ELECTION NIGHT BASH with BERLIN PHILHARMONIC members
led by Marie-Pierre Langlamet, Principal harp
Andreas Buschatz, Concertmaster
Mathieu Dufour, Principal flute
Matthew McDonald, Principal bass
Cornelia Gartemann, violin
Julia Gartemann, viola
Moky Gibson-Lane, cello
plus Emma Tahmizian and Eric Moe, pianists
Tuesday Nov 8th, 2016 8:00pm DiMenna Center, Cary Hall
general admission, $27: general seating, free food after concert (drinks purchased)
Inner Circle, $57: table seating, free food, limited free drink before concert
Gala Circle, $117: special table seating shared with artists, including food and drinks
What will you be doing on election night? Sitting home and trembling in front of the TV? Our season opener will be an election night bash. It will be part prayer for electoral sanity, part exploration of our troubled moment in history, and part party/get-together to watch the returns among like-minded friends. Like all of our concerts, jazz by Claffy will accompany opening drinks and the party following the core program. For this performance we will have Benny Benack III, trumpet; Victor Gould, piano; and Claffy on bass.
See the full menu for Election night concert
For the central concert, a group of players from the Berlin Philharmonic - led by their harp soloist Marie-Pierre Langlamet, and including their Concertmaster, Principal flute, Principal bass and several members of Concertmaster Stabrawa's ensemble - will bring a provocative perspective to what has lately been dubbed ‘Weimar America' in the U.S. media, with Berliners looking at American composers looking at themselves , and involving a very broad mix of composers: Ned Rorem, John Harbison, Fred Lerdahl, John Corigliano, Phillip Glass, Milton Babbitt, Lowell Liebermann, Augusta Read Thomas, Laura Schwendinger, Roger Sessions, Daniel Brewbaker, Virgil Thompson, Eric Moe, Charles Wuorinen, Sebastian Currier, and Nathan Currier.
The current election cycle has led to much soul-searching about of the specter of American fascism. The Berlin Philharmonic is unique in having been a primary cultural export of the Nazis during WWII. It was then called the 'The Reich's Orchestra' (Das Reichsorchester), and under direct control of the infamous Joseph Goebbels. Today, of course, it is quite the opposite: a particularly young, dynamic and autonomous group of musicians able to examine themselves, and hence our current situation, with piercing maturity.
The concert will open with three 'viewpoints' from Ned Rorem’s The United States: Seven Viewpoints. After some pieces from Langlamet's repertory generally fitting our theme, the core of the concert will be a set of waltzes, The Fall of the House: Waltzing through Weimar America.
Edgar Allen Poe's music-infused The Fall of the House of Usher describes Usher playing wild improvisations on his guitar - in particular “a singular perversion and amplification of the wild air of the last waltz of von Weber.” The Fall of the House begins with this same Last Waltz ditty played on harp and piano. From there it draws in "perversions and amplifications" of the idea of the waltz from a set of widely differing Americans, played as one continuous set of 'variations on a concept' ranging from the 1970s to music composed in 2016 premiered on this occasion. Meanwhile, the elector count, visible in the corners of the screen, will mount as the waltzes play on.
Some are short waltzes for solo piano taken from The Waltz Project (composer Eric Moe later incorporated a selection of these into his “Waltz Project Revisited” and will perform from this). Others we’ve stitched together, employing various instrumentations, one important subset being Fred Lerdahl's Waltzes for a quartet of violin, viola, cello, and bass. And to all this some fresh composing has been added to tie things together.
We will project election returns throughout the evening in a variety of ways: during the Claffy sets, we will have a major media feed without sound; in the pause at the middle of the core concert, and after Claffy's second set, we will have major media with sound; and during The Fall of the House, we will have our own constructed app, such that, while the audience can see on screen which of the 28 short waltzes is being performed, the corners of the screen will also display the elector count, growing inexorably as the audience is literally "waltzed through Weimar America" (and hopefully right out of it!), creating an unforgettable environment in which to usher in, and contemplate, our new reality.
See complete program and further end notes