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Dvořák: From the New World



I love playing with this band. This time around I’ll get to play lead on Dvorak’s iconic 9th Symphony, not to mention a world premiere of Jonathan Leshnoff’s 2nd Violin Concerto. I’ll have to check, but I think Harrisburg has premiered other works of his. We’ll also play a piece I’ve never heard of, by a composer I’ve never heard of. English composer Arnold Bax’s Tintagel is a symphonic poem about a castle on an island of the same name, north of Cornwall. I’ve read that Bax lived a dual life; one as an English composer, and one as the Irish poet Dermot O’Byrne. He even wrote a poem titled Tintagel Castle:

Tintagel Castle

While these old walls were crumbling,

Fair countless maids and men

Have cried and kissed and whispered,

And never come again.

We two know all their story,

Though all heroic glory

Fall from this old sea-warden,

Slain by a pedant pen.


Though Iseult’s arms and bosom

Were shadowy as her shame,

And dusty brains have proven

That Arthur’s but a name,

We have a certain toekn

How hearts of old were broken;

And English, Celt or Norman,

Love hurt them still the same.


They stared out even as we do

Across the silken tide,

And sought in sundown splendours

The dream their world denied;

And Dick and Meg have parted

In Cornwall broken-hearted

Ten thousand time, though Tristam

had never sinned or died.


Strain closer yet, my lovely,

Till all your breast’s aglow,

Nor think how new sad ages

Will never care to know

If your white body’s beauty

Were thrall to Love or Duty,

Or how I burned and hungered

Long centuries ago.

Bax and his lover Harriet Cohen,

Bax and his lover Harriet Cohen,

The Harrisburg Symphony

Stuart Malina, conductor

Bax: Tintagel
Leshnoff: Violin Concerto No. 2 (World Premiere Consortium)
Harrisburg Premiere commissioned by Hava Pell & Michael Kline
  Alexander Kerr, Violin
Dvořák: Symphony No. 9 From the New World

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