Philharmonia

Philharmonia is an advanced orchestra in the Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra organization. The typical Philharmonia student has had several years of private instruction and substantial ensemble experience and is highly skilled on his or her instrument.

Philharmonia prepares high-level musicians for possible entry into Youth Symphony with challenging full orchestra pieces. Past works performed include Brahms’s Academic Festival Overture, Tchaikovsky’s Slavonic March in Bb Minor, and Mozart’s Symphony No. 35.

Sample of Philharmonia:

Conductor: Joseph Kempisty

Joseph Kempisty holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from The Ohio State University and a Master of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies degree from the University of Washington. He has taught elementary, middle, and high school orchestras in the Midwest as well as in the Bellevue School District, where he was also a school administrator for fourteen years. Learn more.

Contact Joseph Kempisty at philharmonia@byso.org

Messages from the Conductor

Hello Philharmonia Musicians!

I definitely miss having all of us making music together at our Monday rehearsals!  Below are resources and exciting video performances including links to sheet music that you can print out and play yourself.  Keep practicing, and be sure to practice the Philharmonia or Youth audition standards for our upcoming season!  Please take care of yourself and your family – Mr. Kempisty


June 22, 2020 – Orchestral Excerpts and Sight-Reading!

Looking for a collection of musical excerpts from many pieces all in one place?  Of course!  This season’s final post is a collection of websites where you can find free orchestral excerpts along with audio performances of those pieces (some video links aren’t available in the United States, so click on a different video link to find one available).  Thanks to Ms. Saathoff for sharing these cool links on her BYSO Flute Orchestra page!

Practice Sight-Reading!  When you look at an excerpt for the first time, be sure to treat it like it was the sight-reading part of an audition.  Take a few moments to look through the excerpt for all the critical details (no playing, no fingering, no pizzicato – just your eyes and your brain), and then play it through while you imagine two judges listening to your performance.  You can, and should, do this for any new piece from your solo repertoire as well (chunk the piece into small sections and do the same sight-reading routine).  It is always good to practice sight-reading in an intentional way – each time you start a new piece!

I also recommend recording yourself as you sight-read so you can play back and learn what errors you made (Issues with the key signature/missed notes?  Missed articulations?  Were you musical as you played – dynamics, phrasing, etc.?).  Listening to your own recording can give you great insight into any common mistakes that you might make (and remember you can always delete the recording so no one else will hear it!).

Woodwind Excerpts

Brass Excerpts

String Excerpts

Bonus Challenge:  For a quick lesson on polyrhythms, check out Mr. Storm’s latest video on the BYSO Percussion Ensemble page.  Watch it and practice it (no instrument needed).  See if you can do triplets with one hand while your other hand does duples and sixteenth notes!

 


June 15, 2020 – Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee

This week we are taking one piece of music and hearing how several musicians have adapted it to be performed on their own instrument.  Russian composer Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov wrote a full opera titled “The Tale of Tsar Saltan” which was first performed in the year 1900.  In Act 3, he wrote “The Flight of the Bumblebee” which is now performed often as a stand-alone piece and is usually performed between a minute and 30 seconds or up to two minutes (based on tempo chosen).

If you ever wondered why you practice chromatics scales… this piece is definitely one of those reasons!

If you don’t have your own copy of this piece, please check out imslp.org:  Flight of the Bumblebee

  • After clicking that imslp link, scroll down to the ‘Sheet Music’ section and click on the ‘Parts’ tab.  The melodic part is found between the Flute and the First Violin part as well as occasionally in the Clarinet (Clarinet in A parts).  All other instruments can work from those treble clef parts into your own range.
  • To see the all the melodic parts sequenced together (so you can compile your own if you can’t find something arranged for your own instrument elsewhere), look at the ‘Full Score’ tab and download the score.

Slow, careful practice is the only way to learn this piece – and definitely using a metronome to help you notch up your tempo from week to week.  

