Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection

The first Saturday of each month, 5 to 6 pm

In Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection, we uncover the unknown, rediscover the little-known, and take a fresh look at some of the remarkable treasures housed in the Edwin A. Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music in the Free Library of Philadelphia. The Fleisher Collection is the largest lending library of orchestral performance material in the world.

Composer ID: 
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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
7:09 am
Sat May 5, 2012

Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection: The Story of Paul Hindemith on May 5th

Composer Paul Hindemith is in the spotlight on Saturday, May 5th at 5 pm. Your hosts Kile Smith and Jack Moore tell the tale and play the music of Hindemith - once the darling of new music and his German rulers, he ran afoul of both groups, and then it seemed as if nothing was going right.
 

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
1:28 pm
Sat March 10, 2012

The Great American Composer and Conductor Howard Hanson

An ancient Roman seeking signs from the flights of birds would climb the Janiculum hill, overlooking the city from the west, across the Tiber. If an augur had been stationed there in 1921, he might just as well have considered the progress of a young Howard Hanson, from Wahoo, Nebraska, son of Swedish immigrants, and the first winner of the American Rome Prize for musical composition. Hanson lived for three years at the American Academy in Rome, which sits on that very hill.

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
11:18 am
Sat February 4, 2012

The Music of Igor Stravinsky

Rimsky-Korsakov was not a man given to high praise. So when he wrote the words "Not bad" in his diary about the music of one of his students, that was unusually complimentary. The student was Igor Stravinsky.

Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971). Symphony No. 1 (1907). Scottish National Orchestra, Sir Alexander Gibson. Chandos 8345, CD1, Tr 1-4. 33:14

Igor Stravinsky. Capriccio (1929). Geoffrey Tozer, piano, Orc hestre de la Suisse Romande, Neeme Jarvi. Chandos 9238, Tr 8-10. 16:59

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
4:50 pm
Sat January 7, 2012

The Musical World of Bela Bartok

The Hungarian Fine Arts Commission told Bartok in 1911 that his opera, the only one he would ever write, was no good, not suitable for the stage. With only two singers and no set changes, Bluebeard's Castle just wasn't operatic. He'd later tinker with it some, but the immediate effect of the rejection was that, for four years, he almost completely stopped writing music. Now recognized as one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, Bela Bartok--just entering the height of his powers--went into a composing blackout.

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
10:11 am
Sat December 3, 2011

Musical Jewels of Jean Sibelius

Gustav Mahler famously remarked that the symphony "must be like the world - it must embrace everything." This explains those disjunct themes delightfully butting against each other in his symphonies. What is often forgotten is that he said this to disagree with Jean Sibelius, who told Mahler that every part of a symphony must have a logical, ruthless interconnection with every other part. Not the world, replies Sibelius: a symphony is like the earth.

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Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
9:35 am
Sat November 5, 2011

Works by Lili Boulanger, Vivian Fine, and Florence Price

Nadia Boulanger is well known to musicians, being the Parisian teacher of many American composers, most notably Aaron Copland. But her younger sister, Lili, excelled as a composer despite battling sickness most of her life. She eventually succumbed to Crohn's Disease at the much-too-young age of 24.

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
10:00 am
Sat October 1, 2011

The Unique Russian Composer Aleksandr Scriabin

The word "unique" is overused, but Aleksandr Scriabin (1872 - 1915) was one unique composer. Tune in to hear two works of Scriabin that were written only ten years apart, but show the great evolution in his artistic identity - from modernist Russian to universal philosopher. It's the Piano Concerto and The Poem of Ecstasy of Aleksandr Scriabin on the next Discoveries...join us!

You needed a ticket to get into the funeral. All the services and all the tributes and all the writings bear witness that when Aleksandr Scriabin died in 1915, at the age of 43, Russia believed its standard-bearer of art had been taken away.

Ten years earlier, Russia could hardly have cared less.

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
3:19 pm
Sat September 3, 2011

Latin-American Orchestral Works

"I've been searching for these all my career!" The conductor from Argentina gazed at the more than 100 Latin-American scores on the desks around him at the Fleisher Collection - just a fraction of the works found by Nicolas Slonimsky in Central and South America. Gabriel Castagna had flown to Philadelphia to study these, and he couldn't believe his eyes.

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
1:01 pm
Sat August 6, 2011

Works by Ignaz Pleyel and Dmitri Shostakovich

Ignaz Pleyel had three strikes against him during the French Revolution. He was rich, he was a foreigner, and he worked for the Church. He was exactly the type of person for whom the Reign of Terror sharpened its guillotines. Even worse: he was an artist. Different despots use different tactics, but artists are usually among their first targets.

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
12:15 pm
Sat July 2, 2011

Claude Debussy Revealed

Maybe it's not fair, but we're going to play two works by Debussy that he never wanted us to hear. And we'll listen to one piece in a form he never heard.

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