Monday, March 21, 2011

I stand corrected. I was under the impression that the Prokofiev 5th Symphony we are preparing was written during the KSO’s first season. WRONG! Maestro Trevor described the work as dedicated to the triumphant human spirit when said spirit was being tried severely during WWII. The actual composition year is 1944, but in 1935 Prokofiev composed his 2nd violin concerto (that’s Violin Concerto No. 2, not Concerto for second violin, all you smarty-pants musicians), the Romeo and Juliet ballet, and Peter and the Wolf. Not a bad year for him!

Here is a taste of Chloe Trevor performing the Beethoven Concerto with the Astoria Symphony, in Queens, NY, with Maestro Trevor directing. Chloe has graced our stage many times before, and brilliantly; in the late 90's she performed Fritz Kreisler’s Praeludium and Allegro on a series of Young People’s Concerts and runouts, and performed Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto on the final Chamber Orchestra concert of the 2001-2002 season.

I gained a new perspective on the Beethoven Concerto in music history class in college. The professor played an LP that was popular in the 50's, a music appreciation record that was narrated by a famous musicologist of the day (Wow. Famous musicologist... now there’s an oxymoron. No wonder I’ve forgotten his name). His description of the opening of the concerto– “...five taps on the tympani...” was so 50's that I immediately knew I was born in the wrong decade. But it brought home to me the idea that the tympani could function as a melodic instrument. It’s astonishing, though; the motif is so simple yet so versatile. I don't need to tell you that Beethoven is astonishing, though; you know it. However, if you need to be reminded about why, please join is this Thursday or Friday (or both!) at the Tennessee Theatre at 8.

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