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New York Philharmonic Presents Leonard Bernstein’s Marked Mahler Score to Vienna Philharmonic

 

This morning in Vienna, the New York Philharmonic and the family of Leonard Bernstein presented the Vienna Philharmonic with Bernstein’s marked score of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, in celebration of the Austrian orchestra’s 175th birthday. Above: New York Philharmonic Archivist / Historian Barbara Haws; Andreas Grossbauer, President (and violin) of the Vienna Philharmonic; and Wolfgang Plank, Director of Archives (and oboe) of the Vienna Philharmonic, at the Vienna Philharmonic’s new Archives.

Following his 1966 Vienna Philharmonic debut, Bernstein kept the score, which he had obtained from the Vienna Philharmonic’s Archives. He treasured it for the rest of his life; on his death it was transferred to the New York Philharmonic Archives as part of the collection of his marked conducting scores.

The New York Philharmonic and Vienna Philharmonic are both celebrating their 175th anniversaries this season. The New York Philharmonic presented the gift at the Vienna opening of Vienna and New York: 175 Years of Two Philharmonics, a joint exhibit of archival material drawn from both orchestras’ histories that will be on display at Vienna’s Haus der Musik until January 2018 (having previously been displayed at the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York).

Explore a virtual tour of the exhibition from when it was on view in New York.

(Photo: Wiener Philharmoniker, Terry Linke)

New World Symphony Manuscript Parts Now Available in Digital Archives

NY Philharmonic Dvorak

On December 16, 1893, the New York Philharmonic gave the World Premiere of Dvořák's New World Symphony.

Here's another first: for the first time ever, you can see the manuscript parts used at the premiere, a 1917 recording of the Largo, an early first-edition marked score, the program from the premiere, and business documents relating to the premiere and Dvořák. They're just a click away, in the New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives

It's all part of the Philharmonic's Dohnányi / Dvořák: A Philharmonic Festival, December 4–13, 2014, which culminates in performances of the New World Symphony, December 11–13, led by legendary conductor and Dvořák interpreter Christoph von Dohnányi.  

The notes and markings — in different colored pencils, some erased but legible — illuminate the rehearsal and revision process leading up to the World Premiere. The Philharmonic used the parts in subsequent performances until 1931, and markings reflect interpretive decisions from these performances as well.

The New York Times did a cool slideshow. Check it out:

 

Mahler Wundersingers: Des Knaben Wunderhorn Philharmonic Soloists

New York Philharmonic Archives Mahler 'Des Knaben Wunderhorn'

This week's concerts feature Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn, which the New York Philharmonic first performed in 1910, when Alma Gluck sang the American premiere of "Rheinlegendchen" (one of the songs in the collection) with the composer, who was the Philharmonic's Music Director at the time, at the podium.

The New York Philharmonic Archives created a digital exhibit of all Philharmonic Des Knaben Wunderhorn soloists, from 1910 to the present, interspersed with various "wunderhorns" found in the Archives' collection of glass lantern slides.

Enjoy!

Packed House 'Steps Inside Mahler's Sixth' at Free Insights

"Stepping Inside Mahler's 6th" New York Philharmonic

Last evening there was standing room only at the latest Insights at the Atrium. This installment of the free series, "Stepping Inside Mahler's Sixth," was for you Mahler fans. 

New York Philharmonic Archivist / Historian Barbara Haws; Prof. S. Alex Ruthmann, of the New York University Music Experience Design Lab; music historian Erik Ryding; and Philharmonic Audio Director Lawrence Rock used a new app developed by Ruthmann and his team, along with marked conducting scores from the New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives, to compare in minute detail Philharmonic recordings of Mahler's Sixth as conducted by Mitropoulos, Bernstein, Maazel, and Gilbert. 

The app lets us explore interpretive, musicological, and historical questions, illuminating what specifically distinguishes each performance. Attendees got to "test drive" the app at iPad stations:

New York Philharmonic

The Philharmonic, conducted by Semyon Bychkov, performs Mahler's Sixth February 11–16.

Photos: Anne Ruthmann Photography


Digitized and Now Available: Mahler’s Marked Score of Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony

NY Philharmonic Digital Archives Mahler Bruckner

You now have the chance to get an inside look at one master’s take on another. Mahler’s marked score of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4, Romantic — “one of the more important treasures in the New York Philharmonic Archives,” says Philharmonic Historian/Archivist Barbara Haws — is now digitized and available to view in the New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives.

