Carnegie Hall Live
Gateways Chamber Players
October 22, 2023
Where to? Carnegie Hall, please. Okay, here are your tickets. Enjoy the show. Your tickets, please. Follow me.
Jeff Spurgeon: There are many ways to get to Carnegie Hall. The subway, a taxi, or walk down 57th Street in Manhattan. Well, you've just found another way to get to this storied concert hall. You're listening to Carnegie Hall Live, the broadcast series that gives you a front row seat to concerts by some of the greatest artists in the world.
For 30 years, the Gateways Music Festival has dedicated itself to promoting diversity in the arts and providing a performance home for classical musicians of African descent. That festival in New York City right now takes center stage in the form of the Gateways Chamber Ensemble. You'll be joined by conductor Damien Sneed and the inimitable Phylicia Rashad for the second half of this program.
Backstage with me right now to get started, and by the way, I'm Jeff Spurgeon, alongside John Schaefer.
John Schaefer: And Jeff, you know, music at its best can tell a story.
(Uh huh). And we have two very similar tales to tell in this program, and that is not by coincidence. In the second half of the show, we'll hear the Fiddler's Tale, a Faustian bargain between a violinist and the devil, from the pen of trumpeter and Pulitzer Prize winning composer Wynton Marsalis.
In the first half of the program, though, we'll hear the work that inspired him, Igor Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale, or L'Histoire du Soldat. Uh, that piece was written during the First World War, and the instrumentation was kept intentionally small, a kind of pocket orchestra, because that's what Stravinsky could realistically get. Although he did add two dancers and three actors to create a kind of traveling theater.
Jeff Spurgeon: You may think of Stravinsky, particularly the pieces that have dancing in them, and you think of these massive orchestral works by, by Ravel and Stravinsky, um, uh, for the Ballet Russes that was made. Stravinsky, one of the composers for those great, uh, performance feats that were put together in the first part of the 20th century.
But the times when Stravinsky wrote this work necessitated a smaller force. So, we're going to hear a concert version of The Soldier's Story this afternoon. No narration, no dancing, just musical highlights from the work. But the story still drives the music, and it is the story of a soldier who trades his violin to the devil for a book that tells the future.
But ultimately, the trade goes sour, and the devil triumphs. Nobody ever reads the fine print when they make these kinds of contracts.
John Schaefer: And that trickster devil also appears in the Wynton Marsalis piece, The Fiddler's Tale, under the name BZB. Uh, I'll leave it to Phylicia Rashad to explain what that stands for.
Uh, so we've got two violin players making these really inadvisable deals with the devil, and our fiddler in both works is Tai Murray, and we spoke with her about why these two pieces fit so well together.
Tai Murray: Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat, one of the iconic works, really, of the 20th century. He wrote it in 1918.
It's paired with Wynton Marsalis' A Fiddler's Tale, which was premiered in 1998. So technically they're in the same century and they mirror each other in terms of the instrumentation, in terms of the arrangement of the movements, in terms of the understanding that part of the point of both pieces is to create a smorgasbord, if you will, of styles.
Yet they individually stand out as distinct personalities.
Jeff Spurgeon: Tai Murray speaking about the two pieces we'll hear on this concert and how they incorporate different styles. They're pulling from dance styles, the tango, the waltz, but both Wynton Marsalis and Igor Stravinsky are also using sounds from jazz.
John Schaefer: And, of course, Wynton Marsalis, having made his name as a jazz trumpeter as part of one of the great families of jazz musicians from New Orleans, that's not a surprise. Stravinsky, on the other hand, uh, writing this piece in Central Europe, I believe it was Switzerland during the First World War, uh, was hearing the first kind of stirrings of American jazz.
Uh, James Reese Europe, a Black band leader who had a group called the Hellfighters, was touring through, uh, Europe during those years, and it is impossible to overstate the impact he had on listeners and other musicians during the, the 19- teens. And so Stravinsky is pulling on that in his piece, along with, Jeff, as you say, tango and waltz and other dance forms of the day.
And Tai Murray, the violinist, told us how all these disparate elements come together to form one cohesive listening experience.
Tai Murray: So we have this group of movements, little concert piece, tango, waltz, ragtime, a devil's dance. And each one, it's a bit like a bite sized piece of something. Each movement is, is like this tiny little microcosm that is masterfully crafted.
These movements may be episodic, but by the time you get to the end, you start to understand how much of a rainbow he's created. It has to fit together.
Jeff Spurgeon: Tai Murray, speaking to us about the first piece that we're about to hear on this concert by the Gateways Chamber Players, L'Histoire du Soldat, A Soldier's Tale, by Igor Stravinsky.
Uh, John and I are backstage in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall and, uh, the stage door has opened and before the performance begins, we are going to hear remarks from Lee Koonce, President and Artistic Director of Gateways.
Lee Koonce: Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Lee Koonce, and I'm the President and Artistic Director of Gateways Music Festival.
I'm delighted to welcome all of you here tonight.
This afternoon's concert, um, marks the culmination of the Fall 2023 Gateways Music Festival in Rochester and here in New York City. It has been an incredible week, um, and we're grateful to many of you who've attended one or more of those performances. The week has really been exhilarating, um, eight days of sold out performances, masterclasses, film screenings, lectures, and, importantly, camaraderie and community building amongst the community of Black classical musicians.
We are immensely grateful to all of you who are here this afternoon, and also to the many individuals and institutions who have supported Gateways financially and in so many other ways, including the Eastman School of Music. the University of Rochester, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Bay and Paul Foundations, ESL, the Rochester Area Community Foundations, the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and many other names that you will see in your program guide this afternoon.
Please let's give them all a round of applause for their support.
We're also extremely grateful to our Gateways amazing Board of Directors. Um, led by Kearstin Piper Brown, um, our dedicated and hardworking staff, um, and I'm gonna give a special shout out to Armand Hall, who has managed a million and one details and seems to be everywhere at once, um, and the totally amazing Black Student Union at the Eastman School of Music.
Let's give them all a round of applause. Thank you so much.
We're also very grateful to Clive Gillinson and the entire team here at Carnegie Hall. Um, thank you for presenting Gateways this evening and presenting our finale concert. Um, their support and sponsorship and partnership throughout the year has really been meaningful to us and we're very grateful.
For nearly 30 years, Gateways Music Festival has strived to connect and support professional classical musicians of African descent and enlighten and inspire communities through the power of performance.
