April 26, 2022 La Sonnambula: Not so silly after all
Another classic from Bel Canto’s heyday in the 1830s - and this one in urgent need of re-evaluation and rehabilitation.
April 12, 2022 Lucia di Lammermoor: What about the rest?
When we think of Lucia we think of Lucia - meaning, herself - but the other roles in the opera, and its great instrumental and ensemble scenes, are eloquent, and deserve their own attention.
April 5, 2022 What is a Melody?
The most essential element of music is also the most mysterious. What makes a grouping of notes stick in your mind and affect your feelings? Please nominate a favorite tune or two - classical, pop, or folk - and we will use members’ examples for the exploration!
March 29, 2022 The Great Rachmaninov
The Philharmonic’s two-week splash of Rachmaninov includes the rhapsodic Second Piano Concerto and the riotous Symphonic Dances. Special bonus for our members: a newly discovered private recording, made by the composer himself in 1941, playing, singing, shouting, and stamping to show Eugene Ormandy how he wanted the Dances to go.
March 8, 2022 Schumann and the Romantic Symphony
Gustavo Dudamel (will he be the NY Phil’s next music director?) leads a complete cycle of Schumann’s four symphonies, each one of which is a treasure. With amazing rehearsal and performance footage from Bernstein, Karajan, and others.
March 1, 2022 Ariadne auf Naxos
Strauss set out to write a one-act “afterpiece” for a Molière comedy, and ended up with something unique in history, a touching opera about the problems of creating opera.
Feb 22, 2022 Don Carlos in depth II
Feb 15, 2022 Don Carlos in depth I
Don Carlos begins in the public world of religious strife, dynastic formation, the duties of government, and the fate of nations. Then after the climactic auto-da-fé scene it withdraws into an intensely personal world of love, disappointment, betrayal, loss, and renunciation. Verdi’s feelings ran strong in both spheres, here woven together as nowhere else. As we have done recently with Wagner operas, we will work through the music and plot step by step in our first two meetings.