Mahler used this score, his own copy, when he led the Philharmonic’s first performance of the work, on March 30, 1910, during his tenure as Music Director. Over the years the score, published in 1889, had become too fragile to handle. In 2013, through the generosity of Jan and Mark Schapper, the score was preserved so that it could be photographed, included in the Leon Levy Digital Archives, and studied.

Clark University music professor Benjamin Korstvedt is the first scholar to make a careful study of Mahler’s extensive markings and cuts in this score. On Friday, July 17 he will present his findings at the North American Conference on Nineteenth-Century Music in his paper, “Mahler’s Bruckner.”

An example of Dr. Korstvedt’s observations: “Mahler’s treatment of the Finale, which removes more than a third of the music, is quite remarkable. Mahler radically altered the nature of this movement, effectively transforming it from an epic statement into a shorter and lighter piece by systematically deleting each appearance of the stormy third theme group, adjusting some dynamics and a bit of the orchestration, and reworking a key modulation. The result clearly goes against Bruckner’s intentions, but does have a certain logic of its own.”

The New York Times hailed the 1910 Philharmonic premiere of Bruckner’s Fourth for its “truly superb interpretation ... at the hands of Mr. Mahler — a performance that proclaimed even more unmistakably than they have been proclaimed before the mastery and authority of the conductor. It showed his insight and entire sympathy with Bruckner’s music.”

Mahler left the score in the Philharmonic’s music library, but he brought the orchestra parts with him to Europe. Noting in the library catalog why the parts were lost, the Philharmonic librarian at the time wrote, “He died.” Those orchestra parts now reside in the Vienna City Library’s Music Department. Dr. Korstvedt studied both Mahler’s score in New York and the orchestra parts in Vienna, and he reports that the markings line up.

NY Philharmonic Digital Archives Mahler Bruckner

50th Anniversary Parks Perks

The New York Philharmonic, trees and lawn, and fireworks … what more could you want? Well, there are a few extras in store for our fans in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.

Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, June 19: In addition to Share the Stage — Brooklyn, featuring the Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir, led by Frank Haye, look for:

  • Local food trucks, including Carpe Donut and Nuchas;
  • a photo exhibit in a white tent next to the Prospect Park Alliance table.

Queens’s Cunningham Park, June 22: In addition to Share the Stage — Queens, featuring jazz percussionist Steven Kroon, check out

  • Local food trucks, including Andy’s Italian Ices, Big D’s Grub Truck, and Souvlaki GR
  • a photo exhibit in a white tent under a large tree on the way to the bathroom building. When looking at the stage, the table will be on the left side of the field. 
  • Philharmonic staff gathering memories from audience members to be added to Crowdsourcing Memories: 50 Years of the Philharmonic in New York City’s Parks
  • And in the lead-up to the concert, 50 Years of the New York Philharmonic in Queens Parks, multimedia talks created by the Philharmonic Archives and the Queens Library, about the Orchestra’s relationship with Queens through the Concerts in the Parks. These take place at the following Queens Library branches: Windsor Park (June 11, 2:30 p.m.), Central Library (June 11, 6:00 p.m.), Forest Hills (June 13, 3:00 p.m.), and Glen Oaks (June 19, 1:30 p.m.)

Bronx’s Van Cortlandt Park, June 23: In addition to Share the Stage — Bronx, featuring BombaYo, led by Jose L. Ortiz, also known as Dr. Drum, enjoy the photo exhibit in a white tent near the main entrance to the event (where most people enter the field).

NY Philharmonic Receives Grant from National Endowment for the Humanities

We are grateful and proud that the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded a $300,000 grant to the New York Philharmonic to support a multi-year initiative to digitize the Orchestra’s extensive archives. 

The grant affirms the humanities value of the collection, which dates back to 1842, and recognizes the archives’ importance to scholars and researchers. Upon its completion in 2018, the New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives will contain more than 3 million pages of correspondence, operation files, financial ledgers, minutes from business and artistic meetings, marked scores, printed programs, and press clippings.

The newly digitized material, made available online to scholars and the general public through the Leon Levy Digital Archives, will offer unprecedented open access to nearly 130 years of cultural, political, and social history through the lens of one of the United States’ oldest cultural institutions. This is the Philharmonic’s first NEH grant in 30 years.

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