The Concert - Isabella Stewart Gardner MuseumAuthor: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
15 Aug 2018

The Concert - Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

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Classical Music Podcasts from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

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    263. Building on History


  • Posted on 01 Mar 2018

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    262. Introducing Daniel Lebhardt

    Works by Brahms and Beethoven performed by Daniel Lebhardt on March 12, 2017.

    • Brahms, Johannes: Six Pieces, Op. 118
    • Beethoven, Ludwig van: Sonata No. 18 in E-Flat Major, Op. 31, No. 3, "The Hunt"

    Hungarian pianist Daniel Lebhardt is one of a long line of Young Concert Artists competition winners to make their Boston debut at the Gardner, and on this podcast, we’ll hear two recordings from the 24-year-old’s recent recital: Brahms’ Six Pieces, opus 118 and Beethoven’s Sonata No. 18 in E-flat Major, sometimes called “The Hunt.”

    A student at the Royal Academy in London, the young pianist has swept a number of competitions in recent years, claiming first prizes all across Europe, including in Italy, Slovakia, Romania, and the UK. His 2016 New York debut earned a rave from the Times critic Anthony Tommasini, who wrote that Lebhardt “dispatched the [Beethoven sonata] with scintillating crispness and conveyed its brash humor.”


  • Posted on 01 Feb 2018

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    261. Near the End

    Works by Schumann performed by Miriam Fried, violin and Jonathan Biss, piano on January 15, 2017.

    • Schumann, Robert: Sonata No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 121
    • Schumann, Robert: Gesange der Fruhe, Op. 133

    For many years, musicologists and music-lovers have tried to understand what it was that led to Robert Schumann’s troubling symptoms and ultimate death at age 46 in a psychiatric hospital. And for years, writers dismissed many of his later works as the incoherent products of a mind in decline.

    But, more recently, many have come to appreciate Schumann’s later works—two of which we’ll hear on this podcast: his second violin sonata, in D minor, and “Gesänge der Frühe,” or “Songs of Dawn,” a five-movement work for piano—and one of the last pieces Schumann published before admitting himself to the psychiatric hospital where he ultimately died.

    On this recording, we’ll heard pianist Jonathan Biss in both works. In the sonata, he is joined by violinist Miriam Fried.


  • Posted on 01 Jan 2018

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    260. The Sweetness of Youth

    Works by Webern and Brahms performed by A Far Cry and Stefan Jackiw, violin and Anna Polonsky, piano on December 11, 2016 and October 5, 2014.

    • Webern, Anton: Langsamer Satz
    • Brahms, Johannes: Sonata No. 1 in G Major, Op. 78

    Hope you’re ready for a trip down memory lane: On this podcast, we hear two works tinged with the melancholy sweetness of youthful passion, remembered.

    Sweetness and passion aren’t necessarily the words most closely associated with the first composer on the program: Anton Webern, best known for his economical, exacting 12-tone works, written as a student of Schoenberg. Today, we’ll hear the pre-atonal Webern, in his Langsamer Satz (or slow movement) for strings. Webern wrote this piece as a young man falling in love. We’ll hear it played by A Far Cry, the Gardner’s resident ensemble.

    Next up: Johannes Brahms’ Violin Sonata No. 1 in G Major, opus 78. Unlike Webern, who wrote his Langsamer Satz in the throes of youth, Brahms composed this violin sonata in middle age, when he was in his 40’s. But it has an unmistakable, naïve sweetness. And, indeed, the piece is sometimes dubbed the “Rain Sonata” because it quotes from a song by Brahms called “Regenlied,” or “Rain Song.” We’ll hear the sonata performed by violinist Stefan Jackiw, and pianist Anna Polonsky.


  • Posted on 01 Dec 2017

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    259. All That Glitters

    Work by Korngold performed by Alexi Kenney, violin and Dina Vainshtein, piano on March 6, 2016.

    • Korngold, Erich: Sonata for Violin and Piano in G Major, Op. 6

    The piece we’ll hear on the podcast today was written when Erich Korngold was in his teens: his Violin Sonata in G Major, Op. 6. Why is this fascinating work, by such a promising composer, so little known today?

    In the 1930s, Korngold’s life took a dramatic turn, as the Nazi regime began to rise to power in his native Austria. Korngold was Jewish, and he accepted an invitation to come the United States—a move that would dramatically alter the course of his career. Once here, he quickly achieved success writing scores for Hollywood. Then, as the 20th century moved on musically, his early concert works fell out of favor, seen as too melodic and Romantic.

    But it is high time they got another hearing. Today, we’ll hear a recording from the Gardner Museum recital by young violinist Alexi Kenney and pianist Dina Vainshtein, recorded in March 2016—almost 100 years after the piece was written. Take a listen and see what you think: how does it stand the test of time?


  • Posted on 01 Nov 2017

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