Program notes are written by Dr. Joseph Milicia.
Program notes are written by Dr. Joseph Milicia.
*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.
*FRANZ LISZT *Born Doborjan, Hungary, 22 October, 1811; died Bayreuth, Germany, 31 July, 1886.
GIOACCHINO ROSSINI 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.
OTTORINI RESPIGHI 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
AARON COPLAND 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*
*RICHARD WAGNER *Born Leipzig, Saxony, 22 May 1813; died Venice, Italy, 13 February 1883.