Our musicians are multicultural, multilingual, multinational people of the African diaspora who are challenging the status quo and preconceptions about classical music. Besides our love for the music, we share in common the dismissal of narrow definitions of our identities and preconceived notions of our abilities.
We celebrate the heritage of a people distinguished for their creativity, perseverance, and unwavering self-determination. We believe that Gateways Music Festival and our Gateways musicians have the power to change the world by altering the narratives about classical music, by altering the narratives about to whom it belongs, by maintaining a true and authentic connection to the Black community. And by ensuring that the works of Black composers become revered parts of the classical music canon.
So in closing, and now without further delay, please join me in welcoming the Gateways Chamber Players.
Jeff Spurgeon: Words from Lee Koonce, President and Artistic Director of the Gateways Music Festival, as this concert is about to get underway at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, and on stage now are the seven players who will tell these two stories of deals with the devil this afternoon.
And we may hear a word or two from bassoonist Monica Ellis as well, before the performance begins and we hear the Stravinsky Soldier's Tale Suite.
Monica Ellis: Good afternoon, New York. Such a pleasure to be here. I am honored, incredibly honored, to briefly introduce the works you'll hear this afternoon. Stravinsky, the great Igor Stravinsky, wrote The Soldier's Tale in 1918, only five years after his infamous and famous, famous and infamous, work, The Rite of Spring, was premiered.
The Soldier's Tale is an age old Faustian story of a protagonist who is somehow dissatisfied with his life and makes an ill fated pact with the devil for fame and fortune, which, as you can imagine, doesn't work out very well for him. Like The Rite of Spring and other works during this time, The Soldier's Tale is a piece of theater.
And it's often performed with an actor who plays the role of the narrator, the soldier, and of course, the devil. In this rendition, we'll perform it as a suite, which does not include the narrator, but the music is very picturesque. You'll have no problem following the storyline, especially with this bit of help.
Each movement is a snapshot of the soldier's journey. I'll briefly explain. In the opening, the first movement, the Soldier's March, it's him just strolling along on a 15 day leave of service. The next movement, Airs by a Stream, is him innocently playing his beloved violin. The devil appears at this moment with the offer of magical knowledge of the future if he gives him his violin.
The soldier at first refuses, but takes the devil up on his offer, and eventually spends what he thinks is three days with the devil, but is actually three years. The Pastorale movement represents the soldier appearing to his family, who they thought long dead after three years, and now they believe he is a ghost, so he must retreat.
Although the soldier is now wealthy because of the devil's pact, he is alone and depressed. He eventually hears news that the king's daughter is sick and whomever can heal her can have her hand in marriage. It's a dated story, so you understand, right?
The Royal March is the soldier making his way to the palace. Naturally, the devil is there, he taunts the soldier by playing the stolen violin, but the soldier has a momentary confidence boost when he wins the violin back in a card game.
The Little Concert is the soldier's movement, his moment to shine. The soldier appears to the princess, where he now revives her and wins her hand with a series of dramatic dances, thus the tango, the waltz, and a ragtime.
Okay, the devil's all kinds of mad at this point, right? So, the soldier, though, he thinks he's ready for him. He thinks. He hopes to finally defeat the devil and protect his princess by playing the next movement, Dance of the Devil. Hearing the music, the devil falls in exhaustion, but as we can imagine, he's not done with the soldier yet.
He torments the couple again, telling the soldier he will always have control over him. The Grand Chorale represents the real moral of the story and really is the heart of the whole piece, and I'll give you these words from the fully staged version. "You must not seek to add what you have. What you once had. You have no right to share what you are with what you were. No one can have it all. That is forbidden. You must learn to choose between. One happy thing is every happy thing. Two is if they had never been."
The soldier has lost the princess, and the piece concludes with the soldier thinking he can still have it all.
But we know that's not the case, and so you'll hear the triumphant March of the Devil with a duel between the violin and the percussion, and the percussion ultimately wins.
After the intermission, you'll hear the great Wynton Marsalis' A Fiddler's Tale, which is a companion piece to The Soldier's Tale with Wynton's take on the same story with loads of other twists and turns.
Uh, the story was written by a frequent collaborator of Wynton, uh, the late, uh, great prolific author and jazz critic, Stanley Crouch, who was one of Jazz at Lincoln Center's founder with Wynton back in the early 90s. And of course we're all in for an incredible treat with none other than Phylicia Rashad as the narrator for that piece playing all the roles.
So without further ado, we thank you for coming out tonight and this is The Soldiers' Tale by Stravinsky.
John Schaefer: That's bassoonist Monica Ellis, now joining clarinetist Alex Laing, violinist Tai Murray, trumpeter Billy Hunter, trombonist Weston Sprott and Patricia Weitzel playing the bass in The Soldier's Tale, L'Histoire du Soldat, by Stravinsky.
MUSIC: Stravinsky's A Soldier's Tale
Jeff Spurgeon: From Carnegie Hall Live, you've heard a performance by the Gateways Chamber Players of a suite of music from Igor Stravinsky's A Soldier's Tale. A story of a deal with the devil, and a lot of those stories, whoever's dealing with the devil comes out on top. Not this time. You deal with the devil, you're left with some scars at the end.
This suite from The Soldier's Tale is presented as the first part of a two work program coming to you from Zankel Hall at Carnegie this afternoon. The second half will be a tale in a similar vein. And inspired by this piece, we'll hear Wynton Marsalis' A Fiddler's Tale, after intermission. But right now, our players are back on stage.
Backstage at Zankel Hall, I'm Jeff Spurgeon, beside John Schaefer.
John Schaefer: And we heard Tai Murray in the role of the beleaguered violinist soldier in A Soldier's Tale. Wesley Sumter, like the devil lurking in the details, has nothing to do during the Great Chorale, but in the triumphant march that ends the piece, he plays the role of the devil, and as you heard, the devil gets the last word.
So Wesley, Wesley Sumter, percussionist, yes. Alexander Laing played clarinet, Monica Ellis the bassoon, Billy Hunter trumpet, Weston Sprott playing the trombone, Patricia Weitzel the bass. So, Jeff, all four sections of the orchestra are represented in this small, relatively small ensemble. Strings, winds, brass, percussion, all there, in that really fascinating way that Stravinsky has of weaving such strange harmonies and making them work in surprising musical combinations.
And while the ensemble may be small, the instrumentation is really diverse, and violinist Tai Murray told us that sound wise, there's something for everyone in that Stravinsky piece.
Tai Murray: There is an instrument for everybody in this piece. Violin, bass, clarinet, bassoon, trombone, trumpet, and percussion. And the percussion in both works is absolutely essential.
Both composers are very, very aware of how rhythm can or cannot make you move. And so, in addition to all of those instruments, The human body is also an instrument in both pieces.
Jeff Spurgeon: Violinist Tai Murray speaking about Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale. Well, we've reached intermission of this concert coming to you from Carnegie Hall.
This is Classical New York, 105.9 FM &HD, WQXR Newark, and 90. 3 FM, WQXW, Ossining.
John Schaefer: And we are joined by clarinetist Alex Laing, whom you just heard performing in Stravinsky's Soldier's Tale, and we'll hear again in, Alex, essentially the same role in The Fiddler's Tale.
Alex Laing: Well, not the same role, but the same, uh, well, kind of the same role. I get what you're saying. I get you.
Jeff Spurgeon: The clarinetist's role, anyway.
Alex Laing: Well, very much true. Very much true. The clarinetist's role in this pocket orchestra, right? Both Stravinsky and Marsalis. High string, low string, high wind, high brass, you know, et cetera, et cetera.
John Schaefer: So, in 2024, in the new year, you will become the artistic director of the Gateways Festival.
Alex Laing: Correct.
John Schaefer: Uh, so, how many balls can you juggle at once?
Alex Laing: Just that one. I'm actually stepping back from my position in Phoenix, so I'm on leave of absence, uh, from the Phoenix Symphony.
John Schaefer: You are the principal clarinetist?
Alex Laing: I have been for the last 22 years. Right. But, uh, yeah, currently, uh, on sabbatical. Uh, as, uh, part of this transition I'm making in my work.
Jeff Spurgeon: And so you've been in New York this last week for the Gateways Festival.
Alex Laing: Correct. Correct.
Jeff Spurgeon: Tell us about what that's been like and the feeling among the musicians and the audiences you've met out of such a large variety of things that have happened this past week.
Alex Laing: Yeah. Well, you know, the business of the Gateways Music Festival is community.
Um, you know, our work is to be a home for Black classical music and musicians. Uh, it's been an incredible week, uh, we opened in, uh, Rochester, it's actually been sort of a dual city festival, so, uh, we were in Rochester Monday through Friday, and we've been in New York City, uh, I think it's Wednesday through today.
Jeff Spurgeon: Just for your future planning, there are cities in New York that are a lot closer than Rochester and
Alex Laing: But none closer in our hearts.
Jeff Spurgeon: Okay. Okay. Just a thought, just a thought.
John Schaefer: Well, I mean, Rochester really is part of the heart of Gateways. It's kind of the...
Alex Laing: it's where, well, yes, the organization was founded in Winston Salem, actually, in 1993 by our visionary founder, Armenta Hummings Dumisani. But when she, uh, moved from Winston Salem to Rochester to take a position teaching at the Eastman School of Music, the festival traveled with her. And the festival has been embraced and supported, importantly supported, by a core group of volunteers, mainly coming from Uh, the Black community in Rochester, at least at first, but it's really grown now to be quite a large and diverse group of people who love and embrace, uh, uh, Gateways Music Festival.
And then, of course, the University of Rochester and Eastman School of Music have long supported us and have, we formalized that, uh, in the last decade. Um, it's been an incredible relationship and Rochester, you know, is our home.
John Schaefer: Right. Now you have, we are hearing today the Gateway Chamber Players. There is a Gateways Festival Orchestra.
Alex Laing: There is the Gateways Festival Orchestra. We actually had our Carnegie debut here. We spoke in intermission years ago in 2022. So yes, we have the Gateways Festival Orchestra, which is our sort of flagship ensemble and convening. I think that's the other thing. An orchestra, of course, has a lot of people and that allows us to bring a large part of the community together.
John Schaefer: So I guess my question then is, does it feel different to you? Uh, having had 20 years with the Phoenix Symphony, and what, so when you're out on stage with the Gateways Festival Orchestra, is there something different in how that feels to you?
Alex Laing: For me, yeah. There, there, there is. I love my, my time in Phoenix. I love my colleagues in Phoenix. The Phoenix Symphony was an incredible place for me to learn and grow about so much, including the business of orchestras. And orchestras as organizations, not just ensembles, which is something I've long been fascinated with. But for me personally, as an artist, aesthetically, yeah, playing in Gateways has felt different.
Some of my peak experiences certainly have been all over the place with lots of different places, um, including, of course, Phoenix. The Gateways Festival Orchestra, you know, it's a before and after moment in my career when I first played on stage, you know, on the one hand, you're doing the work of, you know, trying to get your nervous system to do this very, you know, intricate dance, this choreography to get these instruments to sing, so that can really occupy your attention, but I remember in 2001 was the first time I played in Gateways, uh, and, you know, you're working on the thing, you're playing, and then, you know, your eyes go up, of course, as they do, and I would see a stage full of musicians of African descent, Black musicians. I'd never had that experience before, and it made me realize that there was another level of joy, another level of inspiration, another level of belonging, that I understood that this music, realizing these scores, can be a joyous act of cultural affirmation for me as a Black person. And that was transformative, and so it made me love the music more.
Jeff Spurgeon: Gateways has had an amazing history in about three decades, but you're about to take it over. What are you aiming for as you go forward?
Alex Laing: Yeah, I mean, I think our work will continue to be about community, building and supporting community within the, within the artist group, building and supporting community in Rochester, building and supporting community all over the world.
I think this is an incredible moment for, uh, um for Black classical music. We're getting more attention, long overdue, but welcomed and deserved. That's created a real opportunity and the potential for and the need for growth at Gateways. So my work is going to be about building an audience, building a national nationwide audience of music lovers, audiences, concert attenders, and supporters to really build an enduring home for Black classical music and musicians.
Jeff Spurgeon: And with so many musicians in the Gateways Festival Orchestra from so many places around the country, you, you do have people who planted a flag for the organization in lots of cities. I would imagine one of the challenges is, is, oh my God, the opportunities are so huge. How do we decide which ones to uh, act on.
Alex Laing: Yeah, well, I mean, we would, we would do that, uh, yes. I mean, obviously, that, that, that's a good problem to have. And I would welcome it. And I do welcome it. Um, you know, we would, we would, we would hew to our values, you know, again, we're first and, you know, first and last, we're in the business of community.
