Grażyna Bacewicz‘s Concerto for String Orchestra premiered in Warsaw 71 years ago this week. We performed the piece with conductor Zachary Schwartzman in a physically-distanced, livestreamed concert from the Fisher Center at Bard on October 17, 2020. In his notes on the piece, TŌN violist Sean Flynn says the Concerto “is considered to be the composer’s finest work” and that it is “accessible to even a first-time listener while still holding many surprises and ear-catching moments.” Noting that the composer’s background as an accomplished violinist allowed her to write very technical string parts, he says “Bacewicz asks a lot of the players of this piece . . . mak[ing] for an intense but endlessly exciting playing experience, but I am sure that this intensity and excitement will be felt by listeners as well.” You can read his full concert notes on the work by clicking here.
In honor of her recent Pulitzer Prize win for the piece “Stride,” we are pleased to present this encore presentation of our April 8, 2021 Zoom discussion with composer, conductor, and educator Tania León. She chatted with composer and musicologist Sebastian Danila and musicians from The Orchestra Now (TŌN) about her career and her Pulitzer Prize-nominated work “Ácana,” which TŌN performed on April 10, 2021.
http://theorchestranow.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/TON-Logo-300x107.png00Brian Heckhttp://theorchestranow.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/TON-Logo-300x107.pngBrian Heck2021-06-16 10:54:092021-06-16 10:54:09VIDEO FLASHBACK: A Chat with Tania León
Watch our February performance of the Holberg Suite (From Holberg’s Time) by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, who was born 178 years ago today. We performed the work with conductor James Bagwell in a physically-distanced livestreamed concert from the Fisher Center at Bard. In her notes on the piece, TŌN violinist Misty Drake says that the genesis of this work came when “Grieg was asked to compose festival music for the 200th anniversary of prominent Norwegian-Danish playwright Ludvig Holberg.” The music “engages in various meters and rhythms to blend Norwegian folksongs with classic Baroque dances. Definitely written with twirling and toe-tapping in mind! A year after the premiere, the Holberg Suite was rewritten for a string orchestra.” You can read Misty’s full concert notes on the work by clicking here.
We’re pleased to share our performance of Metamorphosen by Richard Strauss, who was born 157 years ago this week. Strauss wrote the piece in the final days of Nazi rule and sought to convey the meaning of how World War II had dramatically transformed humanity. It is constructed in a unique format for 23 solo strings—each of which has a part that is unique from all the others—that blend together to form an overwhelmingly rich texture. We performed the piece with conductor Leon Botstein for a livestream from the Fisher Center at Bard on November 1, 2020. You can read the concert notes, written by TŌN violinist Bram Margoles, by clicking here.
http://theorchestranow.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/TON-Logo-300x107.png00Brian Heckhttp://theorchestranow.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/TON-Logo-300x107.pngBrian Heck2021-06-10 14:58:282021-06-14 21:33:07VIDEO FLASHBACK: R. Strauss' Metamorphosen
Watch our October 2020 performance of Witold Lutosławski‘s Overture for Strings, conducted by Zachary Schwartzman. In his concert notes on the work, TŌN cellist Cameron Collins calls the overture “quite an interesting piece. After his first symphony, Lutosławski was reportedly unhappy with his own approach to the way he used pitches to create his melodies and harmonies. This forced him to start searching for a new ‘sound language,’ and the Overture for Strings was his first symphonic work in this process.” You can read his complete notes by clicking here.
Enjoy TŌN’s performance of Haydn‘s Symphony No. 48, Maria Theresa, with conductor Leon Botstein, presented in a livestreamed, physically distanced concert from the Fisher Center at Bard on November 14, 2020. In his concert notes on the piece, TŌN cellist Pecos Singer says this symphony “hails from Haydn’s so-called Sturm und Drang (‘storm and stress’) period. The term appropriately describes the stormy quality just beneath the surface of the music. This can be heard best in the development of the first movement, certain episodes in the fourth movement, and the Trio section of the Minuet.” You can read his full notes on the piece by clicking here.
This summer, The Orchestra Now is pleased to release videos from our livestreamed, physically distanced concerts this past season. First up is Cuauhnáhuac by Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas, which premiered 88 years ago this week. We performed the work on November 1, 2020 with conductor Leon Botstein. In her concert notes on the piece, TŌN violist Katelyn Hoag says “Cuauhnáhuac is a fascinating fusion that uniquely blends pre-Colombian musical techniques with those of European modernists Claude Debussy and Igor Stravinsky to create a distinctly modern Mexican sound.” You can read her complete notes by clicking here.
This week’s Audio Flashback is the Serenade for Strings by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, who was born 181 years ago this week. TŌN performed the work with conductor Leon Botstein on September 19, 2020 as part of the “Out of the Silence” festival, presented with the Bard Music Festival (BMF) and the Fisher Center at Bard. In his concert notes on the Serenade, BMF Artistic Codirector Christopher H. Gibbs notes that Tchaikovsky was writing this piece at the same time as his famous 1812 Overture, and wrote in a letter to his patron, “The overture will be very noisy. I wrote it without much warmth or enthusiasm; therefore it has no great artistic value. The Serenade, on the contrary, I wrote from an inward impulse; I felt it, and venture to hope that this work is not without artistic qualities.” You can read the full notes on the Serenade by clicking here.
http://theorchestranow.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/TON-Logo-300x107.png00Brian Heckhttp://theorchestranow.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/TON-Logo-300x107.pngBrian Heck2021-05-04 11:00:532021-05-03 22:05:00AUDIO FLASHBACK: Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings
This Tuesday’s Audio Flashback is Solitude by the brilliant Duke Ellington, who was born 122 years ago this week. Ellington was recognized as the greatest jazz musician in America, giving voice to the Black experience in his works. He was an indefatigable innovator who was always open to new forms of expression, eventually crossing boundaries of genre and writing longer compositions for symphony orchestra. We performed Morton Gould’s arrangement of this piece with conductor Leon Botstein on September 26, 2020 as part of the “Out of the Silence” festival, presented with the Bard Music Festival and the Fisher Center at Bard.
http://theorchestranow.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/TON-Logo-300x107.png00Brian Heckhttp://theorchestranow.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/TON-Logo-300x107.pngBrian Heck2021-04-27 13:12:362021-04-27 13:12:36AUDIO FLASHBACK: Duke Ellington's Solitude
As part of The Orchestra Now’s “Sunset Serenade” series, TŌN flutist Brendan Dooley performed Georg Philipp Telemann’s Fantasia No. 3 for a physically distanced audience at Old Dutch Church in Kingston, NY on September 24, 2020. Watch the full concert by clicking here.
http://theorchestranow.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/TON-Logo-300x107.png00Brian Heckhttp://theorchestranow.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/TON-Logo-300x107.pngBrian Heck2021-04-22 13:58:162021-04-22 13:58:16TŌN IN: Sunset Serenade on Flute