Brahms - Clarinet Quintet
in B minor, Op. 115
Bozza - Woodwind Quartet
Heritage Canyon Suite
arranged by Mark Bressler
Bells of Christmas
(includes Ding Dong! Merrily On High,
The Bell Carol, Silver Bells, I
Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,
and Jingle Bells)
Wolfgang A. Mozart
German Dances, K. 605
(from L'Arlesienne Suite 2)
Marche, Chinois, Mirliton, Trepak
I N T E R M I S S I O N
George F. Handel
For Unto Us A Child is Born
Glory To God
Cerulli - Sing-a-long
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) was not without his critics even in his own lifetime. Few grasped the true genius of this composer of all composers, but at times someone would note this giant of music among them. One such keen observer was the noted writer, composer, and music critic E. T. A. Hoffman, whose critique in the Allgemeine Zeitung (July 1810) on the publication of the Fifth Symphony stated that "[m]ore than any other of his works, [this symphony] unfolds Beethoven's romantic spirit in a climax rising straight to the end, and carries the listener away irresistibly into the wondrous, spiritual world of the infinite."
Beethoven provides the common element that ties our concerts together for the season. Each of our programs highlights a selection of music from the pen of the master, and each is a masterpiece in its own right.
While Beethoven had to wait a couple of years before his bold symphony took hold in the concert halls, Justin Elie never lived to see his Fantasie Tropicale enter the classical music repertoire; only the passionate advocacy of pianist Joshua Russell saved the work from obscurity. After more than eighty years, CSO patrons can hear this remarkable work in a performance featuring pianist and arranger Joshua Russell with the orchestra.
Aaron Copland, in contrast to Beethoven and Elie, found immediate acceptance for the Four Dance Episodes he drew from his ballet score Rodeo. By 1942, the composer had come to be recognized as the American 'people's composer', based significantly on the snippets of popular public music that threaded themselves through his two other ballet scores, Appalachian Spring and Billy the Kid. In that same year, Copland completed and premiered another work, the short, dramatic and patriotic Fanfare for the Common Man, inspired by a speech from Vice-President Henry A. Wallace heralding the Century of the Common Man. These two compositions from 1942 provide some of the most recognizable of Copland's work as far as the general public is concerned, since selections from them have served as background music for movies, television programming, and commercials.
Youth - represented both by composers and performers - is the focus of the orchestra's Winter Concert. The main attraction will be the Young Artists Auditions winner who will perform with the orchestra in a selection of his\her choosing. Of special interest, however, are the two composers who share the major portion of the program, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Georges Bizet. Both were recognized early as talented young men, both showed great promise as they matured, and both, tragically, died young, just as they were achieving mastery in their art and just as their works were receiving a wider audience.
Coleridge-Taylor wrote several compositions worthy of our attention, but his Petite Suite is of particular note for it represents the young composer at his finest. Bizet, on the other hand, had already entered the ranks of the great opera composers when his youthful Symphony in C major was discovered and first performed in 1935. A buoyant, exuberant work, it has since its premiere become a staple in the active music repertoires of the world's orchestras.
The Spring Concert offers a contrast in styles and provides as well a demonstrable progression of the Romantic sentiment in German classical music as seen through the scores of three composers central to its development. Beethoven, our guide through the season, was the early-period Romantic whose music elaborated on that of his predecessors Haydn and Mozart; Robert Schumann was the middle-period Romantic who pushed the emotional aspects of Romanticism in music to new levels; and, Richard Wagner was the late-period Romantic who combined the visual splendor of opera with the musical dramaticism of the orchestra to produce the Gesamtkunstwerk, or Complete Work of Art. One of his works, Der Ring des Nibelungen, is a quartet of operas built on Germanic myths and legends, themes of which are used in Siegfried Idyll, Wagner's intimate lovesong to his wife Cosima.
The Symphony No 3 in E-flat major of Robert Schumann serves as the perfect middle ground on which to observe the transformation from the austere, early Romanticism of Beethoven to the lush, late Romanticism of Wagner. And as such, it constitutes a suitable end to a most enjoyable regular concert season.