CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Nov. 9, 2001
Philharmonia Orchestra, String Orchestra Will Perform
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Philharmonia chamber orchestra
and All-University String Orchestra will present a free concert with student
conductors at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18 in Clapp Recital Hall on the UI campus.
Three graduate students in the UI School of Music will share the program.
Opening the concert, John Winzenburg will conduct the "Brook Green"
Suite for strings by Gustav Holst. Later on the concert Winzenburg will also
conduct the Overture to "Oberon" by Carl Maria von Weber.
Jean Montes will conduct the Sinfonia in D major for strings by Giuseppe
Tartini; "Spielerei" (Child's play) by Carl Stix, as arranged for
strings by the late conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy;
and a string arrangement of the Fugue in G minor by J.S. Bach.
To conclude the concert, Lucia Matos will conduct the "Sinfonia Piccola"
(Little symphony) of Finnish composer Heikki Suolahti.
Although he is best known for his large-scale orchestral works, including
"The Planets," Holst also enjoyed writing music for his pupils to
sing and play. "Brook Green" Suite was written for his students
at the St. Paul's Girls School in Hammersmith, England, in 1933, as a companion
to the "St. Paul" Suite for strings, written 20 years earlier. Its
first two movements, the Prelude and the Air, both possess lyrical and melancholy
characters. They give way to the more raucous beat of the Dance, reflecting
the boisterous nature of the adolescents for which it is written.
Tartini is known for his contribution to the late Baroque/early Classical
virtuoso concerto and sonata literature for violin. The Sinfonia in D Major
was written for strings only, without the usual continuo part with keyboard
that was characteristic of the Baroque period, and it therefore represents
the emerging Classical style.
Weber was a leader in establishing German romantic opera in the early 19th
century, particularly with "Der Freischuetz" in 1821. Composed a
few years later, "Oberon" was written in English for its first performance
at Covent Garden, London, in April of 1826. The plot was adapted from a medieval
tale of chivalry that takes the hero Huon on an odyssey to destinations that
were both real -- from Charlemagne's court to Baghdad -- and fantastic --
to the realm of the Fairy King Oberon.
The opening call of the French horn foreshadows the miraculous power of the
horn in the plot. The magic horn frequently intercedes on behalf of the hero
during times of strife, like many other "magical" instruments in
operas of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, including Mozart's beloved
"Magic Flute." The Overture makes use of vivid instrumental color
and concludes with triumphant themes from the opera, making it one of the
most popular orchestral works of the early 19th century.
Heikki Suolathi showed tremendous promise as a composer when his life was
cut short at the age of 16. Having already been identified as a possible successor
to Sibelius as Finland's national composer, he had completed his four-movement
"Sinfonia Piccola" during the last year of his life. With Suolathi
on the eve of adulthood, the symbolic influence of Sibelius could well have
instilled in him a sense of destiny. The "Sinfonia Piccola" was
first performed after the composer's death in 1938, and it was introduced
to American audiences by the Chicago Symphony and conductor Thor Johnson.
The School of Music is part of the Division of Performing Arts in the UI
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
For information on UI arts events, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa
on the World Wide Web. You may visit the UI School of Music web site at http://www.uiowa.edu/~music/.
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