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About The Concert
Since 2006, the Gardner Museum's free classical podcast The Concert has made world-class performances recorded live at the museum available to listeners across the globe.
A new program is posted on the 1st and 15th of every month, so check the website often, subscribe to The Concert in iTunes or in any RSS reader to receive automatic updates. You can also download episodes of The Concert here on our site, as well as individual musical tracks by artist and composer through our online music library.
Episode 210: All Together Now
Work for string orchestra and voices by Caroline Shaw performed by A Far Cry and Roomful of Teeth on May 11, 2014. Work for chamber orchestra by JS Bach performed by the Gardner Chamber Orchestra on December 9, 2007.
- Shaw: Music in Common Time
- Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 4
When is a soloist not a soloist?
Today, we’ll hear two pieces that feature performers in soloist-like roles, but as part of a group. Both works take inspiration from the concerto grosso style—the Baroque form which contrasts small groups of players with a fuller ensemble.
The piece we’ll hear on the podcast is called Music in Common Time, and it was Caroline Shaw’s first commission, written for a “super-group” formed by combining the forces of Roomful of Teeth, Shaw’s vocal group, with A Far Cry, the Gardner’s chamber orchestra in residence; throughout the piece, the singers take on a concertino-like role, standing out from the texture while still unified as a group.
In Bach’s fourth Brandenburg concerto, for two flutes you’ll quickly notice that the flutes are not alone: though they do have an important role, the violin also vies for attention. On this recording, “team flute” has a champion in their corner: flutist Paula Robison, a renowned soloist and frequent leader of the Gardner Chamber Orchestra, the group heard on this recording from 2007. Whoever you decide is the “true” soloist, you’re sure to enjoy the ride.
First, Caroline Shaw’s Music in Common Time.
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We’d like to thank the following individuals and institutions, whose help and support have made this project possible:
- The musicians, without whose artistry, vision, and support we would not have been able to create this podcast.
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- Our talented recording engineer, Tom Stephenson of Emmanuel Recording.
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