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Bard Music Festival Weekend Two “Berg The European”

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – “Berg the European,” the second and final weekend of the 21st annual Bard Music Festival, explores Berg’s developing career and the diversity of music between the wars, including the backlash against modernism.  The opening event, at 10 am on Friday, August 20, is a free symposium on “Rethinking the Modern” moderated by Garry Hagberg; the evening’s concert of vocal and chamber music presents works featured at Schoenberg’s Society for Private Musical Performances, including Berg’s Four Songs, Op. 2, and music by Ravel, Debussy, Bartók, Reger, Hauer, and Szymanowski.  Five of the weekend’s six programs are augmented by a pre-concert talk from a distinguished scholar, namely Tamara Levitz, Marilyn McCoy, Christopher Hailey, Richard Wilson, and Bryan Gilliam; Derek B. Scott provides a commentary on the sixth program, which offers light relief by way of Viennese operetta and cabaret songs.  Leon Botstein, co-artistic director of Bard SummerScape and the Bard Music Festival, conducts the resident American Symphony Orchestra in the weekend’s two orchestral programs, and among the many notable musicians performing are singers Christiane Libor, Christine Goerke, Lisa Saffer, Kiera Duffy, Thomas Cooley, and Robert Pomakov; harpsichordist Paolo Bordignon; the FLUX Quartet; and violinist Miranda Cuckson. 

Further chamber programs investigate the fragmented and heterogeneous nature of musical modernism in the ’20s, from Gershwin to the avant-garde quarter-tone experiments of Czech composer Alois Hába; and the predicament of composers after Hitler’s seizure of power, when those who stayed in Germany and Austria had to choose between accommodation and “inner emigration.”  A free panel discussion on Sunday morning, moderated by Christopher Hailey and numbering Botstein among the panelists, examines the precarious relationship between “Music and Morality”.

The American Symphony Orchestra’s first concert, “Modernism and Its Discontent,” is on Saturday night, and presents Christiane Libor in Der Wein (1929), Berg’s twelve-tone aria for soprano and orchestra, juxtaposed with Franz Schmidt’s powerful oratorio Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln (“The Book of the Seven Seals,” 1935-37).  The ASO’s final program, on Sunday afternoon, is titled “Crimes and Passions” and includes orchestral excerpts from both of Berg’s operas – the Three Fragments from Wozzeck (1924) and the Lulu Suite (1934) – alongside Hindemith’s one-act expressionist opera Sancta Susanna (1921) and the U.S. premiere of Royal Palace (1925-26), Kurt Weill’s rarely-programmed, jazz-inflected, one-act opera.  The Bard Festival Chorus and James Bagwell support a stellar cast.

Critical acclaim:

The Wall Street Journal has observed that the Bard Music Festival “has long been one of the most intellectually stimulating of all American summer festivals and frequently is one of the most musically satisfying.”  Reviewing a previous season of the festival, a critic for the New York Times reported, “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.”

Complete programs for Weekend Two of the 2010 Bard Music Festival follow.

Program details of Bard Music Festival, “Berg and His World”

Weekend Two, August 20—22: Berg the European

Friday, August 20 

Rethinking the Modern
Multipurpose room, Bertelsmann Campus Center
10:00 am—12 noon
1:30 pm—3:30 pm
Garry Hagberg, moderator; Daniel Albright; Richard Eldridge; Abigail Gillman; Klara Moricz; Paul Reitter; and Michael P. Steinberg
Free and open to the public

“No Critics Allowed”: The Society for Private Performances
Sosnoff Theater
7:30 pm            Pre-concert talk: Tamara Levitz
8:00 pm            Performance: Frederika Brillembourg, mezzo-soprano; Randolph Bowman, flute; Miranda Cuckson, violin; John Hancock, baritone; Blair McMillen, piano; Daniel Panner, viola; Anna Polonsky, piano; Orion Weiss, piano; Bard Festival Chamber Players
Alban Berg (1885–1935)
   Four Songs, Op. 2 (1909–10)
Claude Debussy (1862–1918)           
   Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune (1891–94; arr. Sachs, 1921)
Max Reger (1873–1916)
   Serenade, for flute, violin, and viola, in G major, Op. 141a (1915)
Maurice Ravel (1875–1937)
   La valse (1919–20, arr. 2 pianos)
Béla Bartók (1881–1945)
   14 Bagatelles, Op. 6 (1908)
Karol Szymanowski (1882–1937)
   Romance, for violin and piano, Op. 23 (1910)
Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971)
   Piano-Rag Music (1919)
   Berceuses du chat (1915)
Josef Matthias Hauer (1883–1959)
   Nomos, Op. 2 (1913)
Tickets: $20/35/45


 Saturday, August 21

You Can’t Be Serious! Viennese Operetta and Popular Music
Olin Hall

10:00 am            Performance with Commentary by Derek B. Scott; with James Bassi, piano; Hai-Ting Chinn, mezzo-soprano; William Ferguson, tenor; Thomas Meglioranza, baritone; Camille Zamora, soprano

