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ASTON MAGNA SUMMER SERIES AT BARD COLLEGE FEATURES MOZART AND BEETHOVEN IN FIRST CONCERT.
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.-Aston Magna, called "America's preeminent summer early-music event" by the New York Times, opens its summer series Friday, July 9, at Bard College with the music of Mozart and Beethoven. The weekly series, presented by The Bard Center, takes place on Friday evenings at 8:00 p.m. in Olin Hall (with a preconcert talk at 7:00 p.m.) from July 9 through August 6. On July 9 Beethoven's Septet in E-flat Major, Op. 20, and Mozart's Allegro in B-flat Major and Quintet in A Major will be performed by classical bassoonist Jane Gower, natural horn player Douglas Lundeen, cellist Loretta O'Sullivan, basset clarinetist Eric Hoeprich, violist David Miller, bassist Michael Willens, and violinists Daniel Stepner and Nancy Wilson. In 1800 Beethoven premiered his Septet on the same program as the premiere of his First Symphony. The Septet proved more popular than the symphony with that audience and subsequent ones. At an auction following Beethoven's death, "the manuscript of the Septet fetched more than twice as much as the manuscript of the Missa solemnis," writes Steven Ledbetter, the program annotator of Aston Magna and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The "unusual instrumentation-violin, viola, cello, bass, clarinet, bassoon, and horn-makes it a miniature symphony orchestra," writes Ledbetter in the program note, but "Beethoven keeps the chamber music atmosphere with kaleidoscopic regroupings of the instruments, giving each a chance to shine." Mozart, who often wrote music for his friend the clarinetist Anton Stadler, composed three complete works that feature clarinet, including the Quintet in A Major, K. 581. The other work on this program is an unfinished fragment, Allegro in B-flat Major for clarinet and strings. Leading Mozart scholar and performer Robert D. Levin has taken the fragment and extended it to full sonata form, according to Ledbetter. Under the artistic direction of Daniel Stepner, Aston Magna aims to interpret the music of the past as each composer imagined it. The festival has been recognized internationally over the last two decades for its contributions to the popularization of early music performed using historically accurate instruments and performance practices. Aston Magna at Bard is made possible in part by a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts and through the generosity of The Leon Levy Foundation at Bard College. The next concert in the series, "Young Handel in Rome: Delirio Amoroso," is on Friday, July 16. A subscription to the five-concert series is $60, or for any three concerts, $38. Single tickets cost $15. For information on the concert series and to order tickets, call 914-758-7425.
This event was last updated on 03-02-2001