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Mothers and the Nation-state

Conductor Leon Botstein with the Orchestra Now and Bard Conservatory

At the Bard College Mothers' Day matinee in the Sosnoff Theater, Dawn Upshaw sang Alban Berg’s Seven Early Songs accompanied by the TŌN Orchestra Now and the Bard Conservatory. Upshaw’s performance was impeccable in svelte tone and force. The Romantic lyrics of love, longing, and tender memories reflected late Romanticism. While the lyrics are not lame, they portrayed a more innocent, rural, and lost world compared to contemporary life. Upshaw conjured a lost world in which men thought well of women.

Jeremy Denk: Magus at the piano

Jeremy Denk at Gardiner Theater

Jeremy Denk mesmerized the audience at Trinity-Pawling's Gardiner Theater on Friday evening. Each note he played on the Steinway piano was distinct, even in trills. Here was crispness coupled with nuance where each note or half-note floated with surging grace.

Denk began with J.S. Bach’s English Suite No. 3 in G minor, BMV 808. The vigorous counterpoint of the Prelude gave way to a slower Allemande to which Denk imparted a Romantic inflection, as he also did with the Sarabande, while the Courante, Gavottes, and concluding Gigue romped in old dancing shoes.

Broken eggs in Ecuador

A street in Puerto Lopez that I once walked.

The western coast of Ecuador has undergone unimaginable tragedy. A little over seven hundred people have been certified as dead. Over two-and-half thousand people have been injured. About seven thousand buildings have collapsed. More than 26,000 people are living in tents--the Chinese government has donated nearly 10,000 tents. There have been over 800 aftershock rumbles, some as high as 6.0.

George Fenn Dies at 85

Goerge Fenn in his garden at Mead House Farm

AMENIA – George Karl Fenn Junior, a boundlessly generous community member, friend and beloved uncle, died on March 31, 2016 at the age of 85.  Born on December 19, 1930, George grew up in Hyde Park, Chicago, spending summer seasons at his family’s property on Bass Lake in Dickinson County Michigan.

Handel’s Messiah at Bard

Alleluia! This coming weekend Bard College will present a performance of Handel’s glorious oratorio, Messiah, with The Orchestra Now under the baton of Leon Botstein, soloists from the Graduate Vocal Arts Program, the Bard Festival Chorale, and the Bard College Chamber Singers at the Fischer Center’s Sosnoff Theater.

Three on a piano

On Saturday night at Bard’s LUMA Theater three pianists participated in a program of jazzed-up classical music and re-arranged jazz classics on double piano.  In this unusual program Brazilian pianist André Mehmari led the project to re-arrange music. Classical pianist Tanya Gabrielian began with J.S. Bach’s French Suite in C minor to which Mehmari played an improvised contemporary commentary on Bach.


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