Program Notes | Choral Masterworks

The Lark Ascending RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Born October 12, 1872, Down Ampney Died August 26, 1958, London Vaughan Williams originally composed The Lark Ascending, which he called a Romance for Violin and Orchestra, in 1914, just after completing his London Symphony, but World War I...

Program Notes | Celebrating Stravinsky

Sinfonia Concertante in B-flat Major, Hob. I:105 FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN   (1732-1809) Haydn wrote this wonderful music quickly in London during the winter of 1792.  The sinfonia concertante is a concerto-like form, but with some important differences.  It is for two or more soloists, who are...

Program Notes | Season Finale

The Unanswered Question CHARLES IVES  (1874-1954) In 1906, the 32-year-old Ives sketched out a piece he called The Unanswered Question. This is visionary music. Ives conceived it on three separate musical planes–it is performed by three different groups of instruments that are separated physically, play...

Program Note | L’Histoire du Soldat

IGOR STRAVINSKY  (1882-1971) Stravinsky spent the difficult period of World War I in Switzerland.  The war prevented productions of Stravinsky’s music, halting his income, and the Russian Revolution cut him off from his homeland.  Now Stravinsky became friends with the Swiss novelist C.F. Ramuz and...

Program Notes | Mozart, Haydn & Fung

Overture to The Magic Flute, K.620 WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791) As he often did, Mozart delayed writing the overture to The Magic Flute until almost the last minute: the premiere of took place in Vienna on September 30, 1791, and Mozart wrote the overture on...

Program Note | Handel’s Messiah

George Frideric Handel: Messiah Throughout most of the 1730s, George Frideric Handel was London’s most prominent and successful musician. Renowned for his string of hit Italian operas, he enjoyed royal patronage and public acclaim. By the end of the decade, however, the popularity of Italian…

Season Opener

September 13, 2020 Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Opus 21 FELIX MENDELSSOHN   (1809-1847) One of the Mendelssohn family’s recreations was reading Shakespeare’s plays together in the recent Schlegel-Tieck translation into German.  Each member of the family would take different parts as they read, and…

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