Sunday, February 23, 2014, 3:00PM, Jones Auditorium, Meredith College
Let’s Celebrate our Rising Stars!
Showcasing winners of RSO’s annual statewide concerto competition. Come see tomorrow’s stars today! This concert features a fun and beautiful arrangement of classical ensembles sure to please everyone.
We can’t wait to perform with our two Concerto Competition winners. This year we had a number of worthy applicants, but two stood above the rest. Daniel Liauw of Durham, NC currently attends the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Daniel will accompany the Symphony on Piano. Mary Catherine Cox of Southern Pines, NC currently attends East Carolina University. Mary will accompany the Symphony on Violin. Join us in welcoming these two young musicians into our community orchestra!
Piano Concerto No. 1 – Sergei Rachmaninoff, 1891 sponsored by Wounded Warriors.
Sergei Rachmaninoff debuted his Piano Concerto No. 1 in Moscow as the piano soloist. He was very inspired by the Grieg Piano Concerto during his developmental student years. This concerto is full of the eighteen year old’s youthful vivacity. The Russian Romantic style has character melodies, expressiveness, and rich orchestral colors. Enduringly popular with audiences worldwide, movies such as Clint Eastwood’s 2010 film Hereafter feature his unforgettable music.
Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873 – 1943) was born in Russia and immigrated to the US after the Russian revolution in 1917, his livelihood and estate lost. He became an American citizen in 1942 and is interred in New York. Rachmaninoff was always homesick for Russia and had a summer home in Switzerland to remind him of his homeland mountains. He was initially influenced by Tchaikowsky and remained in the Russian Romantic style which was carefully learned and crafted from his student years. Rachmaninoff toured widely and was wealthy enough in 1923 to fund a fellow Russian’s failing aircraft factory, thus becoming the first Vice President of Sikorsky Company. Rachmaninoff was known for his love of fast cars, his 6’6” height and his very large hands which gave him a pianist’s span of a 13th. He was a passionate man who said “Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music.”
Symphony No. 7 in C Major, Opus 105 – Jean Sibelius, l924 sponsored by the Boys & Girls Club.
Adagio, Un Pochett, Adagio, Allegro, Vivace, Presto, Largamente, Tempo I
Symphony No. 7 is the final published symphony by the Finnish composer Sibelius. In one movement rather than the standard four, it is completely masterful and original in form. Sibelius used the key of C to unify the music and the constantly changing tempi to move the music along and to achieve variety. This concept of a continous single movement symphony was reached after much experimentalism, and is often described as organic. It is in a strictly tonal idiom and uses Finnish folk tunes. Eugene Ormandy often programmed Sibelius to introduce him to the American audience. Sibelius has fallen in and out and in fashion, the “anti modern modernist”. He describes his music as the “joy of life and vitality” and the very memory of the Scandinavian landscape.
Conductor comments: The Sibelius Symphony No. 7 is a model of sonata form efficiency. It is half the length of a standard symphony yet showcases wonderful solos for all the orchestral instruments. Especially listen for the trombone solo renowned at every trombone audition. This Sibelius symphony has not been ever been heard anywhere else in the Triangle. The Raleigh Symphony Orchestra brings to its audience a new experience in symphony programming.
Jean Sibelius (1865 – 1957) was a late Romantic period Finnish composer and accomplished violinist. He is performed frequently and is best known for Finlandia, Valse Triste, the Violin Concerto in D, and the Swan of Tuonela. Sibelius was influenced by Wagner and Tchaikowsky, and became the Finnish national identity in music. The composer’s birthday, December 8, is also celebrated as the National Day of Finnish music and the Finnish 100 mark bill has Sibelius’ portrait. In 1914 he received an honorary degree from Yale University and was Composer of the Year at the Norfolk Music Festival in Connecticut,. The Finnish Senate voted Sibelius a lifetime pension in 1899 in recognition of his genius and of his importance to the nation’s gaining independence. Often criticized for being too simple or weird, Sibelius said “Pay no attention to what the critics say. No statue has ever been put up to a critic.”
Violin Concerto in D Major, Opus 35 – Pyotr Tchaikowsky, 1878 sponsored by Helping Paws.
The Violin concerto in D was written in Switzerland on Lake Geneva. Tchaikowsky was creating musical beauty and emotions rather than the established traditions of elevated abstract thought. The Violin Concerto was initially rejected by the celebrated violin soloists of the day for being “odorously Russian” and in need of editing because some of the passages were not suited to the character of the violin. It is now the best known violin concerto and considered to be the most technically difficult work for the violin. The Violin Concerto does not follow sonata form, but relies on blocks of tonalities, sensual opulence and thematic groups. It contains Russian folk melodies, Russian values, and engages the listener to the truly lived and felt experience.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikowsky (1840 -1893) was a Russian Romantic composer whose works include symphonies, operas, ballets, chamber music and a choral setting of the Russian Orthodox Divine Liturgy. Tchaikowsky reaches beyond Russian traditions wit his music, and thought seriously about Russia’s place in European musical culture and performance, and also how to discover and express his Russianness in a way which was true to himself.
Tchaikowsky was the first Russian composer to be known worldwide. Twenty years after his death, in 1913 Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite Of Spring exploded onto the musical scene, signaling Russia’s arrival into twentieth century music. Between these two very different worlds, Tchaikowsky’s music became the sole bridge.
For ticket information call the RSO box office at (919) 546-9755 or purchase tickets online.