That's what we're about. And we have a sort of a unique differentiator, this niche, which is the intersection of Black people, Black culture, Black artistry, and classical music. But we're about community, building community with our audience, a multiracial audience, um, and so, um, you know, we're going to look to our, our mission, we're going to look to our core values, and to help us make these decisions, um, and, you know, I spoke about the experience I had as an artist at Gateways. There are so many artists that are, um, Really hungry and eager to have that experience. And so that's one of the reasons why we need to grow is to create the opportunity for more artists to have this support and connectivity. That's so vital to this art form. It's a social art form, you know, it's not just um, you know, it's not just about, uh, you know, these, these perfect artifacts. You know, there's the making of the thing, and that is a part of the art too. One that I think we as a business don't necessarily do a great job of sharing with the world. And so, uh, that's not how we do it at Gateways.
John Schaefer: Well, the making of the thing is only halfway done for you.
Alex Laing: Yes, yes, I gotta go make another thing.
John Schaefer: Yes, you do. So, Alex, we appreciate you taking some time from your well earned intermission before you head back out for the Fiddler's Tale.
Alex Laing: Oh, well, thank you for creating this opportunity for us to share the message of what Gateways is about.
Jeff Spurgeon: We're so pleased to have you with us, too, and to hear your performance.
Thank you so much.
Alex Laing: Alright, GatewaysMusicFestival.org, and go support us, find out what we're about.
Jeff Spurgeon: Perfect, thank you. Alexander Laing, clarinetist in this performance by the Gateways Chamber Players today, and soon to be the man who is running the Gateways Music Festival. Intermission at this concert from Carnegie's Zankel Hall, the underground space. Years ago, if you visited New York, there used to be a movie theater on 50, on the, on 7th Avenue.
John Schaefer: Mm hmm.
Jeff Spurgeon: That's where you, that's where you go into Zankel Hall now for the performance you've just been listening to.
John Schaefer: And we will be actually hearing a sort of audio film unfold in, uh, in The Fiddler's Tale with, um, Wynton Marsalis and the libretto by the late Stanley Crouch. But before we hear that, let's hear a little bit from the Gateways Music Festival's Carnegie Hall debut two years ago, and if you listen carefully, at the very end you'll hear the audience singing a verse along with the orchestra in James V. Cockerham's Fantasia on Lift Every Voice and Sing.
MUSIC: James V. Cockerham: Fantasia on Lift Every Voice and Sing
Jeff Spurgeon: A performance in Carnegie Hall just a couple of years ago when the Gateways Music Festival presented its signature group, the Gateways Festival Orchestra at Carnegie Hall where they performed James V. Cockerham's Fantasia on Lift Every Voice and Sing. Well, and here we are once again at Carnegie Hall.
I'm Jeff Spurgeon along with John Schaefer. We're backstage at Carnegie's Zank el Hall along with a couple of members of the Gateways Chamber Players warming up in the background for the performance that's about to begin of the second work on this program, which is A Fiddler's Tale, a work by Wynton Marsalis.
John Schaefer: Yeah, what is it with the devil and fiddles? You know, it's classical Baroque music fans will know The Devil's Trill by Giuseppe Tartini's famous work. Paganini made his fame as a violinist who rumor said sold his soul to the devil.
Jeff Spurgeon: Maybe because it's so hard to play. Maybe because the violin is the hardest instrument.
John Schaefer: I think there are lots of other instrumentalists right now who are getting on social media and aiming their brick bats at you, Jeff.
Jeff Spurgeon: Yeah, I'm sure that's right. Not for the first time.
John Schaefer: Uh, but The Fiddler's Tale is a relatively recent addition to this centuries old tradition. And while all the musicians are the ones that we heard in The Soldier's Tale, we're adding two new faces.
Dean Phylicia Rashad, who is Dean at Howard University,
Jeff Spurgeon: yeah, the Fine Arts College there.
John Schaefer: And, uh, she's the narrator, and the conductor Damien Sneed, and once again, the fiddler, Tai Murray, told us what it was like to work with these two artistic giants.
Tai Murray: As a musician working with a conductor, your hope and your ideal is that somehow you can trust this person entirely with their technique, you know, visually speaking, but also with their clarity of musical understanding.
And he definitely is a hundred percent focused and there in that way, and a pure leader in the sense that, that we all know what is necessary because he shows us so well. Dean Rashad is also a part of this collective and listening to her expressivity is, it is quite a gift and it is very telling how somebody's great experience can make or break something.
Her ability to sustain this narrative over the entire Marsalis work is very inspiring.
John Schaefer: That is violinist Tai Murray talking about working with the conductor Damien Sneed and the narrator Phylicia Rashad. And the piece really does call for a tremendously skilled actor in that narrator role. You'll hear Phylicia Rashad voicing five different characters.
A real critical part of this piece, text by the late Stanley Crouch, music by Wynton Marsalis. And the Gateways Chamber Players taking the stage once again here at Carnegie's Zankel Hall to perform a work that was premiered in 1998.
Jeff Spurgeon: 25 years ago is when Wynton Marsalis brought his A Fiddler's Tale into the world, and now we're about to hear it told in music by the Gateways Chamber Players and in words by Phylicia Rashad.
From Carnegie Hall Live.
MARSALIS: A FIDDLER'S TALE BEGINS
Phylicia Rashad: It always starts somewhere. In this case, up in the sky. But with the turning of earth, up in the sky can become down in the sky. Either way, the subject is war. Here it is.
A rather shining individual appears. He beams like Klondike gold. But he is made, part by part, of absolute darkness. Some say he is slick and sticky. Is he an oil spill, standing on two legs and walking like a man? Whatever he is, his clothes are contrived to imitate the contours of light. Light so warm and fresh, you feel like you could cut off a piece of it and put it in your pocket.
Lock it up. This man, made of darkness, must say something. He says this.
Watch me now. I'm that old low down Nicky. Some call me the kid. I used to be called Sweet Daddy Scratch, but Bubba is who I actually am. Bubba Beals, oh yes. Bubba Z Beals, the BZB. All right now, I'll take care of me some pure business. Uh oh, I find myself sniffing. Uh oh, I smell a meal marching this way. Up, down, up and down, the fiddler's band travels the road.
The people love them. They carry the story of the national soul and of the soul of the world. Parks, schools, prisons, churches, small concerts, parades. They love to play, but they don't really get along. Then there's the drummer.
