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Dr. Elizabeth Reed Smith, conductor
Acknowledgments: Dr. Vicki Stroeher, Corynn Hawkins
Angela Scoulas, concertmaster, Molly Page, Olivia Hay, Yuhao Zhou, Emiko Lowers-Hori, Nathanial Ramsey, violin I
Michael Wilcoxon, principal, Margaret Cobb, Kelcey Perkins, Olivia Black, Heather Taylor, Samuel Bauserman, violin II
Lucia Soltis, principal, Christianna Dixon, Donovan Steele, Andrew Swing, viola
Dean Pauley, principal, James Kiger, David Hay, Lena Williams, Jamie Dzierzak, cello
Ryan Morgan, principal, Colin Milam, James Arnold, bass
Allison Kessinger, principal, Aaron Sowards, flute
Laura Mullins, principal, Amanda Cooper, oboe
Josh Blair, principal, Kaitlyn Miller, clarinet
Michelle McKenzie, principal, Christopher McNees, bassoon
Christian Cremeans, principal, Nicholas Bragg, horn
Justin Bahawi, principal, Chris Bunner, trumpet
John Bruce, principal, Thomas Cavender, Alexander Cardwell (bass), trombone
Ross Patrick, timpani
This evening's concert features music with something "missing"- musicians that leave the stage early, a symphony without all its movements, and a work that is traditionally performed alone, without the rest of the work to whom it owes its existence.
Hailed as one of the 'Viennese Classics,' Franz Joseph Haydn was an influential composer of the Classical era and was instrumental in the development of the symphony as we know it. Haydn's career took off when he was employed as the Kapellmeister of the wealthy Esterházy family. As Kapellmeister, Haydn managed the court musicians of the Esterházy family, composed works and staged operas, and as a senior musician provided a model for the other court musicians. In this position, his compositional output was only matched by his rising fame. After a brief and successful sojourn to London in 1791, Haydn returned to Vienna, meeting Beethoven on his way through Bonn. The senior Kapellmeister taught the young Beethoven and is often cited as a major influence in Beethoven's life. Haydn produced a monumental output before his death in 1809 (over 750 works!) and was influential in the development of both the string quartet and the symphony.
Haydn’s Symphony no. 45 in F# minor was composed for Haydn's patron, Prince Nikolaus Esterházy, in 1772 while the Prince was at his summer palace in Eszterháza. The court musicians accompanied Prince Nikolaus to his summer retreat, but were forced to leave their families at home. When the stay extended into the fall and the musicians became restless, Haydn was asked to intervene. Thus, this work, commonly referred to as the "Farewell Symphony'', was written and performed as a sort of protest on behalf of the court musicians. The symphony, in an uncharacteristic minor key, is in four movements: Allegro assai, Adagio, Menuet: Allegretto, and Finale: Presto. The first movement is an aggressive example of Sturm und Drang, or storm and stress, a mid-Classical style full of emotion and free expression. The second, a slow movement in three, features a somber shift between major and minor with a series of dissonant held notes in the strings; the movement has been described as "full of yearning for home." The third movement, a minuet, ends each phrase with a weak cadence, fostering a sense of incompleteness. The final movement, a rhythmically intense fast movement that drags into an unexpected, subdued Adagio is what ultimately prompted the Prince to return with his musicians to their home in Eisenstadt. At the end of this movement, marked "nichts mehn" or "nothing more," each musician in turn snuffed out the candle on their music stand and left the stage, leaving the first chair violins (Haydn and the concertmaster in the original performance) to finish out the piece. The Prince understood the message and plans were made for the court to return to Eisenstadt the day after the symphony's performance. The "Farewell" distinction was unofficially added to the title sometime in the 1780s due to the somewhat comic effect of musicians leaving the stage.
Franz Peter Schubert, another Austrian-born composer who made his mark in Vienna, was prolific for his output of lieder (art songs), symphonies, liturgical music, operas, and a large body of solo and chamber piano music. In1808 he began study at the Stadtkonvikt (Imperial Seminary) and was taught composition and theory by Antonio Salieri, a contemporary of Mozart and teacher of Beethoven and the young Franz Liszt Following his training, Schubert returned home to become a teacher at his father's school, a vocation he endured only for compensation. When the work of a teacher became too trying for Schubert, he left his post at the school to compose, teach, and perform full-time in Vienna, producing a wealth of works in 1815 alone. Though Schubert's life was cut tragically short, he befriended many of the prominent intellectuals of Viennese salons and composed nearly 1,000 works, including over 600 art songs in his 32 years.
Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony No. 8 in B minor was begun in 1822 and abandoned with only two movements completed Although the third movement was eventually reconstructed from found manuscripts, there is no trace of a fourth and final movement. Generally referred to as the first "Romantic" symphony, the work incorporates expressive melodies, colorful, chromatically-rich Romantic harmonies, and an artistic use of orchestral tone color. The key of the work, B minor, is often considered the "darkest, grimmest, most 'pathetic' of keys," and is particularly suited to convey Schubert's hyper-expressive style. The first movement, in sonata form with a lamenting melodic theme for the flute and oboe, uses many of the harmonic conventions Schubert is remembered for in his other Romantic works, including augmented chords and shifts away from traditional resolutions. The second movement in E minor is a sonatina (sonata without a development section) containing two contrasting themes and brimming with Schubert's masterful use of expressive harmony. The third movement, of which only the first thirty measures exist in a short score format, was left as an unharmonized melodic line. Many consider the piece self-sufficient with only the first two movements (as we will play it tonight), yet it is uncertain if this was really Schubert's intention, despite the Romantic appeal to this unique and enigmatic work.
~notes by Jacob Somers
In 1843 the King of Prussia commissioned Felix Mendelssohn to write incidental music for Jean Baptiste Racine's religious play Athalie. Racine's tragedy was based on the Biblical story of Queen Athalie, who took, and retained, the throne of Judah upon her husband's death by having all the other members of the royal family killed. Her son Joash escaped, and after a period of seven years during which the people of Judah worshiped Baal, he overthrew the queen and returned the country to righteousness.
Mendelssohn's incidental music consisted of an overture, six numbers for chorus and orchestra, and the War March of the Priests. Of those works, the overture is heard occasionally and the choruses almost never; the War March enjoyed a great deal of popularity in the early twentieth century and is still the most frequently performed part of Athalia.
~notes by Elizabeth Reed Smith
Smith Recital Hall
Arts and Humanities | Fine Arts | Music | Music Performance
Smith, Elizabeth Reed, "Marshall University Music Department Presents The Marshall University Symphony Orchestra in What's Missing?" (2013). All Performances. 243.