Sounds and Stories: Rita Dove

Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at 6:30pm

New York, NY 10001

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Giovanni Mane Giornovichi


George Bridgetower


Ludwig van Beethoven

String Quintet in A Major, Op.47b “Kreutzer”

Joseph Haydn

Selection from Seven Last Words of Christ

Known for her work’s lyricism and beauty as well as its sense of historical and political awareness, poet Rita Dove frequently explores art forms outside her own through her writing. Our final concert of the Sounds and Stories series pays homage to the late George Bridgetower through poetry by Rita Dove as she joins OSL to read selections from her Sonata Mulattica. Her work explores the fictional life of Bridgetower, the legendary violinist and original dedicatee of Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata, which will be featured on this concert, along with music by Haydn and Giornovichi.

A quote from the preface of Sonata Mulattica:

“Two centuries ago the violinist George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower, son of a white mother and a self-styled “African prince,” rose to his fifteen minutes of fame. He might have become one of the most revered musical virtuosos of all time…had he not crossed swords with his mercurial mento, Ludwig van Beethoven. What’s known today as the Kreutzer Sonata was originally dedicated to Beethoven’s new “mulatto” friend, who premiered it in Vienna to wide acclaim, the ink barely dry on the composer’s pages. So far, go good; but oh, if only George – all but twenty-three years of age – had shown better judgment and not blatantly ogled the object of Ludwig’s affections!”

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