Category: Program Notes

Florence Price
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Suite of Dances

Program Notes by Dr. K. Dawn Grapes The music of Florence Price has experienced a renaissance in recent years. Price worked hard to overcome racism...

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George Walker
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Tangents

Program Notes by Dr. K. Dawn Grapes George Walker’s name is often associated with a string of firsts. Among other accomplishments, he was the first...

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Young Samuel Barber
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Adagio for Strings

Program Notes by Dr. K. Dawn Grapes … Wistful. Nostalgic. Touching. Few pieces bring to mind as many emotion-filled adjectives as Samuel Barber’s Adagio for...

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Rodion Shchedrin
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Carmen Suite

Russian pianist-composer Rodion Shchedrin (b. 1932) is young enough to have avoided the worst of Stalin’s “Reign of Terror” years, but still spent most of his career maneuvering Soviet expectations and restrictions. To his credit, he was one of the most successful and prolific...

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Leonard Bernstein
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Serenade after Plato's Symposium

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to attend dinner with a carefully selected group of historical figures? What would the conversations be? How would guests respond to one another? After reading Plato’s Symposium, Leonard Bernstein (1918–1990) was inspired to musically depict just that scenario. Serenade for Violin, Harp, Strings, and Percussion shows Bernstein’s intellectual approach to creating music.

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Banner
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Banner

Jessie Montgomery’s Banner was composed in 2014, fulfilling a commission from the philanthropic Joyce Foundation and the Sphinx Organization, a group known for supporting diversity in the arts. The piece commemorates the 200th anniversary of The Star Spangled Banner. Of course...

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Brandenburg Square
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The Brandenburg Concertos

Three hundred years ago, in August 1721, Johann Sebastian Bach was at a crossroads. For four years, he had been in the employ of Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Köthen. A true music lover, the prince was quite supportive of...

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Ludwig van Beethoven
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Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67

Beethoven’s fifth symphony is the iconic work of classical music. It pervades the whole world of symbols and imagery of musical art as an evocation of a welter of ideas. In a sad way it is almost impossible to escape all...

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Bela Kovacs
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Sholem Aleichem Rov Feidman!

This delightful work is nothing less than an inspired concert tribute to the amazing tradition of klezmer clarinet. Klezmer is the traditional music of the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe. From its centuries-old antecedents...

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Alexey Shor
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Verdiana

Alexey Shor unquestionably does not fit the stereotype of contemporary composers. Holder of a Ph.D. in mathematics and a native of Kiev, Ukraine, he immigrated to Israel, and later to the United States. His compositions have enjoyed an international reception...

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Robert Schumann
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Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

This work was Robert Schumann’s first piano concerto, the best of the lot, and deservedly one of the most popular in the repertoire. He composed in almost all of the common genres and, notwithstanding his success in the larger forms...

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Clara Schumann
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Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 7

According to Clara Wieck Schumann, “I once believed that I possessed creative talent, but I have given up this idea; a woman must not desire to compose—there has never yet been one able to do it. Should I expect to be the one?” She must have written these dark words in a moment of despair...

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Carl Maria von Weber
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Peter Schmoll und seine Nachbarn Overture

History is cruelly reductive, and it is the natural state of our collective memory that it often bears little resemblance to the balance of affairs that characterized the past. Whole lives, bodies of creative work, and popular acclaim of significant artists commonly disappear...

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