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THURSDAY MATINEE CONCERTS ARE ENDOWED BY A GIFT IN MEMORY OF RHODA GOLDMAN.
THIS PROJECT IS SUPPORTED IN PART BY THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS
THESE CONCERTS ARE GENEROUSLY SPONSORED BY DENISE HALE IN HONOR OF ESA-PEKKA SALONEN.
Event DescriptionElizabeth Ogonek’s Sleep & Unremembrance translates Wisława Szymborska’s playful words into a musical patchwork of memories, images, and emotions. Then, violin star Leila Josefowicz joins the Orchestra and Esa-Pekka Salonen to perform Igor Stravinsky’s dazzling Violin Concerto. The program concludes with an eternal favorite, Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, a work so provocative that it famously incited the Parisian audience to riot at its premiere.
At A Glance
Samuel Dushkin, who commissioned and premiered Igor Stravinsky’s Violin Concerto (1934), recalled that one day at lunch, Stravinsky “wrote down [a] chord and asked me if it could be played. I had never seen a chord with such an enormous stretch . . . and I said ‘No.’ Stravinsky replied sadly, ‘Quel dommage’ [What a pity].” When Dushkin went home and realized that it actually could be played, he immediately called the composer, who completed the concerto in six months. The chord that was so casually brought up at lunch begins each of the work’s four movements—Stravinsky called it his “passport” to the music.
The events of May 29, 1913—the premiere of Le Sacre du printemps (1913/1947) and the infamous audience riot that followed—catapulted Stravinsky, and modern music, onto a path from which there was no turning back. He described this controversial piece as a representation of pagan Russia, insisting that “it is unified by a single idea: the mystery and great surge of creative power of spring.” There are many connections to folk music, including a Lithuanian tune that is the basis of the incredibly famous, astonishingly difficult high-pitched bassoon solo that opens the piece.
After notes by James M. Keller and Michael Steinberg