with Simone Dinnerstein, Caroga Arts Ensemble,
Alexander Platt

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Reserved Hall Seats: $60.00, $30.00, $27.50 (partial obstruction)
General Admission/Outdoors/Uncovered: $25.00, Students: $10

Mozart: Adagio and Fugue, K.546
Mahler: Adagietto from the Symphony No.5
Schoenberg: Transfigured Night (version 1943)
J.S. Bach: Piano Concerto in D Minor, BWV 1052

Simone Dinnerstein, piano
Caroga Arts Ensemble
Alexander Platt, conductor

This concert is made possible through generous support
from the Thompson Family Foundation

Simone Dinnerstein, piano
Caroga Arts Ensemble (Kyle Price, Director)
Alexander Platt, conductor

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791): Adagio and Fugue in C Minor, K.546
Gustav Mahler (1860-1911): “Adagietto”, from the Symphony No.5 in C-sharp Minor
Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951): Verklaerte Nacht (“Transfigured Night”) for string sextet, Op.4 (1899), version by the composer for string orchestra (1943)
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Piano Concerto in D Minor, BWV 1052

Simone Dinnerstein is an American pianist with a distinctive musical voice. The Washington Post has called her “an artist of strikingly original ideas and irrefutable integrity.” She first came to wider public attention in 2007 through her recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, reflecting an aesthetic that was both deeply rooted in the score and profoundly idiosyncratic. She is, wrote The New York Times, “a unique voice in the forest of Bach interpretation.” Since that recording, she has had a busy performing career. She has played with orchestras ranging from the New York Philharmonic and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra to the London Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale RAI of Italy. She has performed in venues from Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center to the Berlin Philharmonie, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Seoul Arts Center and the Sydney Opera House.

Simone has made thirteen albums, all of which topped the Billboard classical charts, with repertoire ranging from Couperin to Glass. From 2020 to 2022, she released a trilogy of albums recorded at her home in Brooklyn during the pandemic. A Character of Quiet (Orange Mountain Music, 2020), featuring the music of Philip Glass and Schubert, was described by NPR as, “music that speaks to a sense of the world slowing down,” and by The New Yorker as, “a reminder that quiet can contain multitudes.” Richard Danielpour’s An American Mosaic (Supertrain Records, 2021), surpassed two million streams on Apple Music and was nominated for a 2021 Grammy Award in the category of Best Classical Instrumental Solo. The final installment in the trilogy, Undersong, was released in January 2022 on Orange Mountain Music.

Caroga Arts Ensemble, directed by cellist Kyle Price, is comprised of top professional musicians from around the country who have performed at the Caroga Lake Music Festival, founded by Kyle Price as the Caroga Arts Collective in 2012—which, ten years later, has grown into a major New York summer music festival. Performers include top competition prize winners, faculty members of leading music conservatories, and members of America’s leading orchestras and chamber groups. Caroga Arts Ensemble has performed at such esteemed venues as the Ravinia Festival, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Chicago’s Symphony Center, Maverick Concerts, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, among others. Caroga Arts looks forward to their yearly visit to the Maverick and to Woodstock, to work with Maestro Platt and perform in such a wonderful, historic place for such a fantastic community.

Orchestra Personnel, at time of printing:

Violins: Wes Luke, concertmaster, Andy Liang,
Aaron Schwartz, James Thompson, Benjamin Kronk
Violas: Stephanie Price-Wong, Erica Gailing,
Deborah Barrett Price
Cellos: Kyle Price, Julian Muller, Lauren Peacock
Double Bass: Jonathan Borden
Harp: Alix Raspe Gray

Alexander Platt is Music Director of the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra, the Waukegan Symphony Orchestra, and the Wisconsin Philharmonic, and spends his summers as the sixth Music Director of the Maverick Concerts, which has greatly expanded its activities under his direction over the last twenty years, with near-annual grant awards from both NYSCA and the National Endowment for the Arts. He also returns this season to guest-conduct the Symphonia Boca Raton, where he served as Principal Conductor for five seasons. Previously he spent twelve seasons as Resident Conductor and Music Advisor at Chicago Opera Theater, where he led the Chicago premieres of such landmark 20th-century operas as Britten’s Death In Venice, John Adams’ Nixon in China, Shostakovich’s Moscow Paradise, Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Peter Brook’s The Tragedy of Carmen, the Tony Kushner/Maurice Sendak Brundibar, the first full staging in that city of Schoenberg’s Erwartung, and the world-premiere recording of Kurka’s The Good Soldier Schweik. He has guest-conducted the Houston Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, the City of London Sinfonia, and at the Banff Festival and the Aldeburgh Festival, among others. He is a graduate of Yale College and of King’s College Cambridge, where he was a Marshall Scholar, and was a Conducting Fellow at Aspen and Tanglewood. His work has been broadcast on National Public Radio, the South-West German Radio, and the BBC, and his recording with violinist Rachel Barton and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra of the Max Bruch Scottish Fantasy is frequently broadcast across North America.

Mozart’s Adagio & Fugue, K. 546 is an oddity among his works, an unusual combination that was written for no apparent commercial reason when Mozart was heavily involved with his last three symphonies and, as so often, in financial straits. The fugue was originally written for two pianos in 1783, when Mozart was keenly studying the fugues of Bach and Handel. Five years later, he decided to rewrite it for strings (a string orchestra version exists as well as the quartet) and added to it the brief Adagio. This is a strange piece, of unusual gravity and profundity, with a sad rising theme interrupted by sudden abrupt chords; its effect is very different according to how slowly or briskly it is played. The fugue is a superb example of such writing, complete with stretto and inversion, the theme introduced by each instrument in turn, beginning with the cello and ending with the first violin. The ingenuity is remarkable, the texture somewhat dry for Mozart; the similarity to the great fugue in the finale of the “Jupiter” Symphony, in terms of skill and complexity, is very apparent.

