Bard News & Events

Press Release


Emily Darrow
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

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. 

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This event was last updated on 03-02-2001