Program note archive: Bartok Viola Concerto

Béla Bartók- Concerto for Viola (1945) completed by Tibor Serly William Primrose, maybe the most important violist of modern times, asked the then-ailing Bartók to write a concerto for his use in 1945. Since emigrating from Hungary to the US in 1940, Bartók had endured a period of terrible neglect, poverty and homesickness. Howard Hanson, the reactionary and xenophobic president of the Eastman School of Music, […]

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Program Note Archive- Debussy (arr. Schoenberg), Prelude a l’apres midi d’un faune

The Verein für Musikalische Privataufführungen (Society for Private Musical Performances) was founded by Arnold Schoenberg and his friends and students in the second decade of the 20th century to provide composers an opportunity to hear important scores of the day in an environment that was conducive to developing a deeper understanding of the musical tools […]

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Press leftovers- Music I couldn’t live without..

A few months back, I was asked by a music writer for an e-interview on “music I couldn’t live without.” I thought it turned out pretty well, but never got published, so here it is…. What are the pieces you couldn’t do without? It depends a lot on how you define “do without.” Some of […]

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Bobby and Hans- Two Days and Two Symphonies with Orchestra of the Swan, part III

Recording Bobby and Hans with Orchestra of the Swan- the final concert…. With 1 hour and 34 minutes before the concert the musicians adjourned for dinner and rest, while I prepared for the pre-concert lecture. We had to set up a way of playing audio excerpts from my iPod through the Civic Hall PA system. […]

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Bobby and Hans- Two Days and Two Symphonies with Orchestra of the Swan, part I

I’ve been enjoying my first couple of relatively quiet days at Vftp International Headquarters in some time. So much has happened in the last several weeks that I’ve been torn between wanting to do a whole bunch of blogging to take stock of all that experience and wanting to do a whole lot of sleeping […]

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Explore the Score: Robert Schumann: Symphony no. 3 in E-flat Major

  To make the reading experience more engaging, we’ve linked to audio samples of the various musical examples discussed. Look for the highlighted text. Chances are, in most browsers a little box will pop up over the text where you can play the excerpt without leaving the page. If not, just click on it and […]

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Explore the score- Hans Gal: Symphony no. 3

  Of course, reading about music you’ve never heard (and this piece hasn’t been heard here in 55 years), can be off-putting. After all, much as I may try to describe what is going on in the score, you don’t yet know how it sounds. Here is where technology comes to our rescue- there exists […]

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