All Vivaldi

vivaldi(His famously red hair must be powdered or obscured by a periwig, but this is supposedly Antonio Vivaldi.)

This weekend (December 1 and 2, 2017), guest conductor Nicholas McGegan leads the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and members of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus in a wide-ranging program of works by Antonio Vivaldi. If you can’t make it to Powell Hall tonight (concert starts at 8:00 CST, and tickets are still available!), be sure to tune in to the live stream on St. Louis Public Radio at 8:00 PM Central Time.

http://news.stlpublicradio.org/#stream/0

Program:
VIVALDI Concerto in D minor for 2 Violins, Cello and Strings
VIVALDI Concerto in F major for 2 Horns and Strings
VIVALDI Gloria in D major, RV 589

Sherezade Panthaki, soprano
Jay Carter, countertenor
Thomas Jöstlein, horn
Christopher Dwyer, horn
St. Louis Symphony Chorus, Amy Kaiser, director

My program notes are linked below. (You can also read the notes on the SLSO website, as usual, where they are formatted somewhat differently and slightly abbreviated; I’m including the link only because I think a few people might enjoy the gratuitous David Bowie and Rufus Wainwright references. However, the SLSO website version contains better images and supplementary information, so check that out, too.)

vivaldislso2017

 

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Ravel, Chausson, Falla, Sarasate

ravel

This weekend (November 24–26), guest conductor Jun Märkl leads the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in works by Ravel, Chausson, Sarasate, and Falla. My program notes are here:

http://tinyurl.com/y9ffwr5x

If you can’t make it to Powell Hall on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, tune in to the live stream on St. Louis Public radio at 8:00 pm CST:

http://news.stlpublicradio.org/#stream/0

 

Strauss, Berg, Beethoven

edfe8982cd54faf77cbacd4458c243cc--alban-berg-classical-music

(Portrait of Alban Berg, by Arnold Schoenberg.)

This weekend Music Director David Robertson leads the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in works by Richard Strauss, Alban Berg, and Ludwig van Beethoven. SLSO principal horn Roger Kaza performs Strauss’s Horn Concerto No. 2, and Soprano Christine Brewer sings Berg’s Seven Early Songs. After intermission the SLSO performs Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. If you can’t make it to Powell Hall on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, make sure you listen to the live stream on St. Louis Public Radio at 8:00 pm CST: http://news.stlpublicradio.org/#stream/0

My program notes are here:

http://tinyurl.com/ybroy583

Mackey, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky

1453131486_55365(I love this photograph so, so much: wretched old dreamer Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky, on a settee, flanked by well-upholstered, waistcoated, pocket-watch-flaunting grandees. Apologies to possible copyright holders; I’ll take it down if you like, or attribute credit if you send me the information. This photo must date to about 1890, or so; Tchaikovsky died at 53 on November 6, 1893, after possibly contracting cholera on purpose.)

This weekend Music Director David Robertson leads the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in works by Mackey, Rachmaninoff, and Tchaikovsky, with special guest piano virtuosa Orli Shaham performing Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. If you can’t make it to one of the performances at Powell Hall—and good tickets are still available! —be sure to tune in to the live broadcast on St. Louis Public Radio, which begins at 8:00 pm CST. Here’s the website to listen if you want to hear this gorgeous (Russian-ish) program but can’t make it to Powell Hall in St. Louis: http://news.stlpublicradio.org/#stream/0

My notes can be found here.
http://tinyurl.com/yd8kv4md

 

Berlioz, Khachaturian, Walton

Aram Khachaturian

This weekend, the St. Louis Symphony performs works by Hector Berlioz, Aram Khachaturian (pictured), and William Walton. If you can’t make it to Powell Hall this weekend, be sure to tune in to St. Louis Public Radio for the broadcast or live stream, which begins at 8:00 CST.

