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WQXR Features

The WQXR Weekender: August 2-5

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This weekend's highlights include a jazz arrangement of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, the JACK Quartet on Governor's Island, and three performances at the Mostly Mozart Festival.

Thursday, August 2 at 8:30 pm
The Bad Plus plays Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring at Lincoln Center Out of Doors
Damrosch Park

This jazz trio, comprised of pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson and drummer David King, is known for crossing musical borders of all sorts. The group has added a jazz twist to everything from Radiohead to Milton Babbitt. On Thursday, it will give the New York premiere of On Sacred Ground, its version of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. Read more about this project.


Friday, August 3 at 8:00 pm
Beethoven and Haydn
Mostly Mozart
Avery Fisher Hall

Both Haydn's Nelson Mass and Beethoven's Second Symphony were composed in close temporal proximity to large conflicts that ensued in Europe when young Napoleon Bonaparte was given command of the French army. Neither work is explicitly associated with those stormy times, perhaps because both have been overshadowed by their composer's other works, such as Beethoven's "Eroica" and Haydn's Missa in tempore belli ("Mass in Time of War"). Nonetheless, both Haydn's Nelson Mass and Beethoven's Second represent the composers' very personal struggles, and are no less momentous works. Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads the festival's resident orchestra, joined by the Concert Chorale of New York and a quartet of vocal soloists.


Saturday, August 4, 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm
Governor’s Island Rite of Summer Festival
The JACK Quartet

Follow Thursday's Rite of Spring with Rite of Summer and a different coming-together of old and new. The downtown JACK Quartet plays music by Guillaume de Machaut, Charles Ives, Brian Baumbusch, Ken Thomson and Payton MacDonald.


Sunday, August 5
Mostly Mozart Festival

Two Mostly Mozart events round out the weekend on Sunday:

3pm: Chamber Orchestra of Europe with Lisa Batiashvilli
Alice Tully Hall

Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts once more, this time leading the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, which the BBC calls "the finest chamber orchestra in the world." Violinist Lisa Batiashvili and oboist François Leleux join in for Bach's Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C minor. Also on the program are Mozart's Overture to Don Giovanni and Mendelssohn's "Scottish" Symphony No. 3.

Oiseaux Exotiques: International Contemporary Ensemble


This year's festival is organized around the theme of birds, "the originators of song and an inspiration for countless composers," writes artistic director Jane Moss. This concert program explores that theme, finishing with Olivier Messiaen's Oiseaux exotiques (Exotic Birds), along with his Piece for piano and string quartet, the U.S. premiere of Luca Francesconi's Islands, Jukka Tiensuu's nemo and Tristan Murail's La Barque mystique. The International Contemporary Ensemble, led by Susanna Mälkki, is joined by pianist Nicolas Hodges.