March 18, 2017 11:01:14 PM
The Starkville-MSU Symphony, under the direction of Barry E. Kopetz, will be in concert Saturday, March 25 at 7:30 p.m. in Bettersworth Auditorium in Lee Hall on the campus of Mississippi State University. This concert is the sixth and final concert of the 2016-2017 season and will feature works by von Suppe, Haydn, Mozart, Brahms, Barber, Strauss Jr. and Kopetz.
The program opens with "Morning, Noon, and Night in Vienna" by Franz von Suppe. This selection is an overture that would precede an operetta. Overtures for operetta rarely related to the actual story, but served to get the attention of the audience and to set the scene for the entertainment.
The next selection, "Symphony No. 104 in D Major," offers a good example of Haydn's standard symphonic format. Known as the "London" symphony, it is the final symphony that Haydn composed during his stay in London. The theme of the finale is a folk melody that originates in Croatia, where Haydn once lived. Listen to hear the sounds of the bustling London streets and the folk songs of his youth.
The third piece is Mozart's overture to "The Marriage of Figaro" K. 492. Premiering in 1786, the overture, while containing none of the opera's melodic themes, sets the tone and pace of the ensuing action to follow. The Figaro overture does, however, give listeners a foretaste of the mood of its opera: light natured, witty and often sarcastic in its humor.
Johannes Brahms' "Hungarian Dance No. 5" follows next in the program. Among the earliest works to earn Brahms widespread public admiration was a set of dances for solo piano four-hands. Many of these have been orchestrated by various composers and are now frequently played in this form. These dances are based on true Hungarian folk melodies, not merely written in a similar style.
The fifth selection of the evening is Samuel Barbers' "Adagio for Strings." This staple of American music has often been used as an anthem of loss and grief. It has been performed during several solemn moments in U.S. history as an expression of national grief: It was broadcast in 1945 after the announcement of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's death, and in 2001, was performed in remembrance of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Johann Strauss Sr. composed "The Radetzky March" in honor of Field Marshal Joseph Radetzky von Radez to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Custoza of 1848. Despite its martial background, the music seems more suited for the dance floor than the battlefield. When it was first played, officers clapped and stomped their feet. This tradition continues, as audiences clap rhythmically and softly during the first time the melody is heard, and then thunderously the second time.
The final selection of the evening, "Beyond Heaven's Clouds," was composed by the SSO Music Director Barry E. Kopetz and will be the SSO premiere of this work.
Learn more about the symphony association at starkvillesymphony.org.