Program Notes: Mozart’s Defiance

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Mozart’s stormy, passionate Concerto in C minor, K.491 must have startled his Viennese audience. The dark subtext coursing through this music prompts us to wonder what feelings of despair the composer harbored. Classicist he certainly was, but this concerto pushes the envelope persuasively close to the brink of romanticism. Its central slow movement is a masterpiece of woodwind writing, in … Read More

Program Notes: Brahms’ Pastoral Symphony

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Like many of Ravel’s orchestral works, Pavane for a Dead Princess originated as a solo piano piece. The Pavane was slow, processional 16th century court dance, probably of Italian origin. Spanish princesses were called infantas, and Ravel is said to have chosen the title because he liked the way it sounded in French! His single movement is poignant, elegant, and … Read More

Nickel for Your Thoughts: Mozart’s Dream

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In his own words, Vice President & Artistic Administrator Tony Nickle shares what he believes to be the high points of the program, but with a little edge and humor for good measure. This week’s program features our second Mozart piano concerto of the season, nestled in between two pieces by Czech composers: Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák. Mozart’s connection … Read More