This week’s audio flashback is our 2018 performance of Edward Elgar’s Symphony No. 1, performed with conductor Leon Botstein at the Fisher Center at Bard. Hans Richter, who conducted the premiere 112 years ago this Thursday, called it “the greatest symphony of modern times.” The audience at the premiere was so enthusiastic that Elgar was called to the stage to take a bow five times, and the symphony was performed around the world over 80 times in the following year. You can read the concert notes by clicking here.
Our second Audio Flashback today is the 2012 Double Concerto of Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, who was born 87 years ago yesterday and passed away this past March. We performed the work in December 2017 with conductor JoAnn Falletta and two of her colleagues from the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra: violist Dennis Kim and cellist Roman Mekinulov. You can read the concert notes by clicking here.
Our first Audio Flashback this Tuesday is the suite from Stravinsky‘s ballet The Fairy’s Kiss, which we performed last November at the Fisher Center at Bard with conductor Leon Botstein. The ballet, which is an adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Ice Maiden and was Stravinsky’s homage to Tchaikovsky, premiered at the Paris Opera 92 years ago this Friday. You can read the concert notes, written by TŌN cellist Sarah Schoeffler, by clicking here.
Our second Audio Flashback this Tuesday is the Op. 27 of Richard Strauss, Four Songs. Strauss originally wrote these songs for his wife, the soprano Pauline de Ahna, and gave them to her as a gift on their wedding day. We performed the work with soprano Paulina Swierczek and conductor Leon Botstein at the Fisher Center at Bard in September 2019. Read the concert notes, written by TŌN violinist Gaia Mariani Ramsdell, by clicking here.
Today’s first Audio Flashback is our 2018 performance of Carl Maria von Weber‘s Clarinet Concerto No. 1 with soloist Elias Rodriguez TŌN ’18, winner of the orchestra’s 2017 Concerto Competition. Rodriguez calls this piece “a passionate journey with a protagonist who is at first sorrowful and suffering; then the epitome of innocence and beauty; and finally the joker, playful and exciting.” The work’s composer was born in Eutin, Oldenburg, Germany 234 years ago this Wednesday. We performed the concerto with conductor Leon Botstein at the Fisher Center at Bard on February 17, 2018. You can read Rodriguez’s concert notes by clicking here.
As we head in to Veterans’ Day in the United States, we offer a unique composition with a distinctly American sound written by eleven American composers. In celebration of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s 50th Anniversary in 1945, conductor and composer Eugene Goossens wrote a theme and finale, and invited ten other composers—including Aaron Copland, William Schuman, Walter Piston, and Roy Harris—to write variations. TŌN gave the NY premiere of this rarely-performed work at the Fisher Center at Bard two years ago this week under the baton of Gerard Schwarz. You can read brief concert notes by clicking here.
0:00 Theme: Goossens
00:42 Variation 1: Paul Creston
1:49 Variation 2: Aaron Copland
3:11 Variation 3: Deems Taylor
5:42 Variation 4: Howard Hanson
7:41 Variation 5: William Schuman
9:37 Variation 6: Walter Piston
11:20 Variation 7: Roy Harris
14:00 Variation 8: Anis Fuleihan
16:03 Variation 9: Bernard Rogers
18:16 Variation 10: Ernest Bloch
20:22 Finale: Goossens
This Election Day we offer our 2018 performance of Aaron Copland‘s Lincoln Portrait, with narrator Mx Justin Vivian Bond and conductor Leon Botstein. Composed in his distinct Americana style, and using themes from “On Springfield Mountain” and “Camptown Races,” Copland put together text in which he quotes different documents and speeches by Abraham Lincoln, including the Lincoln-Douglas debates and the Gettysburg Address. May this music help serve as a reminder of what makes this democracy so great.
You can read the concert notes, written by former TŌN flutist Matthew Ross, by clicking here.
Our second Audio Flashback today is the Second Symphony of Hungarian composer Ernő Dohnányi. Written in the midst of the Second World War, this work alternates between a defeated man’s longing for death, and the desire to live, even through strife. Leon Botstein conducted TŌN’s performance of this symphony in the spring of 2017 at the Fisher Center at Bard. Read the concert notes, written by former TŌN clarinetist Elias Rodriguez, by clicking here.
Just in time for Halloween, we offer Mussorgsky’s frantic and fantastical Night on Bald Mountain, which premiered on this day in 1886. Known for its use in movies like Fantasia and The Wizard of Oz, and more recently in Halloween commercials for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, this musical poem represents a witches’ sabbath that boils and bubbles until the morning church bells scare away the spirits of darkness.
TŌN performed this piece in the fall of 2017 at the Fisher Center at Bard under the baton of Leon Botstein. You can read brief program notes, written by former TŌN violist Omar Shelly, by clicking here.
Today we’re offering two Audio Flashbacks of works that were inspired by the plays of Shakespeare. Austrian composer Egon Wellesz was born 135 years ago this Wednesday. His 1936 Prospero’s Incantations sets five important characters and moments from Shakespeare’s The Tempest into individual movements. Though it was written 84 years ago, we performed the U.S. premiere of the piece just one year ago with Austrian conductor Hans Graf at the Fisher Center at Bard. You can read the concert notes, written by TŌN violist Leonardo Vásquez Chacón, by clicking here.