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Metro Collection at Randolph-Macon College Kicks Off Season with Works by Mozart, Ives, and Haydn

September 21, 2018

Metro Collection at Randolph-Macon College Kicks Off Season
with Works by
Mozart, Ives, and Haydn
Sunday, October 7 at 3pm
Blackwell Auditorium at Randolph-Macon College

September 21, 2018 – Richmond, Virginia: Join the Richmond Symphony and Music Director Steven Smith on Sunday, October 7 at 3pm for the first performance of the 2018/19 Metro Collection series. This concert will include chamber pieces by Mozart, Haydn, Ives, and Turkish contemporary composer Fazil Say. This diverse program reintroduces listeners to classic pieces, complimented by dynamic modern and contemporary works.  All Metro Collection concerts are held in the Blackwell Auditorium on the Randolph-Macon College campus.

Ever since the Turkish army invaded Vienna in the seventeenth century, Turkish military music held a certain fascination for the public. The “Janissary” instruments were fundamental in this style of music: piccolo, drums, cymbals, triangles, and jingling bells. Mozart used the Janissary style in his Abduction from the Seraglio. Out of all of the operas that Mozart wrote —and he wrote quite a few — this one, the first he wrote in Vienna, was the most popular during his lifetime.

Contemporary Turkish composer Fazil Say’s musical career is characterized by his double role as composer and internationally renowned pianist. Say stands out amongst contemporary composers for his fusion of the Western European and Turkish musical traditions. His Symphonic Dances are strongly influenced by Turkish music, with Say using a typical alternating 8/8 – 7/8 meter in the first dance. The second movement features Say’s characteristic string glissandi, before a slow third movement and a wild and ecstatic finale.

Today, we see Charles Ives as a brilliant, eccentric, and little understood anomaly of American music. Ives wrote both his Country Band March while still in his twenties. It uses Ives’s “collage” technique where unrelated bits of music are layered over one another. Here, the music represents the amateur bands of Ives’ younger years in Danbury, Connecticut. In contrast to the pandemonium of the Country Band March, Ives’ Largo Cantabile: Hymn is a serious and serene piece, perhaps originally written for string quartet with bass and piano. Here, the tune quotations—all of them hymns—are so fleeting, it is hard to catch them.

Haydn’s Symphony No. 88 in G Major is a marvel of wit, seriousness, simplicity, and complexity woven into a single work. The first movement begins with a serious and stately introduction that ushers in a quiet statement of the principal fast theme. Keeping track of that little tune throughout the first movement is a delightful listening exercise. The second movement is a theme with variations based on a hymn-like melody. The minuet is a robust country-like dance with a “kick” on the third beat of the measure. Its trio section, played over a gentle drone, also has some “kicks” in unusual places. The great Haydn scholar H. C. Robbins Landon calls the last movement “one of the most intricately composed, yet brilliant sounding, movements in the [works] of Haydn.” All of this is built on a recurring melody that simply has to be called “cute.”

Ticket are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors, $10 for children and $10 at the door for college students with ID. Purchase tickets online at richmondsymphony.com or by calling 1.800.514.ETIX. A free pre-concert talk will be held from 2 – 2:30pm in the Dollar Tree Community Room on the second floor of Brock Commons across from the Blackwell Auditorium.

Steven Smith bio

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Sunday, October 7, 2018 at 3:00 PM
Richmond Symphony

Metro Collection Series 1

Steven Smith, conductor




Overture to The Abduction from the Seraglio, K. 384



Symphonic Dances






Hymn (Largo cantabile)



Country Band March




Symphony No. 88 in G Major


II.  Moderato

III.  Lento

IV.  Allegro assai



About the Richmond Symphony
Kicking off its 61st Season in September 2018, the Richmond Symphony is the largest performing arts organization in Central Virginia. The organization includes an orchestra of more than 70 professional musicians, the 150-voice Richmond Symphony Chorus and more than 260 students in the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra programs. Each season, more than 200,000 members of the community enjoy live concerts and radio broadcasts. The Symphony also provides educational outreach programs to over 55,000 students and teachers each year. The Symphony was recently named one of 21 American orchestras selected as a leader in orchestra innovation by the League of American Orchestras through its Futures Fund Initiative. The Richmond Symphony is partially funded by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Visit www.richmondsymphony.com for more information.


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