Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi was born 207 years ago this month. We performed his profound Requiem last year with soprano Margaret Tigue, mezzo-soprano Chloë Schaaf, tenor Cooper Nolan, bass Wei Wu, the Bard College Chamber Singers, the Bard Festival Chorale, and members of the Bard College Conservatory Orchestra. You can now listen to the audio recording of that performance, conducted by Leon Botstein, and read the concert notes, written by TŌN clarinetist Ye Hu, by clicking here.
Our second Audio Flashback today is our April 2018 performance of Igor Stravinsky‘s long-lost Funeral Song. This tender lament was written by a young Stravinsky in tribute to the passing of his teacher, Rimsky-Korsakov. The parts were thought to have been destroyed in a fire, and were discovered just five years ago. You can read the concert notes by clicking here.
Igor Stravinsky‘s Requiem Canticles premiered 54 years ago this Thursday. We performed the piece two years ago at the Fisher Center at Bard with conductor Leon Botstein, mezzo-soprano Katherine Pracht, baritone Jonathan Beyer, the Bard College Chamber Singers, and the Bard Festival Chorale. One of the TŌN musicians said, “In typical Stravinsky fashion, this piece is totally out there. It’s made up of dark, short vignettes with a sharp, crisp quality.” You can read the concert notes by clicking here.
Our second Audio Flashback this week comes from our 2017 performance of Béla Bartók‘s The Miraculous Mandarin Suite at the Fisher Center at Bard with conductor Leon Botstein. Debuting as a pantomime ballet in 1926, this risqué story caused such a urproar that it was suspended from production after the first performance! The concert suite has proven to be much more popular, and was performed by TŌN again last December with conductor Tan Dun. You can read the concert notes from our original performance, written by former TŌN oboist Zachary Boeding, by clicking here.
Beethoven‘s The Consecration of the House Overture premiered 198 years ago this Saturday, at the opening of the new Theater in der Josephstadt in Vienna. The premiere went so well that Beethoven used this overture to open another concert, when he premiered his ninth symphony. Listen back to our performance of this overture this past February, under the baton of Leon Botstein at the Fisher Center at Bard. You can read the concert notes, written by former TŌN violinist Tianpei Ai, by clicking here.
Composer Dmitri Shostakovich was born 114 years ago this Friday. Today we’re revisiting our 2019 performance of his Tenth Symphony, under the baton of Leon Botstein. This piece spans a wide range of emotions, from the brooding, searching quality of the opening of the first movement, to the drive of the second movement, and the ominous clock-ticking of the third movement. Read the concert notes, written by TŌN cellist Lucas Button, by clicking here.
Our second Audio Flashback today is Galina Ustvolskaya‘s Symphonic Poem No. 1, which we performed one year ago at the Fisher Center at Bard under the baton of Leon Bostein. Ustvolskaya learned composition from Shostakovich, and dedicated this piece to the workers who tilled the land of Kazakhstan. You can read the concert notes, written by former TŌN bassoonist Matthew Gregoire, by clicking here.
Swiss composer Frank Martin was born 130 years ago today. We performed his Six Monologues from Jedermann three years ago with baritone Nathaniel Sullivan and conductor Leon Botstein at the Fisher Center at Bard. Click below to listen to the recording, and read the concert notes, written by former TŌN violist Scot Moore, by clicking here.
This Tuesday we revisit our September 2017 performance of Tchaikovsky‘s Symphony No. 3, performed at the Fisher Center at Bard under the baton of Leon Botstein. This symphony is the least-performed of the several that Tchaikovsky wrote. It is occasionally referred to as the “Polish Symphony” due to the Polish dance influences in the rhythms of the final movement, marked as Tempo di polacca. However, musicologists agree that this is a misleading nickname; the symphony is most definitely Russian.
Composer Anton Bruckner was born 196 years ago this Friday, and to celebrate we’re releasing our performance of his 4th Symphony, the Romantic. Bruckner is known for his amazing writing for brass instruments, and this symphony has plenty of that “heavy metal” while also encompassing a wide range of emotional, expressive content. This performance was led by maestro Gerard Schwarz at the Fisher Center at Bard in November 2017. You can read the concert notes, written by former TŌN horn player Ethan Brozka, by clicking here.