My program notes can be found here:

http://tinyurl.com/yclyk2up

Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and Rouse

fryderyk chopin fotografia_6023200

This weekend the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, led by Conductor Laureate Leonard Slatkin, performs works by Chopin (pictured above), Rachmaninoff, and Rouse.

If you can’t make it to one of the performances at Powell Hall–and good tickets are still available!–be sure to tune in to the live broadcast on St. Louis Public Radio, which begins at 8:00 pm CST.

My notes can be found here:

http://tinyurl.com/y9wkbeoy

So Much Mozart!

croce-mozart-detail

I wrote about a slew of Mozart pieces for three all-Mozart concerts performed by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, starting with opening weekend (this weekend, in fact!). There’s still plenty of time to get tickets to all the upcoming performances, which feature pianist Emanuel Ax.

On Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 (“Jupiter”), the overture to Le Nozze di Figaro, and Piano Concertos Nos. 19 and 27. (My notes begin on p. 24.)

https://tinyurl.com/yc8sy85h

On Mozart’s Symphony No. 39, the overture to Così fan tutte, and Piano Concertos Nos. 20 and 14. (My notes begin on p . 24.)

http://tinyurl.com/ycume5df

On Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, Piano Concertos No. 16 and 17, and the overture to Don Giovanni (My notes begin on p. 32.)

http://tinyurl.com/ya8zb5yq

The Flying Dutchman

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On May 4 and 6 (Thursday and Saturday) the St. Louis Symphony and St. Louis Symphony Chorus perform Richard Wagner’s opera Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman) in its entirety. I’m very much looking forward to attending the Thursday evening performance with my mom, and I’ll be sure to tune in to the live broadcast on St. Louis Public Radio on Saturday night as well.

My notes begin on p. 25. Yes, I realize that I left a great many things out, but that’s what happens when you attempt to stick to your word count (and fail, but only mildly). I guess no one will miss my wanton gothisms.

http://tinyurl.com/mysgj9x

Walton, Nicolai, and Elgar

walton1

This weekend, February 24 and February 25 (but not Sunday, sadly), the St. Louis Symphony and St. Louis Symphony Chorus perform William Walton’s insane and gorgeous oratorio Belshazzar’s Feast. Also on the program are Otto Nicolai’s delightfully nutty overture to The Merry Wives of Windsor and Edward Elgar’s Falstaff, a more nuanced and tragic portrait of the same Shakespearean buffoon. (Sense a literary theme here? SLSO programs are always very thoughtfully conceived, which makes writing an introduction somewhat easier.)

You can tune in to the live broadcast on St. Louis Public Radio if you can’t make it to the concert at Powell Hall tonight. The St. Louis Public Radio broadcast streams live on the website, too, starting at 8:00. Once I figure out how to make a hyperlink again, I will do it; in the meantime, Google is your good buddy. And speaking of good buddies, check out the photo I found featuring William Walton (left) with a baby koala. Baby koala doesn’t seem too impressed, but my huge love for Walton’s facial expression compensates for the fact that he is much older in this photo than he was when he composed Belshazzar’s Feast, a completely koala-free endeavor as far as I can determine.

http://tinyurl.com/hhxxrxq

My program notes are on pp. 26-30.

Dvořák, Adams, Korngold

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On January 13-15, 2017, the St. Louis Symphony performs Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 (“From the New World”) preceded by John Adams’s Chairman Dances and Erich Korngold’s Violin Concerto (with soloist Gil Shaham). My program notes begin on p. 30. Please excuse the typos (“Move Motives” should be “Movie Motives” in the heading, and “staticy” should be spelled “staticky.”) Also, this photo of Dvořák was taken a few years after he completed the symphony, but I prefer it to more contemporaneous images because I like his stance and his pleasant but distant expression. With his fancy watch chain, velvet smoking jacket, and slight avoirdupois, the Proud Bohemian looks quite pleased with himself, and why wouldn’t he be?

http://tinyurl.com/hzae5w7