The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: This weekend, prize-winning pianist Joyce Yang solos in Prokofiev’s most popular piano concerto with the Madison Symphony Orchestra. Works by Schumann and Aaron Jay Kernis round out the program

November 4, 2019
1 Comment

PLEASE HELP THE EAR. IF YOU LIKE A CERTAIN BLOG POST, PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD. FORWARD A LINK TO IT OR, SHARE IT or TAG IT (not just “Like” it) ON FACEBOOK. Performers can use the extra exposure to draw potential audience members to an event. And you might even attract new readers and subscribers to the blog.

By Jacob Stockinger

This weekend, prize-winning pianist Joyce Yang (below) will return to Madison to join the Madison Symphony Orchestra in her local concerto debut and perform Prokofiev’s brilliant, bravura and tuneful Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op. 26.

The concert opens with Kernis’ Newly Drawn Sky and concludes with Schumann’s Symphony No. 2 in C Major, Op. 61.

Performances will be held in Overture Hall, 201 State Street, on Friday night, Nov. 8, at 7:30 p.m.; on Saturday night, Nov. 9, at 8 p.m.; and Sunday afternoon, Nov. 10, at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $19-$95 with discounts available. See below for details.

Speaking about the program, music director and maestro John DeMain (below, in a photo by Greg Anderson) says: “November brings us another Madison Symphony debut, that of the amazing pianist Joyce Yang. She will perform the Prokofiev’s dazzling Piano Concerto No. 3, one of the great and most popular concertos, and certainly a favorite of mine.”

Adds DeMain: “I can’t wait for audiences to experience the hauntingly beautiful Newly Drawn Sky by Aaron Jay Kernis. And of the four symphonies by Robert Schumann, many regard his second as the greatest of them all.”

According to Aaron Jay Kernis (below), who has won the Pulitzer Prize and a Grammy Award and who teaches at the Yale School of Music, Newly Drawn Sky” is “a lyrical, reflective piece for orchestra, a reminiscence of the first summer night by the ocean spent with my young twins, and of the summer sky at dusk.”

The chromatically shifting three-note chords that begin in the strings and transfer to the winds are a central element in the creation of this work. The works last approximately 17 minutes and was premiered at the Ravinia Festival in 2005 by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

To read more about Kernis and his successful career, go to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aaron_Jay_Kernis

Sergei Prokofiev (below) himself played the solo part at the world premiere of his Piano Concerto No. 3 on Dec. 16, 1921 in Chicago with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Although he started work on the composition as early as 1913, the majority of it was completed in 1921 and the piece didn’t gain popularity until 1922 when it was confirmed in the 20th-century canon. (You can hear Prokofiev play the first movement in the YouTube video at the bottom.) The Ear thinks that the work has much Russian Romanticism in it and if you like Rachmaninoff, you will probably like this Prokofiev.

Originally a composer for keyboard, Robert Schumann (below with wife Clara) began writing symphonies around the time of his marriage to his virtuoso pianist and composer wife Clara Wieck, who encouraged his compositional expansions.

The uplifting Symphony in C major was created while the composer was troubled with depression and hearing loss; a Beethovenian triumph over pessimism and despair, the creation of this symphony served as a healing process for Schumann.

ABOUT JOYCE YANG 

Blessed with “poetic and sensitive pianism” (The Washington Post) and a “wondrous sense of color” (San Francisco Classical Voice), Grammy-nominated pianist Joyce Yang, who years ago played a recital at the Wisconsin Union Theater, captivates audiences with her virtuosity, lyricism and interpretive sensitivity.

Yang first came to international attention in 2005 when she won the silver medal at the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The youngest contestant at 19 years old, she took home two additional awards: Best Performance of Chamber Music (with the Takacs Quartet), and Best Performance of a New Work.

In 2006 Yang (below) made her celebrated New York Philharmonic debut alongside conductor Lorin Maazel at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center along with the orchestra’s tour of Asia, making a triumphant return to her hometown of Seoul, South Korea.

CONCERT, TICKET AND EVENT DETAILS

The lobby opens 90 minutes prior to each concert.

One hour before each performance, Wisconsin Public Radio host Anders Yocom (below, in a photo by James Gill )will lead a 30-minute Prelude Discussion in Overture Hall to enhance concertgoers’ understanding and listening experience. It is free to ticket holders.

The MSO recommends concert attendees arrive early for each performance to make sure they have time to pass through Overture Center’s security stations, and so they can experience the Prelude Discussion.

Program notes for the concerts are available online: http://bit.ly/msonov19programnotes.

