PUTNEY—Yellow Barn continues its 50th-anniversary season with concerts Thursday and Friday evenings and a violin master class, pre-concert discussion, and performance on Saturday.
The programming for Thursday, July 11, takes listeners back to the 1940s with works evoking the style and the sentiment of that era.
The concert opens with Ró (Calm) an octet for winds, piano, percussion, and strings by Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir.
Simon Brainbridge’s Four Primo Levi Settings (Lucy Shelton, soprano) follows, based on texts by the Italian chemist, writer, and Holocaust survivor Primo Levi.
Rounding out the first half of the concert is Robert Schumann’s last surviving major work, his Violin Sonata No. 3 in A Minor (Weilerstein Duo), inspired by the letters of Joseph Joachim’s personal motto: F-A-E (“frei aber einsam”—”free but alone.”)
The second half of Thursday’s concert begins with Arrangements of Six Yiddish Songs by Stefan Wolpe (William Sharp, baritone), a work that uniquely preserves the original folk-song melodies on which it is based. A glimmering, virtuosic string trio by Eugène Ysaÿe closes the evening, harking back to the Golden Age sound of the early 20th century.
On Friday, July 12, the focus turns to musical gems — both rare and well known. First on the program is a vocalise by the late composer, pianist, and conductor André Previn, who died earlier this year.
The vocalise leads into a work for string quartet and percussion by Alexander Goehr, Since Brass, Nor Stone..., taking as its title the opening lines of Shakespeare’s famous Sonnet 65.
A rarely played violin sonata by Dvorak follows (Peter Frankl, piano), along with Tre duetti con l’eco (Three Duets with an Echo) by the mainly self-taught Italian composer Salvatore Sciarrino (Juilliard String Quartet violist Roger Tapping). One of the great works of the chamber music repertoire, Mozart’s clarinet quintet, completes Friday evening’s program.
Saturday, July 13, begins with a morning masterclass by Donald Weilerstein, a revered violinist and pedagogue and a founder of the Cleveland Quartet. At 7 p.m., the Putney Public Library hosts a pre-concert discussion led by the esteemed and beloved cellist Bonnie Hampton on the topic of the Piano Trio in C Minor, Op. 101, by Johannes Brahms, which she and other Yellow Barn musicians will perform later that evening.
Also on the program for Saturday’s concert are Sándor Veress’ Memento; Earl Kim’s Where Grief Slumbers; and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Trio in E-Flat Major, Op. 38, which Seth Knopp, Yellow Barn’s Artistic Director, describes as “pure joy.”
All concerts take place in the Big Barn at 8 p.m. Master classes are also held in the Big Barn and take place at 10:30 a.m. unless otherwise noted. For tickets, call the Box Office at 802-387-6637, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.yellowbarn.org. Reservations are strongly encouraged.