In letters dated March 16 and March 23, 1773, Leopold Mozart wrote ´Wolfgang·s opera has been performed seventeen

times already and is to be performed some twenty odd times in all«The theatre is astonishingly full every day. There have been twenty-six performances.µ The opera of which the elder Mozart speaks is his son·s Lucio Silla, commissioned by the city of Milan as a result of the duo·s first trip to the city in 1770. This success was nearly subverted by a weak libretto that only received its final form after being reworked by the Italian librettist Metastasio. The opera, set in pre-Christian Rome, concerns the Roman dictator Lucio Silla, who lusts after Giunia, the daughter of his enemy Caius Marius. Giunia, on the other hand, loves the exiled senator Cecilio. The plot is full of complications in which good and evil cannot always be distinguished. Ludwig van Beethoven·s Violin Concerto in D Major has a very«interesting story behind it. The violinist Franz Clement, a friend of Beethoven·s, was holding a benefit concert to benefit«himself. Despite the program of Mozart, Cherubini, and Handel, Clement wanted something extra to attract the masses, and asked Beethoven to write a violin concerto, on very short notice. Some versions of the story say that Beethoven finished the piece a few hours before the performance. Nearly all accounts say that Clement virtually sight-read the entire piece at the premiere, but it is likely that he tried out various sections of the concerto prior to this first performance. Clement also interrupted the flow of the concerto by adding a composition of his own between the first two movements. Clement·s piece was played entirely on one string, with the violin upside-down.

The premiere was not considered a success, and the concerto was not played regularly for nearly 40 years. It was revived in 1844 and is now considered one of the most important works of the violin concerto repertoire. Camile Saint-Saëns· third symphony, simply titled ´Organ,µ is a difficult composition to categorize. While it does make use of the fourmovement symphonic form, the music itself is only written as two movements. Also unusual to this work is Saint-Saëns· use of keyboard instruments; in addition to the organ the piece also includes piano scored for both two and four hands at various places. Saint-Saëns began composing at a very young age and was considered one of the most talented child prodigies of his time. He had expressed evidence of perfect pitch by age two, had mastered reading and writing by age three, had learned Latin by age seven, and had memorized all of the Beethoven piano sonatas by the age of 10. Studying at the Conservatoire de Paris, Saint-Saëns was introduced to fellow composers Frans Liszt and Hector Berlioz, the latter famously remarking ´Il sait tout, mais il manque d'inexpérienceµ ("He knows everything, but lacks inexperience"). Of composing Symphony No. 3 Saint-Saëns said that he had "given everything to it I was able to give." In this symphony we see several trends common to Saint-Saëns· work: virtuoso piano passages, brilliant orchestral writing, and the sound of a cathedral-sized pipe organ. Kyle D. Vanderburg studies composition under Dr. Carlyle Sharpe at Drury University where he is finishing his BA in Music. He plays bassoon in the Drury Wind Symphony and Drury Chamber Orchestra. After finishing his BA he plans on attending graduate school to further his study of composition.

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