Our Audio Flashback this Tuesday is Tchaikovsky’s symphonic fantasia on Dante’s Inferno. In Francesca da Rimini we hear the title character and her lover descend into the circles of Hell, tossed about violently in a whirling storm of souls. Tchaikovsky was initially interested in creating an opera around this story, but the orchestral work he composed instead was an instant success. This performance was recorded at the Fisher Center at Bard in February 2019 under the baton of Leon Botstein. You can read the concert notes, written by TŌN cellist Sarah Schoeffler, by clicking here.
Oh, the joy! Given everything that’s going on in the world right now, we hope you’ll find it soothing to take an hour to luxuriate in one of the greatest symphonies of all time, Beethoven‘s Ninth. This performance was recorded in October 2017 at the Fisher Center at Bard, and features conductor Leon Botstein, soprano Chloé Olivia Moore, mezzo-soprano Teresa Buchholz, tenor John Pickle, bass-baritone Alfred Walker, the Bard College Chamber Singers, and the Bard Festival Chorale.
Our Audio Flashback this Tuesday is our 2018 performance of Schumann‘s Symphony No. 2, under the baton of James Bagwell. Schumann was suffering from both physical and mental illness when he was writing this symphony, which he thought was noticeable in the music. “Only in the final movement did I begin to feel my old self again,” he wrote. And indeed the final movement is a triumph, as the optimistic melody and resolution combat the moody and rebellious nature of the first movement. Read the concert notes by clicking here.
This week’s edition of Fisher Center at Bard’s UPSTREAMING includes our 2017 performance of Hector Berlioz‘s dramatic symphony Roméo et Juliette. Listen online at bit.ly/3hq6bJS.
This Tuesday’s Audio Flashback is our performance of Schubert‘s Great 9th Symphony with conductor Hans Graf at the Fisher Center at Bard this past fall. Schubert’s 9th wasn’t heard until 11 years after his death! It was discovered at his brother’s house by Robert Schumann, and the premiere was conducted by Felix Mendelssohn. You can read the concert notes, written by TŌN horn player Emily Buehler, by clicking here.
To celebrate Bastille Day, today we’re listening back to our performance of George Gershwin‘s An American in Paris, recorded with conductor James Bagwell at the Fisher Center at Bard in February 2018. Gershwin began writing this piece during his trip to Paris, and he was so inspired by the Parisian taxi horns that he handpicked several horns to bring back to the U.S. for the New York City premiere at Carnegie Hall. Read the concert notes, written by former TŌN oboist Regina Brady, by clicking here.
Gustav Mahler was born 160 years ago today, in 1860. We mark this 7/7 with our performance of Mahler’s 7th Symphony, conducted by Leon Botstein at the Fisher Center at Bard in February 2018. Mahler allegedly completed most of the symphony in just four weeks, during one of the happiest moments of his life and career. But by the time it premiered three years later, his life had turned upside-down. Read the concert notes by clicking here.
As Pride Month comes to a close and Independence Day draws near, we pay tribute to an iconic gay composer who was celebrated for his “Americana” sound, Brooklyn’s own Aaron Copland. His third symphony is also known as the “Great American” and features the theme from his famous “Fanfare for the Common Man.” Read the concert notes, written by TŌN trumpet player Guillermo Garcia Cuesta, by clicking here.
This Tuesday’s audio flashback is the first symphony of Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Written in the composer’s late teens and early 20s, this symphony was an assignment from Rimsky’s composition teacher, and the second movement was written while he was at sea in the Russian navy. Some hailed the piece as “the first Russian symphony” due to its use of Russian folk melodies and avoidance of traditionally German compositional techniques. Read the concert notes, written by former TŌN harpist Emily Melendes, by clicking here.
This week we’re looking at the theme of heroism in music. We invite you to stream our performance of R. Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben (“A Hero’s Life”), a work in six movements which the composer (tongue planted firmly in cheek) said features “lots of horns—which is always a measure of heroism.” Read the concert notes, written by former TŌN violinist Sophia Bernitz, by clicking here.