XXXX 2023 at 7:30pm
Vista Philharmonic Orchestra: Inaugural Season ’23
XXXX 2023 at 7:30pm
The Concert Hall at Groton Hill Music Center
Bruce Hangen | Artistic Director & Conductor
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) – Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Major, Op. 60
Adagio – Allegro vivace
Allegro vivace. Trio
Allegro ma non troppo
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) – Symphony No. 4 in E minor, Op. 98
Allegro non troppo
Allegro energico e passionato
PROGRAM NOTES by Maestro Bruce Hangen
Titans! — defined by Merriam Webster as “gigantic in size or power: stands out for greatness of achievement,” perfectly describes the two composers on tonight’s program. Yes, they are titans, and because of that Beethoven and Brahms have become common household names for good reason. Their art, now as much as 200 years later, continues to move, inspire, motivate, and cause us to reflect on the beauty of sound, depth of personal values, and the goodness of all humanity.
I wish I could describe how this happens, but since that’s impossible for me I choose instead to perform their music in the sincere hope you too will be caught up in the dynamic drama, melodic shaping, and harmonic movement that are all too relatable to anyone willing to go along for the ride. So, no specific analyses of the two specific pieces this time, but I leave you with general comments by other writers about these two titans whose music is so great it’s impossible to describe.
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)….
…..is recognized as one of the greatest and most influential composers of the Western classical tradition. Beethoven defied the onset of deafness from the age of 28 to produce an output that encompasses 722 works, including 9 symphonies, 35 piano sonatas, and 16 string quartets.
….is one of the most widely recognized and admired composers in the history of Western music, and served as an important bridge between the Classical and Baroque era styles he admired and the Romantic style his music would come to personify.
….shattered musical boundaries and set the stage for how musicians and listeners would think about music for the next 200 years, right up to the present time.
….was a pivotal figure in transitioning music from traditional classical form into Romanticism, where personal expression gained a greater role. Beethoven’s musical expression bursts out of his music, from moments of the deepest melancholy to the most exultant rejoicing.
Johannes Brahms (1833 – 1897)….
….is one of the greats of musical history. He had a gift for combining the more complex harmonic practices of the Romantic era with the clear musical structures of the Classical era.
….has been considered both a traditionalist and an innovator, by his contemporaries and by later writers. His music is rooted in the structures and compositional techniques of the Classical masters. Embedded within those structures are deeply romantic motifs. The diligent, highly constructed nature of Brahms’s works was a starting point and an inspiration for a generation of composers.
….stands midway between the conservative purveyors of the classic tradition, that is, the imitators of Felix Mendelssohn, and the so-called musicians of the future, such as Franz Liszt and Richard Wagner. Brahms infused the traditional forms with romantic melody and harmony, respecting the inheritance of the past but making it relevant to his own age. His position of moderation effected a necessary balance in the creative output of the romantic century and led to high critical esteem by his contemporaries.
Vista Philharmonic Orchestra: 48th Season
Bruce Hangen, Artistic Director & Conductor
Stone Family Endowed Music Director’s Chair
*Alice Hallstrom, Concertmaster
The Reynolds Chair, endowed in perpetuity
Anabelle Hangen, Associate Concertmaster
Sponsored by Randy Steere and Paul Landry
Sponsored by Carole and Art Prest
Ana Maria LaPointe
Sponsored by Priscilla Endicott
*Amelia Hollander Ames
Sponsored by Simon S. Jones
and Richard Gioiosa
*Young Sook Lee
Sponsored by Bob and Sue Lotz
Sponsored by Bruce and Sue Bonner
Sponsored by Phil and Dorothy Robbins
*Kevin Ann Green
Sponsored by Sheila LaFarge
Sponsored by Connie Keeran and Ted Lapres
Sponsored by David Gaynor and Bernice Goldman in memory of Toby Goldman
Andrew van der Paardt
Sponsored by Bobbie and David Spiegelman
Sponsored by Pam and Griff Resor
Laura Crook Brisson
Sponsored by Phil and Carolyn Francisco
Sponsored by John and Barbara Chickosky
Sponsored by Mary Jennings and Jim Simko
Librarian: Kate Weiss
* Principal Player
+ Music School Faculty