Below are several impressive performances of “The Flight of the Bumblebee” performed on a variety of instruments.  Most of the videos are exact or very close arrangements to the original piece.  Some vary more from the original but are excellent arrangements including a Jazz Band arrangement with solo Trombone and an arrangement for solo Marimba using 4 mallets.

Please be sure to listen to African American musician Wynton Marsalis’ amazing performance. If you don’t know this world-renowned classical and jazz musician yet, please check out his website (lots of great performances!): wyntonmarsalis.org/about/bio

 

Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov: The Flight of the Bumblebee

Ensemble:  Eastman Wind Ensemble (New York, USA) with Donald Hunsberger, conductor

Soloist:  Wynton Marsalis, Trumpet/Cornet (from his 1987 album “Carnival”)

 

Here are additional performances in ‘score order’ of woodwinds, brass, percussion, and strings.  There are many more on YouTube as well (some better than others).

Dane Anderson, Bruce Carpenter, Matt Johnston, and Jared LeClerc, Piccolos (quartet featuring a BYSO coach).  Warning: This is a video of four piccolos powering through this piece, so turn down your volume before clicking the link!

Myoung-Jin Lee, Oboe (solo)

Javier Bonet, French Horn (with Piano and using an iPad to read the scrolling French Horn part)

Harry Watters, Trombone (with the University of New Mexico Jazz Band)

Claudio Santangelo, Marimba (his own solo arrangement for 4 mallets)

Sonya Belousova and Arturo Cardelús, Pianos (duet arranged by Belousova). This is from the short film “Duel of the Bumblebees.”

Katica Illényi, Violin (with the Győr Philharmonic Orchestra with István Silló, conductor)

Claire Park, Cello (with Piano)

Mark Morton, Double Bass (with string quartet arranged by Morton)

And a bonus video…

  • This video is of a ‘music battle’ from a Chinese movie titled “Our Shining Days.”  This includes Chinese traditional instruments and Western classical instruments (start at 2:40).  If you don’t know the sounds of Chinese traditional instruments, this video gives you a quick sampling of many (one of the comments also gives the names of each instrument with time indicated).
  • The instrument performances are real (audio), but some actor portrayals are not (visual).  As with other movies with actors portraying musicians, sometimes they are close in visually ‘faking it’ while other times they are way off.

 


June 8, 2020 – William Grant Still’s First Symphony

This week highlights another great Black American composer:  William Grant Still (1895-1978).  However, unlike Florence Price from last week, Still is known to more Americans and people around the world.  Premiered by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (New York) in 1931, Still’s most famous work is his Symphony No. 1 which is also called “The Afro-American Symphony.”

If William Grant Still is not yet known to you, please check out his biography at www.williamsgrantstillmusic.com

Musicologist Douglas Shadle wrote program notes for the February 16, 2019 performance of this piece by the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Thomas Wilkins conducting.  Shadle’s full program notes can be found here.  Below are excerpts from his program notes:

Still’s Afro-American Symphony is not only his most famous work, but one of the most popular American symphonies of all time. When he began sketching it in 1924, he had recently finished playing in the pit orchestra for Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle’s “Shuffle Along,” the musical comedy that launched the careers of Josephine Baker and Florence Mills and, according to Langston Hughes, inaugurated the Harlem Renaissance. 

Still had adopted central tenets of the Harlem Renaissance … most notably philosopher (and friend) Alain Locke’s concept of the new African American as an individual who would vindicate blackness from racist stereotypes and reclaim it from white exploitation. Still’s use of the blues as the symphony’s unifying element manifested his engagement with this idea.

Still cast the first movement loosely in sonata form, a common three-part framework in which two melodies are introduced, developed, and reprised over the course of the movement. The first melody, played by a muted trumpet, overlays the instantly recognizable harmonic pattern of the 12-bar blues. With its sweeping arc and gentle syncopation, the second melody, introduced by the oboe, is reminiscent  of a Black spiritual. The themes return in reverse order after moving through a colorful development section.

