This program was recorded 05/02/2008 at Symphony Space.
Hailing from the American aural folk tradition, and inspired by French jazz master Stephane Grappelli, Mark O’Connor has forged a special place within the American musical landscape. His work with Yo-Yo Ma and Wynton Marsalis, among others, has shown him to be a true Renaissance man of the violin. This concert offers two of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” intermingled with two of Astor Piazzolla’s “Four Seasons” to complete the year, and concludes with O’Connor’s dazzling “American Seasons.”
O’Connor, an advocate for and mentor to young musicians, is joined by The Knights, a fellowship of emerging musicians from diverse and accomplished backgrounds, coming together for the shared joy of musical exploration. Known for their innovative programs consisting of classical masterworks, world premieres and arrangements of “roots” music such as gypsy tunes, Neapolitan love songs and dances, they join O’Connor on the Symphony Space stage to present multiple musical perspectives on the seasons, bringing new light to old works and O’Connor’s new work to light.
The Four Seasons
Springtime is upon us.
The birds celebrate her return with festive song,
and murmuring streams are softly caressed by the breezes.
Thunderstorms, those heralds of Spring, roar, casting their dark mantle over heaven,
Then they die away to silence, and the birds take up their charming songs once more.
On the flower-strewn meadow, with leafy branches rustling overhead,
the goat-herd sleeps, his faithful dog beside him.
Led by the festive sound of rustic bagpipes, nymphs and shepherds
lightly dance beneath the brilliant canopy of spring.
Soloist: Colin Jacobsen
Under a hard Season, fired up by the Sun
non molto Languishes man, languishes the flock and burns the pine
We hear the cuckoo’s voice; then sweet songs of the turtledove and finch are heard.
Soft breezes stir the air...but threatening north wind sweeps them suddenly aside.
The shepherd trembles, fearing violent storms and his fate.
The fear of lightning and fierce thunder
Robs his tired limbs of rest
As gnats and flies buzz furiously around.
Alas, his fears were justified
The Heavens thunders and roar and majestically
Cuts the head off the wheat and damages the grain.
Soloist: Julia Wedman
“Otono porteno” Autumn in Buenos Aires
“Invierno porteno” Winter in Buenos Aires
Soloist: Johnny Gandelsman
American Seasons (Seasons of an American Life)
Conductor: Eric Jacobsen