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Exploring Music in August looks at great musical pairings

Brahms & Schumann

The legendary artistic partnership of Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms in the first of a two-week exploration of great pairs. (Weeks of Aug 15 & 22 @ 7pm)

Week of August 1, 2022 - American Masters, Part VII The seventh week in our series celebrates twentieth-century American composers. Bill calls it American Masters in honor of the fabulous PBS TV series that examines the lives and the creative process of artists. This week we have arrived at the composers born between the two World Wars (1918 to 1939), and who came of age in the ’50s and ’60s. Bill will feature the music of Ned Rorem, George Crumb, Jacob Druckman, Margaret Bonds, and Betty Jackson King.

Week of August 8, 2022 - Clash of the Titans Titans in Greek Mythology were great divine beings that descended from the Gods, hence someone who dominates his field. This week Bill examines the lives and music-making of two such divine beings, Leopold Stokowski and Arturo Toscanini, who both captured the minds and hearts of us at a crucial part in our country’s development.

Week of August 15, 2022 - The Game of Pairs, Part I Haydn and Beethoven, Schumann and Brahms, Copland and Bernstein — these are just a few of the legendary artistic partnerships that have influenced the course of musical history. Bill explores the ways in which composers learn from the musicians who came before them. We’ll hear music from Vivaldi and how he influenced a young JS Bach, including in the Brandenburg Concerti. The first week of the Game of Pairs ends with Bill pointing out the influences of Schumann in Brahms’s third symphony.

Week of August 22, 2022 - The Game of Pairs, Part II Our two-week series focusing on legendary partnerships between composers starts in Paris with French impressionist composers Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel, focusing on their respective quartets. Bill then explores the friendship between Béla Bartôk and Zoltan Kodály, in particular their love of Hungarian folk music. In the middle of the week, Bill tips his hat to the title of our theme by playing the second movement of Bartôk’s Concerto for Orchestra, “Giuoco delle coppie” or “The Game of Pairs”. We close this week with Leonard Bernstein conducting the New York Philharmonic in a performance of his longtime friend Aaron Copland’s third symphony.

Week of August 29, 2022  - A Green and Pleasant Land With William Blake’s famous words as a stepping-off point, we’re traversing the pastoral musical landscapes of the British Isles. Bill opens with a reading of Hilaire Belloc’s idyllic essay, “The Mowing of a Field.” We continue with a piece written by Patrick Hadley on the occasion of Ralph Vaughan Williams’s 70th birthday, as well as one of Vaughan Williams’s folk-influenced works. Then Bill turns his focus to 16th century lute music from William Byrd, and to Felix Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture, inspired by a visit to Fingal’s Cave in Scotland. We also enjoy music from the friendship of Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst.