MSO to con­tinue 20th an­niver­sary sea­son

Sunday Star - - LOCAL -

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.

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