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Performance Details

  • Date Sunday, January 27, 2019
  • Time 3:00 pm
  • Venue Blackwell Auditorium at Randolph-Macon College
  • Conductor Steven Smith
  • Debussy La Boîte À Joujoux (The Toybox)
  • Dewa Alit Open My Door
  • Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel Overture
  • Mozart Symphony No. 25 in G Minor, K. 183
  • Series 2018-19 Metro Collection

Enjoy classical music in an intimate setting. Metro concerts feature smaller scale works from the classical repertoire and newer pieces by contemporary composers. Richmond Symphony musicians are often featured soloists. 

The Symphony No. 25 in G Minor is only one of two symphonies that Mozart wrote in a minor key, out of the nearly one hundred he composed. Mozart experimented with using the Sturm und Drang (Storm and Stress) musical trend in a symphony setting. The trend was a reaction to the cool rationalism of the Enlightenment and gave free expression to extreme emotion. The piece is saturated with stormy emotion, interspersed with lighter themes throughout the movements; contrast is a hallmark of Sturm und Drang.

Debussy’s La boîte à joujoux (The Toy Box) is based off a children’s book by the same title. Writing the first two scenes came easily for Debussy by extracting secrets from his daughter’s old dolls, but he confessed the third scene was causing him some trouble: “The soul of a doll is more mysterious than even [poet and playwright] Maeterlinck imagines; it doesn’t easily tolerate the kind of humbug so many human souls put up with.”

Fanny Mendelssohn’s only known purely orchestral work is Overture in C. It begins with a quiet serenity that eventually bursts into an ebullience that can only be associated with the Mendelssohn name. The standard of the times, her family and brother, famed composer Felix Mendelssohn, discouraged Fanny’s compositional aspirations. With the support of her husband, a painter, she began to publish her works. Just a year later, she died from a stroke, leaving over 500 compositions unpublished.

A gamelan is an Indonesian orchestra made up of gongs and keyed metal instruments resembling our marimbas and xylophones. Born to a family of artists in Pengosekan village in Bali, Dewa Ketut Alit was immersed in Balinese gamelan from early childhood. He is generally acknowledged as the leading composer of his generation in Bali. He says this of his piece Open My Door: “I want to push open a door, entering new spaces. I’m on the road looking for the relationship between gamelan music and western music.”

Learn more about Steven Smith, conductor.

Program Notes

 

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