A CELEBRATION OF STRINGS

A FREE CONCERT

On Friday, November 20 at 8 pm in St. Joseph’s Church in Greenwich Village, 371 Sixth Avenue at Washington Place, the Washington Square Music Festival offers a pre-holiday gift to music lovers – A Celebration of Strings, a free concert of 20th century music by Jerome Kern, Ernest Bloch, & Richard Strauss. Lutz Rath conducts Festival String Chamber Orchestra.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20 at 8 pm
St. Joseph’s Church in Greenwich Village, 371 Sixth Ave.
West 4th St on A, B, C, D, E, F, M
Christopher St. on 1 train

Washington Square Music Festival Chamber Orchestra
Lutz Rath, conductor

A CELEBRATION OF STRINGS
Lutz Rath, conductor
Jerome Kern: “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" for string quartet
Ernest Bloch: Concerto Grosso # 1 for strings & piano obbligato
Richard Strauss: Metamorphosen for 23 solo strings

Festival info line: 212-252-3621

Jerome Kern (1885-1945), is an American composer who studied at the New York College of Music and at Heidelberg University in Germany. One of the most important American theatre composers of the early 20th century, he wrote more than 700 songs, used in over 100 stage productions. “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” is from the 1933 musical Roberta.

Ernest Bloch (1880-1959) was born in Geneva, studied in Frankfurt, and settled in the United States before WW II. He wrote principally for strings, and his music is marked by great spiritual expressiveness. Pupil Roger Sessions praised him for his special ability to express “the grandeur of human suffering”.

“The Concerto Grosso (1925) was composed in response to the doubts of some students that such a work could still be written. The composer's daughter, Suzanne, writes that they were skeptical when Bloch told them that one could still write alive and original music with the means that had existed for so long. When the student orchestra played it with obvious enthusiasm, Bloch shouted, ‘What do you think now?... It has just old fashioned notes!’ And so it is that we have today a work that successfully demonstrates the vitality of traditional approaches while remaining unmistakably twentieth-century”. -- Geoff Kuenning

Richard Strauss (1864-1949) Conductor Vladimir Jurowski wrote: “We know the inspiration for Metamorphosen (1944) came when he saw those pictures of the destroyed opera houses, and these were the opera houses in his life, so he felt his lifework was finished with them. It was not so much about the ruins in which the entire country was under, but specifically the destruction of the cultural heritage, which devastated Strauss, telling you something about the way this man was thinking: Art was everything for him, and the daily lives of other people meant nothing to him.”
At the end of Metamorphosen, Strauss quotes the first four bars of Beethoven’s Eroica Marcia Funebre with the annotation "IN MEMORIAM!" written at the bottom where the basses and cellos are playing the Eroica quote. As one of his last works, Metamorphosen masterfully exhibits the complex counterpoint for which the composer showed a predilection throughout his creative life.

The Washington Square Music Festival is made possible with public funding through Councilmember Margaret Chin & The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency. Generous grants from The Earle K. & Katherine F. Moore Foundation, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Washington Square Association, The Margaret Neubart Foundation Trust, New York University Community Affairs & NYU Community Fund, Salamon-Abrams Family Fund, Three Sheets/Off the Wagon/Down the Hatch, Con Edison, the Washington Square Park Conservancy and The Alec Baldwin Foundation, are deeply appreciated.

2015 Season

WASHINGTON SQUARE MUSIC FESTIVAL:

FAMED CLARINETIST STANLEY DRUCKER

RETURNS TO THE SQUARE- free
Tuesday, June 16 at 8 pm – opening concert

On Tuesday June 16 at 8 pm , the opening free concert, Alphorn, Clarinet, Oboe, of the Washington Square Music Festival’s 57th season features Stanley Drucker, long-time first clarinet of the NY Philharmonic. Mr. Drucker, a frequent performer with the Festival, is soloist in Busoni’s Concertino for clarinet and small orchestra conducted by Lutz Rath. The Festival is under the auspices of the Washington Square Association, Inc. Seating is on a first-come, first served basis. Festival info line: 212-252-3621 www.washingtonsquaremusicfestival.org

Festival Chamber Orchestra conducted by Lutz Rath
Washington Square Park, main stage south of Fifth Avenue
Rainspace: NYU’s Frederick Loewe Theatre, 35 West 4th Street

Joseph Anderer, alphorn
Stanley Drucker, clarinet
Matthew Sullivan, oboe
Leopold Mozart: Concerto for alphorn and chamber orchestra
Frederico Busoni: Concertino for clarinet and small orchestra op. 48
Jean Francaix: Flower Clock for oboe and chamber orchestra
Maurice Ravel: Pavane for a Dead Princess

The premiere of the alphorn, played by virtuoso Joseph Anderer in L. Mozart’s Concerto for clarinet and small orchestra (1755), promises to be quite a sensation in Washington Square . The instrument is a large wind instrument about four feet long, consisting of a wooden natural horn of conical bore, having a wooden cup-shaped mouthpiece, used by mountain dwellers in Switzerland and elsewhere. Similar wooden horns were used for communication in most mountainous regions of Europe, from the French Alps to the Carpathians.

The Festival is honored to present Stanley Drucker in Busoni’s Concertino for clarinet and small orchestra (1918). At the conclusion of the 2008-2009 Season, New York Philharmonic Principal Clarinet Stanley Drucker celebrated 60 years as a member of the Orchestra, and he became an honorary member of the Philharmonic Society of New York, the first orchestral musician so honored. He has been Principal Clarinetist for a record 48 years, making close to 200 appearances as soloist and chamber musician with the orchestra. He played under nine Music Directors, among them Bruno Walter, Dmitri Mitropoulous, Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez, and Zubin Mehta. He has performed in 60 countries on tour.

