Anchored by the ASO, this all-Rachmaninoff event opens with the First Symphony, which the composer abandoned after its ill-starred premiere, and died without hearing a second time. Nevertheless, the work remained important to him—45 years later, he quoted from it in the Symphonic Dances, his last major composition—and since its posthumous rediscovery, the symphony has been restored to the repertoire, celebrated for its melodic invention, thematic cohesion and rich orchestral color.
By contrast, The Miserly Knight enjoys few revivals. A Pushkin adaptation with an all-male cast, Rachmaninoff’s last one-act opera is problematic in its stereotypical depiction of a Jewish moneylender. As a result, despite the work’s manifest musical merits, Bard’s semi-staged production, which will be directed by Jordan Fein, marks a bona fide rarity.
Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873–1943)
Symphony No. 1, Op. 13 (1895)
The Miserly Knight, Op. 24 (1905)
Jordan Fein, director
Leon Botstein, music director
Limmie Pulliam, tenor
Rodell Rosel, tenor
Ethan Vincent, baritone
Nathan Berg, bass-baritone
Patrick Guetti, bass