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Antonio Muñoz Molina on PCE’s Redes

“Revueltas is one of those composers who for various accidental reasons — his disorderly life and premature death, the fact of his being Mexican – does not occupy the place that he should in a present-day musical culture that clings so tenaciously to the sclerotic. . . . His music, so powerful in itself, highlights the rich artistic crossroads of the thirties, the tensions between modernity and mass culture, between formal innovation and political activism.

 

PostClassical Ensemble enters into this realm with an effort not only to recover works now merely names, but to put that music and those names in the context of their own time, to illuminate connections with politics, with social and historical facts, with everything that surrounds and feeds the music. With his bow ties and jumping locks of hair, Angel Gil-Ordonez possesses a double worldliness as an orchestral conductor and a professor at a prestigious American university. On New York City’s Upper West Side, Joseph Horowitz is a classical-music anchorite of scholarship and demanding passion, but his knowledge extends with equal rigor to literature and cinema, to the history of culture through the great crises of the twentieth century. His book Artists in Exile, on the great European diaspora caused by Nazism and Communism, combines the aspirations of an historical chronicle and a tidal novel. . . .

 

Their latest great effort of rediscovery is the premiere recording of the complete score composed by Silvestre Revueltas for a legendary 1935 Mexican film, Redes, in collaboration with the photographer Paul Strand and exiled Austrian filmmaker Fred Zinnemann. It is hard to imagine a more complete conjunction of talent. . . .

 

In 1935 the best films still preserved the purity and expressive visual sophistication of silent cinema. In Redes, imagery and music combine so powerfully that the few spoken words are rather irrelevant. Revueltas’s love of Stravinsky and of the folk music of Mexico inspire a fiercely corporeal rhythmic sensibility applied to the collective choreography of fishermen. Almost twenty years later, in Hollywood, Fred Zinnemann would direct High Noon, in which we find a bedazzled white clarity of inflexible sunlight identical Redes. Now, with a restored print of Redes and Revueltas’ soundtrack newly recorded by PostClassical Ensemble, the beauty of image and of sound register as never before. As Joseph Horowitz says, it is like experiencing a masterpiece of painting cleaned of centuries of grime. The exhausted and disillusioned Silvestre Revueltas of his final years would never have imagined such posterity.”

 

— Antonio Munoz Molina, in El Pais (Madrid), May 28, 2016

Unanswered Question: Musical Films

Musical Films

PCE’s 2016-17 Season

 March 7, 11, 15, 19 & 25, 2017
Music Under Stalin: Immersion Experience


Asian_Civilisations_Museum,_Empress_Place_19,_Aug_06

Naxos CD Launch: Lou Harrison Recording
April 24, 2017 8:00pm

The Embassy of The Republic of Indonesia

The Trumpet Shall Sound

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The Trumpet Shall Sound_PostClassical Ensemble 2017

Kevin Deas, bass-baritone
Chris Gekker, trumpet

Washington National Cathedral Choir and

PostClassical Ensemble conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez

Saturday, February 4, 2017
7:30 pm
at the National Cathedral

An ecstatic church concert connecting “My Lawd, What a Mornin’!” and Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus.

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“Stentorian” –Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

THE PROGRAM:

Burleigh (arr.): My Lawd, What a Mornin’
Bach: Sinfonia and “Grosser Herr” from the Christmas Oratorio
Burleigh (arr.): “Sometimes I Feel like a Motherless Child
Burleigh (arr.): Were you There
Bach: “Mache dich” from the St. Matthew Passion
Bueligh (arr.): Steal Away
Nathaniel Dett: Listen to the Lambs
Mendelssohn: “For the Mountain Shall Depart” from Elijah

Intermission

Michael Tippett (arr.): Steal Away
Handel: “Arm, Arm ye Brave” from Judas Maccabeus
Tippet (arr.): Nobody Knows
Tippet (arr): Go Down, Moses
William Dawson (arr.): There is a Balm
Burleigh (arr.): Deep River
Handel: “The Trumpet Shall Sound” from Messiah
Handel: Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah

TICKETS:
Call (202) 537-2228

Click below to see Kevin performing with PCE’s Joe Horowitz at the piano. 

Mozart, “Amadeus”, and the Gran Partita

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Saturday, Sept. 17 at 7:30 pm
Sidney Harman Hall,
The Harman Center for the Arts

Buy Tickets Now

PostClassical Ensemble, conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez
Washington Ballet Studio Company
Igal Perry, choreography
with Philip Hosford as Salieri

“It seemed to me that I had heard a voice of God,” says Salieri in Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus, remembering his first, bewildering encounter with the genius of Mozart. The music to which he was responding, “stumbling into the street, gasping for life,” was the hypnotically sublime slow movement of the “Gran Partita” – Mozart’s Wind Serenade in B-flat major. This most famous of all such serenades, for 13 instruments, is the centerpiece of “Mozart, Amadeus, and the Gran Partita,” a one-of-a-kind program including an actor, a wind ensemble, a courtly minuet, and new choreography by Igal Perry.

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BUY BOTH of our shows at Harman Center
(Mozart plus Music under Stalin)
and receive one of them for $10!

