Submitted by Symphony Tacoma.
Symphony Tacoma’s 2018-2019 season presents timeless masterpieces by classical artists complemented with innovative works by six living composers, including two women. The season opener, Barber and Tchaikovsky, features favorites by Samuel Barber and Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky along with a 2012 composition by Stephanie Berg. The concert will be held in Tacoma’s Rialto Theater on Saturday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m.
The concert also marks the beginning of Music Director Sarah Ioannides’ fifth season at the Symphony Tacoma podium. Two-time Grammy-nominated violinist Jennifer Frautschi will lend her mastery of Barber’s Violin Concerto with her 1722 Stradivarius violin. Frautschi, who began playing the violin at age 3, has garnered worldwide acclaim as an adventurous musician with a remarkably wide-ranging repertoire.
Season ticket packages and single concert tickets ($24 to $85) are on sale through the Broadway Center for Performing Arts box office. To subscribe, call 253-591-5894 or visit symphonytacoma.org.
Barber and Tchaikovsky is sponsored by Pacific Northwest Eye Associates, Tacoma Philharmonic Endowment and Tacoma Arts Month.
NEW THIS SEASON: To provide a safe and comfortable experience, the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts has instituted a new bag policy for all theater patrons. All bags are subject to search. Along with the required bag search, patrons may be requested to open their jackets or be checked with a metal detector prior to entering the venue. Broadway Center will not be held responsible for any prohibited items.
ABOUT THE MUSIC:
Ravish and Mayhem (2012)
Heralded as a “promising new compositional voice” (St. Louis Post Dispatch), Kansas City native Stephanie Berg has had her music met with “enthusiastic ovations,” and has been described as “fun, creative” (St. Louis Post Dispatch) and possessing “a tremendous energy” (conductor David Robertson). Winner of the Missouri Composers Orchestra Project and the prestigious Sinquefield Composition Prize, Berg enjoys a rich performance career as a clarinet and saxophone player. She is a regular member of the Mizzou New Music Ensemble and has performed with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Philharmonic and the Missouri Symphony, to name a few.
Ravish and Mayhem was inspired by the vivacity and virtuosity of a Arabian street festival. Berg says, “I sought to encapsulate that energy into the piece through the triumphant fanfares and lively folk-style melodies that are presented throughout. I imagine a person traveling from scene to scene, witnessing wild dancers, street performers, and amorous couples until the elephants arrive to announce the grand finale.”
Samuel Barber (1910-1981)
Violin Concerto (1939)
Known for his expressiveness and tonal romanticism, American composer Samuel Barber is one of the most celebrated composers in the 20th century. Music critic Donal Henahan once stated that “probably no other American composer has ever enjoyed such early, such persistent, and such long-lasting acclaim.” Barber’s beautiful Violin Concerto was commissioned in 1939 and premiered at the Academy of Music in February, 1941.
Barber wrote his own program notes for the premiere of the piece: “The first movement—allegro molto moderato—begins with a lyrical first subject announced at once by the solo violin, without any orchestral introduction. This movement as a whole has perhaps more the character of a sonata than concerto form. The second movement—andante sostenuto—is introduced by an extended oboe solo. The violin enters with a contrasting and rhapsodic theme, after which it repeats the oboe melody of the beginning. The last movement, a perpetuum mobile, exploits the more brilliant and virtuosic character of the violin.”
Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
Symphony No. 5 (1888)
Following his passion for music, Russian-born Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky graduated from the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in 1865. The western-oriented education he received set him apart from composers of the nationalist movement that was sweeping Russian music at the time, defining his very personal style that reconciled his education with Russian musical traditions.
The Symphony No. 5 was composed in 1888 and was first performed with Tchaikovsky himself at the conductor’s podium in St. Petersburg. It is a cyclical symphony, with a recurring main theme that is persistently heard in all four movements. Although there is no clear programmatic content, Tchaikovsky did sketch a scenario for its first movement in his notebook, containing “…a complete resignation before fate, which is the same as the inscrutable predestination of fate.” It has since been dubbed the “fate theme,” as it has a funereal character in the first movement and gradually transforms into a triumphant march. This trajectory is especially evident even in its tonal composition, as it begins in E-minor and transcends into E-major by the last movement.