festival hiatus alert

I’m leaving today for the Methow Festival in Washington State, then we’re off to the Sunriver Music Festival in central Oregon after that, so don’t expect regular (or any) updates until after August 20th.

Here’s what will be on my reading list while I’m away:

Three Nights in August

History Of God: The 4000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

The Traveler: A Novel

feurmann plays Dvorak and Popper

Amazing video from one of the early 20th century masters of the cello (and one of the undisputed masters of all time):


interpretive dilemma…

I’m in the late stages of learning the Martinu Rhapsody-Concerto for a performance at the Sunriver Music Festival (on the east slopes of the Central Oregon Cascades) in Sunriver, Oregon. I very much love the sound world of the piece, it’s much like if Aaron Copland were Czech! There is the homesick quality that one gets from a piece written by a composer in exile from his homeland (he lived in exile in the United States from 1941 to 1953) and there is just enough fast passage work to challenge the fingers. However, I just am not satisfied with my ability to get the piece to hang together logically. Especially problematic is the ending – a long, sustained low F with very little happening in the orchestra. It may be that I’ve only run it with a piano so far, but I’m left cold and cannot seem to set up the ending properly. The problem with having only one performance to do a piece is that you can’t really shake it down properly beforehand with the orchestra in a performance setting. The rehearsals definitely help, but I wish I had a subscription series of three performances to get the thing to settle for me. Ah, well – beggars definitely cannot be choosers! Meanwhile, back to the lab for more woodshedding…

Bohuslav Martinu: Rhapsody-concerto for Viola and Orchestra
Completed New York City, 1952.
Premiered February 19, 1953 by Jascha Weissi, Principal violist of the Cleveland Orchestra, with the Cleveland Orchestra under the direction of George Szell.
Published by Bärenreiter (4316).

Rhapsody Concerto (Hybr)