October 29, 2008

The Drama Behind the Composers this Weekend...

I joined the RPO just a few months ago - with a true love for their work - but admittedly I've never been trained in anything musically.

OK, sure, there was that elementary school venture where I played the flute for a few years. Let's just say I could see the first chair from across the stage. Clearly, I wasn't meant to perform. Rather, to just help out in another way.

So, with each new weekend, I get to read up on the background of what is being performed. It's fascinating. This weekend, with Brahms, Borodin, and Tchaikovsky pieces - there's no exception. Click here to read up on the performance and 'listen in' to a preview.

Our Concertmaster Juliana Athayde will lead us in the Brahms Concerto for Violin in D. The technical demands of this piece are formidable. Brahms had apparently composed this piece for his friend - violinist Joseph Joachim, pictured here.

Both he and Joachim actually wrote a manifesto in 1860 against the "progressive music of the 'New German School'" - from which Liszt and Wagner's music is based. Wow! (By the way, we're playing Liszt next month with pianist Andrew Von Oeyen. Click here for a preview.)

One other piece of information I thought was pretty fascinating. The orchestra is also performing Alexander Borodin's Symphony No. 2.

Borodin was the illetimate son of a Georgian noble. In fact, his mom apparently registered him as the son of one of the noble's serfs. He grew up to be a chemist by trade. Between the chemistry - and I've read "difficulties in his home-life," he found solace in composing.

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