Program Notes for Full Orchestra Concerts

Program Notes for Full Orchestra Concerts

Learn more about the upcoming TYP concert on November 18 at 3:00 pm and the joint concert of TYS and TYO on November 20 at 7:00 pm! To make these concerts even more interesting for an audience, the ten students in the PA Musician Intern Program are researching the pieces on the program and writing program notes with the information they find.  Although all program notes will be posted by the days of the two concerts, below is a preview of the interns’ creative descriptions.

Triangle Youth Philharmonic presents Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Overture to the “Magic Flute”
by Esther Zhu

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote the opera The Magic Flute during the later years of his life. Premiered just two months before his untimely death, the opera was received very well and would become one of the most popular and most frequently performed operas. Though composed last, the Overture only borrows from the thematic material of the opera once in the introduction. The Overture follows Sonata form with the three solemn chords marking the beginning of the development section. These three markedly separated chords are clear symbolism of the three Pillars or Officers that rule a Masonic Lodge–Masonic themes are prevalent throughout the opera. The Magic Flute tells an exciting story full of powerful rulers, conquests, rescues, and spiritual forces.  The music of the overture illustrates this excitement  well with its energetic tempo and distinct theme.  

Triangle Youth Philharmonic presents Otto Nicolai’s Overture to the Merry Wives of Windsor
by Mary Kolbas

Otto Nicolai’s Overture to The Merry Wives of Windsor is based on the comedy by William Shakespeare. In this opera, an impoverished man named Falstaff attempts to woo the two wives of the rich merchants of Windsor. However, his plan is quickly exposed and he is manipulated by the women, their husbands, and other characters. Entertaining and full of antics, this Singspiel remains a popular German opera and its overture, the most famous composition by Nicolai today. The overture opens with a calm and mysterious sunrise, then transitions to the more humorous aspects of the story portrayed by the marching steps of the brass and the thunderous theme of Falstaff. This exhilarating overture evokes a plethora of emotions all in one concise musical selection.

Triangle Youth Philharmonic presents selections from Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet 
by Stephen Chang

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was a Russian composer of the Romantic period. Tchaikovsky wrote three familiar ballets that are still frequently performed to this day – Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker. The Nutcracker was his last of three ballets composed and was based on of E.T.A. Hoffman’s story, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.  The movements being played by TYP in this concert are the March, Scene, Le Chocolat, Danse Arab, Danse Chinoise, and Pas de deux.  The March is about a Christmas party taking place within a family home. After midnight, magic begins to happen, and the heroine of the story, Clara, is transported into a land of snow during the Scene.   Le Chocolat, Danse Arab, and Danse Chinoise are character dances that all take place in the Land of Sweets.  Chocolate from Mexico, coffee from Arabia, and tea from China are being served to Clara, as these titles indicate.  Each movement showcases a different section.  For example, the cello is featured playing a very expressive version of a G Major scale in the Pas de deux.  In others movements like the March and Danse Arab, the violin and woodwind parts are the most important.  The Nutcracker is a festive, exciting piece that tells a playful yet elegant story that is sure to bring joy to an audience.  While listening, try to imagine the different groups of ballet dancers that would dance to this and what they would look like.

Triangle Youth Orchestra presents Keller’s American Hymn
by Jonah Smith

Matthias Keller was a musician and composer born in 1813 in Germany. Before immigrating to America in 1846, Keller studied music in Vienna and was a bandmaster for a few years. Upon arriving in America, Keller earned a living making violins as well as performing. Keller got into composing after the federal government needed a national hymn and was willing to give a prize to the winning composer. His composition was not liked among the New York Academy of Music, where it was debuted, but it became well known and liked in Boston as it was played by the city’s wind bands.   He features a very simple yet patriotic melody in his piece “American Hymn”.  

Triangle Youth Orchestra presents Simple Gifts 
by Ganeesh Varadarajan

Simple Gifts is one of the most popular American religious folk songs. It has a direct and straightforward melodic line and simple hymn-like harmonies. The song has been sung and played all across the USA and in other countries. It was composed by Joseph Brackett, as a shaker song. It was not widely known outside Shaker communities until Aaron Copland used its melody for the score of Appalachian Spring, first performed in 1944. Since then Simple Gifts has been arranged and adapted by many composers including the arrangement of this piece by Martha Shapiro being performed in this concert program   

Triangle Youth Orchestra presents Rosamunde Overture
Hannah Won

Franz Shubert is primarily known as an Austrian composer who bridged the worlds of classical and romantic music. Although Shubert faced an early death at the age of 31, he composed over 600 pieces, many of which were operas and quartets. Shubert incorporated many rhythmical tunes and beautiful melodies into his compositions including the piece Rosamunde Overture from the play, Rosamunde, Fürstin von Zypern. Although the play itself was not hugely successful, the Rosamunde Overture is a commonly performed and well liked piece.  As the Triangle Youth Orchestra plans to perform this piece, assistant conductor of TYO Jake Wenger says that “TYO is very excited to be performing an arrangement of Franz Schubert’s Rosamunde Overture.  The powerful opening, the beautiful lyrical theme that follows, and the big finish are all masterfully composed and so much fun to play.”

