Purdue orchestras’ holiday gift – Dvorák & Beethoven symphonies
Monday, December 8, 2008
Pivotal symphonies by two of the classical world’s most respected composers – Ludwig van Beethoven and Antonín Dvorák – are holiday offerings by the Purdue Symphony Orchestra and the newly formed Purdue Philharmonic Orchestra on Saturday, Dec. 13.
The free concert, set for 8 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Long Center, 111 N. Sixth St., Lafayette, features Beethoven’s “Symphony No 3 in E flat major” considered to be the beginning of classical Romanticism and Dvorák’s "Symphony No. 8 in G major,” considered by many to be the composer’s best.
Both orchestras are under the direction of Andrew King and the evening opens with the Purdue Symphony performing the Dvorák, a symphony characterized overall by its warm, optimistic tone. Following in the footsteps of Beethoven and Bach, Dvorák incorporates a diversity of musical ideas, opening his symphony with a pastoral theme. The second movement features a funeral march, while a waltz emerges in the third and a trumpet fanfare begins the finale.
The folk music of his Dvorák’s Czechoslovakian homeland influenced many of works and “Symphony No. 3” is considered to be the most “Bohemian” of all of his symphonies with its tone color and thematic melodies musically describing the scenic Bohemian countryside as well as its fun-loving people.
With the public introduction of “Eroica” in 1805, Beethoven opened the door to a new more emotional era of classical music called Romantic. He originally intended to dedicate the symphony to Napoleon but became disillusioned with the French revolutionary leader and “Symphony No. 3” became known as “Eroica” or heroic.
The Purdue Philharmonic performs the first, second and final movements of the Beethoven symphony. Examples of the Romantic influence can particularly be heard in the second movement as it moves from the misery of the central funeral march theme to happier passages in major keys.
Historians believe Beethoven conceived the scheme for this symphony in 1802, just after writing “Heiligenstadt Testament,” a document in which the composer despaired at the gradual loss of his hearing and even expressed thoughts of suicide. He conquered his depression, wrote to his doctor “I will seize fate by the throat” and created “Eroica.”
This concert is sponsored by Purdue Bands & Orchestra and is the final event of its Fall 2008 season.
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