B.P.R.D. – 09/25/2009

This week’s show starts with early Prokoviev – the last three of the Ten Small Pieces for Piano, composed in the years before 1917 – followed by the climactic Battle on the Ice from his soundtrack to Sergei Eisenstein’s 1938 Alexander Nevsky (Stalin-era propaganda with great editing, amazing costumes and a hilariously over-the-top anti-church sensibility). Two movements from Kurt Weill’s 1924 Concerto for Violin and Wind Orchestra are next, then two pieces from Louis Andriessen: Bells for Haarlem (2002) and Letter from Cathy (2003), which uses the text of a letter about Stravinsky that Andriessen received from the singer Cathy Berberian. As a bonus, here’s Berberian performing her famous “Stripsody” on Italian television in 1969; it’s a piece she wrote using sound effect words from comic strips. Classic. Prokofiev’s early “Toccata” – described in the liner notes as “incredibly ferocious” and “witheringly agitated” – ends the hour. Enjoy.

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