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52 minutes | Jul 6, 2021
Scaling a Mountain of a Work with Gilles Vonsattel
We end our 2021 season of Spoleto Backstage on a high note with a magnificent, sweeping piano quintet that has such an emotional and expressive range — Ludwig Thuille's Piano Quintet No. 2, op. 20. We also speak with the featured pianist in this performance, Gilles Vonsattel, about the piece and being a part of this year's Spoleto Chamber Music Series.
51 minutes | Jul 2, 2021
The Schubert Show
On this episode of Spoleto Backstage, we take in selections from late Classical, early Romantic composer Franz Schubert. Pianist Pedja Muzijevic joins us to talk about the logistics of performing Schubert's Fantasie in F minor for four hands, D. 940 with fellow piano player Inon Barnatan at this year's Chamber Music Series. We also chat with cellist Paul Wiancko about sitting in with the St. Lawrence String Quartet for the composer's String Quintet in C major, D. 956, Mvts. III-IV.
54 minutes | Jun 29, 2021
Chamber Music Cloud Nine with Arlen Hlusko
On this ninth episode of Spoleto Backstage for 2021, we hear chamber music works for nine musicians — selections which may have you feeling like you're on cloud nine! We're also joined by cellist Arlen Hlusko, one of the performers featured in both concerts, to discuss making her Spoleto Festival USA debut this year.
44 minutes | Jun 25, 2021
Contemporary Works and a World Premiere by Osvaldo Golijov
On this edition of Spoleto Backstage, we share a compilation of contemporary works performed as part of this year's Spoleto Chamber Music Series. We speak with Osvaldo Golijov about the world premiere of his piece "Milonga" as well as what Spoleto Festival USA means to him. Then, we chat with composer Paul Wiancko about his work, "American Haiku."
53 minutes | Jun 22, 2021
Beethoven Sampler Box with Monica Ellis
On this episode of Spoleto Backstage, we continue our series spotlighting the First Viennese School composers with three of Ludwig van Beethoven's works, one from each of the stylistic periods in which his works are often categorized. We're also joined by bassoonist Monica Ellis, founding member of the quintet Imani Winds, to chat about performing in one of these pieces as well as Alicia Hall and Jason Moran's "Two Wings: The Music of Black America in Migration" at this year's Spoleto Festival USA.
35 minutes | Jun 18, 2021
German Baroque and Contemporary with James Austin Smith
Enjoy a world premiere performance by oboist James Austin Smith on this episode of Spoleto Backstage. Smith also joins us to share the backstory of the piece by composer Sigfried Thiele, discuss life as a musician during the pandemic, and celebrate his return to Spoleto Festival USA.
48 minutes | Jun 15, 2021
Mozartistry with David Byrd-Marrow
On this fifth episode of Spoleto Backstage for 2021, we spotlight the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with two his works performed as part of this year's Spoleto Chamber Music Series: Trio in E-flat major, K. 498 “Kegelstatt” and Horn Concerto No. 1 in D major, K. 412. We're then joined by hornist David Byrd-Marrow, the featured soloist in the latter, to discuss the concerto and how performing a wide range of musical styles helps him as an artist.
48 minutes | Jun 11, 2021
20th Century Romanticism with Todd Palmer
We take another dive into the Romantic era with two richly expressive 20th century compositions for wind and string instruments. Clarinetist Todd Palmer joins us with background on these works and to discuss playing the parts of both soloist and arranger during this year's Spoleto Chamber Music Series.
48 minutes | Jun 8, 2021
Romantic Violin Tell & Show with Geoff Nuttall and Jennifer Frautschi
On this episode of Spoleto Backstage, we highlight two passionate, exciting Romantic era sonatas for violin and piano, and hear some background about the pieces from the musicians who performed them at this year's Spoleto Chamber Music Series. First, we speak with Geoff Nuttall, violinist and the Charles E. and Andrea L. Volpe Director of Chamber Music for Spoleto Festival USA, about Robert Schumann's Violin Sonatas No. 1 in A minor, op. 105 1st Mvmt. Then, violinist Jennifer Frautschi joins us to discuss performing Camille Saint-Saëns' Violin Sonata No. 1 in D minor, op. 75.
