Our guest conductor John Mauceri and our own Maestro Neal Gittleman have many things in common, but most of all, they share a deep, abiding respect for and appreciation of the great American composer, conductor, and educator Leonard Bernstein. Neal owes many of his formative musical influences to Lenny and the Young People’s Concerts which were aired on CBS from 1958 through 1972. Both have championed Leonard Bernstein’s music in their lives and from the podium. In 1972, John was invited to be Bernstein’s assistant for a new production of Carmen at the Met. This began an association between the two that would span 18 years. Neal brought Bernstein’s MASS to the Schuster stage in 2011 for its magnificent Dayton debut.
So it is most appropriate that John would include Three Meditations from MASS on his Dayton conducting debut program. The excepts convey many of MASS’ dramatic highlights as well as the virtuosic talents of our guest cellist Adrian Daurov, who performs here in his Dayton debut.
“Adrian Daurov is a dazzling cellist with soul and technique to burn…” says David Del Tredici, Pulitzer Prize–winning American composer!
Adrian also performs the solo role for Max Bruch’s immensely popular and deeply reflective Kol nidrei (All Vows) for cello and orchestra. Styled as an adagio based on Hebrew melodies, its opening theme, which also lends the piece its title, comes from the Kol Nidre prayer, which is recited during the evening service of Yom Kippur.
Works from two 20th-century Russian masters open and close the program. The specific origins of the Hebrew themes in Prokofiev’s overture are lost in the mists of time. The cello and clarinet take prominent roles in this enchanting work.
We conclude with Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, which stands tall in the history of classical literature.