Tempe Symphony Orchestra II - Dukas, Copland, Brahms

Boyle Auditorium, McClintock High
Monday, December 6, 7:30 PM



Paul Dukas (1865-1935)
Fanfare pour preceder La Peri
Dukas's last major work was the oriental ballet La Peri (1912)that tells thestory of a man who reached the "Ends of the Earth" as he searched for immortality. During his quest, he came upon a mythical Peri holding "The Flower of Immortality." Since the opening pages of La Peri arevery quiet, and audiences of the day tended to be rather noisy, Dukas chose to begin the piece with the brief Fanfare pour preceder La Peri. By the time the fanfare concluded, everyone was settled and prepared for the ballet to begin.

Aaron Copland (1900-1990)
An Outdoor Overture
Was composed for the orchestra at the High School of Music and Art in New York City. It was to be part of a campaign the school was undertaking with the slogan "American Music for American Youth." In a preface to the score, Copland wrote that he found the campaign's idea irresistible. "The extraordinary development in recent years of the school orchestra in our country, particularly in the public schools, had convinced me that our composers could and should supply these enthusiastic youthg people with a music commensurate with their emotional and technical capabilities. It was clear, moreover, that by so doing, the composer would be building future audiences for his music."

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Hungarian Dance No. 6 in D Major
Originally, Brahms wrote the first 10 dances for piano fourhands and later arranged them for solo piano. Brahms eventually created orchestral arrangements of dances No. 1, 3 and 10. Other composers, including Antonin Dvorak, entered the picture to orchestrate the other dances. Martin Schmeling orchestrated danced No. 5, 6 and 7. Hungarian Dance No. 6 easily brings to mind a vision of dancers cavorting aobut with wild abandon.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)
English Folk Songs

I. March: Seventeen Come Sunday
II. Intermezzo: My Bonny Boy
III. March: Folk Songs from Somerset

The English Folk Song Suite, composed in 1923, was originally written for military band. In 1924, Vaughan Williams asked his student, Gordan Jacob, to arrange it for orchestra. Each of the movements has the name of an English folk song as its subtitle. The first movement, March, opens with the folk song Seventeen Come Sunday followed by Pretty Caroline, which in turn segues into Dives and Lazarus. Movement two, Intermezzo, begins with My Bonny Boy, moving into Green Bushes before the "Bonny Boy" theme returns. The third movement, March: Folk Songs from Somerset starts with the lively song, Blow Away the Morning Dew. The folk melodies, High Germany, Whistle, Daughter, Whistle and John Barleycorn follow. A recapitulation of Blow Away the Morning Dew brings the suite to a spirited conclusion.

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Nanie, Op. 82
One of the least known of Brahms' major works, Nanie, from the Greek word nenia, is a "song of lamentation." His inspiration for this composition, written for orchestra and four-part mixed chorus, was the poem by Johann Freidrich von Schiller, a lament that "Even Beauty must die." The text was fitting as Nanie was composed to memorialize Brahms' friend, the painter Anselm Feuerbach. Not being a religious man, the test of the poem was secular enough for what Brahms was trying to impart through Nanie...that is the transitory nature of all things - life, love, beauty and heroic glory. Instead of presenting this concept as being gloomy, Brahms chose, instead, to make it serene.
The long-breathed flowing melody is first heard in the oboe, then forms a canon when the voices enter. Though Schiller's poem speaks of Achilles' mother rising from the sea to lament the death of her son, Brahms concludes the work not in sorrow, but rather when the line, "To be even a song of lamentation in the moun of the beloved is splendid."

Comments