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

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.

The Tournai Mass (late 13th-mid 14th centuries)  is the first complete mass that we know of, that is, the first mass with a fixed ordinary. although each movement was composed by a different anonymous scribe. A performance by the Trio Mediaeval. There are also several ricercari and salterelli  by Giovanni Maria da Crema  (mid 16th century) from his 1546 book of lute pieces, featuring lutenist Christopher Wilson. And we'll conclude with music written by Henry VIII of England, the suite "Rose without a Thorn" which he wrote while wooing Anne Boleyn.

Dances, fantasias and popular tunes for Queen Elizabeth I's Violin Band on Friday's Distant Mirror: Anonymous 16th century music performed by the Parley of Instruments Renaissance Violin Band conducted by Peter Holman.  Also on the program, rare 15th Century church music featuring pieces by Walter Lamb and John Dunstable, and more of those pavans, galliards and almans of Anthony Holborne from his collection of 1599 with Hesperion XXI directed by Jordi Savall.  Join Allan Kelly at 10pm.

Jordi Savall and Hesperion XXI visit Distant Mirror this week with Elizabethan Consort music from their CD The Teares of the Muses, pavans, galliards and almans of Anthony Holborne from his collection of 1599, which was the first printed collection of dance music to appear in England.  Join Allan Kelly Friday night at 10.

On this week's Distant Mirror hear dance music of the 16th century from the publications of Pierre Phalese, Tielman Susato, Pierre Attaignant and Claude Gervaise performed by the Clemencic Consort.   And the completion of the Mass cycle of William Byrd with his Mass for 5 Voices.  The Tallis scholars perform directed by Peter Phillips.  Join Allan Kelly Friday night at  10.

Both sacred and secular music of William Byrd on this week's Distant Mirror: The Choir of Winchester Cathedral under the direction of David Hill perform Byrd's Mass for 3 Voices while Capriccio Stravagante is heard in two secular pieces-- The Leaves Be Green and a praeludium and ground. The program concludes with two ballades and a rondeaux of Guillaume Machaut from his most famous secular piece, the musical poem Le Voir Dit with Jeremy Summerley directing the Oxford Camerata.  Join Allan Kelly Friday night at 10.

Pages