Program notes are written by Dr. Joseph Milicia.
Program notes are written by Dr. Joseph Milicia.
Tonight’s program takes us to four very different places in musical history. Haydn’s “Surprise” Symphony, written at the end of the Age of Enlightenment, is full of wit and elegance, gracefully balanced in structure. Weber’s Freischütz Overture, written only 30 years later, plunges us into the heart of the Romantic Age, with scenes of gothic terror and impulsive love. Another 80 years takes us to the Impressionism of Debussy’s moody sketches of the open sea (La Mer). And one more century later, at the turn of the 21st, Theofanidis’ Rainbow Body mixes contemporary sounds with echoes of a medieval monastery.
*Christmas Treasures, 2017 *
ANTONIN DVORAK Born Nelehozeves, Bohemia (now Czech Republic), 8 September 1841; died Prague, 1 May 1904. *Slavonic Dance No. 1 in C major, Op. 46, No. 1. *Dvorak’s first set of eight Slavonic Dances was composed in 1878; No. 1 was first heard in Prague at a concert for the Association of Czech Journalists, 16 May 1878, Adolf Čech conducting. The work is scored for piccolo, flute, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets. 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani, bass drum, triangle, cymbals, and strings. Performance time is about 4 minutes. The SSO performed it 18 November 1995, Guy Victor Bordo conducting.
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART Born Salzburg, Austria, 27 January 1756; died Vienna, 5 December 1791. *Symphony No. 36, in C major, K. 425 (“Linz”)* Written in Linz, Austria and premiered in that city 4 November 1783. The score calls for 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, and strings. Duration about 25 minutes. The SSO played the ‘Linz’ Symphony most recently with Guy Victor Bordo conducting, 17 November 2001.
*This evening’s concert is a second Night at the Opera*, following last May’s festival of overtures, interludes, arias and choruses. Tonight we will hear 17 selections from 11 operas by 7 composers, with our spotlight mostly on Italy. “Act I” begins with Mozart, then leaps ahead to Italian verismo, 1890-1900. “Act II” is devoted to Donizetti and Verdi, spanning 1835 to 1871, while “Act III” features more Verdi, flanked by epic moments in Wagner and Boito.
*JOHANNES BRAHMS *Born Hamburg, 7 May 1833; died Vienna, 3 April 1897. *Piano Concerto No. 2, in Bb major, Op. 73 *Composed between 1878 and 1881; premiered 9 November 1881 with the composer at the piano and the Budapest National Theatre Orchestra, led by Alexander (Sandor) Erkel. The score calls for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, timpani, and strings. Duration is about 49 minutes.
This evening’s concert is a celebration of movie music, focusing on selections from Hollywood blockbusters from 1980 to 2012, along with one older favorite and at least one TV show that became a movie franchise. Plus, we’ll hear some very famous music from a very obscure Russian film.
GUSTAV HOLST Born 21 September 1874, Cheltenham, England; died 25 May 1934, London. *“Jupiter,” from The Planets, Op. 32. *Composed in late 1914 as part of The Planets, which was orchestrated in 1917 and premiered in a private performance at the Queen’s Hall, London, Adrian Boult conducting, 29 September 1918; first complete public hearing was 15 November, 1920, with the London Symphony Orchestra led by Albert Coates. “Jupiter” calls for a large orchestra of 2 piccolos, 2 flutes, 3 oboes, English horn, 3 clarinets, bass clarinet, 3 bassoons, contrabassoon, 6 horns, 4 trumpets, 3 trombones, tenor and bass tubas, timpani (two players), bass drum, side drum, cymbals, triangle, tambourine, glockenspiel, 2 harps, and strings. The SSO played “Jupiter” at the gala inaugural concert of the Weill Center, 13 October 2001, Guy Victor Bordo conducting. Duration 8 minutes.
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN Born Bonn, 17 December 1770; died Vienna, 26 March 1827. *Leonore Overture No. 3. *Composed early 1806, and first performed in Vienna’s Theater an der Wien, 29 March of that year, Ignaz von Seyfried conducting. The score calls for pairs of flutes, oboes, clarinets, and bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani and strings. Performed by the SSO most recently on 20 October, 1990, Manuel Prestamo conducting, it lasts approximately 14 minutes.
*This evening’s concert is a night at the opera,* with overtures, arias and scenes from 15 operas by 13 composers. “Act I” takes us from Mozart to Wagner, with rousing choruses by Leoncavallo, Weber and Verdi in between. “Act II” offers four scenes in which beautiful women draw men to them -- unintentionally in at least one case. And “Act III,” opening with a boisterous march and a quiet vigil, offers two of the most thrilling scenes in opera: the soaring final trio and intimate duet of Der Rosenkavalier and the public spectacle of Boris Godunov’s Coronation Scene.