– John F. Baker, 2015

The Adagietto from Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 is one of the most beautiful and poignant movements in the symphonic repertoire. It is a tender, expressive love letter from the composer to his wife Alma, whom he met in 1901 and married in 1902. The music is scored for strings and harp only, creating a delicate and intimate atmosphere. The melody is simple but haunting, unfolding in long and lyrical phrases that convey a sense of longing and devotion. The movement has a slow tempo and a soft dynamic, but it also contains moments of passion and intensity that contrast with the prevailing calmness. The Adagietto has become famous as a standalone piece, often performed at solemn occasions or as an encore. It was also used as the soundtrack for Luchino Visconti’s 1971 film after Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice, with Dirk Bogarde in the leading role. The Adagietto is the fourth of five movements in Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, which he composed between 1901 and 1904.

Arnold Schoenberg wrote the original string sextet version of his Transfigured Night in 1899, inspired by the 1896 poem of the now-forgotten German symbolist poet, Richard Dehmel. Misunderstood at its premiere, the composer—the leader of what we now refer to as the Second Viennese School —arranged the music for string orchestra in the dark, dark days of 1917; and in the equally dark days of 1943, living safely in Los Angeles after having escaped the Nazi Anschluss of Austria, he revised this version, thus putting the finishing touches on what is indelibly one of the masterpieces of the post-romantic repertoire. In a famous essay written two years before his death, Schoenberg (then laboring over his difficult twelve-tone works in smog-filled Los Angeles, while his colleague Igor Stravinsky lounged above, in the Hollywood Hills), Schoenberg reflected that “It was not given to me to continue writing in the style of Verklaerte Nacht … Fate led me along a harder path. But the wish to return to the earlier style remained constantly within me, and from time to time I have given in to this desire”. Schoenberg’s eroticized comment sadly gives in to the early criticisms of the premiere of the original work, with one Viennese critic stating at the time that “it sounds like someone had taken the score of [Wagner’s] Tristan with the ink still wet and smudged it over!” Many modern musicians could not disagree more, seeing the work’s almost endless reserve of spiritual depth. Henry Krehbiel’s English paraphrase of the poem, reproduced in Schoenberg’s 1943 full score, would likely bear this out:

“Two mortals walk through a cold, barren grove. The moon sails over the tall oaks, which send their scrawny branches up through the unclouded moonlight. A woman speaks. She confesses a sin to the man at her side: she is with child, and he is not its father. She has lost belief in happiness, and, longing for life’s fullness, for motherhood and mother’s duty, she has surrendered herself, shuddering, to the embraces of a man she knew not. She had thought herself blessed, but now life has avenged itself upon her by giving her the love of him she walked with. She staggers onward, gazing with lackluster eyes at the moon which follows her. A man speaks. Let her not burden her soul with thoughts of guilt. See, the moon’s sheen enwraps the universe. Together they are driving over chill waters, but a flame from each warms the other. It, too, will transfigure the little stranger, and she will bear the child to him. For she has inspired the brilliant glow within him and made him, too, a child. They wink into each other’s arms. Their breaths meet, in kisses in the air. Two mortals wander through the wondrous moonlight.”

– Alexander Platt

“In 1837, a noted keyboard virtuoso gave a performance of J.S. Bach’s Clavier Concerto No.1 in D Minor, after which an influential music journalist had the following remarks to make:

‘I should like to speak of many thoughts that were awakened in my mind by this noble work….Will it be believed that on the music shelves of the Berlin Singakademie, to which old Zelter bequeathed his library, at least seven such concertos, and a countless number of other Bach compositions, in manuscript, are carefully stowed away?….and the words of a practical expert, who speaks of this undertaking….would serve as a motto. He says: ‘The publication of the works of Sebastian bach is an enterprise I hope soon to see in execution — one that delights my heart, which beats wholly for the great and lofty art of this father of harmony’.

The virtuoso who performed the Concerto was Felix Mendelssohn. The music journalist was Robert Schumann. And the “expert” cited was Ludwig van Beethoven, writing to his publisher, Hoffmeister, in 1801. So much for establishing the validity and stature of Bach’s clavier concertos as great works of musical art.
… Two final points remain to be made about the concertos, the first having to do with the occasions for which they were composed. Bach went to Leipzig to be Cantor of the Thomasschule—a fairly prestigious position and one that involved an enormous amount of labor, all of it devoted to sacred music. Since Bach’s musical interests extended beyond the boundaries of the sacred, it is not altogether surprising that, in 1729, he added to his responsibilities the job of conductor of the Collegium Musicum, a purely secular society. The Collegium Musicum met one a week, in Zimmermann’s coffee house, or, in the summer months, in his garden … And Herr Zimmermann, perhaps impressed by Bach’s reputation as a virtuoso organist and harpsichordist, purchased for the meetings an exceedingly fine, large, double-manual harpsichord. It was a happy combination of factors, for the concertos played at these meetings were probably the first clavier concertos ever written. The presence, too, of an audience was significant in the history of music, for it signaled, in its small way, the movement away from the church and court and toward the public concert as the center of music.”

– from the liner notes to the recording made by Glenn Gould and Leonard Bernstein and the Columbia Symphony Orchestra, New York, 1957

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