He has a nice groove, and he's happy all the time. The bass man doesn't really say much, unlike the bassoonist, who talks non stop, and in everyone else's register.
The trombone is always late and loud.
He wants to blow the bassoonist right off the bandstand.
He's the most arrogant know it all. He thinks he should be the leader of the band. Up, down, up and down.
The clarinetist reads books. Perhaps he's an intellectual. He finds the others boring. the fiddler, she is wonderful. The integrity of her sound warms the soul.
Listening to her taught them how to play together. And that was a beautiful thing.
Up, down, up and down.
Her name is Beatrice Connors. She has the power to lift the bandstand. But the burden of her own glow in conflict with her inky desires wears her down. I'm angry with this business. I hate the nature of success, but I'm envious of it. No, no. I just want more people to enjoy things like, like this tune by the legendary fiddler Uncle Bud.
She's floating on a dream cloud of celestial notes. Bubba Z Beals approaches. He's almost moved by her softness and her power, but being moved is not in his line of engagement. The BZ begins talking with her. I'll slip into her soul through the window of need. She wants to be known. I'll tell her I recognize her.
She'll be surprised. I'm surprised you recognize me. See what I'm saying? You gotta watch him . You gotta watch this. B. Z. B. You've heard of me? Now that's unusual. Now, I tell her I've heard of her many, many times. That feels, well it makes me feel good. But even if you didn't know who I was, we'd still be out here playing.
We're not giving in. Now, I drop the payload. I tell her she is, oh man, just so great. Then I tell her, I wish she made recordings, that I'm in the music business myself and even I can't find her sound anywhere. I would just love the opportunity to sit alone with a recording and sink down into the invisible glory of her sound.
You know how to say it, don't you? But there's no invisible glory to my music. No, I'm in the business of, well, the world business of music. We sound too good, but they say we sound too old. Learn to share, my dear, learn to share. Don't be a snob. This is the way it is. I just want to play. Everyone wants to play, but the question is not who plays, but who pays.
No one ever pays enough. No, they never, never pay enough, and dealing with the public can be tricky. You could share by giving the people what they want. The glow and soul of my music is totally the opposite of the empty darkness the public wants. That's where you're wrong. They want light because they produce none of their own.
They want to be full, not empty. The people just want to participate, not disappear when the lordly sun comes up. Like all the stars in the Milky Way, they don't want to become anonymous with every dictatorial sunrise. People want to rule something, even if that something is a hold underneath the ground itself.
You're right. I used to play in the subway, even with all the noise and filth. When I picked up my instrument, I felt like I ruled the world. There you go. That's the connect. You and the public. They participate as they reflect your light. The moon, ah. The full moon is a complete circle of absolute appreciation.
There you go again. I bet you don't know how good that sounds. Oh yeah, I do. I'm the BZB. Who? We'll scratch our way back to that later. This is about juvenile. What did you just say? I'll say what I was really thinking. Well, look, I used to be ashamed of wanting to be appreciated, but now I know that's stupid.
Let me tell you what's not stupid. When you step from a limousine made of gold records, When you hear them screaming your name, when you feel you are in a house of human mirrors, then you will know the glory of fame and the power of sharing. Everything will march to your beat, my dear, your beat.
But the fiddler, she's still wonderful. The integrity of her sound builds wings for the soul.
Now that he's got her going, the BZB has to crush all her misgivings. Stubborn, the fiddler doesn't really accept the idea that she should have to change. All you have to do, my dear young lady, is listen to Baba Z's music. Why would I listen to somebody with a name like that? What does the Z stand for?
Zephyr? No. Zero, baby. Oh, no. Negative. Oh, no. Positive. In business, nobody argues about anything except my middle name. Any number from one to nine is defined by how many copies of my middle name are lined up behind it and in front of the period. We're talking about jamming all the zeros in we can before the period.
Pure business, baby.
Interesting. But what does that have to do with becoming popular?
Change is an expression of humility. The seasons do it. You need to drop that elitist sneer and lift the public with a simple music from the heart. There is power in simple things. Wouldn't you like to have some power over your audience?
In my circle, we don't care about the love of the public. Well, actually we do, but I hate to admit it, but I would definitely like to have that power. Who wouldn't?
Admission, my dear, is very good for the soul. I know where there's power to be plucked, like a violin string. Give me that old violin and I will give you the power to be born again. Millions will love you. Come on now, the violin, good.
Hey, I feel the sun coming up suddenly. That is your choice, up there. The sun? What am I supposed to do?
Not much, just reach up, stick your thumb in, and twist it out like a light bulb. Make the world black, and then we'll make the moon rise. Uh oh, there it is. I knew you could do it.
Hey, wow, I snatched the sundial with one pull. Yes! Oh, that feels good. And strange,
you blinded the cyclops of the sky. Hear that sweet screaming? The stars are free.
Right here, right now, I'm holding the light and the blood closed between my hands. I just lost my breath. Now I feel pain in my chest. I feel like I'm praying,
but you're not praying. You're gloating and glowing up and up and up. You will easily float. I knew you had it all the way down there in your heart. It's time to start marching on them. We got some zeros to jam. We got some zeros to jam. We gonna jam us some zeros, baby.
Beatrice Connors is now a success. Five years running, but she's still not satisfied. She is not Beatrice Connors either. The BZB changed her name to The Beacon. Then, to emphasize her instrument, he called her The Beacon with the Bow. In the promotion, he wanted things to sound more snappy, so the advertisement said, BZB presents BWB, Badness with Beauty, The Beacon with the Bow.
I thought that gave an appropriate level of fraudulent sophistication. It pulled them in. I'm not a slob, you know what I'm saying? So we accepted the whole mob, from country to country. Everybody loved the Beacon with the Bow. They loved the Beautiful with the Bad. Enthusiasm. Hysteria. Worship, actually. You would have thought she was the savior.
that's enough. But I was going to... did I stutter? What did I say? Let me break it down. This is not your story. Let me break it down. Devil always hated narration, so he humiliates me like this. Okay, that's, that's alright. That's just fine. I'm going to get him good. My time will come. I told her corruption is a job like everything else, but she started crying and carrying too much nasty mouth for me.
Now, I can't finger the fiddle. When I pull down the sun, the corrupted blood and light stuck my fingers together. I've scraped my heart out and mutilated myself. You didn't say that when all those stadiums start filling up and all you had to do was play a few notes here and there. You sat on your famous rusty dusty in the candy store until you got a big fat stomach ache and now you want the argument is always the same.
