Past Performances

Opera and Politics: Krenek and Strauss

by Leon Botstein We routinely invoke history as a means to understand the present. This is at one and the same time a noble and illusory enterprise. History is written with some notion of the present moment in mind, however submerged. Therefore, despite all of our disciplined efforts to render a construction of the past truthfully and objectively, the concerns of the present give an inevitably selective shape to a…

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Ernst Krenek, Der Diktator and Richard Strauss, Friedenstag

by Bryan Gilliam Ernst Krenek Born August 23, 1900, in Vienna Died December 23, 1991, in Palm Springs, CA Der Diktator Composed in 1926, in Austria Premiered on May 6, 1928, at the Staatstheater in Wiesbaden, Germany by the State Opera conducted by Joseph Rosenstock Performance Time: Approximately 30 minutes Instruments for this performance: 2 flutes, 2 piccolos, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 1 French horn, 1 trumpet, 1…

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A Mass of Life

by Leon Botstein The life and work of Frederick Delius defy both characterization and comparison. His music is distinctive in the sense that its individuality is unmistakable and its style reveals influences only obliquely. Delius was born a British subject, and we have become used to associating him with an “English” sensibility, but Delius suggests little of what sounds English in the music of Elgar, for example. In fact there…

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Frederick Delius, A Mass of Life

by Byron Adams Born January 29, 1862, in Bradford, England Died June 10, 1934, in Grez-sur-Loing, France Composed in 1904–05 Part II premiered on June 4, 1908, in Munich by the Hofkapelle München and the Munich Choral Society conducted by Ludwig Hess Complete work premiered on June 7, 1909, in London at the Queen’s Hall by Beecham Orchestra and the North Staffordshire District Choral Society conducted by Thomas Beecham Performance…

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