Yellow Barn concludes summer streaming series

PUTNEY — Yellow Barn's summer season of concert streams concludes this week on Friday, Aug. 7, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 8, at 7:30 p.m., with international rebroadcasts on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.

The concerts, from both Big Barn and the Yellow Barn Music Haul, are presented free at

On Friday and Saturday, three sopranos (Tony Arnold, Elaine Daiber, and Lucy Fitz Gibbon) and three violinists (Mark Steinberg, Alice Ivy-Pemberton, and Adelya Nartadjieva) give a shared performance of György Kurtág's Kafka Fragments, marking the end of their two-week artist residency in Putney.

Kurtág's immense work is comprised of 40 fragments, ranging from less than 20 seconds to more than four minutes, all of which are excerpts from the diaries, letters, and notebooks of Bohemian novelist and short story writer Franz Kafka.

Together, these fragments express something both in themselves and as part of a larger context: “From a certain point on, there is no going back. That is the point to reach”; “I look a girl in the eye and it was a very long love story with thunder and kisses and lightning. I live fast”; and particularly poignant in this time, “My prison cell, my fortress.”

Yellow Barn's 2020 Season Finale takes place on Saturday, Aug. 8, the night that would have brought its 51st Summer Festival to a close.

After opening with the last John Cage song of the summer (performed by Lucy Shelton), the program continues with Philippe Hersant's In the Dark, Dmitri Shostakovich's Seven Romances on Poems of Alexander Blok, and Osvaldo Golijov's Tenebrae, before concluding with James MacMillan's Angel for solo soprano.

MacMillan, who would have been this year's composer in residence, plans to be in Putney next summer, along with all of the other musicians who were not able to be at Yellow Barn this year.

Performing on Saturday, in essence representing the whole of Yellow Barn's musical community, are sopranos Tony Arnold and Lucy Fitz Gibbon; violinists Alice Ivy-Pemberton, Adelya Nartadjieva, and Mark Steinberg; cellist Coleman Itzkoff; clarinetist Yasmina Spiegelberg; and pianist Seth Knopp, the music festival's artistic director.

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