Posts Tagged ‘American Symphony Orchestra’
The American Symphony Orchestra’s 50th Birthday Celebration: Leon Botstein Conducts Ives’ Fourth and Mahler’s Eighth
Leopold Stokowski seemed to float in and out of Carnegie Hall last Saturday evening, as Leon Botstein led the American Symphony Orchestra in their festive—and massive—50th birthday celebration. In fact Maestro Botstein made it perfectly clear that the concert was as much about the founder as it was about the orchestra in his introductory talk and in his important program note, available on the ASO site. The American Symphony Orchestra was the fruit of over twenty-two years of short-lived attempts by Stokowski to found orchestras which put into practice a few ideals that were dear to his heart: bringing American-born and -trained musicians into the mainstream of classical music, to make orchestral concerts easily and inexpensively available to working people, and to play repertory outside the most familiar classics.
See also: “Orientalism in France: Leon Botstein and the ASO play Saint-Saëns, Franck, Ravel, Delage, and Bizet’s one-act opera, Djamileh at Carnegie Hall” Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) is, like his friend Franz Liszt, an exemplary subject for the Bard Summer Music Festival: his world was large, and he was vitally connected with it. He was recognized [...]
Orientalism in France: Leon Botstein and the ASO play Saint-Saëns, Franck, Ravel, Delage, and Bizet’s one-act opera, Djamileh at Carnegie Hall
In a happy coincidence this delightful evening of French orientalist music occurred just as I was coming to the end of Ralph P. Locke’s stimulating book, Musical Exoticism, Images and Reflections (Cambridge University Press, 2009). Without repeating much that I’ll say in my review, I think I should say here that reading it most definitely added to my enjoyment of the concert, and that is serious praise for a book about music. Professor Locke goaded me into looking at the rhetoric of exoticism as a multifaceted historical phenomenon, which carried as many different connotations for the members of Bizet’s or Ravel’s own audiences as they do for us. This is not by any means the thesis of the book, but it is a salutary corollary lesson. Ultimately, however, neither that, nor Leon Botstein’s witty, balanced, and impressively perceptive pre-concert lecture, nor his and Jann Pasler’s excellent essays can quite put us back into those audiences’ top hat, tails, and spats. Perhaps champagne is in order. What was most palpably present in Carnegie Hall that night was some supremely imaginative and enjoyable music, much of it more substantial than one might have expected.
Originality is a hard concept to get a hold of — there is no yardstick for measuring it, by its very nature. This makes the evaluation of composers, the assessment of their influence and historical position, one of the most subjective areas of music history and criticism. Contemporary writers have become impatient with their predecessors’ habit of rating composers in terms of “importance” or “greatness” based, at least in part, on their originality. And then there is the issue of “unique voice” — is that the same as originality? Is their any good composer who lacks either one? Can “uniqueness” be evaluated?
Music at Bard: Conservatory Faculty and Students, Fisher Center, American Symphony Orchestra, Opera, Summerscape, Bard Music Festival
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Fisher Center presents a Weekend of Brahms – Tragic Overture and A German Requiem under Botstein, Bagwell and Howlett
Fisher Center presents a Weekend of Brahms Sosnoff Theater, Fisher Center for the Arts Bard College Friday, April 15 – Saturday, April 16, 2011 Johannes Brahms Tragic Overture, Op. 81 (1880) A German Requiem, Op. 45 (1865–68) Members of the American Symphony Orchestra Bard Conservatory Orchestra Leon Botstein, Conductor Bard College Chamber Singers (James Bagwell, [...]
Classics Declassified: Leon Botstein’s Tour of the Beethoven Symphonies with the ASO at Peter Norton Symphony Space, New York
For some reason that escapes me 2009 has become a “Beethoven year,” or at least a “Beethoven symphony year.” James Levine,* Leon Botstein, and Gerard Schwarz, to name only the conductors who immediately come to mind, have seen fit to begin Beethoven symphony cycles this year. 1809, however, was almost a fallow year for the [...]
American Symphony Orchestra, Leon Botstein conductor Sunday, January 25, 2009 at 3 pm, Avery Fisher Hall Marjorie Owens, soprano Hanns Eisler (1898-1962): Auferstanden aus Ruinen, Hymne der DDR (1949) Rudolf Wagner-Régeny (1903-69): Mythological Figures (1951) – US premiere I. Ceres II. Amphitrite III. Diana Paul Dessau (1894-1979): In memoriam Bertolt Brecht (1957) – US premiere [...]