Meet Antonin Dvorák with Close Encounters with Music in Lenox


LENOX -- For Father's Day, Close Encounters with Music will present an all-Dvorák gala concert in many genres -- piano quintet, piano trio, song cycles and opera -- Sunday, June 15, at 2 p.m. in Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood on Route 183.

Dvorák's compositions helped bridge the worlds of popular musical culture and the 19th-century concert hall. Sunday's concert will include two of his best-known chamber pieces -- the "Dumky" Trio and the Piano Quintet No. 2 in A Major, both incorporating Slavonic music (Dumka), Czech folk dances, optimism and rhythmic vitality. The "Dumky" was so well received at its premiere that Dvorák presented it on a 40-concert tour before he left Bohemia to head the National Conservatory of Music in New York City.

Violinist Itamar Zorman will perform with pianist Roman Rabinovich, violinist David McCarroll, violist Ara Gregorian and CEWM artistic director and cellist Yehuda Hanani.

Mezzo-soprano Kelley O'Connor will make her Berkshire debut singing Dvorak's rarely heard "Biblical Songs," "Gypsy Songs" and "Song to the Moon" from the opera Rusalka.

Dvork composed the cycle of Biblical Songs in 1894. Following the death of two dear friends (Tchaikovsky and conductor Hans von Bulow) and the news of the terminal illness of his own father, Dvorak sought comfort in his faith. He selected verses from the book of Psalms and produced some of his most spiritual music. "Songs my mother taught me" from the Gypsy Songs, and "Song of the Moon" from his fairy-tale opera Rusalka are among his most beloved vocal works.


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