[Author Archive]

Letter To the New York Times Editor

April 18, 2013 | Tags: ,

To the Editor:

Daniel Levitin’s contention about the need always to link music with actual physical movement (Op-Ed Oct. 26, 2007, Dancing in the Seats) is an extraordinarily limited and dangerous position. In Shakespeare’s day, the Globe was populated by a crowd who interacted if not always pleasantly. Yet, in the movie theater (likely the most populated of venues in America today and the world at large, with all its different cultures) there is no room for dance and no expected movement, or interaction. The movie audience sits, just as Dr. Levitin’s disparaged concert audience,  “in rapt attention with their hands folded quietly in their laps,” or perhaps with their hands in the popcorn.

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To Repeat or Not in Symphonic Form

April 18, 2013 | Tags:

Recently the topic of whether to take repeat or not in symphonic form was discussed on the conductor’s list-serve from the League of American Orchestras. The original question arose with Brahms symphonies. Here is my reply. While some of this looks technical, it is really mostly about trying to find out how the music breathes and occupies time and space. I hope you find it interesting.

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    The Power of Small

    April 17, 2013

    One upside to the country’s downturn: I’m feeling that people, for the first time in a long while, are examining our assumptions about our current culture so characterized and driven by “the market”. This shift gives us a welcomed chance to refocus our attentions on the individuality of the artistic experience. During this previous period of hyper-market-driven expansion, we in the art world have spent a lot of effort and thought on groups: demographics, niches, market share –terms strikingly unindividual and impersonal. Ironically, the dialogues and practices resulting from this kind of thinking often are tinged with almost socialist-realist goals – mass appeal, understandable and predictable storylines, and so on.

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    Press

    Features

    Reviews

    “[With] this engaging and charismatic conductor….. you feel the music is speaking directly from each composer’s language,….each section sounding like a single precision instrument pitted against other groups. From the [Firebird’s] dark and menacing beginning to the exhilaration of the “Final Hymn,” this reviewer was entranced. Conductor Gaylin kept the tension of the line while maintaining suspense. This marvelous orchestra is a must see, or rather must hear.”

    – Steven Romano Mento, The Press of Atlantic City

    “Jed Gaylin’s conducting was consistently impressive, with a propulsive sweep that allowed the lyricism to linger.”

    – Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun

    “In Webern’s deliciously off-beat transcription of Bach’s Ricecare and even more so in Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony, Gaylin inspired a determined expressiveness. Outbursts in the Schubert work packed considerable weight, effectively underlining the dark beauty of the music.”

    – Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun

    “The comic and tragic elements of the work were deftly balanced…The orchestra under the baton of Jed Gaylin offered finely focused sounds that belied its small size.”

    – Karyl Charna Lynn, Opera Now!

    “An extraordinary concert. . . . The Lodz Philharmonic gave an unforgettable performance under the direction of Jed Gaylin. . . . The Symphony No. 36 by Mozart proved a highpoint, where the calibration of the various orchestral parts was totally clear, and where the lines were beautifully handed from one instrument to another. From oboes to bassoons as well as. . . . strings, each voice arose with care and distinction from out of the orchestral fabric. Above all, one felt the unconditional devotion with which the Orchestra followed Jed Gaylin. . . . It was for all present an unforgettable evening. . . .”

    Basler Zeitung, (Switzerland)

    “Opera is all about the music, and the orchestra here is led by Jed Gaylin, Music Director of Hopkins Symphony Orchestra, who kept the glorious strings and winds on a tight rein, filling the soaring cathedral ceiling of the Mount Vernon church without overpowering the voices on stage. The singers were all extraordinary, adding personality and flare to their characters.”

    – Wendy Ward, City Paper

    “American Conductor Jed Gaylin opened the concert with a performance Hungarian Dances numbers 5,6,7 that captivated the audience from the first note with a natural intense rhythm, beautiful dynamics, with deep pathos and an unstoppable “joie de vivre….” With [Brahms’] Symphony #3 in F, op.90….Conductor Jed Gaylin gave an attentive, passionate, and expressive performance. The whole interpretation was well-conceived and with excellent results achieved–a fitting and inspired conclusion to this high-level and spectacular musical event….”

