Program 159
"Musical Devils"

MUSIC: Traditional: Le Reel du diable performed by Angèle Dubeau & La pietà [Analekta AN 28723, track 12] [under the following] [2:48]

This is “The Devil’s Reel / Le Reel du diable” as performed by Canadian violinist Angèle Dubeau and La Pietà on an Analekta compact disc. It’s going to serve as our overutre to an hour of devilish music in honor of the Halloween season.

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

MUSIC: ends

Angèle Dubeau and La Pietà have recorded a terrific CD called “Infernal Violins,” from which this track of traditional music called The Devil’s Reel was taken. We’ll listen to two more tracks from that CD in a few minutes. But first here’s a devilish little tune called the The Devil’s 5-Hop. It’s from Harold Saeverud’s Peer Gynt Suite, Op. 28. This short piece is distinguished by a jaggedly propulsive melodic line and a touch of the macabre — wholly appropriate for a man who was born on the site of a former graveyard and place of execution in Bergen, Norway.

MUSIC: Saeverud: “The Devil’s 5-Hop” from Peer Gynt, Op. 28 [Naxos 8.578085, track 2] [2:16]

Harold Saeverud’s The Devil’s 5-Hop from his Peer Gynt. I volunteer that information just in case you thought Edvard Grieg was the only Norwegian composer to write music for Peer Gynt. Saeverud lived from 1897 until 1992. This piece is from a two-CD set from Naxos called “The Devil’s Music.” And I am devoting this entire hour to “Musical Devils” and could fill several hours on that theme, without getting into witches, goblins, scarecrows, ghosts and the like, all of which I’ll save for another time.


I’m Fred Flaxman, and this is Compact Discoveries.

Next let me introduce you to another composer you are not likely to have heard before unless you, too, are fortunate enough to own a copy of Angèle Dubeau and La Pietà’s “Infernal Violins” album. His name is François Dompierre, and he is a contemporary Canadian composer born in Ottowa in 1943. He wrote two of the pieces on the “Infernal Violins” CD and I’d like to play both of them for you. First Les Beautés du Diable / The Beauties of the Devil, which was written especially for La Pietà; then Le Diable Matou / The Devil Matou, which is from the 1990 film, Le Matou. I’m sure you’ll be able to tell by the music what kind of devil Matou is.

MUSIC: Dompierre: Les Beautés du Diable performed by Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà [Analekta AN 28723, track 6] [3:16]

MUSIC: Dompierre: Le Diable Matou performed by Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà [Analekta AN 28723, track 10] [4:17]

Two devilish pieces by the contemporary Canadian composer François Dompierre. First we heard Les Beautés du Diable / The Beauties of the Devil, then Le Diable Matou / The Devil Matou. The performers were Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà from their “Infernal Violins” CD.

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

This last piece was written for a movie, so let’s stick to filmscores for our next three devilish works. The first two are from “The Devil and Daniel Webster,” with music by one of the most famous of all the filmscore composers, Bernard Herrmann.

This was only Herrmann’s second filmscore, yet it was recognized with an Oscar. In the first of the two movements extracted from the score here, the devil, in his New Hampshire guise as Mr. Scratch, subjects his victim to a hair-raising sleigh-ride. The second movement is a barn dance, where Mr. Scratch is on the look-out for humans to ensnare.

MUSIC: Herrmann: “Sleigh-Ride” from The Devil and Daniel Webster performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by the composer [London 448 948-2, track 6] [2:00]

MUSIC: Herrmann: “Swing Your Partner” from The Devil and Daniel Webster performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by the composer [London 448 948-2, track 7] [2:44]

Two excerpts from Bernard Herrmann’s filmscore for The Devil and Daniel Webster. They were from a London compact disc recording with the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by the composer.

One more piece of devish film music now: This time we turn to the famous Italian film composer Ennio Morricone and an excerpt from his score for the 1972 movie Il Diavolo Nel Cervello / Devil in the Brain. Well, it sounds better in Italian. The section is called “Reason, Heart, Love.”

MUSIC: Morricone: “Reason, Heart, Love” from Il Diavolo Nel Cervello [DRG 32908, CD 2, track 14] [3:30]

“Reason, Heart, Love” from the Italian film Il Diavolo Nel Cervello / Devil in the Brain by Ennio Morricone.

In celebration of the fun-filled traditions of Halloween, this hour of Compact Discoveries is devoted to “Musical Devils.” I’m your guide, Fred Flaxman.

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

Gaspar Cassadó, who was born in Barcelona in 1897, began taking cello lessons when he was seven. Two years later he played in a public recital where the famous Spanish cellist Pablo Casals was in the audience. Casals immediately offered to teach him, the city of Barcelona awarded him a scholarship, and he went to Paris to study with Casals. Cassadó became an influential composer as well as a cellist, and he was also the author of several notable musical hoaxes, including pieces he wrote which he ascribed to Schubert and Frescobaldi. Cassadó died in Madrid in 1966.

