TŌN IN: Strauss’ Merry Pranks & Bruckner’s Fifth

In this October 2, 2021 performance livestreamed from the Fisher Center at Bard, Leon Botstein conducts Richard StraussTill Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks, which chronicles the misadventures of the titular practical jokester and German peasant folk hero, and Anton Bruckner’s massive and masterful Fifth Symphony. It was performed only once during the composer’s lifetime, and he died having never heard it.

Read the full concert program by clicking here.

Scroll down below the video for timings and concert notes.

0:55 Introductory remarks by TŌN violinist Joyce Lee
6:14 Richard Strauss Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks
Read concert notes by TŌN oboist Jasper Igusa by clicking here
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22:05 Introductory remarks by TŌN trumpet player Samuel Exline
27:36 Anton Bruckner Symphony No. 5
Read concert notes by TŌN bassoonist Cheryl Fries by clicking here.

Meet the Musicians of TŌN: Violinist Joyce Lee

In this interview, TŌN violinist Joyce Lee talks to us about learning to play the violin at a very young age, how she enjoys meeting audience members at concerts, and why cupcakes are her second love.

VIDEO FLASHBACK: Andrés Gaos’ Impresión Nocturna

In March, conductor Andrés Rivas led The Orchestra Now in a performance of Andrés Gaos‘ Impresion Nocturna, which premiered in Paris 84 years ago this week. TŌN violinist Nicole Oswald writes, “One would wonder if Gaos was inspired by the rich harmonic texture and endless melodic material in Mahler’s Adagietto, while keeping the sincere sentiment of Samuel Barber’s famous Adagio for Strings. By comparison, Gaos’ orchestration has a dense harmonic texture at times with overlapping suspensions almost reminiscent of the old Hollywood sound we expect to hear from Erich Wolfgang Korngold. The sonorous quality of string orchestra coupled with the mild tempo and rich harmony creates a beautiful palate for any listener.” You can read Nicole’s full concert notes on the piece by clicking here.

TŌN IN: Slatkin Conducts Brahmsiana

In this September 18, 2021 performance livestreamed from the Fisher Center at Bard, internationally acclaimed conductor Leonard Slatkin conducts the world premiere of his own arrangement of Brahms melodies, Brahmsiana, and his arrangement of Pictures at an Exhibition, which takes Ravel’s famous orchestration and reinstates portions of Mussorgsky’s original. The concert begins with Circuits, written by Slatkin’s wife, composer Cindy McTee.

Read the full concert program by clicking here.

Scroll down below the video for timings and concert notes.

1:26 Introductory remarks by TŌN violinist Linda Duan
6:30 Cindy McTee: Circuits
Read concert notes by TŌN violinist Misty Drake by clicking here.

12:45 Introductory remarks by TŌN cellist Cameron Collins
15:36 Brahms (arr. Slatkin): Brahmsiana
Read concert notes by Leonard Slatkin by clicking here.

56:24 Introductory remarks by TŌN trombonist David Kidd
59:27 Mussorgsky (orch. Ravel, arr. Slatkin): Pictures at an Exhibition
Read concert notes by TŌN flutist Rebecca Tutunick by clicking here.

1:33:21 Introductory remarks by Leonard Slatkin
1:34:28 Felix Slatkin: Carmen’s Hoedown

VIDEO FLASHBACK: Bruce Montgomery’s Concertino for String Orchestra

In March, conductor Andrés Rivas led The Orchestra Now in a livestreamed, physically distanced performance of Bruce Montgomery‘s Concertino for String Orchestra at the Fisher Center at Bard. Former TŌN violinist Shaina Pan wrote that “[The] English composer wrote mostly choral and film music, but was also known for his classic crime novels and short stories which he wrote under the pseudonym Edmund Crispin. . . . Concertino for String Orchestra is [his] sole instrumental work. After its first performance, a review described the piece as ‘a graceful, flowing, three-movement work, well written, economical in notes and notable for a lyrical lento espressivo of imaginative warmth.’” You can read Shaina’s full notes on the piece by clicking here.

VIDEO FLASHBACK: Frank Martin’s Petite symphonie concertante

In March, conductor Zachary Schwartzman led The Orchestra Now and soloists Renée Anne Louprette on  harpsichord, Frank Corliss on piano, and Taylor Ann Fleshman TŌN ’22 on harp in a performance of the Petite symphonie concertante by composer Frank Martin, who was born 131 years ago this week. Taylor Ann Fleshman writes that “The Petite symphonie concertante was composed in 1945 from a request made by Paul Sacher. Sacher did not micromanage how the piece was to be composed, but his one specific request was that plucked basso continuo instruments were to be employed along with standard string instruments. From here, Martin decided to use instruments that are still common today, which included harp, piano, and harpsichord. These three instruments are the soloists of the work while the remaining strings are split into two equally important groups.” You can read Taylor’s full concert notes on the piece by clicking here.

VIDEO FLASHBACK: Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony No. 1

Last November, conductor Leon Botstein led The Orchestra Now in a livestreamed, physically distanced performance of the Chamber Symphony No. 1 of composer Arnold Schoenberg, who was born 147 years ago this week. TŌN clarinetist Matthew Griffith writes that “the Chamber Symphony No. 1 is a landmark at a distinctly pivotal moment in the history of classical music. . . . There are only 15 players on the stage, but the expressive range and intensity still sounds remarkably like a full orchestra.” You can read Matthew’s full concert notes on the work by clicking here.

VIDEO FLASHBACK: Bernstein’s Serenade (after Plato’s Symposium)

In April, violinist Zongheng Zhang joined TŌN and conductor Leon Botstein for a performance of Leonard Bernstein‘s Serenade (after Plato’s Symposium) in a physically distanced concert that was livestreamed from the Fisher Center at Bard. TŌN timpanist Keith Hammer III writes that the piece is “based on Plato’s dialogue The Symposium. Plato’s work is a musical reflection of the impassioned, yet rancorous, speeches on the subject of love made by philosophers such as Aristophanes, Agathon, Phaedrus, and Socrates.” You can read Keith’s full concert notes on the Serenade by clicking here.

Meet the Musicians of TŌN: Bassist Tristen Jarvis

We recently sat down with TŌN bassist Tristen Jarvis who talked to us about his transition from sports to music, his love of Respighi’s Pines of Rome, and how he loves learning how to be his own teacher as a member of The Orchestra Now.

VIDEO FLASHBACK: Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis

In February, conductor James Bagwell and The Orchestra Now performed Ralph Vaughan Williams‘ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, which premiered 111 years ago this week. TŌN violinist Xinran Li writes that the piece “is full, serene, and spiritual” and that it “builds up with its complicated, flowing layers with interesting tones.” She notes that “the Fantasia is constructed for double string orchestra with string quartet, and is inspired by both a theme by 16th-century English composer Thomas Tallis, and John Bunyan’s Christian allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress, with which Vaughan Williams had a lifelong obsession.” You can read Xinran’s full concert notes on the work by clicking here.