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Morning Concert:
In Honor of Leo Ornstein’s 95th Birthday (Dec. 11, 1987)

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 119 min
Event Type: Interview and Music Program Origin: KPFA

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On December 11, 1987 Leo Ornstein, one of the most important composer-pianists of the 20th century,celebrated his 95th birthday at his home in Green Bay, Wisconsin. In this program, Charles Amirkhanian takes a look at the career of this remarkable path-breaking musician whose early piano compositions, and performances of the most radical European composers of the day, shocked audiences throughout the U. S. in the period from 1912 to 1915. Included are several of his piano works performed by Michael Sellers and Martha Anne Verbit, as well as two chamber works, and an orchestral work featuring the Louisville Orchestra. Amirkhanian also interviews the 95 year old composer over the phone from his home, during which Ornstein discusses the loss of his wife two years previously, his then current efforts to write a short piano work each day for a year, and his opinion that Bach was the greatest composer, ever. Also heard during this program is an excerpt from an 1981 interview that Amirkhanian had with the composer and his wife, in which they discuss the system they use when Ornstein composes at the piano while she transcribes.

Part 1 of 2:  
Musical Selections:  Wild Man’s Dance (”Danse Sauvage”), Op. 13, No. 2, (ca. 1913) (4:04) -- Piano Sonata No. 4 (ca. 1924)(20:32) -- Three Moods: Anger ; Grief ; Joy (1914) (8:40)
Performers:  Michael Sellers, piano (Wild ; Three)
Martha Anne Verbit, piano (Sonata)
Genres:  20th Century Classical; New Music
Subject:  Ornstein, Leo, 1892-2002; 20th century classical; New music; Piano music; Sonatas (Piano)
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Ornstein, Leo, 1892-2002 ; Sellers, Michael; Verbit, Martha Anne
Recording Date:  12/11/1987
First Broadcast Date:  12/11/1987
 
Part 2 of 2:  
Musical Selections:  Six Preludes, for piano and cello [excerpts, No. 1, 2 & 4] (1931) (11:47) -- Quintette, for piano and strings, Op. 92 [1st movement] (1927) (13:18) -- Nocturne and Dance of the Fates (ca. 1937) (12:37) -- -- Echo Primitif, Op. 42 [from "9 Arabesques"] (ca. 1920) (1:28) / Leo Ornstein
Performers:  Bonnie Hampton, cello (Preludes)
Nathan Schwartz, piano (Preludes)
William Westney, piano (Quintette)
Daniel Stepner, violin (Quintette)
Michael Strauss, violin (Quintette)
Peter John Sacco, viola (Quintette)
Thomas Mansbacher, violoncello (Quintette)
Louisville Orchestra (Nocturne)
Jorge Meister, conductor (Nocturne)
Martha Anne Verbit, piano (Echo)
Genres:  20th Century Classical; New Music
Subject:  Ornstein, Leo, 1892-2002; 20th century classical; New music; Cello and piano music; Piano quintets; Orchestral music; Piano music
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Ornstein, Leo, 1892-2002 ; Hampton, Bonnie; Schwartz, Nathan; Westney, William; Stepner, Daniel; Strauss, Michael (Violinist); Sacco, Peter John; Mansbacher, Thomas; Mester, Jorge; Verbit, Martha Anne
Recording Date:  12/11/1987
First Broadcast Date:  12/11/1987
 
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