12 June 2013
“If I were to name the composer whose works are the most perfect embodiment of the Hungarian spirit, I would answer, Kodály,” said perhaps the best-known Hungarian composer, Béla Bartók. “His work proves his faith in the Hungarian spirit. The obvious explanation is that all Kodály’s composing activity is rooted only in Hungarian soil, but the deep inner reason is his unshakable faith and trust in the constructive power and future of his people.”
Unsurprisingly, Hungarians around the country have agreed with Bartók’s assessment, and statues of Zoltan Kodály (whose Dances of Galánta the Philharmonic performs this week under Lionel Bringuier) are as ubiquitous as paprikash eateries and Unicum dispensaries. There’s even a prime piece of real estate in Budapest named for Kodály (in honor of his former pied-à-terre in the capital). In the city of Dunaújváros, however, both composers stand side-by-side as a memorial to a flavor of music that kept a global focus while celebrating native sounds.
25 March 2013
Béla Bartók, who made his home in New York in his final years, would have been celebrating his 132nd birthday today. The Hungarian-born composer gave music lovers many gifts, including his First Violin Concerto and Second Piano Concerto, which will be aired and posted online this week (from performances last season conducted by Alan Gilbert, with Glenn Dicterow and Lang Lang, respectively) on The New York Philharmonic This Week. Tune in and join us in celebrating this astonishing composer’s natal day.
11 February 2013
This past Saturday the Philharmonic reached this nice, round number Saturday evening, performing its 15,500th concert. (We did start in 1842, after all.)
On the occasion, Andris Nelsons concluded the concert with Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra, “drawing out the spectacular range of the Philharmonic’s sound, from powdery pianissimo strings to deeply hued woodwind solos and the brilliant clarity of the brass,” according to The New York Times.
7 February 2013
Bartók Meets Bernstein
Lenny’s original marked score for Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra? Don’t mind if we do! This work received its world premiere by Serge Koussevitzky and the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1944. By way of small world, four years earlier, Koussevitzky had taken on a promising young pupil at Tanglewood by the name of … Leonard Bernstein.
You can leaf through the entire score with Bernstein’s markings, in the Philharmonic’s Digital Archives, by clicking here. Andris Nelsons conducts the Orchestra in the work (along with Dvořák’s The Noon Witch and Brahms’s Violin Concerto No. 1) February 6—9.
30 August 2012
What’s Up, Glenn?
Catch up with Concertmaster Glenn Dicterow, as he and the Philharmonic prepare to head into the new season. Hear him:
- On the radio, performing Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 1 tonight on The New York Philharmonic This Week (broadcast by WQXR at 8 p.m., or check local listings for other times.)
- In the Catskills, with the Lyric Piano Quartet on September 8 at the Windham Chamber Music Festival.
- In the new Philharmonic season, performing Brahms’s Double Concerto for Violin and Cello with Principal Cello Carter Brey, conducted by Music Director Emeritus Kurt Masur, November 8–10, and November 13.
21 May 2012
“Like” Our Concertmaster?
Check out one of the latest boards on the New York Philharmonic’s Pinterest page — “Our Concertmaster” hosts over a dozen unique photos of the man from the first chair. Catch a glimpse into Glenn Dicterow’s colorful history before joining us tomorrow and Saturday to hear him pin down Bartók’s Violin Concerto, led by Music Director Alan Gilbert.
14 May 2012
The New York Philharmonic Penguins and the San Francisco Symphony Symphomaniacs give a wave at their historic softball rematch on Sunday. The Symphomaniacs won this time, 34-4 (ouch), but the Philharmonic hit a home run with a thrilling performance at Davies Hall later that evening.
Tonight, in their second back-to-back performance, Concertmaster Glenn Dicterow takes a solo turn, performing in Bartok’s Violin Concerto No. 1.
19 January 2012
Scene Last Night
World-renowned dancer and choreographer (and Sex & the City hunk) Mikhail Baryshnikov, joined by Lisa Rinehart, visited Lang Lang backstage following his performance of Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 2, conducted by Alan Gilbert.
13 January 2012
Bartók Goes All Out
This edition of On the Music brings you the three works on the concerts of January 18–21: Magnus Lindberg’s Feria, Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 2, and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5, with Lang Lang, an artist Music Director Alan Gilbert describes as “completely committed and completely personal.”