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Vista Philharmonic Orchestra: 49th Season

Bruce Hangen, Conductor & Artistic Director

Saturday, April 6, 2024 at 7:30pm

The Concert Hall at Groton Hill

PROGRAM

Overture to The Magic Flute, K. 620
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Death and Transfiguration, Op. 24
Richard Strauss (1864-1949)

∼ INTERMISSION ∼

Violin Concerto No. 2, Sz. 112
Béla Bartók (1881-1945)

I. Allegro non troppo
II. Andante tranquillo
III. Allegro molto

Midori, violin

Dances of Galánta
Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967)

Vista Philharmonic Orchestra

Bruce Hangen, Artistic Director & Conductor
Stone Family Endowed Music Director’s Chair

Violin I
*Alice Hallstrom, Concertmaster
Shuang Yang, Associate Concertmaster
Allan Espinosa
Mona Rashad
Anabelle Hangen
Tony Morales
Jane Dimitry
Cindy Cummings
Stacey Alden
Rebecca Hawkins
Lauren Cless
Jorge Soto
David Rubin

Violin II
*Stanley Silverman
Lynn Basila
Laura Papandrea
Caterina Yetto
John Guarino
Susan Turcotte-Gavriel
Nicki Payne
Todd Hamelin
Job Salazar
Ana Maria LaPointe

Viola
*Lauren Nelson
Darcy Montaldi
Steven Sergi
Dorcas McCall
Oleg Soloviev
Robert Kennedy
Jennifer Tanzer
Jing-Huey Wei
Caroline Droziak

Cello
*Young Sook Lee
Shay Rudolph
Ben Swartz
George Hughen
Susan Randazzo
Priscilla Chew
Nathan Kimball
Nathaniel Lathrop

Bass
*Kevin Green
Robb Aistrup
Joseph Higgins
John Wall
Justin McCarty
Pascale Delache-Feldman

Flute
*Melissa Mielens
Jessica Lizak
Caitlyn Schmidt

Oboe
*Andrew Price
Elizabeth England
Ben Fox

Clarinet
*Kelli O’Connor
Sandra Halberstadt
Bill Kirkley

Bassoon
*Andrew Flurer
Isaac Erb
Frank Casados

Horn
*Nick Auer
Nancy Hudgins
Stephanie Smith
Laura Crook Brisson

Trumpet
*Mary-Lynne Bohn
Mark Emery
Ryan Noe

Trombone
*Peter Cirelli
Alexei Doohovskoy
Donald Robinson

Tuba
*Michael Stephan

Timpani
*Greg Simonds

Percussion
*Michael Ambroszewski
Aaron Trant

Harp
*Maria Rindenello-Spraker
Maria Ren

Celeste
*Bonnie Anderson

*Principal

Librarian: Kate Weiss

PROGRAM NOTES

by Maestro Bruce Hangen

Just two months before his premature death, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) composed what has become a true opera standard. The success of The Magic Flute (1791) probably would have made Mozart’s life a lot easier and certainly more lucrative as it quickly established itself as one of the all-time great operatic works. Not a serious opera, but composed for the light opera (think operetta or musical theater of the time), Die Zauberflöte is filled with Freemasonry’s symbols and references. The number 3 is important to the Masons, and the overture begins with three static chords in the key of E-flat (the third note up from middle C), which has a key signature of 3 flats. Otherwise, the overture has a quick and lively (impish?) theme that progresses with all the Mozartean flurry the composer could muster at his most mature period.

I find it interesting that the music most often performed by Richard Strauss (1864-1949) are those works he composed in his 20s and 30s. Such is the case with Death and Transfiguration (1889), written as a youth under the spell of the ultra-romanticist Richard Wagner. This is a tone poem (a single-movement work that tells a story about something in the real world) in which the “story” is that of a dying artist given in to his condition, then rages against his ultimate demise, followed by a reflection of good times in the past, and ultimately his soul transfigures into heaven. This is the ultimate, romantic, symphonic music that so many audiences love to hear and musicians love to play. There is real “meat” in the music and the music-making along with an emotionalism that allows us to get carried away with and by the extra-musical references and back story.

