Program notes are written by Dr. Joseph Milicia.
Program notes are written by Dr. Joseph Milicia.
GEORGE FREDERICK HANDEL
Born Halle, Duchy of Magdeburg, now Germany, 23 February 1685; died 14 April 1759, London.
Messiah: “Lift Up Your Heads, Oh Ye Gates”
The oratorio Messiah was composed between 22 August and 14 September 1741, and premiered in Dublin, at the Great Music Hall, led by the composer, 13 April 1742. Handel revised the score numerous times to accommodate available singers and instruments. Tonight’s performance of “Lift Up Your Heads, Oh Ye Gates” includes 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, organ, strings and chorus. Duration: 3 minutes.
Tonight’s concert brings back four audience favorites among the music the SSO played at the Weill Center between 2005 and 2009. Our one “new” piece, music from the film A River Runs Through It, will accompany images from Sheboygan’s past, as part of our 100th year celebration.
Born Lomonosov, Russia, 17 June 1882; died New York, 6 April 1971.
Composed in 1955 and first performed by Charles Munch and the Boston Symphony, 4 April of that year. The score calls for piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, bass drum, piano and strings. Duration: less than 1 minute.
Christmas Treasures, 2018
FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN
Born Rohrau, Austria, 31 March 1732; died Vienna, 31 May 1809.
Trumpet Concerto in Eb major.
Composed in 1796; first performance on record was 28 March 1800, Vienna Burgtheater, with soloist Anton Weidinger. The concerto calls for pairs of flutes, oboes, bassoons, horns and trumpets, plus timpani, strings and solo trumpet; it lasts about 15 minutes.
Born 11 December 1803 near Grenoble, France; died Paris, 8 March 1869.
Roman Carnival Overture, Op. 9.
Le carnaval romain, written early in 1844, was derived from Berlioz’ opera Benvenuto Cellini, itself written 1836-38. The concert overture was first performed in Paris at the Salle Herz, the composer conducting, 3 February 1844. The score calls for 2 flutes (2nd doubling piccolo), English horn, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 cornets, 3 trombones, timpani, cymbals, triangle, 2 tambourines, harp, and strings. Performance time is about 9 minutes.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Born Doborjan, Hungary, 22 October, 1811; died Bayreuth, Germany, 31 July, 1886.
Born Pesaro, Italy, 29 February 1792; died Paris, 13 November 1868.
The Barber of Seville: Overture
Written in 1813 as the overture for the opera Aureliano in Palmira, but repurposed as the overture of Il Barbiere di Siviglia for ithe latter’s second production, in Bologna, premiered 16 August 1816. The score calls for piccolo, flute, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, timpani, bass drum, cymbals and strings. Performance time is about 8 minutes. The SSO’s most recent performance was 4 February 2001, under the baton of Guy Victor Bordo.
Born Bologna, 9 July, 1879; died Rome, 18 April, 1936.
Laud to the Nativity (Lauda per la Natività del Signore)
Composed 1928-30 and premiered in Siena at the Chigi-Saracini Palace, 30 November 1930, with an ensemble led by the composer. The score calls for 3 vocal soloists, chorus, 2 flutes (2nd doubling piccolo), oboe, English horn, 2 bassoons, triangle, and piano four-hands. Performance time is about 25 minutes.
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
Born Eisenach, Germany, 25 March 1685; died Leipzig, 28 July 1750.
Brandenburg Concerto No. 6, BWV 1051
The six concertos Bach sent to the Margrave of Brandenburg on 24 March 1721 are presumed to have been performed by Bach’s orchestra in Cöthen sometime earlier. The instruments for tonight’s performance are 2 violas, 3 cellos, string bass and harpsichord continuo. Performance time is about 17 minutes.
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
Born Brooklyn, NY, 14 November 1900; died Peekskill, NY, 2 December 1990.
A Lincoln Portrait
Written in 1942, A Lincoln Portrait was premiered 14 May of that year by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Andre Kostelanetz conducting and William Adams narrating. The score calls for piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, bass drum, snare drum, cymbals, glockenspiel, tam-tam, xylophone, sleigh bells, celesta, harp and strings. Performance time is about 14 minutes. Previous SSO performances of A Lincoln Portrait have featured narrators Herbert V. Kohler Jr. (2 December 1989, with Manuel Prestamo conducting the combined SSO/ Manitowoc Symphony) and Charles Krebs (16 June 2007, Andrews Sill conducting).
Walt Disney’s Fantasia (1940) was a true landmark in motion picture history: a full-length animated cartoon (Disney’s third, after Snow White and Pinocchio) illustrating works of classical music, with the collaboration of Leopold Stokowski and (in all but The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) the Philadelphia Orchestra, originally released in stereophonic sound, a first for commercial movies. A sequel 60 years later, Fantasia 2000, featured James Levine and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Tonight’s concert honors these achievements with a program derived from the two films.
PETER ILYCH TCHAIKOVSKY
Born Leipzig, Saxony, 22 May 1813; died Venice, Italy, 13 February 1883.
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART
The six concertos Bach sent to the Margrave of Brandenburg on 24 March 1721 are presumed to have been performed by Bach’s orchestra in Cöthen sometime...
Composed 1888 and premiered 28 October of that year in St. Petersburg, the composer conducting. The score calls for 2 flutes, piccolo, 2 oboes (2nd doubling...
First performed 25 May 1823 for invited guests in the composer’s Berlin home, with Eduard Rietz, violin, and the composer at the piano, and for the...
Haydn’s opera Armida was composed in 1783 and premiered 26 February 1784 at the Esterhazy family’s Court Theatre, Haydn conducting. The Overture calls for flute, 2...
Composed between 1865 and 1868 (with the second movement making use of material from the 1850s), the German Requiem was premiered in its 7-movement entirety on...
Composed in 1880 and premiered 18 December 1880 in Moscow, with an orchestra led by Nikolai Rubenstein. Isaac’s arrangement calls for 3 flutes, 2 oboes, 2...
The 5-movement suite was composed in 1927, and premiered in Sao Paolo, June 1928, the composer conducting. It calls for 2 flutes (second doubling piccolo), oboe,...
The ballet La Péri was composed in 1911, with its opening Fanfare added the next year; the premiere was in Paris 22 April 1912. The Fanfare...
Commissioned by the Oregon Symphony Orchestra, the Overture of the Season was premiered by that group on 7 October, 1978, under the baton of Lawrence Leighton...
Composed 1809-10, and first performed in Leipsig’s Gewandhaus on 28 November 1811, with pianist Friedrich Schneider; Beethoven’s pupil Carl Czerny gave the first Vienna performance the...
Composed to be part of a ballet evening, the Tanzsuite nach Couperin was first heard at the Vienna Redoutensaal, 17 February 1923, conducted by Clemens Krauss,...
The complete work composed in 1896 and premiered in Frankfurt under the composer’s baton. The “Sunrise” section calls for piccolo, 3 flutes, 3 oboes, English horn,...
Composed 1899-1901 (the Finale in 1892) and premiered 25 November, 1901, the composer conducting the Kaim Orchestra of Munich, with soprano Margarete Michalek.
Published in 1597, and first performed in St. Mark’s Basilica, Venice. The score, in this edition by Robert King, calls for 2 French horns, 2...