Wednesday, March 25

morning pro musica

Robert J. Lurtsema, the host of WGBH's classical music program, Morning Pro Musica, died in 2000 after almost 3 decades of radio work on the show. His bass tones and pregnant pauses made him a New England institution.

From his obit; "John Harbison, the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, noted that Mr. Lurtsema stood out in a radio environment where individual taste and commitment to music are increasingly made to defer to homogenized programming. Morning Pro Musica, Harbison said yesterday, was one of the last bastions of playing complete, challenging pieces from beginning to end."

Though this radio program is not on the air anymore, the Dawn Chorus also called Birds of Morning, is still used by WGBH Classical at 7am and 8am. It is the greatest way to wake up on the weekend. Set the alarm.


JK said...

Morning Pro Musica had deferent music for each day of the week. The music would softly blend in with the Morning birds intro. Does anyone have a list of the pieces used for each day? Thanks

Des said...

I'm trying to remember them... here are a few:

Opening music:
Respighi's Ancient Airs and Dances Suite
Giovanni Gabrieli's triple brass quintets
Handel's Entrance of the Queen of Sheeba
4 others

Closed with Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante in E flat

Scott Mainwaring said...

I loved these, back when I was a teen struggling to wake up. (Still do.) It was very creative to have a different opening theme for each day of the week.

In addition to the Respighi, Gabrieli, and Handel, there was the opening sinfonia from Stravinsky's Pulcinella Suite.

And, btw, the Respighi was the "Bergamasca" from the second suite of ancient airs and dances.