Posts Tagged “Music of the Spheres”

The Music of the Spheres Society welcomes back the acclaimed pianist Sara Davis Buechner for a program of music by and associated with famed violinist Efrem Zimbalist and his son, actor Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.Sara Davis BuechnerThe concert will take place at Christ & St. Stephen’s Church near Lincoln Center. The Society’s artistic director, violinist Stephanie Chase, is also featured. The esteemed musical instrument expert Stewart Pollens will give a pre-concert talk at 7:30 PM, included in concert admission, on “The Violin and Bad Science.”

Efrem Zimbalist (1890-1985) was among the premiere violinists of the early 20th century. At 12 he became a student of the world renowned teacher Leopold Auer, and made successful debuts with major orchestras – including the Berlin Philharmonic and London Symphony – before his early 20′s. His first wife was a world-famous soprano, Alma Gluck, with whom he made a number of recordings.  An avid music arranger, Zimbalist added violin parts to a number of songs and was a champion of “early” music, often using his own arrangements of works in his recitals, in addition to composing original music for violin and piano.  In 1928 he began teaching violin at the esteemed Curtis Institute and was its director between 1941 and 1968.

Although remembered today for his acting roles, especially in television’s “77 Sunset Strip” and “The F.B.I.,” his son Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (1918-2014) also studied music seriously as a youth. He had already encountered success as an actor and producer on Broadway when the death of his first wife , from cancer at only 30, led him to retreat from acting. His father was then director of the Curtis Institute and encouraged Efrem Jr. to join him at Curtis in Philadelphia, where for a few years Efrem Jr. took on duties that at one point included Dean of Students. It was during this period of recovery that he composed his violin sonata – a work that his father featured on his own retirement recital in 1964.

This concert features rarely heard music either composed or arranged by both Efrems – including the virtuosic Fantasy on music by Rimsky-Korsakov - plus a favorite concert work for Efrem Sr., the Violin Sonata in D Minor by Johannes Brahms.

CONCERT PROGRAM
Selections from “Impressions for Piano” – Efrem Zimbalist, Sr.
Sonata for Violin and Piano – Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.
Fantasy from “Le Coq d’Or” – Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, arr. by Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.
Sonata No. 3, Op. 108 – Johannes Brahms

DATE: Friday, March 20, 2015; 8:15 PM
ADDRESS:
Christ & St. Stephen’s Church
120 West 69th Street, New York City
ADMISSION: $30, students and seniors: $20.  Advance tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets, http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/895261.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Sara Davis Buechner is praised on four continents as a musician of “intelligence, integrity and all-encompassing technical prowess” (New York Times) and “thoughtful artistry in the full service of music” (Washington Post). Ms. Buechner has appeared as soloist with many of the world’s prominent orchestras – including New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Saint Louis, San Francisco, and Montréal – and enjoys wide success throughout Asia, where she tours annually.

“One of the violin greats of our era” (Newhouse News), Stephanie Chase enjoys an international career with concert performances in twenty-five countries. As soloist, Ms. Chase has appeared with over 170 orchestras worldwide, among them the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, London Symphony, American Classical Orchestra, National Symphony (Mexico), Hanover Band, San Francisco Symphony, and Hong Kong Philharmonic.

Stewart Pollens

“The Violin and Bad Science” by Stewart Pollens

In recent years, scientists have attempted to discover the “secrets” of Stradivari and other important musical instruments makers. In a number of studies, faulty scientific methods and dubious experimental techniques have been employed; in others, legitimate double-blind evaluations of tonal qualities, acoustical measurements and dendrochronology have yielded results that have been misrepresented or fancifully interpreted.

Stewart Pollens is the former conservator of musical instruments at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1974-2006) and the author of books including “The Early Pianoforte,” “Stradivari,” and the forthcoming “The Manual of Musical Instrument Conservation,” all published by Cambridge University Press.

The Music of the Spheres Society is now in its 14th year of “exploring the links between music, philosophy and the sciences” (New Yorker). Inspired by the Neo-Platonic academies of 16th and 17th-century Italy, which combined discourse with musical presentations, it was co-founded by Artistic Director Stephanie Chase with the mission of promoting classical music through innovative chamber music concerts and pre-concert lectures which illuminate music’s historical, philosophical and scientific foundations, in order to give greater context for music to the average audience member.  For more information about the Society, visit www.musicofthespheres.org.

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On February 15, Van Cliburn gold medalist Jon Nakamatsu - in his only NYC appearance this season – returns to perform chamber music with clarinetist Jon Manasse, cellist Bion Tsang and violinist/Artistic Director Stephanie Chase.

Jon Manasse and Jon Nakamatsu

Jon Manasse and Jon Nakamatsu

This program features music by Beethoven, Poulenc and Dvorak that reflects on life and its necessities, friendship, and nationalism.  It will take place at Christ & St. Stephen’s Church, located at 120 West 69th Street in New York City.  The concert will start at 8:15 and is preceded by a talk at 7:30.

BEETHOVEN – Trio for piano, clarinet and cello, Op. 11
POULENC – Sonata for clarinet and piano, FP184
DVORAK – Piano Trio No. 4 “Dumky”

Beethoven’s delightful trio is partly inspired by a popular Viennese song containing the phrase “Before I go to work, I need something to eat.”

