MSO to continue 20th anniversary season
EASTON — The Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra will continue its 20th anniversary season, “Reaching Ever Higher,” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, at the Easton Church of God.
The orchestra will give the same concert at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, at Mariner’s Bethel in Ocean View, Del., and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 5, at the Community Church in Ocean Pines. A pre-concert lecture will precede each performance at 2:15 p.m.
The program, “Autumn Legends,” will feature Symphony No. 45 by Joseph Haydn, “Autumn Legend” by William Alwyn, and “The Four Seasons” by Antonio Vivaldi.
Franz Joseph Haydn (Austrian, 1732-1809) was born in poverty but had the gift of music and a beautiful voice. These gifts won him a position in the boys’ choir at St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, with the additional benefits of room and board, music lessons and general education.
He worked as a street musician and was asked to write a comic opera. He experimented endlessly with variations to the classical architecture of music, like the sonata form, and added new instruments to his orchestra as they were developed.
Donald Francis Tovey, in his “Essays in Musical Analysis,” wrote about Haydn’s “dramatic surprise ... (where) almost everything is unexpected.” This commentary applies well to Symphony No. 45, the most popular of Haydn’s early symphonies.
Haydn gave young Beethoven music lessons, was fond of Mozart and distraught by his early death. Haydn was recognized in his lifetime throughout Europe as a master and a legend.
William Alwyn (British, 1905-1985) entered the Royal Academy of Music in 1920, and studied flute and composition. He played with the London Symphony Orchestra and was professor of composition at the Royal Academy.
Alwyn, a poet, artist and leader of musicians’ organizations, was knighted in 1978. He wrote several operas and symphonies, concertos, quartets, piano music and more than 70 film scores. His music often is played by the John Wilson orchestra.
Although he experimented with new tonalities, he never quite abandoned the classical harmonies.
“Autumn Legend,” a short work for English horn and orchestra, was written in 1954. Alwyn said he was inspired by his love of pre-Raphaelite paintings and the poetry of Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
Antonio Vivaldi (Venetian, 1678-1741) became a priest in 1703 but could not say mass because of asthma. The following year, he was appointed violinist at the Ospedale della Pieta, one of several organizations in the city that took in orphan girls and gave them a musical education.
Vivaldi became music director of La Pieta in 1716. His contract specified writing two concertos per month for the girls’ orchestra; during his lifetime, he wrote more than 500.
Undoubtedly, his most famous work is the collection of violin concertos known as “The Four Seasons,” written in the early 1720s and published in Amsterdam in 1725. This piece is the most overtly programmatic work written to date, in which the music tries to evoke definite items, situations and experiences. “The Four Seasons” is consistently one of the favorite works of the general public and regularly played in Venice’s churches by professional groups.
Featured musicians in the concert will include violinist Amos Fayette and Carl Oswald on English horn.
Fayette began his studies with his mother at the age of 2. He continued lessons with various teachers and graduated from the Juilliard School of Music’s Pre-College Division, as well as the Peabody Institute in Baltimore. He has been guest concertmaster of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra and Tucson Symphony Orchestra, and has performed various leadership roles in the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra.
Oswald is a Baltimore native whose performances have spanned the globe. A graduate of the Yale School of Music, he has appeared as a soloist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Yale Philharmonia and University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra. He performs regularly in the Baltimore area with the Annapolis Symphony, Mid-Atlantic Symphony and Concert Artists of Baltimore, and has appeared with Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Princeton Symphony, Hartford Symphony and New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.
Tickets are $45,. They are available online at www. midatlanticsymphony.org, by phone at 888-846-8600 or at the door.
The Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra will perform Thursday, Nov. 2, at the Easton Church of God.