“Music in 3D: #5” Concert Preview No. 2

Before each concert, we share “Manny’s Musings,” thoughts from our Music Director and Conductor, Manny Laureano. This is the second edition of the “Musings” for the “Music in 3D: #5” concert that will be performed on Sunday, April 22, 2018.

Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64
Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Composer

How much we are in the debt of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy? Never mind his own great compositions such as the the string symphonies he wrote between the tender ages of 12 and 14, or his lyrical Piano Concerto in G minor. Forget his Fourth Symphony (so-named the Italian) which, even though written in an elegant classical style, broke rules by being still the only symphony to begin in a major key only to end in an explosive minor saltarello. We won’t mention his contribution to the field of oratorios with his piously beautiful Elijah.

If all he had done was to bring back the music of Johann Sebastian Bach to the consciousness of the music-loving public, as he did with his performance of the St. Matthew Passion it would have been enough to secure his place in musical history… but no. He also managed to write the most easily recognized violin concerto in history with his E minor concerto. While he conceived the piece in 1838, he was not able to finish it until quite some time later–in 1844–for his close musical associate and friend, Ferdinand David.

This music is sweet without being maudlin or overdone. It is bold without being brash. It’s first-movement cadenza follows a classical approach without self-indulgent pyrotechnics. It has spoken quite well for itself as a standard-bearer for great violinists for about 170 years!

Join Music Director & Conductor Manny Laureano, for the concert, “Music in 3D: #5 featuring Katia Tesarczyk, violin, and winner of the Mary West Solo Competition sponsored by MNSOTA. The concert takes place on Sunday, April 22, 2018, at 3 p.m., at the Gideon S. Ives Auditorium at the Masonic Heritage Center (11411 Masonic Home Drive, Bloomington)

To learn more about the concert, click here. You can order tickets online through the Masonic Heritage Center Box Office, or by calling 800.514.ETIX.

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“Let Us Begin” Concert Preview No. 2

This is the second post in a series by the BSO’s ArtisticDirector, Manny Laureano. Enjoy the preview of the Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No. 1. Stop by on Monday, September 30 for the final preview of the BSO’s October 6 concert, “Let Us Begin.”

Is it possible tomendelssohn imagine the sheer and trembling joy that we would experience if we could go back in time and hear the music of great composers while they were living? What about actually hearing the composer at the piano playing his music? Or a triple threat that involved a composer creating a program made up solely of his works? Such were the circumstances surrounding the opus 25 of Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, his concerto in G minor for piano and orchestra.

Felix Mendelssohn was indeed the soloist at this legendary concert in Munich in the year 1831 which included his first symphony and the overture to his A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the latter written at what would prove to be almost the middle of his tragically short life, age 17. He also included a number of improvisations at the piano, much to the delight of the assembled crowd. For as scintillating an evening as that may have been, Mendelssohn’s favorite performance of his G minor concerto was given by Franz Liszt later on in Paris, whose playing he admired greatly.

If there is great passion in the fiery opening of this concerto in the way it bubbles over like an unwatched pot, perhaps one can allude to the interest he may have had in a certain young lady he knew named Delphine von Schauroth. She was of a well-connected family in Munich and studied with Mendelssohn daily for a period of time. The concerto is also dedicated to this fair young lady who attracted the attention of many of the available well-heeled gentlemen of Munich society. He insisted to his sister Fanny, however, that love was not part of the equation. They did remain lifelong friends and Felix was godfather to her firstborn son.

The first movement is relentless even in its quieter moments (due to the sensual arching of the second theme). It leads by fanfare but without pause to a second movement that is a poetic series of theme and decorative variations. In a somewhat rare bit of writing, Mendelssohn splits the ‘celli into higher and lower voices, the former acting as a partner in duet with the viola section, providing a richness of middle voices to accompany the florid-yet-elegant piano solo. The fanfare returns to announce the finale which can only be described by the non-cynical among us as unbridled joy at being released from the sonority of the minor key into an exuberant finish in G Major.

Susan Billmeyer, PianoSusan Billmeyer will be the featured piano soloist in the Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra on Sunday, October 6 at 3 p.m. Purchase tickets in advance or at the door.

 

 

 

 

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2013-14 Season Announced!

The Bloomington Symphony Orchestra’s newly appointed Artistic Director and Conductor Manny Laureano has put together his first season of programs for the BSO. The season promises to be a celebration of firsts, as the conductor and musicians begin a new era of making music together.

The BSO begins it’s 51st season on Sunday, October 6 with a concert called “Let Us Begin.” This concert will feature Shostakovich’s first opus, a Scherzo in f# minor, followed by Mendelssohn’s first piano concerto performed by Susan Billmeyer, the Minnesota Orchestra’s keyboard player. Brahms’ First Symphony completes this concert of “firsts.”

The BSO’s fourth annual concert at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Eden Prairie, this year on Sunday, November 24, is entitled “Sit Right Back and You’ll Hear the Tale.” This concert includes programmatic pieces including Borodin’s Overture to Prince Igor, as well as the Polovetsian Dances from the same opera. The concert will end with Rimsky-Korsakov’s musical tale of Scheherazade.

On Sunday, February 16, 2014, the BSO will celebrate “The Passion of Rachmaninoff,” with a concert program of Wagner’s Overture to Rienzi, Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major and concluding with Rachmaninoff’s passionate Symphony No. 2. The BSO’s concertmaster, Rebecca Corruccini will make her annual solo appearance at this concert.

The BSO will conclude its 2013-14 season with “Music in 3D,” a nod to the imagination that music inspires. “Music in 3D” includes Death and Transfiguration by Strauss, The Swan of Tuonela by Sibelius and Respighi’s well-known piece, The Pines of Rome. This concert will also feature a performance by the grand prize winner of MNSOTA’s Mary West Solo Competition.

Season and single concert tickets are now available online through the Bloomington Box Office or by calling 962-563-8575. Tickets are always available for purchase at the door. Single concert tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for seniors. Discounted season tickets are $48 for adults and $40 for seniors. Students with a valid ID are admitted free, thanks to our generous sponsors.

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