NEC Chamber Orchestra: Veress, Netsky, Stravinsky
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of NEC's Contemporary Musical Arts department, the NEC Chamber Orchestra collaborates with the CMA in a performance of Chagall’s Mandolins, a suite by CMA co-chair Hankus Netsky featuring CMA student soloist G Rockwell '24, mandolin. Rockwell is the recent winner of Nashville's prestigious Freshgrass festival award in the banjo category. Also on the program are Sándor Veress' Four Transylvanian Dances and Stravinsky's Apollon musagète.
This is an in-person event with a private stream available to the NEC community here: https://necmusic.edu/live.
- Donald Palma, artistic director
- G Rockwell '24, mandolin
Sándor Veress | Four Transylvanian Dances
Sándor Veress was a Swiss composer of Hungarian origin. He was born in Kolozsvár/Klausenburg, then Austria-Hungary (now Cluj-Napoca, Romania), and died in Bern. The first half of his life was spent in Hungary; in 1949 he moved to Switzerland and became a Swiss citizen shortly before his death. Veress studied and later taught at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest. Among his teachers were Zoltán Kodály, with whom he studied composition, and Béla Bartök, with whom he studied piano. As an assistant to Lászlö Lajtha, he did field research on Hungarian, Transylvanian, and Moldovan folk music. Among those who studied composition with him are György Ligeti, György Kurtág, Heinz Holliger, Heinz Marti, Jürg Wyttenbach, and Roland Moser. He wrote numerous chamber music pieces and symphonic works and one opera, Hangjegyek lázadása.
Four Transylvanian Dances was composed in 1944. These four dances reflect Veress’ folk influence, as each movement is named after a traditional Hungarian dance. The suite is introduced by Lassú, a dance which typically opened any set of Hungarian dances. The subsequent Ugrós is a scherzo with extensive imitation. The slower Lejtős, based on an ostinato figure first presented by divided cellos, is danced with gliding steps. Dobbantós, the liveliest of the four, is a dance in which men stamp their feet – closing out the work with a kind of Hungarian hoedown.
Hankus Netsky | Chagall's Mandolins (2000)
Song of Longing
The Clown's Sirba (after a theme by George Gershwin)
Chagall's Mandolins was commissioned by the Nieuw Philharmonia of Amsterdam in 1998 as a piece to feature Jeff Warschauer, a well-known mandolinist, NEC alum, and long-time collaborator of mine in the Klezmer Conservatory Band and other projects. It was Jeff who suggested that I base it on various Chagall paintings with mandolinists. He felt that people neglect them and focus only on the paintings with violinists (the Green Violin, etc.). As soon as I did, inspiration came quickly - the images are very strong, and they project a very different feeling than the ones with violinists, since they put an emphasis on the people in them rather than the instrument itself. The subject of each painting projects a distinct character, thus the various characters of the movements of the piece.
A multi-instrumentalist, composer, and ethnomusicologist, Dr. Hankus Netsky is co-chair of New England Conservatory’s Contemporary Musical Arts Department and founder and director of the Klezmer Conservatory Band, an internationally renowned Yiddish music ensemble. He has composed extensively for film, theater, and television and collaborating on major projects with Itzhak Perlman, Robin Williams, Joel Grey, Theodore Bikel, and Robert Brustein. He has recorded with Itzhak Perlman, Balla Kouyate, Eden MacAdam-Somer, Ran Blake, Marty Ehrlich, Rosalie Gerut, Linda J. Chase, and Theodore Bikel. He received the Yosl Mlotek Award and a “Forward Fifty” award for his role in the resurgence of Eastern European Jewish ethnic musical culture and an Outstanding Alumni award from New England Conservatory. Netsky has also taught at McGill University, Hampshire College, Wesleyan University, and Hebrew College. His essays have been published by the University of California Press, the University of Pennsylvania Press, the University of Scranton Press, Hips Roads, Indiana University Press, and the University Press of America. Temple University Press published his book Klezmer, Music and Community in 20th Century Jewish Philadelphia in 2015. He performs regularly with violinist and vocalist Eden MacAdam-Somer, gospel singer Janice “Octavia” Allen, and in former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky’s “PoemJazz” project. He served as vice president for education at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Mass., is a consultant for the Lomax “Association for Cultural Equity” and has taught for Silkroad’s Global Musician Workshop, Klezkamp, KlezKanada, Yiddish New York, Paper Bridge, Yidstock, Aleph, Dorot, Bolli, Me’ah, and Circle Lodge.
An award winning multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, composer and bandleader, G Rockwell has performed and competed on stages across the country.
His unique style of Americana sits somewhere between the traditions of bluegrass and gypsy jazz; with the modern influences of artists like David Grisman and Tony Trischka. G has had the honor of sharing the stage with Michael Daves, Jacob Jolliff and Bela Fleck.
Currently enrolled at New England Conservatory, G performs and teaches on multiple instruments. He performs with the G Rockwell Band, Kol Kahol Bluegrass, Bookmatch as well as solo.
G has worked on multiple studio album/EP projects, including the 2019 release of Spark! his album of original works, produced in concert with Stash Wyslouch.Artists
- G Rockwell, mandolin
Igor Stravinsky | Apollon musagète (1947 version)
Prologue: The Birth of Apollo
Variation of Apollo
Pas d'action (Apollo and the Three Muses)
Variation of Calliope (the Alexandrine)
Variation of Polyhymnia
Variation of Terpsichore
Second Variation of Apollo
Pas de deux
In his Poetics of Music(1942), Stravinsky says: “Summing up: What is important for the lucid ordering of the work – for its crystallization – is that all the Dionysian elements which set the imagination of the artist in motion and make the life-sap rise must be properly subjugated before they intoxicate us, and must finally be made to submit to the law: Apollo demands it.” Stravinsky conceived Apollo as a ballet blanc – a “white ballet” with classical choreography and monochromatic attire. Envisioning the work in his mind’s eye, he found that “the absence of many-colored hues and of all superfluities produced a wonderful freshness.” Upon first hearing Apollo, Diaghilev found it “music somehow not of this world, but from somewhere else above.” The ballet closes with an Apotheosis in which Apollo leads the Muses towards Parnassus. Here, the gravely beautiful music with which the work began is truly recapitulated “on high” – ceaselessly recycled, frozen in time.
– Boosey & Hawkes/Joseph Horowitz
Cameron Alan-Lee §§
Bowen Chen ‡
Hannah Goldstick ‡‡
Nikki Naghavi §
Julian Rhee **
Corley Friesen-Johnson §
Joy Hsieh ‡
Sachin Shukla *
Yuri Ahn ‡
Joan Herget §
Misha Bjerken §‡*
Double symbol for principal 2nd violin