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.

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July 06, 2013

5:00 PM
Overture to a Comedy
Artist :
Album :
Composer : Balfour Gardiner
Catalog : 49933 CD
Conductor : Richard Hickox
Orchestra : Northern Sinfonia of England
Label : Angel/EMI
5:09 PM
Children’s Overture
Artist :
Album :
Composer : Roger Quilter
Catalog : 64131 CD
Conductor : Sir Vivian Dunn
Orchestra : Light Music Society Orchestra
Label : Angel/EMI
5:20 PM
Piano Concerto in D
Artist : Peter Donahoe, piano
Album :
Composer : Cyril Scott
Catalog : 7302 CD
Conductor : Martin Yayes
Orchestra : BBC Concert Orchestra
Label : Epoch


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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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
1:38 pm
Sat June 4, 2011

Works by Friedrich Gernsheim and Engelbert Humperdinck

We're going to pick up the thread from last month's Discoveries and follow it a bit further. Felix Mendelssohn convinced two friends of his, Ignaz Moscheles and Ferdinand David, to work with him in Leipzig. Moscheles and David both taught Friedrich Gernsheim. We'll hear his music, and that of one of his students, who has one of the more recognized names of any composer.

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
12:01 pm
Wed May 4, 2011

Three Composers of Leipzig

Ignaz Moscheles

The famous pianist and composer Ignaz Moscheles sat next to the 15-year-old boy on the piano bench, about to give a piano lesson as a favor to the boy's father. In less than a minute, Moscheles, a sensation on the continent, lionized in England, one of a handful of pianists vying for that ever-shifting "greatest" title, knew that he was "sitting next to a master, not a pupil." He had encountered prodigies before, but never had he seen anyone like Felix Mendelssohn.

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
11:00 am
Sat March 5, 2011

Composer and Pianist Ferruccio Busoni

Ferruccio Busoni. He was the first to perform all 18 Franz Liszt Preludes together, the first to play all 24 Chopin Preludes together, and, over four nights in Berlin, he soloed in 14 concertos with orchestra. Fourteen. They couldn't invent words big enough to describe this new star among pianists. Not only did they call him star, but also sun, giant, and king - tripping over themselves to find superlatives.

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
3:28 pm
Sat February 12, 2011

Widor and Copland

Charles-Marie Widor circa 1900

Works for Organ and Orchestra by Charles-Marie Widor and Aaron Copland

The organ world in Paris - in January of 1870 - was buzzing when the top names in the business saw to it that a 25-year-old got the biggest job in the city. St. Sulpice Church was looking for someone to pilot its newly installed five-manual organ, the greatest and largest instrument by Aristide Cavaille-Coll, known as the greatest organ builder of the 19th century.

Camille Saint-Saens, Charles Gounod, and Cavaille-Coll himself all said that there was only one person for the job: Charles-Marie Widor. The church offered Widor the appointment on a temporary basis. He kept the job for 64 years.

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
9:51 am
Sat January 8, 2011

Only in America!

Only in the midst of WW II, Columbia Pictures was deciding who would compose the score to a film about an Allied battle in Norway. Two Russian-born composers were in the running. Igor Stravinsky, the most famous composer alive, had the inside track. Yet, the other composer got the job. Who did Stravinsky lose out to?

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
4:16 pm
Sat December 4, 2010

Paul Juon: The Russian Brahms

Paul Juon was born in Russia and died in Switzerland, but is a German composer. His music is influenced by Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, and Sibelius, so of course he was called "the Russian Brahms"! Well, Taneyev, Glazunov, and Medtner have all been called that, but it was a schoolmate, Sergei Rachmaninoff, who pinned the nickname on Paul Juon. So who is he?

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Discoveries from the Fleisher Collection
10:46 am
Sat November 6, 2010

Works by Xaver Scharwenka

Xaver Scharwenka was a composer, educator, conductor, editor, impresario, and world-famous pianist born in Poland, who established his career in Germany, and founded a conservatory in New York City. Two quite different pieces, the formidable Fourth Piano Concerto and an utterly gorgeous Andante religioso for strings, organ, and harp, show the depth of his creativity.

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