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Vista Philharmonic Orchestra: 49th Season

Bruce Hangen, Conductor & Artistic Director

Saturday, May 11, 2024 at 7:30pm – Season Finale

The Concert Hall at Groton Hill

PROGRAM

Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55 (“Eroica”)
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

I. Allegro con brio
II. Marcia funebre: Adagio assai
III. Scherzo: Allegro vivace
IV. Finale: Allegro molto

∼ INTERMISSION ∼

The Rite of Spring (“Le sacre du printemps”) 
Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)

Part I: Adoration of the Earth

Introduction
The Augurs of Spring
Dances of the Young Girls
Ritual of Abduction
Spring Rounds
Ritual of the Rival Tribes
Procession of the Sage
The Sage
Dance of the Earth

Part II: The Sacrifice

Introduction
Mystic Circles of the Young Girls
Glorification of the Chosen One
Evocation of the Ancestors
Ritual Action of the Ancestors
Sacrificial Dance (The Chosen One)

Vista Philharmonic Orchestra

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

Violin I
*Alice Hallstrom, Concertmaster
Anabelle Hangen, Associate Concertmaster
Cindy Cummings
Shuang Yang
Tony Morales
Rebecca Hawkins
Mona Rashad
Stuart Schulman
Jane Dimitry
Lauren Cless
Jorge Soto
Sue Faux
Joanne Sadler

Violin II
*Stanley Silverman
Lynn Basila
Caterina Yetto
John Guarino
Laura Papandrea
Todd Hamelin
Susan Turcotte-Gavriel
Angel Hernandez
Job Salazar
Kyra Davies

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

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

Bass
*Kevin Green
Michael Simon
John Wall
Kate Foss
Mark Henry
Carion Chu

Flute
*Melissa Mielens
Jessica Lizak
Caitlyn Schmidt
Grace Helmke
Brendan Ryan

Oboe
*Andrew Price
Mary Cicconetti
Anna Bradford
Alessandro Cirafici
Daniel Meza

Clarinet
*Kelli O’Connor
Sandra Halberstadt
Rane Moore
Hunter Bennett
Jan Halloran

Bassoon
*Hazel Malcolmson
Andy Flurer
Susannah Telsey
Isaac Erb
Rachel Juszczak

Horn
*Michael Bellofatto
Nancy Hudgins
Nick Auer
Laura Crook Brisson
Neil Godwin
Jenn Robbins
Kevin Owen
Graham Lovely

Trumpet
*Mark Emery
Spencer Aston
Jesse Levine
Eric Rizzo
Sam Thurston

Trombone
*Peter Cirelli
John Niro
Chuck Morris
Brian Diehl

Tuba
*Michael Stephan
Taka Hagiwara

Timpani
*Greg Simonds
Tom Schmidt

Percussion
*Michael Ambroszewski
Aaron Trant
Piero Guimaraes
Rich Kelley

*Principal

Librarian: Kate Weiss

PROGRAM NOTES

by Maestro Bruce Hangen

It is traditional for symphony orchestras to go out with a bang, a blockbuster, a grand finale-type program when closing its season. As you know, the Boston Symphony concludes each Tanglewood season with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Next year, we at the Vista Philharmonic are concluding the season with Shostakovich’s very significant Tenth Symphony. Other orchestras commonly perform big works like the Mahler symphonies or programs requiring major production values like guest artists and/or choruses and/or large numbers of extra musicians in the orchestra. Such is the case with us tonight.

Tonight’s program consists entirely of two landmark compositions, one each by landmark composers Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) and Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971). While these two compositions are separated by only 110 years, they nevertheless represent turning points in music history at the time they premiered. And in their own way, each work tore through the barriers of traditional rules at the time of composition and precipitated entirely new directions for their creators and all future composers to follow. The fact that these two compositions are still regarded today as hugely important landmarks is a testament to their greatness. Further, while I have long been fond of the combination of Beethoven and Stravinsky on the same program, it is hard to imagine any two other works so completely different from the other. Indeed, their respective musical languages are mutually complementary.

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 (“Eroica”) was composed in 1804, and represents the beginning of the so-called middle, creative period in Beethoven’s progress. Often labeled the ‘romantic’ period, many of Beethoven’s truly imaginative, ground-breaking and still successful compositions date from these years. Filled with passion, burgeoning structures, exaggerated dynamics and extended technical difficulties for the performers themselves, these works—this symphony—have everlasting musical qualities that still resonate with audiences and musicians today.

Originally dedicated to Napoleon, Beethoven scratched out the dedication on the manuscript upon hearing Napoleon was to declare himself Emperor. To this day, the only dedication remaining is “to the memory of a great man.” Until this work, symphonies by anyone lasted perhaps 20-30 minutes. The “Eroica” has a duration twice as long. Also, Beethoven experimented by adding sections to the accustomed formula: by adding a third horn to the normal two, by transforming the standard Minuet-Trio third movement into a Scherzo, and by creating a theme-and-variations structure to the final movement.

Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring (1913), famously created a riot at its first performance in Paris. Preceded by a balletic arrangement of Chopin’s piano music, the Stravinsky had to have come as a real shock to the everyone, including the grossly unrehearsed performers. The orchestra had never performed such barbaric, non-melodic rhythms, and the dancers were so untrained the ballet master was calling out the dance numbers from the wings. The audience booed and threw things, and many walked out in protest.

The ballet, and the music itself depict pagan Russian primitive rituals surrounding spring’s coming, during which a young girl is chosen as a sacrificial victim and dances herself to death. In two parts, the ballet begins with the Adoration of the Earth, and part two is the Sacrifice rituals. Tonight’s performance will include projected supertitles of the various sections to help your understanding of the very basic storyline. The music itself ranges from the incredibly intimate to the blaringly outsized orchestra blasting to its fullest. All in all, the music remains a challenge for the performers, but remains one of those compositions that professional musicians get inspired to perform which, if they’re lucky, will happen even once in their lifetime.

PREMIER SPONSOR OF TONIGHT’S CONCERT:

THIS CONCERT IS MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH THE GENEROSITY OF:

Fred and Joan Reynolds and family

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT:

Camilla Blackman
Bruce and Sue Bonner
Peter and Karen Burk
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

Enjoying tonight’s concert? We invite you to explore the Vista Philharmonic Orchestra’s 50th Season—our third in the world-class Concert Hall at Groton Hill! Maestro Bruce Hangen will guide us through a moving, insightful, inspiring season of concerts that blend favorite masterworks with challenging pieces from emerging and underperformed composers. Learn more and buy tickets

Now in its 40th year, Groton Hill Music Center is a thriving regional non-profit center for music education, performance, and community engagement. One of only a few organizations in the U.S. that combines a music school, professional symphony orchestra, diverse concert series featuring high-quality touring artists, and impactful music philanthropy, Groton Hill currently serves thousands of music lovers in our region and beyond. Learn more

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