The Magic of Marlboro

Marlboro partnered with WQXR to produce this four-part series, which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the first Musicians from Marlboro tours. Stream the episodes below to discover marvelous festival performances and personal recollections of Marlboro participants. Prepare for tales of skinny dipping and napkin ball throwing alongside recordings of lovingly and rigorously rehearsed music in a program hosted by Anthony McGill, a proud Marlboro alumnus and the principal clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic.

Where an excerpt is hyperlinked, click to follow through to a complete recording on the Marlboro recording archive.

Part 1: The Tradition of Napkin Balls

This first installment perfectly introduces Marlboro as an immersive community where unbridled fun and world-class musicianship flourish in equal measure. Interspersed with personal accounts of the festival are musical excerpts from the following pieces:

Part 2: At the Coffee Shop with Violist Sam Rhodes

From late breakfasts to late nights, the coffee shop is a microcosm within a microcosm, where participants share coffees, beers, laughs, and ideas within the community and between generations. Anthony talks to Samuel Rhodes, the longtime violist of the Juilliard Quartet and a Marlboro participant since 1960 about his experience at Marlboro from decade to decade alongside excerpts from the following:

  • Poulenc: Sextet
  • Haydn: Piano Trio in E-flat Major
  • Mendelssohn: Octet for Strings
  • Schubert: Adagio for Piano Trio in E-flat
  • Mozart: String Quintet No. 6 in E-flat Major

Part 3: Marriage Made in Vermont

The Magic of Marlboro continues by sharing stories of how Marlboro brings people together: emerging artists with living legends, composers with performers, new friends who will celebrate New Years together for many new years to come, and many, many spouses. This installment brings together excerpts from the following recordings:

  • Mozart: Flute Quartet No. 3 in C major
  • Schumann: Andante und Variationen
  • Brahms: Clarinet Quintet
  • Schubert: Fantasia in F minor

Part 4: Choral Fantasy Finale

Some Marlboro traditions, like the skits that musicians perform for each other at the end of each summer, are a little irreverent. But one, which includes not only musicians but also staff, audience, and other community members, crowns all the rest as being both beloved and noble. Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy is sung as the final piece of the final concert of select summers, and a recording of the Fantasy is found here alongside excerpts in the following program:

  • Schubert: Hirt Auf Dem Felsen
  • Dvořák: String Quintet No. 10 in E flat major
  • Haydn: Piano Trio in G major
  • Beethoven: Choral Fantasy


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