47 minutes | Jun 4, 2021
Meeting Jessica Meyer, Composer in Residence
On this episode of Spoleto Backstage, we speak with Jessica Meyer, violist and 2021 Spoleto Chamber Music Series composer in residence, and hear her compositions featured in this year's series. We're also joined by violinist Livia Sohn, for whom Meyer wrote the new composition "From Our Ashes," to chat about the piece and returning to public performance after personal setbacks.
39 minutes | Jun 1, 2021
The Chamber Music Series Returns
On this first episode of Spoleto Backstage for 2021, host Bradley Fuller is joined by Geoff Nuttall, the Charles E. and Andrea L. Volpe Director of Chamber Music for Spoleto Festival USA, to discuss returning to the chamber music series after the cancellation of last year's festival. Then we hear the first concert from this year's series as the St. Lawrence String Quartet performs Franz Joseph Hayden's String Quartet, op. 76 no. 4 "Sunrise."
3 minutes | May 14, 2021
Spoleto Backstage 2021 Teaser
Spoleto Backstage returns for a brand new season as the Spoleto Festival USA resumes in-person performances for 2021.
182 minutes | Jul 31, 2020
Spoleto Backstage: Beethoven Bonus Round
In this final episode of Spoleto Backstage for 2020, cohosts Geoff Nuttall and Bradley Fuller mark the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth by taking a tour through the German composer’s three stylistic periods — early, middle, and late — with commentary and a listen to representative performances from the past twelve years of the Spoleto Festival chamber music series. After discussing Beethoven’s musical beginnings, Geoff and Bradley hear his Piano Trio Op. 1, No. 3, followed by the second and third movements of his Septet in E-flat major, Op. 20. The conversation then moves to Beethoven’s middle or “heroic” period, with performances of the haunting second movement of the composer’s “Ghost” Trio and the passionate opening movement of his “Kreutzer” sonata to illustrate this stylistic phase at the start of the Romantic era. A discussion of late-period Beethoven serves to introduce two pieces for string quartet by the composer, both from the final years of his life: the achingly beautiful fifth-movement Cavatina from his String Quartet No. 13 in B-flat major, op. 130, and the monumental Grosse Fuge, Op. 133.
52 minutes | Jul 24, 2020
Spoleto Backstage: Bach Bonus Round
This episode of Spoleto Backstage highlights the music of Johann Sebastian Bach with Spoleto chamber music series performances of two works representative of the German baroque composer’s prolific and wide-ranging output: his Concerto in C minor for violin and oboe, BWV 1060, and his cantata Ich habe genug, BWV 82. Before listening to these works as performed in the festival’s 2017 and 2011 seasons, hosts Geoff Nuttall and Bradley Fuller talk about Bach’s career and legacy, considering what his music means to them and the qualities that have ensured its appeal across centuries and cultures.
58 minutes | Jul 17, 2020
Spoleto Backstage: Paganini And Schubert
This episode of Spoleto Backstage rounds out Geoff Nuttall’s list of top Spoleto Festival chamber performances from the past decade with a 2011 program featuring Franz Schubert’s Piano Quintet in A major, D. 667—better known as the “Trout” Quintet. As Geoff shares with Bradley Fuller in a conversation before the music begins, this sparkling chamber work gets both its nickname and the musical material for its theme-and-variations fourth movement from a catchy lied or art song Schubert wrote two years prior: “Die Forelle” (“The Trout”), op. 32, D. 550. Baritone Tyler Duncan performs this lied just before pianist Pedja Muzijevic joins string players Hsin-Yun Huang, Christopher Costanza, Anthony Manzo, and Geoff himself for the quintet it inspired. The concert opens with Niccolò Paganini’s fiendishly-difficult Moses Fantasy for cello and piano, a work based on an operatic aria by Gioachino Rossini and allegedly shaped by its composer’s prison sentence.
