Town Hall Concert

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

10th Annual WNYC American Music Festival, February 15, 1949

Performances by Maurice Wilk, Kenneth Spencer, Paul Olefsky, and the New York Woodwind Quintet. Music by Halsey Stevens, William Grant Still, Gail Kubik, and others.

The broadcast begins with the radio premiere of Halsey Stevens' 1947 work, Violin Sonata, performed by Maurice Wilk on violin and Bernice Rapkin on piano. (brief bios of each)

Four settings of various poems called Songs of Separation by William Grant Still and performed by Kenneth Spencer on baritone and Alfred Knopf on piano. These include: "Idolatry" based on the poem by Arna Wendell Bontemps; "Parted" based on the poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar; "If You Should Go" based based on the poem by Countee Cullen; and "A Black Pierrot" based on the poem by Langston Hughes. (brief bio of Still)

Spencer and Knopf continue with "Freedom is a Hard Fought Thing" by Gail Kubik and "I've Known Rivers" by Harold Swanson.

The President of the New York City Council, Vincent R. Impellitteri, makes some brief remarks about the American Music Festival. (Increasing noise on the recording.)

Paul Olefsky and Theodore Lettvin perform Sonata for Cello and Piano opus 6 by Samuel Barber. (By the end of the first movement the recording noise disappears.)

The first performance of Harold Gilmore's Daydream.

Kenneth Spencer performs four songs by Celius Dougherty with Alfred Knopf on piano: "Hush'd Be the Camps To-day," "Blow Ye Wings High-Ho," "Western Ocean," and "Mobile Bay."

New York Woodwind Quintet performs Suite for Woodwind Quintet by Philip James (brief bio of James)

Recording cuts out before performance; side 6 missing? Recording picks back up at the end of the performance.


Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection


WNYC archives id: 37919
Municipal archives id: LT881