Thursday, August 29, 2013

2013-2014 Masterworks Preview Part III

As you remember from our last episode, we had just celebrated Bach's birthday by performing all of his Brandenburg Concerti over two nights in March. When the smoke from all 329 of those candles clears, we will be left with just two months left in the season.

On April 24th and 25th, 2014, a trip to Scandinavia will be happening. We will musically travel to Denmark, where the Overture and Cockerel's Dance from Carl Nielsen's opera Maskarade originated. Pianist Andrew Staupe will perform the ever-popular Piano Concerto of Edvard Grieg, Norway's finest composer. We will close with Jean Sibelius' Symphony No. 5, a lesser-known but rich entry from Finland's symphonic native son.

May's finale, on the 15th and 16th, holds music by Beethoven and Shostakovich. The Fidelio Overture of Beethoven starts things off, followed by his Piano Concerto No. 4, with soloist Spencer Myer at the keyboard. I don't know if I've ever told you this, but the Beethoven 4th is a “desert island” piece for me; of the five Beethoven piano concerti, I find it to be the most soulful and the most quirky, especially the responsorial middle movement. As infrequently as I have played it, I'm beginning to think of it as a “dessert island” piece.

The grand finale to the season will be Shostakovich's Symphony No. 10. Yet again, a work that only has a number to identify it, but it oozes true Russian soul which permeates so much of Shostakovich's defiant music. A highlight of this first symphony after his denouncing the communist party is the second movement Scherzo, a powerful maelstrom of a work which is a “musical portrait of Josef Stalin.”

All shows start at 7:30 at the Tennessee Theatre.

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