Yale in NY Presents Rarely-performed 20th-century Concerti Grossi, 2/28


YALE IN NEW YORK presents the acclaimed Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale on Monday, February 28 at 7:30pm in Zankel Hall in a program entitled "Concertante: Rarely-performed Twentieth-Century Concerti Grossi."

The concerto grosso (a concerto in which a large ensemble alternates with a smaller one) reached its peak in the Baroque era, and then fell out of favor. It wasn't until the twentieth century that some composers resurrected the form, adding their own unique stylistic touches that both honored and pushed the boundaries of the older style. This innovative program by a chamber-sized Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale, with soloists Ransom Wilson, Jian Liu, David Shifrin and Frank Morelli under the orchestra's resident conductor Shinik Hahm, presents four eclectic takes on the concerto grosso.

Swiss composer Frank Martin's Second Ballade, originally written for saxophone, string orchestra, piano and percussion in 1938, will be heard in the U.S. premiere of the version for flute. This performance features the renowned flutist Ransom Wilson and pianist Jian Liu in solo parts.

Although best known for his works based on Jewish themes, Ernest Bloch wrote two concerti grossi. The Concerto Grosso No. 1 was written in 1925 and features a touching second movement, "Dirge," that in true concerto grosso style features solo work by a group of instruments (four violins, viola, cello), and a whirling closing "Fugue" that would have made Bach smile.
The Duet-Concertino of Richard Strauss comes from the fruitful burst of creativity the composer enjoyed at the end of his career. Written in 1947 (when Strauss was 83), the Duet-Concertino sings with a sweet lyricism. Strauss masterfully sets the two solo instruments, clarinet and bassoon, against the delicate sounds of strings and harp, while also using the string sextet with a chamber music-like intimacy. Clarinetist David Shifrin and bassoonist Frank Morelli are the soloists here.

Among the striking elements in Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera's Variaciones concertantes is his focus on the concertante style, which sets solo instruments apart from the larger ensemble. Ginastera's work features a theme and a set of 11 variations, with each variation highlighting a different solo instrument or ensemble. The work is rhythmically driven, highly colorful and deeply expressive.

Yale in New York presents "Concertante: Rarely-performed Twentieth-Century Concerti Grossi" at Zankel Hall on Monday, February 28 at 7:30PM

Frank Martin: Second Ballade for flute, string orchestra, piano and percussion (1938) (U.S. Premiere); Ransom Wilson, flute.

Ernest Bloch: Concerto Grosso No. 1 for string orchestra with piano obbligato (1925); Jian Liu, piano.

Richard Strauss: Duett - Concertino for clarinet and bassoon with string orchestra (1947); David Shifrin, clarinet, and Frank Morelli, bassoon.

Alberto Ginastera: Variaciones Concertantes, Op. 23 (1953)


Monday, April 25, 2011 at 8:00PM in Weill Recital Hall
"Stylus Fantasticus"
The Yale Baroque Ensemble
Robert Mealy, director
Seventeenth-century composer-violinists broke new ground with an inventive and flamboyant style called Stylus Fantasticus. Acclaimed baroque violinist Robert Mealy-"New York's world-class early music violinist" (The New Yorker)-directs the period instrument Yale Baroque Ensemble from the first violinist's chair in a program of extravagant and experimental music. The concert will feature brilliant and rarely-heard chamber sonatas in the "stilo moderno" by Dario Castello, Biagio Marini, and G.B. Fontana, along with works from the very First Viennese School, including spectacular ensemble sonatas by Antonio Bertali, Johann Schmelzer, Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber, and others.

Yale in New York is the acclaimed series in which distinguished faculty members-many of them famous soloists-share the limelight with exceptional alumni and students on Carnegie Hall's stages, capturing the intense collaboration found on every level at the Yale School of Music. The 2009-10 season showcased the classical legacy of Benny Goodman; undiscovered Prokofiev works; the Oral History of American Music project; and Penderecki conducting Penderecki. The series is curated by David Shifrin.

The Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale is one of America's foremost music school ensembles. The largest performing group at the Yale School of Music, the Philharmonia offers superb training in orchestral playing and repertoire. Performances include an annual series of concerts in Woolsey Hall, as well as Yale Opera productions in the Schubert Performing Arts Center. In addition to its season of six Woolsey Hall concerts, the Philharmonia Orchestra of Yale has performed on numerous occasions in Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York City and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In 2008 the Philharmonia undertook its first tour of Asia, with acclaimed performances in the Seoul Arts Center, the Forbidden City Concert Hall and National Center for the Performing Arts (Beijing), and the Shanghai Grand Theatre.

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