    – Vasile Scutea, Sibiu Tribuna (Romania)

    “VINELAND – Ordinarily, one might have to leave New Jersey to hear a concert like Saturday’s performance by the Bay-Atlantic Symphony. Here was world-class conducting and (except for occasional slight inaccuracies of pitch with the violinists) a world-class orchestra…..[Jed Gaylin’s] directions from the podium were always clear and fluid …. The orchestra was a glorious accompanist….Both soloist and orchestra sounded well-rehearsed, organized, and able to hush on a dime, turn out ever-broadening passages and lend touching lyricism everywhere….Such a sensational first half appeared difficult to follow, but Gaylin had much more magic to come. The presentation of [Mother Goose was] engaging and articulate… and this evening’s performance demonstrated just how exalted, perhaps even “holy” this finale can be….”Janitzio” of Sylvester Revueltas was a raucous and entertaining romp with a spacious contrasting middle section vividly characterized by the players, and the evening ended with the “Danse Bacchanale” from “Samson and Delilah” of Camille Saint-Saens. This colorful work was brought to life with great exuberance and unity, and it seemed as if I were hearing these familiar strains for the first time. It was an exceptional end to a superbly organized and executed program. Bravissimo”.

    – Steven Romano Mento, The Press of Atlantic City

    “[In Gaetano Panariello’s Omaggio all’opera buffa] pizzicato from the strings and snappy, colorful contributions from the percussion gave the finale momentum, with the impression of brightly colored sets changing quickly behind the soloists. Rossini’s overture to The Barber of Seville had the appropriate sense of bluster to open the program, with energy behind flurrying melodies and lovely solos from clarinet, oboe and horn dovetailed nicely. To close the program, Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony was handled warmly and sensitively….The driving woodwind rhythms in the opening Allegro were perfectly pointed, and concertmaster Ruotao Mao led the strings with a crystalline tone. The middle movements had the marvelous quality of Bach’s music, where, even when the tempos are slow, there’s a churning sense of motion. The musicians played the Presto finale with exuberance and vitality, the snaking lines firmly in their grasp.”

    – Dave Allen, Courier-Post

    Bay-Atlantic Symphony: “. . . a joyous, spirited rendition of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Jed Gaylin’s strong conducting style and attention to detail brought everything together on stage. His tempi were precise and sensible, and the dynamic ranges ebbed and flowed. I consider Mr. Gaylin to be one of southern New Jersey’s greatest musical treasures.. . . and I thoroughly enjoy watching him conduct. . . . This performance was filled with gorgeous playing in the third movement. Expression and feeling were infused in the long lines and in the interplay between bassoon, flute, oboe. . . .The strings allowed the floating melodies to hover at the surface. . . . Jed Gaylin assembles wonderfully talented artists, and the lineup for this performance was no exception. . . . a wonderfully matched and first rate quartet. Chorus members gave a shaped, emotionally committed performance. Disciplined dynamics and accurate attention to the conductor gave the singers a round, rich sound.”

    – JeanMarie Tissot, Classical New Jersey

    Repertoire (selected works)

    ADLER, Samuel
    Art Creates Artists
    Concertino for String Orchestra
    The Fixed Desire of the Human Heart
    Stars in the Dust Cantata

    ARENSKY
    Variations on a Theme of Tchaikovsky

    BACH
    Brandenburg Concerto Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5
    Cantata 82 “Ich habe genug”
    Concerto for Keyboard in D minor
    Concerto for Oboe and Violin
    Double Concerto (violin)
    Orchestral Suite Nos. 1, 2, 3
    Ricercare from “Musical Offering” (Webern)
    Toccata and Fugue in D minor (Stokowski)

    BAILEN, Eliot
    Double Concerto for Flute and Cello

    BARBER
    Adagio for Strings
    Knoxville: Summer of 1915
    Piano Concerto
    Souvenirs
    Violin Concerto

