Loading...

Classical Music at SPAC: The Philadelphia Orchestra and André-Michel Schub’s Chamber Music Festival

A SPAC concert in the early days
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
A SPAC concert in the early days
A SPAC concert in the early days

The Saratoga Performing Arts Center presents the Philadelphia Orchestra’s three-week residency in tandem with an outstanding chamber music program directed by André-Michel Schub.

I regret that I could not attend a pre=season concert in June, the Buffalo Philharmonic under their Music Director JoAnn Falletta, who has garnered a great deal of respect in the musical world for her work with the orchestra, or last Thursday’s Philadelphia program, endowed with the catchy title, “The Lure of Paris,” in which Jean-Yves Thibaudet joined Stéphane Denève in a program of Bernstein, Gershwin, and Ravel. Many of the programs carry this popular appeal even further. There are date nights and family nights with ancillary activities suitable to the occasion. You can pick these out on the list published below. When M. Denève’s stint comes to an end, we will get to hear Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Québequois Music Director Designate, who will begin his full official duties in September, conduct a variety of programs. He has already appeared with the orchestra quite a bit, so he is not a mystery in Philadelphia, but if you haven’t heard him conduct his new orchestra, the Brahms-Liszt program coming up on Wednesday, August 8th will serve you well: Brahms’ Fourth should be an excellent touchstone of his way with the orchestra, accompanied by a few of Brahms’ Hungarian Dances, and Lang Lang playing Liszt’s First Piano Concerto. There will be an Italian Opera Night, with favorite arias sung by the tenor, Bryan Hymel, whose work I don’t know, and Angela Meade, who sang quite impressively at Caramoor a few years ago. Her large, brilliant voice is also flexible, and her delivery is dramatic and bold. Yannick Nézet-Séguin will conduct another solid orchestral program including Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2 and Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with Arabella Steinbacher, whose San Francisco appearance was reviewed so ecstatically by Steven Kruger a few months ago. Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, whose regular appearances with the BSO have earned him an avid following, will conduct Brahms’ Violin Concerto with Joshua Bell and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. His Fifth is large in scale and full of energy. He always manages to make the Fifth sound fresh. David Robertson, recently appointed to replace Vladimir Ashkenazy as Music Director of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, will conduct Shostakovich’s First Symphony, and accompany Yo Yo Ma in Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto, and his friend, Gabriel Fauré’s Elegy. Following an evening of pop songs, mostly associated with the great Frank Sinatra, the Philadelphia Orchestra’s SPAC season will close with a program of Tchaikovsky favorites conducted by Cristian Macelaru and including performances by the New York City Ballet, the other key founding participant in SPAC.

As I mentioned, SPAC also offers a top-notch chamber program directed by the distinguished French pianist, André-Michel Schub. I have always admired his intelligent playing and would be interested in these concerts, if only to hear him play. Three quartets, the Miami, the Wister, and the Ébène Quartets, will appear, often collaborating with M. Schub in works like Brahms’ Piano Quintet, Mozart’s G Minor Piano Quartet, K. 478, his Piano Concerto in E Flat Major, the Dohnányi Piano Quintet, the Schumann Piano Quartet, as well as quartets by Beethoven (Op. 18, no. 4), Mozart, Debussy, Tchaikovsky, and Tower. The outstanding cellist Johannes Moser will be on hand for a program which will combine Bach’s Solo Cello Suite in G Major, and Schubert’s C Major String Quintet, as well as arrangements for solo cello of works by Britten and Lutoslawski. Violinist David Kim will lead a similar program which will include Brahms’ Second Violin Sonata in A Major, accompanied by M. Schub. The Tuesday concerts will be preceded by a talk by M. Schub as well, free to ticket-holders. One can only admire the balance and quality of the programming, and there is not one concert that I cannot recommend. For many in the area, as I have heard, this is the high point of the festival.

