National Repertory Orchestra presents Beethoven Symphony No. 8
Special to the Daily
IF YOU GO
What: The NRO Presents Beethoven Symphony No. 8
Program: Felix Mendelssohn: “Intermezzo, Nocturne, and Scherzo from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Op. 61”; Antonin Dvořák: “Romance in F minor for Violin & Orchestra, Op. 11,” “Silent Woods for Violoncello & Orchestra,” and “Rondo in G minor for Violoncello & Orchestra, Op. 94”; Ludwig Van Beethoven: “Symphony No. 8 in F major, Op. 93”
When: Wednesday, July 13, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Riverwalk Center, 150 W. Adams Ave., Breckenridge
Cost: $25-$40, $7/youth 18 & under
More Information: (970) 453-5825 or online at nromusic.com
The National Repertory Orchestra will present a program featuring Beethoven’s exuberant Symphony No. 8, Wednesday, July 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Riverwalk Center. The evening will also include a selection of Romantic works by Mendelssohn and Dvořák. From the well-known “Midsummer Night’s Dream Suite” to Beethoven’s “little symphony in F,” this program delivers a broad spectrum of beautiful melodies from the Romantic era.
At the tender age of 17, Felix Mendelssohn became enamored with the works of Shakespeare. He wrote the “Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in less than one month. It wasn’t until years later that Mendelssohn picked up where he left off, writing incidental music to accompany a performance of the play in Prussia.
Mendelssohn’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream Suite” includes an intermezzo, nocturne and scherzo, and came to be one of his most well-known and frequently performed works. The intermezzo is charming and bright, as is the scherzo, which opens with one of the most popular excerpts for violinists. The nocturne, which depicts sleeping lovers, is a stately lullaby featuring one of the most beautiful horn solos ever written.
Czech composer Antonin Dvořák wrote the next three pieces on the program. “Romance in F minor” is a warm, soaring display of virtuosity for the soloist. It is well known that Dvořák was a skilled melodist, and this work is a beautiful example.
Dvořák’s Romance will feature NRO violinist Sophie Verhaeghe. Verhaeghe holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Boston University, and currently studies at the University of Texas in Austin. She has performed with numerous orchestras around the country and is a semifinalist for the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida.
The evening will continue with Dvořák’s “Silent Woods” and “Rondo in G minor” featuring another orchestra member, cellist Daniel Lim. Lim earned degrees from New England Conservatory and Cleveland Institute of Music and is an avid collaborator and music educator.
“Silent Woods” was originally written for piano four-hands and then arranged for Dvořák’s friend and cellist, Hanus Wihan. In a dreamy and romantic setting, this work depicts a stroll through the peaceful Czech woodlands.
Also written for Wihan, “Rondo in G minor” showcases the virtuosity of the cello. It is spirited and dance-like incorporating the folky elements that Dvořák loved.
The second part of Wednesday evening’s program will feature Beethoven’s Eighth Symphony. Written shortly after the very popular Seventh Symphony, the Eighth came as a bit of a letdown. Nevertheless, Beethoven felt secure in its worth. When asked why the Seventh was more popular than the Eighth he responded, “Because the Eighth is so much better.”
The Eighth Symphony was written in Beethoven’s “middle period,” a time of musical exploration and experimentation. This particular work, however, is reminiscent of more traditional forms. It is lighthearted, described by Wagner as portraying “the games and caprices of a child.”
Beethoven surprised audiences with his Eighth Symphony, humorous and jovial in mood at a time when Beethoven was despondent over the loss of his hearing. Each movement employs musical jokes and buoyant melodies. Spirited from start to finish, the Eighth Symphony is one of Beethoven’s most delightful and humorous works.
Assistant conductor John Macfarlane will lead the NRO in Wednesday night’s program. Macfarlane is an accomplished violinist having performed with the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra and St. Louis Symphony. He is currently assistant principal second violinist of the Lyric Opera of Chicago. As a conductor, Macfarlane has been featured on multiple live radio broadcasts in Chicago and works as assistant conductor for Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre.
Tickets for this concert range from $25-40 and are $7 for audience members ages 18 and under. Tickets may be purchased at the Riverwalk Center Box Office, 150 W. Adams Ave., Breckenridge, by phone at (970) 547-3100, or online at nromusic.com.
Bailey Salinero is a marketing intern for the NRO. The NRO would like to thank its generous sponsors for this concert: Blue River Bistro and Sam Kuller.
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