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Second of Two Bard Music Festival Weekends Opens Friday, August 21

second and final weekend of the 20th annual Bard Music Festival
opens here on Friday morning, August 21. 
Concerts and symposia cover many controversies
surrounding Wagner, including the creation of the Bayreuth Festival and the
impact of his music on composers from Bruckner to Debussy.  The opening event, at 10 am on Friday,
August 21, is a symposium on “Wagner and the Transformation of European
Culture” moderated by Marina van Zuylen; the evening’s concert of chamber music
– preceded by Walter Frisch’s informative talk – is primarily a vocal concert
comprising Wagner’s “Wesendonck Lieder” and works by Wagner, Franz Liszt,
Johannes Brahms, and Joseph Joachim.

The weekend’s overall title,
“Engineering the Triumph of Wagnerism,” addresses not only the composer’s
lifelong campaign on his own behalf, but the posthumous cultivation of his art,
his image, and more.  The impact of
Wagner’s music, poetry, and prose upon his own time – and even more in the 126
years since his death – is reflected in a recent New York Times comment:

“For those fascinated by the intersection of music,
politics, and prejudice, Wagner just keeps on giving.  As if on cue for the Bard Music Festival – a series of
concerts, lectures, and panels at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y.,
this year devoted to ‘Wagner and His World’ and beginning on Friday – two
recent news reports provided fresh fodder for discussion, especially for the
festival panel ‘Wagner and the Jewish Question.’”

Leon Botstein, co-artistic
director of Bard SummerScape and the Bard Music Festival, conducts the resident
American Symphony Orchestra in two concerts, one each on Saturday and
Sunday.  Further chamber music
concerts include works by Karl Goldmark, Hermann Goetz, Heinrich von
Herzogenberg, Max Bruch, Antonín Dvorák, Hugo Wolf, and Richard Strauss.  Some of the French composers who came
under the Wagnerian influence will also be heard, Henri Duparc and Ernest
Chausson among them.  A less
serious faction is represented too, to balance things out: satirical works by
Gabriel Fauré and André Messager, Jacques Offenbach, Sir Arthur Sullivan,
Johann Strauss, Jr., and Oscar Straus are on the Saturday morning chamber music
program titled “Bearable Lightness: The Comic Alternative.”  Richard Wilson delivers the pre-concert

The American Symphony
Orchestra’s first concert, “The Selling of the Ring” on Saturday evening
(preceded by John Deathridge’s introductory talk), includes excerpts from Das
, Die Walküre, Siegfried, and Götterdämmerung,
with soprano Catherine Foster, tenor
Gary Lehman, and bass-baritone James Johnson.  The ASO’s final concert, on Sunday afternoon, is titled
“Music and German National Identity” and includes the complete final scene of
Wagner’s Meistersinger as well as
Bruckner’s Germanenzug and
Brahms’s Triumphlied.  The Bard Festival Chorus under Thomas
Bagwell; Devon Guthrie, soprano; Corey Bix and Scott Williamson, tenors; John
Hancock and Julien Robbins, baritones; and James Johnson, bass-baritone, are also
featured in this concert.  Leon
Botstein and others conduct.

Each of the four chamber
concerts is preceded by commentary or a talk; the final one, on Sunday
afternoon at 4:30 pm, is given by noted scholar and author Christopher Gibbs,
co-artistic director of the Bard Music Festival.

Critical acclaim:

Writing for the Wall
Street Journal
, Barrymore Laurence
Scherer recently observed, “The Bard Music Festival in Annandale-on-Hudson,
N.Y., which begins its 20th season in mid-August, no longer needs an
introduction.  Under the
provocative guidance of the conductor-scholar Leon Botstein, it has long been
one of the most intellectually stimulating of all American summer festivals and
frequently is one of the most musically satisfying.”  Los Angeles Times critic Mark Swed has described the Bard Music Festival as “uniquely
stimulating,” while Steve Smith, reporting for the New York Times, has called it “part boot camp for the brain, part
spa for the spirit.”

Complete programs for
Weekend Two of the 2009 Bard Music Festival follow.  Participants and programs are subject to change.


Weekend Two: August 21-23

Friday, August 21, 2009
Wagner and the Transformation of European Culture

Friday, August 21, 2009 at
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Campus Center, Multipurpose Room

   10 am–noon
   1:30 pm–3:30 pm

   Marina van Zuylen, moderator; Larry Bensky; André
Dombrowski; Lydia Goehr; Juliet Koss;

      David J. Levin; Kelly Maynard

   Free and open to the public

BMF Program Seven
Wagner Pro and Contra

Friday, August 21, 2009 at
8:00 pm

Fisher Center, Sosnoff Theater

7:30 pm  Preconcert Talk:
Walter Frisch

pm  Performance: Bernadine Blaha,
piano; Teresa Buchholz, mezzo-soprano; Catherine Foster, soprano; Devon
Guthrie, soprano; Ieva Jokubaviciute, piano; Soovin Kim, violin; Piers Lane,
piano; Blair McMillen, piano; Spencer Myer, piano; Raman Ramakrishnan, cello

   Richard Wagner (1813–83)
“Wesendonck Lieder” (c. 1857–58)
      Eine Sonate für das Album von Frau M. W. (1853)
   Franz Liszt (c. 1811–86)
Lorelei” (1841)
      Orpheus, arr. for piano trio (1853–54; arr. Saint-Saëns)
   Johannes Brahms (c.
Duets, Opp. 20 (1858–60) and 61 (1852–74)
      Sonata for two pianos in F minor, Op. 34b
   Joseph Joachim (c.
to Hamlet, arr. for two pianos,
Op. 4 (c. 1855, arr. Brahms)