The first thing you should remember about Hungarian composer Béla Bartók (1881-1945) is that he was both interested in and bothered to research the folk music of his countrymen. Having spent a significant portion of his lifetime traveling through the Hungarian countryside, researching—and recording!—the country folk singing their traditional songs all contributed to Bartók’s own musical language. He does not quote actual folk songs, but the symphonic music he composed sounds as if it could have been a folksong transcription. The Violin Concerto No. 2 (1938) is a case in point. Symphonically speaking, the concerto is in the normal three movements, but the language is definitely from the folk tradition. At times tender, often rhapsodic, and occasionally pushing the envelope of tonality, this concerto has come to be accepted as one of the all-time great 20th century concertos for violin.

Speaking of Hungarian, Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967), friend and colleague of Bartók, also traveled the countryside recording the music of native Hungarians. And like Bartók, but perhaps a bit more conservatively, his music is inextricably intertwined with the folk music tradition of his homeland. Galánta is a town in Slovakia, where composer Kodály spent most of his childhood, and is the basis for his Dances of Galánta (1933). This is a single-movement suite of dances—not really a tone poem because it doesn’t tell a story—that audiences continue to enjoy for its native originality, warmth, and ebullience.

ABOUT OUR GUEST ARTIST

Violinist: Midori

A visionary artist, activist, and educator, Midori explores and builds connections between music and the human experience and breaks with traditional boundaries. She will mark the 40th anniversary of her professional debut this season, celebrating a remarkable career that began in 1982, when she debuted with the New York Philharmonic under conductor Zubin Mehta at age 11. In concert around the world, Midori transfixes audiences, bringing together graceful precision and intimate expression. She has performed with, among others, the London, Chicago, and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras; the Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks; the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics; the Mahler Chamber Orchestra; and Festival Strings Lucerne. She has collaborated with such outstanding musicians as Claudio Abbado, Emanuel Ax, Leonard Bernstein, Jonathan Biss, Constantinos Carydis, Christoph Eschenbach, Daniel Harding, Paavo Järvi, Mariss Jansons, Yo‑Yo Ma, Susanna Mälkki, Joana Mallwitz, Antonello Manacorda, Zubin Mehta, Tarmo Peltokoski, Donald Runnicles, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Omer Meir Wellber.

In recognition of her work as an artist and humanitarian, Midori serves as a United Nations Messenger of Peace. In recognition of her lifetime of contributions to American culture, she is a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors and was celebrated by Yo-Yo Ma, Bette Midler, and John Lithgow, among others, during the May 2021 Honors ceremonies in Washington, DC. Last season’s concert highlights included the premiere of Detlev Glanert’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and her appearance in Carnegie Hall’s benefit Concert for Ukraine. Midori was born in Osaka in 1971 and began her violin studies with her mother, Setsu Goto, at an early age. Midori is the Dorothy Richard Starling Chair in Violin Studies at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and is a Distinguished Visiting Artist at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. She plays the 1734 Guarnerius del Gesù ‘ex-Huberman’ and uses four bows – two by Dominique Peccatte, one by François Peccatte, and one by Paul Siefried.

Midori’s recordings are available on Warner Classics, Sony Classical, Sony Japan Onyx Classics, and Accentus Music.

North American Representation: Kirshbaum Associates, Inc., 307 Seventh Ave., Suite 506, New York, NY 10001
kirshbaumassociates.com

THIS CONCERT IS MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH THE GENEROSITY OF:

Fred and Joan Reynolds and family

Peter and Karen Burk

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT:

Camilla Blackman
Bruce and Sue Bonner
Barbara and John Chickosky
Priscilla Endicott
Matt and Judy Fichtenbaum family
Phil and Carolyn Francisco
David Gaynor and Bernice Goldman
Bruce Hauben and Joyce Brinton/The Helen G. Hauben Foundation
Mark and Jeanne Hubelbank
Mary Jennings and Jim Simko
Simon Jones and Richard Gioiosa
Bob and Sue Lotz
Carole and Art Prest
Pam and Griff Resor
The Riggert Family
Phil and Dorothy Robbins
David and Bobbie Spiegelman
Randy Steere and Paul Landry

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