The next two movements capture distinct moods with melodic material borrowed from the first movement and transformed in new contexts. With its dark timbres, the second is a clear expression of sadness. The third, which features a banjo for local color, is a leap for joy.

The fourth movement opens with a poignant melody showcasing some of Still’s most beautiful orchestral writing. A lengthy, heartbreaking passage ultimately gives way to a reminiscence of the original blues theme in a fiery coda.

 

Prior to that February 16, 2019 Los Angeles Philharmonic’s performance, Jeffrey Fleishman wrote a February 13, 2019 article in the Los Angeles Times which included an interview with conductor Thomas Wilkins.  The full article can be found here:  Black composer William Grant Still drew from the blues. Forty years after his death, he still fights to be heard.  Excepts from the interview are included below:

Thomas Wilkins, principal conductor of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and music director of the Omaha Symphony. Wilkins, who is black, described Still … as “culturally honest, unapologetic and comfortable in his own skin.”

What do you find most profound in Still’s work, and what influence did the blues have on some of his compositions?  He certainly knows how to write in other styles, but he is true to his own heritage in both the “Afro-American Symphony” and the Fourth Symphony. It took me 20 years to get to that point. At first, I thought this was just folksy music, [but] the more I defend American music, the more I’m convinced that that’s OK. Certainly other composers used folk music. Dvorak. Mahler. They understood this was music that would have the largest appeal to common people. The blues and the Harlem Renaissance brought Still back to his roots. There was a certain degree of acceptance of jazz among the [musical elite]. But the blues just felt too secular, too raw, too on the nose. The blues made a lot of people uncomfortable. You were too personal with blues. I think Still’s point was, Well, so what, it is what it is and I’m not going to apologize for it.

What in particular strikes you about his “Afro-American Symphony”?  I think that’s his strongest piece. It’s the reality of the sorrow, the reality of the longing. The symphony opens with that solo plaintive English horn sound. It’s the perfect instrument to start this piece, and, then, in the last movement, there’s this aspirational, lovely song that the entire orchestra plays, and, then, he puts it in the voice of a cello, which, in my mind, is the closest instrument in that orchestra that sounds like a human voice. And then, all of a sudden, he flips the switch, and there’s a driving energy that takes us to the end of that piece as if to say this can be the possibility if you aspire to it.

Some African American composers and conductors feel they are invisible in the classical music world. What are the prospects for black composers and conductors today?  I think African American composers have more opportunity now than perhaps they’ve had in the last 30 years. They are certainly less invisible. Part of that is because of the generational shift in people making decisions, especially in the arts. We are less afraid to not solely exist in that Western European tradition. We are braver about embracing things. There’s a great canon we have that comes from that [European] tradition, but it is not correct to pursue that canon at the expense of the other. I think everybody now is braver about pursing the other as long as we don’t abandon the great canon. And that creates more possibilities for African Americans, women, Asian composers. We’re more open to a broader palette. I think we are coming to realize more keenly now, because of what’s happening the world, that we need art to speak to our common humanity more than ever.

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Still Video 1 of 4

William Grant Still: Symphony No. 1, “The Afro-American Symphony”

I. “Longing” / Moderato assai

Ensemble: Detroit Symphony Orchestra (USA)

Conductor: Neeme Jarvi

  • Carol J. Oja wrote in her extensive article on “Symphonic for the People: The Mid-Century American Symphony” (full article here):  The symphony is written in four movements, which have two different sets of titles, signaling the cultural bifurcation that defined Still’s career. One version is thoroughly European: “Moderato assai,” “Adagio,” “Animato,” and “Lento, con risoluzione.” While the other, as found in one of Still’s notebooks, refers to African-American history: “Longing,” “Sorrow,” “Humor,” and “Aspiration.”

