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Ralph Vaughan Williams

May 27, 2010

No Hidden Messages

Composer Ralph Vaughan Williams was fed up with people trying to attach hidden meanings to his music. When one critic tried calling Vaughan Williams' sixth symphony his "War Symphony," the composer had enough. He sniffed, "It never seems to occur to people that a man might just want to write a piece of music." We'll have that music-without-a-deeper-meaning, the sixth symphony, in today's show. Jaap Van Zweden leads the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, in concert in Amsterdam.

Today's Playlist

Performance Today audio is available for seven days following broadcast.

hour 1

  • Michael Torke
    Excerpt from Book of Proverbs
    The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Netherlands Radio Choir, Edo de Waart, conductor
  • Franz Schubert
    Impromptu No. 3 in G-flat, D. 899
    Imogen Cooper, piano
    Southbank Centre, London, England
  • Phil Woods
    Excerpt from Three Improvisations for Saxophone Quartet
    The Zagreb Saxophone Quartet
    Hugh Hodgson Concert Hall, Athens, Georgia
  • Mark O'Connor
    Improvisation on Sally Goodwin
    Mark O'Connor, violin
    Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams
    Symphony No. 6 in E Minor
    The Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Jaap van Zweden, conductor
    The Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

hour 2

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Overture to the Marriage of Figaro, K. 492
    Musicians from the West Cork Chamber Music Festival
    West Cork Chamber Music Festival, West Cork, Ireland
  • Hugo Wolf
    Italian Serenade for String Quartet
    The Fine Arts Quartet
    Hampden Sydney Music Festival, Hampden-Sydney, Virginia
  • Richard Strauss
    Rosenkavalier Suite
    The Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Mariss Jansons, conductor
    Bulgaria Concert Hall, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Philip Glass
    Two movements from String Quartet No. 2 (Company)
    The Fine Arts Quartet
  • Jean Baptiste Arban
    Variations on a Theme from Bellini's Norma
    Sergei Nakariakov, trumpet, the Swiss-Italian Orchestra, Tomas Netopil, conductor
    Congress Palace, Lugano, Switzerland
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