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

Gautier de Coincy was a late 12th, early 13th century French cleric who translated into French many of the Latin miracle poems praising the Virgin and then set them to medieval popular songs in the courtly love tradition of the Trouveres, and on Friday's Distant Mirror hear several of these as Andrew Lawrence-King and the Harp Consort perform from their cd Miracles of Notre Dame. Join Allan Kelly at 10 pm.

On Friday's Distant Mirror hear fantasias, pavans and galliards by 16th century Spanish Renaissance composer Luis Milan from his compilation El Maestro, which serves as an example of the music current at a humanistic Renaissance court.  Viola da gambist Jordi Savall performs along with harpist Andrew Lawrence-King.  That's Distant Mirror Friday night at 10. 

On Friday's Distant Mirror hear Palestrina's Pope Marcellus Mass, the work credited with saving polyphonic church music.

The Folger Consort visits Distant Mirror this Friday night with a program of Renaissance instrumental music from their CD Playing with Fire, fiery improvisations on the popular tunes and dance music  of the 16th century. While most are anonymous pieces there are selections here by Jacques Moderne, Francesco de la Torre and collector Pierre Phalese.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm. 

The mass Se la face ay  pale of Guillaume Dufay reveals a mixture of medieval strictness and Renaissance freedom, which is to be expected, written as it was by the man who stood at the watershed of both periods. Dufay is also the first composer to be prolific in both sacred and secular music.  Hear a performance of this great work on Friday's Distant Mirror as David Munrow directs the Early Music Consort of London.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm. 

It's the music of Guillaume Machaut on Friday's Distant Mirror with a selection of rondos, ballades and virelai  performed by Fortune's Wheel from their cd Pastourelle: The Art of Machaut and the Trouveres. Then Matthew Brook sings/recites  Machaut's "Le Layde bonne esperance" from Le Voir Dit.  Join Allan Kelly at 10 pm. 

It's a Medieval--Renaissance Pops Concert on this Friday's Distant Mirror.  Allan Kelly will play all those early music chestnuts you love so well: Music by Anthony Holborne, Thomas Morley, Guillaume Machaut, Adam de la Halle, Tielman Susato and others, in performances by, among others, the King's Noyse, Musicians of the Globe, Musica Reservata, Gothic Voices and the Dufay Collective.  Join Allan at  10pm. 

1580 to 1620 has been called the Golden Age of English lute music . More than 2000 pieces survive, more  than double the amount of madrigals and virginals.  Many are ballad settings and almost all are anonymous. On Friday's Distant Mirror you can hear several of these performed on lute, orpharion and cittern by Paul O'Dette.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

Enjoy a medieval--renaissance Christmas on Friday's Distant Mirror.  Performances by New York Polyphony, A Celtic Christmas with La Nef and the Apollo Singers, the Martin Best Ensemble and, of course, Anonymous 4.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

The Trio Mediaeval visits Distant Mirrior this Friday night with the Missa Alma Redemptoris Mater of early 15th century English  composer Lionel Power.  The mass, based on the Marian antiphon of the same name, is one of the earliest masses to feature the cantus firmus in all movements of the ordinary. Join Allan Kelly at 10. 

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.

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