VIDEO FLASHBACK: Rodion Shchedrin’s Carmen Suite (After Bizet’s Opera)

When Russian composer Rodion Shchedrin was asked to write the music for a Carmen ballet, he combined musical excerpts from three of Bizet‘s works to create his Carmen Suite. Zachary Schwartzman conducted TŌN’s performance of this work in a livestreamed, physically distanced concert from the Fisher Center at Bard this past March. TŌN percussionist Luis Herrera Albertazzi writes that “Shchedrin described the work as ‘not simply a slavish obeisance to the genius of Bizet, but rather an attempt at a creative meeting of two minds.’ The ballet was banned right after its first performance and called an insult to Bizet’s masterpiece, and for the sexualization of Carmen’s character.” You can read Luis’ full concert notes on the piece by clicking here.