At the age of 13, Mozart became concertmaster of the Salzburg court orchestra. Responsibilities for that position included conducting from the chair (Conductors, as they are today, were not a part of the orchestra) and performing as soloist. In 1775, between April and December, at age 19, Wolgang composed 4 violin concertos for that purpose.
We’ll be playing the 4th with Erin Keefe, new Concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra. Fiendishly difficult, it is the Mozart Concerto that violinists choose to show off.
The apparent ease with which Mozart created masterpieces was not a characteristic of Johannes Brahms but how could anyone follow in Beethoven’s titanic footsteps? When asked why he had not written a symphony, Brahms lamented, “You have no idea how it feels to hear behind you the tramp of a giant like Beethoven.” It took twenty years of trial and error before he completed his first symphony at age 43. Embracing and expanding upon Beethoven’s symphonic expertise, Brahms created a masterpiece which garnered him a spot in the 3 Big Bs – Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, each with a singular voice reflective of the changing world around them. Brahms symphony is a brilliant example of the extroverted emotionalism of the period of Romanticism.
Combining Mozart and Brahms in one concert will reveal a study in contrasts and musically illuminate the dramatic changes for humankind during the hundred-year-period from 1775 to 1875.
It has been a fabulous summer!
I have been to a few music festivals, conducted lots of repertoire, met fantastic musicians and learned a ton. But, I miss the WSO and really look forward to getting back on the podium in front of those great musicians who are also some of the greatest people on the planet.
Our first rehearsal is coming up on September 22, 2013. ALL DVORAK! Antonin and Tony – that’s our title for this concert. Tony Ross, principal cellist of MN Orchestra, will play Dvorak’s cello concerto – arguably the most famous of the genre. I can’t wait!
I’ve wanted to program The Noon Witch for a long time. The music tells the story of an unruly little boy whose mother scolds him and threatens that if he doesn’t cease and desist his annoying behavior, the noon witch will take him away. The boy’s behavior is portrayed by agitated and dissonant oboes, and 12 chimes signal the coming of the witch. I don’t want to reveal too much but even without the story the music is brilliant!
Dvorak’s 16 Slavonic Dances were the pieces that made him a household name. We will be doing #9 which opens with the sounds of a raucous party in the Bohemian countryside. The middle section, in the minor key, presents a reflective, mournful melody. Then we return to the fun of the folk music for which Dvorak was fiercely proud.
This is a concert you don’t want to miss.
Even though the full orchestra does not rehearse during the summer, members remain active serving the community of Wayzata. Here are the pre-season highlights from this season, and thank you to all the musicians that donated their time and talents to make this possible!
• Members of the brass section played quintet music for seniors on July 3 at The Boardwalk. Accompanied by root beer floats and a festive audience of seniors and their families, a great time was had by all!
• On August 22, members of the wind and string sections will play as a nonet at a fundraiser for Trillium Woods. We are honored to be a part of this, and most grateful that the WSO is the donor of choice for funds raised that evening. Thank you Trillium Woods!
• James J. Hill Days on September 7 and 8 will be two days packed with music, food and fun for the Wayzata Community. Please join us at the WSO booth, where we’ll have small groups playing, postcards with our season schedule, and lively conversation about the WSO’s upcoming season. See you there!
While we are looking forward to our first concert on October 13, and mountains of preparation goes into planning and preparing for our season well before the orchestra’s first rehearsal on September 22, it continues to be a pleasure to watch members of the orchestra donate their time to the greater Wayzata Community throughout out the summer.