SPAC itself is a fascinating institution. There has always been a lively interest in the arts in Saratoga Springs since its heyday as a spa in the nineteenth century. In the later 1930’s, just when Tanglewood was getting started, there was considerable interest in initiating a similar festival at Saratoga. After the Boston Symphony replaced them in the Berkshires, the New York Philharmonic (or, more precisely, members of it) played at the spa, which had been a public park since before the First World War. Finally, in the early 1960’s, during the huge cultural expansion in New York City which included Lincoln Center, Gov. Nelson Rockefeller and other political and civic leaders were able to muster the public and private funds to build the facility, just behind the Hall of Waters. George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein, founders of the New York City Ballet, contributed to its design concepts. It was originally intended as a summer home for the New York Philharmonic, but they dropped out of the plan, and Philadelphia took over, with Music Director,Eugene Ormandy playing a similar role in conceiving the space and the acoustics. Just as Philharmonic Hall at Lincoln Center was emerging as a major acoustical disaster, SPAC, which opened in 1966, seemed to achieve its goals admirably. It is clear that the designers had studied the shortcomings of the Tanglewood Music Shed and successfully solved the issues of acoustics and comfort. In these early days the plans were ambitious, actually to develop a music festival and summer school on the scale and quality of Tanglewood. If what has evolved today is rather different, the facility is splendid, it is an impressive adaptation of an obsolete facility (the spa), and there is a great deal of superb music to be heard here.

Chamber Music Schedule 2012

Sunday, July 29 2:15PM
Miami String Quartet

Miami String Quartet
André-Michel Schub, Piano

Beethoven – String Quartet in C Minor Op. 18 No. 4
Tower – Incandescence for String Quartet
Brahms – Piano Quintet Op. 34

Tuesday, July 31 7:00PM
“Early on Tuesdays” with ANDRÉ-MICHEL SCHUB

“Early on Tuesdays”
Pre-performance lecture series with ANDRÉ-MICHEL SCHUB

NEW! An enlightening and engaging pre-performance lecture series hosted by André-Michel Schub about the evening’s repertoire, the artists, and classical music. A once in a lifetime opportunity.

Tuesday, July 31 8:00PM
Miami String Quartet

Miami String Quartet
André-Michel Schub
, Piano

Mozart – Piano Quartet in G Minor K. 478
Mozart – String Quartet, K. 387 “Spring”
Mozart – Piano Concerto in Eb Major K. 449

Sunday, August 5 2:15PM
An Afternoon with Johannes Moser

Johannes Moser, Cello
Juliette Kang, Violin
William Polk, Violin
Kerri Ryan, Viola
Thomas Kraines, Cello

Bach – Suite in G Major for Solo Cello, Moser
BrittenSacher – Theme, Moser
LutoslowskiSacher – Variations, Moser
Schubert – String Quintet in C Major, D. 956, Moser with Juliette Kang, William Polk, Kerri Ryan, Thomas Kraines

Tuesday, August 7 7:00PM
“Early on Tuesdays” with ANdré-Michel Schub

Tuesday, August 7 8:00PM
Wister Quartet And Friends

Wister Quartet
André-Michel Schub, 
Piano
Hai-Ye Ni, 
Cello

Boccherini – String Quintet in E Major Op. 11 No. 5, Wister Quartet with Hai-Ye Ni
Debussy – 
String Quartet in G Minor, Wister Quartet
Dohnanyi – 
Piano Quintet in C Major, Op. 1, Wister Quartet with André-Michel Schub

Sunday, August 12 2:15PM
Featuring David Kim

David Kim, Violin
André-Michel Schub, Piano
Dara Morales, Violin
Derek Barnes, Cello
Joseph Conyers, Bass
Burchard Tang, Viola

Rossini – String Sonata No. 2 in A Major, David Kim, Dara Morales, Derek Barnes, Joseph Conyers
Brahms – Violin Sonata No. 2 in A Major, Op. 100, David Kim, André-Michel Schub
Schumann – Piano Quartet in Eb, Op. 47, David Kim, Burchard Tang, Derek Barnes, André-Michel Schub

Tuesday, August 14 7:00PM
“Early on Tuesdays” with André-Michel Schub

Tuesday, August 14 8:00PM
Ebène Quartet

Pierre Colombet, violin
Gabriel Le Magadure, violin
Mathieu Herzog, viola
Raphaël Merlin, cello

Program I

Mozart – Divertimento in F Major, K. 138
Tchaikovsky – Quartet No. 1 in D Major, Op. 11

Intermission

Program II

“Fiction” 
(The program will be announced from the stage)

Orchestral Concert Schedule 2012: the Buffalo Philharmonic and The Philadelphia Orchestra

Wednesday, July 25  /  8:00 pm
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
JoAnn Falletta
, Conductor
Michael Ludwig, Violin

Smetana – Bartered Bride Overture
Mozart   Concerto No. 5 for Violin and Orchestra
Dvořák   Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”


Wednesday, August 1  /  7:00 
pm
Pre-Performance Talk: Stéphane Denève, Conductor
Pre-Performance Talks take place in The Gold Room in the Hall of Springs
Wednesday, August 1  /  8:00 
pm
The Philadelphia Orchestra – Opening Night
Stéphane Denève 
Conductor
Garrick Ohlsson 
Piano