She longs for the days when she was respected and admired as a musician, not just as a sex symbol who toys with an instrument on stage. She's now so sick of herself in the mansion of gold records her soul aches for something she once knew, the heaven of being with her old band.
Her soul wobbles. She's been played, had, used from root to snoot.
More words on fame. So much gravity. So much glory, so much goodness. People in gratitude, P.I.G. People in glory, P.I.G. People in goodness, P.I.G. Think about it. What does all the wealth and fame add up to? This. Our international notion of knowledge. One more time, our international notion of knowledge, O I N K, weigh that in your mind.
But how, dear audience, do you weigh darkness? Do you have a scale? Do you? I thought not.
Bubba, you bubble headed liar, you used me.
Here we go. Used to get used, that's the story of the blues. You're doing all right for somebody who pimped herself.
Oh no, I got duped. I was kidnapped from my audience, from my students, from all the talented young folks who look up to me. I'm just a prisoner of your lies, and everybody knows I'm just doing your program.
Right. Less than less is always more. Learning to whore might be a chore, but if you do it, you'll never be poor. You were exquisite.
I have enough bitterness in me to turn my blood to poison.
Calm down. Take pride in yourself.
I did. I'll never be proud of that. You should. You were as good as they get. Remember your relaxed willingness to corrupt the young when they were in the first bloom of romance. You gave them a little bit of music and a whole heap of um, um, um. They were young suckling pigs at the breast of spiritual pollution. So that's the mechanical pace. Don't whimper about the rays.
I find you disgusting as a steaming pile of waste, and I find myself even more disgusting for ever letting you use me until I stopped enjoying being used.
Everybody's got to find something. I find myself smelling a very huge meal. The little piggies will all line right up, gleefully slaughter themselves and dive, swine that they are, right into the oiled and shining moon of the stainless steel skillet. The crackling fire will turn to gold records, floating like circular sparks right up the back wall of the charts. All will be brought by the BZB to the universal trough, where you will feed them slop. What can I say? Another Parker in the joy, in the dark cloud of my absolute happiness. Oh, BZB, how dare you be so good at what you do?
Keeping 100 dollars, the Fiddler anonymously donates everything she owns to charity. Stripped of all celebrity, she runs to the South, where there is talk of a savior. There's no savior on her mind. She's trying to save herself. Somewhere down there, her old band is playing, and she intends to rejoin them. When she finds them in a little roadhouse, they pretend not to know her.
What can I play, anyway? I haven't put my heart on my instrument in years. My soul has become ash. I never thought I could feel this empty and dark. I feel like dying.
After the band leaves, an old musician catches her praying and crying on a bus stop at sunrise. His name is Uncle Bud.
THE Uncle Bud? The great fiddler?
I expect so. What are you crying, darlin She tells him everything. Sometimes each word is interrupted by a guttural sob. The legendary fiddler whose tune she used to play offers his help.
Oh, you can still play. That never leaves. All you have to do is one thing. You have to remember. Then be what you remember.
I can't go back, because I'm tortured by my shame.
You've done so little for so long, you think hating yourself is a mark of moral distinction. I speak of the great memory that is so perfect, it is always dreaming of you.
So, that's what gives you a chill when you play something beautiful? Oh, God, I just have to remember myself before I was a whore.
So, the Savior, who is very ill, says, The great memory has to recall the world as it was before Bubba Z. Beals got so strong.
I didn't think there was a Savior, but I know we all need salvation.
As you talk, the glow is coming back. The dark smoke is rising off your soul. You buried the light of your heart in the dark side of the moon when you pulled down the sun and lived with the devil for five years.
The fiddler cries out in rage and pain. Now she knows she was with the devil. Uncle Bud tells her the fight with the devil will never stop.
Uncle Bud, I can move my fingers.
Uncle Bud asks her to close her eyes and get down on her knees. He gives her a sip from an ancient bottle. It has the most beautiful taste she's ever known. This is the liquid of your soul, returned as a timeless river. Open your eyes.
Her band is gathered there. Uncle Bud takes her hand as she stands. He gives her an old, old violin.
As the band begins kissing her loudly and melodramatically because there is too much feeling to avoid the sentimental. You must go now to see the Savior. Play for Him. You and your musicians might be the ones who can save Him. Hurry! Make a joyful noise unto God.
The illness of the land, the pollution of the times have sickened the Savior. He's too pure for the job. He cannot be cured by medicine. Only the celestial sound of sacred notes can cool his fever. Humbly carrying Uncle Bud's violin, The fiddler gets in line to see the Savior, who stands in front of her but the BZB.
Why are you here?
To see the Savior. I'm a spiritual man.
You smear filth on the meaning of every word you speak, and you know you can't play that violin.
But I can play that old sweet song you taught me so long ago. It'll make me known as a wheeler and a dealer, who is also a first class healer. As I raise him from the mouth of death, my power will pull the soul of the world all the way down to the bottom of my coal mine.
Now the narrator gets some payback.
I didn't forget when BZB humiliated me. The fiddler and I hatch a plot. You see, Bubba once ran off screaming and disappeared for three days because he forgot to specifically and specially prepare his drinking water. All the fiddle has to do is act drunk. You drinking?
Mmm, I got something good.
You are nothing and own nothing. You have my bottle. No, no. Give it back. Give it back. It's mine. Down the booby hatch with one chug-a-lug , my demented dove . Unpolluted water. Unpolluted water. Oh, you poisoned me. You've poisoned me. I'll be back. I'll be back.
He runs faster than he vomits.
Yeah. Here's your violin.
I guess he doesn't need it, but he's going. Ladies and gentlemen of the audience, I think this moment of triumph calls for a little bit of a concert. A return performance of the Fiddler's Band. Let the band play.
Musicians, you must play for the Savior. Take your time. The crowd will part for you. Fiddler, you have that glow again. Everyone will know that you must see him.
You're sleeping. You seem barely, barely to breathe. I'm, no, we're going to give you a party. We're going to play three dances. We hope this will make your spirit tap its toes.
The music causes the Savior to levitate, and the sweat from his fever dries away. The fiddler sees that he is now renewed. He has the same look of impenetrable concentration possessed by BZB, but there's no bestial quality to his gaze. The Savior is about to embrace the fiddler as Bubba Z. Beals returns.
His clothes stained with gum, vomit in his face, a kaleidoscope of rage. Give me that violin, you thief. I owned you and everything you touch. Now I own the soul of the Savior. This is a spiritual party. You'll have to dance your way out of this. I don't dance, I gloat. For one who steps on soul's gloating is like boating.
