15 Nov 2011
Inside the Classics

First of all, big thanks to everyone who came to our Inside the Classics concerts this past weekend! I was particularly nervous about this show, partly because I had to play a solo viola work in front of my MN Orch colleagues in the middle of it, but mostly because my usual role in this series is to be the funny one, and there’s really nothing funny about the trials Shostakovich went through during his life. But our audiences were hugely responsive all weekend long, and I walked away feeling like this might have been one of the strongest shows we’ve ever done, so thank you, thank you, thank you if you were a part of it!

We also were pleasantly surprised by how many hundreds of you chose to stick around after the concert to hear Judd’s string quartet, Four on the Floor. The crowds for those post-concert performances were easily 3-4 times larger than we’ve had for past post-concert Q&A sessions, and people flooded up to the stage afterwards to ask where they could get a recording of the piece. The answer to that is that it’s never been commercially recorded, but there’s a recording of the Israel Contemporary String Quartet playing it on Judd’s website, and earlier this year, I posted this version of the same group that played it this past weekend performing it at Sommerfest 2011 here’s a video of our Friday night performance, shot from the first tier by our wonderful web czar, Jennifer Rensenbrink.

Gina DiBello & Jonathan Magness, violins
Sam Bergman, viola; Katja Linfield, cello

My favorite part of that video is right around the 7:42 mark, when I go to turn my last set of pages, and have to spend nearly ten seconds fumbling with the music to prevent it all from flying off the stand. The irony was, that particular page turn has a note from the composer stating that, if the violist can’t make the page turn in time to play the first set of four sixteenth notes on the following page, s/he should skip it and jump in at the next set. As I began my fumbling, I caught sight of that note and thought to myself, Yeah. This is gonna take a little longer than four sixteenth notes…

And as long as we’re posting clips, many of you seemed interested in finding out more about Judd and his music in the months leading up to the premiere of the MicroCommission next March, and this video, recorded and mixed by the good folks at NewMusicBox, is a great place to start…

Lastly, for those who want it, here’s the complete playlist of everything we excerpted during the first half of this set of ItC concerts:

SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Opus 47
SHOSTAKOVICH String Quartet No. 8 in C minor, Opus 110 (arr. for orchestra by Rudolf Barshai)
SHOSTAKOVICH Lady Macbeth of Mtsnsk District
SHOSTAKOVICH Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Opus 93
PROKOFIEV Romeo & Juliet Before Parting
BIZET L’amour est un oiseau rebelle (Habanera) from Carmen
SHOSTAKOVICH Sonata for viola and piano, Op. 147
KANCHELI Little Danielade

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