Two Extras

Richard Leickly, Redmond, Washington

Concert 1
Havergal Brian: Symphony 1, Gothic

Concert 2
Benjamin Britten: Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes
Jean Sibelius: Violin Concerto
Christopher Theofanidis: Symphony 1

Concert 3
Richard Einhorn: Voices of Light

Concert 4
Sofia Gubaidulina: Offertorium, for violin and orchestra
Béla Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra

Concert 5
Olivier Messiaen: Turangalîla-Symphonie

Concert 6
Charles Ives: The Unanswered Question
Carl Ruggles: Sun Treader
David Del Tredici: Final Alice

Concert 7
Johann Pachelbel: Canon in D
Béla Bartók: Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta
Charles Ives: Symphony 4

Special Recognition

Arturo Delmoni, Concertmaster of The New York City Ballet and opera, symphony, and ballet conductor

Concert 1
Joaquín Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez, for guitar and orchestra
Frederic Delius: Prelude to Irmelin
Gioachino Rossini: Overture to Semiramide
Gioachino Rossini: Overture to William Tell
Jean Sibelius: Symphony 1

Concert 2
Georges Bizet: Symphony in C
Alexander Scriabin, transcribed by Leopold Stokowski: Etude, Op.2 No.1 in c#
Jean Sibelius: The Swan of Tuonela
Claude Debussy: Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
Edward Elgar: Violin Concerto

Concert 3
William Boyce: Symphony 1
Paul Hindemith: Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber
Giacomo Puccini: Elegy Crisantemi (Chrysanthemums), for string orchestra
Giacomo Puccini: Preludio Sinfonico
Antonin Dvorák: Symphony 9, From the New World

Concert 4
Hector Berlioz: Roman Carnival Overture
Hector Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique
Béla Bartók: Concerto for Orchestra

Concert 5
Leonid Desyatnikov: Russian Seasons, for violin, soprano, and string orchestra
Antonio Vivaldi: The Four Seasons

Concert 6
Samuel Barber: Overture to The School for Scandal
Dmitri Shostakovich: Piano Concerto 1
Richard Strauss: Four Last Songs
Richard Strauss: Death and Transfiguration

Concert 7
Edward Elgar: Serenade for Strings
Edward Elgar: Variations on an Original Theme for orchestra ("Enigma")
Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony 5

Thanks to all who entered, and congratulations to the winners. My next reader write-in competition will be: Not soon!—John Marks

otaku's picture


John Marks's picture


Thanks for your interest. The results are in process, and that process will take a couple or a few more weeks. I do not want to make any snap judgments, so I am researching the many many many unfamiliar pieces, and pondering how this concert versus that concert at that point in the season will pan out in terms of attendance and box office.

Beyond that, it will be a major task to format the winning entries to Stereophile's style sheet, and then I have to write the introductory copy. But the present work is hunting up at least YouTube performances of pieces that are new to me, to John Atkinson, and most of my music-loving friends.

I think that nearly all the entries are interesting, and the potential winners are impressive beyond anything I had hoped for.

So, please be patient.


DepletedZPM's picture


Since I had fun putting together my entry, I wrote up the following note for Facebook friends.  I'd love to see some of the other entrants talk about their approaches to programming their seasons.

Romain Kang, Sunnyvale, California

My season is a geographical cycle beginning and ending in the US.  Each concert has some nation or region as its center of gravity, including at least one living composer and one "party piece" (in my opinion).  Whereas JM's example season employed piano concerti as "tent poles" in his structure, I have given concerti a more ornamental role, leaving just Michael Ching's single-movement piano concerto as representative, with less prominent instruments getting more solo turns.

Bracketing the season are probably the best-known tunes, by John Williams and Aaron Copland; Copland's final movement is built on the famous "Fanfare for the common man", in effect, ennunciating a return home.  I hope the visceral experience of the live orchestra allows the audience to hear these pieces anew.  I got a bit punchy with Concert 1, which has all living American composers named John, in reverse alphabetical order and descending age.

The other programs seem strong enough, though more time to listen, reflect, and revise would have helped.  In particular, the Asia-centered program (Concert 5) was a challenge because I know its composers least, but I felt I could not leave it out.  Choosing a concerto was the most time-consuming task. I would have liked to include Gang Situ's Double concerto for violin and erhu, but could not find a commercial recording.  My first draft put Chen Yi's Percussion concerto in the concerto spot, but timidity got the better of me, so instead there is a violin concerto from Unsuk Chin, a Korean living in Germany.  Also, Tan Dun quotes Beethoven's Third symphony liberally, and could be a disqualifier depending on interpretation of contest rules.

The discipline to leave out material was crucial; I took out an entire French program with some of my choral favorites.  There is both really good stuff and really fun trash in the symphonic world that would have been enjoyable to share.  In the best case, though, you leave the audience wanting more after the final chords have sounded.

Andrei's picture


Congrats at result! I was interested in your Asia-centered program because I also wanted to include non-western music.  I had in mind a concert built around Tan Dun's 'Symphony 1997' or Ravi Shankar's Sitar Concerto.  Like you I felt I could not leave it out - but I did.  Unfortunately the combination of my limited knowledge of asian music and the necessity to make a coherent program meant I just had to give up.  Thanks for your post and I will be looking up those many pieces you mention that are new me.

DepletedZPM's picture

One friend passed the Stereophile lists around her classical music meetup group, and one keen reader noticed that I had a nonexistent piece in my Concert 5.  There is no "American" overture by Borodin -- it's by Prokofiev.  The error is surely a sloppy edit on my part, since I had Borodin's "Polovtsian dances" slotted there in an early draft.  I'm grateful that the editors cut me some slack there!

edbudzil's picture

When browsing the classical music composers catalogue, one will find the S category particularly large. Included in this section is one Stravinsky, Igor. This name is conspicously absent from the Fantasy Season contest. (I didn't enter the contest, so I'm not griping my entry didn't win.) Has Stravinsky's music gone out of fashion? Is his Rite of Spring, which caused the audience to riot during the 1913 premiere, still considered "too modern" 100 years later? I understand why audiophiles would not include the Romantic composers and earlier eras- that music lacks the instrumental color that the French Impressionists and Late Romantic composers brought to orchestral sound. But, c'mon, no Stravinsky? Nary a Firebird, or Rite of Spring to be found???

ptr's picture

from Mr Marks rules:

But to make it more interesting, you can't program works by any of these composers: Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Handel, Haydn, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Schubert, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, or Wagner. Did you catch the "no Beethoven" part? Good.

Love Stravinsky, but like Mr Marks I belive that he is quite the staple on the concert stage!

Myself, I was quite surprized to be shareing second price!

Did not have a very decided way of structuring my season sugestion. I started out by choosing 7 underplayed works that I dearly would love to hear an orchstra play. Then adding a work that I think would contrast the main work really well, then I strongly belive that every concert should start with a musical Apéritif (i.e an overture) which I added.

Reading back my own season there emerged a red thread with a decent amount of "American" music, wich I feel is under played repertoir around the globe. The nest time the collour oif the fabric might be quite diffrent!

/ptr (in Sweden)