Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Liszt: Written about in so many ways, but yet so misunderstood.

This coming up Saturday, October 1st, The Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes will be performing Franz Liszt's Fantasy on the Hungarian Folk Melodies, with Eva Virsik at the piano. As epic as that title sounds, the more resonating claim to this piece is not so much the title, but the composer Franz Liszt himself. Characterized by Felix Mendelssohn as a man whose life was filled with "a continual alternation between scandal and apotheosis", Liszt's adulated life was not as perfect as his hands may have been on a Bechstein, and yes Felix did refer to Liszt as amongst the God's.
Born in 1811 as the only son of Adam and Anna Liszt, Franz showed interest in music at about the age of 6. Being it his fathers dream to be a musician. Adam taught his son everything he knew and Liszt being the virtuoso he was, absorbed everything and anything. Within 22 months of mentor ship Liszt had worked through all the complete works of Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Clementi, Hummel and more, but when asked what inspired his earlier compositions. Liszt was not hesitant to say it was the music of the Gypsies.
As the years followed Liszt and his family settled in Paris where Liszt performed just about non stop. After giving performances to the aristocratic circles of Europe. Liszt learned many cultures and grew just not musically, but socially. Liszt's virtuosity at the piano was hailed as never seen before, even by the likes of Beethoven. He was said to have been able to play the most difficult of music by sight. If that's not impressive, he also played these pieces upside down and while performing them, he would comment on the piece being played.
There was no doubt that at the time, Liszt was the man. Liszt was a show-off and for good reason. He was the first pianist to hold a concert with just written piano music and of course it was hit. Liszt was so naturally in love with music that he would give lessons for free and would travel throughout Europe on mail-coaches visiting everyone he could while playing any instrument handed to him.
Music was not the only love in his life, Liszt would swoon any damsel who would make themselves available. Whether it be a gypsy or a princess, Liszt was such a natural lover that he had three out of wed-lock children.
But it would be to early to say that Liszt had it all. In 1827 his father passed away due to typhus. After the death of his father, and the fall out of a lost love affair. Liszt didn't perform for three years. Depression set in and illness and apathy took control of his life. It took the strength of a Revolution (Revolution of 1830) to bring Liszt from his lethargic musical state.
In 1847 Liszt met his soul mate Princess Carolyne von Sayn-Wittgenstein and from there Liszt took up conducting and composing for the orchestra in Weimar. After the death of two of his children, Liszt shared the last years of his life with rewards, teaching and traveling. In 1886 Liszt passed away from a heart attack.
So lets see, was Liszt amongst the Gods of music? Find out for yourself this Saturday at the Corning Museum of Glass. Tickets can be bought online at osfl.org or by calling 607-734-8191. See you there!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Beethoven- Symphony No.5

AHHHH, the concert season is right around the corner for the OSFL, and before we will know it October 1st will be here!!!!!! Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 is on the program, and to let our readers out there know a little about what they will hear on the 1st, here is the scoop behind Beethoven's fifth.
Ludwig van Beethoven
, baptized on December 17th, 1770 in Bonn Germany, wrote his fifth Symphony from the years of 1804-1808. Beethoven's fifth can be recognized by just about anyone just from the opening line and is no doubt one of the greatest pieces to have been written in the history of music, but there is more than what meets the ear to be heard about this piece. Beethoven's fifth was written during a span of Beethoven's life that was in and of itself depressing. He was growing very deaf and had shunned himself from the public. In this personal solitary confinement, his only outlet, music, thrived. Being alone, feeling out of place from a society that he could not hear, but also could not relate with, Beethoven would turn his attention to his music and nature. One of his favorite places to visit was the Viennese Parks around which he lived. He would walk for hours, writing music in his head and enjoying the gift of nature.
By the end of 1808 the symphony was finished, performed and at first had little success amongst its listeners. The piece was a break from the tradition of the day and was so full of Beethoven's emotions that it was hard to understand the piece itself. Over time though and as the "Romantic Era" gained stride the popularity of the piece picked up, and is now one of the most recognized and most accomplished pieces of all time!!!!! Beethoven's pain and genius created this masterpiece and can be heard live on October 1, 2011 by the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes!!!! Get your tickets now online at osfl.org, by phone, 607-733-5639, OR in person at 207 Clemens Center Parkway Elmira, NY 14901-3031!!!!! SEE YOU THERE!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Elements of Style 2011!!!

We are back to our blog after a long delay, but no worries we are still here!!!!! To help start off our season, this Saturday night from 5pm to 7pm is our annual Elements of Style benefit dinner open to our donors and subscription holders. Sorry folks!!! If you have not responded to the invitation sent in the mail it is to late to join in on the fun. This year's Elements of Style is hosted at Raudat's, located in Strathmont Park. First built in 1926 for Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Tompkins. The Raudat's brick home sits just before the turn to circle C in Strathmont park. This impressive structure is led to by a circular driveway that opens from two large brick columns that sit at the front of the driveway.
The Raudat home was designed by architect Charles A. Platt, designer of the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The home itself was featured in the March 1929 issue of the Architect (Architectural Digest). The grounds of the house were designed by Vitale and Geiffert. Vitale is well known for designing the second phase of New York City's Central Park and also the Reflecting pool on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
When the Raudat's bought the house, it needed extensive repairs and some tender loving care. Over the years they have given the house both: always trying to maintain the integrity of the original home. This can be seen in the kitchen area in the attention to detail: matching the areas around the original fireplace, cabinets, sinks, and floors to those of the original structure. The dining room, decorated in Wedgewood blue, is modeled after a Williamsburg dining room, with a one of a kind chandelier made in Ireland for the room. The beautifully appointed main entrance hall gardens. Pictures, fabrics and furniture are unique, mainly having been collected on family trips and travels from around the world, brought eventually to Elmira to enhance this fantastic home!!!!!!! There is so much to see, and as for the osfl??? We are excited to see you there!!!!