Brace yourself, Bubba. You're gonna have to break down and dance.
The music was too strong this time. The notorious BZB wobbles, tap dances, hot foots twists, turns, and streaks out of there, his tail rising and falling like a machete in a killing field. Then the savior embraces the fiddler. The beacon of the spirit and the beacon of the sound make one perfect pattern of light.
They become the rosy fingers of dawn.
These fools think they're so slick, yet my sins always stick. Uh oh, uh oh, he, he, he should not mess with the BZB. And just don't lay all day down on your knees. In no time, your soul will be the BZB. Your savior, who missed death at first, Will sniff your fiddler's dreams in hell's hot hearse.
Foolish girl, just one step out of line, I swear your sweet, sweet cake will all be mine.
You should not mess with the BZB. You should not mess, you should not mess, You should not mess with the BZB. You should not mess, you should not mess, You should not mess with the BZB.
I was lost because the world was so, so sick. Through the perpetual flame of faith, the Savior is saved.
My child, you have learned the source of your soulfulness, which is the willingness to give. You have been illuminated by humility.
When you live in the great memory, there is no old, there is no new, there is only the eternity of the moment.
There is no god greater than the I am of pure intent. We can sell nothing to time. We can buy nothing from time. We can only listen to the celestial whispers that never forget, that never forget, that always remember.
But Beatrice Connors is Beatrice Connors. With the Savior going from sickness to sickness, lifting spirit after spirit, the work of pure intent wears her down. At a mass saving, with soul after soul lighting like endless candles in the night, the fiddler realizes that she is back where she started, small and loved.
But outside, the big action. Trapped again, she screams. She runs away to the south, looking for Uncle Bud. She breaks her fiddle and is about to lose her mind. She sobs and sobs at the bank of a river. Then Uncle Bud appears. Uncle Bud sheds tears, too. He's disappointed. He weeps more loudly than she does. He cannot say anything, but he will try something. One last attempt to get her on the straight and narrow.
He removes a bottle from an ancient case. Drink this. It is a potion that may return you to the true faith.
Oh, oh, this is the worst thing I've ever swallowed. Oh, I feel sick. Uncle Bud, oh my God.
Uncle Bud, Uncle Fudd, this is me. This is the BZB. I just use it to keep the game from going dull. It's your time now, so I can put my foot on your skull. Little girl, you are drawing your last breath. Free breath. This is the taste of BZB manufactured death.
No, please, Uncle Budd. Uncle Budd.
I'm coming up smokestack tall up out of my hole. And you, audience member, you had better keep a good, good, good lock on your soul. Watch me now. You see what I just did with this indignant saw? You gotta watch that Bubba Z. Beals, the grandmaster of all celestial deals. Old Lowdown, Dirty Nicky, Sweet Daddy Scratch.
They call me all kinds of names in the cotton patch, but as for me, I'm going for the BZB. Come on to life, girl. You must die again, every time, much slower. And every time you suckle this bottle, your pain, your pain must sink you lower and lower. Fiddlers of the world, as for using the human soul as a jagged plow, it all gets down to one ongoing get down.
This forever. It's my band now.
Jeff Spurgeon: A deal with the devil. Gotta be careful in those transactions. We've had two stories of the dangers of such relationships today in this broadcast from Carnegie Hall Live, you've just heard the Gateways Chamber Players with narrator Phylicia Rashad, relate to you, A Fiddler's Tale, written by Wynton Marsalis, the narration by Stanley Crouch, a work composed in response to Igor Stravinsky's A Soldier's Tale.
Phylicia Rashad: In fact, you heard a suite from that work as this concert began. Broadcast from Carnegie Hall Live backstage at Zankel Hall, I'm Jeff Spurgeon beside John Schaefer.
John Schaefer: And a big round of applause for the violinist Tai Murray, who, uh, plays the role of the Fiddler in both of the pieces that we heard. The, uh, The Soldier's Tale by Stravinsky, The Fiddler's Tale by Wynton Marsalis.
But everybody from the Gateway Chamber Players, Gateways Chamber Players, uh, getting in on the act there. Alexander Laing, clarinet; Monica Ellis, bassoon; Billy Hunter, trumpet; Weston Sprott, trombone; Patricia Weitzel playing the bass. And you'll notice that once again, as in the Soldier's Tale by Stravinsky, the last word is given to the percussionist. In this case, Wesley Sumter. All conducted by Damien Sneed on the stage of Zankel Hall, the, uh, the middle-sized hall here at Carnegie.
Jeff Spurgeon: This performance concludes a week-long celebration of the Gateways Music Festival in New York City, and some work as well upstate in New York, in Rochester, where the Gateways Festival has been more or less based for a very long time.
Their presence is expanding across the country, and this is the second program. from the Gateways Festival that we've brought you in this Carnegie Hall Live series. Today, with just, well, just a hand, couple of handfuls of musicians is all, uh, the few players mentioned to play the Stravinsky work, which was written in 1918, and Marsalis' work, which was written 80 years later, on a commission by Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
And, uh, this is the first time in Carnegie Hall that Wynton Marsalis' A Fiddler's Tale has been given a complete performance, so this is a slightly history making performance as well.
John Schaefer: I'm reminded, uh, John Adams, the American composer, wrote a piano concerto recently called Why Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes, which is a title that is ascribed apocryphally or not, to Martin Luther.
And you may have noticed,
Jeff Spurgeon: there's just a touch of it,
John Schaefer: there's a kind of twisted take on, uh, Ein Feste Burg, A Mighty Fortress, in the, uh, the chorale section of A Fiddler's Tale, just as earlier in the Soldier's Tale, we heard a kind of twisted take on a Bach chorale from Stravinsky as well. So the parallels between these works They don't necessarily answer the question why must the devil have all the best tunes, but they certainly provide us with a lot of entertainment along the way.
Jeff Spurgeon: And we are happy to welcome to the Carnegie Hall Live microphones right now Damien Sneed who conducted this performance. Congratulations. Thank you for taking a little time in this performance. What was it like to put this work together? It's pretty intense for just a couple of handfuls of players.
Damien Sneed: It's very intense, uh, it has a lot of different tempi, but I must say the most exciting and exhilarating, uh, thing about this performance and executing it is all the different styles, all the different moods, the personalities, and making sure that the music, uh, reflects what is happening with the narration, the Fiddler, the BZB, and Uncle Bud.