Tchaikovsky – Piano Concerto No. 1 op. 23, B-Flat minor
Rachmaninoff – 
Symphony No. 2 op. 27, E minor


Thursday, August 2  /  7:00 
pm
Pre-Performance Talk: Thomas Denny
Thomas Denny,
 musicologist, former Chair of Music Department, Skidmore College
Pre-Performance Talks take place in The Gold Room in the Hall of Springs

Thursday, August 2  /  8:00 pm
The Philadelphia Orchestra – The Lure of Paris

Stéphane Denève Conductor
Jean-Yves Thibaudet 
Piano

Bernstein – Candide Overture
Bernstein – On the Town: Three Dance Episodes
Ravel – Piano Concerto in G Major, G major
Ravel – Piano Concerto for Left Hand, D major
Gershwin – An American in Paris


The Sage Colleges’ Date Night
.
Friday, August 3  /  7:00 
pm
Pre-Performance Talk: Bill Allen
Bill Allen, 
Executive Director and Producer, Cirque de la Symphonie
Pre-Performance Talks take place in The Gold Room in the Hall of Springs

Friday, August 3  /  8:00 pm
The Philadelphia Orchestra – Cirque de la Symphonie – Family Night
Stéphane Denève 
Conductor
Concert violinist performing on aerial silks (female), Spinning frame & cube (male), German wheel (male), Aerial female duo on a lira
Intermission
Concert violinist performing on aerial wheel, diabolos and staff act, aerial duo on silk fabrics (male & female), strongmen balancing act
Learn more about Cirque de la Symphonie
 
CDPHP Family Night   
Learn More >
Join us for a night of world class entertainment for the whole family! Experience strolling magicians, FREE Stewart’s ice cream, free balloon animals, free photo magnets, chalk contests, family games and more!
 
Albany Medical Center’s Children’s Workshops on the Lawn at 7:00 
pm
New York City Ballet principal dancers and The Philadelphia Orchestra principal musicians lead these engaging and interactive workshops on the lawn. All attendees leave with a fun, free gift and their imaginations inspired!


Saturday, August 4  /  7:00 
pm
Pre-Performance Talk: Johannes Moser
Pre-Performance Talks take place in The Gold Room in the Hall of Springs

Saturday, August 4  /  8:00 pm
The Philadelphia Orchestra – Arabian Nights
Arabian Nights
Gianandrea Noseda 
Conductor
Johannes Moser Cello

Rossini – William Tell Overture
Dvořák – 
Cello Concerto, op.104,  in B minor
Rimsky-Korsakov – Scheherazade, op.35
Learn more about Johannes Moser
Learn more about Gianandrea Noseda

Arabian Nights
The first of its kind at SPAC! Return to the Ottoman Empire with talented storyteller engaging the lawn audiences with One Thousand and One Nights, belly dancers, exotic food, and special surprises.


Wednesday, August 8  /  7:00 
pm
Pre-Performance Talk: Meet a member of The Philadelphia Orchestra
Pre-Performance Talk: Meet a member of The Philadelphia Orchestra
Pre-Performance Talks take place in The Gold Room in the Hall of Springs

Wednesday, August 8  /  8:00 pm
The Philadelphia Orchestra – Lang Lang

Lang Lang!
Yannick Nézet-Séguin 
Conductor
Lang Lang Piano

Brahms – Hungarian Dances
Liszt – Piano Concerto No. 1, S. 124, E-flat major
Brahms – Symphony No. 4, op. 98, E minor


Thursday, August 9  /  7:00 
pm
Pre-Performance Talk: Curtis Tucker
Curtis Tucker
, General Director, Opera Saratoga
Pre-Performance Talks take place in The Gold Room in the Hall of Springs

Thursday, August 9  /  8:00 pm
The Philadelphia Orchestra – Date Night
Sponsored by PEF MBP
ITALIAN OPERA NIGHT
Yannick Nézet-Séguin
 Conductor

Angela Meade, soprano
Bryan Hymel, 
tenor
Rossini
 – Overture to The Barber of Seville (7′)
Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor: Duo ‘Lucia, perdona… Sulla tomba (Angela/Bryan) (13’)
Puccini – Intermezzo from Manon Lescaut (5′)
Puccini – La Bohème: Aria ‘Che gelida manina’ (Bryan) (4′)
Puccini – La Rondine: Chi il bel sogno di Doretta (Angela) (3′)
Puccini – La Boheme: Duo ‘O soave fanciulla’ (Angela/Bryan) (4′)

Verdi 
– Overture to La Forza del Destino (7′)
Verdi – La Traviata: Aria ‘È strano.. Ah forse lui…Sempre libera’ (Angela) (6′)
Verdi – La Traviata: Aria ‘Lunge da lei..é De miei bollenti spiriti’ (Bryan) (4′)
Verdi – La Traviata: Duo ‘Parigi o cara’ (Angela/Bryan) (4′)
Mascagni – Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana (4′)
Cilea  Adriana Lecouvreur: Aria ‘Io son l’umile ancella’ (Angela) (4′)
Cilea  L’Arlesiana: Aria ‘Il lamento di Frederico (Bryan) (4′)
Tchaikovsky – Iolanta: Duo ‘Tvajo malchan’je nepan’atna’ (Angela/Bryan) (10′)
 
The Sage Colleges’ Date Night  
Learn More >
Start your weekend early with an evening of music, classic photo-booths, complimentary imported food and world-class wine tastings.

Friday, August 10  /  7:00 pm
Pre-Performance Talk: Jennifer Higdon & Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Jennifer Higdon,
 composer
Yannick Nézet-Séguin
, conductor

Pre-Performance Talks take place in The Gold Room in the Hall of Springs

Friday, August 10  /  8:00 pm
The Philadelphia Orchestra – Family Night

MASTERPIECES PAST AND PRESENT
Yannick Nézet-Séguin 
Conductor
Arabella Steinbacher 
Violin

Higdon – Concerto for Orchestra
Prokofiev – 
Violin Concerto No. 1
Tchaikovsky – 
Symphony No. 2


CDPHP Family Night   
Learn More >
Join us for a night of world class entertainment for the whole family! Experience strolling magicians, FREE Stewart’s ice cream, free balloon animals, free photo magnets, chalk contests, family games and more! 
 
Albany Medical Center’s Children’s Workshops on the Lawn at 7:00 
pm
New York City Ballet principal dancers and The Philadelphia Orchestra principal musicians lead these engaging and interactive workshops on the lawn. All attendees leave with a fun, free gift and their imaginations inspired!

Saturday, August 11  /  7:00 pm
Pre-Performance Talk: John Goberman
John Goberman
, Emmy-Award winning creator of Live from Lincoln Center, creator of Symphonic Cinema
Pre-Performance Talks take place in The Gold Room in the Hall of Springs

Saturday, August 11  /  8:00 pm
The Philadelphia Orchestra – Wizard of Oz
Constantine Kitsopoulos 
Conductor
Multimedia event – John Goberman film “Oz with Orchestra”

Wednesday, August 15  /  7:00 pm
Pre-Performance Talk: Davyd Booth
Davyd Booth, 
violinist, The Philadelphia Orchestra
Pre-Performance Talks take place in The Gold Room in the Hall of Springs


Wednesday, August 15  /  8:00 
pm
The Philadelphia Orchestra – An Evening with Joshua Bell
Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos 
Conductor
Joshua Bell Violin

Rafael Frühbeck De Burgos – “Brahms Fanfare” on Themes of the Fourth Symphony
Brahms – Violin Concerto, op. 77, D major
Beethoven – Symphony No. 5, op. 67, C minor

Celebration of an Artist
Stroll SPAC’s lawns during the interactive pre-show event and experience first-hand original art as it takes shape. Inspired by their surroundings and in anticipation of breathtaking music, artists from
Any artist should RSVP to Chloe
 at media@spac.org or call 584.9330 x123 to be put on a list for a complimentary ticket plus a guest. Artists should bring their own art supplies, including an easel, and plan on working on, or creating an original work during the 6 pm – 8 pm “pre-show” festivities.

Thursday, August 16  /  7:00 pm
Pre-Performance Talk: Meet a member of The Philadelphia Orchestra
Pre-Performance Talks take place in The Gold Room in the Hall of Springs

Thursday, August 16  /  8:00 pm
The Philadelphia Orchestra – Yo Yo Ma – Date Night
David Robertson
, conductor
Yo Yo Ma
, cello

Auber – Fra Diavolo Overture
Saint-Saëns – 
Cello Concerto No. 1
Fauré – 
Elegy
Shostakovich – 
Symphony No. 1
 
The Sage Colleges’ Date Night  
Learn More >
Start your weekend early with an evening of music, classic photo-booths, complimentary imported food and world-class wine tastings.


