With the fourth of July holiday and the vacation season upon us, the three stages at Carnegie Hall are quiet and will remain dark until early October. But–while the Hall is being prepared for our 120th season—we are busier than ever, producing videos for our online audience to enjoy throughout the coming year.
In recent months, we were thrilled to interview some of the biggest names in classical and early music, and several video editors are currently working to create fascinating and compelling videos for your enjoyment.
Harry Bicket—who conducts The English Concert in Zankel Hall on October 20—spoke about the evolution of the ensemble, the program for the evening, and the freedom of performing music for which only minimal arrangements were written.
"In the 18th century, you have a note that has only a definition of pitch—no indication whatsoever about attack, tempo, affect, color, dynamic. I love that. I love the fact that you have the freedom but also the responsibility to try and make it come to life."
Valery Gergiev visited us at the turn of the year, and spoke passionately and at length about Tchaikovsky and St. Petersburg. He conducts St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Orchestra in performances of six Tchaikovsky symphonies in early October, as well as Opening Night 2011.
"St. Petersburg, from the moment the city was born in 1703 to now, never stagnated. Something was always happening. The great architecture started long ago, even, with Peter the Great. And now, you have a city that has lived more than 300 years."
Christina Pluhar, Artistic Director of L'Arpeggiata, discussed the ensemble's approach to French, Italian, and Spanish Baroque music, and described what audiences can expect during their four-concert Perspectives series next March.
"I came to early music because I'd loved the musical language since I was a child. I loved playing the early composers when I was playing the modern guitar. When I was 19, I discovered the lute. They are much sweeter and softer than modern instruments. They're very human sounds. I love this freedom and the possibility of researching and discovering things that people don't know yet. I was very soon attracted to this world."
Our second 2010–2012 Perpectives artist—pianist András Schiff—spoke with us about the many concerts and workshops he gives throughout his series that, focusing on Bartók and the vibrant legacy the composer left on their native Hungary.
"Roots are incredibly important to me. We all have our roots, and today we try to forget about them. I certainly don't, but everything is being internationalized, globalized, evened out. I think that our origins and our roots are important. We all come from somewhere, and we should be proud of it and try to investigate those roots and incorporate that into our personality and into our positive artistic creative process."
Bernard Labadie returns with Les Violons du Roy next March and spoke about the ensemble, different approaches to performing early music, and Bach's St. John Passion.
"From the very first bar—the very first chords of the piece—we are grabbed by the drama in the St. John Passion, whereas the St. Matthew starts like a funeral procession. In the St. John, you are literally thrown into the furnace from the very beginning of the piece."
France's exciting Ebène Quartet joined us in April to discuss their approach to performing classical and jazz-inspired pieces, as they plan to do on their March 18 concert.
"We work more and more on the classical music, and we just try to keep some hours where we can practice jazz. But actually, it's not so hard. You practice all the time. When you are a string quartet, you have to practice all the time."
In addition to these videos already in the can, we have many more planned for the summer and throughout next season. We will continue to post these on our site, on our YouTube channel, and on Facebook.