John Schaefer: And we had said in leading up to this that Phylicia Rashad, as the narrator, has to play five different characters. Of course, it is revealed at the end it's really just four.
Damien Sneed: Exactly.
John Schaefer: Um, and what is your role as a conductor in terms of you know, she has a lot to read, and the piece is, whatever its jazz inflections, a scored work. So, how, how does that work? How does that dynamic play out?
Damien Sneed: As conductor, I have to give cues. I have to give gestures sometimes for the emotional fabric that comes forth from the music. Uh, sometimes setting the tempo. But what's really unique about Marsalis is his ability, I call it something that you find a motif in all of his compositions, the train.
He said he grew up near a train, in his Abyssinian Mass it has a train, his record label on Sony is Blue Engine. But everything has a train, so some of the movements we think about, like the train tracks changing, and you know, the train's shifting its direction. Those moments where the tempo changes on the dime, it's pivoting quickly, uh, with immediacy.
It's, that's what's really, uh, difficult and what my job as the conductor is. All these musicians are brilliant. Right. Uh, they can play by themselves as they did on the Stravinsky. With Marsalis, I think I sort of add a cohesive base to it. I sort of keep everything locked and together.
John Schaefer: You know, the, the pairing of Stravinsky, you know, the, the white composer of the classical canon with Wynton Marsalis, it reminds me a lot of the, the, uh, the Chorale Le Chateau work that you've done over the years, where you do everything from Renaissance polyphony to contemporary, you know, gospel and soul and things like that. This must have been a program that spoke to you.
Damien Sneed: It was, and particularly in the Pastorale and the Uh, Chorale, it reminded me of excerpts from Wynton's Abyssinian Mass, some of those movements, which include the choir, because it seems like the instruments were singing at times. And it's interesting you say that, Stravinsky, and then I think I was reading where Nina Simone said, Jazz is America's classical music.
John Schaefer: Right.
Damien Sneed: So this is a great juxtaposition, a confluence of American, uh, folk styles, uh, uh, the indigenous sounds of America, and written in such a way that it's very academic, intellectual, and musically brilliant.
Jeff Spurgeon: So, as a performer with the Gateways Festival today, that's a way for us to maybe talk about what Gateways is and does, because this is also a coming together of musicians of African descent in this particular atmosphere. It's also a coming together of, of different kinds, different musics. I'm not sure that's ever a properly plural word, but we understand what we mean. So how does that How does the Gateway connection work for you? What is the importance of this organization? Because you have worked in so many different styles, in so many different circumstances, with so many different kinds of people.
What's the role of Gateways?
Damien Sneed: This is a very special moment for me because, uh, as a freshman at Howard University, my teacher, Dr. Raymond Jackson, who graduated from Juilliard, brought his classmate, Arminta Hummings, who founded Gateways, and she played for us and told us about Gateways. That was my first time hearing about it, uh, and I was amazed that she started something in Rochester that has continued to grow and now, of course, there are different leaders and the leadership has grown, but Gateways is special. It gives African American musicians an opportunity to be heard and seen in venues and performance halls, institutions, through outreach and education. And now, thanks to Carnegie Hall and WQXR, this festival, which is this first time being hosted and propagated by Carnegie Hall in their regular season, is now being heard to people around the world.
Gateways is very unique. with orchestral musicians, pianists. Uh, that provide composers an opportunity to have their pieces heard, and it provides chamber music, which I absolutely love, an opportunity to be, uh, burgeoned and blossomed in the home. Uh, also, for us just to have something to look forward to, where the festival usually was only in the summer, now the festival's taking place in multiple cities. We're going to the Kennedy Center. in Washington D. C. this season. We were just in Rochester at Eastman in Kilbourn Hall and we're also going to Northwestern University's campus in April in the Chicago Evanston Illinois area. So this is just really great. Gateways is a very unique organization and the fact that Carnegie Hall has partnered with them to undergird this great mission and WQXR. I think it's just fabulous because now the world has been able to peer into a historical moment yet again being made here in New York City in our country.
John Schaefer: Well and not the first time that we have had the pleasure of working with Gateways on this Carnegie Hall live series. The Festival Orchestra last time and this time a septet obviously and Damien, job well done. That is a very tricky piece and, uh, you handled it with aplomb.
Jeff Spurgeon: And, uh, I wonder how you're working it in, uh, with all your other activities. Uh, scoring films, writing operas, conducting. I, I mean, you, surely, you must be due somewhere, even right now.
Damien Sneed: I am, and balancing all that with family. I had two family members pass this week. Uh, it, it's a lot, but the music is what I can find myself in, and knowing that I'm called to do this. And the warm, uh, audience. The response, uh, the ovation. Being able to be back in the hall with people, that's such a driving impetus and just keeps you going. And you're right, from operas like Treemonisha or The Tongue in the Lash to conducting, it's just great.
Music is music and it's great to be able to express myself no matter what idiom, style, or genre I find myself in.
Jeff Spurgeon: Wonderful. Thank you, Damien Sneed. What a conversation. Thank you so much for attending. Sharing your skills as a conductor with Gateways today and with us here on WQXR.
Damien Sneed: Thank you all so much.
John Schaefer: All right.
Jeff Spurgeon: Damien Sneed, conductor of this performance by the Gateways Chamber Players this afternoon that brought you two stories of dealing with the devil, Igor Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat, a suite from that work, and then the complete A Fiddler's Tale by Wynton Marsalis with narration by Stanley Crouch, who was also a personality very much present in this concert today.
John Schaefer: Yes, he was the late Stanley Crouch, a cultural critic and writer and author, and created the libretto based on the same libretto by C. F. Ramuz that Stravinsky used for Soldier's Tale.
Jeff Spurgeon: Fairy tales collected in the middle of the 19th century in Russia by Alexander Afanasyev. So, the connections are so deep in this music that we bring you, and we're so grateful to have the chance to do it.
John Schaefer: And that about wraps up this broadcast of Carnegie Hall Live. Our thanks to Clive Gillinson and the staff at Carnegie Hall. WQXR's team includes engineers Edward Haber, George Wellington, Duke Marcos, and Bill Sigmund. Our production team, Lauren Purcell Joyner and Laura Boyman.
I'm John Schaefer.
Jeff Spurgeon: And I'm Jeff Spurgeon. Carnegie Hall Live is a co-production of Carnegie Hall and WQXR in New York.