This "Pick of the Week" for April 13 takes us back to 2016 when the Library of Congress celebrated Bibliodiscotheque, a series of programs that explored the legacy of disco and its impact on popular culture. This "Pick of the Weekend" takes us back to our 2016-2017 season. We have a robust selection of performances, including tenor, Mark Padmore, Musicians from Marlboro, and a performance by musicians from the Santa Fe Music Festival, including Brett Dean, Tony Arnold, Juho Pohjonen, and the Orion Quartet. In addition, we paired these performances with their pre-concert lectures.
As part of the series, the Library explored the history of disco music, dance and culture in an afternoon symposium that featured appearances by Gloria Gaynor, Good Morning America host Robin Roberts, distinguished music scholars Martin Scherzinger and Alice Echols, photographer Bill Bernstein, and Yolanda Baker, the only disco ball maker in the United States.
In May of 2017 Deputy Librarian of Congress Robert Newlen interviewed fashion icon and native-Washingtonian Tim Gunn about the history of fashion in the disco era and its impact on modern fashion. Gunn is a past chair of fashion design at Parsons School of Design, where he was on faculty from 1982-2007. He is a design mentor and host of the hit television show Project Runway, which has garnered him a primetime Emmy Award. Gunn is the author of five books.
Music Specialist James Wintle of the Library's Music Division lectured on the influence of disco on European dance music.
English tenor Mark Padmore is one of the most revered artists on the international touring scene, and was recognized with the 2016 Musical America Vocalist of the Year Award. Padmore’s exquisite artistry was on display in an intimate evening for voice and piano. He was joined by frequent recital partner pianist Andrew West who has collaborated with the likes of Florian Boesch, Alice Coote, and Roderick Williams, and is on faculty at the Royal Academy of Music.
The Viennese schools were well-represented in this season’s final appearance of the "Musicians from Marlboro." In addition to several classics by old friends, we heard a comparably expansive early quartet by Anton Webern, a composer renowned for his economy of means. The manuscript of Webern’s 1905 quartet is housed in the Hans Moldenhauer Archive in the Library of Congress.
Alexi Kenney, violin | Robin Scott, violin | Shuangshuang Liu, viola | Peter Stumpf, cello | Zoltán Fejérvári, piano
This concert highlighted the music of Australian composer and violist Brett Dean, who premiered a new work for viola and piano—a Library co-commission—with Juho Pohjonen. His arresting monodrama “And once I played Ophelia” featured the remarkable soprano Tony Arnold as protagonist. Striking, imaginative effects in both vocal and string writing sketched a passionate figure the composer calls a “feistier” Ophelia. The manuscript for Schoenberg’s second quartet was given to the Library of Congress by Gertrude Clarke Whittall. Presented in association with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.
Brett Dean, viola | Tony Arnold, soprano | Juho Pohjonen, piano | Orion String Quartet