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ASO performs Schumann’s Scenes from Goethe’s Faust

This Friday, April 9, Leon Botstein and American Symphony Orchestra Mark Bicentennial of Schumann’s Birth with Presentation of His Dramatic Oratorio Scenes from Goethe’s Faust at Lincoln Center

All ASO Tickets Now Only $25 Each

Scenes from Goethe’s Faust is the iconic poetic rendering of the story of a man who sells his soul to the devil, set to music by a composer who knew very well what it was like to be haunted by demons, his mental state often frayed.  This year sees the bicentennial of Robert Schumann’s birth, and the American Symphony Orchestra marks the occasion on April 9 at Lincoln Center with the rarely-performed Scenes from Goethe’s Faust.  This completes the trilogy of the composer’s dramatic oratorios in which the orchestra previously introduced audiences to Manfred and Das Paradies und die Peri.

In its presentation of this under-appreciated work, the ASO will be joined by some new musical partners and several returning colleagues.  Frequent collaborators James Bagwell and the Concert Chorale of New York, along with the celebrated Brooklyn Youth Chorus, will perform with the orchestra.  The list of exceptional soloists includes tenor Michael Spyres and baritone Andrew Schroeder, both of whom worked with the ASO in Meyerbeer’s grand opera Les Huguenots at the 2009 Bard SummerScape festival.

Botstein writes about Goethe’s play and its different musical settings in his program essay for the concert: “In the long history of musical settings of Goethe’s Faust, including Berlioz’s Damnation of Faust and Liszt’s Faust Symphony, Schumann’s effort is certainly among the most compelling.  The 19th-century obsession with Faust never resulted in a work that combined popularity with profundity.  The only one that became a staple of the repertoire was Gounod’s opera, which most German critics and opera lovers have held in contempt.  Although Schumann succeeded, this work has undeservedly remained a rarity. … Schumann gave much of Goethe’s masterpiece its most eloquent, intense, and profound musical incarnation.”

Maestro Botstein’s pre-concert talks, which he began delivering last season, start 75 minutes before each concert.  They provide added insight into the rich, unusual programming that characterizes ASO’s Lincoln Center series.  His illuminating talk on Schumann’s Scenes from Goethe’s Faust starts at 6:45pm in Avery Fisher Hall, shortly before the concert program.

All tickets to the ASO’s Lincoln Center concerts are just $25 and are available by calling (212) 868-9276 (9ASO) or visiting  All ticket sales are final.

The American Symphony Orchestra’s 2009-10 season and programs are made possible, in part, through support from National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.  Additional support is provided by Atlantic Philanthropies; Bay and Paul Foundation; Mary Duke Biddle Foundation; GG Group; Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation; HBO; Carroll, Guido, & Groffman, LLP; DuBose and Dorothy Heyward Memorial Fund; Faith Golding Foundation Inc.; The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation; Open Society Institute; Per Annum, Inc.; Rockefeller Brothers Fund; Solon E. Summerfield Foundation Inc.; The David and Sylvia Teitelbaum Fund Inc.; and The Winston Foundation.


Friday, April 9, 8pm
Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center
Robert Schumann: Scenes from Goethe’s Faust (1853)
Andrew Schroeder, baritone
Twyla Robinson, soprano
Kyle Ketelsen, bass-baritone
Michael Spyres, tenor
Hanan Alattar, soprano
Sara Jakubiak, soprano
Katherine Pracht, mezzo-soprano
Eve Gigliotti, mezzo-soprano
Matt Boehler, bass
Concert Chorale of New York / James Bagwell, director
Brooklyn Youth Chorus / Dianne Berkun, artistic director
American Symphony Orchestra / Leon Botstein, conductor
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© 21C Media Group, April 2010

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