67 minutes | Jul 10, 2020
Spoleto Backstage: Schubert, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Donizetti, And Gounod
This episode of Spoleto Backstage highlights one of Geoff Nuttall’s all-time favorite programs from the Spoleto Festival USA Chamber Music Series: the eleventh and final concert from the 2018 season. As Geoff discusses with Bradley Fuller before the music begins, the wide-ranging, variety-packed lineup of this program is emblematic of the chamber series as a whole. To start, the men of the Westminster Choir join the regular chamber musicians for a performance of Franz Schubert’s sublime choral setting of Goethe’s “Gesang der Geister über den Wassern.” Cellist Joshua Roman and pianist Gilles Vonsattel then perform Ludwig van Beethoven’s Cello Sonata in C major, Op. 102. Following the late Beethoven work is Antonio Vivaldi’s stormy “Summer” concerto from The Four Seasons. For the final two pieces of the program, tenor Paul Groves takes center stage with a performance of two hit arias: Gaetano Donizetti’s “Una furtiva lagrima” (from L’elisir d’amore) and Charles Gounod’s “Salut! Demeure chaste et pure” (from Faust).
168 minutes | Jul 4, 2020
Spoleto Backstage: Kreisler, Golijov, Tchaikovsky, And Alisa Weilerstein
In this episode of Spoleto Backstage, Geoff Nuttall and Bradley Fuller revisit another unforgettable program from the past decade of the Spoleto Festival USA Chamber Music Series. Before moving to the music itself, the two hosts talk about what makes this 2016 concert a top-pick performance. Opening the program are two dazzling violin showpieces by Fritz Kreisler—his Praeludium and Allegro, as well as the Caprice Viennois, Op. 2. Violinist Benjamin Beilman performs both, accompanied by pianist Pedja Muzijevic. Composer Osvaldo Golijov then introduces his “Drag Down the Sky” (an aria from the opera Iphigenia), performed by baritone Tyler Duncan and the St. Lawrence String Quartet. The concert concludes with Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s captivating String Sextet in D minor, “Souvenir de Florence,” Op. 70. After the music, Geoff is joined by star cellist Alisa Weilerstein for a conversation covering everything from her current projects to a memorable interaction with pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim.
87 minutes | Jun 26, 2020
Spoleto Backstage: Foote, Haydn, Beach, And Anthony Roth Costanzo
This episode of Spoleto Backstage showcases a 2012 chamber series program bookended by late Romantic American works. Opening with Arthur Foote’s A Night Piece, the concert also features Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 101 in D Major, “The Clock” (arr. Salomon) before concluding with Amy Beach’s Piano Quintet in F-sharp minor, Op. 67. Geoff Nuttall and Bradley Fuller talk about the selections and the backgrounds of those who wrote them ahead of the music itself.
75 minutes | Jun 19, 2020
Spoleto Backstage: Vivaldi, Brahms, And Inon Barnatan
This episode of Spoleto Backstage features another of Geoff Nuttall’s favorite programs from the past decade of the Spoleto Festival USA Chamber Music Series. Before listening to the 2018 concert, Geoff and Bradley Fuller discuss the selections, paying special attention to the opening Vivaldi concerto for oboe and violin and emphasizing how the baroque composer’s hundreds of other concertos are anything but nothingburgers. Balancing the Vivaldi is the program’s concluding work: Johannes Brahms’ passionate Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25. After the music, Geoff catches up with pianist and frequent chamber series performer Inon Barnatan. The two talk about his career, special pandemic projects, and fond memories of past festivals.
152 minutes | Jun 12, 2020
Spoleto Backstage: Norman, Telemann, Rachmaninoff, And Pedja Muzijevic
In this episode of Spoleto Backstage, Geoff Nuttall and Bradley Fuller look back on a concert performed as part of the 2016 Spoleto Festival Chamber Music Series. After discussing what makes it one of the most memorable performances from the past decade of the series, the two enjoy a listen to the program. Andrew Norman’s Garden of Follies comes first, featuring oboist James Austin Smith and pianist Pedja Muzijevic. Next is a baroque-era work inspired by a Cervantes novel: Georg Philipp Telemann’s Ouverture-Suite, TWV 55:G10 “Burlesque de Quixotte.” The concert concludes with Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Sonata in G minor for Cello and Piano, op. 19, performed by cellist Alisa Weilerstein and pianist Inon Barnatan. After the concert, Bradley catches up with pianist and chamber-series regular Pedja Muzijevic to learn more about his current projects, programming decisions, and musical career—including what makes his involvement with Spoleto Festival so rewarding.
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