This week’s offering from the archives of the Bard Music Festival celebrates the music of two seminal composers from south of the border: Carlos Chávez and Silvestre Revueltas. In times of political uncertainty, they fused the rich indigenous heritage of Mexico with modernist techniques and a political message, creating an art that was national, modern,…

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Nowadays unjustly neglected, Neoclassical composer Walter Piston is often praised for his individuality and disciplined handling of material, which is highly evident in Violin Concerto No. 1.  In his youth, Piston taught himself how to play violin and piano, and upon enlisting in the Navy band at the start of WWI—​prior to his studies at Harvard—he taught himself to play saxophone.…

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A highly gifted pianist and composer, Taneyev was a protégé and champion of Tchaikovsky’s, serving as a soloist in early performances of the older composer’s piano concertos. Taneyev was one of Russia’s most influential music theorists, teaching for nearly three decades at the Moscow Conservatory where his students included Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, and Glière; Stravinsky later…

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Arguably one of the greatest German symphonists of the 20th century, Karl Amadeus Hartmann (1905-1963) was the youngest of four, born to an artistically inclined family. Between 1924 and 1929, Hartmann studied trombone and composition, thus starting to develop his own particular style. However, during the Nazi era, Hartmann–as part of his cultural resistance and protest–prohibited…

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Written by Dame Ethel Smyth, English composer and leader in the women’s suffrage movement, The Wreckers was first performed in Germany in 1906 and was mounted in the composer’s homeland in 1909. This powerful three-act opera about piracy, love, and betrayal in a community of religious fanatics was staged for the first time in the…

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Robert Fuchs (1847-1927) has been popularly noted as leaving his biggest mark on the classical music landscape as a teacher. A largely impactful force of Austrian Romanticism, notable students of his included Hugo Wolf, Franz Schreker, Jean Sibelius, and Gustav Mahler. Though not much of his music has been performed even during his lifetime, Fuchs…

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In this unjustly neglected late opera by Richard Strauss, the powerful god Jupiter and King Midas compete for the love of the beautiful Danae. The story of The Love of Danae (Die Liebe der Danae) is a Mozartean blend of comedy, romance, and drama on the themes of transformation and the acceptance of life’s changes,…

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In collaboration with Bard’s Fisher Center, ASO Online illuminates the work of German Romantic composer Carl Maria von Weber, featuring his Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 1 and Bard SummerScape Opera: Euryanthe. Carl Maria von Weber’s short life was marked by many lows—frequent illnesses, an arrest on embezzlement and other charges—but he also…

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Roger Sessions, a composer with a profound impact on the American musical scene post-World War II, completed his first symphony in 1927, at the age of thirty. This early three-movement work is characteristic of the prevalent neoclassical style of the 1920s, with a central lyrical, slow movement encapsulated by two outer movements in sonata-allegro form.…

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SummerScape’s production of Anton Rubinstein’s operatic masterpiece Demon first premiered to great acclaim in 1871. Although performed frequently in Russia, the work remains something of a rarity in the West today. Conducted by Leon Botstein and directed by the renowned American director Thaddeus Strassberge. Based on the renowned fantasy poem by Mikhail Lermontov, Demon boasts…

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