There's no doubt about it (especially if you've been walking the streets of NYC recently...)—summer is upon us! For the Brothers Balliett, after many a summer spent in the shady groves of musical places like Tanglewood and Aspen, summer conjures a time when it is ok to just sit back, relax, and enjoy some great orchestral music.
As a kickoff to a four-part summer series focusing on fantastic symphonies, the brothers present two pieces by unusual composers. Isang Yun's Second Symphony combines the hard-edged language he learned from compositional study in mid-twentieth-century Germany with long, arching melodies inspired by his native Korea.
We've heard some Leif Segerstam on the BB before, but the wealth of imagination that flows from this guy is astonishing, and with over one hundred symphonies from which to choose, it seems as though there is plenty to explore. Another late symphony, performed without conductor, will bring to mind a more temperate place—there are even a few icy Finnish blasts.
Stay cool and enjoy some smooth symphonies!