   Tickets: $20, $35, $45


SAturday, August 22, 2009

BMF Program Eight
Bearable Lightness: The Comic Alternative

August 22, 2009 at 10:00 am


10:00 am:     Performance

commentary by Richard Wilson

Jon-Michael Ball, tenor; Amy Cofield Williamson, soprano; Jonathan Hays,
baritone; Jennifer Rivera, mezzo-soprano; James Bassi, piano; Melvin Chen,
piano; Blair McMillen, piano

Fauré (1845–1924) / André Messager (1853–1924)

      Souvenirs de Bayreuth (?1888)

Jacques Offenbach (1819–80)

      From Le roi Carotte (1872) and Die Rheinnixen (1864

Franz von Suppé (1819–95)

      From Lohengelb, oder Die
Jungfrau von Dragant

Arthur Sullivan (1842–1900) and W.S. Gilbert (1836–1911)

      From Iolanthe (1882)

Johann Strauss Jr. (1825–99)

      From Eine Nacht in Venedig (1883)

   Oscar Straus (1870–1954)

      Piano works and songs by Emmanuel
Chabrier (1841–94)

Tickets: $30

BMF Program Nine

Competing Romanticisms

Saturday, August 22, 2009 at 1:00 pm

Olin Hall

pm  Preconcert Talk: Michael Musgrave

pm  Performance: Bard Festival String
Quartet; Laura Flax, clarinet; Ieva Jokubaviciute, piano; Soovin Kim, violin;
Spencer Myer, piano; Noreen Polera, piano; Raman Ramakrishnan, cello; Ira
Weller, viola; Robert Martin, cello; Jordan Frazier, double bass

   Karl Goldmark (1830–1915)
      Romance, for violin and piano (1913)
   Johannes Brahms (1833–97)
Choral Preludes, Op. 122 (1896; arr. Busoni)
   Hermann Goetz (1840–76)
Quintet in C minor, Op. 16 (1874)
   Heinrich von Herzogenberg
Trio in C minor, Op. 24 (1877)
   Max Bruch (1838–1920)
Eight Pieces for clarinet, viola, and piano, Op. 83 (1910)
   Antonín Dvorák (1841–1904)
      From Cypresses (1865)

   Tickets: $35

BMF Program Ten

The Selling of the Ring

Saturday, August 22, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Fisher Center, Sosnoff Theater

pm  Preconcert Talk: John Deathridge

pm  Performance: Catherine Foster,
soprano; James Johnson, bass-baritone; Gary Lehman, tenor; Daniel Mobbs,
bass-baritone; Devon Guthrie, soprano; Marjorie Owens, soprano; Corey Bix,
tenor; Scott Williamson, tenor; John Hancock, baritone; American Symphony
Orchestra, conducted by Leon Botstein, music director

Richard Wagner (1813–83)

      Excerpts from Das Rheingold (1854), Die Walküre (1856), Siegfried (1871), and Götterdämmerung (1874)

Tickets: $25, $40, $55


Sunday, August 23, 2009

BMF Panel Two

Wagner and the Jewish Question

Sunday, August 23, 2009 at 10:00 am–noon

Olin Hall

Kahn Strauss, moderator; Leon Botstein; James Loeffler; Paul Lawrence Rose

Free and open to the public

BMF Program Eleven


Sunday, August 23, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Olin Hall

pm  Preconcert Talk: Byron Adams

1:30 pm  Performance: Bard
Festival String Quartet; Melvin Chen, piano; Laurie Smukler, violin; David
Brickman, violin; Patricia Sunwoo, violin; Ira Weller, viola; Robert Martin,
cello; Piers Lane, piano; Devon Guthrie, soprano; Scott Williamson, tenor;
students of The Bard College Conservatory of Music

Richard Wagner (1813–83)

      Siegfried Idyll (1870)

Duparc (1848–1933)

      L’invitation au

Enrique Granados (1867–1916)

      From Goyescas, Op. 11 (1909–12)

Ernest Chausson (1855–99)

      Concert, Op. 21 (1889–91)

T. Griffes (1884–1920)

      From Roman Sketches (1915–16)

Hugo Wolf (1860–1903)

      Italian Serenade (1887)

Songs by Richard Strauss
(1864–1949); Engelbert Humperdinck (1854–1921); Alexander Ritter

      (1833–96); Claude Debussy
(1862–1918); Emmanuel Chabrier (1841–94); and Friedrich

      Nietzsche (1844–1900)

Tickets: $35

BMF Program Twelve

Music and German National Identity

Sunday, August 23, 2009 at 5:30 pm

Fisher Center, Sosnoff Theater

pm  Preconcert Talk: Christopher H.

pm  Performance: Corey Bix, tenor;
Devon Guthrie, soprano; John Hancock, baritone; James Johnson, bass-baritone;
Julien Robbins, baritone; Scott Williamson, tenor; Bard Festival Chorale, with
James Bagwell, choral director; American Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leon
Botstein, music director

Richard Wagner (1813–83)

      Kaisermarsch (1871)

   Excerpts from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1867)

Anton Bruckner (1824–96)

      Germanenzug (1863)

Johannes Brahms (1833–97)

      Triumphlied, Op. 55 (1870–71)

Tickets: $25, $40, $55


tickets, program updates, and further information on all Bard Music Festival
events, phone the Fisher Center box office at (845) 758-7900 or visit

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© 21C Media Group, August 2009

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