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Still Video 2 of 4

William Grant Still: Symphony No. 1, “The Afro-American Symphony”

II. “Sorrow” / Adagio

Ensemble: Detroit Symphony Orchestra (USA)

Conductor: Neeme Jarvi

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Still Video 3 of 4

William Grant Still: Symphony No. 1, “The Afro-American Symphony”

III. “Humor” / Animato

Ensemble: Detroit Symphony Orchestra (USA)

Conductor: Neeme Jarvi

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Still Video 4 of 4

William Grant Still: Symphony No. 1, “The Afro-American Symphony”

IV. “Aspiration” / Lento, con risoluzione

Ensemble: Detroit Symphony Orchestra (USA)

Conductor: Neeme Jarvi

 


June 1, 2020 – Florence Price’s First Symphony

As more and more of us are becoming aware of the systemic racism that is ingrained in our American society, I want to use this week’s post to highlight a Black American symphonic composer that should be known much more than she is:  Florence Price (1887-1953). 

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra gave the premiere performance of her Symphony No. 1 in E Minor in 1933 with Frederick Stock conducting.  From the Chicago Daily News of the time: “It is a faultless work, a work that speaks its own message with restraint and yet with passion…worthy of a place in the regular symphonic repertory.”  The fact that this symphony is not yet part of the regular professional symphonic repertoire today, in my belief, is another painful example of racism in our society.

If you haven’t heard of Price before (or even if you have), take the time to listen to at least her first symphony in the second video below.  When I first heard a recording of this piece, I thoroughly enjoyed it – and I wanted to find the written music to perform with Philharmonia.  However, the score and parts of her orchestral works have not been made available except in a few rare instances.  

American musicologist Rae Linda Brown wrote extensive program notes for Price’s Symphony No. 1 when it was performed on April 15, 1994 in New York City’s Lincoln Center by the American Symphony Orchestra.  Brown’s full program notes can be found here.  Below are excerpts from her text about this symphony:

Florence B. Price is the first African-American woman composer to earn national recognition. A pioneer among women, she was much celebrated for her achievements in her time. With the resurgence of interest in her music, she is taking her place among those important composers of the 1930s and 1940s who helped to define America’s voice in music. Price’s music reflects the romantic nationalist style of the period but also the influence of her cultural heritage. Her music demonstrates that an African-American composer could transform received musical forms, yet articulate a unique American and artistic self. 

Symphony No. 1 in E minor (1932)

Price’s Symphony in E minor was written in 1931. In a letter to a friend she wrote, “I found it possible to snatch a few precious days in the month of January in which to write undisturbed. But, oh dear me, when shall I ever be so fortunate again as to break a foot!” The Symphony won the Rodman Wanamaker Prize in 1932, a national competition which brought her music to the attention of Frederick Stock, who conducted the Chicago Symphony in the world premiere performance of the work in June 15, 1933 at the Auditorium Theater. The Symphony won critical acclaim and marked the first symphony by an African-American woman composer to be played by a major American orchestra.

Price based the first movement of her Symphony on two freely composed melodies reminiscent of the African-American spiritual. The influence of Dvorák in the second theme is most evident. The second movement is based on a hymn-like melody and texture no doubt inspired by Price’s interest in church music. This such melody is played by a ten-part brass choir. The jovial third movement, entitled “Juba Dance,” is based on characteristic African-American ante-bellum dance rhythms. For Price, the rhythmic element in African-American music was of utmost importance. Referring to her Third Symphony (1940) which uses the Juba as the basis for a movement, she wrote “it seems to me to be no more impossible to conceive of Negroid music devoid of the spiritualistic theme on the one hand than strongly syncopated rhythms of the juba on the other.” The Symphony closes with a tour de force presto movement based on an ascending and descending scale figure.

