Event Description

Guest Conductor Robert Tweten will lead The Symphony Orchestra in this program dreaming of springtimes to come. The afternoon’s overture will be Chabrier’s Suite Pastorale, a set of four themed works drawn from his piano repertoire and orchestrated to paint a picture of the idyllic French countryside. The Symphony’s Principal Horn Nathan Ukens will show his soloistic talents in Haydn’s first Horn Concerto. The grand finale, Schumann’s Symphony No. 2, is a pillar of the Romantic literature whose optimism is all the more inspiring given the health challenges faced by its author during its composition.

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Concert Notes

SUNDAY, APRIL 23, 2017, AT 4:00 PM

Suite Pastorale
Emmanuel Chabrier

Emmanuel Chabrier was, despite stubby fingers, a piano prodigy as a child, and he grew up longing to be a composer. But his parents insisted on a “sensible” career, and so Chabrier spent several unhappy decades as a minor clerk in the Ministry of the Interior who dabbled in composition in his spare time. In 1881, Chabrier had just abandoned his government job to devote himself to music when he wrote a set of ten brief pieces for piano that he titled Pièces pittoresques (“Picturesque Pieces”). These Pièces pittoresques proved so successful that seven years later Chabrier orchestrated four of them to form his 1888 Suite pastorale. The Suite, which was premiered on November 4 of that year in Angers, has become one of his most popular works.

Horn Concerto No. 1
Joseph Haydn

Haydn may have revolutionized the symphony and the string quartet, but he was not especially attracted to the concerto; he was uninterested in virtuosity for its own sake, and he found little appeal in the concerto form. Most of Haydn’s concertos date from the early 1760s, during his first years as Kapellmeister for the Esterhazy family in Eisenstadt. There he led a small orchestra of virtuoso players, and it was natural that he would write concertos for those performers. But after writing a handful of concertos (some of them unfortunately lost, including concertos for double bass and for flute), Haydn lost interest in the form.

Symphony No. 2
Robert Schumann

Schumann and his wife Clara made a five-month tour of Russia in 1844. Her piano-playing was acclaimed everywhere, but the always-vulnerable Schumann found himself somewhat in the shade, and on their return to Leipzig the composer began to show signs of acute depression: he said that even the act of listening to music “cut into my nerves like knives.” So serious did this become that by the end of the year Schumann was unable to work at all. He gave up his position at the Leipzig Conservatory, and the couple moved to Dresden in the hope that quieter surroundings would help his recovery. Only gradually was he able to resume work, completing the Piano Concerto in the summer of 1845 and beginning work on the Second Symphony in the fall. Schumann usually worked quickly, but the composition of this symphony took a very long time. Apparently Schumann had to suspend work on the symphony for extended periods while he struggled to maintain his mental energy, and it was not completed until October of 1846. The first performance took place on November 5, 1846, with Mendelssohn conducting the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra.

Robert Tweten Guest Conductor

Conductor Robert Tweten has been described as leading with “verve and precision,” as well as having “flawless” pacing and “musicality and near-symbiotic accord with singers which always impresses.” Most recently he made his debut with Dayton Opera for Madama Butterfly and returned to Utah Opera for Tosca and Calgary Opera for Die Zauberflöte. Read more!

Nathan Ukens The Symphony's Principal Horn

Nathan Ukens, born and raised in Tulsa, OK, is currently Principal Horn of The Santa Fe Symphony and Second Horn in the New Mexico Philharmonic. Read more!

Conductors
& Musicians

Guest Conductor

Robert Tweten

Principal Horn

Nathan Ukens

Featuring

The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra

Meet The Composers