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St. Louis Symphony Program - March 9, 2013

St. Louis Symphony Program - March 9, 2013

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The program insert for the performance of the St. Louis Symphony for March 8-9, 2013. This is meant to accompany the live broadcast of the Symphony on St. Louis Public Radio at 8 p.m. on March 9. Join us at 90.7 FM or online at stlpublicradio.org.
The program insert for the performance of the St. Louis Symphony for March 8-9, 2013. This is meant to accompany the live broadcast of the Symphony on St. Louis Public Radio at 8 p.m. on March 9. Join us at 90.7 FM or online at stlpublicradio.org.

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: St. Louis Public Radio on Mar 08, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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March 8-9, 2013
David Robertson, conductor James Ehnes, violin
Variations on a Theme o Joseph Haydn, op. 56a
Violin Concerto
Andante; AllegrettoAllegro; AdagioJames Ehnes, violin 
Symphony No. 2 in D major, op. 36
(1801-02)(1770-1827)Adagio molto; Allegro con brioLarghettoScherzo: AllegroAllegro molto
David Robertson is the Beofor Music Director and Conductor. James Ehnes is the Graybar Electric Company, Inc. Guest Artist.The concert of Friday, March 8, is underwritten in part by a generous gift fromMr. H. Chandler Taylor.The concert of Saturday, March 9, is underwritten in part by a generous gift fromMr. and Ms. George Paz.These concerts are presented by The Thomas A. Kooyumjian Family Foundation.Pre-Concert Conversations are presented by Washington University Physicians.These concerts are part of the Wells Fargo Advisors Series.Large print program notes are available through the generosity of Mosby Building Arts and are located at the Customer Service table in the foyer.
Symphony No. 2 in Dmajor, op. 36
Napoleon sells LouisianaTerritory to the UnitedStates to help nance hisEuropean conquests1873
Variations on a Theme o  Joseph Haydn
op. 56a
City o Budapest ormedrom two rival cities1935
Violin Concerto
Hitler announces Germanrearmament in violation o Versailles Treaty
For the current concert season, the St. LouisSymphony has programmed a series of concertsdevoted to music by composers who lived and worked in Vienna. Most of these concerts have juxtaposed two distinct yet complimentary traditions that comprise the musical life of that  very musical city: on one hand, masterworks written by some of the great composers whoresided in Vienna; on the other, examples of 
the lighter style of composition that ourished
in the Austrian capital for more than a century.This weekend’s concert, however, is devotedsolely to the former, more substantial, typeof music—in this case written by three of theoutstanding composers who called the city onthe Danube home. Actually, four composers fashioned the works we hear, considering the provenance
of the rst piece we hear. As its title indicates,
 Johannes Brahms’s Variations on a
Theme of  Joseph Haydn presents a succession of ingenioustransformations of a modest melody originally  written by another musician who spent most of his life in Vienna, Franz Joseph Haydn. Themeand variation is a venerable compositionalformat, and Brahms used it superbly in a numberof his compositions. His “Haydn Variations” isthe most famous of them.The two other works we hear represent very different responses to personal tragedy. AlbanBerg wrote his Violin Concerto as a memorial to a young woman of his acquaintance who died wellbefore her time. It is not a dark, brooding piecebut, rather, one that conveys deep poignancy andaffection. Ludwig van Beethoven composed hisSymphony No. 2 during a period of deep despairover his growing deafness. Was it to achieve somekind of emotional equilibrium that he wrote oneof his most sunny creations?
Variations on a Theme o Joseph Haydn
 Johannes Brahms mighhave become an outstanding music historian.He collected a large library of manuscriptsand printed scores from all periods and was aserious student of compositional practice fromthe Renaissance until his own time. Among hisfriends were a number of musicologists, and he was keenly attentive to their work. But Brahms
 was a composer rst and foremost, and his
interest in the music of earlier eras had its most 
signicant results in his own work. It particularly 
affected his choice of forms. He was one of the few musicians of his day with a practical knowledgeof such venerable procedures as passacagliaand variation set, and he never questioned that these could still be vehicles for original andcontemporary musical invention.Nowhere did Brahms demonstrate that conviction more convincingly than in the Variations on a Theme of Joseph Haydn, writtenin 1873. Brahms initially composed this work fortwo pianos, but he must have sensed immediately its potential for larger instrumental forces, for the
two-piano score was scarcely nished when he
commenced an orchestration of it.
The subject of these remarkable Variations is a modest theme known as “St. Anthony’s Chorale,” whichBrahms found in a wind-band partita attributedto Haydn. Brahms presents this melody intimbres that suggest its source, assigning it to theorchestral woodwinds in the opening section of the piece. Each of the eight variations that follow preserves the harmonic outline of the theme but offers entirely new elements of rhythm, melodiccontour, texture, and instrumental color. The
nale is not properly a variation of the theme,
since it does not follow the phrases of theoriginal melody. It is, rather, a passacaglia, a self-
contained set of variations over a recurring ve-measure gure heard at theoutset in the basses and cellos. Over and around this gure Brahms spins a
succession of counter-melodies. When, at the movement’s climax, the humblechorale melody emerges from the general texture, it has been transformed tosomething unexpectedly glorious.
May 7, 1833, Hamburg
April 3, 1897, Vienna
First Performance
November 2, 1873, inVienna, Brahms conductedthe Vienna PhilharmonicOrchestra
STL Symphony Premiere
February 18, 1909, Max Zachconducting
Most Recent STL SymphonyPerformance
February 22, 2009, Ward Stareconducting in Columbia,Missouri
2 utespiccolo2 oboes2 clarinets2 bassoonscontrabassoon4 horns2 trumpetstimpanitrianglestrings
Performance Time
approximately 17 minutes

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