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Third and Final Weekend of 2007 Bard Music Festival, Exploring “Elgar and His World,” October 26 and 27 at Bard


Image Credit: Hutton Deutsch Collection/Corbis
Mark Primoff
845-758-7412
primoff@bard.edu
10-09-2007
18TH ANNUAL BARD MUSIC FESTIVAL CONCLUDES WITH TWO DAYS OF FALL OFFERINGS

THIRD AND FINAL WEEKEND OF 2007 BARD MUSIC FESTIVAL, EXPLORING “ELGAR AND HIS WORLD,” TAKES PLACE OCTOBER 26 AND 27 IN ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, LOCATED IN NEW YORK’S BEAUTIFUL HUDSON VALLEY

EXPANSIVE SURVEY OF MUSIC BY EDWARD ELGAR AND HIS CONTEMPORARIES, ILLUMINATED BY PRECONCERT TALKS AND A PANEL DISCUSSION, FOCUSES ON ELGAR’S LIFE AND TIMES WITH THE THEMES NOSTALGIA, PATRIOTISM, AND AESTHETIC IDEALS
“All of these events were well attended and enthusiastically discussed afterward, standard operating procedure for a festival that is part boot camp for the brain, part spa for the spirit.”
New York Times review of Bard Music Festival, Weekend Two


ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, NY – On the last weekend of October, the world-renowned Bard Music Festival brings “Elgar and His World” – its hugely successful 18th season – to a close. Comprising chamber and orchestral performances, preconcert talks, and a panel discussion, the final chapter of the festival will be held on Friday, October 26 and Saturday, October 27, and will address the themes of nostalgia, patriotism, and aesthetic ideals, which were so pertinent to fin-de-siècle Britain.

Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra open the weekend with a concert preceded by a talk by Byron Adams, both entitled “Absolute and Program Music: English Music at the Turn of the Century.” Key works on the program are Elgar’s powerfully eloquent Symphony No. 1 and Charles Villiers Stanford’s Violin Concerto, with soloist Shawn Moore. The concerts on Friday and Saturday evenings take place in the acoustically-superb Sosnoff Theater of The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $25, $40, and $55.

As resident orchestra of the Bard Music Festival, the ASO performed Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius this summer; the New York Times wrote, “The orchestra, superbly responsive to Mr. Botstein’s driven interpretation, sounded exceptional,” and the New Yorker added, “Through resourceful performances by the American Symphony under Leon Botstein’s baton, you had a sense of a nation finding its voice and a restless soul finding balance.”

The events scheduled for Saturday, October 27 open at 10 am in Olin Hall, with a panel discussion on “Anglophilia and Imperialism” by Ian Buruma, Leon Botstein, and others. Then, at 3 pm, a chamber concert entitled “Elgar and the Next Generation” is to be performed by faculty and students of the Bard College Conservatory of Music. The program features Elgar’s masterful Piano Quintet and Ralph Vaughan Williams’s elegy On Wenlock Edge, scored for tenor, string quartet, and piano, and based on one of A. E. Housman’s poems from the collection A Shropshire Lad. Like John Ireland and Frank Bridge, whose music complete the concert, Vaughan Williams belonged to the generation immediately following – and deeply influenced by – Elgar. The concert takes place in Olin Hall, where it will be preceded by a talk at 2:30 pm. All tickets are $25. Saturday's programs conclude with a reprise of the program "Absolute and Program Music: English Music at the Turn of the Century" with Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra at 8:00 p.m. in the Sosnoff Theater of the Fisher Center. A preconcert talk by Byron Adams precedes the concert. Tickets are $25, $40, and $55.

The Bard Music Festival has won international acclaim for its in-depth exploration of the life and works of a single composer and his contemporaries, offering, in the words of the New York Times, a “rich web of context” for a full appreciation of that composer’s influences and impact. This year’s festival has included music by nearly three dozen composers – featuring instrumental, chamber, orchestral, and choral works written for the church, concert stage, and music hall – as well as scholarly insight from important musicological figures. And of course, at the heart of this year’s Bard Music Festival, is Elgar’s ennobling music itself.

