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Page 78 text:
Randall Thompson conducts his Psalm of Thanksgiving at the Centennial Concert on November 16, 1967. New England Conservatory Orchestra Frederik Prausnitz, Conductor The first of a recording series, a Conservatory record album starring the Conservatory Symphony Orchestra. Two appearances on television specials with Erich Leinsdorf and Gunther Schuller. A premiere performance of Randall Thompson ' s A PSALM OF THANKSGIVING, a world premiere of Robert Cogan ' s WHIRL . . . DS(I), the Boston premiere of Gunther SchuUer ' s SACRED CANTATA: PSALM 98. A guest-conducting visit by composer Henry Brant. The exciting four-day Centennial Festival in New York featuring performances in Town Hall and Carnegie Recital Hall. All these were keynotes of the Conservatory Symphony Or- chestra ' s varied activities in the 1967-68 season. On November 15, 1967, the Conservatory Orchestra under the baton of Frederik Prausnitz commenced its activities with a concert celebrating the Centennial year and President SchuUer ' s inaugu- ration. The concert began with Mahler ' s SYMPHONY NO. 1 in D major, and then the Orchestra joined forces with the Conservatory Chorus and the Preparatory Department ' s Children ' s Chorus to present Randall Thompson ' s A PSALM OF THANKSGIVING, con- ducted by the composer. During the Christmas season the Orchestra gave two concerts. The first, in December, featured Gustav Hoist ' s chamber opera, SAVITRl, with vocal soloists Jan Curtis, Roger Lucas, and Jesse Coston. Also on the program were the Passacaglia from Britten ' s PETER GRIMES, and Brahms ' SYMPHONY NO. 2. This concert was followed shortly by the Conservatory ' s annual Christmas Con- cert in Symphony Hall, where the Chorus and Orchestra again joined to present two premieres. Under guest conductor Gunther Schuller the Orchestra and Chorus introduced to Boston audiences Mr. SchuUer ' s own SACRED CANTATA: PSALM 98, and Robert Cogan ' s WHIRL . . . DS(I). Valentine ' s Day brought the airing of the hour-long NET Festival television special entitled " Leinsdorf Re-creates. " Featured was a half-hour rehearsal by the Conservatory Orchestra conducted by Erich Leinsdorf, music director of the Boston Symphony. Following the rehearsal was a discussion of the work which had been re- hearsed, Mahler ' s SYMPHONY NO. 3. 74
Page 77 text:
Marc Blitzstein ' s Regina 73
Page 79 text:
Members of the Orchestra performed in a concert of con- temporary American music, directed by John Heiss and Lyie David- son of the faculty. Given on February 20, the concert featured brass quintets by Gunther Schuller and Colher Jones, woodwind quintets by Elliot Carter and Irving Fine, and two Stravinsky pieces, the opening Fanfare from THE RAKE ' S PROGRESS, and the FAN- FARE FOR TWO TRUMPETS (1964). The last-named piece was later recorded by the Orchestra. The next concert by the whole Conservatory Orchestra was given on February 29, when Beethoven ' s Overture to CORIOLANUS was presented, along with the SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUE of Berlioz and the American premiere of Roberto Gerhard ' s SYMPHONY NO. 3 ( " Collages " ). An amusing sidelight on this concert was the review the following morning by one Boston critic, who enjoyed the more traditional fare at the concert but who had been severely frightened by the electronically-amplified opening to the Gerhard work. The unease which this incident caused him, he complained, made it difficult for him to concentrate on the remainder of the symphony - much of which, he added, he liked very much! He and the rest of the Boston press recovered, however, and gave a particularly warm reception to the Orchestra ' s March 21 concert: Liszt ' s LES PRELUDES, Beeth oven ' s PIANO CONCERTO NO. 5 ( " Emperor " ) with faculty soloist Russell Sherman. March 22 was the date for the Orchestra ' s second television appearance, this time on Boston ' s WBZ-TV. As part of an hour-long color special on Gunther Schuller titled " THE NEW MUSIC COMES TO NEW ENGLAND, " members of the Conservatory Orchestra and Chorus performed SchuUer ' s SACRED CANTATA. Members of the Orchestra appeared on April 15 in the second of two contemporary-music concerts under the direction of Malcolm Peyton and Lyle Davidson. Featured works were Henry Brant ' s ANGELS AND DEVILS, guest-conducted by the composer, Hindemith ' s SEPTET for wind instruments, and works by faculty members Victor Rosenbaum, Joyce Mekeel, and Ran Blake. April 25 brought a Jordan Hall concert in which nearly all the works presented, as critic Michael Steinberg put it, had to do with 75
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