Bridgehampton Festival: spotlight on the Mendelssohns, plus Moravec and Bunch commissions

Posted on: July 20, 2018

“ ‘She plays like a man’—at the time the highest of praise—is how Fanny Mendelssohn’s music teacher described her student’s precocious talent,” writes Deidre Greben in Friday’s (7/20) Newsday (Long Island, NY). “Two of Fanny’s piano works, known as ‘songs,’ and one of [her brother Felix’s] ‘Songs Without Words,’ will be performed … in a Mendelssohn concert Sunday and Monday to kick off the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival’s 35th anniversary season, which runs through Aug. 19…. Actor Alan Alda [will read] illuminating passages from the [Mendelssohns’] copious letter exchange…. Among the works to be performed are Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Paul Moravec’s ’A New Country,’ one of two commissions…. The other is by Kenji Bunch. ‘A New Country’ uses five poems as the basis for its movements, including three by Long Islander Walt Whitman, ‘The New Colossus’ by Emma Lazarus and ‘My Dream’ by immigrant Anna Vacek … ‘to show how the energy of New York is infused by recent arrivals,’ Moravec says.” Festival founder Marya Martin, a flutist born in New Zealand, calls the programs “a celebration of everything this country has to offer those who come from various places … to make America a more interesting place.”

Posted July 20, 2018