrison -- Discovering the Art of Korea [excerpts from a film soundtrack, talked over at times] (1979) -- Suite, for violin, piano, and small orchestra [excerpt] (1951) / Lou Harrison -- Coming To Meet, for gamelan (1980) (4:55) / Alexis Aldrich & Molly Holm -- Main Bersama-sama I (”Playing Together”) (1978) (7:38) / Lou Harrison -- Threnody for Carlos Chavez (1978) (7:05) / Lou Harrison -- Serenade: For Betty Freeman and Franco Assetto (1978) (5:57) / Lou Harrison
Performers:  Maro Ajemian, piano (Suite)
Anahid Ajemian, violin (Suite)
Leopold Stokowski, conductor (Suite)
Gamelan Si Darius (Coming)
Gamelan Sekar Kembar (Main ; Threnody ; Serenade)
Richard Vosper, suling (Main)
Scott L. Hartman, French horn (Main)
Susan Bates, viola (Threnody)
Lou Harrison, suling (Serenade)
Genres:  20th Century Classical; New Music
Subject:  Harrison, Lou, 1917-2003; 20th century classical; New music; Suites (Violin and piano with chamber orchestra); Motion picture music; Music -- Korea; Unconventional instruments; Musical instrument makers; Gamelan music; Musical intervals and scales; Horn with gamelan; Viola with gamelan; Suling with gamelan
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Harrison, Lou, 1917-2003; Colvig, William ; Alrich, Alexis ; Holm, Molly; Ajemian, Maro; Ajemian, Anahid ; Stokowski, Leopold, 1882-1977 ; Hartman, Scott L.; Bates, Susan
First Broadcast Date:  12/18/1980
 
Part 2 of 2:  
Musical Selections:  Scenes from Cavafy, for baritone, male chorus, hapr, and gamelan [based on texts by Constantine Cavafy] (1980) (21:55) / Lou Harrison -- Serenade, for guitar and percussion (1978) (15:50) / Lou Harrison [world premiere] -- The Perilous Chapel, for flute, harp, cello, and percussion [excerpt] (1948-49) (4:54) / Lou Harrison
Performers:  Gamelan Si Betty (Scenes)
David Rhorbech, baritone (Scenes)
Saint Cecilia Society for the Preservation and Restoration of Gregorian Chant and Peking Opera (Scenes)
Dan Landry, choral director (Scenes)
Genres:  20th Century Classical; New Music
Subject:  Harrison, Lou, 1917-2003; 20th century classical; New music; Gamelan music; Choruses, Secular, with instrumental ensemble; Guitar music; Percussion and guitar music; Ballets; Quartets (Flute, harp, percussion, cello)
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Harrison, Lou, 1917-2003; Colvig, William ; Cavafy, Constantine, 1863-1933; Rohrbaugh, David ; Andrews, Ray (Guitarist)
First Broadcast Date:  12/18/1980
 
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