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Price Video 1 of 2

Florence Price documentary

  • This video is an excerpt from a documentary titled “The Caged Bird: The Life and Music of Florence B. Price”

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Price Video 2 of 2

Florence B. Price: Symphony No. 1 in E Minor

Ensemble: New Black Repertory Ensemble (USA)

Conductor: Leslie B. Dunner

  • This is an audio recording of a performance by the New Black Repertory Ensemble.  For even better audio quality, I would recommend purchasing the movements you enjoy (or the entire symphony!).  
  • In the third movement, Price included a slide whistle in addition to the standard orchestral instruments.
  • The movements are:  I. Allegro ma non troppo (0:00); II. Largo, Maestoso (16:43); III. Juba Dance: Allegro (29:56); IV. Finale: Presto (33:50).

 


May 25, 2020 – Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony

Last week, Gabrieli’s Canzona per Sonare No. 2 was our featured piece, and here is a bonus video of that same piece using wind instruments (or replicas) from the Renaissance Era (1400-1600).  A collection of high quality audio and video performances can be found on this ensemble’s website, I Cavalieri del Cornetto, but be sure to have your ears ready and open to the very different sounds of these Renaissance instruments!  

This week’s featured piece is one of my favorite to perform and conduct – Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4!  Beethoven composed a ‘fate motif’ for his Fifth Symphony, and Tchaikovsky composed his own ‘fate motif’ as a central part of his Fourth Symphony.  For some historical context, Tchaikovsky completed this symphony in 1878 – seventy years after Beethoven wrote his Fifth Symphony. 

If you don’t have your own copy of all four movements yet (the original versions by Tchaikovsky as still played by professional orchestras), please get these from imslp.org:  Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4, Op. 36

  • After clicking that imslp link, scroll down to the ‘Sheet Music’ section and click on the ‘Parts’ tab.  Full orchestral scores are also available in the same ‘Sheet Music’ section in the ‘Scores’ tab.

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Tchaikovsky Video

Pyotr I. Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4, Op. 36

David Stock: Blast!

Ensemble: The All-Star Orchestra (USA)

Conductor: Gerard Schwarz

  • This is a live performance video of this Tchaikovsky symphony with an additional piece by American composer David Stock. 
  • The first 5 minutes of the video is an introduction that includes an overview of Tchaikovsky and his life at the time of this composition before launching into the full symphony performance which begins at 4:58. 
  • At 49:55, there is an introduction about Stock’s piece and how he also uses ‘fate’ in his work.  The performance begins at 51:30.  Stock was composer-in-residence with the Seattle Symphony for the 1996-97 season. 

 


May 18, 2020 – Gabrieli’s “Canzona per Sonare No. 2”

I hope you had the opportunity to check out last week’s parts and videos for Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.  But before we jump into this week’s piece… 

  • There has been much debate among music historians about Beethoven and his metronome markings.  Did he really want his pieces that fast or maybe his metronome was slow for some reason or ? 
  • One orchestra tackled this by playing all his symphonies using Beethoven’s original metronome markings – the “Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique with their conductor John Eliot Gardiner.  Here is their recording using performance practices of that time period, using instruments of that time period (or replicas), and also using Beethoven’s written metronome markings:  Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony 
    • Now a Warning: Don’t listen to this recording until you listen to a more ‘typical’ or ‘standard’ tempo recording first (like last week’s video) so that you hear the usual tempos performed today in professional orchestras, then close your eyes and listen to this one.  I would recommend listening to one movement at a time (First movement ‘typical’ recording followed immediately by this orchestra’s first movement performance, then go to a second movement ‘typical’ recording before hearing this orchestra’s second movement, etc.)
    • For low strings, be sure to go back to the fourth movement and listen again to one of your standard professional audition excerpts at this faster tempo right after 17 minutes (Wow!).

This week’s featured piece is “Canzona per Sonare No. 2, Ch. 187” by Giovanni Gabrieli, a composer from the Renaissance era of music.  He died in 1612 – over 400 years ago, and his pieces are still performed today oftentimes by professional brass ensembles.