    BARTOK
    Dance Suite
    Piano Concerto No. 3
    Romanian Folk Dances

    BEETHOVEN
    Coriolanus Overture
    Egmont Overture
    King Stephen Overture
    Leonore III Overture
    Piano Concerto Nos. 1 – 5
    Romance No. 2
    Symphony Nos. 1-9
    Triple Concerto
    Violin Concerto

    BELLINI
    Norma Overture

    BEN HAIM, Paul
    Pastorale Variée

    BERLIOZ
    Symphonie Fantastique

    BERNSTEIN
    Candide Overture
    Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

    BIZET
    L’Arlésienne Suites Nos. 1 & 2
    Carmen Suite Nos. 1 & 2
    Jeux d’Enfants
    Symphony in C

    BLOCH
    Concertino

    BORODIN
    In the Steppes of Central Asia
    Nocturne
    Prince Igor Overture, March, and Polovtsian Dances

    BRAHMS
    Haydn Variations
    Hungarian Dances Nos. 1,3,5,10
    Double Concerto
    Liebeslieder Walzer
    Piano Concerto Nos. 1, 2
    Requiem
    Serenade No. 1
    Symphony Nos. 1-4
    Tragic Overture
    Violin Concerto

    BRITTEN
    Peter Grimes: 4 Sea Interludes & Passacaglia
    Soirées Musicales

    BRUCH
    Violin Concerto No. 1

    CANTALOUBE
    Songs of the Auvergne books 1 & 2

    CHABRIER
    España

    CHERUBINI
    Requiem in c-minor

    CHOPIN
    Concerto Nos. 1, 2

    COPLAND
    Appalachian Spring
    Billy the Kid Suite
    John Henry
    Lincoln Portrait
    Nonet
    Outdoor Overture
    Quiet City
    Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes
    Symphony No. 3
    Two Pieces for String Orchestra

    COWELL, Henry
    Hymn and Fuguing Tune No. 10

    DEBUSSY
    Afternoon of a Faun
    Danse (orchestrated by Ravel)
    La Mer
    Nocturnes
    Sarabande (orchestrated by Ravel)

    DONEZETTI
    Lucia di Lammermoor (complete)

    DOVE, Jonathan
    Tobias and the Angel

    DVORAK
    Cello Concerto
    Czech Suite
    Serenade for Strings
    Serenade for Winds
    Symphony Nos. 7, 8, 9

    ELGAR
    Enigma Variations
    Salut d’Amour
    Serenade for Strings
    Violin Concerto

    ENESCU
    Romanian Rhapsody No. 1
    Romanian Rhapsody No. 2

    FALLA
    Nights in the Gardens of Spain
    El Amor Brujo (complete, 1915)
    Three-Cornered Hat Suite Nos. 1 & 2

    FAURE
    Fantasy for Flute and Orchestra
    Masques et Bergamasques
    Pelleas and Melisande

    FRANCK, Cesar
    Symphony in D minor

    GANG, Chen
    Butterfly Lovers Concerto

    GERSHWIN
    American in Paris
    Lullaby for Strings
    Rhapsody in Blue

    GLAZUNOV
    Theme & Variations for Strings

    GLINKA
    Kamarinskaya

    GOLDMARK
    Violin Concerto

    GOLIJOV, Osvaldo
    Last Round

    GOUNOD
    Faust excerpts
    St. Cecilia Mass

    GRIEG
    Concerto
    Holberg Suite
    Peer Gynt Suites Nos. 1 & 2
    Two Elegaic Melodies

    GRIFFES
    Poem for Flute and Orchestra

    GROFE, Ferde
    Grand Canyon Suite

    HANDEL
    Messiah Excerpts
    Organ Concerto HWV 306 (Bb)
    Organ Concerto HWV 295 (F, Cuckoo & the Nightingale)
    Theodora Overture
    Viola Concerto
    Water Music Suites 1 & 2

