Originally posted on January 4
|Soprano Wendy Bryn Harmer, Mezzo-soprano Eve Gigliotti, Tenor Joshua Blue, and Bass Harold Wilson are Soloists
|New York, NY, January 4, 2022 — The American Symphony Orchestra celebrates its return to Carnegie Hall and its 60th anniversary season in 2021-22 on Friday, January 28, 2022 at 8 PM. The program, part of the Orchestra’s Vanguard Series conducted by Music Director Leon Botstein, features the U.S. premiere of Sergei Taneyev’s final work, At the Reading of a Psalm. Conceived as a massive statement of Russian Orthodox faith at the onset of WWI, this large-scale cantata for full orchestra, double chorus, and vocal soloists showcases the dramatic effect of Taneyev’s contrapuntal mastery. All of the singers are Metropolitan Opera artists: soprano Wendy Bryn Harmer, a graduate of the Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, appeared in the Met’s HD broadcasts of the Ring Cycle and The Magic Flute; mezzo-soprano Eve Gigliotti, whose voice has been described as “powerful and agile” (The New York Times), sings this season in The Rake’s Progress and Rigoletto; tenor Joshua Blue made his 2021 Met debut in Porgy and Bess; and bass Harold Wilson, returns to the Met this season in multiple productions including Boris Godunov and The Rake’s Progress, and has performed more than 30 roles with Deutsche Oper Berlin. Also part of the Orchestra’s Vanguard Series at Carnegie Hall, the next concert will be Duke Ellington + Marcus Roberts Trio, an all-Ellington program on Thursday, March 24, 2022, at 8 pm.
|Sergei Taneyev’s At the Reading of a Psalm, U.S. Premiere
Friday, January 28, 2022, 8 pm Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage)
Wendy Bryn Harmer, soprano Eve Gigliotti, mezzo-soprano Joshua Blue, tenor Harold Wilson, bass Bard Festival Chorale
First Movementi. Chorus (Allegro tempestoso)ii. Double Chorus (Andante sostenuto)iii. Chorus. Triple Fugue (Fuga a tre soggetti, Andante – Allegro molto)
Second Movement iv. Chorus (Allegro moderato – Fuga. Allegro tenebroso)v. Quartet (Andante) vi. Quartet and Chorus (Adagio ma non troppo)
Third Movement vii. Interlude (Allegro appassionato)viii. Aria (Alto Solo) (Adagio piu tosto largo)ix. Double Chorus (Finale) (Adagio pietoso e molto cantabile-Allegro moderato-Allegro molto)
Tchaikovsky famously described Sergei Taneyev as “the finest contrapuntist in Russia.” This is clearly demonstrated in At the Reading of a Psalm, comprised of three main movements, each subdivided into three sections. The repeating melodic motifs, as well as a refined set of harmonic connections between the individual sections, give the cantata a deep sense of musical architecture and Taneyev’s command of counterpoint can be heard throughout. The work is based on a poem by the 19th-century poet and religious philosopher Aleksey Khomyakov, and is dedicated to the memory of his late mother, who often read the poetry of Khomyakov to him. Offering moments of grandeur as well as passages of contemplation, the cantata is a testament to the composer’s genius. Serge Koussevitzky conducted the premiere in 1915 wartime Petrograd, a few months before Taneyev’s death.
Tickets: Priced at $25–$65, tickets are available at carnegiehall.org, by calling CarnegieCharge at 212.247.7800, or visiting the box office at 57th St & 7th Ave. Ticket holders will need to follow the venue’s guidelines and show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 using a vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) in order to enter the building.
|American Symphony Orchestra
Now in its 60th season, the American Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1962 by Leopold Stokowski, with the mission of providing music within the means of everyone. Music Director Leon Botstein expanded that mission when he joined the ASO in 1992, creating thematic concerts that explore music from the perspective of the visual arts, literature, religion, and history, and reviving rarely performed works that audiences would otherwise never have a chance to hear performed live.
The ASO’s signature programming includes its Vanguard Series, which presents concerts of rare orchestral repertoire, and various other events dedicated to enriching and reflecting the diverse perspectives of American culture. During the summer months, the ASO is the orchestra-in-residence at Bard’s SummerScape, performs at the Bard Music Festival, and offer chamber music performances throughout the New York City area. As part of its commitment to expanding the standard orchestral repertoire, the ASO has released recordings on the Telarc, New World, Bridge, Koch, and Vanguard labels, and live performances are also available for digital streaming. In many cases, these are the only existing recordings of some of the forgotten works that have been restored through ASO performances.For more information, please visit americansymphony.org.
Leon Botstein has been music director and principal conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra since 1992. He is also music director of The Orchestra Now, an innovative training orchestra composed of top musicians from around the world. He is co-artistic director of Bard SummerScape and the Bard Music Festival, which take place at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, where he has been president since 1975. He is also conductor laureate of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, where he served as music director from 2003–11. In 2018, he assumed artistic directorship of Campus Grafenegg and Grafenegg Academy in Austria. Mr. Botstein also has an active career as a guest conductor with orchestras around the globe, and has made numerous recordings, as well as being a prolific author and music historian. He is the recipient of numerous honors for his contributions to the music industry. In 2019, The New York Times named Leon Botstein a “champion of overlooked works…who has tirelessly worked to bring to light worthy scores by neglected composers.” More info online at LeonBotstein.com.
|This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
The ASO’s Vanguard Series is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.