Musical contrasts will fill the air at Dec.8-9 La Jolla Symphony & Chorus concerts

From LJS&C Reports

The La Jolla Symphony & Chorus (LJS&C) presents its second concert of the 58th season, which is inspired by Wallace Stegner’s novel about the American West, “Angle of Repose.” The December program, titled “Dark/Bright,” offers bright works of texture and musical color by Handel and Brahms, set off against the darker hues and stirring passions of Arnold Schoenberg and Luigi Dallapiccola.

Steven Schick conducts the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus. Courtesy

Music director Steven Schick will conduct the concerts featuring orchestra and chorus, Dec. 8 and 9, in UC San Diego’s Mandeville Auditorium.

• The program will begin with Handel’s “The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba,” a popular three-minute Sinfonia in the composer’s oratorio “Solomon,” composed in 1748. The music evokes a royal, grand entrance befitting a queen, and sets the stage for the contrasts of light and dark to come.

• Brahm’s “Nänie,” for chorus and orchestra (composed in 1881), is a lament on the transience of beauty and inevitability of death. The text is from the poem of the same name by Friedrich Schiller, but the lament does not agonize. Instead, the tone is consoling, and the overlapping choral parts create a complex and beautiful web of polyphonic sound. Due to its difficulty, “Nänie” is one of Brahms’ rarely performed works.

• Arnold Schoenberg’s “Five Pieces for Orchestra,” composed in 1909, are his first atonal works. These five brief movements may be thought of as “mood” pieces — each generates a particular atmosphere. Throughout, the emphasis is on instrumental color; melodies tend to be fragmentary, with the line leaping from section to section and acquiring different colors as it proceeds.

• Italian composer Luigi Dallapiccola composed “Piccola Musica Notturna” as a commission by German conductor Hermann Scherchen in 1954. The title translates to a “little night music.” However, the inspiration, rather than Mozartian, is Antonio Machado’s poem “Noche de verano” (“Summer Night”), a contemplation of an empty town square on a quite summer night lit by moonlight. The piece might be described as a nocturne for orchestra, a mood-piece that tries to capture the sultry, lonely atmosphere of Machado’s poem. It is one of Dallapiccola’s most frequently performed compositions.

• The program concludes with Brahm’s “Triumphlied” or “song of triumph,” written in 1870-71 in commemoration of the victories of the German army and unification of Germany. Brahms’ use of double chorus spreads the vocal line over eight parts, and he contrasts the sound of these choruses with a baritone soloist, 2012 Young Artists Winner Anthony Martini-Whitson, in the final movement. Combined with huge orchestra, these forces make some of the grandest sounds Brahms ever created.

If you go

What: ‘Dark/Bright,’ second concert of the season from La Jolla Symphony & Chorus

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8; 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9

Where: Mandeville Auditorium, UCSD campus

Pre-concert lecture: One hour prior to concert times

Tickets: $15-$29. Free parking.

Box Office: (858) 534-4637


Related posts:

  1. Romantic concert storm brewing with Brahms, Verdi, Adams, and a premiere
  2. La Jolla Symphony & Chorus to perform some ‘Ancient Noises’
  3. Next ‘Face the Music’ concert will engage ears, eyes … and noses
  4. Next La Jolla Symphony & Chorus concert is one of musical contrasts
  5. La Jolla Symphony & Chorus tackles rare Beethoven piece

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Posted by Staff on Dec 6, 2012. Filed under A & E, Music. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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