The Bard Music Festival’s first two weekends examined Elgar as a composer whose music uniquely expressed the zeitgeist of a complicated society and era, and who provides the nexus for a searching investigation of musical and societal developments in Victorian and Edwardian Britain. His class status, along with his vacillating religious beliefs and evolving aesthetics, invite consideration of his music and personality through the prism provided by revisionist history, psychology, and culture. Elgar’s world is not just that of Wagner, Brahms, Fauré, and Strauss – or of such younger British colleagues as Ralph Vaughan Williams, William Walton, and Arthur Bliss – but also includes such luminaries as Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, William Butler Yeats, John Singer Sargent, and Siegfried Sassoon.

As with each Bard Music Festival since 1990, Princeton University Press has published a volume of new scholarship and interpretation. Byron Adams, scholar in residence for this year’s festival, is editor of Elgar and His World, the 18th in the award-winning series.

BBC Music has called Bard’s 2007 salute to England’s most famous composer, “The largest, most obsessively detailed Elgar festival anywhere in the world.” Reviewing the final weekend of the 2006 Bard Music Festival, “Franz Liszt and His World,” the New York Times wrote, “As impressive as many of the festival performances were, they were matched by the audience’s engagement: strangers met and conversed, analyzing the music they’d heard with sophistication, and a Sunday-morning panel discussion of gender issues in 19th-century culture drew a nearly full house. All told, it was a model for an enlightened society.”


“Elgar and His World”: Weekend Three – Friday, October 26 –– Saturday, October 27
Nostalgia, Patriotism, and Aesthetic Ideals

Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26

PROGRAM ONE: Absolute and Program Music: English Music at the Turn of the Century
Sosnoff Theater
7:00 pm Preconcert Talk: Byron Adams
8:00 pm Performance: Shawn Moore, violin; American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, music director

Edward Elgar (1857–1934)
Pomp and Circumstance March, Op. 39, No. 1, in D Major
The Sanguine Fan, Op. 81
Symphony No. 1 in A-flat major, Op. 55
Charles Villiers Stanford (1852–1924)
Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 74

Tickets: $25, $40, $55


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27

PANEL DISCUSSION: Anglophilia and Imperialism
Olin Hall
10:00 am–noon Leon Botstein, Ian Buruma, Deirdre d’Albertis, and others

Free and open to the public

PROGRAM TWO: Elgar and the Next Generation
Olin Hall
2:30 pm Preconcert Talk: Peter Laki
3:00 pm Performance: Faculty and students of the Bard College Conservatory of Music

Edward Elgar (1857–1934)
Piano Quintet in A minor, Op. 84

John Ireland (1879–1962)
Piano works
Frank Bridge (1879–1941)
String Quartet No. 1 in E minor (“Bologna”)
Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958)
On Wenlock Edge, for tenor, string quartet, and piano

Tickets: $25

PROGRAM ONE: (repeat performance) Absolute and Program Music: English Music at the Turn of the Century
Sosnoff Theater
7:00 pm Preconcert Talk: Byron Adams
8:00 pm Performance: Shawn Moore, violin; American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, music director

Edward Elgar (1857–1934)
Pomp and Circumstance March, Op. 39, No. 1, in D Major
The Sanguine Fan, Op. 81
Symphony No. 1 in A-flat major, Op. 55
Charles Villiers Stanford (1852–1924)
Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 74

Tickets: $25, $40, $55

“ELGAR AND HIS WORLD” – TICKET INFORMATION

For tickets and further information for the final weekend of the Bard Music Festival, phone the Fisher Center box office at (845) 758-7900 or visit http://www.fishercenter.bard.edu/bmf/2007/

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This event was last updated on 10-29-2007