Triangle Youth Orchestra presents Johannes Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 5
by Natalie Wiese

It was while Johannes Brahms was on a tour to Italy as a piano accompanist to a famous violinist, that he was inspired to write his Hungarian dances.  He found inspiration in the gypsy and Hungarian music and later incorporated this music into his twenty-one lively Hungarian Dances, all originally composed as piano duets. In fact, Brahms was so influenced by the melodies he heard in Hungary that only three of his Hungarian Dances–numbers 11, 14, and 16–use an original melody. Brahms remained humble when he published his Hungarian Dances and insisted that the melodies in the pieces he composed were pre-existing melodies that he simply arranged. Brahms’s 21 Hungarian Dances are certainly among Brahms’ most popular works. The most famous of all Brahms Hungarian dances is No. 5. The framework of Hungarian Dance No. 5 is based off of Kéler Béla’s “Bartfai Emlek” which Brahms mistook for a traditional folksong. The enchanting melody and sweeping gypsy rhythm of Hungarian Dance No. 5 was later arranged for an orchestral ensemble.  TYO will be performing the arrangement by Martin Schmeling 

Triangle Youth Symphony presents William Walton’s Crown Imperial March
by Anita Murali

The Triangle Youth Symphony is playing a variety of interesting pieces this year, one of which is William Walton’s Crown Imperial March. This piece was composed by William Walton in 1937 for the coronation of Edward VIII before Edward decided to abdicate the throne to his younger brother, George VI. The royal family embraced the piece and it was played at the coronation of King George VI. The piece has become a standard anthem at royal occasions, featured prominently in both the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and the wedding of her grandson, William, to Catherine Middleton.

The Triangle Youth Symphony director, McCrae Hardy, chose this piece to open the program due to the likable nature of the piece. In Hardy’s words, “William Walton’s Crown Imperial March, which opens the program, is an immediately appealing piece for the audience and the player – catchy rhythms, a recurring tune that delights the ear, and perfect orchestration.”

Triangle Youth Symphony presents Johann Sebastian Bach’s  Fugue in G minor “The Little”
by Abigail Oentung

From 1703-1707, in Arnstadt, Germany, one of the most popular fugues that has ever been written was composed: The Little Fugue by Johann Sebastian Bach. A fugue is a musical composition for two or more voices, and it is structured on a specific theme. Throughout the piece, the theme can be discerned through the key and the structure of the tune. Fugues are especially unique because they are written such that a second voice enters after and in imitation of first voice, creating a harmony that is an echo of the original theme. After the initial voice begins, subsequent versions of that same tune are heard with slight alterations, creating a highlight known as the countersubject. In this way, the theme of the piece is repeated before the initial theme is even fully stated. This style of music became especially popular during the Baroque period among Northern Europeans due to its distinct texture and technique. Johann Sebastian Bach’s Fugue in G minor (The Little), follows this exact structure. It is organized into three sections: the Exposition, the Development, and the Recapitulation which echoes the subject in the original key, concluding the piece in a very circular manner. The fugue’s four and a half measure subject or theme, written for an organ, is one of Bach’s most recognizable tunes. Written in G minor, the cascading nature of the theme fills audiences with anticipation, until finally, the piece ends on a G major chord. This technique of ending a minor piece on a major chord is called a Picardy Third, and provides a strong ending to this magnificent piece.

Triangle Youth Symphony Presents Schubert’s Symphony No.8 in B minor
by Joydeep Mukherjee

Schubert’s Symphony No. 8 in B Minor is commonly addressed as the “Unfinished Symphony”. Started by Schubert in 1822, the piece was left incomplete with only two movements by the time of his death in 1828. There are many theories about the ending of the “Unfinished Symphony”, including a theory that the finale written for the Symphony No. 8 was instead used by Schubert in his B Minor entr’acte to his opera “Rosamunde”. According to McCrae Hardy, this symphony is “very challenging technique- and expression-wise”, despite its “deceptively simple” melodies, such as the one played by the cellos and basses in the beginning.

By | 2018-11-21T16:36:09+00:00 |News|