  • Single Tickets are $19-$95 each and are on sale now at: https://madisonsymphony.org/event/joyce-yang-plays-prokofiev/through the Overture Center Box Office at 201 State Street, or by calling the Box Office at (608) 258-4141. Fees apply to online/phone sales.
  • Groups of 10 or more can save 25% by calling the MSO office at (608) 257-3734. For more information, visit, https://www.madisonsymphony.org/groups.
  • Student rush tickets can be purchased in person on the day of the concert at the Overture Center Box Office at 201 State Street. Students must show a valid student ID and can receive up to two $15 or $20 tickets. More information is at: https://www.madisonsymphony.org/studentrush
  • Seniors age 62 and up receive 20% savings on advance and day-of-concert ticket purchases in select areas of the hall.
  • Flex-ticket booklets of 8-10 vouchers for 2019-20 symphony subscription concerts are available. Learn more at: https://madisonsymphony.org/flex
  • Subscriptions for the 2019–2020 season are available now. Learn more at: https://madisonsymphony.org/19-20

Discounted seats are subject to availability, and discounts may not be combined. 

Major funding for this concert is provided by Madison Magazine, Stephen D. Morton, National Guardian Life Insurance Company, Scott and Janet Cabot, and Peggy and Tom Pyle. Additional funding provided by Foley & Lardner LLP, Howard Kidd and Margaret Murphy, and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts


Posted in Classical music
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Classical music: The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra celebrates young composers and sibling soloists this Friday night with The Five Browns.

October 2, 2012
Leave a Comment

ALERT-REMINDER: Tonight at 7:30 p.m. in Mills Hall on the University of Wisconsin campus, the Guest Artist Series presents violinist Wolfgang David and pianist David Gompper perform  a FREE concert that features  Schoenberg’s Phantasy, Op. 47, as well as works by Feldman, Gompper and Ravel.  Also, earlier on Tuesday — at 3:45  p.m. in Room 2511 of the Mosse Humanities Building, pianist David Gompper will hold a  Composition Masterclass.

By Jacob Stockinger

It is billed as “50 Fingers.”

You could also call it “3-M.”

Or maybe “The Sweet Bird of Youth.”

Whatever you call it, we are not talking chemistry, agriculture or biology.

We are talking classical music: Specially, the composers Mozart, Mendelssohn and Nico Muhly that span three centuries, the 18th, 19th and 21st.

That last name belongs to a modern composer whose has composed Four Nocturnes for Five Pianos — a piece clearly tailored for the guest soloists on Friday night’s opening concert of the new Masterworks season by the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra (below) under the baton of conductor Andrew Sewell, who is entering his 12th year as the WCO’s music director.

The concert will take place this Friday night at 8 p.m. in the Capitol Theater of Overture Hall. Tickets are $15-$65. Call the Overture box office at (608) 258-4141 or visit:

http://wcoconcerts.org/buy-tickets/

The program strikes The Ear as vintage Andrew Sewell (below), an accomplished musician who has an uncanny ability to take well-known performers and well-known composers or works and mix them up with unknown ones in some kind of unusual angle, approach or theme that creates an unusual and informative synergy.

The Five Browns (below), you may recall, are the remarkable set of five sisters and brothers – three sisters and two brothers — from Utah who are all Juilliard-trained pianist and who perform sometimes together and sometimes in a tag team manner.

For background about the best-selling players who have been featured on TV and radio shows as well as in many traditional and new media outlets, visit:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_5_Browns

You may have heard of them when the three daughters made sensational headlines by accusing their father Keith of sexual abuse. He was convicted and is serving time. But that is another story for another time.

Our concern here is musical, and it is in music – not crime – that The Five Browns, with the eclectic repertoire that runs the gamut from classical to pops, are unique.

Here are program notes from the WCO:

“A program celebrating composers in their youth are represented on this concert.

“Mozart’s Overture to “Il ré pastore” (The Shepherd King), K. 208, is from one of his earliest operas. Scintillating and delicate, it has all the hallmarks of the genius to come.

“Another early work, his Concerto No. 7 in F Major for Three Pianos, K. 242, completes our survey of the young master (below), having recorded No.’s 6, 8 and 9 on our Early Mozart CD in 2008.

“Nico Muhly (below) has already established himself as a composer to watch, and we are excited to present this work just one year after its premiere at the Ravinia Festival in August 2011.  “The Edge of the World” features four nocturnes for five pianos and chamber orchestra. 

“Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 11, is a gem of a work too often overshadowed by the popularity of the later symphonies by Mendelssohn (below). It will keep us all on our toes.”

For more information about season and single tickets, the WCO and its guest artists, including videos, visit:

http://wcoconcerts.org/performances/masterworks/47/event-info/


    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1,213 other followers

    Blog Stats

    • 2,105,904 hits
    December 2019
    M T W T F S S
    « Nov    
     1
    2345678
    9101112131415
    16171819202122
    23242526272829
    3031  
%d bloggers like this: