January 18, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Metro Collection at Randolph-Macon College Presents Debussy, Mozart and a piece for Balinese Gamelan
Sunday, January 27 at 3pm
Blackwell Auditorium at Randolph-Macon College
January 18, 2018 – Richmond, Virginia: Join the Richmond Symphony and Music Director Steven Smith on Sunday, January 27 at 3pm in the Blackwell Auditorium at Randolph-Macon College for the second performance of the 2018/19 Metro Collection series. This expansive program features celebrated works from Debussy and Mozart, Fanny Mendelssohn’s only known orchestral work, and a piece for Balinese gamelan by Dewa Ketut Alit. The gamelan is a traditional instrumental ensemble of Indonesia made up predominantly of percussive instruments like metallophones and a set of hand-played drums called kendhang.
Mozart’s Symphony No. 25 in G Minor is one of only two symphonies that he wrote in a minor key, out of the nearly one hundred he composed. Mozart experimented with using the Sturm und Drang (German: “Storm and Stress”) musical trend in a symphony setting, a reaction to the cool rationalism of the Enlightenment that 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 on a children’s book by the same title. Writing the first two scenes came easily for Debussy; he extracted 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 (her brother was famed composer Felix Mendelssohn and her grandfather the German philosopher Moses Mendelssohn).
Mendelssohn’s story is enough to make any modern-day woman’s blood boil. She was the older sister of the famed composer Felix Mendelssohn and was equally skilled as a pianist and composer. Though she possessed comparable talent to her brother, Fanny Mendelssohn’s family, along with the standard of the times, discouraged her compositional aspirations. With the support of her husband, in 1846 she began to publish her works. Just a year later, she died from a stroke, leaving over 500 compositions unpublished. Some works were posthumously published in 1850, while the rest were only relatively recently published in 1987.
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, working to bridge musical traditions. 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.”
Ticket are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors and active military, $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. This concert is sponsored by the Randolph-Macon Arts Council and WCVE Community Idea Stations.
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Sunday, January 27, 2019 at 3:00 PM
Metro Collection Series 2
Steven Smith, conductor
Overture in C Major
Symphony No. 25 in G Minor, K. 183
I. Allegro con brio
III. Menuetto – Trio
Open My Door
La boîte à joujoux (The Toybox) –
Prelude (The Toybox Asleep)
1st Tableau (The Toy Store)
2nd Tableau (The Battlefield)
3rd Tableau (The Sheepfold for Sale) –
4th Tableau (After Making a Fortune)
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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