Friday, August 17  /  7:00 
pm
Pre-Performance Talk: Steven Reineke
Steven Reineke, 
conductor
Pre-Performance Talks take place in The Gold Room in the Hall of Springs

Friday, August 17  /  8:00 pm
The Philadelphia Orchestra – The Best is Yet to Come: Sinatra and Beyond – Family Night
Pre-theater dining is sold out for large groups on Aug 17th but can accept parties of 2-4.
THE BEST IS YET TO COME: SINATRA AND BEYOND
Steven Reineke 
Conductor
Tony DeSare 
Vocal/Piano
Montego Glover Vocal 
New York, New York
The Lady is a Tramp
Almost Like Being in Love/This Can’t Be Love
The Best is Yet To Come
Luck Be a Lady
Besame Mucho
I’ve Got You Under My Skin
Theme from Charade
Two Sleepy People
Something Stupid
Copacabana  
INTERMISSION
Bacharach Back to Back
Mad Men Suite, from AMC’s Mad Men
Ain’t Nothin’ But a Kiss from Memphis
Colored Woman from Memphis
You Don’t Know Me
Fire (Bruce Springsteen)
New Orleans Tango
How I Will Say I Love You 
Learn more about this program
 
CDPHP Family Night   
Learn More >
Join us for a night of world class entertainment for the whole family! Experience strolling magicians, FREE Stewart’s ice cream, free balloon animals, free photo magnets, chalk contests, family games and more!

Albany Medical Center’s Children’s Workshops on the Lawn at 7:00 pm
New York City Ballet principal dancers and The Philadelphia Orchestra principal musicians lead these engaging and interactive workshops on the lawn. All attendees leave with a fun, free gift and their imaginations inspired!
 
Saturday, August 18  /  7:00 
pm
Pre-Performance Talk: Nicholas Frirsz, master luthier
Pre-Performance Talks take place in The Gold Room in the Hall of Springs

Saturday, August 18  /  8:00 pm
The Philadelphia Orchestra – TCHAIKOVSKY SPECTACULAR!

Come celebrate Tchaikovsky’s magnificent 1812 Overture on the lawn with live cannons, an interactive military encampment in period costume, and also features fireworks!

Cristian Macelaru Conductor
Dancers from New York City Ballet

Tchaikovsky – Capriccio italien
Tchaikovsky – Pas de deux, from Swan Lake
Tchaikovsky – Marche slave
Tchaikovsky
 – Marche solennelle, TH 52, op. posth.
Tchaikovsky – Pas de deux, from The Nutcracker
Tchaikovsky – 1812 Overture

About Michael Miller

Michael Miller, Editor and Publisher of New York Arts and The Berkshire Review, an International Journal for the Arts, was trained as a classicist and art historian at Harvard and Oxford, worked in the art world for many years as a curator and dealer, and contributed reviews and articles to Bostonia, Master Drawings, Drawing, Threshold, and North American Opera Journal, as well as numerous articles for scholarly and popular periodicals. He has taught courses in classics, the English language, and art history at Oberlin, Rutgers, New York University, the New School, and Williams. Currently, when he is not at work on The Berkshire Review and New York Arts, he writes fiction, pursues photography, and publishes scholarly work. In 2011 he contributed an introductory essay to Leonard Freed: The Italians / exh. cat. Io Amo L’Italia, exhibition at Le Stelline, Milan, and wrote the revised the section on American opera houses in The Grove Dictionary of American Music. He is currently at work on a libretto for a new opera by Lewis Spratlan, Midi, an adaptation of Euripides’ Medea set in the French West Indies, ca. 1930.

A tip for our readers: How to get the most out of New York Arts and The Berkshire Review for the Arts.
What if I hate reading on computer screens, even tablets?
We get occasional inquiries from readers about whether we plan to launch a print edition of our arts journals. The answer is that we've given it some thought, and we're still thinking about it.
It is not only our older readers who object to reading them online. There are even some millennials who would rather read from paper. One of our readers got the simple idea of using the sites as sophisticated tables of contents. She prints out each article on three-hole paper and files them in a loose-leaf album. I've devoted a lot of time to finding the very best print and pdf facility there is. Just click on one of the icons at the top right of the article and print!
Click here to make your tax-deductible donation to The Arts Press, publisher of New York Arts and The Berkshire Review. Or click on the notice in the sidebar. The Arts Press is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of The Arts Press must be made payable to“Fractured Atlas” only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.