Program Notes: Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony

Program Notes

Program Notes: Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony Anna Clyne’s Restless Oceans: World Premiere January 22, 2019; Davos, Switzerland (3 minutes) London-born Anna Clyne is based in New York but has an international career. Her Prince of Clouds and Night Ferry were nominated for GRAMMY® Awards in 2015. Clyne collaborates regularly with choreographers, filmmakers and visual artists. Well-versed in technology, Clyne uses computer-controlled … Read More

Program Notes: Mozart, Vivaldi & Handel

Program Notes

Program Notes: Mozart, Vivaldi & Handel George Frideric Handel’s Zadok the Priest (Coronation Anthem No. 1): World Premiere October 11, 1727; London, England (6 minutes) George Frideric Handel’s principal instrument was organ, but he also played violin and harpsichord. In the early 1700s, Handel mastered Italian opera, working in several Italian cities. Beginning in the 1730s, he focused on English … Read More

Program Notes: Rhapsody in Blue & Rachmaninoff 

Program Notes

Program Notes: Rhapsody in Blue & Rachmaninoff  Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in G minor, Op. 40:  World Premiere March 18, 1927; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (24 minutes)  Sergei Rachmaninoff was a major figure in post-romanticism. A brilliant pianist, he also wrote splendidly for orchestra. His music features lush themes and heart-on-the-sleeve sentimentality. He eventually settled in the U.S., enjoying great … Read More

Program Notes: Handel’s Messiah

Program Notes

Program Notes: Handel’s Messiah George Frideric Handel’s Messiah:  World Premiere April 13, 1742; Dublin, Ireland (150 minutes)  George Frideric Handel’s Messiah holds a universal appeal not only because we associate it with the holiday season but also because Handel’s lovely arias and bubbling choruses do indeed lift us up.  They are, collectively, a cause for celebration. The joining together of such … Read More

Program Notes: Tchaikovsky & Barber

Program Notes

Program Notes: Tchaikovsky & Barber Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s Dramatic Overture:  World Premiere December 14, 1911; Leipzig, Germany (16 minutes)  Erich Wolfgang Korngold was a child prodigy who was often compared to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. His ballet The Snowman, composed when he was 11, became a Viennese sensation. He was already conducting major opera orchestras in his early 20s. Korngold moved … Read More

Program Notes: Mahler’s Symphony for Alma

Program Notes

Program Notes: Mahler’s Symphony for Alma Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 6 in A minor, “Tragic:” World Premiere May 27, 1906; Essen, Germany (79 minutes) Gustav Mahler is best known for his gigantic, cosmic symphonies. He also composed songs on a symphonic scale. Mahler employed an enormous orchestra, often including unusual instruments like cowbells. Although he was a tonal composer, Mahler’s … Read More

Program Notes: Beethoven, Brahms & Dinnerstein 

Program Notes

Program Notes: Beethoven, Brahms & Dinnerstein  Nina Shekhar’s Lumina: World Premiere May 12, 2022; New York, New York (12 minutes) Nina Shekhar is a composer and multimedia artist who explores the themes and intersection of identity, vulnerability, love and laughter. She double majored in chemical engineering and composition at the University of Michigan. Currently, she is completing a PhD in … Read More

Program Notes: Beethoven, Schumann & Liebermann

Program Notes

Program Notes: Beethoven, Schumann & Liebermann Ludwig van Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 2, Op. 72a: World Premiere November 20, 1805; Vienna, Austria (13 minutes)  Ludwig van Beethoven favored instrumental music: symphonies, sonatas and concertos. His vocal music includes songs, folk songs and some sacred masses. He labored on his only opera, Fidelio, for more than a decade. Leonore Overture No. … Read More

Program Notes: Conrad Tao Plays Prokofiev

Program Notes

Program Notes: Conrad Tao Plays Prokofiev Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op. 26: World Premiere: December 16, 1921; Chicago, Illinois (27 minutes) Though Sergei Prokofiev was from the Ukraine, his Third Piano Concerto has strong American connections. Prokofiev was the soloist in the first performance with the Chicago Symphony in 1921, under the direction of Frederick Stock. … Read More

Program Notes: Mozart, Brahms & Schumann

Program Notes

Program Notes: Mozart, Brahms & Schumann Robert Schumann’s Overture, Scherzo & Finale, Op. 52:   (World Premiere: June 12, 1841; Leipzig, Germany)  (17 minutes) Literate and passionate, Robert Schumann was a quintessential composer of the Romantic Era.  Schumann often had feverish, intense bouts of composition. His wife, Clara Schumann, was one of the 19th-century’s greatest pianists. Schumann was also one of … Read More