Thank you for a wonderful & memorable 2017 Summer Concert Series!
Listen to some of our 2017 series summer concerts on our Listen Live page. The page includes all of our 2017 WQXR broadcast recordings, and some of our earlier summer performances.
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Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
July 18 @ 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Johann Sebastian Bach, (1685-1750), Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Major, BWV 1048, (1721)
II. Adagio (Cadenza)
Christopher Theofanidis, (1967-), Muse, (2007)
I. brilliant, fiery
II. with a light touch, ornate
III. willful, deliberate
Johann Sebastian Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F Major, BWV 1047, (1721)
I. [no tempo indicated]
III. Allegro assai
Soloists: Elizabeth Mann, flute, Roni Gal-Ed, oboe, Caleb Hudson, trumpet, Eric Wyrick, violin
Johann Sebastian Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D Major, BWV 1050, (1721)
Soloists: Elizabeth Mann, flute, Areta Zhulla, violin, Paolo Bordignon, harpsichord
Johann Sebastian Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No 6 in B-flat Major, BWV 1051, (1721)
II. Adagio ma non tanto
Soloists: Dov Scheindlin, viola, Nardo Poy, viola
**The performance of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra has been made possible by a generous grant from a Naumburg Orchestral Concerts Board member.**
WQXR HOST: Annie BergenDownload Program
The Brandenburg Concertos
There are only three instances in Bach’s life where he made special copies of his compositions to be presented to nobility. The set of six Brandenburg Concertos (1721) was the first such instance, as they were presented to the Margrave of Brandenburg along with a letter from Bach asking for employment. A true staple of the Orpheus repertoire, the concertos exude a spirit of cheerfulness and joy, showcasing the many options available within the Baroque concerto form. From the spectacular harpsichord solo of the fifth concerto to the soaring trumpet passages of the second, this is music of amazing sophistication that remains a yardstick by which all great classical concertos are measured.
Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D Major, BWV 1050 
The middle movement, labeled Affettuoso (“with feeling”), presents the soloists without the accompanying strings. Unlike a trio sonata, in which the harpsichord would typically have just a bass line with the right-hand harmonies filled in ad libitum, the harpsichordist’s right hand plays its own melodic line that intermingles with the flute and violin. In the finale, a fugue reinforces the equal footing of the voices. The violin and
Brandenburg Concerto No. 6 in B-flat Major, BWV 1051 
Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F Major, BWV 1047 
The jubilant opening movement makes up for the mismatched strength of the solo instruments by separating the voices out for individual statements and contrapuntal sparring. The more delicate aspects of the flute, oboe and violin emerge in the middle Andante movement, in which a walking bass line supports polyphonic weavings. A heralding call from the trumpet announces the Allegro third movement, initiating a rowdy finale that serves as a bookend to the unbridled joy of the opening movement.Incidentally, the Second Brandenburg Concerto holds the unique distinction of being the work of human creation intended to demonstrate to anyone listening in deep space the presence of intelligent life on Earth. It is the first selection of music broadcasting from the Voyager Spacecraft, a vessel launched in 1977 that has since traveled beyond our solar system.
ORPHEUS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
A standard-bearer of innovation and artistic excellence, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra is one of the world’s foremost chamber orchestras. Julian Fifer and a group of like-minded young musicians determined to combine the intimacy and warmth of a chamber ensemble to the richness of an orchestra founded Orpheus in 1972. With 71 albums, including the Grammy Award-winning Shadow Dances: Stravinsky Miniatures, and 42 commissioned and premiered original works, Orpheus rotates musical leadership roles for each work and strives to perform diverse repertoire through collaboration and open dialogue.
Performing without a conductor, Orpheus presents an annual series at Carnegie Hall and tours extensively to major national and international venues. For the 2017-18 Season at Carnegie Hall Orpheus welcomes back Grammy-winning pianist André Watts for Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 9. The Norwegian cellist Truls Mørk makes his long-awaited Orpheus debut with Shostakovich’s First Cello Concerto, a fascinating product of Soviet Russia that embeds a core of yearning and struggle within a facade of whimsy and humor. In February, Orpheus welcomes Norway’s young trumpet sensation Tine Thing Helseth, featuring concertos by Vivaldi and Albinoni, as well as Mozart’s popular Symphony No. 40. The season closes with Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili performing Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto, a powerful yet vulnerable work created while the composer teetered between his life of exile in Europe and a return to his transformed homeland.
Orpheus has trademarked its signature mode of operation, the Orpheus Process™, an original method that places democracy at the center of artistic execution. It has been the focus of studies at Harvard and of leadership seminars at Morgan Stanley and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital, among others. Two unique education and engagement programs, Access Orpheus and Orpheus Institute, aim to bring this approach to students of all ages.
Access Orpheus, Orpheus’ educational initiative, shares the orchestra’s collaborative music-making process with public school students from all five boroughs in New York City. Because of declining resources for arts education, many public schools do not have access to fulltime arts teachers to provide music instruction and exposure to art and culture. Access Orpheus helps to bridge this gap with in-class visits, attendance at working rehearsals, and free tickets for performances at Carnegie Hall.
Orpheus Institute brings the Orpheus Process™ and the orchestra’s musicians to select colleges, universities, conservatories, and businesses to work directly with leaders of tomorrow. Corporate employees and students in all fields of study learn from Orpheus’ creative process and in areas of collaboration, communication, creative problem solving, and shared leadership. In the coming seasons, Orpheus will continue to share its leadership methods and performance practices as the ensemble provides audiences with the highest level of musicianship and programming.