Stephen Lawson, conductor
with guest artist:
Anyango Yarbo-Davenport, violin
The Vienna Philharmonic Fanfare was written in 1924 for the first benefit ball, which raised money for the musician's pension fund. The premier was on March 4 of that year during the holiday of Fasching (Mardis Gras), and has been played every year since at the Philharmonic's annual balls. Richard Strauss was the son of a noted horn player/teacher of his generation (Franz), and demonstrated a flair for brass writing. Some of the horn parts encompass 3 octaves in range, which is quite extraordinary for this time. Though a very large brass section, clarity is achieved by voicing each section separately and as a large group. Richard Strauss was, also, a noted conductor with posts in Berlin as well as Vienna and often used this fanfare on tours.
L'Arlesienne Suite No. 1 by Bizet as premiered in 1872 at a Pasdeloup concert ("pops" orchestra). This music and L'Arlesienne Suite No. 2 come from incidental music written for a play by Alphonse Daudet. The title refers to: A Girl from Aries. The play was not successful. However, both suites have become standards in the orchestra repertoire.
The first movement borrows melodic material from the March of the Kings, followed by a few variations. A brief pause ushers in a new section with a saxophone solo. Though this seems an odd turn, it reflects the incidental nature of the music. The Minuetto is true to its form and again uses the saxophone for lyric melody in the Trio section. The Adagietto is for muted strings and is a cherished miniature that contrasts the other movements. The Carillon features horns creating bell tones that become an ostinato throughout much of the movement.
Winter from The Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi is an early example of programmatic music, or music inspired by another source. Vivaldi is credited with authoring a poetic sonnet for each season, and musically representing some aspects of the sonnet. The Four Seasons were published in 1725 in Il cimento dell 'armonia e dell inventione (The contest between harmony and invention), and were written for a violin soloist with strings. Each is divided into 3 sections, with a fast- slow- fast format.
Below is a translation of the sonnet, Winter:
Shivering, frozen mid the frosty snow in biting, stinging winds;
Running to and fro to stamp one's feet, teeth chattering in the bitter chill
To rest contentedly beside the hearth, while those outside are drenched by pouring rain.
We tread the icy path slowly and cautiously, for fear of tripping and falling.
Then turn abruptly, slip, crash on the ground and, rising, hasten on across the ice lest it cracks up.
We feel the chill north winds coarse through the home despite the locked and bolted doors.. .
This is winter, which nonetheless brings its own delights.
Suite No. 1 is from The Nutcracker Ballet by Tchaikovsky and has become a favorite of the holiday season. The ballet was premiered in 1892, and is based on a tale by ETA Hoffmann called: The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. The overture begins the ballet, while the characteristic dances come from the second act, as does the Waltz of the Flowers. This suite was presented in Fantasia by Walt Disney and has become frequently borrowed by a variety of media and advertising.
*Laura Mullens, Chris McDerment, oboe
*Ryan Striker, Joshua Blair, clarinet
*Christopher McNeese, Michelle McKenzie, bassoon
*William Holderby, Nicholas Bragg, Kristen Bobuk, Danielle Ocheltree, Joshua Hall, Melinda Kelle, Jessica Cox, Chris Cremeans, horn
*Briana Blankenship, *Ben Stern, *Daniel Ricks, Justin Bahawi, Kevin Eason, Cliff Workman, trumpet
*Andrew O'Neal, Brian Crawford, Jared Layman, John Bruce, Brianna Williams, Alexander Caldwell, trombone
*Guy Parker, Tyler Davis, tuba
* Andrew Tilley, Anna Marie Firth, Evan Grover, percussion
* Jiao Li, piano
*+Angela Scoulos, Molly Page, Olivia Hay, Marianne Tessone, violin I
*Nathaniel Ramsey, Michael Wilcoxon, Allison Bias, Kelcey Perkins, Sam Bauserman, violin II
* Timothy Feverston, Matthew Turner, Fabbio Sassin, Andrew Swing, Jame McCumbee, Lucia Soltis, Matthew McCrobie, Kristina Dixon, viola
* Ezgi Karakus, Dean Pauley, Ron Thompson, Jamie Dzierzak, Lena Williams, David Hay, Tawny Tilley, cello
* Ryan Morgan, Jordan Trent, Colin Milam, William Arnold, bass
Robert Galloway, saxophone
* Denotes Principal
- orchestra music,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/stephen_lawson/1/