Tuesday, August 6, 2013

STRAVINSKY and His World Summer Escape (c) By Polly Guerin


 Summer just outside the city is ready with a potpourri of events that sweep in on the cool weather promise to stimulate your senses at Bard’s tribute to Stravinsky during the Bard Music Festival.
Advance notice: Mark your calendar for music on the beautiful Bard Campus. Here’s the scoop!!!

STRAVINSKY and HIS WORLD The 2013 Bard Music Festival, scheduled to coincide with the centenary of the scandal at the premiere of The Rite of Spring, explores the full range of this great composer’s elusive and enigmatic personality and career. Through panels, lectures, concerts and cinema, audiences encounter works by Stravinsky—many of them rare---and by Americans he influenced, including Copland, Piston and Carter. Generally considered to be the world’s most influential figure in 20th century music Igor Stravinsky’s long life spanned continents, cultures, and eras. He also resembled Picasso in his gift for radical artistic transformation.

BALLETS RUSSES Success came in 1910, with the commission of The Firebird from Serge Diaghilev, director of the Ballets Russes. Diaghilev encouraged Stravinsky to develop his ‘Russian’ vein commissioning further ballets such as The Rite of Spring, whose premiere prompted part of the audience to riot. Set in primeval Russia Stravinsky did borrow from folk music but transformed them radically. The Rite of Spring portrays a ritual in which a young girl dances herself to death to win the favor of the god of Spring. The ballet is a work of savage ecstasy, driven forward to its powerful, primitive rhythms. Stravinsky’s legacy and Russian Émigré cinema includes The Firebird and The Red Shoes.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR Sunday August 11 schedule includes SIGHT AND SOUND; FROM ABSTRACTION TO SURREALISM in the Sosnoff Theater. Sunday, August 18 brings together several programs including The Émigré in America (Living in exile in Switzerland and France where he pursued “classical” music aesthetics). In 1939, Stravinsky came to the United States and exerted a profound influence on American musical life. For details contact: BARD College Annandale-on-Hudson: In the Frank Gehry-designed Fisher Center fishercenter.bard.edu or 845.758.7900

ORESTEIA BY SERGEY TANEYEV marking the first time this towering work was staged outside of Russia it was performed boasting a strong and predominately Russian cast. Bard’s new and original production, with stage direction by Thaddeus Strassberger, closed with its last performance on August 4 to stand up ovation and applause. The voices were spectacular anchored by mezzo-soprano Liuba Sokolova as Clytemnestra, doomed husband, Agamemnon bass Maxim Kuzmin-Karavaev and an equally excellent supportive cast as well a rich and spontaneous chorus, with many Bard students in the huge ensemble of peasants. The resident American Symphony Orchestra ,with music director and Bard College President, Leon Botstein, was in top form and enriched the performance with equal bravado.

Ta Ta darlings!!! I’m to Bard to visit Stravinsky and his World. Fan mail welcome at pollytalk@verizon.net. Visit Polly’ Blogs at pollytalk.com and click on the links in the left-hand column on Polly’s home page .

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