Baltimore Symphony Performs Eight Seasons, One Concert
July 10-11 program features BSO Concertmaster Jonathan Carney as director and soloist in unique, interwoven arrangement of Vivaldi’s and Piazzolla’s Four Seasons
Baltimore, Md. (June 13, 2008)—The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will perform a perennial favorite, the complete opus of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, paired with Argentinean composer Astor Piazzolla’s tango-infused Four Seasons of Buenos Aires. Separated by nearly 250 years, the two works are written from the perspective of different hemispheres and cultures, yet share the same colorful, descriptive writing and virtuosic scores. Led by BSO Concertmaster Jonathan Carney, Vivaldi’s and Piazzolla’s Seasons will be performed by the BSO in alternating fashion, beginning with Vivaldi’s “Spring” and concluding with Piazzolla’s “Spring in Buenos Aires,” a juxtaposition that will underscore the striking similarities and intriguing contrasts between the two works. The BSO brings this unique program to the Music Center at Strathmore on Thursday, July 10, and repeats it at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore on Friday, July 11. See below for complete program and ticketing information.
A grouping of four violin concerti from Vivaldi’s Opus 8—known collectively as The Four Seasons—remains the composer’s best-known work and serves as one of the finest examples of programmatic music in the repertory. Vivaldi penned four sonnets, one for each season, to accompany each concerto and even notated the scores to describe precisely what the music illustrates. Examples include “the barking dog,” which “woofs” in the violas during Spring, and Autumn’s drunken reveler, depicted in a raucous violin solo.
Astor Piazzolla’s tango-inspired Four Seasons of Buenos Aires (“Cuatro estaciones poteñas”) was written as four distinct works in the years 1965 to 1970 and was not originally intended to pay homage to Vivaldi or be performed as a suite. Originally scored for violin, electric guitar, piano, bass and bandoneon (a large-button accordion that is a common folk instrument in Latin America), Piazzolla’s Four Seasons was re-orchestrated in the 1990s by Leonid Desyatnikov for Russian violinist Gidon Kremer, who began intertwining the work with Vivaldi’s own Seasons. This arrangement, performed by the BSO in these concerts, features a highly virtuosic part for solo violin (Carney) and full string orchestra.
Piazzolla, who was the inventor of the tango nuevo, wrote his Four Seasons with recognizable elements from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, yet added touches of the playful tango throughout the work. An artistic maverick in his native Argentina, Piazzolla studied with the country’s foremost classical composer, Alberto Ginastera, and in 1954, he won a scholarship to study with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. In Paris, he absorbed the influences of French impressionism, contemporary atonality, and improvisatory jazz, all of which he incorporated into the harmonic language of tango nuevo.
Jonathan Carney, violin
Jonathan Carney was appointed concertmaster of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 2001 after 12 seasons in the same position with London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He also held the concertmaster post with the Basque National Orchestra in Spain. Born in New Jersey, Mr. Carney hails from a musical family with all six members of his family having graduated from The Juilliard School in New York. Upon completing his studies with Ivan Galmian and Christine Dethier, he was awarded a Leverhulme Fellowship to continue his studies in London at the Royal College of Music. Recent solo performances have included concertos by Bruch, Nielsen and Khatchaturian; the Brahms Double Concerto; and Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending, which was featured as a live BBC broadcast from London’s Barbican Hall.
COMPLETE PROGRAM INFORMATION
BSO Summer Nights: The Four Seasons
Thursday, July 10, 2008 at 8:00 p.m.—The Music Center at Strathmore*
Friday, July 11, 2008 at 8:00 p.m.—Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
*Pre-concert “Party on the Patio” starts at 6:00 p.m. with dinner, snacks and beverages available for purchase.
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Jonathan Carney, director and violin
Vivaldi: The Four Seasons
Piazzolla: Four Seasons of Buenos Aires
(The program will be performed with alternating movements from each suite.)
Tickets range from $25 to $60 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 410.783.8000, 877.BSO.1444 or BSOmusic.org.
Media sponsorship for Summer Nights at Strathmore is provided by WAMU 88.5 FM.
Summer Nights at the Meyerhoff is sponsored by Citi, with media sponsorship from WBAL 1090 AM.