The ASO and St. Bartholomew’s Church share a connection rooted deep in the history of both institutions. ASO founder Leopold Stokowski began his American career as organist and choirmaster of St. Bartholomew’s before founding the orchestra in 1962. We return to this National Historic Landmark for a program of works honoring the king of instruments performed on the largest organ in New York City.
The program opens with Saint-Saëns’ popular Symphony No. 3, dedicated to the memory of his friend Franz Liszt. Often referred to as the Organ Symphony, the work’s loosely symphonic form features the organ for two of its four movements. This piece is paired with a work by British composer and social activist, Dame Ethel Smyth—her rarely performed and only sacred work—the six-part Mass in D, which premiered at Royal Albert Hall in 1893, and dedicated to her friend Lady Pauline Trevelyan. As a prominent member of the women’s suffragette movement, Smyth’s work was marginalized, yet she was the first female composer to be granted a damehood and her opera, Der Wald, was the only opera by a woman composer ever produced at the Metropolitan Opera for more than a century.
This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.
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.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Camille Saint-Saëns (1835—1921)
Symphony No.3, Op. 78, 1886
I. Adagio – Allegro maestoso – Poco adagio
II. Allegro moderato – Presto – Maestoso – Più allegro
Dame Ethel Smyth (1858—1944)
Mass in D, 1891
Leon Botstein, Music Director
Paolo Bordignon, Organ
Bard Festival Chorale
James Bagwell, Music Director of the Bard Festival Chorale