Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos were sent to Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg and brother of the King of Prussia who never replied to Bach, nor ever had any of the pieces played. The manuscripts were first published in 1850 for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Bach’s death. The Brandenburg No. 3 was written for three violins, three violas, and three cellos in addition to the usual bass and harpsichord utilized in baroque music. Sometimes, there are soloists, or bands of soloists, and other times the entire ensemble plays in unison. This passing of the baton, in addition to the effervescent energy of the piece, has made it a classic since its discovery.
Grieg was commissioned to write a piece to celebrate the bicentennial of Norwegian writer Ludvig Baron Holberg, the “Moliere of the North.” Since Holberg lived during the Baroque period of music, Grieg modeled his Holberg Suite after a French form with a series of dances.
Before the success of his The Planets in 1918, Holst found it quite difficult to eke out his living and took the post as the Musical Director at St. Paul's Girls' School. He remained in this position for the rest of his life, as he adored teaching. A special music room was built for him, and all of his compositions were created in this space. The St. Paul's Suite for the school orchestra was his first composition in this space.
Arvo Pärt is one of those composers in the world whose creative output has significantly changed the way we understand the nature of music. Fratres (Brethren), written in 1977, reflects his reengagement with the mystical and contemplative rituals of the Russian Orthodox Church. The work now exists in numerous arrangements scored for a variety of ensembles with the musical substance remaining essentially unchanged.
In 1880, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was working on two compositions that were polar opposites; the 1812 Overture and his Serenade. He informed his patron “The overture will be very loud and noisy, but I wrote it without warmth or love, so it will probably not have any artistic merit…. The Serenade, by contrast, I wrote from an inner compulsion; it is deeply felt and for that reason, I venture to think, is not without real merit…. At the moment I consider it the best of all that I have written so far.”
Sponsored By: The Prince Charitable Trust
Artists: Boris Vayner (Viola), Eliot Porter (Bass), Gabriela Diaz (Violin), Ian Watson (Harpsichord), Jacqueline Choi (Cello), Joe DeMarco (Percussion), Laura Metcalf (Cello), Mark Berger (Viola), Mina Lavcheva (Violin), Omar Chen Guey (Violin), Stephanie Chase (Violin)
For more information please contact the Newport Music Festival: 401-849-0700