    HAYDN
    Creation Overture
    Cello Concerto Nos. 1 & 2
    Lord Nelson Mass
    Sinfonia Concertante
    Symphony Nos. 44, 49. 101, 103, 104
    Violin Concerto No. 1 in C major

    HINDEMITH
    Mathis der Maler

    HOLST
    St. Paul Suite

    HUMPERDINCK
    Hansel and Gretel Overture

    IVES
    Fugue in Four Keys
    Symphony No. 3
    Tone Roads No. 1
    Unanswered Question

    JANACEK
    Mlady Suite

    JONGEN, Joseph
    Symphonie Concertante for Organ and Orchestra

    LALO
    Symphonie Espagnole

    LAURIDSEN, Morten
    Lux Aeterna

    LEE PUI MING
    Awakening
    She Comes to Shore (naxos 2011)

    LEONCAVALLO
    Pagliacci: Vesti la Giubba, Bird’s song

    LIADOV
    The Enchanted Lake

    LISZT
    Les Préludes
    Piano Concerto No. 1
    Piano Concerto No. 2

    LUTOSLAWSKI
    Mala Suita (Little Suite)

    MAHLER
    Kindertotenlieder
    Songs of a Wayfarer
    Symphony No. 1
    Symphony No. 4
    Symphony No. 5

    MENDELSSOHN
    Double Concerto for Violin and Piano
    Fair Melusina Overture
    Hebrides Overture
    Midsummer Night’s Dream Music
    Piano Concerto No. 1
    Sinfonia No. 11
    Symphony Nos. 2-4
    Violin Concerto

    MENTO, Steven
    Algonquian Dreamcatcher
    Elegy for Piano and Orchestra

    MILHAUD
    La Création du Monde

    MOZART
    Adagio and Fugue
    Clarinet Concerto
    Così Fan Tutte Overture
    Don Giovanni (complete)
    Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
    Flute Concerto No. 1
    Idomeneo Overture
    Marriage of Figaro Overture
    Magic Flute (complete)
    Piano Concerto Nos. 5, 12, 20, 23, 27
    Il Re Pastore Overture
    Requiem
    Seraglio Overture
    Serenade for 13 Winds K. 370a
    Serenade for Winds K. 388
    Serenata Notturna, K. 239
    Sinfonia Concertante
    Symphony Nos. 29, 36, 38, 39, 40, 41
    Violin Concerto Nos. 4, 5

    MUSSORGSKY
    Night on Bald Mountain (Rimsky-Korsakov)
    Pictures at an Exhibition (Ravel)

    NICOLAI
    Merry Wives of Windsor Overture

    NIELSEN
    Helios Overture
    Flute Concerto
    Violin Concerto

    PAGANINI
    Violin Concerto No. 1

    PANUFNIK
    Harmony

    POULENC
    Gloria

    PROKOFIEF
    Peter and the Wolf
    Piano Concerto No. 3
    Romeo and Juliet Suites 1 & 2
    Summer Day Suite
    Symphony Nos.1, 7
    Violin Concerto Nos. 1, 2

    PUCCINI
    La Bohème, Act I Finale
    Messa di Gloria
    La Rondine: Ch’il bel sogno
    Tosca: e lucevan le stelle

    RACHMANINOFF
    Concerto No. 2
    Concerto No. 3
    Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
    Symphonic Dances
    Symphony No. 2

    RAVEL
    Bolero
    La Valse
    Mother Goose Suite
    Pavane for a Dead Princess
    Piano Concerto No. 2
    Tzigane

    RESPIGHI
    The Birds
    Botticelli Triptych
    Suite for Strings, P.41

    REVUELTAS
    Colorines
    Danza Geométrica
    Janitzio
    La Noche de los Mayas (chamber orchestra version)
    Redes

    RHEINBERGER
    Mass in C
    Organ Concerto No. 2

    RIMSKY-KORSAKOV
    Russian Easter Overture
    Scheherazade
    Symphony No. 2 “Antar”

    ROSSINI
    Barber of Seville Overture
    La Cenerentola Overture
    l’Italiana in Algeri Overture
    Sonata No. 2 for Strings

