Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Under Michael Tilson Thomas (1944–) the San Francisco Symphony has risen to unprecedented heights of renown and artistic achievement. After a series of award-winning releases on RCA Red Seal, the Symphony created the in-house SFS Media label, under which it has been garnering numerous international awards and plaudits. We'll trace MTT's long association with the SFS, from his first guest appearance in 1974 to the Symphony's most recent releases.
Posted by San Francisco Symphony Podcasts at 3:36 PM
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Herbert Blomstedt (1927–) stepped up to the Symphony podium in 1985 and brought the orchestra to the Decca label, in which capacity the orchestra produced a distinguished series of recordings covering the repertory from Beethoven to Bartók and beyond. Grammy and other such international awards followed, reflecting the Symphony's new prominence on the world stage and its enviably high performance standards. Via broadcasts, in-house archives, and commercial recordings we relive the impressive music-making of a memorable era.
Posted by San Francisco Symphony Podcasts at 2:32 PM
Monday, March 12, 2012
A complete departure from the mainstream European tradition, Amériques marks Varèse’s explosive breakout into modernism. Amériques calls for 125 musicians and a battery of unusual percussion, and according to Varèse, is meant to be understood “as symbolic of discoveries—new worlds on earth, in the sky, or in the minds of men.”
Posted by San Francisco Symphony Podcasts at 12:15 PM
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Carl Ruggles, one of the most original voices in 20th century American music, was a curmudgeonly man whose musical output totals just ten works, which he endlessly re-wrote and edited as close to perfection as he could. His works, including Sun-treader, exhibit a freely evolving nontonal polyphony, through which he expressed his wish for freedom from the past.
Posted by San Francisco Symphony Podcasts at 5:17 PM
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
A native of Menlo Park, California, Henry Cowell is accredited with coining the term tone cluster, an effect he uses frequently in his Piano Concerto. Cowell specifies that the performer use the forearm or specially cut wooden sticks to play many adjacent notes at once, creating a dissonant cluster of sound.
Posted by San Francisco Symphony Podcasts at 1:26 PM
Monday, March 5, 2012
Could the Great American Symphony, in fact, be a piano sonata by the great maverick composer Charles Ives? The composer Henry Brant, who also orchestrated music for Copland, spent most of his life orchestrating Ives’ great Concord Sonata into A Concord Symphony.
Posted by San Francisco Symphony Podcasts at 3:52 PM
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Edo de Waart (1941–) became the Symphony's music director in 1977 and saw the orchestra through two important transitions: the move to Davies Symphony Hall and the change from analog to digital recording technology. De Waart's tenure at the SFS is exhaustively documented via commercial recordings, broadcasts, and in-house archives. We'll hear the San Francisco Symphony undergo one of its most sweeping transformations, as it inaugurated Davies Symphony Hall with more than 20 new players.
Posted by San Francisco Symphony Podcasts at 3:12 PM