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

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.

Music of the Hundred Years' War on this week's Distant Mirror, that on-again, off-again struggle between England and France in the 14th and 15th centuries that was set against a backdrop of plague, peasant revolts and papal politics.  Gothic Voices performs sacred and secular  music from both sides.   Pieces by John Dunstable, Phillipe de Vitry, Pierre des Molins and others.  Join Allan Kelly Friday night at 10.

Jordi Savall and friends  visit Distant Mirror Friday with music of 17th century French composer Marin Marais.  Hear his Suite in E Minor which was written in homage to his musical inspiration, Saint-Colombe. Also on the program: several songs by Johannes Ockeghem with the Orlando Consort.  Join Allan Kelly Friday night at 10.

Legendary countertenor Russell Oberlin performs the 12th century St. Godric Songs, the earliest  English sacred music  that we  know of.  He is accompanied on viol by Seymour Barab.  And there are 14th century English sacred and secular pieces performed by the Hilliard Ensemble. That's followed by what may be the most famous choral work of the 16th century, Spem in Alium of Thomas Tallis performed, of course, by the Tallis Scholars.  Join   Allan Kelly Friday Night at 10.

The Westminster  Cathedral Choir directed by David Hill performs music of the greatest composer of the Spanish Renaissance , Tomas Luis de Victoria, who many call the Spanish Palestrina.  Hear his Missa O Quam Gloriosum, one of his most famous parody masses and based on the joyful motet of the same name from 1572.  The program concludes with more love songs of Italian Trecento composer Francesco Landini performed by Anonymous 4.  Join Allan Kelly for Distant Mirror Friday night at 10.

Anonymous 4 refers to 14th century Florentine composer Francesco Landini as the "Italian master of subtle refinement" and on Friday's Distant Mirror you can hear them perform several of his love songs from their cd The Second Circle.  Landini was also a singer, poet, organist and maker of instruments. His secular music was loved all over Europe and influenced many later composers.  Also on the program: Julian Bream performs several Elizabethan and Jacobean lute pieces.

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