    SAINT-SAENS
    Carnival of the Animals
    “Bacchanale” from Samson and Dalila
    Havanaise
    Piano Concerto No. 2
    Symphony No. 3 (Organ Symphony)
    Violin Concerto No. 3

    SANCHEZ-GUTIERREZ, Carlos
    Diaries
    Dos Movimientos
    Ex Machina
    Five Memos
    Five Pieces
    Girandula
    Girando-Danzando

    SCHNITTKE
    Piano Concerto

    SCHOENBERG
    Five Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 16
    Suite for Strings

    SCHREKER, Franz
    Intermezzo

    SCHUBERT
    German Dances
    Octet
    Rosamunde Overture
    Symphony Nos. 3, 4, 5, 8, 9

    SCHUMANN
    Allegro Passionato
    Piano Concerto
    Symphony No. 3
    Symphony No. 4
    Traumerei

    SCRIABIN
    Piano Concerto

    SHOSTAKOVICH
    Cello Concerto No. 1
    Piano Concerto No. 1
    Symphony No. 1

    SIBELIUS
    En Saga
    Finlandia
    Karelia Suite
    Symphony Nos. 1, 2, 5
    Violin Concerto

    SMETANA
    The Moldau (Vlatava)

    SOMERS, Paul
    Violin Concerto

    STEINBERG, Russell
    Cosmic Dust
    Lights On!: A Hanukah Medley
    Subterranean Dances
    Symphony No. 1, City Strains

    STRAUSS, J.
    Artist’s Life
    Blue Danube Waltz
    Donner und Blitz Polka
    Emperor Waltzes
    Fledermaus Overture
    Fledermaus: selections
    Pizzicato Polka
    Tales from the Vienna Woods
    Voices of Spring Waltz
    Wiener Blut

    STRAUSS, J. Sr.
    Radetzky March

    STRAUSS, R.
    Death and Transfiguration
    Don Juan
    Duet-Concertino
    Four Last Songs
    Morgen!
    Muttertändelei
    Der Rosenkavalier Suite
    Till Eulenspiegl
    Wiegenlied

    STRAVINSKY
    Firebird Suite (1919)
    Fireworks
    Four Norwegian Moods
    L’histoire du soldat
    Petrouchka (1947)
    Rite of Spring

    TCHAIKOVSKY
    Andante Cantabile
    Capriccio Italien
    “Nutcracker Ballet,” excerpts
    Piano Concerto No. 1
    Rococo Variations
    Romeo and Juliet
    Serenade for Strings
    Souvenirs d’un lieu cher
    Symphony Nos. 2, 4, 5, 6
    Violin Concerto
    1812 Overture

    TOWER, Joan
    Made in America

    VAINBERG, Moisei
    Flute Concerto, Op. 75

    VAUGHAN WILLIAMS
    Serenade to Music

    VERDI
    Aïda, Act II
    Forza del Destino Overture
    Nabucco (Complete)
    Requiem
    Rigoletto (Complete)
    La Traviata, Act I
    La Traviata Act III Prelude

    VILLA-LOBOS
    Bachiannas Brasileiras
    Guitar Concerto

    VIVALDI
    Double Cello Concerto
    Four Seasons
    Gloria
    Guitar Concerto
    Piccolo Concerto

    WATKINS, Roderick
    Light’s Horizon

    WAGNER
    Meistersinger Suite
    Parsifal Prelude
    Parsifal Good Friday Spell Music
    Siegfried-Idyll
    Tristan & Isolde Prelude & Liebestod

    WALKER, George
    Lyric for Strings

    WALTON
    Façade
    Viola Concerto

    WEBER
    Andante e Rondo Ungarese
    Clarinet Concerto No. 1
    Concertino for Clarinet and Orchestra
    Freischütz Overture
    Oberon Overture

    WEBERN
    Langsamer Satz
    Ricercare from “Musical Offering” (Bach)

    WEINBERGER, Jaromir
    Schwanda the Bagpiper Polka and Fugue