Cassadó’s devilish side is also evidenced in his Dance of the Green Devil, which we’ll listen to now as performed by cellist Maria Kliegel and pianist Raimund Havenith from a Naxos CD of “Virtuoso Cello Encores.”

MUSIC: Cassadó: Dance of the Green Devil performed by Maria Kliegel, cello, and Raimund Havenith, piano [Naxos 8.557943, track 1] [4:05]

Gaspar Cassadó’s Dance of the Green Devil, performed by cellist Maria Kliegel and pianist Raimund Havenith.

Let’s continue our tour of devilish music with another stop in Spain and the music of another, but better known, 20th Century composer, Joaquin Rodrigo. This is a piano piece called The Devil’s Seguidillas. Seguidillas is a rapid Spanish dance form. The pianist is Artur Pizarro. This is another cut from the Naxos CD called “The Devil’s Music.”

MUSIC: Rodrigo: The Devil’s Seguidillas performed by pianist Artur Pizarro [Decca 012159 463-2, track 10] [3:51]

Artur Pizarro performed Joaquin Rodrigo’s The Devil’s Seguidillas.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think I’ve presented quite a bit of devilish music in this hour that you haven’t heard before. So here’s something which may be a bit more familiar. For this we go from Spain to Italy.

MUSIC: Tartini: second movement from The Devil’s Trill (Sonata in G Minor) performed by Rachel Barton [Cedille CDR 90000 041, track 3] [5:13]

Rachel Barton was the violinist; David Schrader, harpsichordist; and John Mark Rozendaal, cellist, in the second movement from Tartini’s Sonata in G Minor, better known as The Devil’s Trill.


I’m planning to devote an entire future hour to Rachel Barton, who is now known as Rachel Barton Pine.

But now it’s time to continue our tour of devilish classics, moving from Italy to Russia and two excerpts from Igor Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale: The Devil’s Dance and The Triumphal March of the Devil.

The Soldier’s Tale / l’Histoire du Soldat is a parable about — believe it or not — a soldier who trades his fiddle to the devil for a book that predicts the future of the economy. Sounds like a very contemporary story, doesn’t it? Although I think there’s probably a shortage of fiddle-playing soldiers nowadays.

MUSIC: Stravinsky: “The Devil’s Dance” and “Triumphal March of the Devil” from l’Histoire du Soldat performed by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s conducted by Robert Craft [Naxos 8.578085, tracks 11 and12] [3:34]

“The Devil’s Dance” and “Triumphal March of the Devil” from l’Histoire du Soldat by Igor Stravinsky performed by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s conducted by Robert Craft.

Franz Schubert wrote a couple of overtures inspired by the Devil: a very short, early piece called The Devil as Engineer, and the nine-minute work we’ll here now, The Devil’s Pleasure Castle. The story deals with the love of an impoverished knight for his wife, which is tested by her rich uncle. I guess the devil is in the details.

MUSIC: Schubert: The Devil’s Pleasure Castle, D. 84 performed by the Prague Sinfonia conducted by Christian Benda [Naxos 8.570328, track 5] [9:04]

The Devil’s Pleasure Castle by Franz Schubert. Christian Benda conducted the Prague Sinfonia on a Naxos compact disc.

We’ll conclude our devilish tour by going from Germany to England and a performance of Satan’s Dance of Triumph, the second movement of Job, A Masque for Dancing by Ralph Vaughan-Williams.

MUSIC: Vaughan-Williams: “Satan’s Dance of Triumph” from Job - A Masque for Dancing, performed by the English Northern Philharmonia conducted by David Lloyd-Jones [Naxos 8.578085, track 9] [3:38]

Vaughan-Williams’ “Satan’s Dance of Triumph” from Job - A Masque for Dancing. The English Northern Philharmonia was conducted by David Lloyd-Jones.

MUSIC: Traditional: Le Reel du diable performed by Angèle Dubeau & La pietà [Analekta AN 28723, track 12] [under the following]

And that concludes our Halloween-inspired hour of Compact Discoveries devoted to “Musical Devils.” I hope you enjoyed the music, even if it was just a little bit evil at times. This is your guide to the discovery of music classics, Fred Flaxman, reminding you to check out the Compact Discoveries website at www.compactdiscoveries.com.

There you will find links to listen to all Compact Discoveries programs, including this one, which is number 159. There you will also find articles on compact discs, a basic music library, and recommended concert, opera and ballet digital video discs.

Until next time, then, thank you for listening.

MUSIC: fades out

ANNOUNCER [Steve Jencks]: Compact Discoveries is made possible in part by grants from an anonymous donor, Isabel and Marvin Leibowitz, the Puffin Foundation ("continuing the dialogue between art and the lives of ordinary people"), and Barry and Florence Friedberg. It is a production of Compact Discoveries, Inc., a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation located at 36 Pickens Lane, Weaverville, North Carolina, and on the web at compactdiscoveries.com. These programs are distributed to public radio stations nationwide through PRX, the Public Radio Exchange.

Program Ends at 58:00

 
  ©2009 Compact Discoveries