CONCERT RECORDINGS

Symphony No. 7

I. Poco sostenuto – Vivace

Ludwig van Beethoven

Arrangement by Alex Vittal

Recorded live in concert by

Kevin Harbison on 9/22/2019 at

The Studios at Overland Crossing

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 is Sphere's largest arrangement project to date.  Composed in 1811-12, Beethoven stated at its premiere that it was one of his best works, and it was an instant success.  The first movement begins with an extended slow introduction with long cascading scales and frequent key modulations, finally arriving at multiple repetition of the note E in preparation for the fast, joyful, and dance-like main body of the movement.

Intermezzo, Op. 118 No. 2

Johannes Brahms

Arrangement by David Short

Recorded live in concert by

Kevin Harbison on 11/23/2019 at

The Mercury Cafe

Intermezzo, Op. 118 No. 2 by Johannes Brahms is the second in a set of six solo piano intermezzi.  Composed in 1893 just four years before his death, Brahms dedicated these profoundly beautiful and moving works to his dear, life-long friend, Clara Schumann.  She was a world-renowned concert pianist and composer, and the widow of the composer Robert Schumann.  While musicologists are constantly tempted to speculate about whether Johannes and Clara were ever lovers over their 40 years of friendship, the Pulitzer Prize winning poet Lisel Mueller describes their love beautifully as transcending any label or boundaries in her 1996 poem “Romantics”:

...Each time I hear

the Intermezzi, sad

and lavish in their tenderness,

I imagine the two of them

sitting in a garden

among late-blooming roses

and dark cascades of leaves,

letting the landscape speak for them,

leaving us nothing to overhear.

Utilizing Sphere's signature 13-part string writing, David Short's arrangement expertly captures the quiet, tender intimacy prevalent throughout, as well as the moments of breathless passion in this incredibly moving music.

© 2020 SPHERE ENSEMBLE 

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