Available In Person or by Calling the Box Office at (202)547-1122

Music Under Stalin: Immersion Experience

A PCE Immersion Experience:

March 7, 11, 19 & 25

Dmitri Shostakovich and Mieczyslaw Weinberg influenced one another over the course of a remarkable creative conversation. The sparse “late style” of both composers arose collaboratively, and so did their use of Jewish themes.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Weinberg, Shostakovich, and “Jewishness”
Chamber Music with Commentary


March 11, 2017 and 19, 2017
Film Screenings at the National Gallery of Art

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Saturday, March 25, 2017
Concert: The Shostakovich-Weinberg Connection

PCE’s tradition of immersion experiences continues with an exploration of the complex relationship between Dmitri Shostakovich and  Miecyslaw Weinberg (1919-1996). Interest in Weinberg is rapidly growing. The violinist Gidon Kremer, who is leading the charge (and who performs the Weinberg Violin Concerto with the National Symphony in January 2017), considers Weinberg as significant as Shostakovich.

Weinberg and Shostakovich continually influenced one another over the course of a remarkable creative conversation. In particular, the spare “late style” of both composers arose collaboratively, and so did their earlier use of Jewish themes.

Weinberg was Jewish – a Polish refugee whose parents and sister perished in the Holocaust. Though Stalin’s Soviet Union rescued him, Weinberg was himself arrested in 1953 as part of Stalin’s war against the Jews. Also, his father-in-law, the famous Jewish actor Solomon Mihkoels, was in 1948 the first victim of this internal war.

The distinguished Jewish-music scholar James Loeffler, who takes part in PCE’s festival, adds: “Weinberg, having lost his Polish identity, was twice a survivor – of the Holocaust and of Stalin’s Jewish purges. Survivor guilt is intrinsic to his creative identity. He made his god the anti-Fascist Red Army.”

STORM WARNINGS: The Future of Orchestras

STORM WARNINGS: THE FUTURE OF ORCHESTRAS

League of American Orchestras logo

I recently spent the three consecutive weekends speaking at conferences pertinent to the fate of America’s orchestras.

Concert: The Shostakovich-Weinberg Connection

Saturday, March 25
Sidney Harman Hall,
Harman Center for the Arts at 7:30 pm

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Alexander Toradze, piano
Edward Gero, actor
Chris Gekker, trumpet

PostClassical Ensemble
conducted by Angel Gil-Ordóñez

“Alexander Toradze plays as a man possessed, as if umbilically attached to the instrument, which in his hands becomes as varied and expressive as a full orchestra…  The audience roared approval…”
—The Guardian (London)

Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 1
Theatrical interlude with Edward Gero as Shostakovich
Shostakovich/Barshai: String Symphony, Op. 110a
Mieczyslaw Weinberg: Symphony No. 10

6:30 Pre-concert presentation: Weinberg chamber music (with commentary)

PCE’s tradition of immersion experiences continues with an exploration of the complex relationship between Dmitri Shostakovich and  Miecyslaw Weinberg (1919-1996). Interest in Weinberg is rapidly growing. The violinist Gidon Kremer, who is leading the charge (and who performs the Weinberg Violin Concerto with the National Symphony in January 2017), considers Weinberg as significant as Shostakovich.

 Weinberg and Shostakovich continually influenced one another over the course of a remarkable creative conversation. In particular, the spare “late style” of both composers arose collaboratively, and so did their earlier use of Jewish themes.

 Weinberg was Jewish – a Polish refugee whose parents and sister perished in the Holocaust. Though Stalin’s Soviet Union rescued him, Weinberg was himself arrested in 1953 as part of Stalin’s war against the Jews. Also, his father-in-law, the famous Jewish actor Solomon Mihkoels, was in 1948 the first victim of this internal war.

 The distinguished Jewish-music scholar James Loeffler, who takes part in PCE’s festival, adds: “Weinberg, having lost his Polish identity, was twice a survivor – of the Holocaust and of Stalin’s Jewish purges. Survivor guilt is intrinsic to his creative identity. He made his god the anti-Fascist Red Army.”

Watch a video about Alexander Toradze, Paavo Järvi, and the making of their recording of the Shostakovich Piano Concerti:

READ MORE about events in the PCE Immersion Experience: Music Under Stalin

Weinberg, Shostakovich, and “Jewishness”


Weinberg, Shostakovich, and “Jewishness”
Chamber Music with Commentary

Tuesday, March 7 at 7:30 pm
The Edlavitch Jewish Community Center of Washington DC

Mieczyslaw Weinberg: Sonata No. 1 for Solo Cello
Shostakovich: Piano Trio No. 2 (1944)
Weinberg: Piano Trio (1945)

Netanel Draiblate, violin
Benjamin Capps, cello
Alexander Shtarkman, piano

With commentary by James Loeffler, Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies at the University of Virginia.

 

READ MORE about events in the PCE Immersion Experience:
MUSIC UNDER STALIN

Music Under Stalin: Film Screenings at the National Gallery of Art

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 March 11, 2017 at 2:30 pm

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“The Cranes are Flying” (1956) – the famous Soviet film (a fascinating study in the creative application of Socialist Realism), with music by Mieczyslaw Weinberg.

Commentary by GWU film scholar Peter Rollberg

With Weinberg solo cello music performed by Benjamin Capps

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March 19, 2017 at 4:00 pm

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–“Shostakovich Viola Sonata” (1981) – a documentary film by Aleksandr Sokurov.

Commentary (and some performing) by Alexander Toradze

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 READ MORE about events in the PCE Immersion Experience:
M
USIC UNDER STALIN

The Getty Foundation
WETA
The Washington Ballet
Washington National Cathedral
WWFM The Classical Network
Edlavitch DCJCC
American University
Artmentor Foundation
Marpat
AHMSA
Artworks
Cafritz
DCCAH
Dallas
Graham Holdings
Washington Performing Arts
Georgetown DPA
Georgetown
Indonesian Embassy
national gallery