The piece is also called “Canzon II a 4, Ch. 187” (‘4’ for four parts).  Michel Rondeau transcribed the original parts and posted his Brass Quartet arrangement on imslp.org, but the parts are all in C so can be played by any instrument.

  • Instruments in Bb and F: It’s always good to practice transposing from C, especially if you want to get into our top BYSO ensemble – the Youth Symphony!
  • Violas: It’s always good to practice Treble clef, especially if you want to get into our top BYSO ensemble – the Youth Symphony!

You can use these parts to play along with the video recording below. Here are direct links to the score and parts on imslp.org:

Score

Part 1 (Treble clef, in C)

  • One correction for Part 1: m.48 – B natural both times, not B flat

Part 2 (Treble clef, in C)

Part 3 (Bass clef, in C)

  • One correction for Part 3: m. 48 – E natural instead of flat

Part 4 (Bass clef, in C)

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Gabrieli Video 1 of 2

Giovanni Gabrieli: Canzona per Sonare No. 2, Ch. 187

Ensemble: The Philadelphia Brass Ensemble, The Cleveland Brass Ensemble, and The Chicago Brass Ensemble

  • This video is an audio track of a ground-breaking recording that featured the Brass Sections of these three top-tier professional orchestras:  The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Chicago Symphony.  While the recording was made in 1969, it is still considered to be the ‘gold standard’ by many professional brass musicians.  I would recommend everyone getting this track wherever you buy your music (and check out the other Gabrieli pieces on the album as well).

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Gabrieli Video 2 of 2

Giovanni Gabrieli: Canzona per Sonare No. 2, Ch. 187

  • This was a fun and interesting animated visualization of the score as the music is being performed by computer-generated sounds.

 


May 11, 2020 – Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony

If you missed last week’s videos on Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons,” please check those out below from May 4, 2020 (along with some Star Wars music links).  If you found a favorite website or fun music video online, please email Mr. Kempisty and let me know so that I can share with other Philharmonia musicians on this page – like this example.

This week’s featured piece is one of the most well-known pieces ever:  Beethoven’s 5th Symphony!

If you don’t have your own copy of all four movements yet (the original versions by Beethoven as still played by professional orchestras), please get these from imslp.org:  Beethoven Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67

  • After clicking that imslp link, scroll down to the ‘Sheet Music’ section and click on the ‘Parts’ tab.  Full orchestral scores are also available in the same ‘Sheet Music’ section in the ‘Scores’ tab (skip the first score as it is hand-written and not complete).

The three videos selected this week also feature Gerard Schwarz, American conductor and trumpeter, who was the long-time conductor and music director for the Seattle Symphony from 1985 to 2011.  More recently, he is the conductor and music director of The All-Star Orchestra.  From The All-Star Orchestra website:

  • The All-Star Orchestra is an ensemble comprised of top players from major orchestras across the United States, including the orchestras of Boston, Chicago, New York (Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera), Philadelphia, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, New Jersey, Houston, Minnesota, Detroit, Seattle, Nashville, Oregon, Dallas, Florida, Utah, Cincinnati, the National Symphony, and more. These extraordinary musicians not only share world-class talent, but also care deeply about the living tradition of symphonic music and are excited to share it with you.

There are many other great video programs on The All-Star Orchestra website, so check them out!

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Beethoven Video 1 of 3 

Beethoven 5th Symphony: Analysis by Gerard Schwarz

  • Be sure to watch this first video as he gives specific insights into this piece and the rhythmic and melodic ideas that occur throughout all four movements including what connects all four movements together.  The video is about 30 minutes.

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Beethoven Video 2 of 3 

Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 67

Philip Glass: Harmonium Mountain 

Ensemble: The All-Star Orchestra (USA)

Conductor: Gerard Schwarz

  • This second video is the live performance of the Beethoven symphony and an additional piece by American composer Philip Glass called Harmonium Mountain (which is still under copyright, so no parts available on the internet).  The first 10 minutes of the video includes a few review spots from the analysis video above but also features short interviews from the principal musicians.  The Beethoven symphony begins at 10:40 and the Philip Glass piece begins at 47:20.