Works by Alban Berg (1885–1935), Johann Strauss II (1825–99); Arthur Sullivan (1842–1900); Franz Lehár (1870–1948), Emmerich Kálmán (1882–1953), Franz Schreker (1878–1934), Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897–1957), and others

Tickets: $30


Composers Select: New Music in the 1920s
Olin Hall
1:00 pm            Pre-concert talk: Marilyn McCoy
1:30 pm            Performance: Laura Ahlbeck, oboe; Paolo Bordignon, harpsichord; Randolph Bowman, flute; Teresa Buchholz, mezzo-soprano; Hai-Ting Chinn, mezzo-soprano; Miranda Cuckson, violin; Ilana Davidson, soprano; Laura Flax, clarinet; FLUX Quartet; Erika Kiesewetter, violin; Robert Martin, cello; Blair McMillen, piano; James Taylor, tenor; Orion Weiss, piano
Alban Berg (1885–1935)
   Adagio, from Kammerkonzert, arr. for piano trio (1923–25; arr. 1935)
Manuel De Falla (1876–1946)
   Concerto, for harpsichord, flute, oboe, clarinet, violin, and cello (1923–26)
Ernst Toch (1887–1964)
   Quartet for Strings No. 11, Op. 34 (1924)
Alois Hába (1893–1973)
   Quartet for Strings No. 2, in the quarter-tone system, Op. 7 (1920)
Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897–1957)
   Four Little Caricatures for Children, Op. 19 (1926)
Hanns Eisler (1898–1962)
   Tagebuch des Hanns Eisler, Op. 9 (1926)
George Gershwin (1898–1937)
   Three Preludes for Piano (1926–26)
Tickets: $35 

Modernism and Its Discontent
Sosnoff Theater
7:00 pm             Pre-concert talk: Christopher Hailey
8:00 pm             Performance: Christiane Libor, soprano; Frederika Brillembourg, mezzo-soprano; Thomas Cooley, tenor; James Taylor, tenor; Robert Pomakov, bass-baritone; Bard Festival Chorale, James Bagwell, choral director; American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, music director

Alban Berg (1885–1935)
    Der Wein (1929)
Franz Schmidt (1874–1939)
    Das Buch mit sieben Siegeln (1935–37)

 Tickets: $25/40/55 



Music and Morality
Olin Hall
10 am – 12 noon
Christopher Hailey, moderator; Daniel Albright; Leon Botstein; Klara Moricz
Free and open to the public

Between Accommodation and Inner Emigration: The Composer’s Predicament
Olin Hall
1:00 pm             Pre-concert talk: Richard Wilson
1:30 pm             Performance: Ilana Davidson, soprano; John Hancock, baritone; Anna Polonsky, piano; Jonathan Spitz, cello; Calvin Wiersma, viola; Alisa Wyrick, violin; Eric Wyrick, violin
Alban Berg (1885–1935)
   Schliesse mir die Augen beide (1925)
Othmar Schoeck (1886–1957)
   Notturno, Op. 47 (1931–33)
Ernst Krenek (1900–91)
   Durch die Nacht, song cycle, Op. 67a (1930–31)
Karl Amadeus Hartmann (1905–63)
   Quartet for Strings No. 1, “Carillon” (1933)
Crimes and Passions
Sosnoff Theater

4:30 pm             Pre-concert talk: Bryan Gilliam

5:30 pm             Performance: Liam Bonner, baritone; Fredrika Brillembourg, mezzo-soprano; Kiera Duffy, soprano; Daniel Foran, tenor; Christine Goerke, soprano; Christiane Libor, soprano; Elizabeth Reiter, soprano; Lisa Saffer, soprano; Susan Shafer, mezzo-soprano; Andrew Schroeder, baritone; Brian Stucki, tenor; Jeffrey Tucker, baritone; Bard Festival Chorale, James Bagwell, choral director; American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, music director; Eric Einhorn, stage director

Alban Berg (1885–1935)
Three Fragments from Wozzeck (1924)
Lulu Suite (1934)
Paul Hindemith (1895–1963)
Sancta Susanna, Op. 21 (1921)
Kurt Weill (1900–50)
Royal Palace, Op. 17 (1925–26) U.S. premiere

Tickets: $25/40/55


Bard SummerScape Ticket Information

The Bard SummerScape Festival is made possible through the generous support of the Advisory Boards of the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts and the Bard Music Festival, and the Friends of the Fisher Center.

Tickets for all Bard SummerScape events are now on sale.

For tickets and further information on all SummerScape events, call the Fisher Center box office at 845-758-7900 or visit

 Bard SummerScape:

Bard Music Festival:

Tickets: [email protected]; or by phone at 845-758-7900

Updates: Bard’s “e-members” get all the news in regular updates.  Click here to sign up.

All program information is subject to change.

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©21C Media Group, August 2010 


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