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Kevin Mcmahon | music director and conductor

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Program Notes

Program notes are written by Dr. Joseph Milicia.

May 3, 2018

May 12, 2018 Program Notes

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JOHANNES BRAHMS Born Hamburg, Germany, 7 May 1833; died Vienna, 3 April 1897. *Nänie, Op. 82 *Composed 1880-81 and premiered 6 December 1881 with the composer leading the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra. The work calls for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 3 trombones, timpani, 2 harps, strings and chorus. Duration about 15 minutes.

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February 26, 2018

March 10, 2018 Program Notes

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*FRANZ VON SUPPÉ* Born Split, Croatia, 18 April 1819; died Vienna, 21 May 1895. *Poet and Peasant Overture* Composed 1846 and first heard in the Theater an der Wien, Vienna, 24 August of that year, the composer conducting. Tonight’s performance features flute, piccolo, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, bass drum, cymbals, harp and strings. Duration about 10½ minutes.

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January 18, 2018

February 3, 2018 Program Notes

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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.

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November 27, 2017

December 9, 2017 Program Notes

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*Christmas Treasures, 2017 *

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October 30, 2017

November 11, 2017 Program Notes

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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.

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September 25, 2017

October 7, 2017 Program Notes

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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.

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May 1, 2017

May 13, 2017 Program Notes

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*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.

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February 27, 2017

March 11, 2017 Program Notes

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*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.

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January 23, 2017

February 4, 2017 Program Notes

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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.

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October 31, 2016

November 12, 2016 Program Notes

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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.

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