Program Notes: Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto

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Program Notes: Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto Jacksonville Symphony 2022/23 Florida Blue Classical Series Claude Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun Debussy is generally categorized as an Impressionist composer. Literate and well-educated, he composed dozens of songs and set poetry by France’s symbolist poets. For the most part, Debussy avoided traditional forms like symphony, sonata and concerto. Far-Eastern music, particularly … Read More

Program Notes: Brahms’ German Requiem

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Program Notes: Brahms’ German Requiem Jacksonville Symphony 2022/23 Florida Blue Classical Series Gustav Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer Mahler was better known during his lifetime as a conductor than a composer. Today he is celebrated for his symphonies, which are massive, lengthy works. He also composed many songs whose texts often relate to his personal and spiritual journey. He sought … Read More

Program Notes: Bach, Beethoven & Brahms

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Program Notes: Bach, Beethoven & Brahms Jacksonville Symphony 2022/23 Florida Blue Classical Series Johann Sebastian Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3 A titan of the German Baroque, Bach is considered by many to be among the greatest of all Classical composers. He spent his early career as organist or Kapellmeister in small German cities. He married twice and had 21 children. … Read More

Program Notes: Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1

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Program Notes: Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 Jacksonville Symphony 2022/23 Florida Blue Classical Series Dmitri Shostakovich’s Festive Overture Shostakovich spent much of his career in reaction against the Soviet regime. A brilliant pianist, he began his career playing piano in silent movie houses. His 15 symphonies and 15 string quartets are 20th century landmarks. He was a classicist at heart, … Read More

Program Notes: Beethoven’s Ninth

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Trances Jacksonville Symphony Commission World Premiere | June 10, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida Tarik O’Regan (b. 1978) Closing the season is the first in a multi-year series of commissions from some of today’s most esteemed living composers: the world premiere of Trances by the British and American composer, Tarik O’Regan. “Trances is another fast-paced work for orchestra and will conclude a … Read More

Program Notes: Mozart’s Radiance

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Dawn: Chacony for Orchestra at Any Distance (2020) Thomas Adès The son of an art historian and a poet, Thomas Adès is a native of London He studied at London’s Guildhall School of Music and King’s College Cambridge Adès achieved success early, having a retrospective of his music when he was only in his 30s His operas The Tempest, Powder … Read More

Program Notes: Mozart’s Groundbreaker

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Tarik O’Regan Raï (2006) Born 1 January 1971 in London U.S. PREMIERE Tarik O’Regan is a biracial Englishman with an Algerian mother Educated in London, he has taught at many prominent American universities Currently based in Northern California, he is a Visiting Artist at Stanford O’Regan’s music reflects British rock, American jazz, and North African folk music Of 43 recordings … Read More

Program Notes: Appalachian Spring

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Suite from Appalachian Spring Aaron Copland Born 14 November, 1900 in Brooklyn, New York Died 2 December, 1990 in North Tarrytown, New York For most of the 20th century, Aaron Copland was widely regarded as the Dean of American composers A native of Brooklyn, he studied with the eminent pedagogue Nadia Boulanger in Fontainebleau, France He was one of the … Read More

Program Notes: Beethoven to Brahms

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Leonore Overture No. 3, Op.72b Ludwig van Beethoven Born 16 December, 1770 in Bonn, Germany Died 26 March 1827 in Vienna, Austria Approximate duration 14 minutes Instrumentation: woodwinds in pairs; four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, timpani and strings Leonore is the heroine’s real name in Beethoven’s opera Fidelio. For most of the opera, she is disguised as the youth … Read More

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