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Berlloz Overture; Martin Concerto; Saint-Saëns Symphony No. 3

  • Jul 19, 2013 · 6:00 PM
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Our Meeting Spot (more or less) This is the North East corner between the two concrete ramps, the 312 Food Tent is in the background,

 

Berlloz overture, King Lear,op. 4

MartIn Concerto for Seven Wind Instruments

Saint-SaËnS Symphony no. 3 in C Minor, op. 78, “organ”

 

Berlloz overture, King Lear,op. 4

Swiss conductor Thierry Fischer recently renewed his contract as Music Director of the Utah Symphony orchestra. Fischer was Principal Conductor of the BBC national orchestra of Wales from 2006-2012.

Berlioz’s King Lear overture is scored for pairs of woodwinds plus piccolo, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion, and strings. The performance time is sixteen minutes.

Though Berlioz left no specific program for King Lear relating the score’s progress to the characters and events of the drama, he did give a hint that the music has some pictorial qualities.

Berlioz noted, “It used to be the custom at the court of Charles X to announce the King’s entrance to the sound of an enormous drum. From this, I had the idea of accompanying Lear into his council chamber for the scene of the division of the kingdom by a similar effect on the timpani. I did not intend his madness to be represented until the middle of the Allegro, when the basses bring in the theme of the introduction in the middle of the storm.” Lear himself seems to be evoked by the commanding unison string figure that begins the extended slow introduction.

Cordelia enters with the plaintive melody in the oboe above pizzicato strings. the return of Lear’s theme at the end of the introduction is heightened by thundering rolls on the timpani. the main body of the overture, in fast tempo, largely follows traditional sonata form, with a violent main theme placated by two gentle strains unfolded by oboe and bassoon. there is much contention between the contrasting emotional states of the principal thematic material in the development and recapitulation sections until Lear’s motto from the introduction reappears as a menacing recitative for basses that leads to the stormy closing pages of the overture.


MartIn Concerto for Seven Wind Instruments

Martin’s Concerto for Seven Winds is scored for single woodwinds, horn, trumpet, trombone, timpani, percussion, and strings. The performance time is twenty minutes

For a 1962 recording of his Concerto, Martin provided the following comments: “the Concerto for Seven Wind Instruments was composed in 1949 for a commission which the Bern orchestra gave me for an instrumental work. I set out to display the musical qualities of the various soloists in the wind and brass groups as well as their virtuosity, and so I made the music brilliant and technically difficult. the first movement is particularly characteristic in this regard: each musical element is connected with one soloist, and they make up a conversation in which each speaks his own language. towards the end of this movement, the violins take up a melody, first stated by the trombone, while each of the high instruments repeats what it introduced at the beginning of the movement. the second movement rests entirely on an ostinato beat in 2/4, which serves to accompany various musical elements, some elegant and serene, others somber or violent. a lyrical phrase, originally played by the bassoon at the very top of its range, concludes the movement, but now on the trombone in the sweetness of its middle register. the third movement, with some exceptions (the trumpet provides a phrase all of its own), generally places the soloists in groups.

It is a lively dance in 3/4 which is interrupted by an important timpani solo. the rhythm now changes, and far away a march is heard, which gradually becomes louder until it seizes the whole orchestra. at the height of its development, the melody played by the bassoon and trombone in the second movement bursts in. then the rhythm changes again, returning imperceptibly to the 3/4 of the start and, after a chase of the flute and clarinet and then of the other high instruments, the piece ends with a new theme of popular character in a brilliant accelerando.”

 

Saint-SaËnS Symphony no. 3 in C Minor, op. 78, “organ”

Saint-Saens’ “Organ” Symphony is scored for piccolo, two flutes, two oboes, English horn, two clarinets, bass clarinet, two bassoons, contrabassoon, four horns, three trumpets, three trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion, organ, piano four-hands, and strings. The performance time is 36 minutes.

Saint-Saëns wrote, “this Symphony is divided into two parts, though it includes practically the traditional four movements. the first, checked in development, serves as an introduction to the Adagio. In the same manner, the scherzo is connected with the finale.” Saint-Saëns clarified the division of the two parts by using the organ only in the second half of each: dark and rich in Part I, noble and uplifting in Part II. the entire work is unified by transformations of the main theme, heard in the strings at the beginning after a brief and mysterious introduction. In his “organ” Symphony, Saint-Saëns combined the techniques of thematic transformation, elision of movements and richness of orchestration with a clarity of thought and grandeur of vision to create one of the masterpieces of French symphonic music.


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  • Milan

    I enjoyed for the first time. It was nice.

    1 · July 20, 2013

  • Nate

    I enjoyed talking to the people I met. Also, the performance was excellent!

    July 19, 2013

  • Alisa

    Great to meet everyone!

    1 · July 19, 2013

  • Beth

    I thought it was tomorrow

    July 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I was there at the concert and I missed everybody. After searching and asking around, I was not able to find any of the group members. Too bad the instructions for where to meet were posted late. Hopefully will find the team next time at 312! :-) Aside from this, I enjoyed Saint-Saens as always.

    1 · July 19, 2013

  • Josh

    CatherineK, where are you?

    July 19, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I was waiting for the sun to set! Hah. I'll be back!

      July 19, 2013

  • Steve

    I am on my way. In the loop in about 10 minutes.

    July 19, 2013

  • Alisa

    I'm new to the group. Standing right by 312, black skirt, black and white blouse.

    July 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Forgotten previously scheduled event.

    July 19, 2013

  • Steve

    I am coming in from Evanston (with an umbrella) :).

    July 19, 2013

  • Steve

    It is very unlikely they will call off the performance. Just read the Millenium Park guidelines on weather. There is almost always a performance rain or shine. It happened earlier this season - but that was very unusual.

    July 19, 2013

  • Sandy R.

    Do you think they will call off the concert tonight because of the weather or maybe delay it?

    July 19, 2013

    • Josh

      I added the repeat performance for the group, tomorrow.

      July 19, 2013

  • Laura Rose O.

    I am probably going Saturday night. I have to practice!

    July 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is the meeting of the group still at NE corner of the lawn?

    July 18, 2013

    • Mark K.

      YES, that is my question too! Meeting same area as before?

      July 19, 2013

    • Mark K.

      D'oH!!! I should've looked closer above -- it IS the same 'area' as last time.

      July 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Darn. Can't go this time. Will try again soon

    July 17, 2013

  • Sandy R.

    I;m looking forward to this concert.

    July 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Saint-Saens Symphony #3 "Organ" has been one of my favories. I hope it will be performed as well as it should.

    July 14, 2013

  • Huma

    I'm a maybe right now

    July 13, 2013

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