Bernstein Centennial celebrated at Yellow Barn

PUTNEY — The third week of Yellow Barn's 49th anniversary season brings concerts to the Big Barn on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, July 21, 22, and 23, plus a lunch and open house on Yellow Barn's campus at the Greenwood School on Saturday, as well as an evening discussion at the Putney Public Library.

Saturday night opens with a joyous call - Christopher Rouse's virtuosic Compline for flute, clarinet, harp, and string quartet (the same instrumentation as Ravel's Introduction and Allegro ). Schubert's Fantasie in F Minor for piano four-hands follows.

After intermission, Alexander Raskatov's Monk's Music, Seven Words by Staretz Silouan (In memoriam Mieczyslaw Weinberg) receives its North American premiere.

In Monk's Music, baritone William Sharp sings seven stanzas from the writings of Staretz Silouan, a Russian monk also known as Saint Silouan, between the seven movements for string quartet.

Monk's Music is modeled on Haydn's The Seven Last Words of Christ, which will be performed at Yellow Barn at the Aug. 4 matinee concert. Cellists Natasha Brofsky and Jean-Michel Fonteneau discuss this relationship in a pre-concert discussion at 7 p.m. at the Putney Public Library.

Earlier on Saturday, Yellow Barn invites audiences to its annual Open House at the campus at the Greenwood School. Before attending open rehearsals, audiences are invited to share a meal with Yellow Barn's international community of musicians. Lunch costs $10, and there is no admission fee for the open rehearsals.

Thursday's concert juxtaposes the lyrical with the fragmented. The evening begins with Cambodian composer Chinary Ung's Spiral for cello (Natasha Brofsky), piano, and percussion. Ravel's String Quartet in F Major follows, a flowing and lyrical piece that contrasts with Spiral.

The second half begins with Brazilian composer Alexandre Lunsqui's Deflectere II, a pointillistic piece that sonically recalls Spiral. The program ends with Vaughan Williams' Piano Quintet in C Minor, a sweeping romantic work that was rediscovered just 19 years ago.

On Friday night, Yellow Barn celebrates the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein's birthday with the composer's Arias and Barcarolles for soprano, baritone (William Sharp), and piano four-hands. Beginning the program is Shulamit Ran's Moon Songs, a piece in four acts that features texts in both English and Hebrew.

Also featured on the program are works by two Hungarian composers: Bartók's Violin Sonata No. 2, which draws heavily on folk music idioms, and Kurtág's 12 Microludes for String Quartet. Britten's String Quartet No. 1 rounds out the program.

This week, Yellow Barn continues its tradition of restaurant nights: On Thursday nights, complimentary tickets are offered to concert goers at J.D. McCliment's Pub in Putney, on Friday at Duo in Brattleboro, and on Saturday at the Four Columns Inn. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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