Allan Kelly

Program Host

Allan Kelly is host of Distant Mirror which airs Fridays at 10 pm.

Allan has been hosting Distant Mirror since 1992. His interest in classical music goes back to the early seventies when he worked an overnight shift at KWAV in Monterey, California while attending UC Santa Cruz by day studying medieval and Renaissance history.  During his air shift he would play much early music which seemed to provide a perfect ambience for study. His program director, who was also a cellist in the local orchestra, became a good friend and mentor.

In 1976 he received his Masters in Medieval/Renaissance studies from Rutgers University and went on to teach Western civ courses for a short time at Spartanburg College in South Carolina. He has worked nearly every musical format over the years, including a ten-year gig at WSSH in Boston. But classical music has always been his format of choice and in the nineties when he began here at WWFM he was at long last able to combine his love of medieval/Renaissance history with the music from both those periods. Distant Mirror has also afforded him the opportunity to meet local early music musicians, and every fall he emcees a yearly Early Music festival. 

He is fortunate that his companion Judy (whom he calls Lady J)  is also a classical music enthusiast, and they spend much of our time attending local and regional concerts.  Having played guitar in his youth - although not very well - his goal is to someday have a go on the lute.

Ways to Connect

In Elizabethan England  popular music was performed by minstrels, dance bands and waits. The lyrics of poems were collected along with appropriate tunes into little books, and one of the more famous  was A Handful  of Pleasant Delites which consisted of sacred pieces, bawdy, amorous, something for every taste. Hear several of these on Friday's Distant Mirror. Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

It's the music of Orlando Gibbons and William Lawes on this week's Distant Mirror as Fretwork performs consort music for viols from the early Stuart period in England: Fantasies, pavans, almans and In Nomines.   Fretwork is joined by lutenist Christopher Wilson and organist Paul Nicholson.  Join Allan Kelly Friday night at 10.

The Romance of the Rose is a medieval French poem styled as an allegorical dream vision. The work's stated purpose is to entertain as well as to teach others about the art of love. It's one of the great masterpieces of French literature and has influenced much  of European culture including Dante and Chaucer.  Much of the text was set to music and on Friday's Distant Mirror you can hear several of the resulting chansons as the ensemble Alla Francesca performs. Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

The Old Hall Manuscript is the largest, most complete and most significant source of English sacred music from the 14th century and on Friday's Distant Mirror you can hear selected motets from the manuscript with countertenor Russell Oberlin performing, accompanied by tenor Charles Bressler and baritone  Gordon Myers. Join Allan Kelly at 10 

pm.

Johannes Ockeghem was the leading composer of the Franco-Flemish school in the last part of the 15th century and the most influential composer between Dufay and Josquin.  On Friday night's Distant Mirror you can hear one of his cantus firmus  masses, the  Missa Ccaput in a performance by the Clerks' Group directed by Edward Wickham.  Join Allan Kelly at 10.

The Baltimore Consort visits Distant Mirror with entertainment music from Elizabethan England. Some of the greatest music for mixed or broken consort will be heard, including selections by John Johnson, Richard Allison,  Thomas Ravenscroft and others.  The program concludes with several ricercari  by Marco Dall'Aquila performed  by lutenist  Christopher Wilson.  Join Allan Kelly Friday night at 10. 

Giullaume Dufay was the greatest composer of the 15th Century, the leading figure of the Burgundian school, and stood at the watershed of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Hear his most famous mass, the Missa Se la face ay pale in a performance from the early 70's by the Early Music Consort of  London under the direction of David Munrow on Distant Mirror. Join Allan Kelly at 10 pm Friday.

Roland de Lassus, perhaps more popularly known as Orlando di Lasso, was the chief representative of the mature polyphonic sound of the 16th century Franco-Flemish school.  He wrote over 150 chansons that were enormously popular throughout Europe, and on this week's Distant Mirror you can hear several of these performed by the Ensemble Clement Jannequin.  There's also music of Elizabethan composer Thomas Morley, represented here in his many roles as composer, publisher and arranger.  The Musicians of Swanne Alley perform led by Paul O'Dette and Lyle Nordstrom.  Join Allan Kelly Friday night

All  the horrors of the 14th century are captured by the greatest poet/composer of the time,  Guillaume  Machaut in his compilation The Judgment of the King of Navarre. Hear several ballades from this major work performed by the Ensemble Gilles Binchiois  directed by Dominique Vallaard.  Also on the program, soprano Emily van Evera performs a William  Byrd setting to a text by Sir Philip Sydney, "O Lord, how vain are all our frail delights", two motets by Palestrina as well as music for a medieval banquet with the Newberry Consort. Join Allan Kelly Friday night at 10.

It's the music of 15th century Flemish composer Alexander Agricola on this week's Distant Mirror.  Agricola's music is rarely performed today because of its difficulty and eccentricity, but Paul van Nevel has long been a champion of  lost causes and has arranged mass movements of Agricola's into a musical quilt which he calls the Missa Guzzzabuglio (which translates as "mishmash" mass).  Van Nevel directs the Huelgas Ensemble.

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