July 22, 1991 |
Every Monday through July, we provide a detailed guide to help you better enjoy the summer music at the Mann Music Center. THIS WEEK AT THE MANN: Music director Charles Dutoit continues on the podium for the first two concerts this week, followed Thursday by Zdenek Macal. TONIGHT PIECE TO BE PLAYED: Samuel Barber: Essay No. 1. ABOUT THE MUSIC: This elegaic work was composed by West Chester resident Barber (1910-1981) for Arturo Toscanini in 1938. Its wistful mood builds to a central brass declaration, then a brief light-hearted section before its final mysterious pages.
January 18, 1986 |
When the Philadelphia Orchestra yesterday played its second premiere within a month, it was affirming a new era in its musical orientation. And, since this was the second new violin concerto within a month, it was claiming a position in the history of American music. The new work is Richard Wernick's Violin Concerto, and it brought to the Academy of Music stage violinist Gregory Fulkerson in his local debut. Riccardo Muti conducted. Where the December concerto - by Stanislaw Skrowaczewski - had been a spacious lyrical revision of the 19th-century violin elegy, the January concerto is a broadly imagined redefinition of the concerto form.
November 4, 2000 |
Contemporary music champions can seem like the perpetual whiners of the classical music set: Every failure is followed by thickets of "if onlys" that exonerate the music of any misdeeds. But on evidence of Richard Danielpour's Violin Concerto heard in its local premiere by the Philadelphia Orchestra on Thursday, they're right. Though not Danielpour's most consistent work, the concerto shows how a sympathetic convergence of composer, performers and circumstances can make new music readily programmable with Mozart's Don Giovanni overture and Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique.
November 24, 1990 |
Hamilton Harty's name is mostly known now as the hyphenated partner of Handel's in performances of a popular suite from The Water Music. He was much more than that - conductor, essayist and stalwart composer of music that expressed his Irish birth and robust musical psychology. His name has not been frequently placed in Philadelphia Orchestra programs, but last night concertmaster Norman Carol played the first local performance of Harty's Violin Concerto in the Academy of Music program conducted by James DePreist.
January 17, 1986 |
Composer Richard Wernick's Violin Concerto may have been his creation alone during the year of its composition, but as of last weekend it was ready for adoption by conductor Riccardo Muti and violinist Gregory Fulkerson. "I feel like the odd man out," he chuckled, "with the two of them working on it. " The world premiere of the commissioned work, featuring Fulkerson's debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra, is scheduled for today at 2 p.m. and tomorrow at 8:30 p.m. at the Academy, with another performance Tuesday evening at Carnegie Hall in New York.
November 23, 1995 |
The baroque ensemble Philomel opens its 20th anniversary season with a program highlighted by concertos for four violins from a Vivaldi collection titled L'Estro Armonico. Joining the ensemble for these rarely performed works will be guest violinists Elizabeth Blumenstock and Lisa Weiss from San Francisco's Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Philomel violinists Nancy Wilson and David Myford will join Blumenstock and Weiss for the concertos. Also on the program will be Franz Benda's The Flute Concerto in E minor with Philomel's co-artistic director Elissa Berardi as soloist.
February 16, 2011 |
Lucky for Philadelphia that Kimmel Center audiences aren't as exuberantly destructive as sports fans after a World Series victory. Otherwise, Verizon Hall might have been trashed Monday night after a similarly prestigious victory, when locally based Grammy Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon took her bows for her Violin Concerto after its Philadelphia premiere by the Curtis Symphony Orchestra and Hilary Hahn. Mayhem was under control. No briefcases or cough drops were flung.
September 30, 2006 |
The theater world has an axiom that any given play grows longer in larger performing spaces. Clarice Assad's new Violin Concerto strangely went in the opposite direction: Though its 22-minute duration feels expansive on compact disc at home, the concerto seemed much shorter Thursday at the Kimmel Center with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg. Maybe that's because you wanted more of it. This first major concert work by the 28-year-old jazz-steeped Assad is high on lyricism and charm, not so high on the kind of thematic development that could explore more aspects of her melodic inspiration.
November 3, 2001 |
Hilary Hahn made her reputation doing what other violinists do, but with the Olympian purity that comes with unsullied youth. Over the last 18 months, however, something else has emerged, and it appeared in consolidated form Thursday when she played Stravinsky's Violin Concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra: Hahn is also a revisionist. The concerto hasn't been taken seriously over the years, having been written in 1931, 18 years after The Rite of Spring and in a period when Stravinsky's music became more civilized, classical and stylish, and less substantial.
October 10, 2003 |
Alban Berg's Violin Concerto is one of those rare works that you don't just hear but travel through, on a gripping, soulful journey. Its white-hot emotions demonstrate the power of inspiration, and the personal utterances of the violin against Berg's complex palette in the orchestra. The piece chronicles the life of Manon Gropius, a close friend whose death by tuberculosis at age 18 devastated the composer. Between bookends of darkness, we first see her sensitivity and girlish vivacity, then chaos and, pivoting after a few bars of the Bach chorale "Est is genug!"