Color-Texture-Mystery: Concerts In The Village Continues with 14th Season

Sunday, Apr. 21, 3-5pm

On April 21st Concerts in the Village (CITV) continues its 14th season with Color-Texture-Mystery: Works of Bizet, Ravel, Debussy, Scriabin and Szymanowski. CITV’s Broad Street Orchestra and Broad Street Chorale will be joined by three outstanding soloists. Of the works being performed three are believed to be first performances in the Capital Region. Artistic Director David Smith will conduct.

Bizet began composition of his sparkling Symphony in C in 1855 — a mere four days after his 17th birthday! A month later the entire four-movement work was complete. Possibly a student work, it was not performed during the composer’s lifetime, and remained virtually unknown until rediscovered in 1933 in the archives of the Paris Conservatory. Except for the symphony’s beautifully inventive second movement with its now-famous and very sensuous solo for oboe, this classically-structured work crackles with spirited writing for every section of the orchestra.

Equally French, if in an entirely different early 20th c. impressionist style, is Ravel’s sparkling Le Tombeau de Couperin, a four-movement celebration of the harpsichord suites of the 18th century. Dance-like and originally a six-movement work for piano, in 1919 Le Tombeau de Couperin was “re-conceived” for orchestra. Here is found the brilliant inventiveness evident in so many of Ravel’s works, most famously of course in Bolero.

Debussy’s stately Sarabande, also originally written for piano, is among the composer’s best-known works. It is believed that at some point Debussy intended to orchestrate this gorgeous work himself. In any event, with permission from the composer’s widow, Ravel did so in 1922.

Although certainly not French by birth, Scriabin and Szymanowski were nonetheless greatly influenced by French impressionism. Scriabin’s brief Rêverie is one of his early works, richly textured and a very appealing, if seldom programmed, example of the orchestral color for which he was to become known.

Karol Szymanowski’s Stabat Mater for chorus, three soloists and orchestra was written in 1925-26. It is a work of remarkable intensity and focus, a mystical wrapping of eastern European medieval-style melody in a blanket of French impressionist harmony and orchestration. For the listener this Stabat Mater occupies a special and not easily forgotten “space.” Featured will be the Broad Street Chorale, soprano Paulina Swierczek, mezzo-soprano Hailey McAvoy and baritone Jonathan Lawlor. All three soloists are graduates of Bard’s Vocal Arts Program and have been enthusiastically received in previous CITV concerts. Paulina Swierczek and Jonathan Lawlor have also been Vocal Fellows at Tanglewood. Hailey McAvoy is a frequent recitalist; among many appearances, she has been soloist with the Bard Conservatory Orchestra.

CITV’s Artistic Director and Conductor David Smith remarks, “For both listeners and performers this program will prove a very special journey, one embracing influences from eastern and western Europe. We will celebrate French classicism with the very precocious Bizet, French impressionism (with a nod to 18th-century baroque dance) with Debussy and Ravel, and the mystical wonders of eastern Europe with Scriabin and Szymanowski. I am confident that all present will be moved.”

Suggested contribution $25.  Students and children free.
Handicapped accessible.

Kinderhook Reformed Church
21 Broad Street (US Route 9)
Kinderhook, NY 12106.

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Apr 21 2024


3:00 pm - 5:00 pm


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