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Beethoven Video 3 of 3

Gerard Schwarz gives a Conducting Lesson

  • And for those that want to delve even deeper into Beethoven’s 5th, here is Gerard Schwarz talking about and showing what he is specifically doing as a conductor to bring this symphony to life.

 


May 4, 2020 – Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons”

May the Fourth Be With You… for all the Star Wars fans out there!

Two performances of Antonio Vivaldi’s “Winter” from “The Four Seasons” (aka Le Quattro Stagioni or Les Quatre Saisons) are featured this week – both fantastic performances you should definitely experience!  

If you want to try out the violin concerto yourself (doesn’t have to be just for violinists!), please find it on imslp.org:  Winter from Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons”

  • After clicking that imslp link, scroll down to the ‘Sheet Music’ section and click on the ‘Parts’ tab.

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Vivaldi Video 1 of 2 – Saxophone Ensemble

Antonio Vivaldi: “The Four Seasons” – L’Inverno (Winter) Concerto for Violin and Strings in F Minor, RV 297

Ensemble: L’Ensemble de Saxophone de Strasbourg (Strasbourg, France)

Soloist: Amit Dubester, Soprano Saxophone

  • This video features a saxophone ensemble performing the first movement of Vivaldi’s Winter – with the solo violin part being performed on Soprano Saxophone (definitely check out his astounding performance!).  
  • This was arranged for Soprano, Alto, Tenor, and Baritone Saxophones.  
  • There is a great visual of “circular breathing” by the soloist around the 1:40 mark.  
  • Please note the careful attention this ensemble gives to all the musical nuances in this work.
  • It appears this was from a TV show or competition which included judges or a jury (unfortunately, these judges are visually distracting – just ignore them).

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Vivaldi Video 2 of 2 – Baroque Instruments

Antonio Vivaldi: “The Four Seasons” – L’Inverno (Winter) Concerto for Violin and Strings in F Minor, RV 297

Ensemble: Voices of Music (San Francisco, USA)

Soloist: Cynthia Miller Freivogel, Baroque Violin

  • This is an amazing, ultra high definition 4K video of an ‘Early Music performance’ of this Vivaldi masterpiece using period instruments and stylistic interpretations from when Vivaldi composed it over 300 years ago (in 1716-1717).  
  • Watch at least the first movement (~3 minutes) to see the ‘Baroque bows’ and hear the articulations being performed by the soloist and the ensemble with these period instruments.
  • The text that shows at the bottom of the video is the translation of the text that Vivaldi wrote into the score to indicate what he was trying to musically describe to the listener at that moment (and what the musicians should work to convey).


Performance Examples of our 2019-20 Repertoire

Copland’s Hoe-Down from his ballet “Rodeo” performed by the Seattle Symphony with American conductor Gerard Schwarz (audio only):

 

Copland’s Hoe-Down from his ballet “Rodeo” performed by the National Youth Orchestra of the USA with American conductor Michael Tilson Thomas (live performance video):

 

Tchaikovsky’s Slavonic March, Op 31 (aka March Slav or Marche Slave) performed by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (New Zealand) with American conductor Xian Zhang:

 

Tchaikovsky’s Slavonic March, Op 31 (aka March Slav or Marche Slave) performed by the youth symphony Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil de Caracas (Venezuela) with César Iván Lara conducting:

 

Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algiers performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Sir Georg Solti conducting.  While this is an old video (likely from the 1970s), the CSO demonstrates tremendous dynamic range and musical nuance:

Call for Repertoire Ideas…

If you have a piece in mind that you think Philharmonia should perform next season, please email the details to Mr. Kempisty at philharmonia@byso.org.

And be sure to look at International Music Score Library Project for other ideas as well.

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