Dedicated to his friend Arthur Honegger, a fellow member of Les Six, Poulenc’s Sonata was commissioned by jazz great Benny Goodman, who premiered it (after Poulenc’s sudden death in 1963) with pianist Leonard Bernstein.

The word “Dumky” refers to the dumka, or an epic ballad of a somber nature containing contrasting cheerful sections.  Dvorak’s “Dumky Trio” is among his most beloved chamber music compositions and dates from 1891.Admission at door: $30, $20 student/senior, cash or check only.  Doors open at 7:15 p.m.  Advance tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets.

For more information, visit the Music of the Spheres Society.

 

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On March 11, 2011 the Music of the Spheres Society will present a chamber music concert featuring works by César Franck and his circle, including music by his teacher Anton Reicha and friends Gabriel Fauré, Ernst Chausson, and Eugène Ysaÿe.

The concert will take place on at Christ & St. Stephen’s Church, which is located near Lincoln Center at 120 West 69th Street in New York City.  The heart of the program features Franck’s compelling Piano Quintet, along with a piano trio (Opus 101, No. 3) by Reicha, short works by Chausson and Fauré, and Ysaÿe’s String Trio.

The String Trio (Le Chimay, which is also the name of a Belgian Trappist ale brewed in that city), was composed in 1927 by Eugène Ysaÿe but never published.  It was discovered in manuscript form only about ten years ago and first performed by the Gaede Trio.  In a review of a 2004 performance, Los Angeles Times music critic Mark Swed wrote that

‘Le Chimay’ might be described as French Expressionism with a bit of Surrealism thrown in. It also might be described as just plain weird. It is full of extravagant string writing, which is to be expected, but not the seemingly incompatible influences of Debussy, Franck and Schoenberg, who get along just fine here.  Agitated melodramatic passages half resolve into intoxicating lyricism. Storm clouds come and go, propelled by unpredictable breezes. Nothing ever settles for long.

Violinist and Artistic Director Stephanie Chase will be joined by violinist Harumi Rhodes, violist Hsin-Yun Huang, ‘cellist Sophie Shao, and pianist William Wolfram.

The concert starts at 8:15 p.m. A pre-concert talk bill be given at 7:30 p.m. by organologist and author Stewart Pollens  and is included in concert admission: “Francois-Xavier Tourte and the Invention of the Modern Violin Bow.”

Admission at door: $30 adult, $15 student/senior requested contribution. Doors open at 7:15 p.m.

Visit www.musicofthespheres.org for more information.

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Music of the Spheres Society
“Sound Travels Through Vienna”
Friday, February 26, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Christ & St. Stephen’s Church
120 West 69th Street (between Broadway and Columbus)
New York, NY 10023

Admission at door: $30, $15 senior/student, requested contribution. Cash or check only.

MotslogoKrenek: Sonata No. 2 for violin solo (1948)
Kreisler: Caprice Viennois (1910)
Webern: Four Pieces for violin and piano (1910)
Brahms: Sonata for clarinet and piano, Op. 120 in F Minor(1894)
Schubert: Klavierstücke No. 1, D 946 (1828)
Mozart: Sonata in A Major for piano and violin, K305 (1778)

 

Stephanie Chase, violin
Jon Manasse, clarinet
William Wolfram, piano

Through much of its history, Vienna has served as a music capitol – the Vienna Boys’ Choir dates back to 1498! – and home to many of classical music’s most influential and innovative composers. This concert is a journey through the music of six composers with pivotal ties to this city, starting in the mid-20th century and ending in the 1770′s.

Our listening tour begins with the Sonata No. 2 for Violin Solo, Op. 115 by Ernst Krenek, which he composed shortly after moving to the United States. A student of Franz Shreker – first in Vienna and then in Berlin – Krenek was later influenced by the music of Schoenberg, Webern and Berg, and after about 1933 he composed principally in the 12-tone system.We then travel back a few decades to 1910, where we encounter both the Caprice Viennois by Fritz Kreisler and Four Pieces for violin and piano, Op. 7 by Anton Webern.  Composed a mere sixteen years earlier (1894), the majestic Clarinet Sonata in F Minor, Op. 120 by Johannes Brahms forms the heart of the concert, followed by the mercurial Klavierstücke No. 1 (D 946) by Franz Schubert, which dates from 1828. The journey then ends with the delightful Sonata in A Major, K. 305 for piano and violin, composed in 1778 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

ChasecolorheadshotlowerresolutionSTEPHANIE CHASE played with “elegance, dexterity, rhythmic vitality and great imagination” - Boston Globe

“And there was a heavenly moment when clarinetist JON MANASSE fluttered above the duet like a cherub tumbling in the clouds of a Mannerist painting.”, Milwaukee Journal

“Pianist WILLIAM WOLFRAM combined elegance and clarity in his playing, with the virile, propulsive energy and mercurial shifts of mood needed to make this music come to life.” - San Francisco Classical Voice

________________________________________

Pre-concert talk at 7:30 p.m. by Styra Avins, included in admission:

“I drink my wine where Beethoven drank his!”: Johannes Brahms in Vienna

Styra Avins is a cellist, musicologist, and the author of Johannes Brahms: Life and Letters (Oxford University Press).

Now in our ninth year, the Music of the Spheres Society is “dedicated to exploring the links between music, philosophy and the sciences” (The New Yorker) through our innovative concerts and and pre-concert talks.

For more information, please visit www.musicofthespheres.org

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