Programming the rare and unusual - the ASO's courageous 2010-11 season unveiled

James Jolly5th Feb 2010
Leon Botstein: programming courage (photo: Richard Termine)Leon Botstein: programming courage (photo: Richard Termine)

One of the most often voiced criticisms of concert programmes – and particularly of orchestral concert programmes – is the lack of courage when it comes to unusual repertoire. Such criticism is silenced, for New Yorkers at least, with the announcement of the American Symphony Orchestra’s 2010-11 season. Returning to Carnegie Hall (where they gave their first concerts in 1962 under Stokowski), the orchestra will be conducted in all concerts by Leon Botstein, a champion of unusual repertoire. Indeed there’s not a single ‘core’ repertoire work in sight! The season comprises:

“James Joyce” (October 6)
George Antheil: Ballet Mécanique (1953)
Othmar Schoeck: Lebendig Begraben, Op. 40 (1926) (US premiere)
Mátyás Seiber: Ulysses (1947) (US premiere)

“Music and the Bible” (November 2)
Fanny Mendelssohn: Musik für die Toten der Cholera-Epidemie (1831)
Louis Spohr: Die letzten Dinge (1826)

Albéric Magnard: Bérénice (January 30)

“Before and After the Spanish Civil War” (February 25)
Joaquín Turina: Sinfonía sevillana, Op 23. (1920)
Roberto Gerhard: Don Quixote (1940-41, 1947-49)
Manuel de Falla: Homenajes (1941)
Roberto Gerhard: Pedrelliana (En memoria) (1941) and Symphony No. 4, “New York” (1967/68)

“American Harmonies: The Music of Walter Piston” (March 29)
Toccata (1948)
Concertino for Piano and Chamber Orchestra (1937) with Blair McMillen, piano
Symphony No 2 (1943)
Violin Concerto No 1 (1939); Miranda Cuckson, violin
Symphony No 4 (1950)

“Passover in Exile” (April 21)
Paul Dessau: Haggadah shel Pesach (1934/61) (US premiere)

See the ASO's website for full details

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