Well-known oboist Matthew Sullivan will join the orchestra in Francaix’s L’Horloge de flore/ Flower Clock (1959) featuring flowers appropriate to the time of day – “poisonberry”, “mourning geranium”, “night-flowering catchfly”. A Parisian, Francaix wrote this entertaining work for American oboist John de Lancy, who had also commissioned Richard Strauss’s oboe concerto 14 years earlier.

Mr. Drucker and Mr. Sullivan return for the final orchestral work, Ravel’s Pavane pour une infante défunte/ Pavane for a Dead Princess (1899). He dedicated it to his patron, the Princesse de Polignac, who was quite alive at the time.

HARP & CHAMBER ORCHESTRA

Tuesday, June 23 at 8 pm -- free
On Tuesday June 23 at 8 pm in Washington Square, Harp & Chamber Orchestra features an unusual program ranging from a setting of Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Mask of Red Death” by André Caplet, to the more familiar Peer Gynt suite by Grieg. The harp, played by Lynette Wardle, is the featured instrument in three works. The Festival is under the auspices of the Washington Square Association, Inc. Seating is on a first-come, first served basis. Festival info line: 212-252-3621 www.washingtonsquaremusicfestival.org

Festival Chamber Orchestra conducted by Lutz Rath
Lynette Wardle, harp
Washington Square Park, main stage south of Fifth Avenue
Rainspace: NYU’s Frederick Loewe Theatre, 35 West 4th Street

Tuesday, June 23, 8 pm
Andreas Schein: Concerto for clarinet and bassoon
André Caplet: Conte fantastique for harp and string quartet, and speaker
-- from E.A. Poe’s “The Mask of Red Death”
Sofia Gubaidulina: Five Etudes for harp, double bass, and percussion
Edvard Grieg: Peer Gynt suite for chamber orchestra and harp

André Caplet died in 1925 from the effects of poison gas in the trenches of the First World War. He was only forty-seven. The Conte fantastique for harp and strings, inspired by Poe’s tale “The Masque of the Red Death”, was published in 1924, but was based on an unpublished “symphonic study” dating from 1909. It is impossible therefore, without seeing this study, to be certain of what in the Conte is post-war and what pre-war. What is unmistakable, though, is Caplet’s determination to rethink instrumental capabilities. Here he liberates the harp from its traditional role of being purely pastoral, decorative, and decorous.
Any composer would have to incorporate somehow the chiming of the ebony clock to mark the hours of the revels, at which “the dreams are still-frozen as they stand.” Caplet chooses to give the harpist only the chimes of eleven o’clock and the more fateful ones of midnight, upon which the masked figure of the Red Death appears, “tall and gaunt, and shrouded from head to foot in the habiliments of the grave”. The “buzz, or murmur” of the assembled company at this apparition is expressed in string tremolos, glissandos and harmonics that look forward to the textures imagined by Boulez thirty years later.

Sofia Gubaidulina was born in Chistopol in the Tatar Republic of the Soviet Union in 1931. After instruction in piano and composition at the Kazan Conservatory, she studied composition with Nikolai Peiko at the Moscow Conservatory, pursuing graduate studies there under Vissarion Shebalin. Until 1992, she lived in Moscow. Since then, she has made her primary residence in Germany, outside Hamburg.

Gubaidulina made her first visit to North America in 1987 as a guest of Louisville's "Sound Celebration.” She has returned many times since as a featured composer of festivals, notably Boston’s "Making Music Together" (1988), Vancouver's "New Music" (1991), and Tanglewood (1997).

She has achieved international acclaim for her unique musical oeuvre which draws on Eastern and Western musical traditions and reflects a deep-rooted belief in the mystical and religious qualities of music.

UP-COMING CONCERTS
Tuesday, June 30, 8 pm
Rainspace: NYU’s Frederick Loewe Theatre, 35 West 4th Street
Winds and Strings
Festival Chamber Ensemble
Max Bruch: Septet for winds and strings (1849)
Alexander von Zemlinsky: Maiblumen blühten überal/Mayflowers
Bloom All Over for mezzo-soprano & string sextet (text by Richard Dehmel)
Laila Salins, soloist
Ludwig van Beethoven: Septet

Tuesday, July 7, 8 pm
Rainspace: NYU’s Frederick Loewe Theatre, 35 West 4th Street
American Jazz
New York Jazzharmonic, 17 piece band
Ron Wasserman, Artistic Director and Leader
JP Jofre, bandoneon
Elvy Yost, vocalist
Music of Billy Strayhorn, Woody Herman, Count Basie, Scott Joplin, John Philip Sousa, JP Jofre, Miho Hazama, and a recreation of the 1938 Carnegie Hall version of Benny Goodman's Sing Sing Sing.

Programs are subject to change

The Washington Square Music Festival is made possible with public funding through Councilmember Margaret Chin & The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency. Generous grants from The Earle K. & Katherine F. Moore Foundation, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, The Washington Square Association, Music Performance Trust Fund, The Margaret Neubart Foundation Trust, New York University Community Affairs & NYU Community Fund, Salamon-Abrams Family Fund, Three Sheets/Off the Wagon/Down the Hatch, Con Edison, the Washington Square Park Conservancy and The Alec Baldwin Foundation, are deeply appreciated, as is invaluable help from NYC Parks & Recreation.